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Mountain Biking UKMountain Biking UK

Mountain Biking UK February 2019

Mountain Biking UK has got all the latest news, kit and exclusive info on the newest and best bikes. The MBUK Wrecking Crew testing team are out there right now, riding new bikes and products to destruction, to give you expert reviews you can count on to be brutally honest. We live to ride - and that's what makes MBUK Britain’s best-selling bike magazine.

United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited
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£5.50(Incl. tax)
£40(Incl. tax)
13 Issues


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editor’s letter

Exciting new experiences await, from your local woods to the UK’s highest peaks – or even in the middle of town, if you’re lucky enough to live in Leeds (now that’s a phrase I never thought I’d write!) The bicycle is a wonderful thing. Even if you can’t throw yours into the same kind of shapes as our cover star Leo Sandler and some of the other young up-and-comers in our Fresh Blood feature (page 50) – and let’s face it, not many of us can – it’s a tool for fun, fitness and exploration. And exploration’s something we’ve been doing a lot of this issue, with ride reports from all over the globe, from bike-rafting in Greenland and ‘geo-nerding’ in Iceland to freeriding in Kazakhstan and traversing ancient mountain trails…

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go big or go home

Sam Reynolds may hail from England’s less-than-mountainous south, but when it comes to hitting the world’s biggest jumps, only a select few can match his talent and calm composure. The 27-year-old from Hampshire, pictured here blasting out of the smoke at Rogate Downhill B1kepark, made a name for himself in competitive freeride, winning slopestyle contests and even the ‘best trick’ award at Red Bull Rampage 2015, but in recent years that’s taken a back seat. Sam says he’s “been and done that” and is now getting more enjoyment from pushing the limits of how big it’s possible to go, through the FEST Series events, and in particular the DarkFEST round he hosts near Cape Town in South Africa. “I’ve got a real hunger for big jumps,” he tells us. “Although it’s…

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misty mountain hop

As winter grips the Northern Hemisphere in its icy clutches, so begins the pro MTBer’s annual migration to New Zealand. For French freeriders Olivier Cuvet (pictured) and Antoine Buffart, the lure of sunny skies and sculpted trails was too great to resist. Putting everything on hold for a four-month summer Down Under, their sole objective, Olivier tells us, was, “riding every day, endless bike park laps, parties and good times!”. Van-tripping through Lord of the Rings landscapes, the pair hit everything from flowing singletrack and steep scree chutes to the pristine jumps of Queenstown’s Dream Track, where this shot was taken, on a wet, misty day. “The riding wasn’t easy – we had to brave the wind and there were puddles before lots of the kickers,” says Olivier. “But it turned…

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ratboy’s new habit

When word got out that one of the UK’s most influential riders, Josh Bryceland, had left long-term sponsors Santa Cruz, rumours were rife about where he’d end up. Well, in the first of this year’s big sponsorship changes, it turns out that ‘the Rat’ has been snapped up by US legends Cannondale and will be riding their Habit trail bike. Josh has come a long way since he first appeared in MBUKback in 2000, when he took part in a skills masterclass with Steve Peat in Sheffield’s Wharncliffe Woods. Since then, ‘Ratboy’ has followed his mentor Peaty to World Cup-winning success, first on Royal Orange and then the Santa Cruz Syndicate, before changing focus to riding and filming with the 50to01 crew. We grabbed a few words with the man himself…

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bird of prey

Bird Cycleworks first made a name for themselves with the Zero hardcore hardtail and now they’ve introduced an aggressive 29er version to their line-up, which looks to have all the trail-thrashing personality we’ve come to expect from the Hampshire-based brand. The 6061-T6 aluminium Zero 29 is designed to be used with a 130 or 140mm-travel fork, and fitted with the latter, its key static (no suspension sag) geometry figures look like they should deliver confidence-inspiring handling. A super-slack 63.9-degree head angle is paired with a slammed 70mm of bottom bracket drop, short 440mm chainstays and a healthy reach, ranging from 436mm on the small size to 507mm on the XL. To help add a little comfort to the ride, there’s clearance for 2.6in tyres. ISCG-05 tabs allow you to bolt on…

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plazas, poo and piñatas

With the steepest gradients, longest stair sets, scariest features and wildest crowds on the circuit, the Mexican city of Taxco is widely regarded as hosting the ultimate urban downhill race. Each year, it’s Olly Wilkins and his team at BSI London who build the course. “It turns out that creating a ridable line through a busy metropolis isn’t easy!” Olly tells us. “We have little choice over where the course goes, so when the organisers want to start on top of a giant building, it’s up to us to make a ridable drop off it. This year we went straight through someone’s living room window too [as you can see in this photo of Brendan Fairclough ~ Ed]! We can’t close down the entire town centre, so while we’re building giant…