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 September 2022.
On the Cover
A great Whyte, hunting for singletrack in Surrey. Photographer: Adam Highes
Keeper of the Peak
Social media, when used right, can make a huge positive impact. Just ask Chris Maloney, aka Keeper Of The Peak, the man who decided to set up a Twitter account to help mountain bikers plan their rides around the Peak District, but ended up delivering real change. We head out on a ride to see how “making a polite nuisance” of himself helped put mountain bikers on an equal footing with other, more established user groups.
Every year, nature does something remarkable in Lapland – for two weeks in late summer you’re treated to an explosion of colour when the golden birch leaves hang from white, gnarled branches, a beautiful contrast to the flaming red carpet of blueberry bushes on the forest floor. The low-lying, late afternoon sun bathes the surroundings in a soft, warm light, further deepening the blue of the lakes. And the best way to see it all? By mountain bike, of course.
Bikes and gear
We ride the Forestal Cyon Halo, a lightweight e-bike like nothing else – powered by a Bafang-built EonDrive motor delivering 60Nm torque, it also sports an amazing full colour top tube display complete with GPS mapping. And one of our favourite e-bikes gets an update, the Whyte E-160 now comes with an easy-access 750Wh battery across all models. Plus the ARC8 Evolve FS gets a first ride, it’s a seriously lightweight downcountry-bike-come-XC-bike with gravity geometry, aerodynamic tubing and something called Slider Suspension.
Ben Smith gets to grips with the Privateer 141 and its burly Ohlins build by lopping some width off the 810mm bar, dropping the stem and fitting some skinny grips. Plus Sean heaps praise on the Sonder Signal’s generous geometry, JD switches his tyre setup back to the original OEM Butcher combo for dry weather grip, and PB adds a 250Wh EnergyPak Plus range extender to his Reign E+ 1 to give his bike a little more grunt (and weight).
Hand-assembled in the USA, Cane Creek’s latest IL shock has been updated with new Trunnion mount options and an integrated allen tool that simplifies tuning on the trail. We put it to the test, plus reviews of the Sweet Protection Trailblazer helmet (now an on-sale bargain!), the Specialized Purgatory Grid 2Bliss T7 tyre, Nukeproof Blackline Women’s Baggy short, Reserve Fillmore Valves, and Endura Singletrack Lite Knee Pads II.
Tested: Dropper posts
If there has been one product that has transformed the way we ride more than any other, it’s the dropper post. No more stopping to adjust your saddle height, just ride and repeat.
This month we’re putting 10 to the test, figuring out which will still be sliding smoothly after hours of riding, and which will let you down at the first opportunity. On test is the BikeYoke Revive 160, Bontrager Line Elite, Brand-X Ascend XL, Crankbrothers HighLine 7, Giant Contact Switch, One Up V2, Race Face Aeffect, RockShox Reverb AXS, RockShox Reverb Stealth, and X-Fusion Manic.
Bike test: XC bikes
XC bikes have been heavily influenced by the progression of modern trail bikes – they sport genuinely relaxed and capable geometry for descending, steep effective seat tube angles for climbing, and oodles of reach to fit the tallest of riders. Great for riding between the crowd-lined tape then, but equally useful for regular riding when you just want to rip.
We’ve got a trio of whippets charging for the top spot here, the new Vitus Rapide FS CRX, Canyon’s Lux World Cup CFR Team and the Intense Sniper T.
Bikes featured this issue
- ARC8 Evolve FS
- Canyon Lux World Cup CFR Team
- Forestal Cyon Halo
- Giant Reign E+ 1
- Intense Sniper T
- Privateer 141 Ohlins
- Sonder Signal ST GX
- Specialized Turbo Keneo SL Comp
- Vitus Rapide FS CRX
- Whyte E-160 RSX
Buzz: Fit and fast
There’s a reason pros all perform strength training – it’s good for their riding. And it’s good for yours to, so whether you’re an experienced rider, or just taking it up, Jonny from Fit4Racing has answered some of the most common questions about twinning mountain biking with gym work. So get your spandex on, your protein scoops at the ready, and prepare to get hench.
Skills: Natural ability
This summer’s been good to us, but with autumn just around the corner it’s time to get set for slicker conditions. Andy Barlow from Dirt School takes us back to the basics of mountain biking, with advice on how to recognise and link the grippy bits of a trail together, why you need to listen to your body positon, and when to use a solid speed hop to create pressure on the ground for control.
This month we uncover copycat bikes from China, show you the latest (and lightest) e-bike from Pivot, look at the new automatic shifting and ABS brakes from Shimano and Bosch, list the ultimate little-known singletrack across the UK, figure out how best to twin resistance training with mountain biking, and loads more.
My best trail
Sim Mainey, long-time mbr writer and snapper, lives to ride. He loves daft rides in good company, dramatic landscapes and even more dramatic light. Aspires to inspire.