Winter is in full swing but that doesn't mean we're slowing down! Australia is perfect for year-round riding unless you live at the top of one of the big hills in the alpine areas. Still, it's also the time where summer shines on the northern hemisphere, and our opening pages in Issue #169 cover some of the idyllic MTB locales where riders choose to visit when the "Go North". You'll have to get the mag to see those.

2019 product news is well and truly out, and we've got the details on Shimano's latest XTR group, E13's 12-speed upgrade, the new Canyon Lux and so much more.

Helmets might not get the attention they should, but we spoke to two guys who are devoted to making the best helmets they can, and took a look at the design of Scott's XC lid. Check out the feature to find out why your helmet is shaped like it is, and how to ensure it stays in A1 condition.

What we are really stoked on is the trail bar shoot out that Ben Morrison put together. What's the best width, rise, sweep, bar clamp, material... Ben spoke to top riders around the world to find out how they set their cockpit up and why. And he tested 8 popular bar and stem combos to see how they stacked up.

Paint My Bike have been making a name for themselves in repair and painting - and we caught up with the team that make your frame's problems go away - and we even put a frame through the process. The results are amazing - we would highly recommend letting this team look after your custom paint dream project. 

Port to Port ran in May and we've wrapped up everything that is good about this 4-day mountain bike event on the east coast. Mates? Check. Trails? Check. The beach? Check. And that's just the beginning - you'll have to read the feature and lock it in for 2019.

 

We have four bikes on test, including the Haibike XDURO All-Mtn 7.0 and the Pivot Trail 429. But we also let Ryan loose on the Santa Cruz Blur CC, and the BMC Speedfox. He pushed these bikes to their limits - you'll have to find his reviews in the issue.

 

We've also got product tests of a Thule rack, E13's dropper post, Mr Wolf Bangers, women's DHaRCO gear, Giro's women's trail helmet, Maxxis Rekon tyres and Ergon grips and saddles.

Plus we have a fresh Places That Rock feature, industry-leading advice on tuning your trail skills, training and nutrition, and Summit Cycles take you through adding volume spcaers to your suspension to tune your ride. All that and more in Issue #169!


And remember, if you subscribe the next issue will come right to your door anyway, and you'll save money.