Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 - Reviews And Previews

2015 was an interesting year for me gear-wise; a new bike with all its gear attached, wheels, brakes, suspension, dropper-post and so on. But a few reviews sneaked their way into my blog as well, so here is my short list of the 2015 reviews I did.

For a whole lot more reviews check out the 2014 and 2013 lineups.

E13 LG1 pedal 2015 (generation2)
Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2015
YT Capra CF Comp 1 2015

E13 LG1 pedal 2015 (generation2)
Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2015
Specialized Boomslang Flat Pedal
YT Capra CF Comp 1 2015

Special Features (not new but read it):
-The Anatomy of Intelligent Trail Design

Coming soon:
2016 FiveTen Freerider ELC
Gamut Podium Pedals
Specialized 2FO shoes
Spank Oozy Trail Flat Pedal
RockShox Pike
RockShox Monarch Plus RC3

Untill next year

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Best and Worst of 2015

Thought I'd do a roundup of whats good and bad from 2015. 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 2015 according to this blog - well lets take a look:

Best (in random order):

YT Capra CF
When I meet and talk to other mountainbikers, I for some odd reason verbally underplay my YT Capra. But I really shouldn't. Because this bike has surprised me in a very positive way. Its fast, responsive, fun to ride, and climbs outstandingly good. I wish the setup was slightly different, as I mentioned in my review, but otherwise, YT nailed it.

Hafjell Bikepark and Drammen Bikepark in Norway
We kinda knew that Hafjell bikepark would be good, it is after all known as the "European Whistler". Its big, fun, and well designed.
But we didn't just vist Hafjell bikepark tho'. Drammen bikepark is just outside Oslo, Norway, and we had the opportunity to ride there a single day. Now Drammen is a bit unusual bikepark. Many of the lines are very natural, and have a very raw feel to them. Its not really a difficult park to ride, nor is it particular big. Jan and Drea where not particular excited about this place (admittedly being blinded by Hafjell Bikepark - and injured). I on the other hand liked it alot. Its raw nature was something different, and some sections where crazy steep and technical - I love that. There was lots of tables and berms as well - and who doesn't like that? These two parks are some of my highlights of 2015.

DH 2015 Worldcup
The hardest and toughest collection of tracks ever, chainless wins, and more than a few surprises. The 2015 DH Worldcup season has been absolutely awesome. I really enjoy sitting down, popping a beer, grabbing some snacks, and watch the entire race unfold.. while listening to Warner and Claudio's commentary. Moooaar!! 
(who else than Danny)

Progression despite age
I'm not 18 anymore. In fact, I've reached an age where mental and physical degradation usually sets in. Regressions creeps in. At this age laziness is corrupting your every action, you get scared of everything, get conservative with cash, think new music sounds stupid, go to sleep at 22.30, take hangovers into consideration, and you fuck with the lights turned of, every second best. 
NOT THIS TEAM!  *Duuut Duuut!!* We still go bigger, faster, and longer. And that's not something that should be taken for granted, at all. Progression feeds progression. Standing still kills.

(this is me a few years ago, catching up with the young kids and their mobile eiPhones, and facesBooks, and their MySpaces and they are all showing too much skin if you ask me. Everything was better when it was made out of wood.)

Honorable Mention:
Stepping up build wise: I cant wait to show you guys what we have been up to the last 9 months.

Worst (in random order):

The 27,5" Hype Train
Its not that there is anything mechanically  wrong with the 27,5" standard. It is however vastly over-hyped. Putting my 26" wheels up against my 27,5" tells my that there is very little difference. Ask the industry, or some of the bullshit cycling journalist, then you really cant live without this new wheelsize. Ughhhh.... yuck.

Ugh...what a fucking waste of time.

Trail design
Copy & 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:

Friday, December 18, 2015

Oldie but goldie #8

"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.

The year is early 2010, it was the first of 2 very cold winters we had. 2010 was unusually cold, with temperatures as low as -23,0°C.
This day however was a bit more warm, with a temperature at -16,0°C. Being ignorant we grabbed our bikes and went out riding anyway...for 3 hours! : D

FAHK it was COLD.
Thomas with ice taps on his helmet.
Ice taps in my hair? 

My Camelbak was not just frozen in the hose, but the bladder content was like a thick slushice. I remember it was possible to break the hose if I wanted to.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Review: FiveTen Freerider Contact

FiveTen Freerider Contact shoe cough my attention the minute I put it on. Its very comfortable, and its slim and sleek design, makes this a very untraditional FiveTen shoe. I have been using it for 3 months and here are my thoughts:

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The outer fabric is synthetic, and tough. Easy to clean as well. Not a fan of laces tho'.
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The Stealth Mi6 rubber is grippy, but its more fragile than the original stealth rubber. This is after 3 months of use.
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Slim profile, lightweight, you would be forgiven to forget that you are wearing a FiveTen shoe.
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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
Freerider Contact is 727g
The diet obviously continues..
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If you ride as a weekend warrior this shoe may last you a long time, if you ride more than that, then beware, you will eat these shoes within 4-5 months. They do get hot on the varmest days, more than they had to, and I'm not a fan of laces. But in the end, this is a great performing product...while it lasts.

The good:
-The most comfortable FiveTen shoe I have had my foot in
-Small profile, almost feels like a regular shoe
-Mi6 Rubber has outstanding grip

The bad:
-Durability is poor
-Ventilation is a bit poor as well
-Laces...fuck those loose laces


Sunday, December 6, 2015

All Mountain Next turns 6 years!

My blog turned 6 years, yay. Its been a very eventfull year for me on a personal note, and I'm also happy to say, that we still go bigger and faster on the bike. Fuck yeah.

(This is me 6 years ago, writing some of the very first posts here. I don't smoke anymore tho', (had a "incident" and ended with my legs up in the air - in a bathroom, nurse on site and all)...anyway, added some bodyweight since this picture. But hey, that's how it goes right? Kay, just rambling now)

Saturday, November 28, 2015

A big can of love

Testing my Rockshox Vivid Air against the RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 on my YT Capra CF. Stay tuned.

..And how you fucking use it ... *duuut duuut*

Monday, November 23, 2015

40 seconds in Norway

Somehow lost most of my GoPro footage from Hafjell Bikepark, Norway : / But I got a few snippets here and there. This clip is one of them. Check it out.

Raw edit. 40 sec. HD available.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Review: YT Capra CF Comp 1 2015

I'm nearing my third month on the YT Capra CF Comp, and I have been riding it alot. So here is my review. This review may not be final, so stay tuned, but here it is;

YT Capra CF Comp 1 2015, size Medium.
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Biggest surprise is how well this bike climbs, its annoyingly efficient on the uphills - I get why YT named the bike after a rockclimbing goat.  And I have to admit, that its a even better climber than my Canfield Brothers ONE bike. You push the pedal and the bike just goes up. YT nailed it. The Rockshox Monarch Plus RC3 adds to the climbing efficiency by having its 3 compression settings.
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This bike is lightweight, and feels lightweight. After a tubeless setup, with different tires, this is what the scale tip at 13.07kg. (28.75 lbs)
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I cant stop comparing this bike to my Canfield Brothers ONE bike. And when it comes to descending this bike is a little inferior. But I have to say that the Canfield Brothers ONE bike is freakish good at descending with a strong DH DNA, so its hard to top no matter what AM bike you put against it. But let me be clear, the YT does descends well, its slack low and long - all good cards in the descending game. Its nimble and playfull, and that adds to its descending character.
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With a low toptube, a BB height that's just right, a slack front, this geometry is spot on imo. The frame is beautifully sculptured, and looks fast. Props to YT for nailing it.

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Dropper Post:
The RockShox Reverb has been working without a single issue. Its the stealth version, and I'm happy that it is. This is the generation of the Reverb, so I imagine RockShox ironed out all the former quirks.

Drive Train:
SRAM 1x has been working without any real issues. It shifts just as well as my former x9 and x10, not better, not worse.

The E13 TRS+ wheels has gotten a lot of heat on the internetss, I however has been very lucky with mine. They are still true, without a single dent, and the spokes are tight. They where actually easy to setup tubeless - to my big surprise. They are loud tho', and that's not for everyone.

Ahh the Pike. Hailed as one of the best forks on the market, and pretty much the whole mtb industry went bananas over its performance. Yeah, its a good fork, for beginning to mid travel its VERY good. Its poor in the end stroke tho'. So when you really slam it, the compression curve isn't to my liking, its harsh and has a too fast kickback. This is despite my experiments with the tokens and compression setting. I will write a more in depth review of this fork soon.

The Achilles heel of the YT Capra CF Comp 1 are bigger hits. The suspension components simply  doesn't cater to it out of the box. Its not that its not possible to hit bigger stuff, but it feels harsh and under-damped, catering more to classic trail-stuff.
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Rear shock:
Ah, this is a real head scratcher. The RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 feels more like its catering to the XC/trail crowd. For harder hitting stuff its simply under performing. Ugh, I hate to make it sound as if the shock is bad, because its not, its just not as good as my Vivid Air or Cane Creek DBA CS. However! When set to the highest compression setting (Btw, the 3 compression settings are very effective!) this bike feels incredibly playful and snappy, and I use this setting more and more, its really good for climbing as well. I guess I would still prefer the Vivid Air, compared to the Monarch Plus RC3, but the Monarch definitely has its strenghts as well.
I will write a more in depth review of this shock soon.

After a whole lot more riding, and comparison to my Canfield Brothers One Bike, I've concluded that the front is too low to my linking. You sit a bit to much in a race position, and that makes a  bit awkward riding position when grabbing air, or doing technical stuff. Imo the front should have been about an inch higher.

The YT Capra CF Comp is a big-value bike, its a looker and lightweight, with a geo that ticks all the right boxes. Its a great and potentially capable bike, that's a tad hindered by its component choices. I would have preferred a, say, Lyrik up front, and a VIVID air in the back, to really let this bike be versatile. But I'm nit picking now so.. Just to be clear: this is a relly good bike!

The Good:
-Climbs really good.
-Overall frame quality is very good, and looks good.
-Really fun to ride.

The Bad:
-Standard spec isn't catering to the bigger hits
-You sit on the bike, not in the bike.
-Cockpit is a bit too low


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Video: Fall Quick 2015

Jan and I had a day on our bikes, the weather was nice, and the smiles where wide. I had my gopro and shot a bit of footage. Its a quickie.. Check it out:

50sec. HD available. With sound.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Random Part 2/2

A collection of random shots. Some very recent, some a bit older. Check it out:

It took him almost two years to man up, but it finally happened; Jan hit the Treegap!
I'm so proud! *cries a little*
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..And here is his immediate review.
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One of the first upgrades I did on my Capra was to change the Raceface stem and bar. 455g on my scale.
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Install a Renthal Carbon bar, coupled with one one the lightest 50mm stems on the market, and the scale tips at 316g. A reduction of 139grams, those grams don't come cheap tho.
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Henning hitting a small jump.
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I'm having a bit of fun on the Freeride line in Willingen, Germany.
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Thomas2 Landing a drop. Takeoff to the far left.
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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Random Part 1/2

A collection of random shots. Some very recent, some a bit older. Check it out:

Lets start of with this little tool; The SKS Airchecker. The one I got had a defect and didn't work properly - this tire had an actual pressure of 2,1 bar. I have very little tolerance for defects, so here is my quick review: 
It Sucks.
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A small trip to the park. Its a quick fix, but can be alot of fun..and who doesn't like a quickie now and then.
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Jan hitting a new jump.
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Tokens for the RS Pike. Started with 0, upgraded to 2, and now im at 3. Still eating a bit too much travel, a bit too fast tho'.
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FiveTen Freerider Contact 2015 - also in the test, stay tuned.
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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Why 650b?

So got the YT bike, and I'm happy. But I wented some scepticism regarding the 650b wheelsize a few times, This is what I wrote back in 2012 here:

".... 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?"

So I ended with a 650b myself. Is that hypocritical? No, and let me tell you why;

Because the bike industry fucking showed it down my throat. The choice of options for a 26" carbon frame where pretty much non-existent. I tried to get hold of a Evil Uprising, but that never materialized. Tried to get a Nomad, but no frame in my size was available (unless you pay craaazy amounts of money via an import), so that canalized my "options" into the world of 650b. I know I sound a bit 26" puristic, but im actually not, I just want options! Options are good for all of us.

You won this time bike-industry. And you will probably win next time as well, roll in the 28inch wheel.... : /

Friday, October 16, 2015

Recent Riding

A fine little air session with the boys.

Henning and Kim standing on the run-in to the jump that broke Sørens collar-bone last time they where here, I'm sure that thought was motivating..
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..Everything was in control tho'
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Henning hitting a small gap on his Specialized SX trail.
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Kim hitting the Tree-gap. He had to start all over again with the mind-fuck-game. But eventually stepped up.
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Still testing my Capra, and for that Mr.Madsens Bad idea drop is a great feature to do when it comes to how it handles hits. The pike and Monarch Plus is obviously in the test as well. 
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