Eric Carter's gravity weapon is a burly Beretta of a bike that's got the finish firmly in its firing line...
Eric Carter has been racing bikes (BMX then MTB) since 1978. In that time he has won numerous titles, impressively hauling ass in Les Gets to take the 2004 World Champion 4X title ahead of Michal Prokop and Roger Rinderknecht. Eric's also known to thousands of PlayStation 2 gamers as the star of Downhill Domination - a game he helped to develop. Today, Eric is still a major force to be reckoned with and, like Brian Lopes, he often takes his powerful, BMX-honed style and crosses over into downhill racing, single-mindedly charging the World Cups and NORBAs aboard his signature Mongoose EC-D.
The frame itself is a double-barrelled piece of munitions style artistry. The 6061 front triangle looks wrenched straight out of the weapons cabinet in an Alien fi lm and it reinforces in no uncertain terms exactly what this bike is about: slaying descents unmercifully. The bike is finished in pearl white and Mongoose's team orange with blue tribal accents and blue rims - it's striking and, when used by Eric or team-mate Bryn Atkinson wearing full team kit, it all fits. Replaceable 12mm dropouts also ensure that the slaying won't stop should the rear end get mashed out of line.
The EC-D offers 200-213mm (7.9- 8.4in) of rear wheel travel squeezed from a Fox DHX 5.0 coil shock, and up front a RockShox Boxxer Team with Motion Control Damping provides 203mm (8in) of plush travel. The bike uses Mongoose's patented FreeDrive floating bottom bracket technology - a design borrowed from Mongoose's sibling, GT - that aims to isolate the bottom bracket from the suspension action, helping to neutralise the negative effects of rider-induced suspension bobbing, brake jack and chain growth. This results in a super plush and supple ride that squeezes traction out of the trail to the Nth degree and lets the bike track better than a Patriot missile.
The EC-D features Eric's favoured geometry: a 64.5-degree head angle, a 66-degree seat angle, 447.5mm chainstays (on both the Small/Medium and the Medium/Large sizes) and a 585mm or 612mm top tube, depending on the frame size. At 19.7kg (43.5lb), the complete out-of-the-box weight, including pedals, is great. Mongoose have produced a complete bike that costs a reasonable £2,699 but weighs only a few pounds more than top World Cup race bikes - for example, the Santa Cruz V-10 raced by MBUK/Santa Cruz's Marc Beaumont weighs just under 40lb even with all its titanium and lightweight trickery, but it wouldn't take much to put together a sub-40lb EC-D...
The kit is all solid and trustworthy, without being flagrantly bling for bling's sake, and is headed up by many of SRAM's brands. Thrust is provided by the combination of a Truvativ Holzfeller 38-tooth crankset, an MRP System 3 chain guide and a SRAM PG-990 12-26- tooth nine-speed cassette. SRAM X-9 shifters and an SRAM X-9 rear mech handle shifting duties. Avid Juicy Seven hydraulic disc brakes with 203mm (8in) rotors help keep the speed under control, a Truvativ Holzfeller oversized bar and stem combo keeps the rig online and an SDG I-Beam 2014 alloy seatpost supports an SDG Bel Air ST perch. The wheels are made up of Sun MTX Team Blue 32-hole rims laced to Sun Ringlé Abbah SOS hubs (20mm bolt-through front, 12mm rear), shod with Kenda 2.5in Nevegal DH tyres.
Out on the hill, the EC-D becomes rabidly concerned with approaching the sound barrier as soon it rolls out of the start gate - it's burly but not obese, strong yet precise and it packs a gravity-defying punch. This bike will bring the ballistic beast out in anyone.
Double down tube
The double down tube arrangement provides a shock mount position and also ensures that the FreeDrive system is dialled without sacrificing stiffness or strength
FreeDrive rear suspension
Mongoose's suspension technology has produced a hard-riding, gravity-obsessed rig that rides better than many more exclusive offerings
Checker plate chainstay protector
Tidy touch: the Mongoose-badged chainstay protector ahead of the replaceable 12mm dropouts
RockShox Boxxer Team fork
The Team is around a pound heavier than the Boxxer World Cup fork - it's 7lb of coil-sprung suspension technology, and it complements the Fox DHX 5.0 coil-over rear shock
Sun MTX Team rims
The 32-hole MTX rims come in Mongoose team blue and are mated to Sun Ringlé Abbah SOS hubs for dependable performance at a reasonable weight
MRP chain device
One of the best in the business at keeping the chain in place and indicative of the performance-based spec