Staff Writer Luke rips a turn at Black Mountain Cycle Centre on the Specialized Kenevo e-bike, for the cover of MBUK, issue 360

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

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Date: September 2018

Rider: Luke Marshall

Bike: Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert 6Fattie

Trail/location: Rabbit Run, Black Mountains Cycle Centre

Photographer: Steve Behr

Behind the cover: MBUK issue 360

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.

Black Mountain Cycle Centre. Photo: Steve Behr
Another angle of Luke that didn’t make the cut. Photo: Steve Behr

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