Behind the cover: MBUK issue 360
We're starting a new online feature here at the mag. Every month we're going to bring you the story behind the latest issue's cover image – where and how it was shot and why we selected it
Issue number: 360
Date: September 2018
Rider: Luke Marshall
Bike: Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert 6Fattie
Trail/location: Rabbit Run, Black Mountains Cycle Centre
Photographer: Steve Behr
This month marks a new chapter in MBUK's history – it's the first time we've ever run a photo of an electric bike on the cover. Yes, we can almost hear the cries of the e-bike haters from here, but don't worry, we're still very much a mountain bike magazine and won't be shifting our main focus from pedal power any time soon. What this cover does represent, though, is that – like them or not – e-bikes are a large and growing part of our sport now.
We chose to run an e-bike cover this issue because they're the subject of our monthly head-to-head biketest. Inside the mag, you'll find reviews of the Haibike XDURO AllMtn 9.0, Cannondale Moterra LT1, Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert 6Fattie (as featured on the cover) and Mondraker E-Crafty XR+.
We wanted a photo that was quintessentially e-bike and captured the power of the motor, which is why we chose this shot of our staff writer, Luke, blasting out of a berm at Black Mountains Cycle Centre. Luke hit this corner a good 20 times for the lens of Steve Behr.
What you don't see is that he had to keep pumping up the Specialized's plus-size rear tyre in between each try, because earlier in the day he'd burped it getting the 24kg beast sideways over a tabletop for another cover option that didn't make the cut. Despite the tyre squirming – nearly to the point of rimming out mid turn – and Luke almost getting sent into a tree on the exit a few times, we reckon he and Steve nailed it.
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Former Mountain Biking UK features editor Ed Thomsett is a downhiller at heart but has been riding bikes of all types since a young age. He's raced both nationally and internationally in downhill and enduro, and has spent several summers living in the Alps and Canada, riding, roadtripping and living the dirtbag lifestyle. Now Ed calls upon his years of experience riding bikes to the limit as a writer and reviewer for MBUK and BikeRadar. He's also an avid trail builder and has scraped out numerous steep and technical lines in the woodlands of his native North Yorkshire. These days Ed will happily turn his hand to any discipline and believes the sign of a good week is when every bike in his shed ends up muddy by the end of it.