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Mountain Bike RiderMountain Bike Rider

Mountain Bike Rider

November 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.

Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
TI-Media
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$41.06
12 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

access_time1 min.
entry-level revolution

Looking through the comments on our Instagram feed recently, one stood out. “When are bike companies going to stop ripping people off and start selling affordable bikes,” it asked. Admittedly it was aimed at the new £7,000 Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert (see p32) but it got me thinking. Earlier that day we had been going through the mbr archive, looking at old issues from 2004. That year my longterm test bike had been a Giant VT2 — an aluminium full-suspension bike for £1,500. It was a superb bike at a great price and I gave it 10/10, signing off my 12-month tenure with the line: “A 30lb, five-inch travel all-mountain bike with hydraulic disc brakes and 27 gears for £1,500 would have been a pipe dream five years ago. Now…

access_time1 min.
big picture

On a three-day trip to the Tweed Valley, I was treated to a tour of its latest and greatest hits. A smorgasbord of claustrophobic tree-lined tunnels, buttock-clenching plunges and epic flowing runs through larch plantations. This stunning valley has fully embraced mountain biking, and it’s now a true world-class riding destination that’s only going to get better. Once again the course and the riders at Red Bull’s infamous Hardline stepped it up, with even bigger jumps and even wilder racing. Here, this month’s cover star, Brendan Fairclough, emerges from the dank forest on his way to flip the big step-up. He wasn’t the only one, either, with Gaetan Vigé and Kaos Seagrave flipping it in their race runs. In the end it was Bernard Kerr crossing the line to make Hardline…

access_time3 min.
going green

Every mountain biker has heard of BikePark Wales and many of us have ridden there. The UK’s biggest bike park has something of a problem then; like the iPhone, it has reached saturation point and the only way to keep growing is to do something different. Which way to turn then? Revolution Bike Park, Antur Stiniog and now Dyfi Bike Park are pushing North Wales to the gnarlier end of mountain biking. But while the trails are excellent, the higher up the pyramid of mountain biking skill you get, the smaller the number of riders who can handle them. Easier trails? BikePark Wales has spent seven years reaching its core market of proper mountain bikers — people like us who love the challenges of red, blue and black trails — and it’s…

access_time3 min.
future shift

Shimano or SRAM? Eagle or Hyperglide? The red pill or the blue pill? Those are questions mountain bikers have been asking themselves since the Nineties, when the drivetrain market developed into a battle between superpowers. The pendulum of commercial success and engineering innovation has swung back and forth ever since, with us, the consumer, benefiting the most from this competition in the form of better shifting, more durable drivetrains and, ultimately, the wide-ratio 1x system. But it’s also made life more difficult for smaller brands trying to carve out a niche, and new start-ups looking to challenge it. All the more impressive, then, that a gaggle of new drivetrain brands — each with a unique perspective — are queuing up to have a crack at the big guns. CERAMIC SPEED DRIVEN It’s…

access_time2 min.
super strutting

In the fast-paced world of XC and marathon racing, the quest for downhill suspension performance combined with hardtail efficiency has been keeping designers and engineers awake for decades. As such, there have been numerous brands over the years that have claimed to have found the best of both worlds. Most notably there was the rise of the soft-tail around the turn of the century, boasting less weight than a proper full-suspension bike, but most of the comfort and control. But the genre never really took off, mainly because the space to package the spring and damper was so small, and it was also part of the frame structure, so the shock tended to bind under load and wear out quickly. Trek’s new Supercaliber aims to combine the performance of a full-suspension…

access_time4 min.
hot stuff

MOST WANTED VEE TIRE SNAP WCE $75 You need a pretty good reason not to make the Maxxis Minion your go-to tyre — it delivers a ton of consistent grip in all conditions without being too draggy or heavy, and wins every grouptest it enters. Any new tyre brand trying to squeeze into the market has a pretty tough job then, so we were pleasantly surprised last year when the new Vee Tire Flow Snap proved almost as good as the Minion when holding a line. The latest tyre from Vee is the Snap World Cup Edition (WCE), it looks very similar to the Flow Snap but it uses the brand’s Top 40 compound. Using softer 42a durometer rubber, Top 40 boasts the same level of tackiness as a Maxxis Minion, so it…

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