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.  
(click to enlarge)

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)
(click to enlarge)

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.
(click to enlarge)

222mm x 70mm. Without mount kits. Weight is pretty much identical to the CCDBA.
(click to enlarge)

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.