You must have heard the term enduro mountain bike racing somewhere in the newspaper or on TV and thought what is enduro mountain biking? What makes it different from other forms of mountain racing? Why is enduro MTB riding getting more and more popular over the years?
This article will cover everything you need to know about enduro mountain biking. So, stay with me if the thought of bike riding the same MTB trails does not excite you and want to try something new and fun with your mountain bike.
- What is Enduro Mountain Biking? – Comprehensive Guide
- Equipment Required for Enduro Mountain Biking
- FAQs about Enduro Mountain Biking
- Concluding Enduro Biking Guide
What is Enduro Mountain Biking? – Comprehensive Guide
In simple terms, enduro is a type of mountain bike racing that involves both uphill and downhill with only the latter being timed. Enduro races have somewhat 3-6 timed stages that last for 1-2 days or can also be a week long. In between the timed stages, there are transfer stages that are mainly uphill and I timed. Transfer stages vary from race to race containing sections like hike-a-bike, chair lift, or pedaling.
Well, who came up with this idea? Just like history of mountain biking, if we go into the details of an enduro race, you’ll observe that it has taken inspiration from car rally racing and motorbike enduro racing. The first enduro race happened in the year 2003 in France.
Equipment Required for Enduro Mountain Biking
You are just getting started with enduro mountain biking and not sure about the essentials you should carry alongside? Here is a list to help you with the equipment:
1. Bike for Enduro Mountain Biking
Starting with the essentials needed for enduro racing, the first thing that you need is a proper bike. But, the question is what kind of bike would be the best? I am here to answer that.
You must be familiar with types of mountain bikes such as hardtail, trail bikes, XC bikes, etc. All of these are trail-specific, meaning you cannot ride a trail bike on cross-country terrain and vice versa. Also you can read about riding a mountain bike on road.
An enduro race does not require a particular bike and you can take your usual bike used for your local trails. However, a bike with the following characteristics would make you stand out during the race:
- If your bike makes you uneasy when you ride for long in your local tracks, then it would not be wise to take it for an enduro bike ride either and be uncomfortable throughout the enduro ride.
- Although dropper posts are not compulsory, you wouldn’t mind the extra comfort that comes with them as you will experience both steep and flat terrains throughout your journey. Seat posts will allow you to change your body position when it’s time to catch a pedal.
- A bike with larger brake rotors helps particularly on steep tracks by giving off heat and generating more power. You can also have a look at best enduro MTB brakes.
- When it comes to tires, the ones with tough sidewalls lessen the probability of a flat tire. The ideal tire size for enduro range between 27.5 to 29 inches.
- Even though you can use a hardtail (with no rear suspension) for an enduro race, a bike with full suspension is a plus. Keep into account the kind of terrain you will be riding and select the travel range accordingly. The suspension of an enduro bike is in the form of a single crown fork utilizing both air and coil springs. A recommended front suspension for an enduro bike range between 150-170mm while the rear suspension can be as high as 180mm travel. For a steeper track, go for a maximum travel range of 140-160mm.
Moving on, wearing safety equipment is also a necessity during enduro biking whether you are an amateur or a pro as you do not want to get yourself hurt. So, I will enlist some of the safety materials down below:
2. Enduro Biking Helmet
Since the trails vary from steep to flat, always wear a helmet for enduro rides to avoid any damage or crash. Plus, invest in a lightweight helmet so it is easy for you to carry.
Wearing a full face helmet in hot weather can sometimes be painful. Therefore, full face helmets with removable chin bars are introduced in the recent years. So, you can keep your face open when riding up the hill and cover it only when doing downhill bike riding.
3. Enduro Mountain Biking Pads
You may have a fall when riding downhill or enduro and end up hurting the elbows and knees. To prevent this, wear pads to keep your knees and elbows protected. Have a look at best MTB elbow pads.
Holding onto the bars of your bike for longer can make your hands extremely sweaty, and thus you would feel your hands sliding from the bars. Wearing gloves would strengthen your grip and protect your hands throughout the race. Even in hot summer, you can wear hot weather mountain bike gloves for a stronger grip.
5. Water Bottle and Snacks
In between the timed stages, you’ll need water and some snacks to munch on as this would help you gear up for the next ride. Thus, always carry a water bottle and your favorite snacks. It’s the best thing about enduro race as you do not come across such opportunities with other forms of mountain rides.
When going up and down the hills during an enduro race, bike riders more than often have dirt enter their eyes, making their eyes irritated and vision blurred. To avoid any particles from entering your eyes, keep your eyes protected by wearing glasses or mountain biking goggles. Hence, you’ll have a clear vision throughout.
FAQs about Enduro Mountain Biking
Since enduro is similar to downhill biking, can I use my downhill bike for the enduro races too?
Going downhill with your bike would be easy but pedaling up would be a hustle. If the area where the enduro race is about to take place has a chairlift or a shuttle, then it won’t be problematic as you can take help from there.
How is an enduro bike different from a downhill and XC bike?
An enduro bike replicates a downhill bike in its geometry with a suspension of nearly 180mm travel. Also, it is similar to an XC bike as it allows pedaling to reach the top of the hill before the onset of the next timed stage. So, you can say that an enduro bike is a mixture of downhill and XC bikes.
Is enduro mountain biking for beginners too?
Yes, you can participate in an enduro race after knowing enduro mountain biking basics even if you are a newbie. It is not like a cross-country race where you have to deal with several riders at a time. Also, the best part of enduro is that the course is the same for both beginner and experienced riders.
Concluding Enduro Biking Guide
Enduro mountain biking is all about exploring new trails with a group of friends instead of a race where you compete against one another. Whoever covers the timed stages first, is the winner and there is no set time in which you have to finish the race.
Besides, stage time also varies, allowing you to choose a less difficult trail if you have no prior experience. Stage time range from the grassroots level of about two minutes to the alpine event of 20 minutes which is quite intense.
Hi, This is Catharine Pendrel, a professional cyclist and founder of Bikeoure. I have been riding bikes for more than 23 years and writing about cycling and other outdoor magazines for about 5 years. Mountain biking has been my passion ever since I first came across it a decade ago. I participated in various MTB tournaments and won numerous mountain trail races.
I started Bikeoure to share my expertise and cycling experience with cyclists all around the world to make them addicted to cycling. My cycling and solo traveling expertise help new cyclists find the best and latest gear in the market for their cycling adventures.