Mountain Bike Rider

Mountain Bike Rider February 2020

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.
don’t let rain stop play

So far this winter has been record breaking — for all the wrong reasons. Rainfall has been almost incessant since the clocks went back, leaving trails swampy and saturated and motivation at an all-time low. But not so fast. This month, we show you how, by thinking outside the box, you can turn rain into gains. Mucking about in the car park may seem like a waste of time — something for kids and showoffs — but spending time on your bike learning tricks can do amazing things for your balance and bike control. Transfer those skills back to the trails and it’ll transform your riding. Andy Barlow from Dirt School gives you some pointers on page 66. If you’re already pretty handy, but feel weak and fatigued on longer rides, maybe…

1 min.
big picture

After weeks of creative conception, I headed north to Wyoming for the total solar eclipse in August 2017. The goal was to capture the eclipse and showcase mountain biking utilising an in-camera double exposure. After capturing the first image successfully during two minutes of totality, all we had to do was endure the midday sun, waiting for twilight and the attempt at the second frame. Unfortunately, I was unaware I had damaged the hot shoe connection on my camera, preventing me from triggering my flashes. Our only option required Chris Brule to hit the feature in near darkness, allowing me to set the camera to a 2.5-second exposure, firing the flashes and freezing Chris mid-air. Crystalline spicules of frost form upon the desolate fell tops. When suitably humid air meets the…

4 min.
pay monthly mtb

Music, TV, phone, car, gym, books, meat, underwear… you name it, you can pay for it monthly with a subscription service. It’s quickly become the default method of spreading costs. And now you can add riding your bike to that list with the launch of The Summit, a pay-monthly skills venue at Swinley in Berkshire. Designed and built by Tom Reynolds, little brother to Sam and freeride pinner in his own right, the new skills park features a range of carefully designed obstacles, expertly packaged into a 10-acre site. More on the details later, because perhaps the most interesting thing about The Summit is the payment plan that could be a first for UK mountain biking. “It’s super scary for us, as mountain bikers are new to all this, but we’ve tried…

2 min.
the summit trails

Managed means there’s supervised riding, with an instructor overseeing everything for safety, with trails unlocked as and when members ask for them. Those trails start small, with a Fundamentals Zone, “full of small and friendly versions of the obstacles that intimidate people,” Tom says. Then there’s a Dual Zone, 180m of dual slalom track that diverges in the middle before coming back together again for the finish. “I got the inspiration from Crankworx; it adds theatre if you don’t know where the other person is,” Tom explains. The Drop Zone is next. It features progressive drops from 1ft to 6ft, and two lines, all with exit paths if you want to bail out. “That’s a way to really quickly progress to a level that maxes out the UK race series,” Tom…

5 min.
hot stuff

MOST WANTED RRP PROGUARD BOLT ON £35.99 The new ProGuard Bolt On is one of those products that it’s hard to believe no one thought of before. RRP has taken its excellent ProGuard and added a mount that’ll attach to certain fork braces via a couple of bolts, transforming it into a neat, waste-free and easily removable guard in one fell swoop. So long zip-ties, rubber bands and Velcro straps. We like it because it could be the easiest and quickest oversized mudguard out there to fit or remove. Rejoice all ye who transport their bike in the boot of their car and have to lay it flat, as this has been bending and deforming mudguards for years. Remove the bolts and keep your guard straight for easy portage, or quickly adapt to…

4 min.
no-mountain rides

DOETHIE VALLEY, CARMARTHEN 22.85km (14.19 miles) Riding time is precious and limited, especially in winter. Rides that get to the point (ie. the fun stuff) and pack a punch are what we’re after. The Doethie Valley doesn’t mess about. You pedal to the top of the valley on admittedly dull tracks but you are paid back with one long, sweet hit of top-quality singletrack. We’ve named it Trail Of The Year in the past and every time we ride it we’re reminded why — it just keeps the good stuff coming. It’s the kind of trail you get to the end of and think, “And that wasn’t built for mountain bikes?” While the route itself is relatively low level, it is in a remote area so still demands respect for conditions…