ZINIO logo
Mountain Biking UK

Mountain Biking UK January 2020

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.

Read More
United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited
13 Issues

in this issue

1 min.

Those slithery slivers of singletrack have an appeal all of their own and – with their roots, rocks, off-camber sections and sketchy chutes – are sure to make you a better rider We talk about trail centres and bike parks a lot here in the pages of MBUK. Partly because their hardpack surfaces are great for all abilities, in all weathers, delivering a guaranteed fix of mountain biking fun. But also because riding more natural trails can be a thorny issue, especially if you live in an area that isn’t gifted with mile upon mile of rocky bridleways or chalky 4x4 tracks. Hand-cut trails, like the one our cover star Manon Carpenter is riding (we catch up with her on p55), are a blast to ride, but they can bring mountain…

1 min.
best of british

We’ve said this before, but we honestly believe it – the UK is a brilliant place for mountain biking. So why have we got this great shot of a cloud blanket over Madeira when we’re boasting about home? Well, because it’s actually South Wales, one of the UK’s prime riding locations! There’s a thriving scene, great venues and some killer natural tracks out there, if you know where to look. It seems like for many British mountain bikers, the highlight of the year is visiting Morzine, Whistler or Finale Ligure. We agree that those places are mega, but let’s take some time to appreciate the sweet trails, locations and communities we have on home turf. We’ve met plenty of people out on the trails who’ve come from overseas to see…

1 min.
daydream in blue

Nant yr Arian near Aberystwyth is one of Wales’s most remote trail centres. For those in the know, its name is synonymous with red- and black-graded routes that weave flow and tech together in stunning scenery. A rad new skills park was built there two years ago, and there’s now another reason to go – this ‘pump track on steroids’ blue trail, created by Back On Track. We sent photographer Andy Lloyd up to check it out with spade-wielding wizard Rob Breakwell, who’s worked his magic on the trail. Named ‘Melindwr’ (Welsh for watermill), it consists of two loops, totalling 5km. The project makes use of existing fireroads for the climbs, thereby saving money to develop the descents. Everything’s rollable so it’s suitable for all riders, but with well-constructed berms, you…

1 min.
is this the future of mtb?

Shimano have filed a patent application suggesting that they’re developing a gearbox for mountain bikes. It specifically relates to a special lubricant and low-friction coating that have the potential to enormously reduce the drag of a gearbox – one of the key downsides of the ones we’ve tried. However, the amount of detail the patent goes into about exactly how the gearbox could work suggests its development may already be pretty far down the line. In brief, the patent describes a gearbox that mounts to the bike around the bottom bracket area. It’s driven by a standard crankset that rotates a chainring located within the gearbox. This, in turn, drives the first ‘transmission member’ – a vague term used in the patent to describe a cassette of sorts – via a…

1 min.
seven worlds, one warner

There’s a new documentary series on Red Bull TV, narrated not by David Attenborough, but by the one and only Rob Warner. In Rob’s Wild Rides, the former World Cup star and Team MBUK racer jets off to exotic locations to ride the trails and soak up the culture. Each time, he’s joined by another pro rider. We asked Matt Jones – who accompanied him to Lesotho in Africa – what it was like globe-trotting with Warner. “We got the full experience!” he laughs. “Camping out with lions, sleeping in mud huts and cutting the first ever tyre tracks into mountains. But the locals were so welcoming and the riding was amazing. Being heli-dropped onto the summit of Mount Kenya (5,199m) was insane. Our suspension didn’t work due to the pressure,…

1 min.
blurring the lines

Norco’s 2020 Optic is a short-travel trail bike with a twist. The 140mm-travel fork sounds normal enough, as does the 125mm of rear wheel travel, but it’s not often you’ll find that amount of travel controlled by a full-on DH shock. The Canadian brand designed the suspension around an air shock with specific spring and damping characteristics. But it didn’t actually exist, so they asked RockShox to build them a custom Super Deluxe Ultimate damper for their testing. They ended up liking it so much that they specced it on every model in the Optic range. The shock reflects the aggressive nature of this trail slayer, which has a slack 65-degree head angle, steep 76-degree effective seat angle, big 37mm bottom bracket drop and long reach (510mm on the XL). It’s a…