Issue 50

Singletrack Mountain Bike Magazine
June 2009

In this Issue:
Fell Runner vs Mountain Biker
Man and Boy
Benji’s One Ton Weekend
A Day in the Life of Mountain Biking
Race Fast Now

Cover Picture: Finale Ligure’s dusty 24 hour race course. By Simon Cittati.
Contents Picture: Cape Epic 2009. By Gary Perkin.
Spineline: I’ll have to shake my drips


Is racing the social glue that binds the mountain bike world together or has Chipps been sniffing too much of said glue?

Fell Runner v Mountain Biker

Which is the quickest way of getting around off-road? Benji saddles up and does battle with a lean, mean, skimpy-short wearing machine.

Red Hot Racing

Ed Kenny Herbert finds that, even in Dubai, there’s always a mountain bike race going on if you look hard enough.

Spine Lines

Take a look at the spine of this magazine (our 50th issue, no less). See that nonsense written on there? Here’s a tribute to all the ones that have gone before.

Column: Nature Boy

Nature Boy takes a pop at racing and racers. What’s wrong with just riding your bike, eh?

Interview – Chris Akrigg

The quietly unassuming, yet jaw-droppingly talented all-round bike-handling genius, Chris Akrigg dropped in for a chat. And a mess about on bikes.

Blame The Dog

Mike Ferrentino looks at the complete lack of measurement standards in the world of bicycles.

Bike Test: Carbon Race Bikes

Three XC race rigs made from the fantastic plastic. The Cannondale Scalpel, the Specialized Epic and the Trek Top Fuel. Where do they finish on our podium?

  • Cannondale Scalpel 2
  • Specialized Epic Marathon
  • Trek Top Fuel 9.8

Man And Boy

Ed Oxley waxes lyrical about the thrills and spills, the laughter and the tears and the fear and loathing that goes on when Dads ride with their Lads.


Photos from Sheldon Attwood, Chipps and Victor Lucas. Tony Hart R.I.P.


Chipps goes riding with the ‘Goldtec Massive’ down Stoke on Trent way.

Through The Grinder

More products real-world tested in slightly less mud than in the previous issues.

  • Marmot Tempo Jacket
  • Trickstuff Exzentricker
  • ESI Silicon Grips
  • Lezyne Shock Drive
  • Squirt Chain Lube
  • Gravity Light Bars
  • Salsa Rasta Long Sleeve Jersey
  • Lifeventure Microfibre Pack Towel
  • Cannondale Grind Jersey
  • FiveTen Impact2 Hi Boots
  • Utopia Slayer Pro Carbon Goggles
  • Genesis iO Alfine
  • Titus FTM

Grouptest – XC Race Wheelsets

A bunch of top-of-the-line wheelsets rounded up and shot. Most are impressively light. Some are insanely expensive.

  • Bontrager XXX Lite
  • Specialized Roval Controle
  • DT Swiss XR1250 CL
  • Mavic Crossmax SLR
  • Shimano XTR Disc

Benji’s One Ton Weekend

Benji decides to blow his £100 on frivolous thrills rather than eking it out. A day out for three on an uplift day at Innerliethen.

Race Fast Now!

Matt Hart’s tips on fine tuning your race-ready body with a race-ready mind.

A Day In The Life Of Mountain Biking

Somebody somewhere is riding a bike… or racing one… or fixing one… or buying one… or designing one… or dreaming of riding one…

Competition – Win £1000 Of Camelbak

Win yourself one of ten excellent Camelbak HAWG NV hydration packs.

Grouptest – XC And DH Race Tyres

We’ve gathered up some skinny skimpy tyres for the XC race set and some chunky sticky tyres for the DH crew.

Cross Country

  • Vredestein Black Panther 2.35
  • Kenda Karma L3R Pro Stick-E 2.0
  • Continental Speed King Supersonic 2.1
  • Specialized The Captaion S-Works 2Bliss 2.0
  • Geax Barro Race 2.0
  • Panaracer Razer MW RP 2.3
  • Specialized Sauser Wind S-Works 2Bliss 1.8
  • Bontrager Jones DryX (XDX) 1.9


  • Hutchinson Barracuda DH 2.5
  • Intense 909 FRO 2.35
  • Specialized Chunder 2.3
  • Michelin DH 24 A/T 2.5
  • Maxxis Minion Front DH 2.5


  • Park Tools TL5C Heavy Duty Steel Tyre Levers
  • Pedros Downhill Tyre Lever

Column: Roly Lambert

Roly plays the Kindly Uncle and fixes the in-laws bike supermarket bikes, much to his bike-snob horror.

Why Subscribe To Singletrack?

Here’s why. And how.

Grouptest – XC Race Shoes

Stiff. Garish. Expensive. Ratchets and dials all over them. We made like Geishas and did them up to 11, so you don’t have to.

  • Bontrager Race X-Lite
  • Specialized S-Works
  • Gaerne Carbon G. Wallaby
  • Diadora X-Trail Carbon
  • Mavic Fury XC Shoe
  • Shimano M310

Column: Sim Mainey

Sim talks nerves and French professionals while doing the Kielder Megavalanche.

Long Term Test Bikes

An update on how we’re getting along with our machines: Benji’s Cannondale Prophet MX, Sim’s Gary Fisher Roscoe, Chipps’ Orange Blood and Salsa Fargo.

  • Gary Fisher Super Roscoe
  • Orange Blood
  • Salsa Fargo
  • Cannondale Prophet MX

Route Guide: The Howgill Fells

Benji guides Sim around those intriguing hills that you look at as you pass through the Lake District on your way to ride a Scottish trail centre.


Peel slowly and see…