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.
ON THE COVER
Chris Akrigg shows us the real meaning of Boost. Photographer: Mick Kirkman.
WILD TRAILS, DYFI VALLEY
Wild trails have existed as long as mountain bikes have, carving a niche of convenience and great riding through the UK. They are the backbone of mountain biking for thousands of riders, but live a charmed life, always under the threat of destruction. Now though, Dave Evans from Bike Corris has hit upon a way to protect them, wrapping them in a fold of bureaucracy. We head to the Dyfi Valley in North Wales to find out how
In 2020 Tempeste Alex dropped 900mm of rain in just 24 hours on the mountains above Saint Martin de Vésubie, home to the Trans- Vésubienne XC race. The resulting flood brought devastation to the valley and community below, the famous Biere de Comté brewery, and of course to the big-mountain race that links the high mountains of the Vesubie to the beach below. Ten months on from the storm, has the community recovered, is the beer flowing again, and can the race take place?
At last Nukeproof has an e-bike, called the Megawatt – it’s based on the famous Mega enduro bike and adds Shimano’s EP8 motor to the mix. We find out if the performance proves just as electrifying. Plus first turns on the NS Bikes Define, a 170mm- travel mullet bike that boasts pedalling efficiency as one of its chief accomplishments. And the Liv Embolden, a women’s-specific full suspension bike for less than £2k, complete with flex-stay technology and 27.5in wheels.
PB snaps the brake lever off his Haibike Allmtn 6 in the least impressive manner possible, falling over in the van. Well, he is of pensionable age. Meanwhile, Ben Smith revels in the lightweight and snappy ride of his Kona Process, Ben Day gets in at the deep end on his Vitus Escarpe at the Forest of Dean, Benji delivers his verdict on the Giant Trance X after a year in review, and Sean gives his Nukeproof a climbing workout.
What’s the best helmet for less than a hundred quid? We pit the new Smith Engage against the Urge All Air to find out which is best to protect your head. Plus reviews of the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar GPS watch, POC’s Ora Clarity Fabio Ed. goggle, and loads more.
CLIPLESS AND FLAT PEDAL SHOES
Mountain bike shoes have come a long way in the past few years, perfecting the balance between grip, stiffness, durability and comfort – we test a dozen of the best, with six pairs of flat pedal shoes, and half a dozen clipless. Check out our take on the latest shoes from Five Ten, Crankbrothers, Bontrager, Shimano, Specialized, Ride Concepts and more.
High-pivot bikes took the downhill world by storm a few years back, now they’re cropping up on trail bikes too. Do they live up to the hype – bump-swallowers with pedalling prowess – or work out more trouble than they’re worth? We’ve got two on test to find out, the 130mm travel Forbidden Druid with 29in wheels, and the Deviate Highlander with 140mm of suspension and a full carbon frame.
FIT AND FAST – COACHING DAYS
Landing yourself off the bike with an injury is bad enough, but when your confidence crashes with you and affects your return to riding it’s even worse. We head along to a coaching day with multiple national champ and DH racer Katy Curd to regain some trail zen.
Learn how to increase control and power on your e-bike, with one of the world’s best trials riders as your coach – Chris Akrigg. Chris shows us how to set up the bike, pick the best power mode, explains when to go easy and how to use those watts to maximum effect.
Trail building continues at a prodigious pace at the South Wales mtb mecca, with four new uplifted trails to tempt you along, from the rocky new blue to a challenging black graded trail. Oh, and don’t forget to gaze in awe at the new Red Bull pro line, rumoured to have been built for a new edit with Laurie Greenland.
MY BEST TRAIL
DH star Morgane Charre’s favourite ever trail can be found at La Clusaz Bike Park in France, it’s the place she honed her downhill skills.
BIKES IN THIS ISSUE
Cannondale Jekyll 1
Deviate Highlander 140
Forbidden Druid XT
Giant Trance X 29 2
Haibike Allmtn 6
Kona Process 134 Supreme
Liv Embolden 1
Norco Range C1
NS Bikes Define Al 170 1
Nukeproof Megawatt 297 Factory Alloy
Nukeproof Scout 290 Pro
Scott Spark 900 Tuned
Vitus Escarpe 29 CRS