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 October 2021.
ON THE COVER
Ralph van den Berg and Silvan Marfurt break descending records in Davos. Photo: Martin Bissi.
RETRO BIKE BONANZA
Saddleback, distributors of Enve, Troy Lee and plenty more, has built up a stunning collection of bikes stretching back 30 years. You won’t find these rigs for sale on any website or in any bike shop, they’re retro treasures that draw a line back through our sport’s history. Join us for a virtual tour through this incredible museum of exotic hardware.
Ralph van den Berg and Silvan Marfurt clocked up 21,000m of vertical descending in just one day earlier this summer in the Swiss resort of Davos. In doing so, they broke the unofficial world record for the most vertical singletrack descent in a day, and nearly broke themselves in the process too. We find out how they did it… and why.
GT has a new version of its Force enduro bike, with 29in wheels, carbon frame, and a ground-up redesign featuring a high-ish pivot idler LTS suspension. We take it for a spin. Plus the Voodoo Bizango, our Hardtail of the Year winner, now features a lighter frame, with better geometry and improved spec. And YT’s all-new Capra wows us with its great suspension and new frame design that even has space for a water bottle.
We’re introducing a new longtermer this month, in the shape of the Focus Jam 6.9, a 150mm-travel, shop-bought 29er that still delivers a killer pricetag. James Bracey takes it to the Ard Rock for a baptism of fire. Plus PB’s Haibike gets a wheel upgrade to the Spank Oozy 395+, Ben Smith does some tyre pressure testing on his Kona Process, Sean tries Plus size tyres on the Nukeproof Scout, and Ben Day finally sets about some maintenance after 10 months on his Vitus Escarpe.
Troy Lee boasts that the new A3 helmet is so comfortable you’ll never want to take it off, we put that to the test and try to figure out if its £200 pricetag is warranted. Also reviewed is the Smith Mainline full-face, Endura MT500 women’s jersey, Cane Creek Valt Progressive Spring, Race Face Stash bib, Feedback Sports Ultimate Pro Elite Workstand, and Smith Optics Shift Mag glasses.
TESTED: ENDURO FORKS
Fox and RockShox hit on something big with the move to chunky 38mm stanchions, developing two forks in the 38 and the Zeb that are capable of taking enduro riders further and faster than ever before. We test the Fox 38 Performance Elite, RockShox Zeb Ultimate, Öhlins RXF 38, DVO Oynx, Marzocchi Bomber Z1 and SR Suntour Durolux R2C2.
BIKE TEST: BARGAIN BRITISH ENDURO BIKES
It’s not just the Germans who can create competitive 29er enduro bikes – British brands Privateer and Vitus are making great bikes that are boxed and ready for a race near you. This month the Privateer 161 SLX/XT and Vitus’s Sommet 29 CRS go head-to head. Both muster around 160mm travel through four- bar suspension designs, both use 170mm forks, but there can only be one winner.
FIT & FAST – UNDERSTANDING FATIGUE
Physiology expert Dr Shaun Phillips argues that fatigue is usually the limiting factor on the length of our rides. Last month he broke down the causes of tiredness. This month he figures out what we can do about it, from minimising your energy loss on rides to modifying your training.
Riding is easy, the trail comes at you in slow motion and you’re at one with your bike – congratulations, you’re in that zen state of flow where mountain biking is like a dream. Andy Barlow from Dirt School shows us how to get there, with some some deliberate techniques and skills to focus on. Plus we look at some classic bits of advice for entering the flow state and why they really do work.
The Ard Rock Enduro was a bit special this year, not run since 2018 thanks to a combination of flooding and Covid, now it’s back and the first in a line of mountain bike festivals rounding out the summer. We head to Swaledale to feel the good vibes (and maybe sample a beer or two).
MY BEST TRAIL
Henrik Jensen is an upcoming enduro racer from the Surrey Hills, competing in the national enduro series and the EWS, and a Specialized brand ambassador.
BIKES IN THIS ISSUE
Focus Jam 6.9
GT Force Carbon Pro LE
Haibike Allmtn 6
Kona Process 134 Supreme
Nukeproof Scout 290 Pro
Orange Phase AD3
Privateer 161 SLX/XT
Vitus Escarpe 29 CRS
Vitus Sommet 29 CRS
YT Capra 29 Core 4