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Mountain Bike Rider January 2019

Published by Time Inc. (UK) Ltd 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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top of the trails

TOTY votes are in... Temperatures may be dropping outside as winter takes hold, but this month’s Trail of the Year competition made me all warm and fuzzy inside. Yes, the huge EU/Forestry Commission-funded trail building projects of the Noughties are long gone, but it feels like there is more singletrack being cut across the UK than ever before. Every hotbed of mountain biking seems to have a trail crew toiling to maintain, improve and extend the network. Urban pump tracks are springing up all over the country thanks to forward-thinking councils and there are more commercial bike parks than ever before, boasting a level of trail construction rarely seen outside the world-renowned runs of Whistler. So it’s a great time to be a British mountain biker, but the real treat this month…

big picture

On a recent visit to the Evil Bikes European HQ in Madrid, Spain we took Rob out for a quick rip on the trails just behind the office. The evening was clear and fresh, it was March, and as we reached the top of the climb, a rain squall blew in. The setting sun backlit the rain and the view down over the plains made for quite a beautiful scene. While visiting Revolution Bike Park for the Trail of the Year feature on p44, we caught a glimpse of the larch-needle dusted wedges of the Revit jump line. Toby Pantling and I couldn’t resist taking a break from ‘work’, shooting on the Freeride trail, to capture this perfect autumn scene.…

wye valley off-piste

The Forest of Dean keeps its secrets close — barely ridden singletrack lies hidden deep within its vertiginous folds just waiting for questing tyres. Yes, the Pedalabikeaway centre gives easy access to some of these incredible tracks, but it just pulls back one fold of the curtain and allows a chink of light into this dark and mysterious forest. A glimpse that leaves us wanting more. Now a little company called Wye Mtb aims to satisfy that curiosity by uplifting riders on its Wye Valley Off-Piste adventure, where a day of guiding reveals a network of these long lost trails. “Locals have nothing to fear though,” explains Gareth Sheppard from Wye Mtb. “Where we’re guiding is a little further away from the Pedalabikeaway centre, so it’s not impinging on people’s local riding.…

the details

The Wye Valley ride starts in the same place as the usual Pedalabikeaway uplift, but it’s a different experience. Covering around 35km of uplifted riding, this isn’t just a glorified downhill session; there’s pedalling required to link some of the trails together and the riding is more all-mountain than DH. The Land Rover acts as a support vehicle too, with spares on board, and the terrain is varied, with steep and technical rocky descents spliced in with fast and flowy trails. You need to be a good rider with a decent level of fitness, but if you can ride red and black trails, Wye Mtb says you’ll be up to the challenge. Book yourself on for £89. Wyemtb.co.uk…

steel pipe dreams

How did you get started with Stanton Bikes? I just finished uni and I really wanted to own a bicycle company. The first thing I did was get a job in the local bike shop. I figured out how to use 2D CAD and I spent time trying to find out who manufactured steel and titanium in Taiwan — and who was the best. Two or three times a week I would go around my mate’s house and play poker. One of my friends, John Lumb, is an aerospace engineer. I told him my plan and said: “I’ll give you a percentage of this fairy tale company which doesn’t exist if you give us some money.” He ended up investing seven grand to give it a go. After we’d affirmed the designs…

hot stuff

MOST WANTED FOX ATTACK WATER PANT £135 Riding pants have been around since the dawn of mountain biking. Back then they were just called trousers, of course, and those who donned them seemed always to be dropping off shoddily made woodwork (Spliffy jeans offered the best performance). Only recently have they become any good though, as modern materials combine to make trousers breathable and flexible enough to ride in unobstructed, while still holding their shape when wet. This winter, Fox has released three new trousers: the Indicator for general riding; the Attack Fire, for when it’s cold; and this Attack Water, made from a stretchy three-layer waterproof and windproof fabric and a DWR coating to prevent saturation. So how waterproof and breathable are we talking? These Attack Water Pants have been rated to…