MBUK's best bikes and gear of 2017

MBUK’s best mountain bikes and kit of 2017

All the products that scored five out of five with our testers

Even though we review more than 40 new products in every issue of Mountain Biking UK, it’s rare that we award a bike, component or item of clothing full marks. So any bit of kit that does get five stars from our testers really is the best of the best. Here are all the products that received the top score in 2017.

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Bikes

Components

Clothing

Accessories

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Bikes

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Whyte S-150C Works (2018) – £5,499

Whyte's S-150C is a UK-designed pinner that thrives on almost any trail
Whyte’s S-150C is a UK-designed pinner that thrives on almost any trail

What our testers said:

“Whyte’s latest trail bike is a do-it-all ripper. It’s a 150mm-travel, plus-compatible 29er that can take on virtually any trail with aplomb.”

Review date: November 2017 (MBUK 349)

Read our full review on BikeRadar and check out the video below:

Available from: www.whyte.bike

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Components

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Fox 36 Float FIT4 Factory fork (2018) – £1,049

Fox's 36 Float FIT4 Factory fork is even better for 2018
Fox’s 36 Float FIT4 fork is even better for 2018

What our testers said:

“The latest Fox 36 provides bags of hard-charging support with gobs of traction-extracting sensitivity. It’s comfortable yet confidence inspiring. If you’ve got the cash, and don’t mind the occasional top-out knock, the performance is top class.”

Review date: November 2017 (MBUK 349)

Check out BikeRadar’s head-to-head test with the RockShox Lyrik.

Available from: www.silverfish-uk.com

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HT PA03A flat pedals – £34.99

HT's PA03A flat pedals may be cheap but they're strong, light and reliable
HT’s PA03A flat pedals may be cheap but they’re strong, light and reliable

What our testers said:

“Don’t let the boring name and budget price put you off – the PA03As are some of the best flat pedals we’ve ridden.”

Review date: September 2017 (MBUK 347)

Read our full review on BikeRadar.

Available from: www.ison-distribution.com

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Just Riding Along Stan’s NoTubes Flow MK3 Traildog wheels – £411.22 (inc p&p)

JRA's Stan's NoTubes Flow MK3 Traildog wheels are impeccably hand-built, dynamic and durable trail wheels at a killer price
JRA’s Stan’s Flow MK3 Traildog wheels are dynamic and durable trail hoops at a killer price

What our testers said:

“This hand-built wheelset balances precision line holding with a lively, forgiving feel. The sweet-riding Stan’s rims feel even better than normal on the trail, and their 29mm internal width makes them ideal for getting the best out of wide tyres too.”

Review date: September 2017 (MBUK 347)

Read our full review on BikeRadar.

Available from: www.justridingalong.com

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Maxxis Minion DHF WT 3C MaxxGrip TR EXO 27.5×2.5in tyre – £59.99

Maxxis's Minion DHF WT tyre is well worth its premium price
Maxxis’s Minion DHF WT tyre is well worth its premium price

What our testers said:

“Maxxis have completely reworked the carcass and compound distribution of the Minion DH for the new ‘Wide Trail’ version to get the best out of bigger rims and bigger air volume. That’s most obvious in the superbly planted feel of this tyre, with no bounce, bobble or wobble, no matter how rowdy you and/or the trail are getting.”

Review date: July 2017 (MBUK 345)

Read our full review on BikeRadar.

Available from: www.maxxis.co.uk

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OneUp Components Bash Guide – US$79+p&p (approx £64)

OneUp Components' Bash Guide is lightweight but stoutly built
OneUp’s Bash Guide is lightweight but stoutly built

What our testers said:

“OneUp’s chain guide weighs just 88g with the medium bashguard. Small shims allow the upper guide to be spaced out precisely without removing the cranks, making set-up simple. The upper guide is nice and stiff, and keeps the chain on without fail, as well as accommodating the full gearing spread without rub.”

Review date: June 2017 (MBUK 343)

Available from: www.oneupcomponents.com

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Race Face Chester 35 stem – £39.95

Despite its low price, Race Face's Chester 35 stem works flawlessly
Despite its low price, Race Face’s Chester 35 stem works flawlessly

What our testers said:

“The Chester 35 clamps super-tight and we couldn’t get it to twist on the steerer, either out on the trail or with the wheel held still. Its traditional four-bolt faceplate works just fine too, and the whole thing feels stiff and secure. At 141g, it’s not even that heavy.”

Review date: August 2017 (MBUK 346)

Available from: www.silverfish-uk.com

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Ridge Components Twenty Niner Pro wheels – £1,085

Ridge Components' Twenty Niner Pro wheels are solid carbon-rimmed wheels with a good balance of strength and stiffness
Ridge’s Twenty Niner Pros are solid carbon wheels with a good balance of strength and stiffness

What our testers said:

“The asymmetric design of the hookless carbon rims makes them stiff, but not overly so. Measuring 29mm wide (internal), they pair excellently with wider tyres. At 1,820g, the Twenty Niner Pros are on par with carbon offerings from most other brands in terms of weight and price.”

Review date: December 2017 (MBUK 350)

Available from: www.ridgecomponents.co.uk

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Santa Cruz Palmdale grips – £17.99

Santa Cruz's Palmdale grips are some of the comfiest grips out there
Santa Cruz’s Palmdale grips are some of the comfiest out there

What our testers said:

With a diameter of 31mm they’re pretty thin, but the soft rubber used stops your hands feeling battered even after roughed-up alpine descents. The knurled pattern and tacky compound help keep your hands in place, while the raised logo and lines on the underside add a bit of extra purchase.”

Review date: December 2017 (MBUK 350)

Available from: www.jungleproducts.co.uk

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Sonder Love Mud Piskie stem – £23

At £23, with a no-questions warranty, Sonder's Love Mud Piskie stem is a total bargain
At £23, with a no-questions warranty, Sonder’s Love Mud Piskie stem is a total bargain

What our testers said:

“Sonder, and associated outdoor brand Alpkit, are known for top-value, no-nonsense kit and that’s exactly what the Piskie stem is. The thick-walled, cold-forged body with four-bolt faceplate is plenty stiff even with a wide bar, and that’s impressive because it only weighs 123g in the 35mm length.”

Review date: August 2017 (MBUK 346)

Available from: www.alpkit.com

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SRAM Code RSC brake – £230 (per end, inc rotor)

Immaculate control makes the SRAM Code RSC the new benchmark for hardcore, heavy or unhinged riders
Immaculate control makes the SRAM Code RSC the new benchmark for hardcore or heavy riders

What our testers said:

“SRAM’s Code RSC is superbly user friendly, with huge power and exceptional control, no matter how crazy or long the descent.”

Review date: Summer 2017 (MBUK 344)

Read our full review on BikeRadar.

Available from: www.zyrofisher.co.uk

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Clothing

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Dakine Concept gloves – £20

Dakine's Concept gloves are ultra-thin and lighweight, and top performers on the trail
Dakine’s Concept gloves are ultra-thin and lightweight, and top performers on the trail

What our testers said:

“The tacky palm is made from a vented silicone mesh that’s all one piece so there are no seams where your hands grip the bar. A four-way stretch mesh is used on the back to wick moisture away. Both are very thin. The result is exceptional feel and feedback – about the closest you’ll get to riding gloveless while still retaining some protection for your paws.”

Review date: July 2017 (MBUK 345)

Available from: eu.dakine.com

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Gore Power Trail Gore-Tex Active waterproof jacket – £229.99

Gore's Power Trail Gore-Tex Active jacket offers the perfect combination of fit, fabric and waterproof on-the-bike performance
Gore’s Power Trail jacket offers the perfect combination of fit, fabric and on-the-bike performance

What our testers said:

“Simply put, the Gore Power Trail just feels right. The cut is immaculate, the detail is impressive and the three-layer Gore-Tex Active Shell fabric feels durable and robust but is still highly breathable.”

Review date: October 2017 (MBUK 348)

Read our full review on BikeRadar.

Available from: www.gorebikewear.com

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Gore Rescue B GTX waterproof jacket – £220

Gore's Rescue B GTX jacket is seriously expensive but very versatile
Gore’s Rescue B GTX jacket is seriously expensive but very versatile

What our testers said:

“This is a waterproof that you can keep stashed in your pack for emergencies, but also one that feels sturdy enough for rain-lashed days out, when we stayed as dry on the inside as with any jacket we’ve tested to date – it’s that good.”

Review date: November 2017 (MBUK 349)

Available from: www.gorebikewear.com

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Morvélo Stealth MTB LS jersey – £45

Morvelo's Stealth jersey offers subtle looks, a good cut and quality construction
Morvélo’s Stealth jersey offers subtle looks, a good cut and quality construction

What our testers said:

“If you’re not a fan of fluoro and are looking for a more understated look on the bike, then the Morvélo Stealth jersey could be the one for you. The cut is relaxed but not overly baggy, the fabric is breathable and there are mesh panels down the sides to help keep you cool. Flatlock stitching helps avoid chafing.”

Review date: March 2017 (MBUK 340)

Available from: www.morvelo.com

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Scott Soldier 2 knee pads – £55

Scott's Soldier 2 knee pads are a great fit-and-forget option
Scott’s Soldier 2 knee pads are a great fit-and-forget option

What our testers said:

“We’re big fans of Scott’s Grenade pads here at MBUK. The Soldier 2s shift the balance from full-on, heavy-hitting protection more towards all-day comfort, but look set to be just as highly revered.”

Review date: July 2017 (MBUK 345)

Read our full review on BikeRadar.

Available from: www.scott-sports.com

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Troy Lee Designs D3 Carbon MIPS full-face helmet – £399.99

Troy Lee Designs' D3 Carbon MIPS is one of the best downhill helmets money can buy
Troy Lee Designs’ D3 Carbon MIPS is one of the best downhill helmets money can buy

What our testers said:

“It’s hard to argue with the desirability factor of the Troy Lee D3. The aggressive styling, the race-inspired graphics and the long list of pro riders who’ve worn one make this the lid that any aspiring downhill racer wants to own. TLD have updated it for 2017 , adding more protection and adjusting the fit slightly.”

Review date: July 2017 (MBUK 345)

Read our full review on BikeRadar.

Available from: www.saddleback.co.uk

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Accessories

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Dryrobe Advance short-sleeve changing gown – £79.99

Dryrobe's changing gown maintains your modesty with its cover-all design
Dryrobe’s changing gown maintains your modesty with its cover-all design

What our testers said:

“If you’ve ever had to get changed in a wet and cold car park, you’ll appreciate the Dryrobe. No longer do you need to bare all as you drop your pants. It’s big enough that you can get kit on and off without any fuss.”

Review date: Summer 2017 (MBUK 344)

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Available from: www.dryrobe.com