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We purchased a Contour+ camera last summer and have since used it on around half a dozen occasions. Preparing for the 2013 riding season, we wanted to do some testing some two weeks ago, for the first time since September. Sadly, the power switch on the camera's back door ceased to function. In fact, have been concerned about this happening since our first two days with the camera last summer. Already when filming some footage on the Bear's Path last July, we found the power switch quite flimsy, ofter requiring several attempts to work. Now, planning to use our Contour+ in the beginning of May, we were actually quite lucky that the switch died already now. Thankfully, after inspecting the camera Evans Cycles decided to exchange it to its successor Contour 2+. To our knowledge, capture quality of Contour 2+ shouldn't differ from that of Contour+. However, we are very keen on the instant record slider of Contour 2+. As far as we have understood, there isn't anymore a need to press a separate, cumbersome power button every time when the camera goes to a stand-by mode. We also hope that construction of the back door of Contour 2+ is more confidence inspiring that that of its predecessor.

Contour+
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Oakley’s much anticipated Airbreak MX google was introduced to media in January and now this brand new google is finally available, well, at least from Oakley web store. At the moment, availability from several major European online bike shops that we checked appears to be limited.

Oakley argues that Airbreak MX should mark the new standard in protection, clarity and comfort. While real world performance and marketing jargon are two different things, for us Airbreak MX looks quite promising and we are certainly looking forward to testing it at our DH season opening in the beginning of May. It will be interesting to see how it works with the TLD D3 helmet, especially considering that we have found our Oakley Crowbars too cramped with much more limited peripheral vision than what we have been used to when using some other goggles in motocross and snowmobile enduro.

Oakley_Airbreak_MX
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Today, Suunto made 2.0 version of the Ambit software available to users. After connecting Ambit to our MacBook Pro we got an error message saying "you need to update Moveslink before Suunto Ambit software update". Automatic Moveslink update, however, failed repeatedly. Luckily, a manual download of Moveslink from Suunto's website worked just fine. Reconnecting Ambit thereafter started the Ambit software update without problems. The issue in automatic update of the Moveslink seems to be documented by many fellow Ambit users. Obviously somebody at Suunto failed to make sure that the automatic Moveslink update works.

As a side note, we have been now using Ambit for less than a month, going running with it for some 15 times. Today, the unit suddenly lost the GPS signal and didn't manage to recover it. FAQ on Suunto's website advises to reset the GPS with a few presses of buttons to regain the GPS functionality. The reset seems to have fixed the problem with the GPS signal. We will get the final confirmation tomorrow.

Movescount_logo
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We have been using Polar heart rate monitors for the past 7 years or so, most recently RS800CX with add-on GPS, and speed and stride sensors. Honestly, while RX800CX looks good on paper, we have never been too impressed with its sub-par build quality, unresponsive user interface and dated software. With our RS800CX having ceased to function a few weeks ago and now on a way to repair, we started to explore other alternatives. On back of recent positive comments from our fellow riders, we decided to have a closer look at Suunto Ambit - a heart rate monitor with a build-in GPS. After some further research, we decided to give it go and picked up our unit last Friday from Helsinki Airport. Over the past few days, we have gone running twice with Ambit and started to play with is software. Our initial impressions are extremely favourable. Ambit appears to shine in many areas where Polar disappointed us: Great build quality, nice design, intuitive and fast user interface and easy to use, beautiful and versatile software. While we are certainly looking forward to much more testing before a final verdict, Ambit may well have potential to send our RS800CX to an early retirement.

Suunto_Ambit_Black
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After picking up Enduro S-Works from Trail Head Cyclery, we checked in the bike in Trico Iron Case at San Francisco International Airport for a flight to Europe. Iron Case provided the bike with well protected transport across the Atlantic. The case appears tough and simple to use, hopefully giving us many trouble free flights in the future. Read more...
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I ended up choosing GPSMAP62st to be my new GPS for mountain biking. Why GPSMAP62st? Mainly because of its size and proper keyboard. St version comes with preloaded European 1:100k scale recreation maps. I received the unit today and did some running with it. My initial impressions are actually very positive. GPSMAP62st feels responsive, in that sense reminding me of GPSMAP276C. I never got the same positive initial feelings with my Zûmo 660 which felt quite sluggish (especially panning the map) for me, maybe after being used to the powerful 276C. GPSMAP62’s user interface feels quite nice and easier to use the good old 276C. Interesting to see how it’s gonna deal with TOPO maps, especially scrolling. Hopefully I will get a chance to test it this Easter. For pros and cons of different GPS units, see my previous writing, click here.

GPSMAP62st
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