Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 - Reviews And Previews

Welcome to the summary of reviews and previews of 2012, by All Mountain Next.
For easy and quick access to the reviews and previews, knock yourself out:

661 Evo Knee
Continental Mountain King II Racesport
Fox Launch Pad Pro
Mavic Crossmax SX 2012/13
Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pro 2011-12 (UPDATE 2)
Schwalbe Nobby Nic EVO 2.25" Pacestar 2012
Specialized Clutch SX 2.3"
Troy Lee Designs CP 5955

Continental Mountain King II 2012 (Racesport)
Twenty6 Predator Ti Pedal

Coming soon (Reviews and Previews):

POC VPD Bone LEG (review)
FiveTen Freerider VXI (preview)
SCOTT Grenade Pro II Knee (review)
Twenty6 Predator Ti Pedal (review)
BOS suspension "Fork" (review)
BOS suspension "Rear Shock" (preview)
E13 LG1+ Wheelset (preview)
Cane Creek Double Barrel AIR shock (preview)
..and then some.

2013 is going to be fahking sick. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Best and Worst of 2012

Thought i'd do a roundup of whats good and bad from 2012. I did it last year, so its time for a new list. So, whats the WORST and BEST stuff of 2012 - lets take a look:

The Best (in random order):

Willingen Bikepark (Germany)
It might just have 3 real lines, and the Freeride line doesn't actually have much to do with freeride. Hell, even the lift is a bit awkward. But boy is this place fun to ride. This bikepark hosts lines that are very conscious about the fun-factor vs tech factor, this is particular true when you see the DH line; Its rough, but full of tables and jumps as well. And if the name "Willingen" sounds familiar, well that's perhaps because its actually been host to the DH Worldcup. The 4X line is beautifully sculpted, almost engineered,  and as mentioned before, the Freeride line is fast, and buckets of fun to ride. Highly recommended place to visit.
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Mavic Crossmax SX
Strong, lightweight, reliable - pick 3. Yup, the Mavic Crossmax SX has you covered. There is no way that you are going to destroy this wheelset, or mess up its reliability. I have put alot of riding into these hoops, without a single issue. The fact that it comes in at just 1763g only adds to the praise. This wheelset is  my best gear of 2012, highly recommended.
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Aggressive snow-riding
Riding in snow. What used to be a chore, got turned around 180deg into something that's actually FUN. What it took was a different approach to it. I used to ride established trails, and just plow through it. In the beginning of this year I ditched that, and began to go rogue. I found an awesome area with sweepy banks and hills and began to "carve" my lines. Although a bit rough, before I knew it, I was jumping, dropping, and downright shredding in the snow. It takes alot of energy, some trailspotting, and time, but the reward is that its loads of FUN.
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The Worst (in random order):

The 27.5" standard, and the All Mountain segment.

"I would have cleared that climb - ÍF my tires where 1.5" bigger."

"I would have been way faster on that descend - ÍF my tires where 1.5" bigger."

"I would have cleared that gap - ÍF my tires where 1.5" bigger."

Ever heard anyone say that? Well neither have I. But for 2013 and 2014, that extra 1,5" in wheel size is apparently a MUST have for any AM biker according to the bike industry. I am of course talking about the 650b or 27,5" standard. Pretty much every major player in the bike industry will focus on 27,5" bikes for their AM segment, and its kinda funny that they all get that idea at the same time...that must be coincidence right? *WINK WINK* 

Don't get me wrong, 29" tires makes a lot of sense for something like XC and trail riding, and I guess that 27,5" could find a spot somewhere between XC and AM, but to suddenly declare 26" to be obsolete and impotent, is making me think that somethings fishy in the bike industry.

I am asking you this; whats wrong with 26" for AM? Aren't we solving a problem that doesn't exist?


Trail design
Copy & and paste from last year:
I don't know where you ride, perhaps you are lucky, and have some sweet trails to ride, designed by some passionate mountain bikers. I'm afraid that I'm not in such situation. I continue to see poor use of terrain, features that are badly executed, a lack of continuity, and overall ill design. The quality of the official trails in the country I live in, is mind bugling poor, and there are no excuses for it to be this way. A thick fog of conservatism has corrupted the official trail building scene, and pretty much nobody does anything about it - because nobody really questions it. This picture wraps it up nicely:
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Short term reviews
A trend I see at established and commercial mtb websites, is the trend of short term reviews. Well I guess that makes sense for some products, like energy bars, or perhaps a cycling computer. But to short term review a knee protector, or an adjustable seatpost (a segment that's notoriously known to fail after LONG term use) just does not make sense to me at all. Bodyarmor, adjustable seatpost, wheels, frames, suspension products, all deserve LONG term testing. I know the end consumer expects to know how a product performs even after 2 weeks of use as well. Luckily, All Mountain Next got you covered ; )

I'm not mentioning anyone particular *wink*, but boy does one site come to mind. Superficial reviews? Poor journalism? gotcha!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Stupid Injury

Disclaimer: I am not fishing for pity, compassion, or anything else, I am simply DOCUMENTING a stupid injury. With that out of the way, lets move on:

Im not quite sure how it happened, but during my ride, I suddenly felt a sting on my ankle. Not giving it any real attention, I carried on with my riding. After a few hours I felt my ankle getting all warm, and moisty, so I took a look and discovered that I had a cut, and that it was still actively bleeding. I began to wonder if I've had hit a small artery.

A few more hours went by, and my shoe was now soaking wet in blood, I took of my sock to further investigate, and sure enough, the bleeding was pulsating, confirming my suspicion  I tried to compress it, and elevate my foot, but it still bled. The cut itself was actually pretty small.

Oh the drama!

8 hours went by, and the bleeding didn't have any plans to stop just yet from the look of it, so I decided to go to the emergency room right before getting to bed (didn't want to mess up my bed with red stuff).

The doc confirmed that it was indeed an artery, and despite me sitting there with a facepalm, she also confirmed that I did the right thing by giving the ER a visit. Stupid injury, what a waste of time. I didn't even get a lollipop.

Watch in HD HERE

I hope you get it.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Some December riding

As predicted, the snow arrived. Been busy on and off the trails anyway, shot a few pics along the way:

Back on the spike tires. Be sure to check my review here.
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An important thing I learned during the last few winters, is that 5.10 shoes are no good for sessioning in the snow. Good for trail riding, but not for sessioning in hard or compressed snow. Ice? - you might just as well jump infront of a truck. Yea, I'm talking about the lack of traction in the snow with 5.10. So to remedy that, I put on my most spiky trail-shoes the Salomon SpeedCross 3 CS. The 7mm rubber spikes makes almost vertical snow climbing  possible - perfect for those snow sessions. The grip on the pedals isn't impressive tho'.
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Go ahead and climb this hill with 5.10 shoes, it will be your demise. Oh btw, guess where my line of choice  was? ; )
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And down we go. I actually switched back to my Vivid R2C Coil rear shock, makes for a more fun ride in the snow.
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I'm in the process of testing the POC Bone VPD Leg, so far I'm positive. I'm hyper sensitive about good knee coverage, and the POC Bone VPD Leg delivers. Now for the long term testing. Stick around for a review.
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Sunday, December 9, 2012

All Mountain Next turns 3 year old!

What a fun year it was, I got the chance to visit 2 new bikeparks, more than a handful of new trails in my own country, and earlier this year, I found out that snow-riding can be genuinely fun AND technical. On top of all that, my favorite local trails has just seen so much great progress, makes me very excited for the year to come.
Gear-wise 2012 hasn't been particular interesting; that tells me that I'm generally satisfied with the setup Ive got. 2013 will most likely be way more focused on new gear, and while I'm still keeping my cards close to my chest, I can tell you that I'm already getting excited. And that naturally brings me to my decision to continue the All Mountain Next blog for 2013. One more year with previews, reviews, vid's, pics, opinions, and a general tribute to mountain biking. Thanks for all of those who supported me, thanks for all the visits (another record breaking year, with 43000+ visitors), and thanks for all the comments as well, it makes the site that more enjoyable to run. Thanks guys.

Oh, btw, some time ago, I wrote a little background story about this place, read about it here.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Oldie but Goldie #2

"Oldie but Goldie" series will be my tribute to the "old days". When 640mm bars where considered wide, carbon was fragile, and adjustable seatposts didn't exist. And I'm doing it, for the fun of it.

My first frame-crack. (Trek Fuel EX)

A year later I cracked a carbon Specialized Enduro SL, after that I went on and cracked a S-WORKS Enduro as well. Those where the days.