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Mountain Bike Rider January 2021

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
Future Publishing Ltd
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min
a tale of two trails

In the 30 years that I’ve been riding in the Surrey Hills (where has the time gone?!), I have never seen it so busy. Last Sunday – I’m writing this on the 25 November – every car park I passed was full and every possible place you could squeeze in a car along the lanes had a vehicle parked in it. At a guess, at least 50 per cent of those had bike racks on the roof or were obviously owned by riders. That’s absolutely amazing, and I’m sure it’s a scene that’s being repeated up and down the country. It shows that all those people who bought bikes in lockdown 1.0 are still getting out on them in the middle of winter when it’s cold and muddy and motivation is…

1 min
big picture

As the sun circumvolves the sky, radiant light penetrates advancing cumulonimbus blooms. Vibrant needles cling to the European larch that have colonised the surrounding creags. Heathers hold fast the rich, waterlogged sandy soil. Your chain tensions as your weight bears down on the pedals. Tyres churn loose earth for traction. Gravity takes hold as your focus narrows. You accelerate, fearless, into the fading dusk, and all you can think about is a nice, hot, cup of Bovril. It felt like we’d ridden off the end of the world, carrying our bikes as much as riding them down hellishly steep tech, over chunky rocks and loose marbles. Catching our breath, we sat and watched as the clouds danced across the sky, while pools of light chased each other across the fells. As…

4 min
5 great places to ride in 2021

1 VERDERER’S TRAIL, FOREST OF DEAN This year, 2021, the Verderer’s Trail at the Forest of Dean celebrates its 10 year anniversary. It’s the trail that changed the face of FoD’s Cannop Cycle Centre, shifting the demographic of the riders who visited by drawing in new, family and trail-riding crowds alongside the ranks of gravity addicts. How many riders does the 11km blue trail see? A year before it was built, 906 laps were completed on all the trails at Cannop in the month of August. But by August 2012 the trail counters showed 8,174 laps. And last year 65,000 sets of wheels rolled on the trails. The figures speak for themselves and like it or loathe it, this was the trail that made the FoD. It just so happens we do…

2 min
hard tail heaven

This is the time of year when hardtails come into their own, when the trails are perpetually sloppy and your bike gets a full-on mud bath every ride out. In time-honoured tradition, we Brits want something a little more invigorating in the dirt and a little less labour-intensive when it comes to the post- ride rubdown. Just in time, then, comes this new 29in trail bike from Stif. Called the Squatch, it promises less time cleaning and maintaining and more time schralping. It’s everything you’d expect from a British hardtail, from its steel frame and 64° degree head angle to its short-offset (42mm) RockShox Pike fork with 130mm travel – the optimum suspension for a hardtail, we reckon. It also happens to be in stock, not something you can say about…

1 min
model behaviour

Does MIPS really work? It’s a question that’s been asked many times before, but deciding what extra protection that famous yellow slip plane really affords your head has been tough to quantify. Now though, MIPS reckons it’s cracked it, if you’ll pardon the pun. The Swedish brand has access to a far more detailed modelling system of a human head on which to test its lids, and crucially it’s a computer model that’s been developed independently, by Professor Svein Kleiven at Sweden’s Royal Institute of Technology (KTH). Called Finite Element Modeling, the construction and automotive industries have been using this kind of testing for years, but it’s competely new to the helmet field. It’s pretty techie, but the effectiveness of a helmet had always been based on the acceleration an impact…

2 min
athertons go big

Next year is going to be a big one for Atherton Bikes with a new range of models in development and now global distribution, all thanks to the brand’s successful crowdfunding venture. The Atherton’s bike brand raised a ridiculous £1.5million in just 17 days, smashing its initial target of £600,000, meaning Atherton Bikes will soon be found on trails all over the world. The first 50 Atherton Bikes have now been sold to eager investors who jumped into the crowdfunding venture, hosted on Crowdcube. The big idea is that all this extra money lets the brand increase its production and lower its costs, shaking up the big players in the bike industry. How many bikes are we talking about? Atherton Bikes says it will be selling 2,500 annually by 2023, and 7,500 two…