Rocky Mountain's newest bike is the Flow, and it's arrived just in time to tame the dozens of new pump tracks springing up across the UK

Remember when we said 26in wheels were dead and we’d never ride anything so silly again? Well, we take it back. The small hoops are having something of a resurgence, with more and more new bikes out rolling on little hoops. Hats off to those of us who saved our 26in tyres then.

Rocky’s Vaea Verbeeck says she uses the pump track to sharpen her skills for other disciplines

Rocky Mountain Flow

The latest 26in bike is from Rocky Mountain, called the Flow it’s a pump track bike, meaning it comes with quick-rolling and lightweight BMX tyres (the Maxxis DTH), and you get a meagre 100mm travel from the Manitou Circus Expert fork, with super short 41mm. That setup makes total sense on a pumptrack, where there’s oodles of predictable grip and nothing more for a fork to do than help you nose it into the landings. 

>>MBR’s complete guide to wheelsizes, from 26in up to 29 and everything in between<<

Being a pump track bike the usual mountain bike long, low and slack geometry is out the window, and instead you want short, steep and nimble. We’re talking about a reach of 455mm on the large Flow, a head angle of 68.5degrees and a dinky wheelbase of 1092mm.

Fort William Bike Park

Fort William Bike Park

Pump for practice

Why a pump track bike then? Well, the thrill of using just your body weight and momentum to cruise round in circles hasn’t been lost on riders in recent years, and now pump tracks are almost everywhere. Fort William has a new hugey, Goldwell Park in Newbury has just reopened, King’s Cliffe in Northamptonshire, and Freshwater on the isle of Wight has just put in big new plans. There’s one being built in Mildenhall, East Anglia, and plans for similar in Walkerburn, and in Mussleburgh, Scotland. Every country in the UK in fact… we could go on. Head along and boost your riding, and be sure to check out our advice on how to ride a pump track before you go.

>>Find the best mountain bike routes in the UK<<

Privateer’s DJ101 launched in July, and is currently on sale with £100 off the price

Privateer DJ101 

Pump tracks aren’t the only places riders want short travel whippy little bikes with small wheels, dirt jumpers want it too. In fact, there’s so much crossover between the two bike genres they’re almost interchangeable. The DJ101 is dinkier than the Flow with a 410mm reach, while the short chainstays are adjustable via horizontal dropouts so you can tweak it to your heart’s content. There’s a 69degree head angle and it’s all built into a hydroformed 6061-T6 aluminium frame.

Brands on dirt

Privateer isn’t the only brand to get creative with this trend either, YT Industries began life with the Dirtlove and the latest versions called the Core 1 and Core 2 are still big for the brand. Meanwhile Saracen offers the Amplitude while DMR has dirt jumping at its heart and builds the Sect and Sect Pro. Most interesting of all though, Canyon’s Stitched comes in multiple wheel sizes and travels, of course as a hardtail, and also as a full suspension build and 100mm travel front and rear to smooth out those landings.