MBR April 2021

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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…


JD’s in hardtail heaven, on smooth Surrey Hills flow trails. Photo by Roo Fowler


Doesn’t sound great, does it? The Range of the Awful Hand is almost certainly somewhere you’ve never heard of; we hadn’t either, and that’s precisely why we headed there last summer for an adventure. Lockdown has narrowed our horizons, forced us to ride closer to home, in isolation, which makes it more important than ever to head to pastures new when we can. Will this strange and unknown mountain range in Scotland prove as awful as it sounds? Time to find out…


If you’ve ridden your bike this winter then chances are you’ve dabbled in the white stuff, sliding on trails you know are down there somewhere. For Alpine resident Dan Milner snow is more of a way of life; usually he swaps bike for board at this time of year, but with the ski lifts closed and a thirst for adventure, it’s the year to Just Get Out and Ride… perhaps with spiked tyres though


We’ve ridden two new big-hitters this month: the Nukeproof Giga, a suped-up enduro bike with 170mm travel in 29in guise or 180mm in 27.5in; and Canyon’s latest version of the Torque, with 27.5in wheels, 175mm travel and a fun-loving personality. And we swing a leg over two of the latest e-bikes, the top-end YT Decoy Elite with Crank Brothers carbon wheels, and the Focus Sam2 sporting a coil shock and downhill attitude


Say goodbye to the Cannondale Habit with its size-specific suspension, it’s time for a final score after a year in review. Plus we find out how the Haibike’s Allmtn e-bike with the powerful Yamaha motor has been coping with this brutal winter, whether the shine has worn off the Vitus Escarpe’s good looks and great value, and if the Giant Trance X really rides better with an angleset and slacker geometry


On test this month is O’Neal’s new Pump Flat Pedal shoe, the KS Lev Integra dropper post, Specialized Trail Series Alpha jacket, OnOff AM Resin pedal, Peaty’s Clean, Protect & Lube, Race Face Atlas 35 stem, Madison DTE waterproof jacket, Specialized LoDown glove, and the Nukeproof Outland DriRelease Long Sleeve Tech Tee


Once the preserve of newbies, dirt jumpers or the youth, riding trousers are now a staple part of everyone’s riding wardrobe, keeping you stylish and comfortable in all weathers. We’ve split our test into two this month, with five women’s pairs and five men’s reviewed, from IXS, ION, Specialized, Troy Lee and more


Hardtails make perfect sense in the winter as they are a pragmatic
and fun choice when the weather’s not at its best and maintenance is best kept to a minimum. There’s
no reason to let the fun stop when summer arrives, though, as the latest crop of hardcore hardtails blend progressive geometry and sizing, making them genuinely great for all seasons. On test this month is the Ragley Blue Pig, Ribble with its HT 725 Pro Build, and the new Canyon Stoic 4


There’s a host of real-world reasons stopping us training like the pros, from long working hours to short winter days. Fit4Racing’s Jonny Thompson has the solution though, here’s how to cram mini workouts into your regular
day, with minimal kit but maximum performance gains


You don’t have to travel beyond the street outside your house to boost your trail skills, argues Dirt School’s Andy Barlow. Good technique can be built anywhere, and it starts with locking down your bunny-hop, helping you move the bike around when it’s time to take to the trails again


Grizzled mountain bear Andy McKenna runs Go Where Scotland, one of the best guiding companies in Scotland – now he shows us his favourite out-there ride

MBR April 2021


Cannondale Habit Carbon 3
Canyon Stoic 4
Canyon Torque:ON 8
Canyon Torque CF 8
Focus Sam2 6.9
Giant Trance X 29 2
Haibike Allmtn 6
Nukeproof Giga 290 Carbon Factory
Ragley Blue Pig
Ribble HT 725 Pro Build
Scott Hyper Spark
Vitus Escarpe 29 CRS
YT Decoy Elite