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Essential Guide to Mountain Biking

Essential Guide to Mountain Biking

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Not only is the Essential Guide to Mountain Biking packed with advice on buying the right bike, clothing and kit, but it’s full of expert riding tips that will have you taking on the trails like a pro. Updated 2014 edition including new bike reviews and new features.

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United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited

in this issue

1 min.

Whether you’re new to mountain biking or looking to gain additional knowledge and skills, this special edition has all the information you’ll need. We’ve worked with the off-road experts at Mountain Biking UK magazine to bring you the best information available from the biggest selling MTB mag in Britain. Inside you’ll find reviews on 13 of the best trail bikes available today – from entry level to far fancier machines, detail on must-have mountain bike kit, coaching tips from the best in the business, how to upgrade your bike when the time comes and a whole lot more. Mountain biking is a fantastic pursuit that rewards you in so many different ways. We’re totally obsessed and if you’re not already hooked, after reading this mag, we hope you will be too. See…

2 min.
buy it right

There are few things more exciting than buying a new bike. But in a market saturated with so many different bike styles offering different ride characteristics, it can be tough enough picking the right option for your riding, let alone the brand and model. Plus, it’s easy to be lured in by cool looks and the bikes the pros are riding, but it’s more important to find the bike that’s best suited to you. Before you head to your local bike shop, go online or refer to your favourite MTB mag to identify what sort of bike you want, establish your budget and have a few brands or models in mind. To help you through the minefield, read on for our essential bike buying tips. SPEND WISELY Our first piece of advice is…

3 min.
what type of bike do i need?

There are plenty of great bikes out there – see our reviews starting on page 10, or our sister mag Mountain Biking UK and Bikeradar.com. The following categories are the major ones, but you can also find genre-spanning bikes such as trail hardtails, which combine the benefits of two types of bike. Identify your style and then the spending can begin! TRAIL RIDING For a slightly aggressive riding style, and a bike that can handle a bit more in the way of trail obstacles without being overly heavy, full suspension trail bikes are king. Wheel size is typically 27.5in although there are many 29in options. Suspension travel will be 120 to 160mm (4.7 to 6in), but trail hardtails with 120 to 140mm forks are also available. CROSS-COUNTRY Hardtails and short-travel full suspension (up to…

2 min.
make sure it fits!

A bike that fits you correctly will make your riding experience far more enjoyable. A bike that’s too small can cause handling problems and be uncomfortable on longer rides. As long as there are no standover clearance issues (test this by straddling the top tube, as per inset images below), opting for a bigger frame and using a shorter stem will offer improved handling, and the extended wheelbase will be far more stable. Ask if your shop will swap the stem for a shorter one, or at least do so at a reduced rate. TOO SMALL TOO BIG BIKE INSURANCE Most home insurance companies won’t touch a bike worth over £2,500, and specialist companies have tight policies about where and how your bike is locked. The following insure bikes specifically: www.aua-insurance.com www.cyclecover.org.uk www.cycleguard.co.uk www.cyclesure.co.uk www.eandl.co.uk www.endsleigh.co.uk www.eta.co.uk/insurance/cycle ESSENTIAL EXTRAS Make sure when budgeting for…

2 min.
what about second hand?

If you know what you’re looking for, or have a knowledgeable friend to help you, it’s worth looking at second-hand bikes because there are plenty of great second-hand deals to be had, but you need to be aware of a few things before you dive in to strike a bargain. FINDING A BIKE Unfortunately the stolen bike market is big at the moment, so use your common sense when scouring eBay, Facebook and forums. If a deal looks too good to be true, then it probably is. If it seems this way, ask the buyer for proof of purchase, or why they are selling it so cheap. A bona fide second-hand bike will usually stand out. ARRANGING TO VIEW IT Avoid meeting the buyer at their home, and never have them come to you…

1 min.
checking for damage

If unsure of your mechanical prowess, have a friend come with you to help inspect the bike. You’re looking for signs of damage and misuse – general wear and tear is to be expected. If it’s a bike that’s been loved, the owner will walk you through any dings or damage and explain them. The following points are what you should look out for, and could well use as bargaining power.…