Singletracks’ Best Mountain Bike Reads [February 2021]

Remember summer? Photo Matt Miller.

The Singletracks staff and our contributors spend a lot of time every day, week, and month drafting up gear and bike reviews, and informing readers with breaking news and press releases. All of us try to devote an equal amount of time diving into the culture of mountain biking, digging into news and trends on a deeper level, and connecting with the mountain bike organizations and advocates who make our riding happen.

Check out favorite mountain bike reads and features from February.

Can You Just Start a Bike Park? 2 Guys in Colorado are Trying

Does Colorado need another lift-served bike park? With biking almost always a secondary thought to the snow operations at mountain resorts, some might argue that the state indeed does need one. Two residents have a new approach to starting a lift-served, bike-only park and it may work out.

The MTB and Gravel Cycling Scene Across East Africa is Growing Steadily

Mikel Delagrange and Simon Blake have been hard at work trying to expand the mountain bike scene in Africa. Neither Delagrange nor Blake are from Eastern Africa, and they both recognize the importance of creating a cycling community that fits with the local culture, benefits the broader local communities, and can be governed by locals as they see fit.

Mexico’s Gravity MTB Scene is Massive and Growing, Now with Two EWS Qualifiers

Mexico is one of the most mountainous countries on the planet, and mountain bikers across its 31 states and the capital of Mexico City are making good use of their available terrain. The warm North American nation has a long history of mountain bike riding and racing, and their enduro trails are said to be some of the best in the world.

The Only Thing Better Than Watching the Big Match is Going for a Big Ride

Does anyone else feel less-than-impressed when it comes to the Super Bowl? Singletracks’ Features Editor Matt reflects on the societal values placed on team sports, a lack of interest in them, and why game day is best spent on the trail.

Shepherd MTB Park in Missouri Brings New Gravity Trails to the Midwest

Shepherd Mountain Bike Park, opening in April 2021, will bring one-of-a-kind trails to Missouri, and some surprisingly gnarly terrain to a town with little previous interest in mountain biking. Local businesses and residents are still excited about the park.

Mountain Bike Genres are Largely Arbitrary and Potentially Confusing

Formula Coil

Are you confused and thrown off by the extensive categorization of mountain bikes? Can a trail bike be an enduro bike if you are racing an enduro on it? Singletracks’ Tech Editor Gerow argues that the genres of mountain bikes are “largely arbitrary and potentially confusing.” Read on to find out why.

I Thought I Aged Out of Riding Hardtails a Decade Ago. Then the Bikes Got So Much Better

Do people outgrow hardtails? Or have hardtails grown right alongside the riders? Singletracks’ EIC Jeff gave hardtails another shot after swearing them off. With longer, more comfortable geometry and better tech, he’s glad he did.

Grand Himalayan Enduro Brings another EWS Qualifying Race to Nepal

Grand Himalayan Enduro

Nepal holds eight of the world’s ten highest mountains within its borders, so one might assume that there could be some good mountain bike racing there. That assumption holds true, and as part of the Asian Enduro Series, riders can qualify for the Enduro World Series by letting loose on some trails in the foreground of the Himalayas. Read on to find out about the mountain bike scene in Nepal and the Grand Himalayan Enduro.

How to Read Mountain Bike Gear Reviews: A Writer’s Perspective

Once upon a lower budget, gear reviews mattered a whole lot. Singletracks’ Tech Editor Gerow writes about the importance of a good gear review, and how it can make a world of difference in pointing someone in the right direction when they might not have a lot of money to try out different gear.

Trail Agents from Mountain Bike Orgs are Taking on the Forest Service’s Maintenance Backlog

Two mountain bike organizations in Colorado are implementing Trail Agent programs, where volunteers can can perform their own maintenance on certain public lands. When agencies like the Forest Service are years behind maintenance on many of their trails, the program might be more necessary than ever.