We love all sports here in the SP office; between the 40 of us we’ve got triathletes, runners, climbers, slackliners, skiers, snowboarders, swimmers, golfers, hikers, footballers, rugby players and even skydivers. However, above all else there’s one sport that just about everyone in the office enjoys, and that’s cycling. Five times as many of us cycle to work than drive; and at the weekend we’ll often get together for a group ride (if you haven’t already, join our Strava group)!
With this passion for two wheels, a sizeable amount of our time is spent on cycling blogs and message boards; so we’ve decided to share our office top-ten mountain bike blogs; in order to provide you some distraction this weekend!
One of the big hitters, international site Pinkbike first appeared on our screens and web browsers way back in 2000, making it one of the early online mountain bike hubs (beaten only by mtbr, below). With a big focus on user-submitted content – including pictures, videos, reviews, forum and marketplace – as well as plenty of professional articles; the Pinkbike crew are central to the international mountain bike community as a whole, and bring us all that little bit closer together.
Image: Sterling Lorence
Sterling is a freelance professional photographer based in British Columbia, Canada – the birthplace of much of today’s mountain bike scene. Working on a huge deal of industry shoots, his blog is filled with cool commentary and even cooler imagery. If you’re looking for some inspiration, the photography here provides it in spades.
The grand-daddy of mountain biking online, mtbr has been going for almost two decades now. Starting as a forum, it’s still one of the highest trafficked in the world, with plenty of (heated) discussion brewing over the multitude of user-reviews. Much like Pinkbike, it offers up photos, reviews forums and a marketplace, however it also has categories for trails and hot deals from partnered bike stores. If you’re looking for a review on a specific item, mtbr is your first port of call.
Full of useful advice and inspiration in equal measure, Bike198 is made up of a collection of avid bikers (founded by Robb Sutton) sharing their knowledge and skill with the community. Plenty of distracting articles, advice and footage, including this great video showing off the many talents of one man with too many GoPros.
One of the best female-specific mountain bike blogs, MTB4Her hasn’t been going long, but content is posted daily, and the girls really know their stuff. Most of the articles are actually relevant to all riders, regardless of gender, but for women in the sport, it’s nice to know the opinions are all given from a female perspective! Based in the US, so if you’re looking for some more female-specific riding in the UK, be sure to visit Diva Descent too; where you can get yourself booked in on girls-only DH and Enduro adventures across the UK and Europe.
Another big player on par with Pinkbike and mtbr, BikeRadar is the one to go to for all the industry and event latest – and actually covers cycling across all disciplines. Owned by Future Publishing, BikeRadar has professional authorship and some great buyers guides to get you going – not to mention plenty of UK-specific information.
Proudly independent, Sicklines came about after site founders Jason Nixon and Justin Caldwell tired of what they saw as the industry buying-off other blogs of the time to write great things about their latest bike/helmet/shoe/insert product here. The focus is very much on focussed on the dedicated enthusiast (and downhill/freeride in particular), although they have links with riding courses around the US, Canada and Europe. Their latest project has been to build a database of the actual weights of bike components, as reported by themselves and their readership; useful when comparing two products where the weight will be an issue!
Another enthusiast-run blog; StraightShot is managed by four creative bike fanatics, AJ, Joel, Stephen and Jason. With a focus split between riding and design, it’s a beautifully laid-out site, with some amazing imagery combined to reviews and trail reports.
Fat bikes are a new thing in mountain biking, and by all accounts they are absolutely hilarious. Fat-bike.com is a resource for all currently riding fatties, or those looking to get into the sport, with reviews, events and how to’s all centred around these crazy machines.
“Singletracks is by mountain bikers, for mountain blah blah blah…” reads the introductory speil to Singletracks, making fun of their own cliché. With one of the largest online libraries of trail reviews, you can read up and plan for trails just about anywhere in the world with the aid of their brilliant trail maps and reviews.