Downhill racing is one of the best forms of mountain biking there is. But, what is Enduro mountain biking? As self-confessed adrenaline junkies, we’ll be the first to say that there’s nothing more exhilarating than watching the World Cup finals and seeing some of the best riders in the world do their thing.
The speeds at which those guys zip through obstacles is superhuman, to say the least. Of course, most average mountain bikers can’t achieve the same feats as an elite athlete who literally lives and breathes mountain biking. After all, you can’t use your XC race bike or mountain bike for wheelies to ride down a World Cup level track, right?
This probably leaves you wondering, what else is possible for an average guy like myself who wants to take it to the next level but not as extreme as an elite, professional mountain biker? I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure my body would be upset with me if I put it through what most elite athletes go through on a daily basis.
Is there a way to take your mountain biking game to the next level without seriously endangering your health or worrying the people in your life? The answer is yes. This is what endure racing was made for.
But wait, what is Enduro mountain biking? Read on as we answer this and many other questions about this fascinating activity.
So, What is Enduro Mountain Biking?
Enduro mountain biking is basically a mountain bike under 1500 racing style whose name can also be used to loosely refer to the clothing, mountain biking equipment such as bike helmets, bikes and trails associated with it. But, let’s say the word is being used as an adjective, in which case it would be used to refer to something happening in an enduro racing event.
Enduro mountain biking has European roots and goes back to motorbike and rally racing, both of which have endure components. The main idea was to haul yourself to the top of the nearest peak and then race to the bottom in a set number of minutes (or even seconds!)
A modern Enduro race typically happens in about 3 to 6 stages, all of which are timed. The timed part of the race usually involves going downhill, but the difficulty, length, and steepness can vary based on where the race is taking place. Most races involve pedaling, chair lifts and hike-a-bike.
It’s worth noting that endure is a combination of different racing disciplines. This means it has components of physical fitness, mental stamina, and bike-handling grip skills, all of which are necessary when doing XC-style races, gravity-fed single tracks, and cross-country racing.
Furthermore, there’s a different style, skill, and fitness requirement to each endure race. There are even unique rules for each style that you need to follow prior to each event. For instance, you might be required to adhere to a transition stage time limit or make it through the finish line by a certain time of the day in order to be included in the results at all.
However, the main goal of enduro is to have fun with it and enjoy the excitement and exhilaration that comes with it. Just make sure you know how to prevent sore bum from cycling when you go downhill.
What Are Enduro MTB Bikes?
Enduro racing mountain bikes are very similar in appearance and design to your normal bike because they’re actually the types of bikes that you can use for all-round mountain biking.
They typically feature a lightweight design, giant long-descent discs, dropper seat posts, 27 to 29-inch wheels and 140 to 170mm suspension travel range. Any mountain bike with the correct MTB tire pressure that can make it through the grueling terrain of an Enduro World Series event was clearly made to last and is the real deal.
Main Enduro MTB Events
What is enduro mountain biking in the general sports arena?
Well, you’ll be glad to know that several countries host enduro series events, most of whom have become quite popular over the years. This includes France’s Enduro series, USA’s Big Mountain Enduro, Italy’s Superenduro, and the UK’s Gravity Enduro.
This is in addition to one-off events that have a festival atmosphere complete with live music, vendors, and visitors who are there for the food stalls and entertainment instead of the enduro racing itself. One such example would have to be the UK’s ArdRock Enduro event which has all of the elements we mentioned and is one of the country’s most popular outdoor events.
Out of all of these events, the Enduro World Series is held in the highest regard. That’s because it attracts some of the sport’s biggest names, including downhill racing World Cup stars like Cecile Ravenal, Martin Maes, Wyn Masters, Jared Graves, and Sam Hill. Then you have specialists like Greg Callaghan, Curtis Keene and Richie Rude who also join in on the party.
Why Should You Try Enduro Mountain Biking?
Okay, at this point you should have an idea of what enduro mountain biking is. Now it’s time to explore why we think it’s so awesome.
First of all, it’s important to realize that for most participants endure is a lifestyle. Here’s why:
1. It Makes for a Great Workout Session
Enduro mountain biking is a great form of cardiovascular exercise. That’s because it requires a dynamic range of movement so it makes sense to adjust cleats properly on cycling shoes. This includes different muscle groups involved in sustained cardio outputs in quick bursts.
2. Makes Your Heart Beat Fast
Enduro mountain biking is all about adventure, and it can really bring out the dare-devil in you. It adds a certain level of interest to you as a person and can be a great conversation starter.
3. You Will Be Close to Nature
Most Enduro mountain biking trails are in isolated parts of the world that are unobstructed by buildings or any kind of man-made infrastructure. You need to have an SUV with a bike carrier to take your bicycle with you.
A lot of these places are so beautiful they’re simply breathtaking and allow you to really connect with nature.
Part of the reason why a lot of mountain bikers keep coming back for more is because of the peace and calm they feel from communing with nature every time they get on their bike.
4. Gives You the Opportunity to Socialize
Enduro biking can be an extremely social activity, especially because you need others during the journey.
Whether that’s to help you fix a flat tire or to get you through a challenging trail that’s testing your limits. Plus, there’s the camaraderie of going through this unique experience together that can only be understood by those who’ve been through it.
Hopefully, now you understand what Enduro mountain biking is. The great thing about Enduro mountain biking is that it doesn’t discriminate. You can easily enjoy it, whether you’re a newbie or an experienced biker.
Some races require you to go through rough terrain, climb 8,000 feet high and end up covering 40 miles in total. Others are less demanding and require little elevation and only cover a distance of 15 miles which is not too bad.
It all depends on your strength levels and what you’re used to. And we recommend you wash your cycling gloves after. Either way, Enduro mountain biking is an excellent way to get fit, reduce stress, connect with nature and make friends along the way!