Chris Smith's latest Blog...

Our resident Freeride columnist has just returned from the Whitestyle competition...

I've been pretty busy recently- I went out to the Nissan/Kona Whitestyle event at the start of the month.

The Brits were there in force- Me, Lance McD, Chopper, Sam Pilgrim and Mike Smith were all shredding!

It's a good event to get the season kicked off, so my alarm went off at 3.30 am to get my flight to Munich. A few hours sat on a plane and a coach and we arrive in leogang, Austria. Chopper had built an amazing course that consisted of 2 sets of doubles into a vert wall, S shaped berms that led into a satellite dish wallride, then out of it to a step-up and step-down ladder bridge into a huge double to finish.

The final jump was a flat out jump after the final drop, and it probably wasn't the best idea to start practicing on it as our first jump! All was going good until I went down hard when my front wheel slid out on ice landing a 360 on the final jump, hurting my wrist and arm pretty bad.

Saturday practice was hard work to hang on but went well- I had a good qualifying run on my first run down, second run down the course was chopped up and slippy but still was good, but I landed hard on the final drop and could barely hold one side of the bars for the final jump.

I qualified for the finals but decided not to ride due to my wrist- I'd rather give it 100% than some half arsed limp wristed effort, so that was it over for me.

Trond Hansen ended up taking the win with a run that consisted of 360's, tailwhips, barspins, tables and a big front flip at the end.

I've also started running Marzocchi suspension front and rear, and really like the product after a few years off of it. I'm running the 4XWC fork on my STP, 66 ATA on my Glory FR and also on my Reign X, and a 55 fork on my Trance X, plus will be running the new Roco Air shock on all my full sus bikes. 

Another new bit of kit i received recently is the new Rohloff speedhub mated up to my signature Halo Freedom rim. I'm really keen to try it out it's got 14 internal gears in the hub so I can run my Trance X bike with a single-speed set up that will still be totally ridable with a wide range of gears and will be silent and virtually maintenance free.

You can change gears without pedalling- even when stationary and also whilst under pressure! I also just received the new chainguide from MRP that's super light and looks great. Doddy has also got one on test, so you'll see it soon in MBUK...

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