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Guy Kesteven

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK

Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.

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As our 06 Bike Of The Year, Giant's Anthem has got a lot to live up to in 2007. A carbon composite frame comes in for the top level Anthem Advanced but otherwise the basics are unchanged throughout the alloy range.

GT i Drive 5 2 0



GT's i-Drive floating suspension is one of the longest serving systems still in use. Add some crackling kit for the cash and you've got a very capable and enjoyable technical trail bike.

Orange G2



Orange's Gringo 2 or G2 has been the baseline of the Halifax firm's MTB range for several years and is available with the option of a rigid fork. Is the idea of 'no suspension' extinct or does it make an excellent no-suss no-fuss winter workhorse?

Jonathan Gawler    Santa Cruz Blur 4X



You might guess from the 4X name that this burly Blur is designed for 4X and Dual Slalom race domination. It's also a great choice for hardcore riders who want strength and stability without excess weight and travel.

Specialized s mid level hardtail gets the full race ready treatment for a hard kicking maximum speed



Specialized's Rockhopper range takes you from 'all you need' stalwart to this impressively specced speed machine. Does getting the top model of the tree makes sense though?

Handily  the bite point of the pads is adjustable



Avid's Ultimate brake has always been exactly what it says on the tin - the ultimate in materials and performance. Avid have only ever put the Ultimate tag on a V-brake before, so the Juicy Ultimate hydraulic disc brake has been on our most wanted list for a long time.

This is not a slimline choice  by any means



If there was a prize for indulgent design Blackburn would win by a finned, fancy plastic mile. The twin 5W LED system comes with a spot and flood head to give a reasonable depth and breadth of illumination with both LEDs running, and a long reach for road or a short spread for slow singletrack.

The Ozone has a very good run time



Torch-style like the Electron, but with a more powerful LED. The beam is far too focused for off-road handlebar use on its own because the illuminated pool is tiny.




Another three-lamp header, this is as good as LED units get. The beam is fairly focused but has enough spread to weave through trees, outshining the Solidlight.

Ultra compact  minimalist but longrunning light with loads of options



The smallest light on test, the Lithium Ultra still pumps out just enough power for proper off-roading. Dinotte gives plenty of light options: 3W and 5W singles, doubles (triples due soon) plus a choice of Li-Ion or AA battery packs.

The Nano 1 Watt has a usefully large button  and the battery lasts ages



This little light is typical of the large number of small LED torch style lights available now, but it's one of the nicest made we've seen.

The Humvee Trousers can get rapidly wet when it amp apos s damp  which gives them a tendency to drag



Endura's Humvee shorts and three-quarter length pants are some of our favourite baggies, so our rickety knees creaked excitedly at the idea of full trousers.

A well priced bike which will grow on you the more you ride it



The Marlin crams hydraulic discs and a branded fork into a package well under £500, but it's the eager, well balanced handling that really makes it stand out from the crowd.

The Genesis Core 2 0 is a great all rounder  and good value too



Genesis is a new brand from the same UK designers who've been producing the excellent Ridgeback Urban MTB range for years. Their experience shows in some neat features and ride characteristics.

It amp apos s not cheap by any means  but the Concept is the ultimate biking jacket



"Thank you for choosing to fly Gore Bike Air first class. Please pay attention to our jacket crew for a moment, because this garment does have some unique features."

The L amp amp M gives out a far reaching spot



Only Light & Motion wrap their own reflector around a Welch Allyn HID bulb, rather than using the complete head unit. The result is a far-reaching central spot and a wide but dim halo which L&M say reduces contrast and eye fatigue.

Both lights run off the big Endurance bottle battery



Lumicycle's twin HID range-topper offers a 12-degree flood beam and a 6-degree spot, giving masses of breadth and depth in typically blue white, high definition halide colour.

The Edison comes bundled with a head mount  connector grease and car charger



Our reigning über light, the Edison's performance is boosted even further for 2007. The neat, cool-running unit uses a standard 10W Welch Allyn head with smart circuitry boosting output to a whopping 65W halogen equivalent.

The small battery in the Flight doesn amp apos t weigh much at all and has a good length life



Niterider have revamped their lights, boosting performance and prices to the top level. This Flight unit uses the standard 10W Welch Allyn head for ample bluey white lighting, while three different diminishing outputs eke out energy.

The forks on the Bigfoot let the rest of the bike down  unfortunately



Norco are a fairly new name in the UK, but their dominant status in Canada means serious buying power. They have a bias towards the mental end of riding, as the Bigfoot's build betrays.

The Solidlight is extremely simple to set up and use



This looks basic, but has neat practical features. The centre-pointed three-LED output gives decent coverage for middle ring single-tracking, although it lacks depth compared to HID lamps.

The Rockhopper is a great value speed bike



The Rockhopper is one of Specialized's longest running models, but the 2007 bike is all-new with clean lines, an impressive spec and a sharp and rapid ride. The chassis. The new M4 frame looks as good as any top-line race bike.

The Prophesy Paclite Jacket offers good top half protection



This outdoor jacket (not riding specific but great for riding) is made from Paclite, Gore-Tex's lightest waterproof fabric, with impressive breathability characteristics.Wide-mouth, velcro-closure sleeves provide good ventilation for your arms.

Marin Wolf Ridge



Looking at the 'new' TARA Rage bikes you'd easily be forgiven for thinking not much had changed on Marin's long travel all rounders. Detailed suspension and geometry changes for 07 make a massive difference, however,

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