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Mountain Bike Rider February 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.

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United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
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12 Issues

in this issue

1 min
keeping it real in 2021

The new year always feels like the opportunity for a fresh start. A time to make plans, write lists and carpe diem. And when 2020 was such an awful year in so many ways, never have we needed this line in the sand more, even if there will be no shortage of challenges in 2021. With my riding helmet on, it’s time to look forward to 12 months of trails. With foreign travel potentially more difficult owing to Covid-19 and Brexit (at time of writing a ‘no deal’ is looking most likely), minds turn to domestic options, of which, happily, there are more than ever. Personally, I want to spend a week ticking off all the Welsh bike parks: BikePark Wales with its revamped A470, Black Mountains (which I haven’t…

1 min
big picture

November had been wet to say the least, but December had the cure. Is there anywhere better than Glencoe on a still, sunny day? I’d say not. Joe Barnes found out that the chippy was closing early and made his way off the Devil’s Staircase like a man possessed. I have a mental block: I’ve always struggled to associate rolling hills with exhilarating riding, always opting for more abrupt, craggy elevations. Those you can’t descend without touching the brakes. If Aberdeenshire made me appreciate anything, it certainly wasn’t the Aberdeen Angus. It’s that rolling hills equate to good times too – especially if they’re littered with granite slabs to lily-pad your wheels across the bogs.…

4 min
clubber’s paradise

With just 40 members, invite-only entry and a waiting list that only gets shorter when someone dies, there aren’t many clubs more exclusive than Naughty But Needed (NBN). This club doesn’t advertise, has no email address or social media presence, and the members go by first names only. This is no gentleman’s club in St James’s though, it’s a thriving mountain bike club in South East England, and we’ve been invited along for a ride. Run by just four members – Steve, Spencer, Martyn and Scott – NBN owns some 30 different, albeit short, trails, all hand-cut and all impeccably maintained. “Steve is our number one, he’s The Colonel,” says Scott. “He’s the vision behind this place, this is his back garden really. He’s a labourer, a brickie, and all his…

3 min
beyond the grand canyon

Canyon has a huge range of mountain bikes on its website, 14 at the last count, and that’s before you start totting up the kids’ bikes and women’s-specifics. All the more surprising then that it’s never had a proper trail hardtail before — the mile-munching Grand Canyon coming closest. The new Stoic is designed to fill that hole, bringing slack geometry and downhill-focused components to riders who still want the thrill of a hardtail. Decked out with a 140mm fork, tacky tyres and a huge number of sizes, it’s aimed squarely at the UK market, which still has a unique affinity with the hardcore hardtail. The Stoic is made from 6061 alloy, with 29er wheels in the biggest sizes and 27.5in in the smallest. It comes in a truly amazing spread of sizes…

2 min
lifestyle choice

While the Stoic boasts precisely zero travel, at the other end of the suspension spectrum is the new Santa Cruz Nomad. It’s a 27.5in full-sus with 170mm travel front and rear and a coil-sprung DHX2 shock on some models. It’s not a drastically different bike to the generation-four Nomad we saw three years ago, where Santa Cruz switched the suspension design to the lower-linkage driven shock from its V10 downhill bike. This new bike uses the same VPP design, but now Santa Cruz says it has improved the leverage curve and added twin swingarm uprights. What it doesn’t say is that the new bike is significantly longer, with around 30mm more in the wheelbase than the old bike, and a reach measurement around 10mm longer too, all depending on the size you…

3 min
hot stuff

MOST WANTED NUKEPROOF OIL SLICK SAM HILL RANGE £360 The Oil Slick range was designed for team riders only, its purpose was to show off Nukeproof’s creative prowess on the world stage. Then social media got hold of it and we asked, no demanded, that regular riders get access to the slick look too. Nukeproof relented, turning it into a Sam Hill Signature range. Look past the cool looking oil slick shimmer and you’ll see some genuine innovation. The grips come in a softer compound for better bar feel and comfort. The famous Horizon flat pedals were revised earlier this year for better stability, and the stem now uses titanium bolts for extra durability. The saddle is new, developed on the EWS circuit, where Sam used 3D printed prototypes for the final few rounds…