Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 - Reviews And Previews

2013 was a year with very few previews, but lots of reviews. I really hoped to have the Cane Creek Double Barrel Air review here as well, but reliability issues put an end to that. I also considered to review my BOS Stoy RARE shock, and BOS Idylle RARE AIR fork, but decided against it, as they really have very little to do with All-Mountain, its all DH. 
I did a special feature on trail building, which I've put a lot of effort in, be sure to check that out here.

2014 will either be a bit light on gear reviews, or quite heavy, it really depends on a few important factors that I'm not ready to expose just yet. 2014 is definitely going to be sick trail wise, there is so much stuff brewing at the moment, and I'm sitting on my hands not to blow the lid of it. Stay tuned here on All Mountain Next!

Knock yourself out:



Special Features:

Coming Soon as a review or preview:
-FiveTen Diddie Schneider shoes
-FiveTen VXi MI6-edition
-iD7 knee armor
-Michelin Wild Rock'R 2
-"Platform Pedals"

Monday, December 23, 2013

Best and Worst of 2013

Thought i'd do a roundup of whats good and bad from 2013. I did it last year, so its time for a new list. So, whats the WORST and BEST stuff of 2013 according to this blog - well lets take a look:

The Best (in random order):

Newsflash for the conformists; Rockshox suspension is better than FOX suspension. While FOX has seen little or minor evolution, or even devolution (the CTD system or removal of the RC2 cartridge anyone?), Rockshox has been evolving. Take Rockshox 7-8 years ago, and have a look at them now, what a difference! Pretty much every single product has been redesigned, and vastly improved upon, and there is no sign of slowing down.
Every single person I know that has been in touch with newer FOX and Rockshox suspension agrees that the latter is superior. And while that certainly isn't empirical data, I believe it really does represent the general opinion.

Fox has become the choice of old conservative grumpy men on 29'er bikes, that value discussions about rolling resistance on their Schwalbe tires. (did I hit a nerve? take it easy, I kid)

This Swedish brand just refuses to do it wrong. Above and beyond the competition, ive gone from one product to another, and am now counting my 7th POC product. POC is improving, evolving, thinking outside the box, and using exotic materials, all this put it on my list. Keep it up POC, and acknowledge neck braces FFS.

Post ride Beer
To wrap up a ride with a post-ride beer is still something that's stigmatized in the country I live in. But I salute it! And so does more and more of my riding buddies. its refreshing, makes people smile, and there is some solidarity about it.

Im passionate about Trappist Beer, but I have to admit that a simple Pilsner does the job best after a good ride.

Honorable Mention:
The Tree-Gap. Its big, its fun, you earn your balls, and you are guaranteed to smile the rest of that day. Cheers!

The Worst (in random order):

Brocken-Attack Syndrome
Brocken is the tallest mountain in the Harz area in central Germany.
Brocken-attack is a zealous-tradition among XC riders that come from far-away, to challenge them self on a paved road to the top. Its cardio-challenging for sure....but is it more than that? And why do people do this year after year, the same 30 minute climb, every single year. Why are people so passionate about repeating habits? Is it a reflection of how they live their personal life? Is it all rinse and repeat? Eating at the same time everyday, drinking the same cofee, watching the same stuff on tv, going to bed at the same time, fucking at wednesdays and saluting the neighbour with a shallow smile, because thats what they use to do... And then driving to the Harz mountains for 6 hours straight and doing the SAME climb over and over again. 
This is the Brocken-Attack Syndrome. 
The pinnacle of a comfort zone.

Are you busy living life? Or are you busy dying it?

Snow.... until April!
What the fuck was that about? We had a great plan to visit a few German bikeparks, and we decided to do this in April - because by then, all snow would be gone. But it wasn't! The winter of 2013 had a strong grip on central Europe, and resulted in several canceled roadtrips. Wah!

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:

Sunday, December 15, 2013

SLOW 2013

Its time to compile some of the High-Speed footage we've been shooting throughout 2013. This is the end result, its short, to the point, and most of the footage has not been posted on this blog before. Enjoy.

2m36sec. With sound. 240 FPS. Please note the option to activate 480p.

Be sure to check out the 2012 SLOW vid, you can do that HERE.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

All Mountain Next turns 4 years!

4 years old, imagine that! Thanks to all my readers, you guys make it more fun : )

I think 2014 is going to be even better; lots of new gear, lots of new trails, new bikeparks to visit, and even bigger features. I look forward to it all.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Review: RockShox VIVID Air R2C 2014

Earlier this year I replaced my Cane Creek Double Barrel Air (CCDBA), with a 2014 Vivid AIR R2C. The Vivid Air got its fair share of attention earlier this year, when RockShox trolled everyone by saying it was for "pro-use only", and you actually had to be on their "list" to buy it. Well it was obviously just clever marketing to get people talking, and that, they did. I got the new Vivid Air, despite not being on anyone's list (not even santas's), and ive been riding it ALOT. So after 6 months of use, I decided to conclude my review. In short; this is an amazing shock.

Lets take the geek tech first, the 2014 Vivid Air R2C features: 

Counter Measure - is as Rockshox puts it: "Reduces the breakaway force of the shock to virtually zero pounds" ..and it really does.
Rapid Recovery, simplified, makes the shock rebound a bit quicker on tiny hits, maximizing ground tracking. Its a bit better explained HERE.  
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The end-stroke rebound and LS-compression adjuster has been redesigned for 2014, and are now way more easy to reach and adjust. The adjusters function well, and within the range you would want it to. (no, that's not something you can take for granted on a rear shock)
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A beginning-stroke rebound adjuster is easily accessible as well. The separation of beginning-stroke and end-stroke rebound makes it possible to have a bike that "pops" easily, but sucks up the bigger hits in a very controllable manner.
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222mm x 70mm. Without mount kits. Weight is pretty much identical to the CCDBA.
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Want to climb? descend? or just do some classic AM riding with everything in-between? No problem, this shock has that covered. The Vivids wide spectrum of use is pleasantly surprising.
(click to enlarge)

Drops, jumps - whatever, this shock will probably outperform most other air-shocks on the market. The Vivid shines when its put to use.
(click to enlarge)

The surprisingly versatile nature of this shock really speaks to me, you can set it up for whatever you want, even grinding those long climbs. Its proven reliable without a single issue during the 6 months of use, ill keep you posted if that track record continues. The fact that this shock uses its entire stroke range and gives absolute control over the rebound range is very appealing as well. The Vivid is easy to adjust, and the lack of sticktion is downright impressive, all this caters to a high score. This is the shock you want.

The Good:
- Counter Measure technology is impressive, the break away force required is even smaller than that of  FOX or CCDBA.
- Great for a pedaling setup as well.
-Absolute control of rebound throughout the entire stroke.
-Actual start, mid and end-travel use, finally Rockshox nails it!
-Easy to adjust.

The Bad:
-High Speed Compression adjuster would be the icing on the cake.

Score: 5/6

Monday, December 2, 2013

Bikepark shootout vid

Better late than never. This is a simple edit from our October bikepark trip. Check it out:

Be sure to activate the HD option.

Embedded version. 1m 48sec. With sound.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Review: FiveTen Freerider VXi

The VXi is the first lovechild between FiveTen and the Adidas engineers, and its definitely an interesting shoe. The VXi has been delayed for an entire year, but earlier this year I finally got a pair, and can conclude my review based on 8 months of intense use. Read on.

The VXi has an incorporated hard toe cap, even harder than the "old" Freerider Pro. This is a welcome upgrade. The ankle support has gotten stiffer as well, adding support and protection. The outer material is more tough, but has a bit less ventilation. The material is way more easy to clean as well.
(click to enlarge)

The bottom of the outsole is where the VXi really differs from everything else we have seen from FiveTen. There is no pattern in the middle of the shoe, making every foot position equal in grip. The sole itself is stiffer as well, compared to the classic Freerider. So if you are into stiff soles (I am), then this is probably a welcome improvement.
(click to enlarge)

Freerider PRO is 880g
Freerider VXi is 855g
The Freerider series has been on a continued diet, and added more and more protection along the way, a winning formula?
(click to enlarge)

Initially not as comfortable as the Freerider or Freerider Pro. But after a few weeks of use, they get as comfortable as any other FiveTen shoe. The grip is nothing short of amazing, but be aware that they take a considerable time to bed-in; the stealth rubber needs to get a bit "chewed up" before giving that legendary grip.
(click to enlarge)

This is after 5 months of intense use. These shoes are holding up just fine.
(click to enlarge)

The "i" in VXi stands for Innovation, and it definitely is. A lot of things are changed compared to the original  FiveTen freerider-shoe, and pretty much everything is a change to the better. If you are in the market for some new shoes for your platform pedals, then consider adding the VXi on the top of the list:

The Good:
-Stiffer sole.
-Great grip.
-Surprisingly durable.
-Easy to clean due to new material
-More protection.

The Bad:
-Sole takes some time to bed in. Don't expect to be amazed at first.
-Shoe itself takes some time to bed in as well, longer than what you'd normally expect.
-The shoe laces.. man I'm tired of shoe laces..
-Extremely slippery in wet conditions when you walk around.
-Wearing these in snowy conditions will be downright suicidal.

Score: 5/6

Monday, November 25, 2013

Sunday Session Part 2/2

Part 2 of our Sunday session.

Got my bike up and running again after my catastrophic derailleur and cassette failure. I fixed it temporarily with an old and twisted derailleur I had lying around. Its not perfect, but it allows me to ride.
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Morten has a long BMX background, and that definitely showed. Here he is in the middle of the trail-gap.
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Spitfire in flight.
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Welcome to the tree-gap-club Mr.Madsen, you are hereby member number 3.
It took a while tho'.. didn't it? ; )
(click to enlarge)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sunday Session Part 1/2

7 guys going at it for 4 hours in the November sun. Drops, jumps, crashes, slick lines, and more than a few manned up and pushed some boundaries. Good times indeed. 

I wasn't the only one shooting pics this day; Christian and Mr.Madsen are to be credited as well for their fine contribution.

No whining, no crying, no bull-shit, this is the yes-team : )
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Kevin on his Commencal (SX or AM?)
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Christian manualing a turn before going into a jump. He is actually on a new bike here; the revised Banshee Spitfire, note the BOS Deville up front!
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Mr. Madsen stepped it up this day, but ill get back to that in part 2..
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Friday, November 15, 2013

So, is this bad?

...arrrrrr *facepalm*
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Derailleur and cassette is dead.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Random, very random..

Seriously random this time. From an Audi, to a spider - beat that!

New cam in action.
(click to enlarge)

The testing of the Diddie Schneider 5.10 shoes continues. They had more than a single shower already, and its all good. Expect a review in a few months time.
(click to enlarge)

Dreas new Specialized Status. Boxxer Keronite up front, the new Vivid Air out back, Saint brakes, and obviously Deemax hoops. You would be surprised how lightweight this rig feels - and that's with heavy DH tires.
(click to enlarge)

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I officially surrender to POC products. This is my forth POC gear, and like the rest, it performs beyond the rest, and above my initial expectation. The Index DH glove is very comfortable, has relief pads, protection pads and is so far durable.
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On our way back home from the bike-park trip, on the German autobahn. 
"Hay....whats that in the back of that Audi".....ged it? ; )
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Friday, November 8, 2013

By the way..

..we had the opportunity to hit the stepdown at the Churchline as well. And shot some footage of the "new" hip-jump, its tiny, but none the less fun to hit. Anyway, check these two features out:

35sec, simple edit, with sound.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Tree-gap session

As mentioned a few months ago, the tree gap got hit with success. Its big, and its fun. But its been very quiet around it ever since, no one dares to hit it. NO-ONE. 

That actually makes me wonder; is the limit for feature-size reached among the local riders? Is the tree-gap too big?

I would say NO, and here are my two reasons; first of, bigger stuff fuels progression, secondly, its all about taming the mind-fuck, de-wirering the neurons is "all" it takes.

Its not THAT big. Just be sure to pass the tree. 3,6m(11ft) to clear the tree, then an additional 2,4m (7ft) to hit the transition. I bet alot of the readers of this blog hit stuff that are way bigger.

So no one dares to hit this feature, well, that was until Drea joined up for a day of trail ripping:
(58 sec, with sound)

Good times : )

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Review: Twenty6 Predator Ti Pedal (Updated)

The Twenty6 Predator testing is finally over, and the conclusion is crystal clear. Tyler (the man behind Twenty6) promised an evolution of the much acclaimed Prerunner pedal. Pretty much everything was reviewed and improved upon... And Tyler delivered.
The result is the Predator pedal; thin, big, lightweight, grippy, and more expensive than your car. I wanted to find out whether this pedal is worth your hard earned cash, or whether this a CNC adventure gone wrong? Read on and find out. But first the basics:

Enduro sealed bearing, and quad o-ring seals should keep this sucker going strong for a long time.
(click to enlarge)

Self lubricating tapered turcite bushing, on a burly nitride coated titanium spindle. The CNC milled pedal body is has a concave and offset design, and each pin is isolated and raised so that the foot is resting less on the pedal body, and more on the pin itself. This pedal has more tech than your flat screen tv.
(click to enlarge)

My pin-system is smarter than your pin-system. No seriously, have a look at this picture to fully understand why this is such a smart system.
(click to enlarge)

The Predator is slightly taller than the 11mm Point One Racing Podium Pedal. But overall the Predator is bigger. If some of you would want some more comparison pics, please say so in the comments field, and Ill upload them. Comments does not require a sign-in.
(click to enlarge)

Predator with a Ti-axle. 343grams. Pretty close to the claimed 340 grams
(click to enlarge)

The amount of grip is just insane. If you are a 5.10 shoe user (and if you are not, you should be), be prepared to experience a new level of grip. The pedal body is large and thin, finally a pedal where there is enough real estate to rest the entire width of your foot, and I really like that.
(click to enlarge)
14 months of testing has given me a very good idea of what the Predator pedal has to offer; a lot. The huge platform with the amazing grip are definitely the highlights, and are quickly apparent. What comes after months of testing is the question about durability, and there is nothing to put my finger on here either. These pedals are tough, and durable, and continue to take heat. Top that of with the fact that they are thin as well, and offer a innovative pin-system, and you have yourself a winner, and a product above the competition. If you got the cash, then there are no excuses not to get these.


After 17 months of intense use, this pedal had a catastrophic failure. The pedal body snapped during a jump session. I wasn't hurt, and there was no drama, it just felt weird, and my foot "collapsed" into the remaining pedal body, allowing me to ride-it out - so to speak.
(click to enlarge)

There is no room for failures like this, so early, on a such an expensive product. Score reflects that. I will add that Tyler of 26 Components has been awesome, I got a new and improved version of the Predator Pedal, after a few emails. Read more about that here.

The Good:
-Huge platform
-Amazing grip
-Smart pin-system

The Bad:
-Replacement pins are expensive (and so is the pedal)
-Overall price?
-17 months into testing the pedal had a catastrophic failure. 

Score: 0/6

Friday, October 25, 2013

Fabulous Four

4 different rides, 4 different dudes, all recent shots.

In particular order:

1) Drea going all in on a manual
2) I go steep
3) Mr. Madsen hitting the trail gap
4) Karl showing the bender-style

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Willingen Bikepark Freeride Line

Willingen Freeride Line, it has nothing to do with freeride actually, its more a tribute to A-Line imo. Lots of tables, some jumps, a few drops, berms, and a few wide switchbacks.  

Watch in HD HERE

I start of solo, and meet up with Anders and Drea midway. Last part is sped up due to its triviality. Enjoy - we sure did.
Embedded version. 2m45sec:

Monday, October 14, 2013

First Person Shooter Part 2/2

Second day of our roadtrip was off to Willingen Bikepark. It has just two lines - but don't let that fool you.

Probably the closest I've been to pull of a table on a dc-bike. Smiles followed. I had my first real table scrub this day as well. Yay.
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Now the DH line in Willingen isn't just something you hit full force the first time you ride it. Blind drops and jumps are everywhere, and some of it is pretty damn big! We had tremendous luck meeting this friendly German LOCAL dude, who took out about 45min out of his park-time, to walk us through the lines of this former World Cup track, giving hints and advises. I don't remember his name, but thanks man. Here you see him on the right, advising Drea to the left.
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You know its good when a DH line starts of with a drop into 3 massive tables ; ) This DH track is a blast to ride, and I wish we rode it even more, "There is plenty left for next time, then" as Drea puts it.
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Don't ask.
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Drea throwing a whip on the Freeride line. Second day was a peak for all of us I think, we where feeding of each other, and fucking nailed that line.
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Anders hitting a roadgap on the DH track.
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That's it. For now.