Once again, it's the weekend and time for the round-up of our best tech news stories and features. This week, we've seen new bikes and components from Mondraker, Manitou and Crankbrothers, and taken a deep dive into the upcoming RedBull Rampage lineup. We've also got a very detailed race report from Brad who rode this year's Badlands gravel race, and written about the comeback of the modest hydration pack.
Mondraker updates its Crusher enduro e-MTB
2023 mondraker crusher pro eising 2.jpg, by Liam Mercer
Mondraker has updated its Crusher enduro e-MTB, dubbed as the world's first full-suspension, full-carbon e-MTB with an integrated battery. The new Crusher retains its modern geometry, featuring a 490mm reach, 65-degree head tube angle, and 73.5-degree actual seat tube angle.
It's powered by Shimano's latest EP801 motor with 85Nm of torque and a 720Wh battery. The top-of-the-line Crusher RR model offers Free Shift technology for gear changes without pedalling. It rolls on 29-inch wheels, Zero suspension with 150mm rear travel and 160mm front travel, and prices range from £6,300 to £8,800.
2023 Red Bull Rampage: venue and roster announced
2022 Redbull Rampage 2, by Redbull
The 2023 Red Bull Rampage venue in Virgin, Utah, has been announced, and it will host 18 riders, including pre-qualifiers from the 2022 event. Notably, Canadian rider Brandon Semenuk will be absent due to scheduling conflicts.
This opens a wildcard opportunity for British rider Gee Atherton, known for organising Red Bull's Hardline event and overcoming a severe crash in 2021. Another British invitee is Brendan Fairclough. The competition is set to begin on October 13 - weather allowing - at the iconic freeride mountain biking site.
Manitou tweaks Mastodon fat bike fork
Manitou has upgraded its Mastodon fat bike fork to better suit extreme winter conditions - in temperatures as low as -40°C. The redesigned fork offers reduced weight, improved geometry, and more travel options. Being a fat-bike-specific fork it comes with a 15x150mm front axle and ample tyre clearance for 26 x 5.05in or 27.5 x 4.5in fat bike tires.
The new Mastodon Comp model shed 106g and the Pro 120g of weight, resulting in a total mass of 2,104g. Additionally, the fork offset has been reduced from 51mm to 44mm for improved handling on custom fat bikes with longer and slacker geometries.
Badlands 2023 - my epic journey through Europe's toughest gravel race
2023 Badlands Bradley Shenton copyright @albertoviciana6.JPG, by @albertoviciana
A couple of weeks ago, Bradley Shenton finished the challenging Badlands gravel race, covering 750km in 48 hours and 32 minutes with minimal sleep. The race kicked off in Granada, Spain and featured extreme weather conditions, rugged terrain, and breathtaking landscapes - but whether the riders really got to appreciate those is another question.
Brad shared his experience of the race, including a kit list, with us.
Video: the Nukeproof Digger, unnecessary but totally awesome
Nukeproof Digger 2.jpg, by Nukeproof
The video looks at the Nukeproof Digger, emphasising that while the bike may not be a necessity, it offers a fun and appealing option. Have a watch and let us know what you think.
Crankbrothers updates the composite Stamp 1 pedal
Crankbrothers has overhauled the Stamp 1 flat MTB pedal, introducing a composite body with enhanced grip provided by a redesigned concave shape and increased pins –10 replaceable ones on each side. Despite being budget-friendly, the Stamp 1 includes premium hardware like Igus bearings and a chromoly steel spindle, maintains the brand's signature silhouette and is offered in two sizes for small and large feet.
The Stamp 1 is priced at £60 and available in four colours, backed by a five-year warranty.
Hydration packs - how mountain biking's original hydration system became fashionable again
Matt Beers and Jordan Sarrou at the 2021 Absa Cape Epic, by Michal Cerveny/Specialized
Trends seem to come and go, and this seems to be the case for hydration packs. Lance has unpacked what exactly makes these water-carrying bags so good – or bad.