I’ll admit, I was pretty excited about getting the opportunity to try out some of the finest kit known to man in some of the most beautiful surroundings on the planet.
First things first though, I need to mention the hotel. The Cube hotel is located in Biberwier-Lermoos and it was insane! Fully bike friendly with bike storage in your room, ramps up to your room, two bars and a climbing wall! Awesome. The fact that it was surrounded by some of the most breathtaking scenery was a massive bonus.
After a short talk through some of the changes that the groupset has undergone, we were introduced to our bikes. On offer was the Scott Genius, Spark or Scale. I opted for the Genius and a bit more travel to get me out of the inevitable trouble that goes hand in hand with big mountain riding.
The next couple of days were spent riding in the rain and mud. Even in these conditions, it was hard to fault the 3X10 transmission. Slick shifting even when fully cacked up. We hit a filthy downhill run to try and test the brakes too but they seemed to withstand anything thrown in their path.
It wasn’t until the final day that we managed to stumble across some real riding gold though. Following Jo Petterson and Maxxis mechanic James, we took two lifts up the mountain and headed out onto some of the best singletrack I’ve ridden.
Rough, flowing, rocky, loose and all at high speeds. We descended down the side of the mountain, stopping to paddle across a couple of waterfalls and take in the view. When we finally hit the bottom, a quick dip in the lake was just what we needed.
With the camp coming to an end, there were certain products that really stood out for me (which took some doing considering the quality of this lot). The new brakes are great and even the long descents we hit struggled to unsettle them in any way.
Big thanks to the guys at Shimano and Madison for making the trip possible and providing the booze and laughter along the way!
We’re planning on getting the full XTR groupset here at MBUK Towers to give it some extended punishment and we’ll be sure to let you know exactly how it holds up.