Taming the dragon

Running from north to south down the middle of Wales, the Welsh coast-to-coast route is a 215-mile off-road ride with 8,000m of ascent that takes between 24 and 30 hours to complete, if ridden non-stop. Joe (one of BikeRadar's videographers and a Marathon XC World Cup racer) and friend Tom (XC racer) rose to the challenge of completing the long, arduous and quite frankly bonkers coast to coast in one go, unsupported. And they tried to hit as many Welsh trail centres as possible! Find out how the lads got on in the mag...

MBUK's welsh coast to coast challenge for cannondale finishes on a beach near port talbot in South Wales
Joe and Tom finish the Welsh coast to coast on a lovely beach just outside Port Talbot, a little battered and bruised but not defeated. Credit: Matt Grayson

Filthy bikes and rad attitudes

Forget factory rides and clean-cut living, we take a look at mountain biking's renegades who are keeping the original spirit of our sport alive – and having more fun than most! The forefathers of our sport stuck their middle fingers up to the square, conformist attitude prevalent in 1970s America and went out searching for adrenaline-fuelled antics in the mountains on their klunker bikes. Grab a copy of the mag to find out more about their modern-day equivalents...

MBUK issue 350 renegade spirit
Mountain biking is brim full of renegade spirit and we love it!

On the Rampage

We went to Red Bull Rampage in Virgin, Utah, to find out what it's like riding, building, judging and documenting the wildest freeride contest on the planet! We spoke to Rampage rider Conor Macfarlane, digger Emmerson Wilken, Nico Vink, who was judging 2017's contest, and Ian Lean, who made the trip over from the UK for his very first Rampage visit to document all of the action. Flick to page 70 to read all about it.

Conor Macfarlane rides the red bull rampage in utah USA for mountain biking uk magazine on an intense m16 bike
Conor Macfarlane's Rampage experience wasn't ideal, but he still sent it! Credit: Ian Lean

Eastridge Woods, Shropshire

MBUK's monthly Wrecking Crew made the trip to the heart of the Shropshire countryside to sample some awesome natural and manmade trails at this classic venue. Joined by locals, Sandy Plenty, Luther Griffiths and James Flanders MBUK's Ed and Al had a great time being shown around Eastridge Woods.

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Luther Griffiths rides eastridge woods for an mbuk wrecking crew
Luther Griffiths is one of Shropshire's local pinners! Credit: Dan Griffiths

Christmas gift guide

Want to know what to give your mountain bike loving mate, other half or secret lover for Christmas? We've got your back! Turn to page 66 for ideas for every type of rider in your life...

MBUK Christmas gift guide
MBUK's Christmas gift guide is full of great gift ideas!

Biketest, How To and much more

We review £500 entry-level hardtails to find out if you can still get a great ride at this price. Your first proper mountain bike is an important purchase because if you have a crap time you're probably not going to stick with mountain biking, so read the review and find out where you should be spending your hard-earned cash.

Alex Evans and Ben Cannell ride £500 hardtail mountain bikes at puddletown forest
How much bang for your buck? We review £500 hardtails to find out... Credit: Andy Lloyd

In our How To section we've got top tips on how to ride plus bikes, the best way to embrace the winter slop and how to nail off-camber sections. Not only that, we've reviewed 15 handlebars and give final verdicts on our 2017 long-term test bikes.

Ed Thomsett rides a Specialized Enduro 29er in south wales
Staff Writer Ed Thomsett has loved his year on the Specialized Enduro 29er. Credit: Steve Behr

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Alex EvansSenior technical editor

Alex Evans is BikeRadar’s senior mountain bike technical editor. He started racing downhill at the tender age of 11 before going on to compete across Europe. Alex moved to Morzine in the French Alps at 19 to pursue a career as a bike bum and clocked up an enormous amount of riding. Hitting those famous tracks day in, day out for eight years, he broke more bikes than he can remember. Alex then moved back to the UK and put his vast knowledge of mountain biking to good use by landing a job working for MBUK magazine as features editor. Since working for MBUK, Alex’s focus has moved to bike tech. He’s one of BikeRadar’s lead testers and knows how to push bikes and products to the limit, searching out the equipment that represents the best value for money. Alex is also a dedicated eMTB rider, and still dabbles in racing of a sort, doing his best to top the Strava leaderboard on the steepest, gnarliest and twistiest trails the Tweed Valley has to offer – just for fun, of course. Alex is also a regular on the BikeRadar YouTube channel and BikeRadar podcast.