Crankfilms: UK Bikescene
Price: £17 with p&p
With big budget, lavishly produced, 16mm flicks sprouting from across the pond, and our own homegrown Sprung series releasing their best offering to date – Sprung 5 – the mountain bike video market is becoming as cut-throat as a Mecca bingo on giro day. While the Krankeds, New World Disorders and Ride to the Hills of this world offer the ultimate in jaw-dropping action, budget-busting locations and the sumptuously glossy eye candy of 16mm celluloid, for most UK riders they don’t have any bearing on the kind of riding that goes on across the country.
The exception to these big name blockbusters is Sprung. Grown out of the UK scene, it increasingly embraces international riders and locations, but it still manages to stay true to its roots.
UK Bikescene is, as the name suggests, a brand new video focussing on the grassroots shenanigans of British riders. It covers dirt jumping, downhill, BSX and trials; all the forms of televisual riding popular throughout the UK. Basically it’s like slotting a copy of MBUK in your video, except that it fits, and the pages don’t jam the mechanism, but you know what I mean.
For £17 delivered, you get 58 minutes of footage, which is a pretty good deal considering the usual ratio of £20/£25 per 30 minutes. The footage covers BSX and trials from Bike 2002, downhill and 4X from the Fort William World Cup, dirt-jumping in Frome, freestyle moto-x, some west-country street riding and trials from the South Bank. By far the best segments feature the World Cup in Fort William, with great bar-to-bar sequences involving Lopes, Gracia, Peat and Holmes in the 4X and some sweet, high-speed runs, involving Peat, Warner and Kovarik, from the downhill.
Unfortunately, you’ve got to trawl through some fairly repetitive footage of Bike 2002 and freeride/dirt-jumping with Geally and his entourage, to get to it. Our other gripes include a soundtrack that makes Slipknot sound like Charlotte Church, and heavy-handed editing, including some multiple split-screen combos that make it impossible to follow all the action.
Should I buy it?
If I had twenty quid burning a hole in my pocket, and planned to buy only one video this year, UK Bikescene wouldn’t be it. But, if you’ve already got Sprung 5, and feel alienated by all the transatlantic riding featured in the likes of Kranked, then you could do a lot worse than getting hold of a copy of this native effort.
We’ve got two copies of UK Bikescene to give away. To win, just answer this simple question and email the answer to firstname.lastname@example.org:
How long is UK Bikescene? Hint: Answer is in the text.
Entries close on 27th August, and the first two correct answers drawn from the Magicalia Bell V1 Pro win the video. Mark your entries ‘Crankfilms Competition’ and enclose your mail address.