February 2018 issue on sale now!

MBUK 352 is in the shops and we've got loads for you to get stuck into, including an interview with EWS number three Katy Winton, a van trip around British Columbia, a bothy adventure in the Scottish Highlands, our monthly Wrecking Crew reports, bike tests, gear tests and more...

Katy Winton

We head north to the Scottish Borders to meet up with a wee lass who’s setting the world of enduro alight. Katy takes us on a tour of some of the amazing trails she has at her disposal and demonstrates how these and her background in cross-country racing have made her into the rider she is today. Her path to the top hasn’t always been an easy one, and her story is a true example of just how far determination and willpower can take you.

Katy Winton riding a corner on a Scottish trail with the MBUK staff
Katy leads out the MBUK boys on one of her local Peebles trails. Credit: Dave Mackison

The Summer of Vince

The Free Radicals are a bunch of beatnik Canadians who are living the dirtbag lifestyle, riding their bikes as much as possible and “avoiding work like a venereal disease”. We join them for a tour around some of British Columbia’s less-ridden coastal islands on a trip they planned to help their mate get over a relationship breakup. It makes for a great tale about how bikes are the solution to nearly every problem in life!

The Free Radicals hang out in front of their camper van
Lazy in all ways but on the bike, join the Free Radicals as they take their buddy Vince on a post-breakup biking roadtrip. Credit: Brian Haffner

Gerroff my lawn!

For most mountain bikers, having trails in your backyard is just a pipe dream, but South Wales-based professional trail builder Rowan Sorrell has made the dream a reality and built a big kid’s bicycle playground, with no moaning parents or neighbours in sight. Find out about how it all became a reality and some of the wild riding that’s gone down since, on a set of jumps that ain’t exactly small.

Rowan Sorrell launches a backyard hip jump, while his mate Sam Robson watches from a swing
A field of jumps AND a rope swing – Rowan Sorrell’s got it all at his house! Credit: Andy Lloyd

Call of the wild

MBUK columnist Hannah Barnes is no stranger to adventure and in this issue she’s assembled a group of mates for an overnight bothy adventure in Scotland’s Grampian Mountains. It’s all about stunning views, singletrack, a wee dram of Scotch and good laughs with your mates aboard two wheels.

Rachael Walker and Hannah Barnes ride their bikes past a bothy in the Scottish Highlands
Hannah Barnes and Rachael Walker heading out from their overnight accommodation in our ‘Call of the Wild’ feature. Credit: Brodie Hood

The Forest of Dean

The FOD is one of the MBUK staffers’ favourite haunts, whether that be for bike testing, a big day out or just a quick blast after work. This month, for our Wrecking Crew visit, we invited a different bunch of locals along – Charlie Hatton, Olly Morris, Monet-Rose Adams and Tom Cooper – to get their take on the trails and check out some of Cannop Cycle Centre’s newest additions. Everything you need to know about the location is in the latest mag.

Olly Morris riding at The Forest of Dean
Olly Morris tips it in off the classic GBU drop at the Forest of Dean. Credit: Steve Behr

Testing, testing, one, two, one, two

This month’s Biketest features four mile-munching XC full-sussers from Trek, Giant, Felt and Scott, and we’ve ridden them up hill and down dale to tell you which is worth your money. Our Grouptest is of trail/enduro disc brakes and we pick winners from 10 of the most popular stoppers.

Riding the Giant Anthem 29er 2 and and Scott Spark 940 on the MBUK bike test
Putting in the miles aboard this month’s test bikes. Credit: Mick Kirkman

How To

If you’re feeling inspired by Rowan Sorrell’s mega booters, then you might want to check out our tips on sending big jumps. If that seems a bit too much, then don’t worry, ex-DH world champ Manon Carpenter takes you through the steps of mastering jump boxes and getting your wheels off the ground. Besides that we’ve also got advice on judging winter riding conditions and a series of strength and mobility exercises to try out.

Manon Carpenter jumps a ramp in Rampworld skatepark in Cardiff
Get airborne in the skate park and learn essential trail skills with Manon Carpenter. Credit: Jacob Gibbins

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