Cover of MBR Magazine May Issue 275

The latest issue of MBR is out now, and as ever it’s 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 May 2022. 

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On the Cover

Rocky, Lakeland testing on this month’s bike test winner, the Forbidden Dreadnought. Photographer: James Vincent


Person in orange jersey riding Forbidden Dreadnought mountain bike down steep rocks

What is it about mountain biking that makes us love it?

Thank you, mountain biking

What is it about mountain biking that’s so bloody good? It’s the kind of question non-riders ask you now and then, so this month we take a deep dive into the sport that makes us tick, and try and carve out an answer. We reckon the experiences we have on our bikes make us resourceful, skilful, and ultimately happy people, sometimes willing to take a calculated risk and always willing to experience more from life. What do you reckon? Write in and tell us.

Åre, Sweden

Mountain biker in yellow jacket rides trail at sunset in Sweden

With views and trails like this, it’s easy to see why Åre is a riding destination to add to your wishlist

Åre is Sweden’s version of Whistler, the epicentre for the vibrant Swedish ski and outdoor scene. With one of the largest bike parks in Europe, adventurous trail riding and vibrant bike culture, this little mountain town is a bike destination to put on your bucket list. Mattias Fredriksson returns to his old stomping grounds to show us around.

Bikes and Gear

Photo of Canyon Spectral 125

Read about our first ride impressions of the Canyon Spectral 125

First Rides

Trail bikes don’t have to come with 150-160mm travel, Canyon reckons, and to prove it the direct sales giants have launched the new Spectral 125, with minimal travel and aggressive geometry ideal for big terrain. Will it prove under gunned or slot nicely into the new breed of short travel rippers doing the rounds? Plus we ride the mixed wheel size Evil Insurgent MX 29 and the Santa Cruz Chameleon hardtail.


PB has been suspension fettling on his Giant Reign E+ 1 e-bike, cracking open the shock and fork to remove tokens and realigning the floating axle on the Fox 38 in search of a more supple ride. JD gets a shot in the arm with a Range Extender battery pack for the Specialized Turbo Keneo SL Comp low-power eeb, Ben fits new bearings tohis Kona Process 134 Supreme short travel trail bike, James Braces gets a coil shock on the Focus Jam 6.9, and Sean delivers his final verdict on his Nukeproof Scout 290 Pro hardtail.


Marzocchi Bomber CR coil shock

The Marzocchi Bomber CR coil shock: tried and tested in this month’s MBR

On test this month is the Marzocchi Bomber CR coil shock for riders in search of more grip and comfort at a modest price. Plus we review the Bryton’s Rider 420 GPS, Leatt AllMtn Jacket 4.0 V22, Specialized Supacaz ePedal, Ryobi’s Cordless Power Washer and the Fox 36/38 XL Mudguard.

Tested: Track pumps and shock pumps

Selection of mountain bike shock pumps on a yellow table that were used in the MBR group test

Every rider needs a track pump, it’ll help you quickly and easily inflate your tyres and seat a tubeless bead too. And unless you’re riding exclusively on coil-sprung suspension front and rear, you’ll need a shock pump to dial in your sag too. We’ve got six of each on test, from budget models that do the bare bones to tactile masterpieces, hewn from wood and CNC’d from alloy.

Bike test: High pivot idler enduro bikes

Forbidden and GT high pivot mountain bikes tested against each other

Forbidden and GT go head-to-head in this battle of the high pivot enduro bikes

High pivot idler bikes have proven their worth on the DH stage, now they’re the zeitgeist design for enduro bikes too, but can they offer the same kind of advantage? Does decoupling chain forces from the suspension really pay off under braking? We’ve got two rippers to figure it out: on test is the GT Force and Forbidden’s Dreadnought, the former a mid-pivot 4-bar design from California, the latter a single-pivot layout from Canada.

Bikes in this Issue

  • Binary Maniak 21
  • Canyon Spectral 125 CF9 30
  • Focus Jam 6.9 75
  • Forbidden Dreadnought XT 96
  • Eminent Haste 20
  • Evil Insurgent MX 29 GX 34
  • Giant Reign E+ 1 70
  • GT Force Carbon Pro LE 100
  • Kona Process 134 Supreme 74
  • Nukeproof Scout 290 Pro 74
  • Reeb Sqweeb V4 21
  • Reichmann Senduro 20
  • Specialized Turbo Keneo SL Comp 72
  • Santa Cruz Chameleon R Al 29 38
  • Tora EVH 21

How to

Buzz: Fit and Fast

Wrapping up Bulletproof Training this month is the upper back and neck, both responsible for keeping your head still and your vision clear when riding a bike. The muscles there in are responsible for a lot of stability then, so it makes sense to keep yours strong and pain free, Jonny from Fit4Racing talks us through the process.

Skills: Stepping it up

Woman riding mountain bike on technical descent through forest in Scotland

There comes a point when you want to up your game. Perhaps it’s that trail feature you’ve always wanted to tick off, but never dared. Or progressing up to a red-graded trail from those fun blues you’ve stuck to for so long. Skills legend Andy Barlow has the best advice, on keeping your composure, checking your body positioning and balance, spotting the best lines and actually drawing up a game plan to achieve your goals.

Buzz – Skem trails

It’s all about taking mountain biking to the people, rather than people to the mountains this month – we head to Lancashire to check out the Skem Trails, two short but sweet elongated pumptracks (or super condensed trail centre tracks) packed with a quick succession of jumps and berms, tightly wound within an impressively small area.

My best trail

Oisin O’Callaghan, MTB prodigy from Ireland and now with the YT mob, takes us back to his home trails.