Riding with buddies is a lot of fun but sometimes you can’t find anybody to meet your schedule and you’re ending riding alone with always the risk to crash in the middle of nowhere in the woods. Luckily the cell phone helps in case of crash to seek assistance but you don’t always reception in the middle of the wood and even if you have some, you have to be able to reach your phone and hope it’s not destroy in your bag.
I just tested for you a nice small app available on smartphone IOS an Android to help you i this case. Viewranger is an GPS application with mapping capabilities, routing options etc etc but in our case it’s another functionality we are gonna use: the beacon.
The person who is suppossed to look after you also need a viewranger account to connect on the Viewranger website to access the Buddy Beacon tab. Then he need to add you ID (usually your email) and the PIN you already gave him.
It allows the person to follow you in real time during your ride and locate you in case of crash. At best, your smartphone is still intact and you have reception so it will give the exact position to the rescue team. Worst case scenario, the last beacon is 2 min away and gives a good idea of the area you are in.
This winter I decided to test in the Provence Enduro MTb backyard to test the Schwalbe Hans Dampf tire. So I ride a Hans Dampf SnakeSkin Trailstar in front on my Enduro bike and I also tried a Super Gravity pacestar version at the rear on mu DH bike. Overall, I rode my Enduro bike for the last 6 month and put more than 900 Kms on the tire.
This tire is OK without being exceptional. It’s definitively a tire fo soft ground conditions. In the south of France, during winter time, it’s never muddy but the ground is often soft hich are the best conditions for this tire. When you loose traction when cornering, the tire gives your a warning before so it’s easy to anticipate. I can’t say anything about this tire in muddy conditions because we never have theses kind of conditions around here.
When the ground becomes harder and dryer like in spring time, the tire is less good. It looses traction pretty eaysly on very hard packed surfaces. Overall this tire is OK for winter riding in the South of France.
The Trailstar version has issues with the side knob getting ripped off. It’s quite frustrating because the rest of the tire is in pretty good conditions. After 900 Kms of riding it’s still possible to ride it but it won’t last very long. Overall the durability of this tire is for me below average.
The Snakeskin sidewalls are doing their job fine. I didn’t have a single flat by snakebite or anything. Despite our rocky and hard terrain, the job is well done especially for a 750 grams tire.
I tried the Hans Dampf en gomme Pacestar (hard compound) SuperGravity (heavy) on my downhill bike at the rear at the Mouliere Bike Park.
La Moulière is a small bike park is in the south of France, 1h away from Provence Enduro with a very rocky and loose terrain. At the rear, the Hans Dampf was not very good on this type of terrain. Cornering and traction is poor on the dry loose dust and on the rocks. It’s not a good tire for theses conditions.
On the durability side, this is just catastrophic. The knob got ripped off so quickly and after only 4 days in la Moulière (3000m vertical by day), the tire is wear out at around 50%. to compare, a Maxxis 60a compound last me 3/4 of the season in la Mouliere.
On the sidewall, the rubber is so thin that it get peeled of on the rocks. Despite this issue, it doesn’t seems to affect the resistance of the sidewall.
Despite the sidewall peeling, I didn’t have a flat at all which is a good surprise. La Moulière is just a nightmare for the tire and if a tire can resist to it, you can be sure it will resist to everything else.
The Hans Dampf is a tire for soft terrain and not hard packed ground. The durability of the trailstar version in front is below average. The Snakeskin version is doing its job pretty well.
But don’t use this tire even in pacestar compound for a downhill use in hard and rocky terrain.
Strava is higly addictive but we have try to beat the KOm on changing trails. From one year to another, the trail can change and it could be impossible to beat the last year KOM due to a re routing for example on the trail. Matesrace is a website linked to Strava and offers you to create Strava Challenges.
The principle is quite simple. You create a challenge with 5 Strava segments maximum, you decide for how long the Challenge will be on (from one day to several months) and everybody who decide to enter the Challenge have their attempts accounted in the system. At the end the winner is the rider who has the overall best time. It’s like creating your own Enduro race for you and you buddies. Everything is based onthe Strava time recorded.
The website is very simple and clear and you log into the website through your Strava account. Just a tip, too add a segment into the Challenge, you need to “Starred” the segment to be able to select it. This a another higly addictive application for your Strava.
The website is here: http://www.matesrace.co.uk/
Take a look tou the first Provence Enduro challenge: http://www.matesrace.co.uk/event/721
A new video from Ride Media featuring Hugo Domenech shredding the Yaya trail in Figanières, Var, France. This trail is our reference in the Provence Enduro MTB area. With a total vertical drop of 240m the trail has a fast first section with open landscape, fast turns, some pedaling secttions and a road gap. The second part (the longest too) is steeper, more downhill oriented (without the double), super fun to ride. And the trail finishs on a small drop with a nice landing in the slope. The Yaya is one of the best trail in the area and the judge for Strava times.
A nice edit from November 2013 featuring Maurian Marnay from the Rocky Mountain Urge Enduro team riding the local trails in the Provence Enduro backyaud. One goal, becoming the world champion in Enduro of the Chateaudouble village (300 inhabitant max). The video is a Lapse Production edit and a lot of local trails like The Grande chapelle, La Palette, la Jourdan, etc were used in this edit.