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Mountain Bike Rider March 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

1 min
concussion discussion

Crashing is part of mountain biking, right? So given the (Sophie's) choice, would you rather snap a collarbone or suffer a bit of a knock to the head? Most of us would take a broken helmet over a broken bone, wouldn't we? Yet concussions are potentially very serious, even life-changing injuries that can easily be swept under the rug if not treated seriously. I know this all too well - I've had at least two serious concussions while mountain biking and while the last big one was 20 years ago, it involved vomiting, memory loss and hospitalisation. As a result - and I'm not sure whether this is a cumulative effect, or solely down to one impact - I regularly find it difficult to find words when talking. I'm sure there…

1 min
big picture

Scott battles the four inches of fresh, windblown snow in between Ben Ledi's summit and Mullach Bhuide on the way down to Bealach nan Corp (The Pass of the Dead) as the wind whips the -4°C air temperature down to a slightly frostier -12°C. Even with nine layers up top, we would struggle to feel our hands for the duration, but it was worth it to ride off a proper hill and to end up happily broken by the time we got back to the start point. Crisp, dry trails on the first day of December area rare treat Indeed, but one we enjoyed at the back end of 2020 while testing this month's two down-country contenders. It's hard to beat the feeling of zipping along some buff singletrack with the…

4 min
marching orders

REMOVE THE DISCRIMINATION THAT SAYS: YOU CAN RUN OR WALK BUT YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO RIDE A BIKE Mountain bikers probably won’t get the permitted access to singletrack they were hoping for on military land around Aldershot, Hampshire, following a review into access due out in February. Thousands of riders use the heath and forest land around Aldershot and its network of trails every week, but riding singletrack has technically been prohibited under existing rules. Now though, a long-awaited by-law review by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), which manages land for the MOD, is on the cusp of publication and looks to confirm access to fire roads alone. “We’re hoping to go live with public consultation on that review at the end of the month, if not the start of february,” says…

5 min
dutch courage

Fitting a gearbox to a bike is not a new idea; Honda created a huge stir with its RN01 DH bike in 2004, while more recently Zerode, Nicolai, Cavalerie and Deviate have all produced machines using Pinion’s system. But in our minds the modern Pinion-equipped bikes we tried were all held back by the twist-grip gear change design, which limited the appeal of the ingenious gearbox it controlled. Step forward Instinctiv, a small bike brand from The Netherlands with a new range of gearbox bikes, and crucially a trigger unit to make shifting a more natural affair. Couple that with a carbon frame design that’s made from seven per cent recycled material (you’ve got to start somewhere), with a bespoke chain tensioner adorning the Pinion gearbox, and you have a gearbox…

5 min
hot stuff

MOST WANTED EXT ERA FORK £1,590 There have been lofty claims and gushing reviews for the new EXT ERA fork. But is it all hype to justify the equally lofty asking price, or is the ERA really so disruptive that we need to recalibrate our expectations? Before we can answer that, let’s take a closer look at what the ERA is not… and that’s unique. Sure, there are two positive air chambers and a self-equalising negative chamber, but Öhlins currently uses a triple-chamber air spring in the RFX 36. And Specialized had one before that too – anyone remember the short-lived Future Shock E150 dual-crown fork? In terms of the chassis, it’s a conventional fork with 36mm stanchions (upper tubes). The crown/steerer interface is pretty unique though, the crown extends up the base…

1 min
shotgun mtb tow rope £55

Shotgun started out making a little bike seat that mounts to the top tube of your bike, letting your toddler get a taste of mountain biking by riding shotgun. Kids grow up fast though, pretty soon they’re on their own bikes, loving the descents and moaning on the climbs. Shotgun has grown too then, it’s next product a tow rope to get them to the top, maximising the downhill time and minimising tantrums. In our experience, kids are happy to ride all day long provided you keep them topped up with Haribo, but not when they have to ride uphill, making the tow rope spot on. It’ll tow other things too. Not your car out of an icy ditch, but perhaps a regular bike from, dare I say it, an e-bike.…