Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Don't drool on the bib...

There will be new race bibs at the Methow Valley SuperTour events this year.

Anyone who has raced here in the past will recall the very snug and petite fit of the old race bibs, and the time finally came for replacement. More than one skier has compared the fit of the old race bibs with a "training jog-bra". I didn't make that comparison, but others have.

These beautiful new race bibs have the modern fit that you'd expect at high class venues. Very nice.

Here's a pic of the new race bibs. They're guaranteed to make you faster. Since everyone will have one on, there's not a huge advantage in that. But they'll definitely look great on the podium.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Ski Path Control

Think about your skis.

The new Mantec Grinder at Nordic Ultratune has several noteworthy features. Here's a video clip featuring the ski path control mechanisms and also the conformal drive pressure.

The ski path is controlled by a set of alignment rollers that are pneumatically activated. The mechanism assures that structure patterns are centered and aren't skewed.

Drive pressure utilizes a pneumatic tire to spread the pressure uniformly regardless of surface irregularities, including bindings, without a bridge.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Mila Headlamps

Mila headlamps are from Sweden, where for many months each winter it is light outside only a few hours each day. But that doesn’t limit what they do – for decades Swedes have been perfecting headlamps so that night-time cross country skiing can continue through the long winter nights.

The Mila lamps are ridiculously bright halogen headlights with a very wide beam. (That's Kelsey in the photo, looking bright. She's a local J1.)

For me, the quest for a super headlight has been a result of needing to ski after work. In the dark, easy skiing with no trees (i.e. open meadows) isn’t too bad. But that night-time blitz through the trees, down Inside Passage on skate skis might be more than you bargained for without something super bright.

I’ve tried a variety of light setups, most recently a Niterider with a custom rechargeable battery pack. The big Mila lamps made my set-up seem weak.

The Mila PLS 100 headlamp features both a 10 watt and a 20 watt bulb and gives you the option of two very bright settings. A key feature of the PLS 100 is the large 100mm (3.5 inch) reflector which provides a big wide beam of light. The adjustable headset is lightweight and has been designed to be both comfortable and to keep the light in place while running. The 6 volt, 9 amp-hour nickel metal hydride rechargeable battery attaches to the headlamp with a power cord and can be carried in a waist pack or hydration pack.

This is a great light system for cross country or back country skiing, running, or any sport where bright lighting is needed. It comes with an overnight battery charger. Burn time: 5 hours at 10W, 2 hours 20 minutes at 20 watts. Weight is 200g (7 oz.) for the headgear and lamp. Battery
weight is 630g (22 oz.).

The price is $329. Shipping by USPS Priority Mail is $10.

If you need a super bright light for skiing, snowshoeing, adventure racing events, or winter cycle commuting, then the Mila PLS 100 is the way to go. Send email to if you have questions or would like one sent to you.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

November Nordic Ultratune Newsletter

A lot more than I can post here... eleven page newsletter with lots of good information. Take a look.

And here's a shot of Riita Lissa Roponen, courtesy of Atomic Ski Co and GEPA pictures/ Felix Roittner.

Are your skis ready?