Thursday, January 27, 2011

Heavy Tech AM

Oh yearh, 5 Hours of solid AM riding, jumps, drops, and fast lines was the name of the game, and we got what we came for. Some of the pics came out pretty good imo.

Christian rips it into a corner, and into a descend:
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Say hallo to "The Wall". A new spot that offers everything scetchy. Approach, kicker and landing, its all scetchy, and toys with your head, whispering "dont do it". But we did, although it took some mental persuasion. Here you see one of the 3 drops "the wall" has to offer, biggest is approx 4m (13 feet) - we didn't ride that tho'. Anyway, pic shows Christian and Kim discussing ridable lines. Awesome spot.
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I got to hand it to Kim, we tried to stress this guy with scetchy stuff, but time after time he ended up riding the same stuff as us "locals". Props man.
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Chritian and me playing around with whips (still learning mind you), we have two very different approaches to it. Whereas Chitian is using his energy to pull the whip back in, I on the other hand want to flip it out as far as possible, while still landing on the front wheel - making my get-away. Pic of my take on it comming soon. Meanwhile Chritian brings it:
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Working for speed:
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One of my best pics yet, no edits, this is how it actually came out.
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Christian drops "the wall" - we all did btw. Raw edit. No sound. 210 fps. 17 sec:

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Frosty AM riding

The snow has retreated, thus opening otherwise inaccessible trails. Makes me a happy mountain biker : )

Its good to be on back on the AM trails again:
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Frost is a returning guest, the good thing is that it makes the forest ground very hard, and that makes for some pretty fast lines:
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New lines are popping up everywhere these days, kinda crazy, Ive been riding past by some of these spots for years without noticing them. Testing a new line:
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More post-snow fun:
Ive been on my Manitou ISX-6 rearshock the last 3-4 sessions, but last time, after a medium sized drop at 1.5m (4-5 feet) to a good transition, my ISX-6 rearshock made a "pop"-sound and all air blew out of it(!). Adding more air did nothing - the shock was dead. Here you see how the shocks sits in its travel when I sit on the bike. Indicators on the picture show how much travel I have about a deep sag ; )
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Ok, so now I'm impatiently awaiting my Monarch RT3 2011. Its already delayed 2 months..and I'm starting to look at alternatives.. Meanwhile, its back to the FOX DHX 4 Coil.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The lost pictures.. 2010

Shot in 2010, printed in 2011. Sometimes we end up shooting a lot of good or interesting pictures, but not all make it all the way to this blog. So I decided to bundle a small selection of some of the good/curious/interesting/disturbing pics from 2010, that missed the blog-publication. Enjoy the pics.

Lets start out with this cool pic. Morten sticks the bike into the air in the midst of a dawn
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The most evil mountain climb I have ever ridden, it just went on like this, and there was no "line". Tatry Mountains, Poland.
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Hilmer on the Continental track in Winterberg, Germany.
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Ever seen a forest crab?
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Some pics miss publication for obvious reasons. My eyes.
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I shot this pic from a "trail" in the Tatry mountains, this place still stands as the best AM terrain ive ever ridden. It spawned an endorphin explosion in my head. Good times.
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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Most WANTED gear of 2011

2010 was a good year gear wise. There was alot of new stuff for mountain bikers to get excited about, and 2011 is no different. I took a look at  whats interesting for 2011, and why you should keep an eye on it.

RockShox - Monarch RT3 2011
Why its hot: Because the suspension tuning experts at PUSH said this when asked about the otherwise king of airshocks; the FOX RP23: "We do prefer the Monarch air (RT3 - ed) shock. We are not a "dealer", nor do we give advice to a customer that isn't in their best interest. I'll let our reputation speak for itself on that one." - thats not small words from the leading shock experts.

FOX -  DOSS (Adjustable seatpost)
Why its hot: FOX are masters of reliability, and are big players because of that. This could well be the very much needed reliability injection that the adjustable seat-post market needs. FOX are also known to do light weight stuff, and since this post is mechanically activated, it might come out pretty lightweight if FOX does its job right. Reliable and lightweight, that's a winning formula for this market, that sofar, no one has archived yet.
The only bad thing right now is that we might have to wait for 2012 for this post to ship.
Prototype pic:

RockShox - Lyrik RC2 DH
Why its hot: RockShox has been stepping up its game the last year, and that's evident by its 2011 product range. The Lyrik RC2 DH is all about performance, and RockShox has admitted that the former floodgate option had some drawbacks regarding small bump performance. So it got ripped out for the RC2DH to  improve trail response, and overall damping quality. The solo-air performance is tamed by adjustable high/low speed compression, and a beginning and end-stroke rebound (end stroke is factory set). The latter is very interesting to me as a rider, as I really like fast rebound for techy stuff but dislike the fast rebound for drops and jumps. Having a fork that takes care of both things sounds greatly appreciated. This fork might be the ticket to perfect AM front suspension.  

Troy Lee Design - Shock Doctor Chest Protector CP 5955
Why its hot: Its the newest generation of bodyarmor and it centers around the Leatt Brace. 2 years in development, this bodyarmor lets your merge the brace with the bodyarmor itself, by "clicking" to brace into it. With more than 50 size configurations, and focus on cooling the rider via vents, this armor is out to make a stand.

Unofficial pic showing a prototype, with the Leatt Brace inserted:

Canfield Brothers - 2011 ONE
Why its hot: Most major bike brands talk about a true do-it-all bike - none have delivered if you ask me. Canfield Brothers might just be on to something. Featuring a parallel link suspension system (think virtual pivot), the ability to use 2 different shock sizes, and a total of 4 different travel settings (165mm-203mm (6.5"-8")), a thru' rear axle, a Cane Creek AngleSet compatible 1.5" headtube..oh and did I mention its build up to be dual-crown compatible? Oh yes, complete with a 64 degree head angle. This frame has the potential to be build for the All Mountain rider, but converted to a true DH slaying machine simply by changing the fork and shock. Im crossing my fingers that the Canfield Brothers actually pull this off.
Early prototype pic:

So that's about it, expect to see reviews of some of these products during 2011 right here on All Mountain Next. Got something to add? or something on your mind? well put your thoughts to writing in the comments section, it does not require a sign in.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Review: Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pro 2011 (UPDATED)

The Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pro is an evolution of their former spike tire series. This version has more spikes, and has a more aggressive side-profile.
The first thing that impressed me was the weight. Considering that the tire has more than 300 spikes, Schwalbe has done a great job of cutting down the weight. The tire is easily installed, but to my surprise there wasn't any tire rotation instruction - you can fit it any way you want. That makes me believe that Schwalbe has missed some optimizing opportunities. The tire itself does rotate a bit slow on the ground, but not so much that it should hinder a potential buyer. In fact, it actually rolls a bit faster than I expected. Its just not a high roller.
The tires grabs onto ice, loose over hardpack-snow, heavy and light snow pretty good. Way better than regular tires especially on the ice. But let me be claer; its not slip-proof - if you dont pay attention, you will end up on the ground. The tire does however create better possibilities for faster speed and more control - and a safer ride.
If I was to improve on this tire, I would have made the side-spikes bigger and more aggressive, so that traction on the high speed turns could have been improved.
All in all I see this tire as a winter-tire only, for the xc riders, trail riders, and the AM riders as well. If you are out riding in the snow and ice, and want better traction, then look into this tire. It gets the job done.

So finally had a chance to test this tire on the rear as well. And my thoughts are very positive because of one particular thing: The Ice Spiker Pro tire sticks so well to slippery snow and even pure ice, that it allows otherwise inaccessible trails to be ridden, and that's an important point. Whether its climbing or descending, or even braking, you can expect a surprisingly good performance from the Ice Spiker Pro as a rear tire. Ive added an extra point to the overall score, because of performance and shear value.

Tested on: Front and Rear
Claimed weight: 695 gram
Actual weight: 657 gram (tire1)
Actual weight: 696 gram (tire2)
Score: 5/6
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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tech AM

Had a pleasure of 2 good and technical AM trips recently. Shot some pics and vids as well. On top of that we found 2 new lines, and a single very technical spot. So it was all about keeping it techy and fun. Awesome.

Clearing a bump while turning. Front wheel tracks the ground at all time while I reposition the back. Christian does something similar in the vid below.
Speaking of the man, he just couldnt resist:
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Testing some lines:
Is this a normal sight?
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Video. First of, its christian playing around. Second scene is another new line, that has a mini g-out into a turn, very fun suff to ride, this was my first day riding it. 
Raw edit - 26 sec:

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Snow - ON/OFF

Been out riding alot in December, a quick look on the actual numbers I see that ive been out riding 10 times last month, thats a mtb trip with minimum 1 hour of actual trail time every third day during the whole month. Not bad considering the weather and conditions in general. The last 4 weeks has been a bit skitzofrenic regarding the snow..


...the snow came:
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...then it went away:
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...then it sort-of came back again:
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...then it really hit us:
(click to enlarge) its melting again:
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Ive already had my first January trip, and hope to see alot more, so lets keep the snow melted, I prefer it that way ; )