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
Fabien Barel on his favourite trail, somewhere in the South of France
Photographer: Matt Wragg
Trailblazers: Forestry England
We head out with two riders from Forestry England, the UK’s biggest landowner and sometime-scourge of off-piste mountain bike trails. But before you angrily turn to Twitter to bemoan us for colluding with the enemy, check out what they’ve got to say: There are two sides to every story, is the Forestry actually a friend to mountain bikers, despite the negative image?
Crans Montana, Switzerland
Crans Montana is a secret corner of the Valais region and a resort that really doesn’t ping on UK riders’ radars. But that all changed last summer after the organisers of the Enduro World Series got wind of the high quality steeps, paid a visit and promptly invited themselves to hold a race here for the next three years. Oh, and the 2025 UCI World Champs XC event will be held here too. We get head high to find out what all the fuss is about.
Bikes and Gear
Orange brings its Evo treatment to the Stage 6 trail bike, trimming the suspension fat and making the bike tighter and lighter. Plus we try out the YT Izzo Uncaged, a 120mm down-country bike with gripshift lockout front and rear, AXS drivetrain and a limited 300 bike run. And take a first ride aboard the On One Hello Dave, a triple butted steel hardtail with top spec and a bargain price.
We’re Introducing a new e-bike to longtermer set, Giant’s Reign E+ 1 with its mega powerful Yamaha motor. Will it prove too much for the other e-bike in the game, JD’s Specialized Turbo Kenevo SL Comp, a machine in a class of its own thanks to its lightweight motor and aggressive Enduro-inspired geometry? And check in on updates from the Nukeproof Scout hardtail, Focus Jam trail bike and Kona Process whippet.
Disc brakes are all about power and control. The ability to feather the amount of pressure you apply to those brakes is just as important as the sheer stopping power they give out. Afterall that’s what really lets us scrub off speed rather than skidding, dishing out control on your bike. We’ve got 10 sets of the latest on test, from the most powerful four-piston stoppers complete with 220mm rotors, down to lightweight options with carbon lever blades. So whether you ride an e-bike or XC racer, we’ve got your brakes covered.
Bike test: 29er hardtails
Four bikes on test, and four completely different approaches to designing a killer hardtail. They’ve all got 29er wheels and alloy frames, but our bikes mix up the fork travel, have varying chainstay lengths, choice of tyre specifications, and with it all quite distinct personalities. Which is best though? Does the Nukeproof Scout 290 Comp, Kona’s Honzo, the Whyte or Merida’s Big Trail bring home the test win? Find out on page 92.
Bikes in this Issue
- Focus Jam 6.9
- Giant Reign E+ 1
- Kona Honzo
- Kona Process 134 Supreme
- Merida Big Trail 600
- Nukeproof Scout 290 Comp
- Nukeproof Scout 290 Pro
- On One Hello Dave SRAM GX
- Orange Stage 6 Evo SE
- Specialized Turbo Keneo SL Comp
- Stanton Bikes Switch9er
- Stanton Bikes Switchback FS
- Whyte 629 V4
- YT Izzo Uncaged 7
Buzz: Fit and Fast
In Bulletproof Training this month we turn from the knees to that other essential suspension pivot point, the elbows, and find out how to keep yours strong and stable. Fitness guru to the stars Jonny from Fit4Racing tells us how to prevent any problems with stabilising and strengthening exercises to keep you riding trouble free.
Skills: Building confidence
Being confident on your bike is a wonderful thing, it helps you commit to tricky lines, feel safer on larger obstacles, and ultimately go faster without feeling threatened or defensive. But why is it so darned difficult to do? Dirt School’s Andy Barlow has some expert advice on hand, from getting the correct technique to hanging out in the car park and perfecting your skills.
Buzz – Mountain View Bike Park
MV isn’t your average bike park, it’s not about having the highest vertical descents, the biggest jumps or the most trails. Instead it’s focus is on community development, helping youngsters find their flow, and setting up riders for the bigger bike parks further north from its Caerphilly base.
My best trail
Fabien Barel’s favourite trail is on home turf, called Trail of Leaves it’s got everything a former DH champion needs.