By Amanda Wilks
The world of mountain biking is an ever-changing landscape of trends and popular styles of races that come and go as the years fly by, with enduro-style racing leading the pack as the newest trend in finding exciting ways to fly down a mountain on any given day of the week.
Much like the process for vetting and securing a commute-friendly bike, finding a mountain bike that fits into an enduro race landscape requires a keen eye for detail and a few additional considerations above and beyond your favorite weekend rider.
Enduro Racing: A Quick Definition
Don’t feel too left out if you aren’t intimately familiar with enduro racing. Pinning down an exact date of its rise to popularity is difficult, but enduro is definitely one of the newer styles of bike racing to gather a following. Modeled after dirt bike enduro races, your average mountain bike enduro race involves several timed stages of racing broken up by non-timed travel stages. In essence, it’s not only about who can get to the bottom of a mountain faster than their peers but rather who can maintain their average speed best throughout several time trials while also keeping their stamina in mind for the non-timed portions.
One of the key differences of enduro is that it fosters a friendlier competitive atmosphere than certain race types. Instead of fighting through a pack of other cyclists, you only come into contact with one another on the off chance you happen to outpace someone or during the travel portions of your runs. It’s a fantastic chance to spend time with your fellow racers and enduro’s unique air means you might make a few friends before the end of your first race day.
Getting into enduro requires a smart bike purchase just as any other form of cycling does, of course. Your ideal bike has to manage uphill climbs and downhill races equally well which calls for certain aspects other mountain bikes may not cater to, along with a sturdy frame and dependable tires to get you over every bump and crevice you’ll rattle across throughout the day.
Finding proper reports on sturdy bikes is ideal; Looking into potential fits with help from experienced riders like through this Pinkbike Slayer Review will ensure you find a proper bike that won’t break during high-stress racing situations.
Finding Your Ideal Ride
As stated before, the bike you choose for an enduro race requires good all-around capabilities. Once referred to as “all mountain” bikes, enduro-friendly bikes are capable of speed, boast strong maneuverability, respectable frame endurance and are lightweight enough not to sap your energy before you reach the finish line.
While your exact choices are going to vary, look into the frame and shocks of your bike to see how they work together first and foremost. Most bikes fit for enduro are going to have a shorter frame to cut down on weight and bulk while also sporting long-travel suspension that can take a heavy bump or landing without throwing you into the dirt face-first. Your suspension can’t do all the work, however, so make sure you’ve looked into proper training accouterments before heading down the trail.
Wheel size will likely be your next stop, but it’s really down to preference between a 27.5 inch or 29 inch wheel. What may be less optional is the trend for endurotires to use a tubeless system as is currently popular, allowing you to get through rough races without replacing a tube mid-race, which would almost certainly be a run-killer. If you aren’t ready to fuss with getting a tubeless tire setup properly seated in your rims, make sure you pack basic flat-fixing tools and extra tubes, as you very well may need them.
The wheels you choose need to be heavier than a light-duty tire, preferably with double or triple treads for added grip and less slippage in case of uneven wear. The brakes you pair them with will need to be up to the same long-ride standards while also being quick and responsive, leaving a two or four disc hydraulic setup to be a strong choice.
Enduro In A Nutshell
If you’re still wondering what to choose or how to go about picking, take a cue from the pros and see what enduro racing professionals ride for a quick line of comparison. Sprucing your ride up with fancy paint schemes and accessories may be optional, but make sure you pick a bike you actually like to ride. Don’t neglect the small stuff, as something as small as a saddle that isn’t easily adjusted for height could sour you on your new experience faster than you might think.
In short, you’re going to want a bike that is quick, lightweight, reliable and durable. Flying down hills and mountainsides once an afternoon is rough enough but knowing your mountain bike can stand up to multiple beatings in a day and still get you home after your races are over and your legs are burning as hot as the sun is the sort of investment any enduro racer should be proud to buy into.
“Author Bio: Amanda Wilks is a writer, contributing author at MountainBikeReviewed.com, and veteran MTB rider. Her passion for mountain biking dates back to her childhood when she would join her dad every weekend for a quick ride uphill. She is now addicted to the sport and she never misses a trail. Learn more about Amanda on Twitter.”