This month's Star Letter
Don’t try to work out which one has the best damping or the ultimate anti-squat. Focus on which bike you enjoy most and which makes you most confident.
This month’s Star Letter asks us for some advice on how to test and choose a bike.
Test the best
Don’t worry, this isn’t an email asking which bike do you think I should buy (I’m sure you probably get loads), rather I’m wondering if you can provide some advice on testing a bike.
This year I will be getting a new bike with a decent budget of £2k-£3k and I’m setting some up for test rides. The problem is, I’ve only ever ridden shortish travel 26ers (both my HT and FS) and I’m almost starting from scratch having not ridden anything different for four years. I’m hoping to test rides for 27.5in and 29er wheels with travel from 130mm-150mm to cover all bases.
My only concern is that the moment I set foot on something like the Bird Aeris (test ride next month), it’s going to feel so different from what I’m used to I may find it hard to be objective and just go with the first thing I try.
Can you provide any pointers to bear in mind so I can work out myself exactly what I’m after and be more critical?
– Jamie Stogden
Ed – Be strong, Jamie, and hold off buying something until you’ve tried a few — at least three: We’ve got two more mbr demo days coming up this spring too, where you can test loads of bikes on the same day, go to po.st/mbrDemo for more info.
Our general advice is, don’t try and be a bike tester either, and work out which one has the best damping or the ultimate anti-squat, it gets really confusing. Instead focus on which bike you enjoy most and which makes you feel the most confident on. We’ve also got some tips on the aforementioned MBR Demo page to help you make the most of the demo days on the bike.
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All Star Letter correspondents win a Madison Zenith waterproof jacket worth £99.99.