ZINIO logo

Bike December 2019

Bike Magazine showcases the sport of mountain biking like no other publication. It captures the sport's personalities, trends, and issues with a style all its own. Using insightful feature articles and the sport's best photography, Bike is sure to make you want to get outside and ride.

Read More
United States
A360 Media, LLC
4 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
free will

There was a time not too long ago when you didn’t choose your bike. Your terrain, topography, social circles, fitness and body height chose it for you. Circumstance would all but lock you down to the travel, geometry, frame material and wheel size you should have. If the constellation of events between the Big Bang and your discovery of mountain biking happened to put you in the Pacific Northwest at 22 years old in the late 2000s rooming with a house full of snowboarders who were getting restless during the summer, it wouldn’t be hard for us to guess your bike’s fork travel and stanchion diameter. Those days are quickly dying. Trail, all-mountain and enduro have bled into each other like music genres. Now, nearly every bike you see is a…

7 min.
bible of bike tests 2020

TRAVIS ENGEL Sometimes, when out on the trail, Travis Engel tries a little too hard. He’s a good enough rider, but his style lacks a certain … chill. Whenever he’s allowed to come shoot with the Bible A/V crew, he’ll repeatedly hold up progress in an effort to, say, connect two vague humps with a manual or capture an awkward gap to bank. And Travis will take any opportunity to throw his signature ‘Tengel Top.’ But as we’re sending this issue off to the printer, the trick he’s most eager to pull off is the one he’s doing in the photo you see here: Standing up. Just two weeks after returning home from the Bible, Travis splintered the top of his left tibia. If all goes according to plan, he won’t…

27 min.
numbers lie

ORBEA OCCAM | $8,000 M-LTD PLATINUM-CARD SPEC, GOLD-CARD PRICE AND BIG-TERRAIN ATTITUDE SQUEEZED INTO MID-SIZE PACKAGING. At first glance, Orbea’s Occam looks like a derivative portmanteau of other bikes. The rear triangle could easily be confused for a Trek ABP, or a Weagle Split Pivot. The asymmetrical shock mount and frame strut invites comparison to Specialized’s Stumpjumper. But make no mistake; the Occam is very much its own bike, a mid-travel badass with superb suspension kinematics, progressive geometry, and in the case of our test bike, a top-shelf component selection that puts it at the ‘very expensive’ end of the spectrum. About that spec. XTR is investment-level componentry, and the Occam M-LTD sports the shifters, derailleur, cassette, chain and brakes from Shimano’s highest-end parts. Wheels are DT Swiss XMC 1200, featuring 30-millimeter-internal-width carbon…

27 min.
heavy mettle

SPECIALIZED ENDURO | $9,750 S-WORKS THE FASTEST NOMAD SPECIALIZED HAS EVER MADE. For its biggest, baddest Enduro ever, Specialized scrapped the hugely successful, yet rather long-in-the-tooth X-Wing frame and began anew. Inspired by the freshly redesigned Demo, the Enduro shares Specialized’s new linkage design, which despite having more Rube Goldberg stuff happening than you’d typically see on a Horst-link bike, is still technically an FSR platform. You wouldn’t know it by pedaling it uphill, though. That’s because it’s the first Specialized FSR ever made that can genuinely be ridden uphill without requiring a lockout of some kind. While this is not a big brag for some brands, it is for Specialized. Are we saying that other brands have had a leg up on Specialized in the suspension kinematics game? Yes, that’s exactly what…

23 min.
pop stars

IBIS MOJO HD5 | $9,590 X01 AXS W/S35 CARBON WHEEL AND GRIP 2 DAMPER UPGRADES IN A SEA OF LONG-TRAVEL 29ERS, THIS 27.5-INCH STALWART PROVES THAT SIZE DOESN’T (ALWAYS) MATTER. Mountain bike trends are a funny thing. Spend any time in this world, and you’ll end up with well-earned whiplash trying to keep up what cuff-length socks the cool kids are wearing and what wheel size we’re all supposed to collectively deem outdated. Just a few years ago, 29-inch wheels were quickly pushed aside by a world of 27.5-inch bikes that inspired 2017’s great overuse of the word ‘flickable’. This year, the Mojo HD5 is one of just seven of them that made the Bible cut. The much-anticipated successor to the HD4 may have stuck to its wheel-size roots, but the geometry and suspension…

14 min.
an embarrassment of riches

Christopher stopped dead in his tracks; fast and without a sound. The suddenness of his deceleration as we climbed through the aspen just above town on Johns trail caught me off-guard and I clumsily, not-so-quietly augured into a tree root while trying to avoid Chris’ rear wheel. He turned and looked back at me with a wide-eyed half smile and pointed ahead on the trail, where a moose calf was walking casually away from us about 10 feet ahead. Moose are widely known as the bad-tempered assholes of the alpine animal kingdom. They are huge, mean, dumb and dangerous. Junior here was the size of a healthy pony, and mom had to be lurking nearby. Sure enough, mom emerged from the thicket, crossed the trail and carried on in the opposite…