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Picking out the best mountain bike can seem like a complicated business. The sheer variety of bike types, not to mention the bewildering array of technology and terminology surrounding them, can be overwhelming. However, for most people — and especially when starting out — budget is the critical factor when looking at a new bike. How much you’re willing to spend radically affects what’s on offer and it’s easy to look at mountain bikes in a shop or online and be put off by the stupendous price tags attached to many of them. That said, just because you can spend...

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Familiarise yourself with most wallet-worrying MTB gear poised to land in the new year, with our handy guide. Go on, admit it – there are few things better than planning your next bike-related purchase. Whether it's as simple as a new pair of gloves, or an all-singing, all-dancing new enduro sled, shiny newness never gets old. With that in mind then, here's our pick of the products set to tickle the shopping baskets come the new year. 1. Santa Cruz V-10 29er Luca Shaw's Santa Cruz 29er V10 © BARTEK WOLIŃSKI/RED BULL CONTENT POOL This really could have read 'production-ready...

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Will mountain bike cassettes ever have enough gears to satisfy riders? Are 1-by drivetrains just a fad, or are they truly for the masses? We’ve been tracking mountain bikers’ preferences for drivetrain configurations over the past 3 years, and the data paints an interesting picture. Cassette size preferences Older mountain bikers will remember 7- and 8-speed drivetrains from many years ago, so clearly there has always been an appetite for bigger cassettes with more gears to choose from. The chart above shows Singletracks readers’ preferences for various cassette sizes: blue represents 12-speed, red represents 11-speed, yellow represents 10-speed, and green represents 9-speed. Survey respondents...

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A mountain bike looks very different from a road bike, so it only makes sense that the rider would, too. There’s no law against wearing clingy road shorts or baggy hiking shorts when you ride beyond the pavement. But you’ll enjoy time on your mountain bike a lot more if you have clothing and protective gear that fits what, how and where you ride. Protection is key, too. Whether your riding approach is cautious or audacious, you’ll want ample coverage to protect you from the hazards of brush, branches, roots, and rocks. If you’re unsure how you’d classify your riding...

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