The 'must have' MTB products of 2018
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
This really could have read 'production-ready big-wheeled DH bikes'. If 2017 was the year that 29in wheels announced themselves on the world stage with the pros then 2018 should be the year that the rest of us get to have a go too.
There will (in theory anyway) be a slew of larger wheeled gravity-fed machinery arriving over the next 12 months, but it's the V-10 which perhaps more than any other bike will now become synonymous with the breed. Debuted in Lourdes at the opening UCI World Cup of 2017 it continued the model's run as the most successful DH bike ever and almost carried Greg Minnaar to a(nother) overall title. Production details remain thin on the ground, but we're hoping a launch won't be too far away.
Are 29er DH bikes for everyone? Of course not, but for those riders who've long made the switch to bigger trail wheels the opportunity to go banzai fast on the DH track can't come soon enough.
2. Sick! Bicycle Co. Gnarcissist 853
If you've not heard of Sick! Bicycle Co. then congratulations, you must be one of those people who find time to do something other than constantly search for social media-based entertainment. They're definitely worth a follow.
A gloriously grubby-fingered jab to the eye of the perceived elite of the bicycle industry, the English marque produce high quality, small batch hardtails and (probably) don't care whether you like them or not. Smaller independent mountain bike brands have become increasingly rare over the last decade or so and seeing a new start-up gain traction via digital savvy and a creative thought train is encouraging to see.
Copying the streetwear industry, they tease their latest creations online and release them on to their webstore at a stipulated date and time and then it's first come, first served. The new Gnarcissist 853 drops on the first Friday in January.
3. Custom Specializeds
One of the world's biggest bike brands, Specialized, now offers a custom build program similar to that of Trek's Project One. You can play with a colour palette as well as drivetrain and suspension options to your heart's content.
Even if you're extremely unlikely to part with the required wedge to order said Stumpjumper or Enduro, it's a fantastic way to get through a dull morning at the desk.
4. E-bikes (all of them)
E-bikes are a huge part of the future. If you disagree then it's probably better that you stop reading now and get back down to the beach to try and convince the tide not to come in. Not only do they open mountain biking up to a whole new raft of riders but they allow the rest of us to ride more trails in a day and what could be better than that?
5. Nukeproof Mega 275c RS
It's a machine that won the Enduro World Series title as well as finished sixth at the DH Worlds in the hands of one Sam Hill. Pedigree doesn't get much better than that. It features a carbon fibre front triangle and a spec which is all but identical to that raced to glory by the aforementioned Aussie.
Already a classic among privateer racers the world over, 2018 may just be the year that the Mega becomes an icon.
6. Pole Machine
Want something a bit different? By 'different' we take it that you mean that you want a CNC machined frame made in a top secret factory somewhere in Finland, which is longer and slacker than just about anything else on the market and is designed to work around 29in wheels? Good.
Another small brand doing things differently, Pole's latest design simply titled 'Machine' is their most desirable frame yet. How do you make such swoopy shapes from T6 billet alloy? That's where the intensive CNC machining comes in and for added trick-ness, all the suspension pivots run on titanium axles.