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Summer 2009

Bike test:

120mm trail bikes

Bionicon Golden Willow SC1 5/10
Cannondale Rize 4 (Lefty) 9/10
Giant Trance X1 8/10
Kona One20Supreme 7/10
KTM Lycan 1.0 8/10
Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Expert 9/10


Big Mountains
Cader Idris

Wales Special
Pick of where to eat and stay in Cymru

Local Knowledge
Machynlleth’s Cli-Machx trail



12 baggy Shorts

12 glasses

Pullout maps: Baslow Edge, Kildale, Carneddau, Cader Idris

July 2009

Bike test:

Dirty dozen (£500 hardtails)…

Cannondale F5 Disc 6/10
Genesis Core 10 7/10
Lapierre Tecnic 400 8/10
Claud Butler Cape Wrath D24 4/10
GT Avalanche 1.0 Disc 8/10
Marin Northside Trail 7/10
Commencal Combi Disc 9/10
Iron Horse Warrior3X 5/10
Specialized Rockhopper Disc 10/10
Gary Fisher Marlin 7/10
Kona Blast Deluxe 9/10
Voodoo Bantu 10/10


Big Mountains – Helvellyn

Local Knowledge – Whinlatter

Overseas – World Cup, Belgium



Adjustable travel trail forks

Pullout maps:Moel Famau, Hebden Bridge, Helvellyn, Two Moors Way

June 2009

Bike tests:

Budget bouncers (£1200 full sussers)…

Boardman Team 7/10
Commencal Combi S 7/10
Giant Trance X5 9/10
Kona One20 Deluxe 6/10
Mongoose Canaan Comp 6/10
Specialized FSR XC Comp 7/10

Play bikes…

Specialized SX Trail II 10/10
Commencal Mini DH 1 5/10


Big Mountain, Ben Lomond
The return of the Big Mountain series sees Andy Waterman go Twitter-tastic in the Highlands

UK Trails, 7Stanes in one day
Rob Lee tries to collect all the Stanes and the roads in between in one 24-hour period

Overseas, Portugal
Right to roam opens up some epic riding around Lagos, courtesy of The Mountain Bike Adventure


Mini and track pumps

Air shocks part II

Pullout maps:

Marrick Moor, Quantocks, Snowdon, Ben Lomond

May 2009

Bike tests: Trail bikes…

Commençal Meta 9/10
Gary Fisher Roscoe II 7/10
Iron Horse MKIII Elite 7/10
Lapierre Zesty 514 9/10
Orange Five Pro 10/10
Rocky Mountain Altitude 50 8/10


Killer Ride: Alpine singletrack – you’ve never gone mountain biking until you’ve explored Europe’s singletrack larder. We guide you on an Alpine adventure.

Bike of the month: Turner’s 5 Spot

Tried and Tested:

Scott Genius 20
Trek Fuel EX8
Whyte E-120 XT
Lapierre Zesty 314

Trails: Kernow, Yorkshire Wolds, Balblair, Tenerife.

April 2009

Bike tests: Steel Hardtails…

Charge Duster HI 7/10
Genesis Altitude 20 8/10
On-one Inbred 8/10
Orange P7 S 9/10

Marathon machines…

Merida Ninety Six 3500 7/10
Specialized Epic Marathon 10/10
Trek Tope Fuel 9.8 9/10


Killer Ride: A long-distance trail – they say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and two weeks of snow-bound loafing had us pining to reacquaint ourselves with some old long-distance friends.

Framebuilders – These days, bike manufacturing has shifted almost exclusively to the Far East – but this has meant the framebuilders that’s still exist in Great Britain are adapting by producing some very special designs indeed.

Bothy Biking – No five-star luxury to be found here, or even running water or electricity. But camping out in bothies offers a completely unique mtb-accessible experience.

Lee Quarry – Take an abandoned quarry in Lancashire, build in some berms and you’ve got yourself a brand new trail centre.

Overseas Dolomites – These beatific mountains were once coral reefs. Thankfully tectonic plate movements have presented them for your mtb delectation.

March 2009

Bike tests: All-mountain bikes…

Cannondale Moto Carbon 3 6/10
Commencal Meta 6.2 8/10
Lapierre Spicy 516 9/10
Merida One-Five-0 3800-D 5/10
Orange Alpine 160 AM 9/10


An uplift day – Not just for diehard DH racers, uplifts are now tailored to trail riders too.

Routes in Wales – Brechfa has kept loads of natural features and feel in its new ‘Raven’ trail.

Trails: Lake District, 10 best overseas, Yorkshire Dales, Dartmoor, Wiltshire.

February 2009

Bike tests: Cheap thrills (bikes under £1,500)…

Cannondale Prophet 1 10/10
Giant Reign 2 8/10
Mongoose Teocali Elite 7/10
Specialized Pitch Pro 10/10


Britain’s highest pub – The Tan Hill Inn, home to strange punters (chicken, sheep, dogs) and a self-service bar.

Secret Stanes – Natural trails hidden around the legendary 7Stanes trail network.

Trails: Holmbury Hill, Etna (Sicily).

January 2009

Bike tests: 150mm travel bikes…

Felt Compulsion 1 6/10
Giant Reign 0 n/a
GT Force Carbon Expert 7/10
Specialized Enduro Expert 8/10

Bike of the month: Intense Tracer.


A night-time epic – The winter’s drawing in, the days are getting shorter… but that just means it’s time to dust off your lights, get out your warm riding gear, and make the most of those crisp winter evenings.

Wales – The often overlooked Cambrian Mountains in mid-Wales reveal their singletrack secrets in their desert Oasis.

Trails: Balnain, La Fenasosa (Spain).

December 2008

Bike tests:

Commencal Meta Super 4.1 9/10
Giant Anthem XO 10/10
Lapierre X-Control 710 8/10
Scott Spark 20 8/10


Sherwood Pines – Gather your band of merry men and lead them to Notts for some all-weather trails. With free entry, you won’t even need to rob from the rich to ride it.

Killer Loop: Cross Fell – Andy comes a cropper on a surprisingly remote piece of the North Penines.

Trails: North Yorkshire Moors.

November 2008

Bike tests: First rides…

Marin Attack Trail 6.9
Orange Alpine 160 AM
Santa Cruz Nomad
Specialized FSR XC Pro


Eurobike – The latest and greatest bikes and bits from Europe’s biggest expo.

Penshurst – Close to the smoke and bursting with potential, we sample the berms at Penhurst Off-Road Club (PORC) in Kent.

Killer Loop: Barmouth – Once a drovers’ road out of North Wales, we follow rugged mountain passes in sight of the Coed-y-Brenin trail centre.

Trails: Torridon Mountains (Scotland).

October 2008

Bike tests:

Commencal Meta 55XT 9/10
Giant Trance 1 7/10
Charge Titanium Duster 10/10
Cotic Soda 8/10
Cove Hummer 9/10
Seven Sola 7/10


Laggan Wolftrax – Trail centres in Scotland are up against some pretty stiff competition, but Laggan’s black run doesn’t disappoint.

Killer loop: Edale – Home to Roych Clough, Rushup Edge and Jacob’s Ladder, and now packaged into one devastating Peak District ride.

Trails: Quantocks vs Mendips.

September 2008

Bike tests:

Giant Reign X0 1 7/10
Orange Patriot 8/10
Specialized SX Trail 2 9/10
Pace RC405 9/10
Ventana El Ciclon 7/10


Hamsterley – County Durham’s finest trail centre, friend to the cross-country climber and the downhill descender alike.

Killer Loop: High Street – A classic Lake District ride, taking in Hayeswater and Ullswater.

Big Mountains: Ben Nevis – They don’t come any bigger than this, not in the UK anyway.

August 2008

Bike tests: Dream Machines and British Hardtails…

Cannondale Rize Carbon 2 9/10
Fisher HiFi Pro Carbon 9/10
Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper FSR 10/10
Whyte E-120 Team 8/10
Orange P7 PRO 9/10
Pace RC305 xcam 8/10
Whyte 19 TRAIL 8/10


Thetford – We return to a real classic mtb destination to check out the latest trail developments.

Killer Loop: The Howgill Fells – Sandwiched between the Lakes and the Dales, we experience crap weather, complete isolation, and awesome singletrack.

Big Mountains: Snowdon – Is Snowdon’s Ranger Path the sickest big mountain descent in the UK?

Summer 2008

Bike tests:

Kona Four Supreme 8/10
Specialized Stumpjumper SR Elite 10/10
Giant Region 1 8/10
GT Sanction 1.0 7/10
Lapierre Spicy 516 9/10
Marin Attack Trail 8/10
Specialized Enduro SL Pro Carbon 8/10
Trek Remedy 9 8/10


Nevis Range – We ride the 2007 World Championship course and find out why the trails are so highly regarded across the globe.

Killer Loop: Dartmoor – Remote, rocky, gnarly.

Big Mountains: Helvellyn – Epic views, rocky switchbacks and the most remote scenery.

July 2008

Bike tests: The Dirty Dozen…

Diamondback Response Sport 5/10
Giant XTC 4.5 5/10
Carrera Fury AM 6/10
Pinnacle Peak 3.0 6/10
Trek 6000 6/10
Felt Q720 7/10
GT Avalanche 1.0 8/10
Iron Horse Warrior 3.0 8/10
Lapierre Technic 500 8/10
Commencal Normal disc 9/10
Specialized Rockhopper 9/10
Kona Blast 10/10


Drumlanrig – We travel to the birthplace of the bicycle to discover an exemplary network of near-natural singletrack.

Killer Loop: Cut Gate – Waterstones tackles a 50km Cut Gate Killer fuelled entirely by kebabs and disco biscuits. Enjoy!

June 2008

Bike tests: Budget Bouncers…

Cannondale Prophet 3 10/10
Commencal Combi S 7/10
Giant Trance 3 8/10
Mongoose Canaan Comp 8/10
Specialized FSR XC Comp 9/10
Trek Fuel EX5.5 7/10


Local knowledge: Esher – We explore the carpentry of Esher’s shore, inside the M25.

Killer loop: Brecon Beacons – Guest Tommy Hutton comes on board to devise this one.

British Trail Centres

Arran – Riding on the Isle of Arran.

May 2008

Bike tests: Ultimate trail bike…

Cannondale Prophet 1 10/10
Commencal Meta 5.5.1 9/10
Cube Stereo K24 7/10
Felt Virtue Two 6/10
Lapierre Zesty 514 9/10
Orange 5 Pro 10/10
Tomac Snyper 2 8/10


Local knowledge: Jedburgh Forest – We explore the au-naturel offering of Jed Forest, just across the Scottish Border.

Killer loop: Exmoor – Lockey’s last hurrah as a full-timer!

UK trails: South Wales Valleys – Cwmcarn to Afan.

Stainburn volunteers – we catch-up with the manpower that has made Stainburn one of the most technically challenging forestry trails in the UK.

April 2008

Bike tests: £1,000 Hardtails…

Boardman Pro 10/10
Gary Fisher Big Sur 8/10
Marin Eldridge Grade 9/10
Mongoose Meteor Elite 7/10
Rocky Mountain Vertex 30 7/10
Saracen Kili 2 7/10


Local knowledge: Redland Trails – A local man-made singletrack in the lovely North Downs.

Killer loop: Lake District – We head to Ambleside.

UK Trails: Yorkshire – Dales vs Moors.

March 2008

Bike tests: Marathon bikes…

Cannondale Scalpel Carbon 1 3/10
Giant Anthem Advanced 1 9/10
GT Marathon Pro 8/10
Scott Spark 20 8/10
Specialized Epic Expert Carbon 8/10
Tomac Carbide XC2 8/10


Local knowledge: Grizedale Forest – We explore the Lake District’s North Face Trail in Grizedale Forest.

Bike of the month: Revolution Shadow Scandium.

Killer loop: Rosedale Abbey – we head for the North York Moors and found a raft of technical singletrack.

Trails: Southern Upland Way, Himalayas.

February 2008

Bike tests: 12mm bikes and mud pluggers…

Cannondale Rush 4 9/10
Giant Trance X1 8/10
Marin Mount Vision 8/10
Trek Fuel EX9 8/10
Genesis IO ID 9/10
Orange Five 9/10


Local knowledge: Swinley Forest – We make ourselves feel at home on the range in Swinley Forest, just outside that London Town.

Best of British: Quantock Hills.

UK Trails: Dark vs white – we visit the Peak District to ask the age-old question: which is better, the Dark or White Peak?

January 2008

Bike tests: Six-inch rides…

Giant Reign 2 8/10
Mongoose Teocali Super 7/10
Specialized Pitch Pro 9/10


Local knowledge: Chopwell Woods – great trails!

Best of British: Garburn Pass.

Top ten MTB cities

December 2007

Bike tests: Freeride bikes…

Cannondale Perp 7/10
Cove STD 8/10
Norco Shore 8/10
Scott Gambler 9/10
Specialized Demo 7 9/10


Local knowledge: Kielder Forest – We explore Northumberland’s response to Scotland’s 7Stanes singletrack gauntlet.

Killer loop: England vs Wales.

UK Trails: winter camping.

Overseas trail: Paradise Found – Mattias Fredriksson takes his crew to trail-riddled Norway.

November 2007

Bike tests: First rides…

Bionicon Supershuttle 2
Cannondale Rush Carbon 4
Commencal Meta 666
Mongoose Khyber Super
Titus Moto Lite 2
Tomac Snyper 140 Two
Trek Fuel EX 9.5


Local knowledge: Penmacho – We head to Wales to discover a community regenerated through a trail centre.

Killer loop: Newbury – we go looking for the legendary Swampy.

World champs

October 2007

Bike tests: Hard as steel…

Charge Duster Mid 8/10
DMR Trailstar 6/10
Voodoo Wanga 7/10


Local knowledge: Wharncliffe

Killer loop: North Wales.

Overseas trail: Israel.

September 2007

Bike tests: Upstarts…

Be-One Nirvana 2.0 4/10
Cube Ams 100 9/10
Pinnacle Tent Peak 1.0 8/10


Local knowledge: Chicksands – we test the carpentry at Bedfordshire’s North Shore haven.

UK Trails: Coast to coast – we spend a long week riding from St Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay.

10 years of Mountain Mayhem.

Overseas trail: Nepal.

August 2007

Bike tests: Long-travel trail bikes and £399 Hardtails…

Fusion Freak 6/10
Giant Reign Zero 8/10
Iron Horse 6point6 6/10
Rocky Mountain Slayer SXC 70 8/10
Specialized Enduro sl 8/10
Whyte 46 7/10
Beone Aspire 2.0 7/10
Gary Fisher Marlin 9/10
Mongoose Super Tyax 9/10


Local knowledge: Dalby Forest.

Killer loop: War of the Roses – We pit Lancashire against Yorkshire in this Killer head to head.

UK Trails: Scottish road trip.

July 2007

Bike tests:

Commencal Meta 5.5.1 10/10
Fusion Raid SL 5/10
GT l.d 5.10 7/10
Iron Horse Hollowpoint MKIII 8/10
Kona Dawg Primo 8/10
Specialized Stumpy FSR Pro 10/10
Trek Fuel EX9.0 9/10
Whyte E5 XT 9/10
Claud Butler Spectre 9/10
Commencal Combi S 9/10
Merida AM 500-D 7/10


Local knowledge: Aston Hill.

Killer loop: Exmoor vs Dartmoor – We pit the two against each other with a Killer ride on each.

Best of the Peak District – we run down 10 of the best trails in Britain’s most accessible National Park.

June 2007

Bike of the month: GT iDrive 4Carbon Pro

Bike tests: My first bike…

UNIVEGA Alpina HT 550 3/10
VIPER TR2.5 4/10
DIAMONDBACK Response Sport 5/10
GIANT XtC 4.5 5/10
CLAUD Butler Cape Wrath 6/10
Marin Northside Trail 6/10
TREK 6000 7/10
GT Avalanche 1.0 Disc 7/10
FELT Q720 8/10
COMMENCAL Combi Disc 9/10
KONA Blast 9/10
SPECIALZED Rockhopper 9/10


Local knowledge: Forest of Dean.

Killer loop: North Yorks Coastal Killer – Lockey goes dodging, riding from Whitby to Scarborough.

20 best train rides: mbr stokes the boiler to track down the UK’s best train-accessed routes.

Raasay: We hop on a ferry for the Isle of Raasay.

May 2007

10th birthday special issue…

Bike tests: Marathon, 6-inch frame, new riders’ bikes…

ROCKY MOUNTAIN Element 70 8/10
SPECIALIZED Epic FSR Marathon 9/10
TREK Top Fuel 9.8 3/10
WHYTE E5 9/10
INTENSE 6.6 6/10
SANTA CRUZ Nomad 9/10
DECATHALON Rockrider 6.3 7/10
MERIDA Sub 40 V 8/10


Local knowledge: Okehampton – we check out Dartmoor’s new freeride paradise.

Killer loop: Walna Scar – we reincarnate our first ever killer loop in the Lakes.

Trails from the riverbank: Fishing and atb’ing in Northumberland.

10 years of MBR: Reeling in the years – look back with us over the first decade of mbr with Bo and Luke Duke, Kelly Brook in her first ever modelling job, and fancy dress bike tests.

April 2007

Bike tests:

COMMENCAL Supreme 6.10 Mini DH 8/10
SCOTT Ransom 30 7/10


Local knowledge: Stainburn.

Killer loop: North vs South Downs – we put two reader routes head to head in the south of England.

Canal knowledge: we search out swimming cows on the Leeds and Liverpool canal.

New Zealand: we check out the best new man-made trails in NZ.

March 2007

Bike tests:

MONGOOSE Canaan Team
FOCUS Killer Bee Disc Ltd 8/10
GARY FISHER Hoo Koo E Koo 8/10
GENESIS Altitude 1.0 9/10
GIANT XtC 2.5 8/10


Local knowledge: Sherwood – Lockey evades outlaws amongst Sherwood Forest’s singletrack.

UK Trails: Corrour.

10 best cafes: We eat and drink our way around the country in the name of research.

Canada: Newfoundland – Sterling Lorence heads north in search of unspoilt wilderness.

February 2007

Bike tests:

MARIN Rift Zone 9/10
MARIN Alpine Trail 9/10
SPECIALIZED Stumpy FSR Comp 9/10
SPECIALIZED Stumpy FSR Comp womens 8/10
COVE Hustler 10/10
ELLSWORTH Epiphany 8/10
ORANGE 5 10/10
TURNER 5-Spot 8/10


Local knowledge: Ashton Court – Lockey heads out west to check out Bristol’s best singletrack.

Killer loop: Malverns – we go hacking with a bike shop owner and a World Cup Champ in the Malvern Hills.

Rides of a lifetime: we run down our Top 10 list of the best trails in the world.

Switzerland: Dan Milner does a point-to-point in the Alps.

January 2007

Bike tests:

CANNONDALE Prophet4 9/10
GT ID5 3.0 8/10
NORCO Fluid 3 7/10
TREK Fuel EX6 8/10


Local knowledge: Jed Forest – we explore the extensive trail network in the Cheviots.

The 10 best winter trails.

District Line: a two-day autumnal traverse of the Lake District.

Slovenia: we head for the hills in Slovenia and sample some exquisite singletrack.