1. The Mountain Bike

In 2014, your mountain bike weighs 30-lbs or less, offers 160-mm of travel and comes with DH-worthy componentry and XC-worthy climbability. You can ride it hard on any terrain, put it away wet and dirty, and it’ll keep coming back for more. Take it on epic rides or huck it off a cliff – this wonderful tool really is man’s noblest invention. And now that product managers have finally caught up with the rest of the world and are speccing short stems and wide bars, you can even buy one straight off the shop floor and shred it!

Vital member EGOLL has a pretty sick bike!


2. Trail Building

Remember when this is what would pass for “trail building”?

For 2014, builders everywhere are laying down lines that are as much art as they are trails, endless rollercoasters of flowy fun, limited only by the imagination of those who build them. When the journey becomes the destination, everybody’s winning! (We're not talking about IMBA flow trails, either).

The Coast Gravity Park is shaping up to be the ultimate playground!


3. Racing

Mountain bike racing is growing ever more popular, and we are in for a treat in 2014! The DH World Cup heads to South Africa, Australia, Scotland, Austria, Canada, USA, and France, in a global circus that will crown the best overall DH rider after five months of adrenaline-fueled gravity jostling. We then head to rider-favorite Hafjell in Norway for the 2014 World Championships and the conclusion to a season of pinning it.

THAT double by Mick Hannah in the Hafjell rockgarden...

Not to be outdone, the Enduro World Series also puts on 7 races for 2014, with stops in Chile, Scotland, France, Italy (x2), USA, and Canada – and with no overlap with the DH World Cups, that’s already 14 weeks of full-on world class gravity racing lined up for us race fans! Throw in the Australian season which is already underway, the urban DH races in early spring, the big national series like the British Downhill Series or regional series like the Eastern States Gravity Cup in the US, and top it all off with special events like the two Crankworx festivals and the Megavalanche, and you have yourself the makings of one monster of a race season! So whether you live between the tape or just enjoy watching, keep it locked on Vital for more race coverage than you’ll know what to do with in 2014!

Mr. Enduro took home the first ever World Champion title in the discipline - can he repeat for 2014, or will Graves dethrone the king?


4. Dropper Posts

Does anybody even remember what it was like riding without a dropper post? When every little bump becomes a reason to send it, when every little descent a reason to pin it, this little thing of beauty adds so much fun to your ride we wonder why it’s not illegal. For 2014, there will be abundant choice at several price points, and more and more bikes shipping with these as standard. Drop it like it’s hot!

The KS Lev was our pick of the crop in 2013. What will 2014 bring?


5. Web Edits

These things just keep showing up on our screens for free. Now how good is that?

If there was a Shreddy award for best web edits, Chris Akrigg would win it hands down. Oh, wait...


6. Free Will

No longer held back by availability of forks, tires, or frames with decent geo, in 2014, you finally get to choose your wheel size. Or maybe we should say you finally get to choose your mountain bike. Pick a riding style and a budget, and go knock yourself out. There’s an abundance of extremely capable bikes available at almost every price point, so you can just go ahead and pick the one that you think is the raddest, without having to worry about what size wheels somebody thinks you should ride. Yay free will!

Jeff Brines had a ton of fun testing the Niner WFO, there are no more pigeon holes. Photo by Patrick Nelson.


7. Carbon

We wouldn't go as far as to say that the fabulous fiber will be an everyman’s item for 2014, but that the material is here to stay is beyond doubt. You can buy a complete carbon-framed bike for under $4000, or a whole lot less used. You can get almost every component for your bike made out of the wondrous weave as well, if that rocks your boat. Greg Minnaar's replica sure delivers a bit of sticker shock, but 2014 should bring its fair share of strong and reliable carbon parts available for a lot less.

They made 25 of these for 2013. Who know's how many they'll make next year?


8. Inverted Forks

Both DVO and X-Fusion are turning the fork world upside down with new offerings, and the word on the street has a major player about to join the inverted party as well...up is the new down in 2014!

Get them in gold to match your pimpmobile.


9. Pushing Up

The only thing less popular than a 26 inch wheel these days is the front derailleur. And if your thighs are more Colonel Sanders than Captain America, not to worry - thanks to the invention of Enduro, pushing up is socially acceptable again. Goodbye, front derailleur. Goodbye, chainguide. Goodbye, and good riddance.

"Nah mate, you'll be fine with your 38T..."

10. Official Enduro Fashion

We have Enduro to thank for so much. Since it became its own discipline, not only is there finally a cool new name for riding your bike, there is also a whole new fashion to go with it.

Whatever.


11. Robots Riding Bikes

We need to get this guy on a full-susser and take him off some sweet jumps!

This is how it always starts in the movies. A bit later, these guys get guns and start building more robots by themselves.


12. Girls That Shred

We were stoked on the girls ripping it up in 2013, and we're looking forward to more in 2014!

Micayla Gatto and Casey Brown shredding harder than you.

13. New vs. Old

The young guns are out for blood, but the old guard simply won’t back down – who feels ready to pick an overall World Cup winner and the World Champ for 2014? Let’s have your predictions in the comments!

The one, the only, Steve Peat.


14. The UCI Providing Providing Much-Needed Regulation and Giving a Helping Hand To Enduro

Just kidding.

Something about the 'Spirit of Elimination'...

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