Friday, February 25, 2011

Vids of 2010

Better late than never, here is a compilation of the vids I did in 2010.

So 2010 started with 2 test video's with the Casio FC100, cool thing about this cam is that it has the ability to shoot up to a 1000 pics a second(!), for the first two movies I settled with 210 pics, as I wanted to keep the quality as nice as possible. This vid shows early 2010 riding, and even has rare in-country dh session footage in the end:

So this is the second High speed test vid, it came out pretty good, and I really like the exploding tree stumps in the end - came out great:

Source was meant to be a true All Mountain video, and I'm happy how it turned out - considering its all self-filmed. However I wish Idd shot some more footage riding in the breathtaking scenery, instead I somewhat ended up using the footage that doesn't really showcase the huge mountain and the surroundings. Bummer - but I learned my lesson. The video edits and music edits took forever to get right, but it was a fun project, and this video reminds me of the best mountain bike riding I have ever done. Almost to a nostalgic degree:

I usually don't release unfinished projects, but I really didn't feel I could do any thing else but, with the "Trail riding - Fall 2010" vid. I started to film in the mid-fall, and ended it late fall, realizing I had to cut it where it was, the forest light changed so much that proper continuity wasn't longer possible. It came out ok, but for some odd reason my skills truly accelerated after the end of the shooting of this movie, and I feel somewhat distant to its content today. The mix between high speed and normal speed had a mixed reception, I for one like it, I do however acknowledge room for improvement:

I had loads and loads of unused footage from bikeparks and general riding on my harddisk, and after our trip to Winterberg, I just had to mix it all up into a small vid. Chainsmoker was actually made, from start to finish, in just 2 weeks, thats pretty fast considering some vids take several months (eg Source). The video edit file itself actually crashed in the very late edit fase, and everything got deleted. I did a huge facepalm, took a deep breath, and released what I had so far, luckily I was so late into the production, that its almost not noticable that this is in fact a "beta-edit". The trained eye might catch a few glitches here and there:

So thats it, I hope to shoot alot more in 2011, im looking into some new vid-gear, that im getting pretty excited about, so stick around. All Mountain Next.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Snowy jump session

Its back..the snow : /
We did a small jump session despite that, and the day ended up being pretty sweet anyway. We shot a few pics as well.

Always a joy to watch Morten and his tricks:
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Christian trying out a small whip to his left side, considering he is a "right" man, he did pretty good. 
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Morten did a full moto-whip, its hard to show with a single pic:
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BONUS: Got an itching nose mid-air? No problem! :
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Sunday, February 13, 2011

February rides

Never even dreamed about riding as much as I did last month, hopefully February will be just as awesome, it has a good start nonetheless : )

Finally switched back to normal tires. The Schwalbe Ice Spiker are great in snow and ice, but a real drag for everything else. So currently its the Michelin Wild Rock'r for the front, and Kenda Excavator for the rear.
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..And installed a Fox Float R, known for its simplicity and reliability. And despite its simple setup, this shock rocks. Competent midstroke, and endstroke is pretty good as well, definitely comparable to a full blown rp23 in that regard. Still waiting for the 2011 Monarch tho'.
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One of the bigger drops got angled a bit different, huge improvement if you like air-time. Landing is by the tree:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Review: Manitou ISX-6

The mysterious Manitou ISX-6. Why mysterios? Because no one really knows how it works or how you tune it - well outside Manitou. You see, Manitou has been tight lipped about information that's otherwise normally freely available online. So that leaves the end user in a unwanted game of guessing, and googling for information and experiences from other users. None of it is official.
The Manitou ISX-6 rear shock comes with independent high and low speed compression damping adjustments, rebound adjustment, volume control (which controls spring rate near the end of travel), and spring rate (air pressure). These are all the controls you need for everything from stuttery, rutted, rocky trails to big drops that would normally cause your bike’s rear end to bottom out.
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Ok, so how is the performance? Thing is that all this doesnt work in harmony together.
High speed and low speed compression are barely noticeable from its low-high setting, rebound is ok, but its easy to adjust either too much, or too little. Speaking of rebound, it feels like its loosing its "power" when you return from mid or end stroke, like if you prejump something, that results in a bike thats less "pop-able" good for some riders, bad for others I guess - I didnt like it. The volume control works great tho', and has a good use if you like to tune the end stroke a bit. Speaking of end stroke, this shock makes good use of it, just like the midstroke, this shock takes some effort to blast through it, making this shock effective even when sagged deep - good for those DH sessions, make no mistake tho' a coil will do the job better.

The ISX-6 is useable for trail riding, but there are better shocks for this.
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Let it loose in a bikepark, and enjoy its performance. It wont beat a coil tho'
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I have been on 4 different shocks in 2010, but after aprrox 4-5 months of effective trailtime on the ISX-6, the shock finally failed. Big disappointment, this is an high end and expensive shock, and it really shouldn't fail this fast. 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 left.
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I was about to score this shock 3/6, but since it failed after only 4-5 months of effective use, I cant give it more than a zero, this failure is unacceptable. The Manitou ISX-6 is an expensive way to partially enjoy good midstroke and end stroke support.
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The good:
-Bottom out resistance adjuster works well.
-Can be sagged deep without blowing through the rest of the travel
-Acceptable midstroke

The bad:
-Low/High speed compression dials have little effect
-Rebound is not consistent
-No real online support
-Difficult to tune for efficient trail riding.
-It ultimately failed

Score: 0/6

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Winter all mountain riding

So I'm back on the FOX DHX 4.0 coil rear shock, and its been a joy to play around the descends and jumps. The climbs has gotten a bit harder tho', and it bothers me that the shock never really settles when riding - its always doing something. Nonetheless the rides recently has been friggin awesome, one of the trips even offered one hell of an all-day ride where we cashed in 6 hours and 20 minutes of trail time..not bad for a winter ride! I'm ready for more.

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Wait a minute, isn't that?? Well yes it is...
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Thomas trying out a natural drop:
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The spitfire in action:
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Working the whip, we really need a proper jump to practice it, with a proper kicker, and a whip-friendly landing.
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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Review: Kenda Excavator 2.35"

This Kenda Excavator 2.35" is one of the newer offerings from the Kenda family. It saw introduction in 2008, and was hailed and promoted as a moddable tire, as well as a (Kenda) Nevegal variant -but with more grip. The Kenda Nevegal didn't impress me, so I had some reservations regarding this tire - I'm happy to say that my reservations got put to shame. This is nothing like the Nevegal.

At first glance, this tire does looks like its going to create one hell of a rolling resistance. The odd placed knobs and special pattern made me think that this tire would feel sluggish and heavy. Happy to say  I wrong!
The Kenda Excavator is a true workhorse, and that's apparent from the very first ride, it digs in and works with the soil and dirt as soon as needed, and does everything it can to avoid spinning or loosing grip. Roots, rocks, just bring it on, and you'd be surprised to see that wet conditions doesn't scare this tire away - it continues to work hard. The only time I lost control was when I hit deep mud in turns - but that pretty much kills every tire, unless its mud-specific, so I feel a bit bad about even mentioning it.

The weight is acceptable for AM, not too heavy, not that light, it just sits in the middle. The Excavator has a moderate rolling resistance, its size wise generous, has a very good braking and drifting control - definitely positive assets for any AM biker. I did wash out a few times, but I always saw it coming. The drifting that's possible with this tire leaves you with a big smile. The tire holds its thread impressively long, and I don't even remember cutting it any slack. The sidewall is strong, and proved itself through dozens of sharp rockgardens.
I see this tire as an all-year performer, for the trail rider, or the all mountain biker, you can even get away with it for dry DH/FR sessions. You wont get the most out of it by riding it on hardpack, nor does it excel in deep mud for DH, but spin it on some more "normal" yet demanding soil, and it will work for you. This is a very competent AM tire.

The Excavator won the best-tire award on in 2009, the fact that its modifiable make it even more desirable.

Size: 2.35" DTC
Tested on: Rear
Claimed weight: 735 +- 35gram
Actual weight: 752 gram
Score: 5/6
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Check out the official modding tips for this tire:
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