Hands up who’s not a sucker for the latest and greatest sh*t being advertised? Trends, one-upmanship and a desire to fulfil ourselves with hyped-up superlatives on sale – sounds familiar, right? But every fashion and every trend comes at a cost. The question is: should we continue to mindlessly succumb to hollow wants and flock after vacuous consumerism or act consciously in the name of progress?
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The reality often sounds too good to be true: ‘made from recycled ocean plastic’, ‘more battery range, more fun’, ‘sustainably produced’ – whether on the cover of a magazine or a piece of publicity, be it furniture, sneakers or an ebike, statements like these are two a penny. Can we write them off as marketing BS, or do they contain eco-conscious nuggets of truth? It’s not always clear. Sustainability is one of the biggest trends right now – and just like having the largest imaginable range for your bike’s motor – it’s something that we’re all at times willing to buy into.
Honest answers help us navigate the tides, which means we can live life with more awareness, equipped with a finely-honed BS detector that should stop us from chasing ill-advised, mis-sold items
So, what’s behind all that? In tackling that question, this E-MOUNTAINBIKE issue uncovers answers that are equal parts frightening, equal parts mindboggling and sobering at times. Does it mean we should all be having less fun? Hell no! We’re particularly proud of this issue. That’s because it shines a light on topics and trends that are relevant for society as much as for the bike sector. It sounds like a lofty goal. This issue is not only fun and inspiring but delivers on a multitude of fronts: new insight, new impulses, and new perspectives. We’re stoked to share it with you – here’s a peek at what’s inside.
The highlights of this issue
- What’s the best eMTB for 2022? 13 exciting models in our mega group-test
- Between heaven & hell – Trail and wine tasting in the bike paradise of Stellenbosch, South Africa
- Design & Innovation Award – the biggest bike and industry trends 2022
- The Lab – the most exciting products in the long-term-test
- E-MOUNTAINBIKE City Escape Rome – powered by Haibike
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All the bikes in this issue
FOCUS JAM 7.0 | Haibike AllMtn 12 | Haibike AllMtn SE | MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K | Norco Sight VLT C1 | Orbea Rise M-Team | Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay C70 | ROTWILD R.E375 PRO | SCOR 4060 Z ST XT | SCOTT Ransom eRIDE 910 | Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo | Specialized S-Works Turbo Kenevo SL | Trek Rail 9.9 XX1 AXS | Yeti 160E | YT DECOY MX Core 4
What to expect in this issue:
What’s the best eMTB for 2022? Our extensive E-MOUNTAINBIKE group test doesn’t just pitch the most exciting models against each other but throws up a whole lot of insight and questions. With eMTB categories clearly on the turn, we ask ‘where is it all going?’ ‘Why are previous-gen eMTBs suddenly able to perform better on the trails?’ ‘What’s the risk of the current arms race-style approach to batteries?’ ‘Is eMTB development heading in the wrong direction?’ In this issue, you’ll find all the answers, plus our guide to the hottest bikes.
As always, pseudo-sustainability, aka greenwashing, isn’t going to right the world of its wrongs. In the Design & Innovation Award Trend Article on this very topic, we pinpoint potential within the cycling and outdoor industry and tap into topics like greenwashing, 100% ocean plastic swag and new technology. But it isn’t all words: we also put forward our actionable insight into how we can make the world a better place together. Yep, there are sustainable solutions out there, and yes, we can – and should – act now.
These days you don’t have to go to Paris for street style points. Even your local trails will do. In some places, riding is becoming a fully-fledged fashion show, with all the bitchiness and lookism that you’d expect, well, anywhere but on the trails. That’s why it’s so refreshing to get wild with your old friends who simply don’t give a f**k what others think. As the pile of post-ride beers mounted, so did the intensity of our debate: why do so many of us have a hard time growing up, how can we escape the daily grind and what the hell is biking all about?
‘Knives and guns are forbidden on the trails’ – It’s enough to hear the words ‘South Africa’ to get us dreaming about epic landscapes filled with nature, impressive mountains and famous wine regions. But there’s more to this huge country. While surfing trails and tasting wine down in the legendary riding hotspot of Stellenbosch, we encountered flow, controversial contrasts and a bit of The Matrix – fortunately, no guns involved.
With millennia of culture and architecture built into its very being, expectations of Rome are royally high, but what does it have to offer today? As part of our regular E-MOUNTAINBIKE City Escapes powered by Haibike series, we explored the Italian capital by bike and left the city walls in the pursuit of blockbuster trails. While in the Eternal City, we bumped into Julius Caesar’s spirit and seized the opportunity for an interview to philosophize over Rome in 2022, orgies, eMTBing, and his relationship with Asterix and Obelix.
Excited? These (and many more) stories are just a few clicks away. If you’ve 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
Have fun reading!
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Words: Robin Schmitt Photos: Various