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Las Vegas, USA, October 5 - 8, 2002
By Tim Maloney in Las Vegas
Despite the downturn in the US economy, Interbike Las Vegas 2002 sees all systems go as the American bike industry seems poised for a strong resurgence in 2003. Key industry people generally told Cyclingnews that sales were looking good across the board for next year.
Tom Armstrong, perhaps the two-wheeled industry's most well-spoken spokesman highlighted the Connecticut-based firm's key initiatives for next season.
First of all, we are looking to introduce new technologies next year, such as our Lefty Max TPC+ fork. Secondly, weve re-examined our existing technologies and tried to improve them as with the Scalpel XC mountain bike and finally, we have brought more access to technologies across the range, such as with our CAAD 7 road bike.
The Lefty Max TPC+ fork is a new lightweight long travel (130mm) 2.043kg suspension fork, developed jointly with Manitou. It uses a sophisticated twin piston chamber design, with separate pistons for compression & rebound. The Scalpel XC mountain bike is still a wild looking rig, perhaps the ultimate lightweight cross country bike with a race-proven design.
The re-designed Scalpel, weighing in on Cannondales scale at 11.6kg (25.5lbs) has lost 100 grams since last years model, with new forged dropouts, a new derailleur hanger and a one-piece shock link.
The EPO rear suspension, with differential shaped carbon fiber swingarms is unique in that it bends only at the mid-point of the stay, letting Cannondale fine-tune the suspension performance.
Another MTB model is the Gemini 900, a freeride model that has a cool immersion graphic decaling that enables the maker to create an unusual, fantasy look for this rig. No one in the bike industry is currently using this process, explained Armstrong.
Optimum Fit is the name of Cannondales re-launched custom fit program, available at dealers after January 1st. We will offer this for two CAAD 7 frames, said Armstrong. One with a conventional BB and another in our SI (System Integration) version for the oversize bottom bracket and our Hollowgram crank. Cool Alluminate6 color schemes and a faux marble immersion graphic are among the wide range of finishes available to Optimum Fit customers.
Speaking of CAAD 7, Cannondale will offer a much wider range of the superlight 1.135kg frame equipped models for 2003. US msrp will start at $1,899 up to the must-have Saeco Team Replica rig at $4,499. And Cannondale points out that another plus for this model is that the CAAD 7 comes in 8 sizes to address any sized rider.
We see triathlon on the upswing, pointed out Armstrong. Cannondale has always had a major presence in tri, with sponsorship of champions like Scott Tinley, Greg Welch and others. Cannondale has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Ironman and launched a line of three tri-specific models, ranging in price from the $1,299 Ironman 600 to the mega zoot 5000 with the CAAD 6 Aero frame. For more information, see www.cannondale.com.
Images by Rob Karman/www.roadbikephotos.com