Mountain Bike Rider

Mountain Bike Rider June 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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back to basics

One of the many things we’ve learned over the last few weeks of abnormality is what we really value in life. Friends, family, loved ones. Health, happiness, freedom, bog roll. All those things have risen to the surface, standing proud above the flotsam and jetsam of modern life. And across social media as well as out there in the real world, it’s obvious the key role that mountain biking plays in promoting our mental and physical health, as well as strengthening our bond with nature and the great outdoors. My daily rides, gentle and local though they may be, have become a treasured lifeline. They’ve allowed me to watch the emergence of spring – as the woods change on a daily basis – explore the nooks and crannies of my…

big picture

Isolation is a word that’s never far from anyone’s lips at the moment. At times it is a blessing, at others it’s a curse, but when the lockdown is lifted, will you be planning a big group ride with friends, or heading for the hills, and enjoying those wild places it’s currently irresponsible to visit? Here Carson Storch illustrates one definition of isolation on Axel Heiburg Island, Canada. Welcome to the Green Room. While this trail might look like something you’d find somewhere more exotic, it’s actually in Yorkshire. From Sheffield to Calderdale and further up through North Yorkshire, there’s tons of super-steep terrain where gritstone rules, all covered in damp moss practically year round. Woods peppered with a jumble of rocks, leaf litter and dense trees can be tough going,…

mountain biking saved my town

Two images pop into my head when I think of Innerleithen. The first is of a town down on its luck, unwelcoming in aspect, and empty of shops bar a bookie or two. Quiet, empty and forgettable. That was 2005 and my first visit. The second came just last year, and despite the rain the welcome couldn’t have been sunnier. The streets were busy with people, and not just passing through, either: queuing for artisan coffee, licking 99s, and riding bikes. In the dozen years between my two visits the town had gone from down-and-out to mountain bike heaven. They’re not just my first impressions either, everyone I speak to uses the same word to describe the town: buzzing. Last year it was runner-up in Scotland’s Most Beautiful High Street, and Zoopla…

short and sweet

Evil has a new version of its short-travel 29er trail bike, The Following, a bike with 120mm travel, carbon frame, internal cable routing and gothic looks. It’s what it doesn’t have that’s most interesting though; there’s no super-slack head angle, you won’t find the wheelbase from a downhill bike, and the reach isn’t looking to set new sizing records. It’s no mistake – Evil hasn’t accidentally layed up a bike with yesterday’s geometry – but a deliberate attempt to make a manoeuvrable bike it says has pop, is fun to ride uphill and down and not just a slimmed-down enduro bike. As a concept, it’s not like it’s a radical departure for the brand – Evil has always riffed on the idea that playfulness is just as useful as raw speed,…

tuning fork

The arrival of the 38 is one of mountain biking’s worst kept secrets — ridden by Richie Rude and splashed all over the internet, you didn’t need to be Alan Turing to predict the sequence from 36. Fox did manage to keep tight-lipped about the details though: a clever floating axle design, new compression valving, 160-180mm travel and a host of chassis changes. We’ll break the new fork down from the bottom up… THE HUB The Fox 38 gets standard 110x15mm dropout spacing, but because front hubs aren’t created equally, Fox has employed a floating axle mount to allow for better alignment of the lower legs – which in turn reduces friction. A floating spacer in the driveside dropout is adjusted to match the hub and it’s held in place with a…

fork wars

WHAT’S CHANGED? On the face of it, just a couple of small parts. Dig a little deeper, however, and it’s obvious that subtle changes to the relative position of the bypass port that balances positive and negative spring pressures should bring noticeable changes to the ride quality of the fork. The main one being an elevated ride height, where the influence of the negative air spring is less apparent, especially where it pulls the fork into the sag position and reduces the total amount of available travel. RETRO UPGRADE What’s really neat about the way RockShox has achieved this transformation is that it hasn’t actually moved the position of the dimple in the upper tube. Instead, it’s raised the height of the air-spring assembly inside the upper tube so the piston head now…