MBR December 2021

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 December 2021.

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Trail Bike of the Year taking shape, on the Canyon Spectral CF 7. Photo: Roo Fowler.


Trek’s Top Fuel seems to get subtly better each year we test it and 2022 is no exception. This 29in wheeled down-country ripper boasts 120mm travel front and rear and gets a raft of subtle changes – like improved geometry and many more sizes – to keep it in top spot. Plus we test out Voodoo’s latest entry-level hardtail, the Braag, with a 1x drivetrain, triple-butted frame and sorted cockpit all for just £550. And the Bold Linkin 150 – the cleanest, coolest-looking trail bike in the world thanks to its hidden shock and pull-out tool tray (yes, really)


The most important bike test we do, Trail Bike of the Year pulls together the best and most relevant bikes for UK riders, before breaking them down into our two favourite shredders. This year it’s closer than ever, so we’ve split the test in two, with both shop-bought and direct-sales bikes in the running. On test is the Vitus Escarpe 29, Canyon Spectral CF 7, YT Jeffsy Core 2, Privateer 141, Nukeproof Reactor, Focus Jam 6.9, Whyte T-160 and Stumpjumper Evo… let battle commence


It’s a Welsh road trip for Ben Day and the Vitus Escarpe CRS, taking in the natural highs of Cadair Idris, before shuttling some proper descents at Dyfi Bike Park. Meanwhile, Ben Smith tries to upgrade his £10k Kona Process 134 and actually finds a way, with new tyres and SRAM HS2 rotors; James Bracey plans some weight-saving wheel upgrades for the Focus Jam; PB gets some custom-made attachments for his Haibike e-bike from a friendly reader; and Sean changes absolutely nothing on his sorted Nukeproof Scout hardtail


An essential piece of kit for any UK rider, the jacket has a tough job of it, keeping you clean, dry and sweat free in any weather. Fortunately, clothing manufacturers have been hard at work over the past few years, developing new and innovative fabrics to do the job. We’ve got 12 on test from the likes of Endura, Rapha, Fox, Troy Lee, Specialized and more


Mountain biking is tough on your body, so we’re running a new series on how to bulletproof yourself against its rigours and get the most out of your riding. We’ve recruited coach-to-the-pros Jonny Thompson from Fit4Racing to help out – this time we take a closer look at boosting ankle protection. Not sexy (well, maybe…), but essential to delivering power to the pedals and keeping contact with the trails


Increasing your speed is about more than just hammering into sections faster. It comes from increasing your control on the trail, building confidence in yourself, picking the best lines and putting your body into the right positions. Pro coach Andy Barlow from Dirt School shows us how to take each step


Making a carbon-fibre bike frame produces three times the CO2 emissions of an equivalent alloy model, according to a new environmental impact report from Trek. We look at whether this should change our buying habits, whether riding bikes can really be considered green, and what brands and riders can do to safeguard the planet


DH shredder turned coach Katy Curd recalls the shock and awe of her first time riding the DH course in Champéry

MBR December 2021

MBR December 2021


Bold Linkin 150 Ultimate
Canyon Spectral CF 7
Coal Bicycles ’84
Focus Jam 6.9
Hope HB-916
Howler Frameworks Fenrir
Kona Process 134 Supreme
Nukeproof Mega 297
Nukeproof Reactor Pro 290 Alloy
Nukeproof Scout 290 Pro
Privateer 141 SLX/XT
Ra Bikes .12
Specialized Stumpjumper Evo Comp
Specialized Stumpjumper Evo Elite Elite
Trek Top Fuel 8
Vitus Escarpe 29 CRS
Vitus Escarpe 29 CRX
Voodoo Braag
Whyte T-160 RS V1
YT Industries Jeffsy Core 2