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  1. #1
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    Limits to an Enduro bike?

    What won't you take an Enduro bike down? When won't you take your enduro bike out?

    I'm asking for a friend...

    *wink*

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    I'll take it down everything I would do on a DH bike, just a bit slower, and I would ***** out a bit earlier on some big jumps.

  3. #3
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    Depending on your local DH area... everything is getting so watered down with "flow" I'm usually faster on my trail bike or "enduro" (6" Enduro), then my big bike. The big difference for me- big bike feels more safe and is generally when I'm just cruising. Enduro is for hammering.
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  4. #4
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    Generally speaking, an enduro bike will handle far more than the majority of the people riding them have the skills to ride. They can handle pretty much any level of gnar, in other words.

    Where I would draw the line would be pretty big (as in more than 10' drops) with less-than-perfect landings. If everything is manicured like a modern slopestyle course, however, you could go very big and not worry about the bike failing. It's stuff like the Redbull Rampage course where I think you'd be risking it riding a 30 pound enduro bike.

    All I've ever had were 7" travel bikes front and rear, as far as long-travel aggressive bikes go. I've never owned an actual DH bike. But with the bikes I've had, I've ridden some pretty crazy lines in my day. DH courses go without saying, but I've been down some stuff in BC where I'd have been much happier on a full DH bike -- mainly because it was so ##%ing steep even a 66 degree HA felt like XC geometry.
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  5. #5
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    For more reference I nose cased a 40' jump at 34.5mph according to strava, broke my scapula when I went OTB. There wasn't a scratch on my bike. I have a real burly build '17 Enduro that weighs 33lb full carbon. Full on DH trails it does very well also, especially with 29'ers. Strava says I'm faster everywhere on my Enduro vs Demo8 but the Demo is a different kind of fun. Top speed is always faster on the Enduro. Hit nearly 50mph last month at Trestle before I got broken.
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  6. #6
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    The limits of Enduro* is within your mind. Free your mind and you'll be able to tap the true ends of your Enduro*.

    Enduro-ism

  7. #7
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  8. #8
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    An Enduro bike can ride anything a DH bike can. The limiting factor is rider skill.

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    Here's a more serious answer. I've recently taken people to do some lift-access downhill. I advised all the lesser skilled people to rent the big travel bikes from the mountain because they are way more forgiving than trail bikes on steep, difficult terrain.

    One guy though I know was pretty skilled, and I told him he'd be fine on his 2013ish Specialized Stumpjumper 29er. He had a blast, but at the end said he felt like he had to take it a bit easy because of the steeper head tube angle on his bike.

    I think the big travel downhill bikes are awesome fun and they really allow even beginners to stomp all over tough terrain. They are definitely safer. But anyone with sufficient skill can take just about any bike, even a fully rigid, down almost any terrain. It's just a question of what you enjoy and what risks you're willing to tolerate.

    Me personally? I have a 2007 Specialized SX trail with 6.5" of coil travel front and back, which is kind of an enduro bike, and I use it for all my DH duty. I also just got a SC Bronson that has a lot more slack geometry and travel than my last trail bike, and I'm planning to give it a whirl on the lifts and see what happens.

  10. #10
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    Although it can handle it, I won't take my Enduro bike down any of the black or double black tech runs at Whistler. Would break my heart to see it crash down those rocks. I have a love hate relationship with my DH bike though, so it can get bumped & bruised, it has it coming.

  11. #11
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    What about when you wouldn't take it out because it's too much bike?

  12. #12
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    Generally, I will take it down most everything at a resort, except the bigger drops and jumps where I want a little more stability or a few of the double-black runs. Sometimes it'll handle such stuff just fine, but sometimes having a DH bike makes it funner and safer. 6" of travel is minimum though for riding at a resort, I just end up fighting the bike in the rough with less usually. You can boost the DH-ability of these bikes a bit with custom tuned suspension, coil suspension, ample travel, etc., but it starts to significantly degrade the "AM" ability with tons of heavy parts hanging off and 180mm forks too. I'm a firm believer in using a DH bike at a DH resort for maximum fun, but the disadvantage with renting is you often can't set the suspension correctly, while you get the advantage of not thrashing your own bike and having the suspension/geometry work better for you. Sometimes, the AM bike is faster in a particular race, but that is hit and miss. Obviously the enduro bike is the one you can pedal up where there's no lift. We just did a rip-roaring 3.6k descent off a mountain a couple days ago and it would have been nice to have a DH bike for a few sections, but not overall.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6foot4 View Post
    What about when you wouldn't take it out because it's too much bike?
    I hardly ever take my DH bike out, maybe 2-3 times a season. The main reason why I am overprotective of the enduro bike is because I use it for 99% of my riding. If the Enduro bike gets broken badly then I'm not riding & I love riding the enduro bike.

    In case you are asking about times I don't take my enduro bike out because it's too much bike...

    I'm blessed with incredible trails which fit the enduro bike quite well (Western Washington). If a trail is so tame that I would be fine riding a lesser bike, like a 100mm 29'r or a XC hardtail, those trails get skipped, never ridden. Tame trails are boring, I would rather drive another 30 min for something epic, which I normally do.

    Even though I'm a "weekend warrior" I try and push myself & the bike hard. Ripping through the corners, dodging trees & rallying the downs. I've been riding since '92 and have had quite a few bikes, but this one rocks. Doesn't look like much of a pedaler but it goes up incredibly well & down better.

    If i lived where the trails were tamer I'm sure I'd be singing a different tune though, buy a bike used or new (I always buy used) that fits your style and trails best, don't be bullied by marketing that says you have to have this or that... Make your own decisions. Hence the reason I'm still riding a 26" with coil shocks
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  14. #14
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    My AM HT 29er can cope with most of the stuff I point it down...

    My Enduro bike is more comforting i.e. I feel less tenderised post ride.

    But dang-it!!

    It sure is fun riding my HT ^^

    PS - the FS is faster... the HT is funner o_0

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6foot4 View Post
    What about when you wouldn't take it out because it's too much bike?
    The only way this statement makes sense (but it sure does get mentioned here a lot) is if you're talking about pedaling a DH bike uphill. My enduro bike is never "too much bike", you just need to go faster then. 47mph down a green/blue feels plenty loose, and I'm happy to have 6" of travel doing so. Never too much bike! Actually, the only time I take my short travel bike out is if I'm doing a long ride like, 30+ miles with a ton of climbing.
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  16. #16
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    Also, there was a trend towards heavy freeride bikes a few years ago, peaking with stuff like the Knolly V-tach at around 14lbs for frame and the Banshee Scream (which still broke, despite being heavy as ****). Turns out that most people were not riding hard enough to justify such crazy over-built design, the geometry was also fairly poor for descending with high BBs and steep angles, as more modern lighter designs with bigger wheels and higher AS values have helped immensely with climbing. Then there's the gnarly terrain where if you really are doing large drops to flat, it's going to kill any bike eventually, overbuilt or not, but for the majority of riders this just wasn't the case and the "freeride" bikes were way overbuilt for most riders, while being significantly less DH-orientated than modern AM bikes in terms of geometry.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexbn921 View Post
    An Enduro bike can ride anything a DH bike can. The limiting factor is rider skill.
    And rider tolerance. I can do more laps on a DH bike than an enduro bike. I can more than likely ride multiple days on my DH bike at the lifts than my enduro bike.

    I can also ride faster longer on my DH bike, and I feel much more comfortable on the steeper stuff.

    For places like trestle, the whole thing looks possible on an enduro bike. Not sure I'm personally up for it on an enduro bike, but for steeper places like angel fire I love having my DH bike all the time. For trestle, I could go either way. Depends on who I'm riding with and if I feel comfortable testing my limits.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6foot4 View Post
    What about when you wouldn't take it out because it's too much bike?
    The only time it would be too much bike is when you have to pedal it cross country or up hill. I've tried taking my Specialized SX trail on cross country type rides, and it just sucks to pedal. So it's lift only for the SX.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpdemello View Post
    The only time it would be too much bike is when you have to pedal it cross country or up hill. I've tried taking my Specialized SX trail on cross country type rides, and it just sucks to pedal. So it's lift only for the SX.
    Agreed. I had a heavy 160 travel bike (Canfield Balance). Felt great on DH trails and bike park. But any trails with a lot of pedaling, it was a drag. Actually it wasn't even the climbing that bothered me. It's on the flats that bothered me most. My friends on mid travel bikes were a lot faster than me on the flats. My current bike is a great compromise. Giant Trance SX. 160 front and 140 back. Performs well in bike park and local trails.

  20. #20
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    You're skillset is more likely a limiting factor than the enduro bike.
    Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

  21. #21
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    There's nothing I'd ride on a DH bike that I wouldn't ride on my Enduro bike.

    However, there are limits to how much of a beating my body and bike will put up with. If I'm only doing occasional rides at serious bike parks like Bromont or MSA I can get by just fine on my enduro bike. But if I'm doing non-stop laps open to close every weekend I want a DH bike, no question, those places will beat the hell out of an enduro bike along with my body.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    There's nothing I'd ride on a DH bike that I wouldn't ride on my Enduro bike.

    However, there are limits to how much of a beating my body and bike will put up with. If I'm only doing occasional rides at serious bike parks like Bromont or MSA I can get by just fine on my enduro bike. But if I'm doing non-stop laps open to close every weekend I want a DH bike, no question, those places will beat the hell out of an enduro bike along with my body.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    There's nothing I'd ride on a DH bike that I wouldn't ride on my Enduro bike.

    However, there are limits to how much of a beating my body and bike will put up with. If I'm only doing occasional rides at serious bike parks like Bromont or MSA I can get by just fine on my enduro bike. But if I'm doing non-stop laps open to close every weekend I want a DH bike, no question, those places will beat the hell out of an enduro bike along with my body.
    That kinda doesn't make sense. Are you saying you'd launch just as big at high speed into a rock garden on the enduro bike as compared to the DH bike? I wouldn't. Although I'd ride them both down a lot of the same trails at similar speed, I'd let the DH bike go a little faster, I'd take it down a little gnarlier trails, I'd jump further and harder on it, etc. Not riding it "the same" or even all "the same" terrain. That's just me of course, and I race my enduro bike DH from time to time, but I have raced and ridden downhill for years and I know the full benefit of a DH bike.
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  24. #24
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    I would say more then I am willing to hit. I have hit everything in keystone on my 2016 Balance. As well as race it at enduro event this year. Here is a video of a guy dong some riding I do not think I would want any part of on a "enduro" bike.

    VIDEO: Riding King Kong on a trail bike - Canfield Brothers Balance

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by hitechredneck View Post
    I would say more then I am willing to hit. I have hit everything in keystone on my 2016 Balance. As well as race it at enduro event this year. Here is a video of a guy dong some riding I do not think I would want any part of on a "enduro" bike.

    VIDEO: Riding King Kong on a trail bike - Canfield Brothers Balance
    Hitting Sanitarium and Helter Skelter on the enduro bike? That's impressive and good job. I remember there were some super steep rocky chutes somewhere on the lower mountain that didn't seem to be part of a specific trail, or maybe they were, kind of on a face and out in the open, but incredibly steep and seemed to be more gnar than any of the marked ones. Again, not sure they were on the map, but Keystone has some great terrain. Not sure if I'd ride the high skinnies again in clipless, but did fine everywhere else with em (and there too, just kind of like DONT SCREW UP!).
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikeventures View Post
    But any trails with a lot of pedaling, it was a drag. Actually it wasn't even the climbing that bothered me. It's on the flats that bothered me most. My friends on mid travel bikes were a lot faster than me on the flats.
    Gotta say I agree with this, and people think I'm crazy when I claim my SX Trail (180mm at both ends) isn't that bad to climb. I do a lot of climbing on it, but I won't be caught dead riding it on smooth, low angle XC trails. It's like, "I'm putting in all this effort...why am I not going faster?"

    But on steep climbs, the kind where you're hovering between your two lowest gears, I can climb it damn near as fast as my 29" hardtail XC bike. Actually, on my "backyard" trail which features 1200 feet of climbing in three miles, my all time record is 33:05 on the XC bike. Did it in 33:20 last year on the 36 pound SX Trail with 2.4" Maxxis Highroller IIs. I don't know if it's a mental thing or what...

  27. #27
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    This weekend I took my Santa Cruz Bronson v2 to Killington Bike Park. The bike handled everything beautifully, though it seemed way faster than my coil-travel bike. They both have similar travel, though the coil bike may have around 1/2 to 1 inch more. I was a little worried on some runs but air suspension had no issues (pike and monarch RT with debonair sleeve). I thought the rear shock would have a hard time keeping up, but I was surprised even on rocky trails how well it kept up.

    Might be selling my '07 specialized sx now. Anyone interested?

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    That kinda doesn't make sense. Are you saying you'd launch just as big at high speed into a rock garden on the enduro bike as compared to the DH bike? I wouldn't. Although I'd ride them both down a lot of the same trails at similar speed, I'd let the DH bike go a little faster, I'd take it down a little gnarlier trails, I'd jump further and harder on it, etc. Not riding it "the same" or even all "the same" terrain. That's just me of course, and I race my enduro bike DH from time to time, but I have raced and ridden downhill for years and I know the full benefit of a DH bike.
    At most it's probably the last 5-10% of difference, I might go into section a few mph faster or jump a couple feet further on a DH bike, but I'm not going to be dropping in on trails or features on a DH bike that I wouldn't ride on an enduro bike. I've ridden everything at Bromont and Ste. Anne except the giant 30-50' gap jumps on my enduro bike as well as a DH bike, and even on a DH bike I still wouldn't think about hitting those jumps. I'm sure somewhere in the world there's a trail that's just on the limit of what I'd ride on a DH bike and would make me think twice about attempting it on an enduro bike, but so far I haven't found it yet and it's not for lack of trying.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    At most it's probably the last 5-10% of difference, I might go into section a few mph faster or jump a couple feet further on a DH bike, but I'm not going to be dropping in on trails or features on a DH bike that I wouldn't ride on an enduro bike. I've ridden everything at Bromont and Ste. Anne except the giant 30-50' gap jumps on my enduro bike as well as a DH bike, and even on a DH bike I still wouldn't think about hitting those jumps. I'm sure somewhere in the world there's a trail that's just on the limit of what I'd ride on a DH bike and would make me think twice about attempting it on an enduro bike, but so far I haven't found it yet and it's not for lack of trying.
    I'm notoriously slower (partly because of new style trails at bike parks) on my Sworks Demo 8 when riding with guys I'm normally right with or in front of (expert/pro level enduro racers on enduro bikes). The big bike is safer, the enduro bike is faster. Dillon Lamar just won the pro class DH race at CFF on his intense carbine. The race was on trestle DH/Space Ape. I've found this true at least when it comes to Granby/Trestle/Keystone/Angelfire.

    I've also ridden flying monkey (by king kong in the video above) and set a top 10 overall on my enduro on strava. These bikes are way more capable then people are giving them credit for.
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    A few years ago when my pivot phoenix was in the shop I took my kona process 153 to Whistler and had a blast on it, I actually got a bunch of pb's on it including a-line and the canadian open, it was an eye opener. I sold my dh bike and have since used a gt sanction and now a knolly delirium as my park bike, no problems, I keep up with my friends on their DH rigs riding all day and can use it all year around riding it up and down.

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    Sold my DH rig as my AM bike did the same job and was more fun doing it.
    Now I have a new AM bike that is built more like a light freeride bike, and I feel just as confident hitting stuff on it as I was on my DH bike, and I can pedal back up the hill for another run.

  32. #32
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    Add some 203mm rotors and the Enduro bikes works fine at the bike parks in my admittedly little experience.

    I rented a full DH bike and went slower actually than I did on my V1 Bronson or my Yeti 5.5.

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