This month, find out if you can get a trail-smashing full-suspension bike without breaking the bank, demystify the market with our ultimate bike-buying guide and get the lowdown on some great British trails with rides in the Peak District and at North Wales's Revolution Bike Park.


We speak to trials-riding YouTube superstar Fabio Wibmer and get the latest news from Gee Atherton. There’s also expert advice, tips, tricks and guides from Elliott Heap, Olly Morris and Alan Milway. Plus, first-ride impressions of new bikes from VooDoo, Orbea and Identiti, and tons of the latest product and bike reviews and news.

Wallet-friendly full suspension

A grand-and-a-half is the price point where full-sus mountain bikes start to mean business. But can you get a serious trail-destroyer without forking out a lot more? We put four affordable full-sussers from Calibre, Marin, Norco and Vitus through their paces, to see which of these trail bikes offers solid geometry and kit without an eye-watering entry fee.

Calibre's Triple B – the latest in their lauded Bossnut range of affordable full-sus bikes. One of four bikes in this month's biketest. Photo: Mick Kirkman

Baselayers on test

Layering is the key to savvy clothing selection for the trails. And the layer that's next to your skin is one of the most important, as it contributes to comfort and temperature control more than any other. We've tested 14 of the best baselayers around for cosiness, efficiency, fabric and build quality to find out which one deserves to claim your hard-earned.

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The FINDRA Leithen Merino Striped baselayer, one of 14 tested head-to-head for this month's grouptest. Photo: Russell Burton

MBUK's ultimate bike buyer's guide

With more choice than ever before and technology advancing faster and further each year, buying a mountain bike can be a mind-boggling challenge. We want to end that confusion, so we've put together a comprehensive buyer's guide, explaining exactly what to look out for when choosing a new ride. From wheel sizes to riding disciplines, we'll show you how to find that one bike out there that's a perfect fit, without bamboozling you with heaps of jargon along the way.

With so many bikes to choose from, we want to make finding your next steed an easy and enjoyable experience. Photo: Andy Lloyd

Ain't no mountain high enough

Production editor Chris and art editor Jimmer take a trip to the Alps with a difference – using the electronic assistance of e-MTBs to ride higher, faster and further. From snow-blasted ridgetops to sweltering forest ravines, they discover the beautiful sights of France's Queyras national park (and the legendary hospitality of its inhabitants), and are amazed by how far it's possible to go with a little extra push in the pedals (and a bellyful of fondue).

Production editor Chris Barnard riding a Cube Stereo 140 e-MTB in France's Queyras national park. Photo: Andy Lloyd

Progression Sessions

Staff writer Luke is no stranger to throwing himself down a mountain as fast as he can between the tapes. He's stood on a podium or two in his time, but can you teach an old dog new tricks? Once again, we enlist the talents of EWS pro racer Joe Connell to sharpen up Luke's racecraft skills – and find out what it takes to go from a good racer to a great one.

Joe Connell and Luke Marshall riding at Cwmcarn Forest in South Wales, for part two of our Progression Sessions series. Photo: Andy Lloyd

Peak District Dirty Weekender

Our resident man of maps, Max Darkins, heads to Derbyshire's Peak District and returns with three superb routes. As part of our Dirty Weekender series, we tell you how to make the most of trip to the Peaks and cram in all the amazing riding that you can.

There's a wealth of technical rocky trails out on the barren moorland of the Peak District. Photo: Dan Hearn

Revolution Bike Park Trail Crew

What could be better than heading to deepest Wales for a day at Revs to ride Veronique Sandler's acclaimed 'Vision Line'? Riding it with Vero herself, of course! Lucky Luke gets to do the honours, riding some seriously crazy jump lines with Vero, her brother Leo and the rest of this month's Trail Crew.

Veronique Sandler at Revolution Bike Park in Wales – the home of her own Vision Line. Photo: Andy Lloyd

And that's not all…

This issue's jam-packed with all the latest and greatest bikes, product reviews and news stories from the mountain biking world. We've got first rides of VooDoo's Bizango Carbon, Orbea's Oiz and Identiti's Mettle Mk.2, and pages of product reviews, including Troy Lee Designs' brand-new D4 full-face helmet.

Features editor Ed rides an Identiti Mettle II RC at Cwmcarn Forest in South Wales. Photo: Russell Burton

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James Costley-White is the editor of Mountain Biking UK (MBUK), the UK's best-selling mountain biking magazine, founded in 1988. James, often known as JCW, has been an avid mountain biker since 1992, during which time he's amassed a huge amount of knowledge about the sport and masses of riding experience. He can regularly be found riding the trails around Bristol and south Wales. As well as editing MBUK, JCW contributes regular product reviews and other articles to the magazine. He's a fully-qualified professional journalist, certified as a senior reporter by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and holds a postgraduate diploma in journalism from Cardiff University's School of Journalism, Media and Culture. As well as heading up MBUK, he's worked for other cycling titles including, and Triathlon Plus magazine, along with the Bristol Post, Western Daily Press, Gloucestershire Echo and Gloucester Citizen newspapers.