The year may only just be drawing to a close but we’ve been thinking about 2018’s bikes for quite a while now.
During the various launches and trade shows that happen throughout the year, our test team have gradually been putting together a picture of where we think we’re heading in 2018 and what’s happening to the bikes we ride.
So we’ve carefully selected six very different bikes that we think best represent these new trends and the different styles of riding that you as mountain bikers are into. Discover our choices and find out how each bike fared on page 96.
We headed to Antur Stiniog in North Wales to test some of 2018’s top trendsetting bikes Steve Behr / Immediate Media
They’re not the only bikes we’ve swung a leg over this month though and we’ve got First Ride reviews on Cotic’s revised BFe hardtail, Bird Cycleworks’ Aeris 145 and more.
In the grouptest we’ve subjected 14 trail and heavy-hitting knee pads to some crash testing and there are individual tests on forks, pedals, body-armour and more in Wrecked and Rated on page 79.
14 knee pads tested knee to knee Steve Behr / Immediate Media
If you want to drool over something seriously carbon and shiny, then turn to page 49 to check out our Superbike feature on XC phenomenon Annie Last’s world cup winning Silverback Sesta SBC.
Find out more about British XC racer Annie Last’s world cup winning steed Sven Martin
If you’re keen to improve your own ride then our feature on suspension tuning should help.
We spent the day with tuning experts Sprung Suspension to bring you a guide on how to get started and how you and your mates can help each other to get things dialled-in out on the trail. See page 61.
If it’s skills you’re looking to improve then our Manual section has suggestions on how to shred downhill runs, jump obstacles and race your mates.
We delve into suspension with tuning experts Sprung Steve Behr / Immediate Media
As we head into the darker, colder months it becomes harder for many of us to get out on our bikes as regularly as in the summer. So, if you’re in need of a little inspiration then take a look at Tommy Wilkinson’s story about tackling the Great Glen Way, or our travel article on the tropical Azores Islands, or MBUK Team rider Al Bond’s first-hand account of taking on Red Bull Hardline.
And, to keep you warm while you’re hanging around at the trails this winter, we’re giving away a free thermal beanie with every issue. Suddenly that winter ride maybe doesn’t seem so tough after all…
A 79-mile off-road ride along Scotland’s Great Glen Way is a proper adventure Tommy Wilkinson