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If you’re planning to participate in an enduro race, you may be probably asking yourself, can you use a trail bike for enduro? This post has the answers.
Can you use any mountain bike for enduro? Do you need a specific bike for enduro? Is a trail bike a good bike for enduro?
Yes, you can use a trail bike for enduro. But, your trail bike should meet the following requirements if you plan to use it for enduro. It should have a full suspension with minimum travel of 140mm, a dropper seat post, a wide gear range as well as large rotor brakes.
In this post, we will take a closer look at what enduro is, the bike requirements for enduro racing as well as whether you can use a trail bike for enduro. So, if you are looking to participate in an enduro event and you are wondering whether you can use your trail bike, then this post has all the information you need.
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Mountain biking is a multi-faceted and dynamic cycling niche. And, it can mean different things to different people, depending on where you live and your skill level. For some people, mountain biking is pedaling casually down a fire road or dirt path. Others consider mountain biking flying down rugged and steep mountains.
There’s also a third type of mountain biking known as enduro. And, it’s highly likely you’ve heard this word being thrown around, whether you are a weekend warrior or an MTB racer. But, what is it exactly? And what type of bike do you need for this type of mountain biking? We are here to help.
Enduro racing has grown to become one of the most popular mountain bike niches. It provides accessible and technical racing for mountain bikers and other riders, who want to avoid the crowded tracks of cross-country racing. So, what does enduro racing entail and what exactly is it?
Well, endure is a type of mountain biking, which mainly started out in Europe. Its inception was heavily influenced by motorbike endure racing and car rally racing. Therefore, you can find some similarities with these two types of racing.
But in simple terms, endure entails hopping onto a mountain bike and racing to the bottom of a hill. Usually, the race will have around three to six timed stages. And, all these stages will be downhill. However, the timing of these different stages will depend on the difficulty, length and steepness.
Between these stages, there will also be a transfer stage, which is usually untimed. The transfer stages may feature sections of a chair lift, hike-a-bike or simply pedaling to the next stage.
What sets enduro apart is that it tends to bring together key elements from almost all racing disciplines. For instance, it features the mental stamina required in XC-style races as well as the physical fitness required for cross-country races, among other elements.
It’s worth pointing out that every enduro race will come with different fitness, style and fitness requirements. Also, the rules may vary from one enduro race event to the next. For instance, some race events may simply require you to finish the last stage by a particular time in the day to earn points. But in other events, you will have to stick to a particular time limit for every transition stage to earn points.
Usually, these races run for one or two days, where you will be completing different timed downhill stages every day. The cumulative times for the different stages will then be added to determine the overall time. Your overall time will then be used to determine your finishing position.
The Enduro World Series (EWS) is the biggest and most popular enduro event. In this series, riders will be competing in various locations around the globe. There will be a winner for each round as well as the overall winner of the series at the end of the year.
Besides the main EWS event, there are also other smaller, local events. And, some of these smaller events are EWS-accredited. So, if you fancy venturing into this type of racing, you can begin with the smaller, local events.
Here, you will gather the necessary skills and experience needed for this type of racing. You will also get an opportunity to qualify for the main EWS events. There are also EWS 80 events, which give an opportunity for non-qualifying riders to participate in the event, but on 80% of the course.
Bike Requirements for Enduro Racing
At this point, you have an idea of what enduro is and what entails. So, what type of bike is needed for this race? Well, you can use almost any type of mountain bike that you have for enduro. However, here are the key bike requirements for endure.
First, you will need a bike that you can comfortably ride uphill and downhill for several hours. So, if you always experience some discomfort riding the local trails with your current mountain bike, then it’s highly likely you will struggle with it in endure racing. With that in mind, you should explore other options.
Second, you will need a full suspension bike. Ideally, it should have full suspension travel of approximately 140mm. And if you will be participating in extremely steep and technical trails, then you will need a bike with suspension travel of around 170mm to 180mm.
Third, you will require a bike with a dropper seat post. As much as it’s not a requirement, this feature will come in handy when you are doing enduro racing. In most enduro events, the trails tend to fluctuate between flatter and steep downhill sections.
With a dropper seat post, you can simply get the saddle out of your way, making it easier to change your body position when you encounter tricky terrain. At the same time, you will be able to return the saddle to pedaling position for some brief rest without losing your momentum.
Tires, gear configuration and brakes are also important factors to consider when selecting a bike for enduro. If the event you will be participating in will have lots of steep descending, then you will need a bike that has large rotor brakes. Such brakes will help to disperse heat while providing reliable braking power for extended hours.
If the event will take place on rugged terrain, then you should choose tires with sturdy sidewalls. With such tires, the chances of getting a puncture during the race will be lower.
As earlier mentioned, enduro entails fast and steep descents, combined with technical uphill rides. As such, you will need to have a bike that has a vast range of gear selection.
Can you Use a Trail Bike for Enduro?
Enduro racing is a type of mountain biking. And, a trail bike is also a type of mountain bike. So, can you use a trail bike for enduro? Yes, you can use a trail bike for enduro, as long as it meets the requirements that we’ve outlined above. And, there are several trail bikes on the market, which meet the requirements mentioned above.
Most mountain bikes can be used for enduro. And this also includes trail bikes. As long as your trail bike meets the requirements that we’ve discussed here, then you shouldn’t encounter any issues using it for enduro events.