The latest issue of MBR is out now, packed full of inspiring ideas and routes to help you find new places to get out and ride. Here’s what you’ll find inside MBR February 2022.
On the Cover
Sam Shucksmith tweaks the latest G180, in the Forest of Dean
Trailblazers: Elan Valley
The Elan Valley in mid-Wales’ has always been one of the country’s go-to XC riding destinations, the scenery and the stunning terrain see to that. But times change, mountain biking moves on and we’ve come to demand more from our rides – step forward Adam Stallard, he’s a ranger for Welsh Water and one figure helping to bring the riding in the valley up to date. Check out the new blue and red manmade trails, can they compete with nature’s bounty?
Sam Shucksmith, Whyte Bikes
We ride with Sam Shucksmith, man behind Whyte Bikes’ fearsome arsenal of gravity bikes, and find out why he turned from downhill racing to engineering, what it feels like to get a bike featured in our Editor’s Choice awards, and how snapping his knee off was the best day of his racing life. Well, until that point anyway.
Bikes and Gear
The Canyon Torque bucked the trend for years, dishing out fun and speed in equal measure and sticking to 27.5in wheels while it did it. Now Canyon’s gone big, adding every wheel size combination to the range, and even a coil shock. Has it kept the magic though? We find out. Plus first ride’s on the Scott Patron E-Ride, an e-bike that hides its shock inside the frame, and the Salsa Blackthorn Carbon with 140mm travel, 29in wheels and a killer attitude.
It’s new bike day for JD, with the Specialized Turbo Kenevo SL Comp, a machine in a class of its own thanks to its lightweight motor and aggressive Enduro-inspired geometry. Find out if it’s a bad compromise between full-power eebs and regular pedal bikes, or the ultimate in modern riding. Plus updates on the Nukeproof Scout, Focus Jam, Kona Process. And PB delivers his verdict on the Haibike Allmtn e-bike, with the powerful Yamaha motor.
Suntour has been working hard to dispel the idea its forks are for entry level hardtails, and the latest tool in its box is the flagship SR Suntour Axon-Werx34. Designed for downcountry or hardcore XC, find out if it’s worth the £1,000 pricetag. Plus reviews of Giro flat pedal shoes, Kali kneepads, Teravail, Julbo eyewear and loads more.
Tested: Mini pumps
Flats happen, and when they do you need a quick, efficient and lightweight way of fixing the problem. Step forward the mini pump, small enough to bolt to your frame or slip inside the smallest of packs, they’re less wasteful and cheaper than Co2 canisters but can still get the job done. The difference between the best and the worst, in terms of durability and air volume shifted, can be vast, so read our test to find out which works and which ones are full of hot air.
Bike test: Flight Attendant vs Fox Live Valve
Intelligent electronic suspension is the latest must-have for high end mountain bikes, using clever algorithms to firm up your suspension for climbing and pedalling, then near-instantly open it up again on anything rough. Fox started it all with Live Valve, its latest 1.5 version is here with better control, while SRAM’s Flight Attendant is new to the party: Find out which system works best, aboard the Giant Trance and YT Jeffsy.
Bikes in this Issue
- Canyon Torque CF8 30
- Focus Jam 6.9 71
- Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29 1 96
- Haibike Allmtn 6 72
- Kona Process 134 Supreme 71
- Nukeproof Scout 290 Pro 70
- Salsa Blackthorn Carbon 38
- Scott Patron E-Ride 900 Tuned 34
- Specialized Turbo Keneo SL Comp 68
- Valentino Rossi bike 20
- YT Industries Jeffsy Uncaged 6 100
Buzz: Fit and Fast
In this month’s Bulletproof Training we take a long, knobbly look at the knees, and why they cause problems for 95% of riders out there. Sort yours out though, with help from Jonny from Fit4Racing – he’ll take you through a knee assessment, stabilizing exercises and a strengthening programme to sort those problem patellas.
Skills: New to MTB Part 2
Winter’s in full swing, the trails are slippery and naturally your new found form can take a nosedive. Don’t let it, says Dirt School’s Andy Barlow, practice some deliberate body position techniques, spot those grip points and work out your full range of motion. It’ll help you now, but it’ll really pay off when the days are longer again and the sun comes out to play.
Buzz – Where to ride in 2022
Aberdeenshire in Scotland has more than its fair share of mountains, trails and whisky, but surprisingly few mountain bikers, and that makes it our pick of where to ride in 2022, alongside five other great UK destinations to check out.
My best trail
Laurie Greenland helped design and build the Vanta trail at BikePark Wales, he tells us why it takes more than just nerves of steel to send it.