With the new year fast approaching, BikeRadar has decided to take a look back over 2013 at the stories and events that made the biggest impact on the world of mountain biking.
We’ve dug through the stats to bring you the most popular news and reviews from what has been an eventful year.
The 650b wheelsize continuted to add fuel to the already raging fire that is the wheelsize debate. Nearly all major brands now have 650b models and many have actually ditched their 26in bikes in favour of 650b. It’s not only frames of course – the 650b switchover has brought a whole array of new forks, wheelsets, tyres, and so on If you aren’t familiar with 650b yet then here’s all you need to know.
Here are a few of the standout 650b mountain bikes we encountered in 2013:
2. Danny MacAskill’s Imaginate
Danny MacAskill’s Imaginate is a sure contender for the biggest video of the year. This is what happens when one of the world’s most impressive riders is given his own free-rein project. The results are, well… just watch it! You’ve seen it? Watch it again.
3. GoPro HERO 3+
BikeRadar attended Eurobike 2013 to see what the world’s biggest bike trade show had to offer. The halls of Friedrichshafen were packed to the brim with the latest and greatest in the world of bikes. We compiled several large image galleries from our visit, including a lightest bikes and components round-up, a weird and wonderful compilation and our pick of the best products on show.
5. Red Bull Rampage 2013
This year’s Red Bull Rampage blew the crowds away once again. The world’s top freeriders really stepped things up to another level in 2013. Kyle Strait became the first person to win the Red Bull Rampage twice, and another staggering highlight was New Zealander Kelly McGarry’s epic back-flip off the 72ft Canyon Gap. It was enough to secure him second place, along with the new-for-2013 ‘people’s choice’ award.
6. Rachel Atherton does the double – again!
Not content with being the only Brit to ever have won the world cup and the world champs in the same year, Rachel Atherton went and did it for a second time, smashing the competition at world champs in Pietermaritzburg by an eight-second margin, then rounding of a storming world cup season by taking the win – and the overall title – in Hafjell.
7. Bad times
Not all of 2013 held good news. Just three days into the year came the awful news of the death of Burry Stander. The 25-year-old South African former world champion was killed while out on a training ride.
In March it was reported that Michael Bonney, managing director of Orange Mountain Bikes, had had to be airlifted to hospital after a crash at a sportive. Initially, Bonney was not expected to live. A C3 complete spinal injury and subsequent damage to his cord means he has been left paralysed from the neck down. Michael has since married his partner of 25 years and has returned home. Riders now have the opportunity to support Bonney and other cyclists that have suffered life changing injuries through the ‘Ride for Michael’ trust.
Another big shock was the news that trials legend Martyn Ashton had suffered severe spinal injuries after a fall during a trials demonstration. Ashton was part way through filming the sequel to his incredibly popular Road Bike Party video when he suffered the injury. The rest of the filming was completed with contributions from his friends and fellow trials experts Danny MacAskill and Chris Akrigg. Road Bike Party 2 has already pulled in more than 6.5 million views on YouTube. It’s an absolute must watch. You can keep up to date with Ashton’s progress via his Twitter page.
8. Fat bikes
Like them or loathe them there, was no getting away from them – 2013 saw fat bikes dotted around the halls of nearly every trade show or major event. We even put together a gallery of the ones that were on display during this year’s Interbike show. Take a closer look at individual fat bikes below: