When did you last do something that made you truly proud? When was the last time you gave something your all and came out satisfied? Despite the uncertainty, the hard work paid off, right? That’s what the new ENDURO issue is about – the idea of daring to jump headfirst into a project to see if dreams can become reality, even if, at times, your journey might not always follow the direct route.

The Highlights

  • Group Test: 6 fun, capable, short-travel trail bikes
  • Editors Bikes – 4 our editor’s dream builds
  • Behind The Scenes – we visit Atherton Bikes
  • All Or Nothing – the Stanton Bikes story
  • Juliana Roubion CC long term review – Toni takes stock
  • Portrait: We talk to Fanie Kok from Soil Searching

The latest issue is available now in our free magazine app. If you haven’t installed our app yet, now’s your chance to download it for free in the App Store (iPhone / iPad) or in the Play Store (Android smartphones & tablets).

Our free, digital magazine is the centrepiece of our work and definitely the best way to experience our content, with interactive features as well as beautiful photography and videos all packed into a unique design. If you like our website, we’re sure you’ll love our magazine app. By the way: the app even gives you access to all of our back issues – hours upon hours of first-class content!

All the bikes in this issue

Canyon Neuron CF 8.0 | Canyon Strive CFR | MERIDA ONE-TWENTY 8000 | NICOLAI G1 | NICOLAI Saturn 14 | Nordest Britango | Pole Stamina 140 | Specialized Epic Expert EVO | Specialized Stumpjumper EVO | Stanton Switch9er FS | Trek Top Fuel 9.9 | Whyte S-120C RS | Yeti SB100 C GX

What to expect in this issue

This issue is all about action takers. People who grab life by the horns and decide their own fate. Entitled “Stairway To Heaven,” this issue is all about the fact that the road to realising your dreams can be long and hard, but it’s worth it at the end.

Dan Stanton’s story sounds a lot like a script from a Hollywood movie. Sat at a poker table one evening, he literally bet everything on his hand. Winning would mean having the funds to start a bike company, losing would mean seeing his dream go up in flames. Fortunately – and here comes the Hollywood vibe – Stanton Bikes came to life thanks to this poker game. But like any gripping Hollywood movie, things don’t always go as planned. For Dan, running a business is a daily roller coaster, with new challenges and opportunities popping up all the time, such as the recent move of production from Taiwan to the United Kingdom.

The four dream bikes that our editors built also took a long time to realise. After weeks of planning, discussing and spending a lot of time in the workshop, four completely different dream builds emerged for four completely different riders.

The birth of mountain bikes is over 40 years ago. Since then, bikes have undergone an evolutionary quantum leap. Enduro bikes have become more efficient, and cross-country bikes have become increasingly capable. The categories we used to have are blurring and new possibilities are opening up. Our group test of six capable, short-travel trail bikes is proof. Besides being efficient and light-footed climbers, they’re a ton of fun on the descents!

‘Long low, slack’ is the new black and the mountain biking industry’s favourite new marketing slogan. While pretty much every modern trail bike at least somewhat follows this trend , NICOLAI and Pole take it a step further, implementing the most radical geometries currently available on the market. Does it make any sense to take this approach with trail bikes, or does it kill all the fun? We took these two extreme trail bikes out on to the trail to find out how they handle and see which one would come out on top in our head-to-head test!

We didn’t go easy on the Juliana Roubion CC! It had to prove itself on demanding alpine trails in Europe, on the legendary North Shore trails of Vancouver, during long days in the saddle in Squamish and on jumps at the Coast Gravity Park. Now that Antonia is on her third set of brake pads and second set of tires, she has a good impression of what the Rubion is capable of.

What are the hallmarks of a mountain biker’s ultimate family holiday? Easy answer: riding as much as physically possible. But when adult commitments and parental responsibilities put the brakes on your riding time, you may want to consider the Dolomites Bike-Weeks in the idyllic village of Olang in South Tyrol. We’ve been there and tried it out.

Excited? These (and many more) stories are just a few clicks away. If you have already installed our free app, simply open it and download the latest issue right now. If not, first download the free app from the App Store (iPhone / iPad) or the Play Store (Android smartphones & tablets) and then download the latest issue in the app. All you’ve got to do then is sit back and enjoy (ideally with a cold beer or a delicious cup of coffee)! #qualitytime

About the author

Valentin Rühl

“One guy for everything” is probably the best way to describe myself. Whether I’m busy as a copywriter for tests, as a photographer for the magazine and website or driving the van for a production — there’s nothing I won’t do. When I'm not standing behind a camera hiding in the bushes I love riding fast man-made trails with big jumps and shredding my home trails around Stuttgart.