Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 - Reviews And Previews

Welcome to the summary of reviews and previews of 2010, by All Mountain Next.
For easy and quick access to the reviews and previews, knock yourself out:

BBG Bashguard 2010
Crank Brothers Joplin 3
Five Ten FreeRider 2010
FOX DHX 4.0 2010
Kenda Nevegal DTC 2.3"
Leatt Brace GPX
Maxxis Minion DH REAR Kevlar 2.35"
Maxxis Swampthing 2.35"
Pure Racing KS 900i 2010
Schwalbe Fat Albert Rear 2.25" Evo 2010
Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pro 2010
Specialized Chunder SX and Specialized Chunder Control
Specialized Deviant 2 Carbon 2010
Superstar Components Mag Lite CNC - Magnesium body + Ti axle

BBG Bashguard 2010
Kenda Excavator 2.35"
Leatt Brace GPX
Manitou Evolver ISX-6
Point One Racing - Podium Pedal 2010
Pure Racing KS 900i 2010
Race Face SIXC Crankset
Schwalbe Fat Albert Rear 2.3" Evo
Sixpack - Millenium Handlebar
Specialized Chunder SX 2.3"
Specialized Deviant II Carbon 2010
Superstar Components Mag Lite CNC - Magnesium body + Ti axle

Rearshocks: Coil vs Air

Coming soon (Reviews and Previews):
Kenda - Excavator 2.35" (review)
Manitou - Evolver ISX-6 (review)
Maxxis - Minion Front tire (review)
Point One Racing - Podium Pedal (review)
Race Face - SIXC crankset (review)
RockShox - Monarch RT3 2011 (preview)
WTB - Weirwolf tire (review)
AM wheelset- Unknown as of yet (expect something different)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Best and Worst of 2010

Thought idd do a roundup of whats good and bad from 2010. Or more precisely, what the WORST and BEST stuff of 2010. So without further ado:

The Best (in random order):

Wide bars
If you haven't  already, then you should go for it. I'm talking about wide bars, not wide as in a-bit wide, but im talking about 720mm + wide. Starting out with a 560mm bar, way back, I simply didn't know better. Later I got myself a 600mm, and later on a 660mm bar - that was starting to open up my eyes, but after a year of riding with that, I started to acknowledge the potential for even wider bars. So the true change came when I got myself a full 750mm, its just wow, it does so many positive things to your riding. So much so that when I recently had 660mm bars in my hands again, I immediately felt handicapped by it, and it just felt awkward. Go wide.

Leatt Brace
Ive seen more neck and back injuries than I care to admit - also with paralysis outcome. Its serious business. I could use this space to talk about the importance of hyperflexion, hyperextension or axial loading, but Ill settle with this: It does its job, it has the potential to save your life, and to keep you out of a wheel chair - with pretty much no draw-backs, this product really is a must have.

Winterberg Bikepark
Its won awards, and the hearts of bikers. The best German Bikepark there is - It won me over as well. The passion and the though-process behind every line is very evident, and a joy to ride. A real skill booster as well. I cant wait to get back for more.

The Worst (in random order):

Heavy Snow
Even though snow can have its charm at times, its mostly a pain in the ass for us. My favorite trails are locked down due to the snow, and that hinders proper riding. Skills are definitely not improved, when a thick carpet of snow hinders even basic technical treats.

Ti axles
Got one, broke one. I'm just glad it didn't happen during a landing or something else gravity oriented. Be warned.

Castrating trails
I'm all for trail grooming - dont get me wrong about that, but the castration of trails for the sake of making it more easy is just mind bugling to me. It just doesn't make sense to me - none the less its a returning trend in 2010 on some of the most popular trails here. Go ride a different trail if its too hard for you - dont dumb down an established trail because your skills lack.
Is this really necessary?:

Ok, so thats the up and downs for 2010. Feel free to submit your thoughts at any time.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

New Video: ChainSmoker

Put together some footage from this summer and fall. Its been a sick season to say the least. This is mostly from the German bikeparks, but other places are in here as well. Enjoy.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

All Mountain Next turns 1 year old!

So, the blog turns 1 year old. And I thought I would write down a few words about the how-abouts of this blog - where it stands, and where its heading. Its been a fun year to say the least. Its also been a hectic year with lots of travel, and rides, from the mountain peaks of Slovakia and Poland, to some awesome new "local" lines. Alot of new gear as well - from the Leatt Brace, to the SIXC crankset, some of the gear failed, others offered new standards. So..

How it all started.
As an avid mountainbiker I often got new gear for my bike, and more importantly got myself into exciting mtb trips. My mtb buddies often carry a camera, and so do I. So there I was, with a continues flow of new gear, and alot of pictures and snippets of video on my hands. I thought that I might just as well share the pics, and write my thoughts about the gear I got into my hands. After thinking abit about it, I decided to go for it. All Mountain Next was born.
Just as intended I started to post pics and write about gear. I didn't want to focus on mtb-news per se as I knew other websites did that better than I could ever do. So it was all about the riders and gear - with an hands-on approach. This proved to be a success. It started with a very small following, with 300 visitors a month, mainly friends, today its at 1500 visitors a month, and still rising. Not bad for a amateur blog covering a niche branch of the sport.

Where its at.
Alot of reviews, previews, and 100's of pictures later, this blog has found its bedrock. The use of a 0-6 scoring system proved to be easy to work with when reviewing stuff, and pretty straight forward. The focus on weight, and always putting stuff on a scale was gracefully received as well - its a no bull-shit approach, and my weight-measurements has even been quoted on other websites. Kinda fun to see. The use of pictures has increased during the short life time of this blog, but its found its own standing ground as well.

Where its going.
All Mountain Next is going as strong as ever, 81 posts later and its not slowing down. The focus will still be gear and stuff for the bike, as well as picturised reports from the trails in interesting places. I plan to post some more vids from the rides, just short ones without any edits, I think it could add a bit more entertainment, as well as some real-life riding into it, that most riders can relate to. But overall, ill continue to roll the stuff as usual. I'm always open for suggestions, so shoot away! The commentary section does not require any sign in. So go ahead and write.
So, thanks for all the great feedback! I hope for a even better year in 2011 for All Mountain Next.
Now go out and ride.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Review: FOX DHX 4.0 2010

Finally got a coil shock for my bike. Been looking for one for a long time, but something always prevented me from pulling the trigger - untill now.Everyone with coil shocks speaks of how amazing a coils linear stroke rate feels, and I have to agree, its just wow!
I went for the FOX DHX 4.0 from TF TUNED, its got propedal, rebound, bottom out resistance and a spring preload, so pretty much everything you would expect of a normal coil shock. But at this price, it would have suited FOX to step it up a bit more; the RockShox Vivid coil R2C 2011 offers all this and a dual flow rebound as well, and you can get it tune-specific, all this for the same amount of cash as well.

So how does it performs? Well when doing my first proper drop, I had to stop up and look at the shock and think "since when did I get 200mm of rear wheel travel?"- Its that buttery smooth end-stroke linear. Nothing like the sudden ramp up of an air shock in the end-stroke. When setup for DH this shock really shines, eating the bumps, rockgardens and roots all while furiously tracking the ground. This thing is a speed booster when things get tough - no question about that. When sagged deep, the shock is allowed to work both ways, and the DHX is an avid worker. For bikeparks or FR this is a gamechanger, step-ups, step down, drops, jumps, everything gets more controlled and a bit more easy on the rider as well. For AM the DHX is a bit more complicated, the right amount of rebound took me a loong time to get right, the problem was that the coil continued to feel too lively. Even when tuning in the spring preload, and adjusting all the low speed compression, this shock just wanted to be in constant movement - definitely slowing me down on the climbs compared to an air shock. I never figured out the low speed compression, as it has little, to no effect on performance. Disappointing. AM is doable with the DHX coil, but since my favorite trails are equally up/down the coil just doesnt justify itself there.

All in all a good coil shock, thats best suited for descends and jumps, features arent its strong points, but performance is amazing liniear - and if you know what to do with it, you'll likely to go faster and further than before.

The Good:
-Super linear feel
-Performance when doing DH or FR

The Bad:
-Not heavy on features
-Low speed compression has little effect
-Difficult to tune for AM riding.

Score: 4/6

Its been a long time coming, a coil on my AM rig:
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DHX coil hometurf:
TF-TUNED has been great, and got in contact with me in regards to my riding style, weight, purpose, bike type and even my hair color. Ok, not the hair color then. But everything else.
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Ive just hit the landing on this pic. The DHX coil makes for a controlled, and smooth landing.
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Heavy, but considering its a steel coil, its not that heavy
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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Review: Crank Brothers Joplin 3

There is a story prior to this review. Thing is I already did a Joplin review a few years back on another site. Back then everything was dandy. The Joplin worked as it should, seemed reliable, and the mechanics was working as it should. All that spawned a very positive review, that I ended up posting online.... Then the problems started.
The Joplin began to feel spongy, and was very sensitive to wet elements, it also leaked large amounts of oil - resulting in a bad overall funktion. I sent it in for repairs, not once, not twice, but 3 times! The problems kept coming back, and I started to feel like I was wasting my time. (It also taught me that long term testing is really the best way to go). The third repair installed 2010 internals into the Joplin. But the minute I got it back from the repair shop, I immediately put it in my store room...waaay back into the store room.. Instead I use my Pure Racing KS 900i, its in a whole different league.

So there you have it, this little story is actually a review on its own.

The good:
-You might be very lucky and get an example that wont break. Ive actually know of one such example. And having this point under "good" is somewhat silly anyway.

The bad:
- Reliability. Dont waste your time, or money.
- 75mm of adjustability is not enough for AM.

Score: 1/6

Pretty lightweight for an adjustable post.
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Good Post. Bad post. Its your choice.
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Monday, December 6, 2010

Trail adaption: Spike tires

Installed the spiketires, this year im using it on both front and rear. It really makes a difference, if you want to know more, then  go read the review:

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And be sure to check this out as well:

Friday, December 3, 2010

Snow ride

So whats with this picture you might think - its just snow. Well actually its the trailhead of one of the more popular trails, untouched by other riders, so the trend from last winter continues: We are once again the first on the trails after the snow. Its a split situation for me; I tempted to do a facepalm, but on the other hand, it does give a better workout, and it has its moments to be the "snow plow" of the trail. The fact is, we actually had a fun time plowing this time around.
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Plow-machine 1:
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Plow-machine 2. This ride was before installing my spike tires, so im just riding regulars here:
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Ghetto tubeless fail.
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