A Film By: Reed Merschat
Starring: Jeff Lenosky, Ryan Leech, and Lance Trappe
Locations: England, Incline Club Skatepark, and the rocks of Utah
Available through: www.crfilms.com for $22.00
Contact features the best trials riders on the circuit today. Don’t get scared away by this being a trials video. There’s mostly street style riding, much better to watch when compared with traditional trials that features hundreds of little correctional hops. The skatepark riding is definitely a major highlight but it’s hard to pick one defining part. Some of the riding has to be seen to be believed. If a little BMX kid has ever chided you for mountain biking being lame, show them Contact. Another great thing is that most of the riding is done on mountain bikes; little mod bikes just don’t excite most mountain bikers. This video is a must buy for any bicycle trials aficionado or riders who can appreciate burley, precise riding.


A Film By: Thor Wixom
Starring: Josh Bender, Krispy and Jeremy Sundt
Locations: Utah, Nevada and Socal
Available through: www.justpushplay.com or 800-727-6689 for $19.95

Thor is back with more of the big drop riding that made “Down” such a success. There are plenty of clips of riders mindlessly hucking their carcasses off insane drops. Great if you’re into that kind of riding we guess. There’s also some amazing trials riding, which is a strange contrast to the imprecise, semi-skilless cliff splats. The ramp riders were being towed at wasn’t all that impressive. Check out any good BMX video to see stuff that big with riders that don’t look half as squirrelly on little bikes with no suspension. The soundtrack was created by Thor, not bad if you like electronic music but I’d have to say most mountain bikers would probably prefer something else. Basically if you like watching riders (except the trials ones) dead sailor off of everything in site pick this one up.


A Film By: Jorli Ricker
Starring: Dave Watson, Wade Simmons and Andrew Shandro
Locations: British Columbia and Utah
Available through: www.foxracing.com for $24.95

Ride to the Hills has some of the best riding of any mountain bike video made to date. The 16mm footage was beautiful and the riders were
impressive. Dave Watson rides one ridgeline that was honestly awe-inspiring. In that one clip there were three sections that individually would have been great video clips but Dave does them in one smooth succession. Wade Simmons has some great riding too. That guy has stepped it up considerably from prior video efforts. There were three problems with Hills though. The editing and music was bad, really bad. It seemed like there were rider and music changes every twenty seconds. It ruined the flow of the video. Also the title and font used on the box were obviously Iron Maiden references, so why was there no Maiden in the soundtrack? This is still a good purchase though simply because of the footage and riding quality.


A Film By: Milan Spasic and Alex Rankin
Starring: Steve Peat, Eric Carter and Rob Warner
Locations: Sheep Hills, Laguna Beach and World Cups
Available through: www.justpushplay.com or 800-727-6689 for $19.95

This video has some older footage but we’re still waiting for Sprung 4 to be released. This is a great video. It gives you a behind the scenes look into the World Cup scene and the spots where the top pros in the world train. There’s a good mix of dirt jumping, race footage, and downhill riding. The Rob Warner and Steve Peat diaries give you an idea of what professional downhillers do in their off time. The BMX riding was cool but we still have to question its place in a mountain bike video. If you like to watch riders who don’t dead sailor all over the place and actually look smooth and in control while still going big, check out this video. Oh yeah, MBA likes the video magazine format but we have one question, what was all of that 8mm footage about?


A Film By: Sean Johnson
Starring: Shaums March, Thomas Vanderham and Ryan Leech
Locations: Santa Barbara, Kamloops and Santa Cruz
Available through: www.justpushplay.com or 800-727-6689 for $19.95

Although mountain bikers may not know who Sean Johnson is, he’s well known in the snowboarding community for being a top pro rider and producing the “Whiskey” series of videos. He’s taken what he’s learned from making those videos and started Torque video magazine. This third issue doesn’t quite live up to the last two installments but is still worth picking up. It’s good to see Shaums March, one of MBA’s favorite riders, getting some video coverage. Some of the footage is a bit too similar to a couple of other videos that just came out (same riders, locations and camera angles). Overall Torque 3 is still worth throwing down $20 for. MBA is hoping that Sean’s “business suit” antics are just a taste of what to come.


A Film By: Don Hampton
Starring: Lars Tribus, Kyle Ebbett, Aaron Chase
Locations: New York City, Woodward and Plattekill Mountain
Available through: www.justpushplay.com or 800-727-6689 for $19.95

Thank you Don Hampton for proving that a video doesn’t have to be shot in Southern California or Canada to have top-notch footage. Chain Reaction 2 focuses on the East Coast and it’s top downhill riders while they travel across the country. You can really feel the different perspective in this video, from the riding style to the music. The soundtrack is way different from most videos, it’s all hardcore and hard rap, which is really hard to edit to. It takes an Emmy winner like Don to pull it off and he does. Aaron Chase’s street riding, Lar’s backflips, brutal World Cup crashes, NORBA race footage and eastern style troublemaking all compete for best clip. The Hatebreed soundtrack was perfect for the carnage at Plattekill Mountain, the most technical amateur dual and downhill series in the country. Every rider on the East coast should already have bought this video. If you want a video that isn’t from the cookie-cutter most mountain bike videos are using right now, kick down a $20 and get an idea what the East coast downhill scene is like.

Search for the Holey Trail

By: Bjorn Enga
Starring: Brett Tippie, Dangerous Dan and Dave Swetland
Locations: Australia, France and Morocco
Available through: www.foxracing.com for $24.95

This video reminded us of skateboard videos from the eighties and that’s not a bad thing. There was a cheesy plot line that could have been right out of the Powell video “The Search for Animal Chin”. After you got past the plot and silly animations you had a pretty cool video. The footage in the more exotic locations makes you want to hop a plane and get riding. The “follow cam” gets a little old but gives a good idea of what the trails these guys were riding are really like. The trail riding was a good change of pace from the cliff dropping that is becoming the norm in many videos. The footage and editing was top rate. It seems the Kranked series of videos seems to get a bit better with each installment.


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