Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Recent pics + "my jump is smaller than your jump"

Some recent pics, and a small vid for the fun of it.

Henning having a good time on his new bike, tackling a small steep drop here.
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How the hell did that happen??
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It has begun..
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I bet the butler did it.
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Making the most out of the smallest jump in the world (tm). :  ) No seriously, check it out, tire is never more than a few inches above the ground. And its actually fun to hit.
14sec. No sound. Raw edit.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

2 Bikeparks 1 cup

I thought my bikepark season was over, but nevertheless I ended up visiting 2 more. Winterberg has been one of my favorite places to ride, but this time around I had a chance to ride in Willingen as well. And im glad I did.

I could talk alot about Winterberg, and I did, Here and Here and even here. But this time around im doing a shout out to Willingen. Willingen only has 3 real lines, but what a fun place to ride. I shot some footage on the Freeride line (an A-Line inspired line), and compiled it into a short vid. The Freeride line doesn't have much to do with "freeride", its easy to ride, and there are no really big stuff to hit. It IS fast, and it IS fun - ill give them that. I had a really good time there.

So this is 99% of the Freeride line in Willingen, somehow 1% Winterberg snuck itself into this vid. I have no idea how. I deny everything!

Watch in HD HERE

Or crappy embedded version here:

Thursday, October 18, 2012

661 Evo Knee VS Fox Launch Pad Pro

You will have a hard time finding an All Mountain biker without a helmet and some sort of knee protection to go along with it. And who can blame the him/her? This segment is generally speaking, more aggressive and high-risk than the XC and trail segment. Luckily for us, companies are standing on top of each other to offer us the best and most advanced knee protection money can buy.

I have been using the 661 Evo Knee for more than 7 months now, and feel that its time to pass the verdict. The Evo knee is actually the second version of 661 d30 knee pad, that 611 introduced some years ago. The mission was to improve everything, while staying in the same price range.

The Fox Launch Pad Pro has been out for a few years now. Fox is a well established brand, and they have a tendency to do things right, but getting into the knee protection segment, where the 611 Kyle Strait knee pad was dominating, is definitely not an easy task. I have an impression that Fox took a really long, and hard look at the Kyle Strait pad, and began improving upon it.

Let me say this right away; Both pads are very good. There is a difference however, that I with showcase in this comparison-review.
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661: 6/6
Fox: 5/6
The 661 Evo Knee is a game changer; its the most comfortable knee protection I have used. The bed-in time is at just a few hours (!). Ill forgive its bulkyness, because these really are pads you forget that you wear after 30 minutes of riding. You see, The Evo knee needs to get warm, to be comfortable, but when it does, it really outperforms the Fox. Cloth chafting? NONE with the 661 Evo. Whereas the 661 is a bit more prone to cloth chafting, the Fox sits a bit better on the leg. The Fox pad is also very resistant to unwanted movement because of a silicone strap. The Fox Pad is also some 25% lighter, this adds to comfort. Note that the Fox Launch Pad Pro takes considerable more time to "bed in" - expect 5-8 rides.

Long term testing notes regarding comfort:
661: 7 months into the testing, the elastic back sleeve is getting a bit loose, making the pads more prone to sliding down the knee.
Fox: After a year of use, the pad began to irritate my upper knee. That was after a year of intense use. In addition to that, I will add that the silicon strap doesn't do well after washing, it disintegrates.

661: 3/6
Fox: 6/6
Fox has a superior protection in the upper and lower front, the padding on the sides is a bit more thick as well. The 661 Evo knee has its D3o material, and while it does cover a alot of the knee, even down the shin a bit, its just scary thin, and I don't see it absorbing impact from sharper objects like rocks and so on. Blunt force is where this pad is doing its job best. If you ride in very rocky conditions, then stay away from the 661 Evo Knee.

661: 4/6
Fox: 4/6
I don't feel any difference between the two. I do however think that there is room for improvement, for both brands. They do get hot in the summer.

661: 6/6
Fox: 5/6
Both are pretty tough, I do however see that the 661 holds up a bit better. Its completely unscratched even after months of hard use, 661 really stepped up their game compared to their old Kyle Strait knee pads. The Evo pads are tough and durable, partly due to the kevlar used up front on the knee pad. 

Value for money:
661: 4/6
Fox: 6/6
The fox is half price, and wins big time in this department. The 661 Evo knee is one of the most expensive knee pads on the market, only beaten by POC to my knowledge. On the other hand; The Evo Knee is really tough and durable, these pads wont die on you.

I had an entire year with the Fox Launch Pad Pro. Solid stuff.
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The 661 Evo Knee has been an interesting experience. Both regarding the good stuff, and the bad stuff.
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387g.  Less weight, more protection, a win-win situation?
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526g. More weight, less protection, but more comfortable.
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The additional protection the Fox Launch pad offers is mostly in the upper and lower section of the pad. Pads in the sides are a bit more fat as well.
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Final conclusion:
The 661 Evo Knee is very comfortable to wear, cloth chafting is non existent, and you are most likely to forget that you are even wearing them, well unless its very hot outside. The blunt-force protections is there, albeit inferior to the FOX. The lover strap is loosing up a bit too much now after 7 months of testing, so keep that in mind. Also, be aware that this is not a knee pad for sharp object like rocks.

The Fox Launch Pad Pro is more prone to cloth chafting, particular the first few months. But after that, they fit like a glove, and stay where you put them, partly because of the silicon strap. Protection is far superior, and its more lightweight.

Should I choose between the Fox Launch Pad Pro and the 661 Evo Knee, then I would have gone with the FOX offering. Its half the price, has more protection, more lightweight, all this makes it a better choice, even tho its more prone to clotch chafting. Fox has really made a good product.

Next up in testing is either POC VPD2 Knee, or Scott Grenade Pro 2. Or should it be something completely different? Well don't be shy, write in the comments section, it doesn't require a sign in.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Vids of 2011

2011 wasn't my most productive year regarding the vids, and 2012 wont be either. I will however summarize the best of 2011. I did it in 2011 in a post HERE. And now its about damn time I do it again.

First of is my video PARK. 3 days of thunder, boiled down to 3 minutes. When I refer to this trip, I always use the phrase; "Tour of Destruction" - gear and riders alike where getting beaten up, real good.
Watch it in a higher res here:

The second vid from 2011 is my Whistler trail video. I still have my Whistler Bikepark video on the "to-do" list, but the massive amount of footage is just overwhelming, and I know it will cost me more than a few weeks of "work" at least - really demotivating. The trail video was a much simpler task, and while not particularly action packed, it does reflect the riding you can do a few feet away from Whistler village.

Watch higher res version here:

Third vid is actually a vid I never completed. Its a teaser for a bikepark trip we did. The teaser turned out so good, that it stands on its own today. And it still makes me smile every time I see it. 60 seconds of good times.

Watch higher res version here:

Friday, October 5, 2012

Random is random is random

Some random stuff this time around; dog-poo, pedals, step-ups, and new bikes, I got it all covered.

Henning is stepping up his game with this brand new bike. Its a Vitus Escarpe, a brand owned by Chain Reaction Cycles. This bike ticks all the right boxes regarding a trail bike, and I must say, its a nice ride. The Revelation fork up front is smoooth.
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Henning is smiling a tad more than usual, and who can blame him.
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Fun on the step-up.
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Pedal size comparison. The Point One Racing Pedal (to the left) is no small pedal by any means. So I think this pic really shows how big the Twenty6 Predator pedal actually is. Yet more lightweight.
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I joined Christian on a short DH session and he brought his DH-dog Noma with him. This dog is fast and runs the same entire line as we do. As I said, this dog is fast, so much so that she decided to emphasize my slowness by taking the time to take a dump down this DH line. I got the message.
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