Sunday, December 28, 2014

2014 - Reviews And Previews

2014 has been very quiet gear-wise for me and my bike. My wishlist was somewhat short, and I wasn't really in the need of anything. Most things where dialed - and I guess that's good. This obviously reflects the short preview/review list for 2014. I guess 2015 will be a bit more gear-heavy.

My ambition to swap out my frame has been delayed to 2015 or 2016 or later, not quite sure yet, the list of frames is short tho'. Anyway, for those of you who missed some of the previews or reviews go for it;

For a whole lot more reviews check out 2013 and 2012.

FiveTen VXi Elements

FiveTen VXI Elements
FiveTen Diddie Schneider
Specialized Butcher Control 2.3"

Coming soon:
Specialized 2FO shoes
Specialized Ground Control tire
Schwalbe 2015 Nobby Nic tire
Schwalbe  Pro Core system
Some sort of "Flat pedals"

See ya all next year.... ppprrrrrr!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Best and Worst of 2014

Thought i'd do a roundup of whats good and bad from 2014. I did it last year, and the year before it, so its time for a new list. So, whats the WORST and BEST stuff of 2014 according to this blog - well lets take a look:

The Best (in random order):

Why the hell did I wait so long to go tubeless? Running sub 2-bar pressures feels awesome, and has actually changed the way I ride. Strap those tires on, squirt in some sealant, and get going.

In Better shape
I grinded the hell out of my trails to get in a better shape for my Alps trip. And it payed of in the end. But the best training was actually the trip itself. The shape I got out of it was very satisfying; the following month after my return from the Alps, riding my bike was like switching on an engine..the legs just kept going, with very little effort. Incredibly satisfying, and I hope to regain this strength once again for the following summer.

The Alps
..Speaking of the Alps. What an awesome place to ride! Amazing trails, lifts everywhere, bikeparks and mind-blowing vistas. This place was beyond my expectation, and I would happily revisit.

Honorable Mention:
Redbull Hardline. Is it freeride, or is it downhill? I guess its both! The concept is awesome, it pushes the sport forward, and I would love to see it get bigger for next year. Check it out here.

The Worst (in random order):

A new new new standard
We need to take a collective stance against >even< more new industry standards, more standards will not benefit you and me as a consumer, so here goes;

In case you missed it, Trek is going full-retard and just introduced a new rear axle standard, the Boost 148. Oh Trek, why do you do this? A new rear axle standard to solve a problem that doesn't exist?

"Feel more confident!" - the promotion video says. Yearh, go fuck yourself with a dirty toilet brush, and go suck a truckers dirty dick on the German highway, that will "boost your confidence!"

(well the Giant overdrive2 system was such a huuuge succes, so why not?)

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:

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Review: Specialized Butcher Control 2.3"

Man its been a loong time since I last did a tire review! So its about damn time I do so. 5 months of testing of the Specialized Butcher Control 2.3" is finally complete. I ran it in a tubeless setup the entire time. Specialized has been in the mtb tire business longer than pretty much everyone, so they know a thing or two about tires - and the lineup has been evolving in a more aggressive direction regarding design. I stumbled upon the Butcher by accident, it reminded me a bit of the Maxxis Minion and the Maxxis Highroller, so I though; why not.
So after 5 months, this is what I learned;

This tire is big, and has lots of volume. I wouldn't mind slapping it on my DH bike for the summer if the rubber was a bit more tacky. (actually, Troy Brosnan just won a DH race in Austraila using this tire)
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778grams is not bad for a tire this size, but Specialized needs to recalibrate its weight-scale..again. ..They claim its 730grams.
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Regarding durability; After continuously slamming the rear tire into sharp rocks in the Alps, I did in the end manage to cut the rear tire enough to see the sealant jizz out of it, all I needed was a few chicks nearby and it would have resembled a true bukake shower.
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The open channel system. Maxxis, Specialized, Michelin has done it for years. Continental learned it the hard way. And finally Schwalbe is getting it as well(The new Nobby Nic, anyone?). An open channel system has huge advantages - and for front tire options, I wouldn't touch anything else. 
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Note how the side lugs doesn't touch the ground when in a neutral position.
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What you roll on is the inner thread(green), only using the side lugs when cornering, this saves you lots of energy, and makes the bike roll easier. Simple yet brilliant.
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This is a modern tire that checks all the right boxes, as a front tire for aggressive riding it is among the absolute best. It also functions as a rear tire, but I would consider other options for that - you simply don't get the most out of the side lugs in the rear.

Where the Butcher Control excels is in the front, in a tubeless setup, this is where the Butcher shines. I cant see myself switching it out anytime soon.

The good:
-Great grip!
-Big overall profile
-Huge side lugs
-Tubeless friendly installation
-Works great in versatile environments
-Great Tubeless performance

The Bad:
-I did manage to cut open the tire beyond repair (rear tire) - but it took a lot to do so.
-The center thread should have been a little bit more sloped, to improve rolling resistance.
-The weight-scale at Specialized is still broken..

Size: 2.3"
Tested on: Front and Rear
Claimed weight: 730 gram
Actual weight: 778 gram


Friday, December 12, 2014

The fall of Fall

My little Drop-vid, was initially part of a longer vid, so here it is in its full form. Some new lines in here as well.

With sound. 1m 31sec. HD Available.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

All Mountain Next turns 5 years!

5 years! Crazy huh? I expect to do a year more, I have fun writing this blog and the visitor momentum is still strong, so cheers for another year! : )

(I initially pursued a modeling career in high school, but it never really took of. So I guess I somehow compensate by writing this blog.)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Speaking of drops..

We recently had an opportunity to session some drops and jumps, and one of these drops was the Skull-drop. You drop about 2 meters (6ft) in height, to a nice transition. This is the first vid of it in a POV angle;

Simple edit. With sound. HD available.


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Empirical castration

Castrating trail features is really not something I usually believe in, and definitely not something I advocate, well unless it makes a lot of  sense.

That was however the case of a 2m (6ft) drop on a line called Middlemeat. The feature was a 2m drop into a bad transition ("Section B"), it was simply way too harsh. Its a drop that was supposed to boost you into a jump, but the furious bottom out actually did the opposite! Some adjustments where made to the size (reduction to a 1,5m(4ft) size) and that allowed for a way better transition ("Section A")Now its a feature that's a joy to hit, and actually does boost your speed as initially intended. A successful castration!

Section "A" is where you want to land. Section "B" is where the rider landed. You don't want to land in "B"..

So this is how it was before the "castration". 2m(6ft) drop into "Section B". The impact forces where brutal. You can almost see how I squish..
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This is how it is now. 1,5m (4ft) drop into "Section A" Way more easy and more enjoyable. Just as exciting? No, but its all about finding the right balance.

This is what got removed:

Hitting it now.
17sec. Simple Edit. No sound.

To somewhat compensate for this castration, a new 2m(6ft) drop was finished elsewhere, the transition there is spot on.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Leron's simple front-suspension tip

Leron is a mountainbike guide from France, that I met on my Alps trip, he is a former region and local DH champion, and he had some tips for me regarding front suspension. I thought I would share it with you guys. I'm not keen to tamper with my front settings, I guess i'm a bit conservative in that regard, but I listened to his advice and here is what he told me;

The idea is to make to front work alot more in the middle of its stroke.

So this is what Leron says;

-Set sag at approx 25%-30%
-Keep the low-speed compression on the low side
-Keep the rebound on the fast side
-Lube your inner stanctions as often as possible with a silicon spray, to reduce sticktion.

I understand these terms are somewhat loose, but you get my(his) point. Its simple, but made my front sooo much better and Im still rocking it here on my local trails. Try it out! Its easy to do - You got nothing to loose.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

" time Gadget"

Ahh, the Tree-gap. Much can be said about it, but people usually shot up before hitting it. Its mindfuck for sure, and not all of that mindfuck is justified - minduck tends to be that way.
Anyway, I had Jan with me this day, and he sure eyeballed that kicker...


Oh tree-gap, you charmy bastard..

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Already looking forward to spring season..

Found this little gem. A little road-gap. The run-in is perfect, the landing is sloped, all it needs is a good takeoff. But there is too much water in the dirt right now to do a solid kicker, so this will be a spring 2015 project. Its big and scary, just like the ladies like it. Cant wait! : )

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Road, Takeoff and Landing outlined. 
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Monday, November 10, 2014

Glass half dull

So we packed our bikes and gear, and revisited a well known place. After a few hours of riding I began to reflect, and thought to myself about this place;

There was be a big rockgarden..
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A "river" crossing..

The weather was good..
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The jumps (to flat) where there..

But in the end, the overall experience was a bit dull.. We have been here before, and allthough this place has seen a huge facelift and an overall revision, it still lacks flow, creativity and an actual challenge..
(click to enlarge)

Oh well, back to the local lines..

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Review: FiveTen VXI elements

So I'm finally concluding my sixth month on the FiveTen VXi Elements shoe. New and improved upon, well that's what FiveTen says anyway. They resemble the classic VXi shoe, and in many ways they do, there is however a big difference; they use a brand new rubber compound; Mi6 rubber, according to FiveTen its their most grippy rubber yet. 

The outer fabric is a DWR treated synthetic upper that repels water. Inside is a PUR foam insulation that wicks sweat but adds warmth.
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The big deal about the VXI Elements is the Mi6 rubber. Supposedly it had the best grip yet. And yes, it really is sticky.
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Weight (Actual, same size):
Original Freerider is 960g
Freerider PRO is 880g
Freerider VXi is 855g
Freerider VXi Element is 795g
The diet obviously continues..
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Comfortable and protective.
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These shoes can take a small shower..but when it really gets wet, the problems become more apparent, water can simply not escape. So that DWR treated upper actually works against the shoe in the end.
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This is after a month of intense use....hmmmmm....
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This is after 4 months, I didn't appreciate that huge open hole.
(click to enlarge)

So is the FiveTen VXI Elements a good shoe? The short answer is no. The Mi6 rubber is simply too fragile. Before I knew it, I had a big hole beneath the shoe, and at this pricepoint, this simply isn't acceptable. Sure it has loads of grip, and its a great shoe if you are into some protection as well, but otherwise, just stay away, and stick to the FiveTenVXI(classic).

The Good:
-Repels water
-Sub 800g weight
-Rubber is sticky as always
-Stiff bottom
-Great protection

The Bad:
-Very low durability
-Trapped water is just that. Trapped.
-Relatively Expensive

Score: 1/6

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Different trips yo

All sorts of pics from different trips we've been on, some fresh of the press, some from end September (?). Anyway, have a look.

Jan hitting the Skull Drop. I was on the verge of being proud, Jan has come a long way in terms of hitting stuff. So to see him hit a drop this size was awesome, great job buddy!
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Karl and Bartek grinding gears on a uphill...
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..When they reached the top it looked liked this, I think I saw some puke : )
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Drea hitting the tree-gap. The airtime is still heartwarming : )
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A newly build hip-double.
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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

3 short GoPro vids from the Alps

3 short vids approx 1 minute each. All 3 clips are recorded the same day, so it also shows the diversity we had this day. These lines where friggin amazing - so sit back and enjoy : )

Remember HD is available!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The French Alps Part 5/5

Last photo series of our Alps trip.

A small bikepark-ish area near Chamonix. It was a very trail-bike friendly place with some smooth and nicely sculptures lines, we pretty much just passed by, but rode the lines a few times tho'. Here I hit a "natural" drop.
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The scenery was often mindblowing. Just keep on track, 
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Lifts, lifts! LIFTS!! The alps are packed with lifts!
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I'm in France, but the mountains you see here in the background belong to Switzerland. Some of the trails actually took us inside Switzerland, only to loop out and into France again.
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Thats it. Sore, tired and one hell of a experience richer.
 Packed and ready to go back. What a cool trip this was : )
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Hope you guys enjoyed.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The French Alps Part 4/5

The Bikes.

I could easily tell you guys what bikes worked well in the high alps on this all-mountain trip, and which bikes didn't, but decided against it.

So, just enjoy the bikes. Expect carbon frames, big carbon wheels and 11-speed drivetrains.

Santa Cruz 5010
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 Cannondale Scalpel.
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Specialized Stumpjumper? or was it a Camber? I actually don't remember. It was black and red, mkay.
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Santa Cruz Tall Boy.
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Banshee Spitfire.
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The slackest, longest, lowest and heaviest bike among the group. Should I do the trip once again, I would bring the same bike - well except perhaps with a 11 speed drivetrain. Mont Blanc in the background btw.
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