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 October 2023.
On the cover
In the mag this month we’ve got a round-up of new bikes for 2024. We’ve been doing them for a few years now, but I can’t remember one that’s as jam-packed with fresh metal as this one. In total we’ve squeezed 28 new models into this issue, and of those, 10 are first rides. So much for the bike industry being in the doldrums!
What are the trends for next year? Gearboxes and alternative drivetrains seem to be taking off again, with several designs for both analogue bikes and e-bikes being revealed in prototype form or hitting the market as production items. Diet e-bikes are no longer a niche product now, and most brands will have a lightweight option by next year, if they don’t already. Does that mean the end of the analogue bike? Not if brands like Trek, Devinci, and Deviate have anything to do with it, as they all reveal rad looking high-pivot trail/enduro bikes. Finally, with so much attention on XC racing thanks to superstars like Tom Pidcock and Matieu van der Poel, everyone seems to want to release a new race bike. With the Olympics in Paris next year, we can only expect that trend to continue.
Interview: Charlie Hatton, current DH World Champion
Hands up who watched the World Championships in Scotland last month? I only followed the racing via the livestream, rather than pushing against the tape among the midges and drizzle. But even on screen the atmosphere and drama seemed to leap out of the pixels. With an impressive haul of medals for the Brits, and coverage across more categories and events than we’ve been used to in the past, it feels like mountain biking is really heading in the right direction as a sport. Read our enlightening interview with Charlie Hatton in the new issue.
Mine over matter
“In the summer it’s lovely on this trail,” Gareth Sheppard tells me with a giggle and shake of the head. He’s one of our guides for the day. “There’s tons of grip and you can get up onto the high lines.” It’s mid-August today so I’m not exactly sure when summer will start in this high and hidden fold of Wales, but everyone expects it to arrive any day now, just as soon as the drizzle lets up. Jamie and Ben headed out on Wye MTB’s latest adventure ride, a big-mountain epic called the Rhondda Raid, taking in multiple hills in some of the best riding country in the UK.
Bikes and gear
As mentioned above we have ten ‘First ride’ reviews of bikes we’ve had a taste of at overseas press launches as well as those that we’ve put the miles on around our local test loops. There are e-bikes aplenty and in all flavours, from Mondraker, Pivot and an exceptionally well priced Vitus. Hardtails are there too, with the race-focussed carbon Specialized Epic HT Comp and the sub £1000 Canyon Stoic 2. There’s plenty to get stuck into.
We introduce two new rides this month. Guy Kesteven joins the longtermer crew, picking up his Forbidden Druid GX AXS FX at the this summer’s Ard Rock Enduro. Sean’s also taken delivery of his bike for the next twelve months, breaking his hardtail habit with a sparkling green Norco Fluid FS A1. Plus we have the monthly updates on PB’s Canyon Spectral:ON CFR, James’s Pivot Firebird and Ben’s Scott Genius ST 900 Tuned.
Group test: Trail Gloves
Gloves are a kit bag essential and a well-fitting lightweight pair will see you through riding from spring to autumn. PB runs through the finer details of what to look for and puts a dozen pairs through the test process.
Schwalbe’s new Tacky Chan tyre, a chunky stem and enduro-focused saddle from Pro Bikegear, great value eyewear from Madison, Endura’s MT500 Burner Lite pant, flat pedal shoes from Ride Concepts and Five Ten, a neat multi tool from Milkit and the Dainese Linea 03 MIPS+ helmet.
Bikes in this issue:
- Canyon Neuron: ON CF 8
- Canyon Spectral: ON CFR
- Canyon Stoic 2
- Canyon Torque: ON CF 9
- Forbidden Druid GX AXS FX
- Giant Stance E+1
- Haibike Lyke CF 11
- Mondraker Neat RR
- Norco Fluid FS A1
- Pivot Firebird Pro
- Pivot Shuttle AM Pro (SRAM XO)
- Scott Genius ST 900 Tuned
- Specialized Epic Hardtail Comp
- Trek Slash
- Vitus E-Mythique LT VRX
We’ve selected five of our favourite descents of all time. The ups might drag but the payback’s worth it. See pages 24/25 for the info and GPS downloads.
Trek’s all-new (Gen 6) Slash enduro bike has a high pivot and mullet wheels, making it as hip as loose-leg trousers. There’s more going on than style though. We take a look at Trek’s take on the high pivot trend.