How to pack your mountain bike up for travel

Packing a mountain bike up ready for riding on foreign trails is an almost identical process to bagging up a road machine. There are, however, a few additional considerations to take into account the extra complexities of most off-road rides.

Related: Best bike boxes and bike bags

The first step is to mark off your handlebars and seat, as these will be removed when packing the bike. Tape goes around bars and marked off with pen. Same goes for the seatpost. It’s always good practice to clean your bike before going away too.


Then remove the pedals. You can mark these off with a bit of tape, but this is optional.

Remove the handlebars from the stem and re attach the stem faceplate, making sure the bolts are loosely tightened so they don’t rattle around. With some bags you may need remove the stem and bars together.

Some bags require you to remove the seatpost; if you’ve got a dropper fitted, as with the bike on the video, you could simply push it down into the frame.

You can

Creative video ad aids sale of Idaho shop

VICTOR, Idaho (BRAIN) —??When it came time to list their store, Fitzgerald’s Bicycles, for sale earlier this year, retailers Scott and Janine Fitzgerald took an unconventional approach. The Fitzgeralds made a video of them placing a call with the Jackson, Wyoming on-air radio classifieds show, “Trash and Treasure”, to advertise that their shop was for sale, ignoring the show’s ‘no businesses on Trash and Treasure’ rule and frustrating the host

How long can you go? Jon Woodhouse’s extreme geometry hardtail – video

Mountain bike geometry has evolved a fair bit in recent years. On the whole, trail bikes of today are considerably longer in the wheelbase and slacker at the head angle than they were just a few years back. Certain companies are pushing the boundaries more than others in this respect but slowly and surely we’re all starting to reap the benefits of this pursuit to create better handling bikes.

Related: Recent progressions in mountain bike geometry

To find the limits first you must reach them(!) and that’s why Jon Woodhouse, Editor of What Mountain Bike magazine,  took it upon himself to experiment outside of the boundaries depicted by the geometry sheets of current manufacturers. Jon commissioned frame builder BTR fabrications, based in Somerset, UK, to produce a one-off hardtail with geometry you simply cannot get anywhere else.


Jon combined all the current trends of geometry to produce a bike with a 63.5-degree head angle and a 656mm top tube length – that’s the size of a large forward geometry Mondraker frame. To counter those radical dimensions, the BTR’s seat tube angle is set at an equally extreme 75.5 degrees. The chainstays of the frame are long enough to squeeze in the 650b rear wheels with enough clearance for mud but that’s it, in fact the back end was set as short as it’s practical to do so. Similarly, the bottom bracket of the frame is slammed way below the axles.The BTR was then fitted with Mondraker own brand On-Off’s 10mm stem, allowing for steering geometry that can’t be achieved with conventional parts. The wheelbase is, well… just look at it!

Watch the video below as Jon puts his bizarre looking creation to the test and reports his findings. 

Video: The extreme geometry hardtail 

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Trail Bike of the Year – How we test – Video

What Mountain Bike magazine’s annual Trail Bike of the Year awards pit a shortlist of 25 trail bikes against one another – but how are they tested and what makes a worthy winner?

In this video What Mountain Bike editor Jon Woodhouse and bike test editor Guy Kesteven show you how the whole exhaustive process happens.


Find more videos from BikeRadar at the BikeRadar YouTube channel.

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Pro bike: Nino Schurter’s Scott Spark 700 – video

BikeRadar recently had a visit from Scott Sports who kindly brought along the exceptional bit of kit that is Nino Schurter’s very own Scott Spark 700.

This was the bike that Nino raced to second place in last year’s cross-country World Championship race in Hafjell, Norway.

In the video below, What Mountain Bike Editor Jon Woodhouse takes a closer look at the exotic 9.25kg (20.4lb) cross-country machine and talks about the component choices and the unusual setup preferences of the stylish Swiss racer.


Video: Nino Schurter’s Scott Spark 700

For a closer look at this exceptional race ride then be sure to have a flick through our image gallery above.

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Five reasons mountain bikers should try road cycling

Listen up, buddy: it’s time to start shaving those legs and hit the road. Why? Have a watch of the video below or read on for the five best reasons to switch from mountain biking to road cycling, and also how it’ll improve your riding on the trails too.

If you’re just starting out then you may want to consider our advice on how to get into road cyling, getting your riding position right and buying a road bike. Either way, it’s time to ditch the baggies and don the lycra.

1. Fitness


If you’re looking for an easy way to get faster on a mountain bike, ignore the latest wheel size trend, forget about purchasing this year’s 15 per cent stiffer, five gram lighter component and get your hands on a good old fashioned road bike.

Like it or not, the type of consistent, leg-focused training you’ll encounter out on the roads is something you’ll struggle to find on a mountain bike.

If you’re not convinced, ask almost any pro mountain biker – from XC through to downhill, road cycling will be a cornerstone of their training program.

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How to thread internal brake and gear cables – video

Threading an internal cable through your road or mountain bike frame can appear to be a fiddly and time consuming job, but it’s easy when you know how.

We’ve covered the rest of the cable installation process – as well as gear and brake setup procedures – in other videos, as detailed below:

  • How to replace road bike gear cables
  • How to replace road bike brake cables
  • How to replace MTB gear cables
  • How to fix bike gears

How to thread internal brake and gear cables

Internal cables enter the frame in different ways. Some manufacturers use a small cable port, which barely has enough room for a cable outer.But more commonly, especially on newer bikes, there’ll be a fitment that houses the cable end, which can be removed.

The method in the video should work for either method.

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Video: BikeRadar’s James Tennant explains how to thread internally-routed cables. This video is part of?the Park Tool Maintenance Monday series. You can purchase the Park Tools used in the video at a number of dealers across the UK and internationally. For more maintenance videos, subscribe to the BikeRadar YouTube channel.

Tools for the job

  • Tape
  • Thin pipe
  • Hex or torx keys
  • Cable cutter
  • Small screwdriver
  • Chain lube
  • Paper cloth

We’re using some thin piping to help route the new cable through the frame. New frames often come equipped with this, and it’s removed during the building process, so it’s worth asking your local bike shop if they have any spare.

If not, it’s also found in cable outers, and with a bit of perseverance you might be able to very carefully remove a section, using a blade and some needlenose pliers.

Snip the cable from the derailleur using a cable cutter – it’s important to use the right tool as you need a clean cut. You’ll want to snip above the cable retention bolt to avoid the frayed area. Leave the cable inner in place for now.

Remove any plastic ports from the frame then remove the cable outers and cable ends from the open end of the cable.

Place the thin plastic pipe on to the gear cable and feed it along until it reaches the other exit in the frame. It’s vital that this pipe stays in place, so tape both ends to the frame.

You can now remove the inner cable from the housing and shifter.

Fit the new inner cable to the shifter and cut a new length of outer cable if required. Thread the inner cable into the first piece of outer making sure the plastic end caps are fitted. Feed the new inner into the plastic pipe that is taped through the frame.

When it’s clear of the other end, you can untape the pipe and pull it off the inner gear cable.

Refit the last piece of cable outer and your gears are ready to be set up and indexed.

How to service a Fox fork – video

For suspension forks to work effectively they need to be in as friction-free an environment as possible. That sounds easy enough until you consider the grubby places we mountain bikers ride our machines.

Given the relatively low weights and forces at work when riding a mountain bike off-road (in comparison with, say, aircraft undercarriage struts on landing) the fork has to be clean and well lubed if it is to be able to move rapidly enough to isolate you from the shocks.

To keep the outside out and the insides nice and oily, forks are fitted with seals. Telescopic forks usually have upper leg ‘stanchions’ and lower leg ‘sliders’, and the two pieces should move over each other with minimal effort. Servicing your fork’s seals reguarly will keep it running smoothly.

In the video below, BikeRadar’s James Tennant explains how to perform this procedure, which is known as a 30-hour service. He’s using a Fox 34 air-sprung fork, but the method applies to all Fox air sprung forks. It’s important to note that this does not replace the annual service that your local Fox centre should perform.?

How to service a Fox fork

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Video: How to service a Fox fork

Related: How to service a Fox shock

Tools needed

  • Sockets
  • Mallet
  • Fox Float Fluid
  • Suspension fluid
  • Hex keys
  • A large syringe, or some other way of measuring liquid
  • Pick
  • Rag
  • Degreaser
  • Paper cloth
  • Gloves

Remove the lowers

Clamp the fork in a workstand, unscrew the valve cap and release all the air from the fork.

Use a 2mm hex key to undo the lug screw from the rebound or compression dial : use a 2mm hex key to undo the lug screw from the rebound or compression dial

Then use a 2mm hex key to undo the lug screw from the rebound or compression dial depending on what what fork you have.

Use a socket to remove the nut from the right-hand leg. Socket sizes will vary, and some forks may use crush washers, which you can usually reuse. Do the same for the other leg, before returning the nuts to the thread.

You now need to tap out the internals – many people recommend using a drift for this, but as long as you are very careful, you can use a socket and mallet to release the internals from the leg.

You now need to tap out the internals: you now need to tap out the internals

Position a tray or bucket under the fork to collect any suspension fluid that may leak.

Place the socket on the end of the nut, making sure it’s not in contact with any part of the fork internal.

Take a soft mallet and gently tap the socket until the thread is released. Be extremely careful while doing this – if you bend one of the rods, it will be expensive to replace.

One the internals are free you can remove the fork lowers, then wipe down the internals with paper cloth: one the internals are free you can remove the fork lowers, then wipe down the internals with paper cloth

Once the internals are free, you can remove the fork lowers. Let the excess fluid drip away, then wipe down the internals with paper cloth.

Clean the seals

Use a pick to remove the foam rings that sit just below the seals, in each leg.

Press the rings into paper cloth to remove any old suspension fluid and dirt, then immerse them in Float Fluid for a few minutes.

Use a pick to remove the foam rings that sit just just below the seals, then press them into paper cloth to remove old suspension fluid and dirt. then immerse them in float fluid for a few minutes: use a pick to remove the foam rings that sit just just below the seals, then press them into paper cloth to remove old suspension fluid and dirt. then immerse them in float fluid for a few minutes

While the rings are soaking, you can get to work on cleaning out the inside of each leg. Spray in some degreaser, then use a rag wrapped around a long, thin item such as a large hex key to ensure that there is no dirt inside, or around the seals.

…then use a rag wrapped around a long, thin item such as a large hex key to ensure that there is no dirt inside, or around the seals: …then use a rag wrapped around a long, thin item such as a large hex key to ensure that there is no dirt inside, or around the seals

Finally, carefully return the saturated foam rings to the seals – the Float Fluid will be used to lubricate the fork stanchion.

Replace the lowers

Return the fork lowers and wipe off any excess fluid.

Use a syringe to insert the correct volume of suspension oil in each leg – take a look at the Fox oil volume chart if you are unsure. Remember, this is suspension oil, not Float Fluid.

Use a syringe to insert the correct volume of suspension oil (not float fluid) into each leg: use a syringe to insert the correct volume of suspension oil (not float fluid) into each leg

Compress the fork fully and refit the nuts, not forgetting any crush washers you may have removed earlier.

Retighten the nuts, being careful not to over-tighten them – check for the correct torque values on Fox’s website, and use a torque wrench if you have one available.

Compress the fork fully and refit the nuts. use a torque wrench if you have one available: compress the fork fully and refit the nuts. use a torque wrench if you have one available

Finally, refit any dials you may have removed.

You now need to pump 10-20psi of air into the fork, and give it a few compressions, in order to circulate the oil around the internals.?

After that, you’re ready to set your sag and ride. If you’re not sure how, our guide will help you.

Most anticipated mountain bike products of 2015 – video

Last year was a great one for mountain biking. From XTR Di2 to the shape-shifting Canyon Strive, there were tech advancements galore.

We think this year will be just as exciting – and this video will tell you why. Here, in no particular order, are the products we can’t wait to try out, and what we think will be the big trends of MTB in 2015:

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Video: Most anticipated mountain bike products of 2015

Related: Best mountain bike products of 2014

Like this? Why not subscribe to the BikeRadar YouTube Channel? And don’t forget to check out our Editors’ Picks of the best kit of 2014.

Biggest road cycling gear stories 2014

It’s just days until we roll into 2015, so today we’re looking back at some of the most significant, gorgeous, weird and interesting cycling gear stories of 2014.

Garmin Edge 1000

Garmin's edge 1000 is one of, if not the, most advanced cycling computer on the market:

The Edge 1000 was well received here at BikeRadar

The Edge 1000 might be more evolution than revolution, but with this addition to its head unit lineup, Garmin has continued to hone in on bike data and navigation perfection. The unit was launched at Sea Otter in April and it was quickly on US editor Ben Delaney’s bars. In our review, we said it has superb navigation with detailed mapping, plus a deep feature menu and modern connectivity. The only downsides are size and battery life. It’s certainly one of the most important new pieces of bike gear we’ve seen this year.

Check out our Garmin Edge 1000 review as well as the other units in the current range – the Edge 810 and Edge 510.

Specialized McLaren S-Works Tarmac

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Video: Specialized McLaren S-Works Tarmac

The new ?16,000 / US$20,000 Specialized McLaren S-Works Tarmac saw cycling and motoring behemoths join forces for a stunning, cutting-edge bike. Production of this bike was limited to just 250.

Using software McLaren developed for its F1, supercar and hypercar designs, the company re-engineered the Tarmac to use 300 per cent more high-modulus carbon. The Roval wheels have had a similar weight-saving treatment and the whole bike is finished in gorgeous black and orange.

Read the full McLaren S-Works Tarmac story, check out our video above and have a look at our 2015 Specialized mega gallery!

Pinarello cracks down on ‘Chinarello’

Serves him right? chinarellos shouldn't be trusted:

Pinarello closed 16,000 auctions for counterfeit bikes in just three months in 2014

One story that captured readers’ imaginations this year was the proliferation and subsequent crack down of fake Pinarello bikes that have been bought in from the Far East. Often made with extraordinarily shoddy quality control, they’ve been known to be lined with newspaper and crack with little provocation.

Pinarello had managed to close 16,000 auctions for counterfeit bikes in just three months, but it’s not just this brand that’s affected – there are thousands of dodgy copies out there, it’s just ‘Channondale’ doesn’t really have the same ring to it.

Read our Pinarello cracks down on ‘Chinarello’ story.

Lance Armstrong movie bikes

We're looking forward to spotting these in stephen frears' film of seven deadly sins:

Can you tell the difference between the replicas and the originals?

Speaking of bikes with dubious heritage, a massive selection of bikes used in the upcoming Lance Armstrong biopic (based on the damning book Seven Deadly Sins by David Walsh) went on sale, leaving us all to play a game of ‘guess the brand’ between the Condor-made replicas and the decal-stripped originals.

View the full gallery in our Lance Armstrong movie bikes story.

Cannondale Synapse Carbon 5

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Video: Cannondale Synapse Carbon 5

No gear round-up would be complete without mentioning Cycling Plus magazine’s Bike of the Year and the honour of that title went to the Cannondale Synapse Carbon 5 in 2014. We’re sometimes criticised for giving Cannondale bikes good reviews (check our mountain bike reviews and you’ll see it’s not brand bias) but when a bike is as genuinely great as this we want to shout about it.

If you want speed and comfort, it’s hard to beat. It’s not just the Synapse 5 that’s worthy of praise though – the whole range is fantastic.

Read the Cannondale Synapse 5 review and don’t forget to check out our extra special immersive feature on the bike’s design.

Tour de France gallery: weird and wonderful

Weird, weirder, weirdest – ben delaney tracks down an odd assortment from le tour:

The Tour de France always offers us a sneaky look at gear that might soon find its way to the consumer market and 2014’s edition of le grande boucle was no exception.

Perhaps most interesting of all though was all the weird and wonderful tech being used at the race, making this all-encompassing, manic event seem even more eccentric.

See our full Tour de France weird and wonderful gallery as well as our time trial tech galleries.

Caterham Duo Cali

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Video: Caterham Duo Cali first-ride impressions

It’s not just Specialized and McLaren who were blurring the cycling and motoring lines in 2014. Working with renowned German fabricator AX Lightness, Caterham produced the achingly beautiful Duo Cali – a snip at €15,000!

A complex five-piece mould is needed to create such incredible lines, while adding in Campagnolo EPS keeps the exotica going in the spec. The more you look at it, the prettier it gets.

Check out our Caterham Duo Cali preview.

Power meters

Factor's power meter earned our top marks:

With more brands joining the power party, single-sided units giving a leg up and falling prices across the board, the power meter market has grown significantly in 2014.

We gave several units the head-to-head treatment in our best power meters review to head to let you know where you should spend your cash, but there’s an incoming crop of power meters that could be winners.

Read out best power meters review as well as our Infocrank preview and watch our video below of five of the top power meters on show at Eurobike earlier this year.

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Video: Top five power meters

Our picks

Our editors pick their best gear from throughout 2014:

This is the gear that the BikeRadar writers loved this year

This year our writers ‘got all subjective’ about the gear they adore and the reasons for their infatuations. From bikes to pedals, USB dongles and bibs, there’s a bit of everything from our team around the globe.

Check out all our editors’ picks.

2015 gear

Eurobike is full or gorgeous bikes and new launches - 2015 looks bright for bike buyers:

One of the big thrills for all bike nerds in any given year is finding out what gear goodies are in store for the following season – and that means it’s showtime! Around August, virtually the world’s entire bicycling press converges on Friedrichshafen, Germany and Las Vegas, USA for Eurobike and Interbike, the planet’s biggest trade exhibitions.

Each year we round up the most eye-catching bikes and gear in our galleries. Check out our Eurobike galleries and Interbike galleries as well as our pick of some of 2015’s most exciting road bikes below.

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Video: top five most exciting road bikes

So, there are some of our gear highlights for 2014. It’s been a good year to be a roadie – roll on 2015!