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Bike Gear Guide Issue 2018

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.

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United States
A360 Media, LLC
4 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
time flies

You hold in your hands the 10th annual Bible of Bike Tests. We five-fingered creatures love measuring milestones in multiples of 10. But it’s just another number. Really, the most impressive landmark in the Bible’s history was in launching the very first one. It was 2009, and we had no idea if this thing was even possible, let alone profitable. That year we dove headfirst and blindly into British Columbia’s cold shoulder season, facing rain days, snow delays, customs holds, lift closures, illnesses and injuries. But we knew right away we were onto something. The night we sat down to roundtable the first bike, we shared more diverse criticism, enthusiastic praise and pithy one-liners in one hour than a single tester could come up with in a month. Eight frantic…

15 min.
slow roll

WELCOME TO THE LAND OF “MESA MILES.” As I climbed out of a truck in Utah’s Gooseberry Mesa parking lot, toothy, redrock peaks filled the view to the north and east, highlighted by the world-famous skyline of Zion National Park. I’d been told to expect a two- to three-hour ride that was rugged and technical. But perusing our flat surroundings made me skeptical. Perhaps sensing my apprehension, Jake Weber, a retired Army combat engineer-turned guide with Utah Mountain Biking Adventures, offered a measure of reassurance. “We get a lot of people who show up and say they want to ride 30 miles every day of their trip,” he told me. “But after about 15 miles on their first day, they’re like, ‘Yeah, we’re good,’ and they’re ready for a beer at the…

6 min.
the brigade

TRAVIS ENGEL In January of 1994, a 13-year-old Travis Engel—now Bike’s gear editor—was coping with a local strain of cabin fever that afflicts most Midwesterners that time of year. Then, an unseasonably warm day provided some relief. But instead of seeking it on his mag-wheel-equipped GT Performer, Travis made the unauthorized and still unexplained decision to borrow his mom’s mountain bike. Even though much of that day’s elevation was gained on the western suburb’s mountainous piles of brown, frozen parking lot snow, Travis was inspired enough to scrape, sell and borrow until he could buy a mountain bike of his own. The following formative years were spent seeking rocky creek beds and urban landscapes to conquer on his trials bike. Then, after moving to southern California, he gravitated toward raw backcountry…

30 min.
sensible destruction

EVIL OFFERING | $7,400 X01 THE MOST EVEN-KEELED TRAIL BIKE EVIL HAS EVER MADE, BUT WITH ALL THE POP AND PLAY YOU’D EXPECT. Close your eyes for a second and picture the typical Evil rider. Let me guess, the rider is wearing kneepads, baggy shorts, a T-shirt, Five Ten shoes and a hip bag with a PBR in it. The person is a gravity-focused ‘shredder’ primarily concerned with ‘getting rad’ and drives a lifted Toyota Tundra with a North Shore rack. I suppose when you name a company Evil, you’re kind of asking for that sort of clientele. And when you make bikes like The Following, that redefine just how ‘rad’ one could get on a 29-inch-wheeled bike with 120 millimeters of travel, you cement that rep. Now, close your eyes and imagine…

1 min.
bible summer camp

Long-travel 29s, so hot right now. More travel, more wheel, more tire, more speed. So much speed. But where to test the limits of speed—long sightlines, tireless descents, sneaker corners and drawn-out drifts … a place to burn brakes and singe wide rubber. Of course, Mammoth. We took the latest crop and, ahem, cropped it. The best of the best, the bleeding edge of availability, half our fleet was still unreleased upon departure. So which sled won, and was it even that sled-like? You’ll have to visit bikem.co/summercampmammoth to find out. Viewer discretion is advised, however. Bible Summer Camps have been known to cause, but are not limited to: Riding late, sidestepped chores, satisfaction, disappointment, elation, envy, mountain bike FOMO, must-travel-there syndrome, credit-card debt, road-trip overload, singletrack-superiority complex, mud-spattered shoes, disagreement, high-fives, hurt feelings…

16 min.
open range

YETI SB130 | $8,200 X01 RACE TURQ THE SB130 IS LIKE A CHEETAH. IT’S FAST AND IT’LL BITE YOUR HEAD OFF IF YOU’RE NOT CAREFUL. The SB130 is long. It also has travel. Therefore, it’s a long-travel bike. It’s a long-travel bike in spite of its rather diminutive actual amount of rear-wheel travel, of—you guessed it because it’s in the name—130 millimeters. Truth be told, we started out riding this versatile new 29er on our short-travel course, which was sort of a mistake. Actually, we prefer to call it a learning experience. Thanks to its proprietary Switch Infinity suspension, the bike is remarkably efficient. There’s no doubt that it was one of the fastest and most fun bikes around the short-travel loop. If it were considered a short-travel bike, it’d be right near…