Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Mountain Biking UK (MBUK) magazine finally hit the newstands this morning, and issue 224 (may 08) has the long awaited "All Mountain Big hitters" grouptest, which included my Mythic Team Wildcard, which is now safely back in my hands

The slopestyle orientated Wildcard was put into an odd grouptest which also featured a mini DH bike (Specialized's SX Trail I), and 2 confused freeride bikes with pretenses of being all-mountain bikes (Norco Six Two and Iron Horse 6Point4)

To further blur the test, my Wildcard was a high-end custom build with Rockshox Lyric 2-Step forks, SRAM X-9 transmission, Shimano Saint cranks, E13 STS chain device, Thomson and Easton finishing kit, Hope Pro II hubs on Singletrack rims with Maxxis High Rollers fitted with Stan's No-tubes conversion; the other bikes were all low-mid range production bikes....

After 3 weeks of testing, the Wildcard came joint runner-up with the Norco, both bikes scoring 8/10. The Iron Horse scored 7/10 and came last, and surprisingly the Specialized SX Trail I scored 9/10 and came first...

We all had a chance to test the 4 bikes and the SX Trail was least "freeride" favourite due to a stretched out and low front end riding position, but as simply the photo stunt people we weren't writing the test, that was down to the editorial test team who had finished testing the bikes about a week before our photoshoot at Swinley Woods

Not having ridden a Mountain bike in nearly 4 months, I felt a bit sketchy on the photoshoot but managed to throw down some shapes on a big step-down, a tree root drop into a fireroad and we sessioned a fallen tree which was fun...Jim was riding the SX Trail and was pleased to borrow my Wildcard for some high speed runs through the forest to get a good comparison between the two bikes

MBUK concluded that "Mythic's Wildcard is a far more sorted complete package, and in frame terms its good value if you want a tight, light and responsive playbike that'll handle the biggest forks. As a complete bike, though, it just isn't competitive at £2,000 so budget nearer £2,700 for the Pro."

As well as getting a photo in the article itself, I got a photo on the contents page, as above, and one randomly in the fork grouptest at the back of the mag...MBUK often use photos for random stuff so expect to see me popping up here and there in the next couple issues

We were initially worried about how the bike would fare in what we were told was an "all mountain test" where the Mythic Rune would have been at home against other true all-mtn bikes like the Specialized Enduro SL and Santa Cruz Nomad; however MBUK decided to test a range of bikes that are burlier than true all-mtn bikes, and they mention this at the start of the test article

But in some strange mixed company the Wildcard held its own and got a positive test result, although it would have been more interesting to see it go up against the Transition BR, Kona Bass, Intense SS and other slopestyle specific rigs

As they say, any publicity is good publicity, and with a positive test we will get more people to sit up and take notice of what we at Freeborn believe is a wicked little bike, and our big seller for 2008

big thanks to Steve Behr for the photoshoot, and Jim Fisher for driving us out to Swinley

all images and text copyright of MBUK / Future publishing (


Rob C