Episode #1 of Brendan Fairclough’s A Dog’s Life is now live. Check it out inside. Video: Aspect Media Photos: Antonio Abreu In Episode 1, Brendan heads to Madeira, Portugal which is quickly becoming one of the world’s most sough after MTB hotspots. Custom tracks, urban descents, and some backflips – “A Dog’s Life – Madeira.” Season 1 features 4 episodes that will start to drop online from January 2020. The first episode; MADEIRA, explores the rugged and steep Volcanic mountains with breath-taking sunrise sessions, high-octane riding and the classic travel misadventures that accompany any good MTB filming trip. See more of ‘A Dog’s Life‘ throughout 2020. Episode 2 – Châtel – Coming soon! Blistering speeds on ski slopes and down Vincent Tupin’s home trails – you wont want to miss Episode 2 of “A Dog’s Life.”
The team takes first steps towards their CO2 neutral goal at the team testing camp in Portugal.( Photos: 8, Comments: 4 )
In a week gone mad with Black Friday discount bonanzas, it’s hard to see through the fog of reduced prices and limited-time only deals and work out what exactly it is you need or want. Hopefully, our Black Friday deals have helped you scope out exactly what it is you’re looking for in the sea of craziness. If you’re still lost, then be sure to check out our Black Friday deals hub page. And, if you’re in the market for a new bike light, be sure to check out our Black Friday bike lights deals page and our best mountain bike lights list where we’ve listed the best ones we’ve tested this year. Marin Rift Zone Carbon 2 review SRAM X01 Eagle AXS drivetrain review Elsewhere, in BikeRadar‘s world of cycling, Tom headed off to Portugal to check out the brand new Mondraker Crafty Carbon RR SL, which weighs 19.9kg and costs £10,799. Although it’s probably one of the lightest electric mountain bikes out there, it’s also one of the most expensive. While browsing the web, we also spotted a set of £1,800 tri-bar extensions from AeroCoach. Crikey! We’ve also reviewed Manitou’s Jack dropper post and a set of Fox Ranger 3L waterproof riding trousers that are well-suited to the rather soggy weather the UK’s been experiencing recently. Zipp 30 Course disc brake wheels The Zipp 30 Course wheels should be ready for gravel, road and general adventures. Alex Evans Famed for their rather pricey carbon hoops for roadies, Zipp now offers a broader selection of wheels for different sorts of riding types including mountain biking, gravel and general do-it-all duties. The 30 Course is Zipp’s only alloy wheelset but promises to offer similar levels of performance as its carbon models in terms of aerodynamics while being comfier and having exceptional cornering grip. Zipp’s deep rim profiles are slightly shallower on the 30 Course to help with cross winds. Alex Evans It’s also Zipp’s first wheelset to be tubeless-ready out of the box and features a 25mm external rim width and 21mm internal rim width. This should increase tyre air volumes, which can help give the tyres a wider shape and a larger surface contact patch, equalling more grip. The rims are built around 77/177D hubs, also found of the Zipp 202 and 303 Firecrest disc wheelsets, and are thru-axle compatible. Our set is fitting with an XDR driver to go with SRAM’s wide-range cassettes. Alex Evans With an XDR driver and 12 x 142mm axle the rear wheel weighs 866g. The front, with a 15 x 100 axle tips the scales at 786g. I’m going to be using these wheels on one of my 2020 long-term test bikes so stay tuned for a review and ride impression soon. £880.99 / $1,000 / €1,023 Latest deals Polar Ignite GPS smartwatch The Ignite watch tracks daily activity. Alex Evans As Polar’s newest GPS fitness watch, we were excited to get our hands on one to check it out. With a host of features including integrated GPS activity tracking, continuous wrist-based heart rate monitoring, calorie burn monitoring, and sleep quality and sleep recharge tracking it promises to offer a full complement of relevant features for the discerning cyclist. The in-built heart rate monitor gets its data from your wrist. Alex Evans Polar’s Flow web and phone apps work in conjunction with the watch to provide details on your activities, how hard you’re training and what you should be doing to improve your fitness levels. It also tracks your daily activity, giving a percentage readout. Unlike bike-specific GPS units, the Ignite can be used to track swimming, running and any other type of activity. The strap is made from TPU plastic while the watch’s bezel is made from stainless steel. Alex Evans Touted to have a 17-hour training time battery life, the watch should last for five days in watch mode with continuous heart rate monitor activated. Keep an eye out for a full review coming soon. From £174.50 / $229.95 / AU$349 / From €199.95 Latest deals Manitou Mara Pro rear shock The Mara’s graphics mimic the black and chrome of the Mezzer fork. Alex Evans Designed to match the well-received Mezzer Pro fork that we awarded 4.5 out of 5 stars, the Mara Pro rear shock promises to excel in the roughest and gnarliest terrain found on enduro race tracks and all-mountain descents across the globe. The external adjusters are for high- and low-speed compression and low-speed rebound. Alex Evans With external high- and low-speed compression adjustment, the Mara’s also got a lockout lever and external low-speed rebound adjustment. It’s air-sprung and has the ability to be tuned with bottom-out spacers. Our 200 x 56mm model weighs 539g. It’s currently bolted to my Orange Stage 6 long-term test bike so expect a review soon. With the lockout lever you can select between ‘party’ for descending and ‘work’ for climbing. Alex Evans £TBC / $579.99 / €610.01 / AU$TBC Buy the Manitou Mara direct from Hayes for $579.99 Trust Shout linkage suspension fork Trust’s Shout fork looks crazy! Alex Evans We covered Trust’s fantastical-looking trail-orientated Message fork at the Sea Otter event earlier this year and, at Eurobike’s 2019 show, Trust had a gnarlier, longer-travel model called the Shout on display. It’s a 178mm travel linkage-driven – rather than telescopic – carbon fibre fork that, thanks to its design, should offer some of the best-performing suspension around. Weighing a claimed 2,165g, they’re air-sprung and are available in both 27.5in and 29in variants. The linkage uses bearings in its pivots with a lifetime warranty. Alex Evans We’ve currently got a set in to test at the hands of our resident science and suspension guru Seb. He’ll be putting them through their paces, so stay tuned for a full review hitting your screen soon. £1.900 / $1,975 / AU$3,299 / €TBC Buy the Trust Shout fork direct from Trust for $1,975
Mondraker presents their new electric mountain bike Crafty Carbon models, breaking the rules with its flagship model RR SL by being the first e-MTB with 29″ and 150mm of travel under 20kg. Main Features Frame: Stealth Air Carbon Wheels: 29″ Suspension: Zero Travel front/rear: 160mm/150mm Hub spacing front/rear: Boost 110×15mm/148×12mm Drivetrain: 1×12 Motor: Bosch Performance Line CX 4 Battery: Bosch Powertube 625Wh (Crafty RR SL also available with 500Wh battery) Weight: 19,3kg (Crafty RR SL + 500Wh battery); 19,8kg (Crafty RR SL + 625Wh battery); 21,3kg (Crafty RR); 21,8kg (Crafty R) Sizes: S, M, L, XL Prices: 7.499€ (Crafty R); 8.999€ (Crafty RR); 12.000€ (Crafty RR SL) Geometry For all Crafty Carbon models, Mondraker has refined and optimized its Forward Geometry. The sum of a 76° seat tube angle, 455mm short chainstays, long reach, and a 65.5° head tube angle combined with short 44mm fork offsets and 30mm stems pretend to offer overall better control and handling, stability, and confidence on every terrain, whether you are riding uphill or downhill. Detalles Mondraker has anticipated the future and the new trends that are to come, where weight and performance will play a very important role in some models of electric mountain bikes from different manufacturers. That is why, to lighten the weight of all Crafty Carbon frames, and thus also achieve a finer and nicer tube at the same time, Mondraker had to make the decision to depend on the battery extraction system, a feature that many will think is not right. While it is true that it is a risky decision, we must take into account that it is a pure performance electric mountain bike, and its purpose is not to be used to make long routes where you need to change the battery halfway. Crafty Carbon frames use Stealth Air technology, a manufacturing process that starts from the best selection of high modulus carbon fibers and the elaboration of a thorough and complex laminate. They feature a new cooling system that helps dissipate the heat generated by the battery, allowing the air to enter through integrated gills near the steering pipe, flow through the inside of the bottom pipe, and go outside through an outlet which is located above the lower part of the same tube. Bosch’s new fourth-generation Performance Line CX motor is now more compact, powerful and quiet, and although I like its improvements and operation, I can’t say the same about the display and the remote control, which I would like them to be more compact and ergonomic, like those of Shimano. The Bosch motor speed sensor is located inside the left rear dropout of the frame and the magnet is integrated into the brake rotor itself. Another very interesting new feature that we can find in the Crafty Carbon models is the Acros ICR (Integrated Cable Routing) steering system that allows the introduction and internal guidance of the rear brake cables, derailleur and seat post from the top of the head tube, leaving a very clean aesthetic on the front of the bicycle. The Crafty Carbon models feature a new redesigned and optimized kinematics especially according to the needs and rigors of an electric mountain bike. The Zero suspension system stands out for a very sensitive initial behavior, more absorbent and with marked progressivity. The upper-link is a Trunnion carbon monoblock that offers better lateral torsion stiffness. The 17mm thru-axles together with the oversized Enduro Max bearings offer more durability, perfect for demanding use and capable of withstanding greater loads. The top of the range model Crafty Carbon RR SL has been created with no compromises, designed for those riders who prioritize maximum lightness and performance over autonomy. It comes equipped with the new Bosch Performance Line CX motor with an integrated 500Wh Powertube battery, and some of the best components on the market such as Fox Factory suspensions, SRAM’s and RockShox’s AXS electronic system, Shimano XTR brakes, e*thirteen carbon cranks, and DT Swiss carbon wheels. A dream build like this only weighs 19.3kg, currently being the lightest electric mountain bike on the market with 29″ wheels and 150mm of rear travel. If equipped with the 625Wh battery, which offers 25% more of autonomy, its weight is still less than 20kg, weighing 19.8kg. In my opinion, it is one of the most beautiful and exclusive electric mountain bikes I’ve seen so far. In Action A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to try the new Crafty Carbon around Gondramaz, a beautiful small town belonging to the Aldeias de Xisto located in the Serra da Lousã, Portugal. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate during the test. Heavy rains made the trails complicated, leaving big puddles and a lot of mud, forcing me to be almost more aware of the unknown terrain than the bike itself, trying not to crash as I rode over slippery roots and rocks. Although I could not enjoy the new Crafty Carbon to its full potential, my first impressions were the following: My height is around 1.81m and I tested both size M and L. Taking into account my riding style, I always prioritize the handling and playfulness of a bicycle above all. Considering the geometry numbers and that it has 29” wheels when turning and jumping, I felt more comfortable with an M, unlike with the L, which although it was more stable at high speeds, and perhaps a little more comfortable to pedal, I noticed it felt a bit long for my liking. It was a shame not to be able to try the new Crafty Carbon and enjoy the beautiful landscapes and trails of the Serra da Lousã in better weather conditions, with some more sun and less mud and water, since it seems that Mondraker has created a very capable electric mountain bike. mondraker.com
10 REASONS TO TAKE PART IN #ABR2020 We know that there’s still a few months left but we cannot wait any longer. As we prepare the tenth edition of the Andalucía Bike Race presented by Caja Rural Jaén we bring you ten reasons why you should participate in it. 1- GREAT INTERNATIONAL CARTEL It’s very likely that there’s not another event with our cartel in our territory or even nearby. An amazing lineup that has been repeating year after year and in this edition it will be top notch, ensuring the worldwide status in races by stages year after year. Moreover, the category growth to Hors Catégorie (SHC) makes the number of professional riders that come to our race be even higher. Are you really going to miss the opportunity of being in the same starting line as the best riders in the world? 2- A LEGACY FOR HISTORY Without each and every single one of you, this crazy event would have not been possible. And it’s thanks to the 6.000 participants until now that have been a part of this race at some point, the Andalucía Bike Race presented by Caja Rural Jaén has been a reality for 9 editions and it will be for a tenth time. The international repercussion this race has in amazing, up to 56 nationalities have visited us during the 9 years it’s been going on. In this edition, like in the previous ones, we welcome you all with open arms to enjoy what we all love the most. 3- TRAILS OF PURE MTB To have a great lineup and to have all of you in the starting line there has to be something different to offer. What is it? It’s definitely our routes. This year we mix the mythical routes of the past editions with new zones that will leave you speechless. For example, we’ll enjoy again the Neveral landscape, the Jabalcuz peak, the rise of the Yeti, the slope of the Peña Del Águila in the Mancha Real zone or Los Caracolillos in the province of Jaén and the mythical stretch of El Reventón or the Fangorn forest with climbs and descents in Córdoba . 4- AN AMAZING LANDSCAPE Speaking about Andalucía is, and without a doubt, speaking about a lifestyle. But, Andalucía is a lot more. The more than 6.000 participants that have ridden 3.735 kilometers and the 96.400 ascension meters during the nine previous editions enjoyed unique landscapes. The Andalusian orography, allows us to combine sections of spectacular ascends and descends that will leave you frozen. 5- FIRST CLASS SERVICES This is, without a doubt, one of the reasons that we, as cycling lovers, are more proud to give you. Everyone that has participated in a stages race knows that after finishing the last thing we want to worry about is cleaning our bike or getting it ready for the next day. That’s why we are going to take care of it. With our cleaning service, thanks to KH-7, and our repair service, thanks to MASQUEBICI, all you need to worry about is eating well between stages and get relaxed during the massage. Yes, we also have a massage service so you can recover as fast as possible. 6- BEING A PART OF THE 10TH EDITION What better reason to participate in the tenth edition than being a part of it? Being able to participate in one of the most special editions in history, going back to those routes that have wrought this races legacy, cycling along the first routes from the first edition or enjoying Andalucía’s Day in the main center of it. All of that, with the signature landscapes from Córdoba and Jaén, cities that will hold the starting point of this race again. 7- INTERNATIONAL PARTICIPATION ON THE RISE Gathering participants from 56 different nationalities is not an easy job, especially when it’s been growing over the last editions. In the last edition there were almost 40 European nationalities represented, such as Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, the UK, Italy, Norway, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Switzerland or Sweden, also also not European nationalities such as Australia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Iceland, Peru, Russia or Venezuela, among others. This data shows that the Andalucía Bike Race presented by Caja Rural Jaén crosses a lot of borders. This international participation is almost 30% of the enrolled participants, a number that brings together people from the five continents. 8- RYDING ALONG WITH THE BEST RIDERS This is, probably, the only sport in the world in which you can share competition and compete against a first class professional athlete. Moreover, we are in a Hors Catégoria (SHC) event, so being able to share six days of pure MTB with the best national and international cyclists is something unparalleled to any other date in the agenda. 9- MORE THAN MOUNTAIN BIKE As the ones that have come to the previous editions will know, this Andalucía Bike Race presented by Caja Rural Jaén goes beyond being a cyclist. If there’s something that makes this race special are the endless possibilities there are for the riders and for their companions. From enjoying free time to enjoy the amazing gastronomy, or to nourish from the Andalusian culture. In addition, the endless Andalusian leisure offer will make the post-stage evenings different each day. 10- LIVING THE BIKE RACE EXPERIENCE Taking part in a Bike Race does not mean taking part in another stage race. It’s living a unique experience. Obviously, every Bike Race is different, but the base for all of them is the same mindset, the same objective, the same look and the exclusive feelings. Enjoying any Bike Race by Octagon Esedos from the inside is something different; it doesn’t matter if it’s in the Andalucía Bike Race presented by Caja Rural Jaén, in La Rioja Bike Race, in the YoPRO Catalunya Bike Race or in the MMR Asturias Bike Race. www.andaluciabikerace.com
Are you constantly scouting for your next eMTB adventure, be it a family holiday, an epic trip, a leisurely ramble or just new local loops? Whatever the purpose, here’s where you search ends. We’ve compiled a list of 10 lust-worthy locations that should tide you over for your next 11 trips. 1. Fanes-Senes-Braies Nature Park, South Tyrol/the Dolomites In the Realm of the Senses: In the middle of this unspoilt landscape, St. Vigil/San Vigilio will incite the stoke within any mountain biker’s soul. The ancient village of San Vigilio is where to base yourself, where under the watchful gaze of the Dolomites of Braies/Prags, there’s around 250 km of diverse trails waiting for you. With freeride routes on Kronplatz, sublime singletrack, and pristine gravel contouring along the edge of mountain rivers, there’s something for everyone in this committed bike region. A standout ride takes you to the Pragser Wildsee, and can be ridden enduro-style by taking the Kronplatz-Furcia Trail. Given the abundance of steep ramps and leg-burning climbs in the Fanes-Sennes-Braies Nature Park, not least up to the stunning Fanes Hut, you’ll be praising the invention of eMTBs. Up on the legendary high altitude plateau you’ll get better acquainted with official representatives of South Tyrol at the Parlamente delle Marmotte – Marmot Parliament. Riding choices are extensive and cater for every level: from the Kronplatz to the Seekofel rides, to a giant loop of the Nature Park, which surely counts as one of the finest rides in Europe. But perhaps even more enticing for some is the level of escapism here – ideal for getaways with kids, discovering Ladin cultural sites and the fairy-tale, fossilised landscape full of dwarves and water nymphs. For the post-ride wind-down you’ve got charming restaurants, cosy bars and warm hospitality in every direction. After such rewarding days in the fresh air, you’re bound to sleep well too. More info: kronplatz.com Guiding/Rental: Excelsior Dolomites Life Resort, other dedicated bike hotels When to go: July–October How: by car (roughly 3 ½ h from Munich), shorter travel time with bus or hire car from Innsbruck or Bolzano 2. Finale Ligure, Italy Not just about the mountains and the Med, this area is packed with amazing, well-maintained trails built by some of the deftest trail builders around. Finale Ligure shot to fame by becoming a staple of the Enduro World Series, and has now developed into an eMTB mecca too. Expect to fall for this true sunspot almost immediately, swept away by the red hues of the seaside houses with palm trees in one direction and pine trees behind you. The mountains shoot up directly behind the town on gradients that do not phase an eMTB. The trail network for eMTBs is on an upward tangent – many of them are still very low-key as they’re often slightly too far off the beaten track for other riders who are shuttle-dependant. Of course, shuttles can certainly still be used, but you’ll manage to link in more than 2,000 metres of descending over six descents without having to use a transfer. (A mid-ride break to charge the battery might be necessary though). There are trails for all skill levels, with more mellow and intermediate routes heading up to the Le Manie plateau at 400 m.s.l for year-round riding. Much like the jungle, expect to shred through rampant Mediterranean shrubland with spectacular glimpses of the sea. The Supergroppo trail ups the ante in the adrenaline stakes: built for the EWS finale, this 6 km stretch of singletrack can be pure flowy bliss, or put your enduro game face on and let off the brakes. The Rollercoaster trail is another highlight, littered with berms, steep halfpipe-esque corners, and flow sections – this is anything but boring. Link that in with the Caprazoppa or the Bondi trail and expect to experience new downhill highs. If you’re still hungry for more you could enter the annual 24-hour mountain bike race. With your finishers’ drink in your hand, we suggest closing your eyes and letting yourself fall into a well-deserved sleep, serenaded by the chirping of the crickets and the breaking of the waves. Guiding/Rental: Evolve or TheUltimateBikeshop When to go: Spring or autumn How: by car, or fly to Genoa and take a local train or hire car 3. At home! Think you know it all or perhaps you’ve not even aware of what your home turf has to offer? Here’s where we will wax lyrical on the perils of missing what’s right under your nose. It’s probably pretty good, right? All things considered, what’s normal for you might be great for others. But routine can be less than inspirational at times, and you might be longing for a change of scenery (we don’t blame you), so take some cues from this issue and set bucket list goals, hook up with new riding friends, and rediscover what’s outside your door. Who needs a destination when you’ve got the ride is the destination? When to go: ALL YEAR ROUND! How: usually just a few minutes from the sofa to the shed 4. Ischgl, Austria Austria’s après-ski haven has a whole other side during summer. Far, far quieter as the temperature rises, the landscape – covered in snow each winter – is a sight to behold once everything is in bloom. A year-round destination with views in every direction from the top of the peaks, you’ll find beautifully made flow trails for all abilities criss-crossing the ski pistes. The cable car network serves a great purpose in summer too and lets you drastically increase your eMTB’s range by eliminating climbs. The Flimjoch trail, which is part of the 20 km Schmuggler ride, is a real gem and takes you for a jaunt into neighbouring Switzerland. Those who prefer to continue pedalling rather than catch their breath in a cable car can refuel their own energy (as well as that of the bike’s) up at one of the many mountain huts. We’re particularly fond of the Friedrichshafener Hut on the crystal-clear Bergsee lake. From here you’ve got the choice between rapid gravel tracks or amazing yet pretty tough singletrack back down. Families aren’t out of place here either, and can have their fill of well-signed posted hiking trails, the wild animal park, or a foray to one of the many lakes. So whether you’re après-skiing in winter or looking for an unspoilt summer paradise, Ischgl is a region of contradictions in the best possible way. Go to our website for a more in-depth guide. More info: paznaun-ischgl.com Guiding/Rental: Hotel Fliana, local bike shops When to go: July–September How: best by car, or fly to Innsbruck and take bus or train 5. Sintra, Portugal Given that Sintra was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995, it’s no surprise to discover it’s still a real treat to visit. Only 30 minutes from Lisbon, this national park with ancient palaces and castles was once a getaway for the royals from the crushing heat of the country’s capital. One highlight is the Palácio Nacional da Pena. Another highlight are the hills, of which there are plenty. With an eMTB the Serra de Sintra becomes marginally easier and you can explore each corner of the subtropical surroundings away from the stream of tourists. The lanes and gravel tracks give way into fantastic trails that alternate between running through an idyllic forest covered in moss and ferns or giving extraordinary views over the Atlantic coast and the many surfers making the most of the conditions. It’s a place that’s best explored with a local guide who’ll know exactly how to make the most of your eMTBing by linking in the best trails, in the best way. The highest point is only 530 msl, so it doesn’t take long until you’re back at sea level. Does this lack of vert mean it’s easy? Not at all; they’re peppered with berms and jumps and you’ve got everything on your itinerary: steep, flowy, techy, or just nice and mellow. Back at the coast, it’s time to hop on your surfboard and catch the waves. So whether Sintra is a chilled summer residence for the royals or the year-round biking paradise where the jungle meets the postcard-perfect coastline, we don’t mind as long as we can still have 365 days of great riding . Guiding/Rental: weride.pt When to go: all year, but spring and autumn are recommended (by September and October the Atlantic has had time to warm up) How: fly to Lisbon 6. 7stanes, Scotland Scotland = Mountain biking. A bombproof equation that can contain any number of variables including torrential rain or spontaneous whisky distillery stops. When talking about 7stanes it’s the 7 biking hubs between Dumfries, Galloway and the Scottish Borders. But what is it exactly? Imagine a landscape that’s stolen from Snow White And The Seven Dwarves and packed full of super accessible world class trails that cross mountains, gorges and forests, with climbs and descents galore in rugged terrain. Many of Scotland’s trails are old and natural – ripe for discovery, you could say, providing you act accordingly (such a thing as ‘etiquette’). Strung out across the southern bit of country, all seven bike centres can be explored in three to five consecutive days. Difficulty levels range from family-friendly through to testing singletrack and cross-country downhill. Navigation is a breeze thanks to ample maps and signposts, and Scottish cafes all know how to give a warm welcome to a rider. ‘Stanes’ means stone, so look out for the stone sculpture in the 7stanes centres, which each tell the story of their respective legends. The warm Scottish welcome extends to families and, as such, the market for kids rental and workshops is grand. Once you’ve had your fill of the well-looked-after trails, there’s time to practice skills and jumps in the bike park. Bikes aside though, Glashow’s Cuningar Loop also has an outdoor bouldering park for off-bike entertainment. We’re convinced that 7stanes will soon become your go-to destination once you’ve experienced the riding, the people, and the land. Guiding/Rental: such great way-marking that a guide isn’t necessary; great eMTB hire at Alpine Bikes in Glentress Forest Park When to go: solid terrain means year-round riding How: fly to Edinburgh or Glasgow 7. Flims, Switzerland Those who insist that Switzerland is a country where slowness prevails will rapidly be proven wrong in Flims. This Alpine town has 330 km of riding trails that attract the speed-hungry, the #soenduro crew, weekend warriors and families. This town in the Swiss canton of Graubunden is well versed in satisfying ebikers with a legion of charging stations that enable you to tick off long rides. With their ‘rent and enjoy’ tagline, the menu of hire bikes is not only limited to eMTBs – fancy downhill? Freeride? Cross-country? Plus, kids bikes and all the necessary equipment. Even after leaving the town, the great service continues: whatever the marked difficulty of the route, you’ll find multiple service points at mountain huts with track pumps, tools and spare parts for emergency repairs. Here’s hoping they won’t be your first port-of-call. We’d start with the Three-Lake Tour. Observe the aftermath of the collision of the two tectonic plates of Africa and Europe at the Tectonic Arena Sardona with the Tschingelhörner mountain. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site resulting from a shift in the plates that meant older rock was pushed above younger rock. Uniting old and young is a bit of theme in Flims: pick a cross-generational route that will entrance kids as you pedal past gushing waterfalls, with the option to shorten the route with cable cars if desired. Or settle for the day at the skills area in Flims/Laax to start honing the kids’ technique on the jumps. They might pick it up quicker than you. If it all still feels too slow-paced, you could blast around the Swiss Grand Canyon loop, careering through the Rhein Gorge. Velo, as the Swiss call their bikes, comes from the Latin ‘velox’ meaning fast. More info: flims.com Guiding/Rental: most bike hotels have rentals When to go: July–October How: by car, fly to Zurich 8. Baiersbronn, Germany “You’ve got to exceed seven Stars now!” This must have been the thought process of this small holiday town in the Black Forest as they claimed their eighth Michelin Star and rose to the top of the ranks of Germany’s gourmet stakes. But one claim to fame isn’t enough for this picture-perfect town in Freudenstadt: it’s developed an approach to tourism called Biker Kodex that regulates a fair relationship between riders and hikers on shared-use paths – even the ones that are narrower than the 2-metre width, which restricts riders in Baden-Württemberg. This highly successful approach to tolerance and the appreciation of a good time received a Design & Innovation Award 2018. Its eMTB route network covers 400 km over 11 well-signposted routes that’ll woo every cyclist going. Measuring between 13 km and 81 km with varying difficulties, we suggest using the tourist board’s app for navigation so that you can cruise through the finest trails in the Black Forest, whether it’s the Steep Slopes Trip or the cross-country-style Stöckerkopf Tour. A third of the trails are singletrack and some of them have so much flow that your kids will be in their element. Whatever the time of year, this town has a host of events and attractions, plus a climate that means you and your family can ride in every season. Did we mention there are also designed routes for parents riding with bike trailers? More info: baiersbronn.de Guiding/Rental: Baiersbronn Touristik, Hotel Tanne, Hotel Heselbacher Hof and the bike shops When to go: May–October; but rideable all year-round if there’s no snow How: by car, or fly to Stuttgart and take a train 9. La Palma, Canary Islands Calling La Palma ‘a mountain biker’s winter paradise’ doesn’t do it justice. Where else marries jungle-esque trails and dry, sometimes sandy lines through fragrant eucalyptus and pine forests in such harmony? Tell us that. Its volcanic status didn’t just give the Canary Islands their fill of exotic flora and deep forests, it also left some pretty high mountains. 400 km out from the coast of Morocco you’ll find La Isla Verde with its satisfyingly mild climate and climbs that are made to be charged up thanks to the natural endorphins coursing through your veins. And if you like the climbs, you’ll love the descents: steep wall rides, cool drops, and sublime speed traps on the Top-to-Bottom trail from Roque de los Muchachos to the Tazacorte beach. The island has four of these big mountain descents that drop more than 2,000 metres of vert in one hit – a natural, washed-out rollercoaster over riverbeds and scrub, sand, scree and black lava rock. One highlight is the Supertrail from Pico de la Nieve to Puerto Naos, which cuts through multiple vegetation zones on its way down. For eMTBs the options are endless, with so many ups and downs to make great loops – it’s worth utilizing a local guide though. After all the exertion, the island’s beating heart needs exploring with a visit to the capital Santa Cruz or a look deep into the volcano. There are tours for exactly this purpose. Afterwards, we suggest chilling at a beach bar to process the day’s events; you’ll need it. Guiding/Rental: Atlantic Cycling, La Palma24 When to go: all year, but spring and autumn are recommended How: fly to Santa Cruz de La Palma 10. Zermatt, Switzerland Starting point: Furi. Might sound like a race horse but it’s actually an Alpine plateau in the Valais, just 3 km outside of Zermatt. Horsepower is necessary though – in the form of your motor. The Stafelalp eMTB route is suitable for beginners and kids, with the Moos Trail’s average 7.3% gradient and sublime flow setting the ultimate stage for their first flow intoxication. Don’t say we didn’t warn you: clear up space on your phone before starting any ride here, especially one with such views over the north face of the Matterhorn. The same applies to the Stellisee ride, with two rocks emerging from the lake with its Matterhorn reflection. It’s the signature Zermatt image, you’ll see. If you’re more into real-time 3D experiences the descent will be right up your street. The newly built Sunegga Trail promises a whole lot of flow and airtime for both newbies and pros. You’ve got 680 metres of vert to enjoy, time after time. Alongside guided rides, there’s also eMTB workshops and the option for one-to-one rides with technique teachers. Adrenaline junkies will go mad for the Kelle ride, which has so many tight hairpin turns and a whole lot of steep, boulder-strewn sections. Wrap up for the ride to the Gornergletscher as the natural trail up high weaves through the snow and ice. Those who prefer ice in their drinks should check out the area’s culinary tours. And don’t miss the Hohtälli ride: even though you start with the Gornergrat cable car, your eMTB is still needed to reach the highest point of the ride where you can personally get acquainted with Zermatt’s giants. Still not close enough to heaven? Go paragliding then. Guiding/Rental: zermatt.ch When to go: July–September How: Zermatt is car-free so go by train, taxi or helicopter after parking at the Matterhorn Terminal Täsch 11. Madeira, Portugal The island of flowers, the beach island, the hiker’s paradise: giving Madeira one single moniker doesn’t cut it. Geographically closer to Africa than Europe, João Gonçalves Zarco must have been swept away by the beauty of the volcanic mass when he settled here in 1418. It has a blissful springlike climate even in winter and blossom that’s simply out of this world. The whole island basically consists of steep lumps, and by steep we mean steep, in every direction. The 1,862 m Pico Ruivo is crying out to be shredded. Local guides are well versed in ebike routes that traverse the whole island and give riders insight into the inner workings of the land mass. You won’t need any shuttles here. As well as imposing ridgelines and stunning coast views, expect quiet lanes, panoramic roads, challenging trails, hidden cultural and botanic gems, quaint bars and even diverse climate zones. The lush northern part is more precipitous while the south has a subtropical climate, characterised by sunshine and dryness. Whatever ride you pick, always take the chance to gorge on the island’s locally grown fruit. As you can’t yet fly with an ebike battery, you should hire an eMTB on the island directly. Out for a city tour or a wild adrenaline rush, Madeira knows how to please. Take your pick between organised events, guided tours, or tailor-made rides that can include hiking, canyoning and watersports as well. For a different sort of downhilling, the island is also known for its street sledging – a must for every generation of guest. From cruises to whale watching and swimming with dolphins, João Gonçalves surely had fun founding his community here. Guiding/Rental: Turitrans, Bikestation Madeira, Zeller Tours When to go: all year round, April–October are recommended How: fly to Funchal, potential stopover in Lisbon Der Beitrag Top 11 eMTB Destinations – eMTBing is ace, but where’s best? erschien zuerst auf E-MOUNTAINBIKE Magazine.