Our Most Popular MTB Stories of 2022

Here are the most widely read Singletracks mountain bike stories from 2022.

Like the sound in an hourglass… or more appropriately, the sealant in our tires, everything eventually runs dry. Including 2022. It’s been a great year for Singletracks covering the ever-evolving nature of mountain biking. The bikes are changing. Still. The trails are changing. And, I’d argue, the sport is growing and better than ever.

As we start planning our content for 2023, it’s a great time to look back on 2022 and our most highly read pieces. Analytics like this can be deceiving. They don’t always give an accurate reflection of a particular piece’s value, to us or to a subject, but they can tell us a lot: interviewing, reporting, and publishing certain stories when news is happening is how we distinguish ourselves from other sites.

And while some of these are timely news features, like our most highly read piece on the dissipating bike boom, some are simply our contributors wading through the meaning of gravel biking or our staff relaying valuable knowledge about valuable products, like tools and affordable MTB pants.

We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to produce articles, news, stories, and quality reviews (me avoiding the word “content”) and we hope our readers enjoy it all. If you’re a regular mountain bike media consumer and read other cycling sites, you’ll understand that this is not the most promising time for MTB media. If you appreciated any of these pieces—or any other this year—consider a Singletracks membership for $3 a month. It’s not much and you won’t have to put up with ads. But, if you’re not interested in a membership, our staff loves friendly comments too.

Cheers and thanks for reading Singletracks.

1: The Bike Boom is Over but Shops are Learning to Ride a New Wave

  • Published: March 22, 2022
  • Views: 405,000

Two years after the pandemic — and the craze for bikes — began, things appeared to be changing. People had gone back to offices, back to baseball games and theaters, and many riders were noticing traffic on the trails had thinned. We wanted to find out if indeed the bike boom had subsided.

After speaking with bike shop owners around the country, it was clear: people weren’t banging down the doors for bikes anymore. Maybe they had found one, maybe they gave up or moved onto another activity.

Now that we’re at the end of the year, we have seen maybe more bike sales than ever and layoffs have affected some cycling companies as talks of a recession loom. It’s clear that 2023 will be a much different year for the bike industry than 2020.

2: USFS Releases new eMTB Ruling Requiring Reclassification of Non-Motorized Trails to Motorized for Access

  • Published: April 1, 2022
  • Views: 103,000

One of the first comments on this post: “April fools right!?” The U.S. Forest Service released their new guidelines regarding e-bike management on March 31st and we were the first publication to tell folks about the news. The guidelines were still quite opaque and we followed up by interviewing land managers and MTB organizations about the ruling in this piece published a month later.

3: My MTB Friends are Raving About these $27 Pants from Target

Photo: Leah Barber
  • Published: January 13, 2022
  • Views: 93,000

Mountain bike gear is expensive and who doesn’t want a good deal? These Wrangler pants, found at Target for $27 are a great “hack” to get past the $100-$200 pairs of premium, MTB-specific pants out there. A lot of those pants land on our front door steps, but Jeff wanted to try the Wrangler ATGs for a fraction of the price instead. Are they as good as the other stuff? Well, they certainly have their downsides, but they are impressive for the price.

4. We Tested 5 Tubeless Tire Sealants to See Which Ones Work Best

  • Published: June 27, 2022
  • Views: 78,000

Finding the right tire sealant is important. You don’t have to maintain your bike as often, spend more money, and most importantly, it should help you out in a pinch, pun intended. This summer, we took five of the most popular sealants on the market and threw them in the ring together, cage-match style. Was there a victorious bottle? All of them performed quite differently. If you’re looking for a new bottle for Christmas, read up on the test.

5.The 12 Best Mountain Bike Destinations in the USA [2022]

  • Published: July 25, 2022
  • Views: 75,000

Singletracks hasn’t produced a lot of “listicles” in recent years, but after our staff has traveled to so many destinations and covered the rise of new spots, it was time to update our best MTB destinations list. Some of the legacy destinations like Moab and Crested Butte are still holding strong, but clearly some newcomers worked hard to put their towns and mountains next to them.

6: How Much Air Pressure Should I Put in My Mountain Bike Tires? [Beginner Tips]

  • Published: January 5, 2022
  • Views: 72,000

It’s a question that never has a right answer. How much tire pressure should I have in this tire for this trail? Our tech editor at the time, Gerow, examined the question and checked out a formula that is seemingly surprisingly accurate. Check this one out before your next ride.

7: Squirrels Beware: What Exactly is a Filter Feature on MTB Trails?

Dirt Merchant squirrel catcher and signs
  • Published: March 7, 2022
  • Views: 62,000

Though most of us have likely seen a filter feature or “squirrel catcher,” it may not have been widely known what their purpose was. Essentially, they serve as a form of insurance or qualifier at the entry to an advanced trail. We spoke with an outdoor insurance specialist and owner of a trail building company to dive into the use of filter features as a liability safeguard.

8. Everyone is Having fun on a Gravel Bike…But Me

  • Published: June 2, 2022
  • Views: 51,000

One of our contributors, Brooke McFerren, tried her hardest to give gravel a go. Even though the “new” discipline is pulling cyclists of all disciplines in one by one, for Brooke it couldn’t match the thrill of mountain biking.

9: Lal Bikes’ Innovative Supre Drive MTB Drivetrain is off to a Super Start

  • Published: September 12, 2022
  • Views: 43,000

New drivetrain technology is always a big talking point. Lal Bikes came to life through engineer Cedric Eveleigh as he racked his brain over ways to improve the derailleur on one snowy day. The result, the Supre Drive, has gained a considerable amount of attraction in a short amount of time and multiple bike brands have signed on to use it.

10: 7 Mountain Bike Tools That Pay for Themselves in the First Few Uses

  • Published: January 25, 2022
  • Views: 39,000

Going to the bike shop can be expensive. If you’re willing to learn some wrenching on your own, it’s one of the best ways to save money on mountain biking. Here are seven tools that will pay for themselves in no time.

Tell us: Which Singletracks article was your favorite this year?