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Sportax Enduro Series SM2, Himos DAY 2

by in News, Race reports

The morning of the race day was rainy but warm, very humid. We were expecting some rain and thunder and we surely got it too. The competition started at 10 am and it ended roughly at 4.30 pm, a complete day of mud, rain and best enduro riders of Finland.


The race itself was demanding, no lift assistance, 6 different tracks, most of them ridden twice with relatively long transition distances. And mud.





Näyttökuva 2017-06-18 kello 21.21.45Strava statistics of Leo.

After the first stage Leo and Juhani were both in the top 10. From the second until the fifth stage Juhani was leading the competition. On the 6th and 7th stage Juhani lost the leading spot but he managed to catch up and was again leading on 8th and 9th stages. 10th and 11th stages got the best of Juhani and he ended up on the second place with 23:54, +00:09 to the winner. Leo finnished the race as 8th with 24:26.


Everybody was full of energy still on the mid section of the third stage, hopes were up and everybody were riding for the win. On the sixth stage, the one before the maintenance break, as the photographer I saw the frustration to grow while cyclists were losing traction and everybody were already quite tired.


Leo after the race, still smiling (and it’s not a piercing)





The second half started with heavy rain and the sections that crossed the skiing slopes became extremely slippery. Pole riders kept their heads together and took quadruple victory.



Onni won junior series with amazing time of 13:53. Juniors rode all the six stages but only once. Onni would place in top 15 in men’s division with the result from the first six stages. Onni was leading the competition through out.



Kaisa won women’s division clearly with the time 29:50, making huge +01:59 clearance to the second one. She preferred to eat than change clothes before the podium, everybody should.


Teemu won men’s 40+ serie with his courageous and coolheaded ride. He finnished the race with 26:24 and the second one +00:28 after him.



Juhani on the second place with 23:57 still making quite nice gap to the third one, +00:23.



Onni Rainio, a pole rider in juniors division. His choice for enduro is Evolink 150.


What a great weekend in conclusion. Big feelings: success, laughter, tears, Finland’s moody weather and amazing atmosphere. See you in Levi!


All pictures from the weekend is found from here: 

Feel free to use with the Pole logo.


Sportax Enduro Series, SM2 Himos DAY 1

by in News, Race reports

Sun is shining, the weather is not too hot and lots of smiling MTB people are gathering to Himos and starting the practice day of the Sportax Enduro Series second round. The whole place is full of Evolinks, the tribe is here. We brought few bicycles with us for test rides. For sure they got attention and many Pole owners came to our tent just to have a chat, maybe spec the suspension bit. Family is always welcome.





Juhani is thinking how to tackle rocky and technical track.


Juhani thought the trails are in good shape and builded up nicely. He said the first trail gets tougher towards the end and 4th trail got speed, it is interesting even though it’s quite short.


Kaisa liked the third trail “It starts with a good rhythm and the mid section technical outcrop gives a good twist to it.”



Leo said it is so different ride back in Finland after the intensive enduro week in Scotland. He liked the most the second trail after the practice day.

Now team Pole are just about to start the race, it is rainy day so extra challenge is given by the nature. Heads up!


Only one flat tyre, thanks to Huck Norris!

All pictures from the weekend is found from here: 

Feel free to use with the Pole logo.


Levi EWS is supported by Pole Bicycles

by in News, Race reports

We invite you to the amazing midnight sun race in Finland! The promised land of the midnight sun and thousands of lakes invites you to join the enduro race closest to the North Pole. Levi Enduro 2017 is held in the wilderness of Finnish Lapland on 27.-29.7 and it is supported by Pole Bicycles. This is the third round of the Finnish Enduro Championship Series and the event is included in the EWS Qualifier calendar.  

Every aspect of a good enduro race event can be found from Lapland. Natural terrain, hiking trails, grassy ski slopes, and sections from the Levi bike park, best riders of Finland, great atmosphere and epic after party (including crazy Finns running butts naked to the freezing cold river). 

The Pole team wants to support this event because we share the same values and philosophy. We want show our lifestyle to the rest of the world and praise it together. Levi is 700km away from our home office but every year we will find our way there to race in the best landscapes of the world, come and find out.



The race is easy to access even from abroad, Kittilä airport is only 14km from the venue.

If you are brave enough, you may join MTB-Enduro Finland FB-group and ask if you can share the journey to Levi from Helsinki (The international airport in Finland) with some local racers! Will give you a wonderful insight to Finnish enduro scene with the local people. FB: MTB-Enduro Finland




Juhani Kettunen and Kaisa Härkönen takes a double victory

by in Race reports

Pole’s racing team has four members in Finland. Leo Kokkonen (founder), Jussi Rajala, Kaisa Härkönen and Juhani Kettunen.

The results are here
The stage times are here

Last weekend the was the second race from the Finnish national enduro series (Santa Cruz Enduro Series Finland 2016). The conditions were more than demanding since the weekends rain count was literally too much. The tracks were muddy and the puddles were everywhere. The race did not have any lift assistance and the total vertical travel was 1452m and the distance was ~40km. The practice were held in rain but a warm weather. The tactics of Pole team was to find secure racing lines to try to make as less effort as possible. Finnish enduro has usually five or six stages which are ridden twice and the total stage time is around 20 to 30 minutes.


Technical difficulties and burning thighs

My race begun with a broken chain after thirty meters from the gate. This incident dropped my stage time for a one minute since the first stage was very flat with a lot to pedal. Juhani took the bull by the horns from the beginning and took the stage win with a local race mate Ville Tuppurainen. Kaisa started leading the women’s by one second

The second stage was named DH because it’s race history from years back. The track had severe damage from the rain but the steep section was not the most difficult one. The racers were battling with the ditch-like transfer between the forest strips crossing the downhill skiing route with rocks, twigs, long grass and puddles. I myself felt that my thighs were in fire after I got myself out from the ditch. Juhani took the victory of the second stage as well by six seconds.

Third stage was a new track from a fresh forest path. This track would have been a fast and a fun track to ride if it would have been dry. This track was not that muddy but the rain filled the big gaps with water and it made the puddles very unpredictable. I myself had a hard time trusting the puddles and I tried to ride outside lines. Our race mate Tapio Kymäläinen found a clear path outside the main line and enjoyed his fox like trick on the washing stand but yet still Juhani had more flow on the track and took the victory on the stage by one second.

The fourth stage begun with a pedally forest section. The top riders were joking how the weather was slowing the riders down. After 20 second gap the previous rider’s back could still be seen between the trees, struggling to get forward. With every pedal stroke you lost some of the traction and the forest has it’s tricks of it’s own to make the riding even harder. The third stage was cut by 200 meters by the organizer because the lower part of the track was only a flat field with a chain deep muddy trail. Juhani took the victory on this stage by three seconds. Kaisa was loosing time to her competition but she was only slightly behind. The last stage on the first round started by riding in the forest. The trail was in very sad condition and there was only one tire track to follow. People were struggling to get out the forest and the ski slope transfer was not a joyride either. My brain told the feet to pedal but my legs didn’t want to listen. The lower part was audiences another favorite part to watch since it was very sketchy forest strip with broken roots and sharp rocks. We saw riders struggling with punctures after this stage. Juhani lost four seconds on the last stage of the first round but was still leading the competition by seven seconds.

Drama on the last round

Juhani kept his leading position throughout the whole competition but he lost nearly twenty seconds on the lasts stage by crashing three times. I myself crashed on the last stage once and decided to run for a while. The stage was so muddy that I saw no reason to get back on the bike. Luckily Ville snapped his chain to half on the previous stage so Juhani could keep his leading position. Ville and Aki shared the second place and Juhani took the victory by massive 26 second gap. Kaisa was at second place after the second stage but the last two stages showed that the determination and the experience pays out in the long run. She won the women’s elite by thirteen seconds. Second place was Suvi Vacker who rides Pole Rinne.

Designers point of view

Juhani was a non believer to the long, low and slack geometry. He kept wondering our bikes many years and he often asked me why we produce such bikes. After many discussions I told him that the only way to find out is to ride one. The first ride was funny because he just laughed behind me and the first impression was that he can go over anything on the bike. He’s previous bike was almost 20cm shorter so the change to Pole bike was huge. The long bike gives advantages and doesn’t take anything away. I’ve grown with the bike so for me the geometry (or Leometry like the people are calling it) is the norm but people who start to ride the bike are finding themselves more confident. The bike is safer and if you feel safe, you can go faster. Juhani’s impression after the race was that the long bike probably saves energy because you don’t need to be that accurate on the bike. He also said that the long wheelbase didn’t give any problems on the tight stuff.

On technical perspective I’m very satisfied. There was many EVOLINK’s on the competition and I didn’t get any complaints about any technical issues. The over sized mud clearance on the bike is definitely one of the best features. My choice to leave the bearings open on the inside and leave the water protection on their own seals seems to be a good solution. The bearings run time seems to be very long because I’m still running the same bearing set on my prototype. I’ve used the bike from last October through the fall rains and snowy winter. I’ve raced the bike in rain and dry and still there is no creaking or anything.

I want to congratulate everyone who was able to ride the whole race to the finish. I myself find my legs and hands sore from the race. Here’s my Strava data from the competition.

-Leo Kokkonen

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