No one in life has the privilege to keep things the way they are. On the contrary: the more you try to preserve the status quo, the more desperate it seems. Botox can’t stop the ageing process any more than an attempt to rekindle an old friendship can hide the fact that you’ve evolved and somehow drifted apart.

It’s the same in the world of bikes. The scene, technologies and bike brands aren’t the way they were 5 or 10 years ago. So much has changed – and it will continue to do so. Everything is getting lighter, stiffer, and more expensive, too… but why is that? In the latest ENDURO issue, we deal with the dramatic increase in the prices of bikes, the industry’s innovative spirit, and what you think about it. 14,899 readers took part in the bike world’s most extensive reader survey, telling us what they think of the latest developments, what they intend to buy, and which topics interest them the most.

Included in this issue, you’ll find a big group test of the best trail riding knee pads and other exciting tech pieces, such as our test of component stiffness. Apart from that, we took an in-depth look at what really helps women progress in mountain biking and what is utter bullshit, and provide plenty of inspiration to get you racing. Furthermore, we hope our ultimate guide on how to race for fun, and our – in terms of results – rather unsuccessful return to racing at the iXS Downhill Cup in Bad Tabarz will make you laugh.

But just read for yourself, leaf through the digital pages, have a look and feel free to let us know what you think! We appreciate your feedback!

The highlights of this issue

  • Ladies’ bikes without Barbie bullshit – What really helps women progress on their mountain bikes?
  • Protect yourself before you wreck yourself – 14 trail knee pads in direct comparison
  • Stiffer = better? – How does the stiffness of your components affect their performance on the trail?
  • The MAG41 Downhill Racing Team – Experiences instead of results
  • Caviar and Kashima – Is biking becoming an exclusive sport for the super-rich?
  • What do 14,899 ENDURO readers say? – The most important findings from the 2022 ENDURO reader survey

You can download the new issue in our magazine app now – free of charge as always! If you don’t yet have the app, you can find it in the App Store (iPhone/iPad) or in the Play Store (Android smartphones & tablets) or on Amazon (Kindle). The free, digital magazine is at the heart of what we do and undoubtedly the best way to experience our content. It comes with lots of interactive features, high-resolution images and videos and a unique design. We’re confident that if you like our website, you’ll love the app. By the way, you can also access all previous issues of ENDURO in the app – reading material for days!

All the bikes in this issue

Canyon Strive CFR | GHOST Path RIOT Full Party | GHOST RIOT AM Full Party | LIV Intrigue | Pivot Shadowcat Team XTR | RAAW DH Prototype | Specialized Demo | Specialized Stumpjumper EVO S-Works | Specialized Stumpjumper Expert | Trek Fuel EXe 9.9 XX1 AXS | Trek Session

Below, we’ve put together a small selection of articles that you’ll find in the current issue.

Ladies’ bikes without Barbie bullshit
Mountain biking is becoming more feminine. Women are turning up the heat in ever more disciplines, and product trends are moving with them. Unfortunately, they often tend to be pink and fluffy. Which of these are nothing more than Barbie bullshit and which really help women progress on their bikes? Ladies, this one’s for you!

Protect yourself before you wreck yourself
When was the last time you hit the trails without knee pads? If you ask us, we hardly ever leave the house with bare knees – and we strongly hope you do the same! We put 14 lightweight knee pads through the wringer to tell you how they differ from each other, and which model offers the best balance of comfort and protection.

Stiffer = better?
Most of you know how much your bike weighs. But who can say how stiff it is? It’s no wonder since stiffness is a much more subjective value. It’s heavily dependent on the component combination and has different effects in different scenarios. But is stiffer always better?

The MAG41 Downhill Racing Team
We are back – racing! We planned to compete at the iXS Cup in Bad Tabarz with the best equipment and zero preparation. That’s until our plan went south due to race postponements, new jobs, unforeseen trips, and one or two too many beers. Here’s how we ended up in the last three places.

Caviar and Kashima
€ 15,000 for a mountain bike? With some bike brands, this has become the norm instead of the exception! Bikes keep getting more and more expensive, which also has serious consequences for the entry- and mid-price segment. Will biking become the new golf for the champagne elite or do brands still think of normal income earners?

What do 14,899 ENDURO readers say?
What does a typical ENDURO reader look like? Which trends and brands have shaped the mountain bike world in 2022 and did we proclaim the year of the mullet too soon? Nearly 15,000 ENDURO readers heeded our call to take part in our reader survey and provided great insights into the status quo of the mountain bike world.

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

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About the author

Peter Walker

As editor-in-chief, Peter is as much a man of action as he is of words. This expert, screw-driver-flexing two wheeled-whizz has many envy-inducing characteristics, including a background in motocross, several EWS race plates to his name, and more than 150 recorded days at Whistler Bike Park. However complex the bike and however steep the trail, he’s probably already nailed it, twice. Oh, and he can do it all on skinny tyres too. When it comes to guiding consumers, Peter cut his teeth at Vancouver’s oldest bike shop and now puts pen to paper on the daily translating this know-how into our editorial plan. When not tearing up Stuttgart’s local trails while testing bikes, he loves nothing more than loading up his self-renovated VW T5 and hitting the road. The fact that he’s a trained paramedic gives his colleagues reassurance out on the trails. So far we haven’t had to call him by his alias ‘Sani Peter’, so here’s hoping he keeps it right side up for the rest of his time here!