This month in MBUK magazine, it’s Bike of the Year time! Take a look at our pick of the hottest mountain bikes for 2020 in the free 36-page supplement.
Plus, four of the best women’s bikes get reviewed and there are ride reports from Long Mynd, Shropshire and Hamsterley Forest, County Durham.
As well as all of this, we chat to possibly the world’s most famous mountain biker, Danny MacAskill, and get the latest MTB travel report from Olly Wilkins. There are also first-ride reviews of new bikes from Knolly, Merida and Pivot, and the lowdown on all the latest kit in Wrecked and Rated.
Bike of the year 2020
It’s that time again! MBUK’s expert testing team has been working away tirelessly for months to deliver our lauded Bike of the Year test. This year, the contenders are divided into trail and enduro categories in a bid to review the bikes on their own merits and deliver the most comprehensive test yet.
Bike of the Year is a 36-page supplement accompanying the new issue.
The MBUK testing team ride the Propain Hugene in Spain for the Bike of the Year 2020 test. Photo: Dan Milner
Trail rippers for women
Downhill racer Sarah Gamsjäger puts four women-specific bike builds from Canyon, Scott, Liv and Juliana to the test. These bikes all take a different approach to accommodating female riders – from geometry and spec to gender-specific suspension tunes. Which one strikes the right balance and, above all, is it a better choice than a unisex bike?
Sarah Gamsjäger riding a Scott Contessa Ransom for MBUK’s women’s biketest.
Hybrid jackets on test
Waterproof jackets don’t have to be sweaty and uncomfortable! More and more brands are offering ‘hybrid’ jackets in an attempt to combine waterproofing with the breathability and comfort of softshells. We’ve taken 15 of the most advanced hybrids available and tested them for cosiness, waterproofing, ride-friendly shape and build quality, so you need only take one jacket onto the trails whatever the weather.
The Patagonia Dirt Roamer – part of this month’s hybrid jackets grouptest. Photo: Russell Burton
Enter the Drakensberg
Technical editor Tom Marvin and his long-time riding partner Nick head to the dusty badlands of South Africa to take on the Berg and Bush Descent – a 200km, three-day marathon race across arid plains, alongside muddy swamps and over sun-scorched mountain ranges.
MBUK’s Tom Marvin takes on the Berg and Bush Descent marathon race in South Africa. Photo: Jetline Action Photo
On any Sunday
Every issue of MBUK is jam-packed with the world’s best riders accomplishing extraordinary things on mountain bikes. But what of the ordinary folk who love to ride? Photographer and long-term MBUK collaborator Andy Lloyd takes his camera down to the UK’s biggest trail centre, BikePark Wales, and meets the people that you’ll find there on any Sunday to get a snapshot of those who make this beloved scene what it really is.
We meet some of the ordinary riders who travel from far and wide to take on BikePark Wales. Photo: Andy Lloyd
Long Mynd Big Ride
Our man of maps, Max Darkins, heads to Shropshire’s Long Mynd for an off-season escape route. Max reveals how the Shropshire Hills can be one of the very best choices for a beautiful, challenging ride, regardless of the horrible winter weather.
The Long Mynd in the Shropshire Hills is a perfect all-weather escape, with a wealth of off-season riding. Photo: Russell Burton
Hamsterley Forest Trail Crew
For features editor Ed Thomsett, Hamsterley Forest is a home away from home. Growing up in the North East, Hamsterley was Ed’s playground and he raced (and lost to) Danny Hart there many times. Now Ed returns to the last great trail centre before Hadrian’s Wall to reignite an old flame.
The last big MTB venue before Hadrian’s Wall – we check out Hamsterley Forest for this month’s Trail Crew. Photo: Mick Kirkman
And that’s not all…
This issue of MBUK is jam-packed with all the latest and greatest bikes, product reviews and news stories from the mountain biking world. There are first rides of Knolly’s Fugitive LT, Merida’s e-ONE FORTY 9000 and Pivot’s Switchblade Team XTR, and pages of product reviews that include Trust’s brand-new Shout fork.
Check out our first-ride review of Pivot’s Switchblade Team XTR in this month’s mag.
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