Off-road cycling top stories – Three new e-MTBs, a ton of new suspension including Fox's ultra-bling forks, fresh gravel and MTB bikes, plus much more

MY25 Fox 36 Factory GRIP X fork on the ground
The nearest thing there is to a solid gold fork – which of course would be rubbish (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)

With so much MTB and off-road tech news flying around at the moment, it can be tough to take it all in. That's why we've decided to start delivering a weekly round-up of the best new bikes and products in a single article – welcome to the first edition. So without further ado, let's get into it...

The Norco Range VLT C1

The 2024 Norco Range VLT goes high-pivot (Image credit: Norco)

Mondraker's Dune is reborn as a lightweight e-MTB, while two Norco e-bikes go high-pivot

It's been a busy week on the electric mountain bike front as three new models were revealed. The first two came from Norco with updates to its Sight and Range VLTs (VLT being Norco-speak for e-MTB). Following in the tire tracks of the recent updates to a couple of analog Norco bike models, both e-MTBs have now adopted high-pivot suspension designs which improve the path of the rear wheel when the suspension absorbs hits from obstacles. The full-power e-bikes also make the switch from Shimano's EP8 motor to Bosch CX system powered by a 750Wh battery.

Mondraker Dune 2024

The Dune returns but now sporting a Bosch SX a motor (Image credit: Mondraker)

The third e-MTB to land this week is the Mondraker Dune. Yes, that's right, the Dune. Formerly a spicy [feeble Dune joke duly noted – Ed] analog enduro sled until 2020, the bike has now been reincarnated as an e-MTB. Mondraker has not forgotten the bike's enduro roots though and the Dune has 165mm of rear travel combined with a 170/180mm fork (travel depending on build) as well as a burly component list. With a lightweight Bosch SX motor and an overall weight of just under 20kg, Mondraker is calling the new Dune a 'lightweight, super-enduro e-MTB' – which to be fair, looks and sounds like a seriously rad proposition.

Yeti SB165 in the mountains

The new Yeti SB165 is Red Bull Rampage proven heavy-hitting beauty (Image credit: Yeti)

Yeti updates the SB165 with the latest Switch Infinity tech as the brand's longest travel bike gets a mullet

The new Yeti SB165 is the brand's Red Bull Rampage capable big-hitter. Yeti has brought the SB165 into line with the rest of its updated machines and although it's lost 10mm in front travel, it remains the longest travel bike in the Yeti range.

It now becomes a mullet (MX) mixed-wheel rig and gets the latest Switch Infinity setup of Yeti's pivot suspension platform. Four builds include the Turq (T-Series) carbon frame alongside its regular C-Series carbon option. The drool-worthy specs include Fox Factory 38 forks and Fox Factory DHX2 coil shocks, SRAM Transmission gearing, Code RSC brakes, Fox Transfer seatposts and DT Swiss Custom wheels complete the various builds on these desirable bikes.

Saracen Ariel 30 Elite

The Saracen Ariel 30 Elite is the new addition to the UK brand's popular Ariel range (Image credit: Saracen)

The new Ariel 30 Elite is the headline act as Saracen update the full Ariel range

Direct-to-consumer brand Saracen has updated its entire Ariel model range and also added a brand new downcountry model – the Ariel 30 Elite.

The Ariel has three travel options retains the same offerings with rear suspension choices of either 130mm, 160mm or 180mm which caters for different riders and riding in mind. However, the brand new Elite 30 grabs the headlines and features the same 6013 aluminum frame found in its siblings. It also gets the signature TRL suspension, Saracen's linkage-driven single-pivot platform.

Updated specs and new colorways come in across the entire Ariel range for 2024 and are all available now at Saracen.co.uk

MY25 Fox 36 Factory GRIP X fork in gold leaning against a tree

Midas-friendly Fox 36 Factory with the new GRIP X damper and gold colorway (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)

Fox overhauls its suspension with three new discipline-specific dampers and gold paint for maximum bling

Fox has released the latest version of its GRIP damper, or should I say versions. Replacing the much-loved GRIP 2, Fox has developed three new discipline-specific dampers that will be used across all its best mountain bike forks.

To mark Fox's 50th 'golden' anniversary year, you can now get "Podium Gold" painted lowers to match Kashima stanchions – if only it had marked its fifth anniversary with wooden painted forks. Read more about the GRIP X2, GRIP X, and GRIP SL. Want to know how the new  GRIP X damper performs? Check out Graham Cottingham's first ride on the new Fox 36 Factory GRIP X fork.

Fox 32 Step Cast render

The 2025 Fox 32 Step-Cast is the lightest and oddest looking XC fork Fox has ever made (Image credit: Fox)

Fox launched an unusual reverse-arched 32 Step Cast fork that's not only claimed to be the lightest XC fork, but also 40 percent stiffer than the old 32

Not content with just releasing new dampers, Fox also overhauled the 32 Step Cast fork. 100g lighter and 40 percent stiffer, the new 32SC features a wild-looking reverse crown and the new GRIP SL damper. Like the other Fox updates, it also comes in the new "Podium Gold" colorway. Read more about the Fox 32 Step-Cast fork.

Reed Bogg’s SB165 Mini-Mullet with a Marzocchi Super Z

The Marzocchi Super Z in its element at last year's Red Bull Rampage (Image credit: Marzocchi)

Marzocchi unleash a super burly 190mm single crown fork

Moving from Fox's lightest ever XC fork to Marzocchi's new super burly 190mm single crown freeride model. Previously teased at the 2023 Red Bull Rampage, the new Super Z is a monster with huge travel, 38mm stations, and GRIP X damper tech nabbed from sister brand Fox. Read more about the Marzocchi Super Z.

Race Face Era handlebar against a wood chip back drop

Narrower clamp area, aggressive tapering, and precise layup enhances the Era's compliance (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)

Race Face release new handlebars with width and rise specific compliance

Race Face has been busy testing handlebar compliance which has resulted in two new MTB bars. The carbon Era and alloy Turbine models gets width and rise-specific designs for a consistent ride feel across all sizes. The new bars are available with 10mm, 20mm, and 40mm rise, plus 760mm, 780mm, and 800mm width options.

A man wearing YT MTB kneepads

Dubbed Trail Knee Protection, YT's new kneepads do exactly what it says on the tin (*they don't come in a tin) (Image credit: Morena Stone)

YT gets into the protection business

As well as a well-regarded range of bikes, German direct-sales brand, YT, has just added new gloves and kneepads to its growing range of performance clothing. The MTB gloves come in either Trail or Gravity versions and you can have any color you like so long as it's black. While the Trail gloves are lightweight and minimalist, the harder-wearing gravity versions have D3O knuckle protection.

The kneepads have landed in the Bike Perfect office and are aptly named Trail Knee Protection. They're lightweight at 319g (size medium), super pliable with a D3O insert and definitely at the 'knee guard' end of the kneepad spectrum. We've yet to put them to the test, but the comfortable design looks well-designed for pedaling as well as protecting. 

Price-wise, the gloves cost $19.99 / £19.90 / €19.90 for the Trail version and £29.99 / £29.90 / €29.90 for the Gravity, while the knee pads come in at $59.99 / £59.90 / €59.90. For more, head to yt-industries.com.

Man riding gravel bike on a misty track

Rab adds new gear to its gravel bike clothing range  (Image credit: Rab Equipment)

Outdoor specialists Rab Equipment adds to its gravel and adventure Cinder clothing range

Outdoors spec Rab Equipment dipped its toe in the best gravel bike clothing market with its Cinder range last year, and has now expanded it further.

The main items of interest in the new drop include the Cinder Downpour Light Jacket which is claimed to offer reliable waterproof protection and is made using a lightweight 2.5-layer Proflex fabric and packed with bike-specific features. The Downpour jacket is priced at $170 / £160.

The Women's specific Cinder Crank Pants are breathable yet wind-resistant with a softshell fabric. They feature a women's on-bike fit priced at $150 / £135.

The Men and Women Cinder Windveil Vest aims to provide core warmth and wind resistance with a breathable Pertex Quantum Air material. It's also designed to provide quick-wicking performance for minimal sweat build-up. Priced at $90 / £70. 

All items are available now at Rab.Equipment.

Giant Trance X Advanced 1

Want more travel on the Giant Trance X? You got it with 150mm at the front and 140mm at the rear (Image credit: Giant)

Giant and Liv upgrade their hard-hitting trail bikes

Giant and Liv have updated their Trance X and Intrigue X trail bikes. They now feature a bump in travel to 140mm, new suspension kinematics, and a load of new adjustability using a three-point flip-chip and three-point offset headset.

Although the Giant Trance X is now compatible with both 29er and mullet wheelsets, Giant has also added a SX format which features a mullet setup (29 front and 27.5 rear wheel) and ups travel to 160mm front and 150mm rear.

Man wearing MTB gear outdoors

This particular clothing combo could be out of some iffy sci-fi film, but Madison's new MTB range looks decent and top value for money (Image credit: Kai Owen)

Wallet-friendly new MTB gear from Madison

Ok, this isn't strictly brand new as Madison dropped its latest collection of spring/summer clothing a couple of weeks back. A selection of samples has just arrived with us though – namely the Freewheel trousers and shorts, new Flux short sleeve jersey, Roam Primaloft gilet and DTE Trail Sock.

While we're yet to put them to the test, the clothing all looks well put together and comes with some extremely competitive price tags. The Freewheel shorts and trousers use the same two-way stretch, wind-resistant fabric with a DWR finish. The shorts are priced £39.99 and the trousers £49.99.

The body of the Flux jersey looks highly wicking front and rear with snag-resistant arms and shoulders. Windproof materials make up the body of the Roam gilet that has lightweight Primaloft insulation covering the chest section. The jersey comes in an impressive £29.99, while the gilet is £69.99 and the Trail Socks are £14.99. 

Ohlins RXF34 m.2 Air 140 mm fork

Shot in the our white room, Ohlins' RXF34 m.2 short travel fork has just got a little longer (Image credit: Ohlins)

Öhlins now offers its short travel RXF34 m.2 fork in 140mm

The new RXF34 m.2 builds on the success of its 120mm and 130mm predecessors, offering a 140mm setup. Featuring the same OTX18 damper as the shorter RXF34 m.2 but with an updated trail bike-specific crown steerer unit, the Öhlins 140-mm RXF34 m.2 should offer a lightweight performance fork to fast trail riders.

MRP's new lift damper

MRP's Lift damper is available for Fox and RockShox forks and this image wins our 'fun photo of the day' (Image credit: MRP)

MRP's new Lift damper comes in five different weight-specific tunes

Rather unfortunate timing for MRP this week as they too released a new range of fork dampers. The new Lift damper comes in five different weight-specific tunes which should give a more focused tuning experience to riders of all sizes. The Lift is featured in MRP's new Ribbon LT forks, or offered as an upgrade damper for Fox (Fox 36 and 38), RockShox (Zeb, Pike, Lyrik, Yari, and Revelation), and earlier MRP Ribbon and Raven forks. Lift Damper Upgrade kits start at $399.95 and the forks cost $1,249.95.

The Forbidden Dreadnought V2

The Ozzy-approved V2 Dreadnought features the latest Forbidden high-pivot suspension platform (note, probably not Ozzy-approved) (Image credit: Forbidden)

Forbidden gets the award for best mountain bike names of the week as the all-new Dreadnought returns with models named the 'Bloody Sabbath' and 'Fatty T' 

The trailblazing high-pivot Forbidden Dreadnought returned with two stunning paint jobs, with one named after the '70s classic rock 'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath' LP by Black Sabbath and another after a local craft beer called the 'Fatty T'. Classic rock and beer ticks all the boxes for us here at Bike Perfect, so we really don't need to say much else.

Just in case you want more, the new Dreadnought gets the Forbidden next-gen high-pivot suspension platform with 160mm of travel and a 170mm fork. It comes as either an MX or 29er option, but owners can make wheel size configuration changes via its modular dropouts.  The original Dreadnought was one of the best enduro bikes around and if V2 is just as good, it'll be ready to tackle anything from race day hammering to bike park laps, and just about everything in between.

Rocky Mountain Altitude enduro bike

Rocky Mountain moodily revives its LC2R (Low Centre Counter Rotating) virtual pivot point suspension system (Image credit: Rocky Mountain)

Rocky Mountain reaches new heights with its latest Altitude enduro bike

Rocky Mountain has completely redesigned its Altitude enduro bike and refreshed its LC2R (Low Centre Counter Rotating) virtual pivot point suspension system from the old Slayer and revised it to deliver 160mm of enduro race performance. The Altitude now accepts both 29 and 27.5 rear wheels, has a three-point adjustable reach headset, and a 'Ride-4' four-position flip-chip featured on several other Rocky Mountain bikes. Carbon framesets will cost $4,099, while the complete alloy and carbon builds retail between $3,999 to $10,999. 

A man riding a mountain bike with a new DVO fork

DVO says its new Diamond fork improves “edge of tire” traction for faster cornering (Image credit: DVO)

DVO's new fork claims to be a Diamond in the rough

It's a bumper week for fork tech with DVO also releasing its next generation of Diamond forks. The forks have a 36mm chassis, an updated crown, a new D1 damper, and an SL Air Spring. The 140mm to 160mm forks come with high/low-speed compression, rebound, and air volume spacer adjustment. Models will retail for $1,049 and should be available mid-April.

SDG Tellis V2 dropper post

SDG's Tellis V2 dropper post family in the wild (Image credit: SDG)

SDG updates its Tellis dropper post

SDG has released an update to its Tellis dropper post which features a lower stack height, simplified servicing, 20mm of height adjustment, and a new unique side tightening seat clamp. Unlike other dropper posts, SDG's new seat clamp is secured using two side mounted bolts which are said to give better access for easier adjustments. Prices start at $199.

Szepter Core 2 being ridden on a gravel track by a dude in a t-shirt

The German gravity specialists adds a new Szepter Core 2 build to its rad gravel bike range – rider tats are optional (Image credit: YT Industries)

YT release more affordable Szepter Core 2 gravel bike

YT has added a new Core 2 build for its trail-confident Szepter gravel bike, first released in November 2022. The Szepter is built around a Suntour GVX 32 model with 40mm of travel, a Shimano GRX 12sp drivetrain, and DT Swiss G1800 wheelset. The YT Szepter Core 2 is priced at $3,499 / €2,499 / £2,499.

Knolly Fugitive trail bike

All-mountain? Trailduro? Up-duro? Or simply just a fun trail bike (Image credit: Knolly)

Knolly's new Fugitive is evading discipline categories

"More than a trail bike but less than an enduro bike", Knolly's new Fugitive doesn't exactly fit into any mountain bike category but looks like a lot of fun. The alloy Fugitive frame comes with either 125mm or 140mm of rear wheel travel and uses an updated version of Knolly's trademark 'Fourby4' suspension platform. If you have your eye on one, act quickly as Knolly is offering a 10 percent discount to the first 50 customers who purchase the new Fugitive by April 30.

Raaw Jibb V2 trail bike

You get two color options on the Jibb – black or raw alloy (Image credit: Raaw)

Raaw's Jib V2 now features multiple travel options

Knolly isn't the only brand blurring discipline lines this week, Raaw released its Jibb V2 which now features 130mm or 141mm travel. Raaw's update is evolutionarily rather than revolutionary to bring its shortest travel bike up to date with some extra adjustability and a new XXL size. It's available as a frameset (without shock) for $2,520 / £2,043 / €2,790 (includes VAT) or as a "rolling chassis" build.

Paul Brett
Staff writer

Paul Brett is a staff writer for BikePerfect.com. He has been an avid cyclist for as long as he can remember, initially catching the mountain biking bug in the 1990s, and raced mountain bikes for over a decade before injury cut short a glittering career. He’s since developed an obsession for gravel riding and recently has dabbled in the dark art of cyclocross. A fan of the idea of bikepacking he has occasionally got involved and has ridden routes like the North Coast 500, Scotland and the Via Francigena (Pilgrim Route), Italy.

Current rides: Marin Alpine Trail 2, Ribble 725, Cube Stereo 160

Height: 175cm

With contributions from