Mountain Bike Rider

Mountain Bike Rider July 2019

Published by TI Media Limited mbr is the UK's leading magazine for trail riding, mountain bike enthusiasts. Published since 1997, mbr aims to inspire readers to just get out and ride! with every issue, by providing the very best expert advice about where, what and how to ride. Every edition delivers the ultimate mix of inspirational riding features, with extensive bike and product reviews, along with superb advice and reader involvement - plus free pull-out route guides.

United Kingdom
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12 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
hardtail of the year

If you’re new to mountain biking and just picked up this issue because you’re trying to choose your first bike, then welcome, and you’ve come to the right place. We started our Hardtail of the Year test back in 2013 and it quickly became an industry leader, both online and in print. More significantly, it has helped countless riders on their vital first pedal strokes in the sport, and you only need look at the quantity of past HOTY winners being blasted around the trails for proof. This year we’ve decided to raise the game once again, creating our most ambitious test ever. By lowering the entry point to include bikes under £375, we’ve increased the total number of bikes tested to 24 models. In the past, we’ve always maintained that…

1 min.
big picture

Lenzerheide in the Graubünden canton of Switzerland has created a name for itself in mountain biking circles, mainly thanks to a number of World Cup events and most recently the World Championships last autumn. The real reason to go there, however, is the amazing network of trails. Some of it can be reached via lifts, for example this spectacular ride from Parpaner Rothorn (2,861 m) towards Alp Sanaspans. A late-season cold snap had left the mountain summits under several feet of snow, forcing us to cancel our planned assault on Carn Ban Mor and stick to trails at a lower elevation. That doesn’t mean we had to miss out on the good stuff though, as the trails around Aviemore in the foothills of the Cairngorms National Park are still immensely challenging,…

4 min.
all in the name of progress

Progressive is a word chucked about in various mountain biking contexts, be that shock tuning, geometry or riding styles. But it’s just as important for trail design and skills. And as bikes become more capable, and the terrain we ride them on gets more challenging, the idea of living up to both can seem daunting. Enter FlyUp 417 Bike Park near Gloucester, a dedicated facility built by the folk who run the FlyUpDownhill operation in the nearby Forest of Dean with the aim of helping riders meet the changing demands of the sport. When we first visited, the set-up was still in its infancy — lines cut into grassy farmland lacking in inspirational surroundings and lethally slippery in the wet. Things have moved on a great deal and the trail builders have…

1 min.
the details

Located just off the M5 and visible from the A417 that links to the M4 at Swindon, 417 Bike Park is relatively small but packs a lot in and is easy to get to. As it stands there’s a selection of trails graded green, blue, red and black, plus the outdoor dirt jumps and barns for the tarmac pump track and indoor dirt track. A short uplift shuttles riders quickly to the top of the main trails and there’s a cafe and bike shop on site so you’re sorted for food and spares. In terms of bike choice you’ll probably want a dedicated jump bike for the dirt lines but for the rest of it anything goes, be it a trail bike, enduro machine or full DH rig. Full-face and…

2 min.
electric dream bike

First Christopher Walken, now Vinnie Jones; has success gone to YT Industries’ head? Has it got bored with designing mountain bikes and begun pursuing some latent Hollywood dream? Perhaps, but judging by the details of its new Decoy, YT has made sure its first ever e-bike is no lame duck. The want is strong for this one. At the heart of the Decoy is a full carbon, 165mm-travel frame with integrated battery and Shimano STEPS E8000 motor. It’s a tried and tested formula in e-bike circles, but in typical YT fashion, the brand has added its own twist to the recipe with mullet wheels (29in business up front and 27.5in party at the back) that mimic a motocross bike. Why? Well, motocross bikes are cool, but also the smaller diameter rear…

3 min.
hot stuff

UNPARALLEL DUST UP, £115 We’ve been here before. Excited to try a new flat pedal shoe that we thought could rival the superlative Five Tens, only to be disappointed because it’s just not grippy enough. Except this time we really could have something that will worry the Stealth rubber magicians, in the shape of the Dust Up from new US brand Unparallel, which claims to have a tackier and grippier sole than the famous Five Ten. The compound Unparallel is using has a durometer of 45-50 where your foot sits on the pedal, making it ever so slightly stickier than Stealth, at least on paper. The sole also has two compounds that have been bonded together to try and get the right balance between durability and grip — the sticky centre is…