As spring finally seems to be upon us and racing dates have all been decided. We finally managed to put together our 2018 courses' calendar.
Following feedback from coaches and students alike, we decided to reduce the number of classes in certain locations as the topography, feature and level of trails use, makes them less than optimal for coaching, especially in groups.
We are also pleased to announce a partnership with Cykelkraft, Sweden largest cycling online retail store (supported by a growing network of physical locations in Gothenburg and Stockholm).
StockholmBikeSkills will be coaching their 2018 XC racing team for technical riding ensuring that the hard training put into the racers fitness level does not get impaired by a lack of skills on the more technical part of the tracks, and we will be offering ALL our classes at 10% discount form the subscribers of their monthly newsletters and 50% to their prime customers.
Details and discount codes will be published in Cykelkraft newsletters from April to October
If you are not lucky enough to live in a rather dry place such as California, most winter becomes an endless attempt to remain as dry and warm as possible.
And if like me, you live somewhere with technical natural trails (ie rock and roots everywhere), that also append to get covered in white powder and eventually freeze, you are likely to either ride flat pedals all year or at least prefer to swap back to them in winter as front or rear (or both for extra fun) tyres tend to let go without warning...
Until last year, there were NO quality, grippy flat pedals' shoes that had any thermal quality.
This changed, with the arrival of the FiveTen EPS.
I was lucky enough to be offered a pair by FiveTen a couple of months ago as they had a Freeriders EPS High in my size as a leftover sample of 2017 collection.
As much as I really like them. And that they are a very very big improvement in terms of waterproofing/weatherproofing and thermal ability on the old Freeriders (elements or not), but...
They are in no way warm enough and once freezing water as made its way down your legs and inside your shoes... This all game over and you just start looking for the fastest way back.
This is where the new Endura MT500 Plus overshoes come handy. Until their release a few weeks ago, no overshoes on the market were anywhere near suitable for use with flat pedals.
The first thing you need to know is that unless you have feet between EU39 and EU43, you are plain out of luck so far...
And the second is that you can't trust those picture that makes it put them on look like an easy, joyful event.
My first attempt included a fair amount of swearing in at least 3 languages...
The fact that Endura posted a 'how to' video for this purpose only is a witness to the fact that they are a real pain to put on...
It saves both on shoe cleaning time at the end as well as about a week worth of drying up (FiveTens are notoriously good at retaining moister once introduced in them)
as well as keeping my feet, dry, warm and clean!
Overall, this is a great product that you soon forget as it doesn't interfere at all with your riding and only warn and dry feet remind you that there is something different now on your wintery rides....
In Sweden, they can be found in a couple of online retailers.
At the time I write this the cheaper option is here http://www.cykelkraft.se/skooverdrag-endura-mt500-plus
Couple of brushes, cassette cleaning tool and bio-Bike 1:25 diluted bike cleaner combined with a water hose are the usual suspects for my monthly (if she is lucky) clean...
As a colder than average but rather dry (for once) summer come to an end in Stockholm, I got thinking about changing the rubber on the rear wheel of my coaching bike.
The very fast rolling (but useless in mud) summer rear tyre currently on it (schwalbe rock razor) was starting to show it's limitations. Especially when on muddy trails or the rock slabs and carpets roots that makes for most of the Stockholm Archipelago Trails.
Not so much an issue when gravity was keeping me moving forward but the climbs were getting a painful mix of rear spinning, followed by the embarrassing stalling and more often than not by the push uphill until gripper soil is found and forward momentum can be restored .
I have been a fairy faithful Maxxis man for years when if comes to my 'enduro' tyres ride full on tyres (i.e.: Bike parks and Enduro races) .
But my current set of Maxxis DHF & DHR where looking a little tatty and new rubber needed acquiering (again!...)
So I decided to look around and explore new options for the fall and Spring seasons (winter is very likely going to be a variable mix of Maxxis Shorty and Schawlbe Ice Piker Pro when not riding the fat bike)
After some research I selected the WTB Vigilante.
The 27.5" model comes if 3 versions. Light, Tough and Comp
At 2.3" they are wide enough to provide good grip but not so wide that they start floating on mud and fail to dig in and get traction by gripping the hard
The later being the cheap, none tubless, hard compound version. I dismissed it out of hand
Would I still lived in the south of UK where rock garden are few and roots as rare as a honest politician; I would have chosen the light version. But this is Sweden and rocks and roots are the norm and not the exception. So Tough version it is
Further more, when riding in sub zero temp most of the time from November to April/May, the last thing I want is fixing puncture by the side of the trails while my sweaty clothes start to freeze...
With a high grip and fast rolling sub version. I chose the former for the front and later for the rear.
Now I know that a lot depend on combination between rim and tyre when it comes to ease of tubeless setting but this was if not the hardest, one of the hardest set up I ever had to performed.
First. Those tyre are real hard to put on the rim. It took a lot pure strength to get the tyre on the rim to start with and a fair amount of soapy water on the side walls and a rather high volume compressor to get them seated and air tight!
Good, I think I will be able run them at stupidly low pressure without the risk of them burping air or getting of the rim on a high G bern.
And they would need a lot of really bad luck to get a puncture (usually not prone to them with only 2 punctures in the last 5 or 6 years.
So far I only had one ride in rather moist and less than ideal conditions as far as grip goes and I absolutely love them.
They are by no mean the best mud tyres I have ever used but they are not supposed to be. And in the Stockholm area where mud is only a cm or so deep and roots are rock are more of the issue that thick deep mud, they are perfect.
The front high grip version as so far been impeccable and although the rear do eventually let go and loose grip in high speed muddy flat corners, it does so in a predictable and consistent manner.
The next few days have dry weather on the forecast but Sweden being Sweden, October and especially November are likely to be wet, cold and grey miserable months.
What else would someone need to test tyres that their maker define as:
"Born out of a need for unwavering traction in every corner of the world, the Vigilante is our premier aggressive trail and enduro tire. The square-lugged, open-tread pattern offers stability through wet or dry, while the prominent outer knobs grip at lean angles like nobody’s business. Ample spacing ensures it flings mud, while also allowing the knobs to bite into loose, chunky terrain. The TCS Tough/High Grip model is the tire of choice for our entire team of ripping enduro athletes who require a steadfast tire that won't let them down while chasing podiums."
We have been blessed by sunny skies, good company and ample most excellent sausages on the grill provided by gardssallskapet.
Both Superior bikes development team and their local partners and organisers (Cykelkraft) were on hand to help the many many visitors fitting the demo bike of their choice to them and send them on a short 4,5 km loop in Fiskartorpet...
I was on hand representing Stockholm Bike Skills and helping out with various riding tips to those asking for them.
Following a high demand for it on the day, I have added 2 dates (September 23 & 30th to the 2017classes calendar) for those that can ride a bike but do not feel much confidence as soon as the trail gets rocky, rooty and slippery.
This 2.5 hours class conducted in Vaxholm is design to give you good basic technic and habits that will allow you to wander in the woods with your bike safely and start practising your riding safely, more confidently and enhance the great fun that trail riding is once you start to relax on your bike.
Basic 1 in Vaxholm: 26th & 27th of August
Basic 2 in Vaxholm: 2nd & 3rd of September
Basic 3 in Vaxholm: 9th & 10th of September
Jumps for dads in Flottsbro: 23rd & 30th of September
Flow in Flottsbro: 24th of September
More Winter dates will be added to our calendar in the next 2 weeks.Read More
2017 marked the 6th successful trip to the French Alps for MTB.
Joined by Guillaume 'The Hare' Payen guiding the more experienced riders to the more 'intense' part of the trail network (both official and not), we managed to ride more than 320km in 6 days, accumulating over 20,000m of downhill riding
2018 format will be slightly different as we are planning to use a self-catered chalet and to aim for a slightly later date so to accommodate more Swedes that find midsummer or the following week difficult to escape from family obligations.
At this point, we are looking at week 30 (Sunday to Sunday unless better flight are found for Saturday TBC)
Anyone interested should either register interest on our mailing list dedicated to this trip or on the event section of our Facebook page
For the first time since 2015, the dates of the Passportes du Soleil, the largest MTB rally in Europe is NOT taking place on Midsummer weekend. This means that we will be organising an MTB trip for it.
Options will be a long weekend Thursday to Sunday (TBC depending on flights availabilities) or a whole week Friday to Friday or Saturday to Saturday (TBC depending on flights availabilities)
The Passportes du Soleil weekend will be June 29th to July 1st 2018.
Put the dates in your diary and sign up to our newsletter to be kept informed of news and developments that we will be posting once we have all details available