Interesting split of opinion.
I thought that it was the best issue for some time - I'll admit that I had been considering not continuing my subscription as I felt that the last few issues had seemed a bit like deja vu, just feeling that the articles weren't particularly attention grabbing and seemed a bit samey compared to previous articles/issues.
The current issue just seemed to get back to what the mag had when it first came out - ie good writing about the mtbing that we (I!) love - the bonking theme was great I thought - it's something that most of us have experienced and being able to relate to the short (mainly) articles (which were well written) was great. I though that the equipment tests were better than they have been too - just more interesting than another bunch of bikes that are essentially nothing new or even all that different fundamentally despite most of the marketing. I guess that's what I felt that the mag did well at the start - it didn't just do the mainstream but rather looked at different bikes (and this isn't about nichemongering - it's just more interesting IMO hearing about new developments/ideas). On that note, I'd love to read a review about internal drive bikes (eg Rohloff, Alfine, Sram?) if any of the editorial team are reading.
On the strength of this issue, I did renew my subs (and I like the free hip flask ) so I'm hoping that this is the start of a continued return to form.