Are you ready for a new adventure? Gunslingers, endless plains, and gold rushes – talking about the Wild West tends to call up certain associations and clichés. For this ENDURO issue, we travelled west, but a little more to the north – to the Canadian Wild West!

Mountain biking is so much more than a sport. It’s one of the best and most beautiful ways to explore the world – venturing into new places, getting to know the locals, and letting your creativity run wild. It doesn’t just let you choose your line and bike components, but also build a whole lifestyle around it. The beauty of biking is that you can always progress, and learn new things! And we did just that!

We lived every mountain biker’s dream and travelled to Whistler to test 7 exciting bikes, and there’s a chance that you haven’t heard of some of them. While at Whistler, we experienced it all, from bears to rock slabs, illegal forest parties, and local loamers followed by cold beer on the back of a pick-up. We were blown away by how quickly we progressed on the countless trails in the Sea-to-Sky Corridor between Vancouver and Whistler. We were equally surprised by how fast your perspective of steep, big and what’s rideable can change. And that’s despite the fact that we rode only a fraction of the trails in the area. Join us as we explore mountain biking’s most iconic spot and let it inspire you. While you’re at it, you can find out more about new bikes that you should keep an eye on.

For this issue, we didn’t just explore new terrain and test bikes but also looked at new manufacturing methods entering the bike industry. Can carbon fibre mountain bikes become more sustainable? What method makes small batch production economical? How can eco fibres lighten the footprint of carbon frames? And, most importantly, is the scene willing to buy into these new technologies?

If you don’t go with the times, you’ll fade away with time. The same applies to the designs of modern bikes. And we’ve all seen the countless “looks like a Session” comments under new bike launches. It’s not really surprising because even though many modern mountain bikes boast the latest tech and innovations, they simply look very similar, or are even hard to distinguish at first glance. But why do our bikes look the way they do? Why are looks so important? And what does the future of bike design hold?

If you want to explore new terrain, you need courage and skills, but also the right protective gear. Just in case. So, we put 9 lightweight and convertible full-face helmets through the wringer, comparing them head to head. Check out our full-face helmet group test to find out what to look for, the advantages and disadvantages of each helmet, and which models are likely to suit you best!

Unforgettable experiences come from venturing into new territory. Just ask our deputy Editor-in-Chief, Peter, who went on a spontaneous and informal camping trip with a group of friends – and barely got any sleep because of the nearby forest fires. It was an incredible experience nonetheless!

The good news: you don’t have to read westerns or travel to British Columbia to experience new adventures. Just do something you’ve never done before. With a little creativity, you can do it right in your own backyard. The most important ingredient is your attitude – commit, stay strong, and pull through. So, foster your adventure mindset and get ready for new trails, experiences, and bikes.

As you can see, there are lots of exciting things to discover, but also some terrifying ones! Flick through our digital magazine, dig deeper and let us know what you think about it! We look forward to your feedback!

The highlights of this issue

  • North America’s Finest – Showdown
  • The evolution of bike design – Why do our bikes look the way they do
  • How the bikes of the future will be built – Alternative manufacturing methods of carbon frames
  • The Whistler Escape – Simple, spontaneous, unforgettable!
  • Lightweight, baby! – 9 lightweight and convertible full-face mountain bike helmets in review
  • Miniature mtb adventure – The Kids Ride Shotgun off-road balance bike

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). 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

Alchemy Arktos 150 | Chromag Lowdown 158 G2-Build | Devinci Chainsaw GX Enduro | Kids Ride Shotgun Dirt Hero | Kona Process X CR | Norco Sight C2 | Stanton Switch9er Steel GET FAST | Stanton Switch9er Titanium GET FAST | Transition Carbon Patrol X0 AXS | WeAreOne Arrival GX AXS

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

North America’s Finest
Seven bikes, six mates and one dream location: it’s Whistler time, baby! This summer, we lived every mountain biker’s dream and travelled to Canada to test 7 exciting bikes you might not be so familiar with. This mind-boggling experience included everything from mile-long rock slabs to illegal forest parties in magical forests, all topped off with ice cold beer cans on the back of a truck and a few unexpected encounters with plantigrades. Join us in this magical journey through the most iconic mountain biking paradise, and you’ll find a few exciting bikes that are worth keeping an eye on.

The evolution of bike design
Polarise, disturb, or please. Stand out or blend in? Modern mountain bikes are full of new technologies and innovations, yet many of them look very similar, or are even hard to distinguish at first glance. The design plays a decisive role in this in many respects. What’s going on here?

How the bikes of the future will be built
Carbon, the stuff of many dream bikes, is a resource intensive material. To reduce the manufacturing effort and the poor carbon footprint of the black fibres, some manufacturers have started breaking new ground in carbon frame production. This could make carbon frames of the future better in almost every respect – but there are some hurdles in the way.

The Whistler Escape
Four dudes, the Canadian wilderness and endless stretches of unspoilt trail: the perfect ingredients for an awesome camping trip! If it wasn’t for a spontaneous rave, an overheated truck, and 350 square kilometres of wildfires…

Lightweight, baby!
As bikes keep getting better, trails keep getting faster, and jumps keep getting bigger, there’s an increased risk of injury, too. But who likes wearing a full-face helmet on their home trails or on a singletrack mission? As such, lightweight, convertible full-face MTB helmets are on the rise, and we put nine exciting models through the wringer for you in our group test!

Miniature mtb adventure
So you think balance bikes are reserved for the city park or paved surfaces? Think again! With the Dirt Hero off-road balance bike, Kids Ride Shotgun promise next level off-road adventures for the littlest trail shredders. We introduced our youngest tester yet to the world of mountain biking to find out how it holds up on the trail.

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

Did you enjoy this article? If so, we would be stoked if you decide to support us with a monthly contribution. By becoming a supporter of ENDURO, you will help secure a sustainable future for high-quality mountain bike journalism. Click here to learn more.

Words: Peter Walker Photos: Diverse

About the author

Peter Walker

As deputy 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!