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  1. #1
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    When do you go with an enduro over a trail bike?

    I know this topic has been discussed more than a wee bit but most of the answers are something like 'it depends on what terrain you're riding' and 'depends on if you climb a lot or doing a lot of jumps', etc. These answers are too vague for someone who doesn't know just how rough of a terrain or big of a jump you're talking about...So can anyone give actual examples of when someone would be better suited by an enduro bike? Like how high of a drop off, jump height/distance, terrain features that would be possibly too much for a trail bike? Or what about an video of a trail that's a bit much for a trail bike and more suited for an enduro bike?

    Boring personal background for this thread: I've been doing black diamond DH (TN black diamond, not real black diamond) runs with my hardtail (Giant Fathom) just fine. A 4.5ft drop to flat a couple days ago really made me want a FS bike though. Obviously a FS trail bike can handle what I'm doing now on my HT but I wonder, if I'm wanting a bike to do gnarlier stuff than what I'm currently doing should I skip a trail bike and jump up to AM/enduro?

  2. #2
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    Basically I use two rules of thumb when people as me. One, when there is a chairlift involved at a "real" bike park ( ie keystone, sol vists aka granby ranch, angle fire, whistler) I know there is others but i was just listing some. When you are doing big boy hits on all the features on say a trail like Jam Rock at keystone. You need to be on a "enduro" bike at the least to att the very least save your equipment. Sure it CAN be ridden on a fully rigid bike, but your body and your bike will take a beating all while going slow. I never really use jump distance when it comes to bike usage. If you are hitting the tranny then you can do some really long jumps. I have ridden all of winterpark on a Canfield nimble 9 and made all the jumps on rainmaker because most everything there is a big BMX track. They have black diamond trails but like skiing it is all relative to the mountain. One resorts black diamonds is another blues.

    The other rule of thumb is when I am riding trails and i get done with a DH and have major arm pump and brakes are super hot that if I put on them it would steam and I had a hard times holding onto the bars or my feet hurt from bottoming the bike out so often. I would head to a more enduro specific bike. Also when I start breaking things and my trail bike turns into a super beefy 30 plus pound DH casing tire 5" travel bike. that is a sign it might be time to step up.

  3. #3
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    It's hard to quantify cuz it's different for different people, and a really excellent small bike will be faster and more stable than a flopping mess of a big bike.

    I have a burly hardtail and a modern, progressive 'enduro' bike that i run heavy tires, 4 pot brakes, and gravity suspension bits. They're both high end, top of the line bikes, and the hardtail is a custom frame. There aren't a lot of big features i've hit with the big bike that i've skipped on the hardtail, but if it scares me i did it on the enduro bike first; the big bike is more forgiving of mistakes. I don't wanna go to the bike park with the hardtail. I get arm pump on the hardtail (even on long 'aggressive xc' descents) and never on the enduro bike. The enduro bike is unquestionably faster on descents, but on narrow or shallow grade trails the slow handling and length is a liability. As far as capability... when the enduro bike is too much and i'm better served by a DH bike is close to where i'm not really having fun anyway.

    The hardtail is just as much fun (kinda more fun, tbh, i spend more time at the limit). On narrow singletrack hiking trails it's 99% as fast. I've done 60 mile days with it. Usually when i've got arm pump and fatigue riding it i'm happy to pause, shake out, and let my buddies catch up to me. It's simple and i love how much i can do.

    A skilled rider can ride almost anything on most any mountain bike; it's more about the experience they want to have. Having multiple bikes is better, but when you can only have one it's all about setting it up to cover as many use-cases as possible. Suspension isn't thaaaat helpful for drops to flat; i find its best use is for moderately rough (seated) climbing, and for carrying speed through fast choppy trails.



    Kinda feel like the most important thing is to have properly competent suspension and brakes, then setting the bike up correctly for the rider. If you haven't done that then the rest of it is far less important. I think i could ride basically everything on a progressive 130-150mm trailbike with the right component selection... but honestly a giant fathom with a good fork is a pretty capable bike. If it's your 1st-2nd real quality mtb there's no harm in riding it and really getting to know it intimately.
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  4. #4
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    Any time I ride a DH park, I want at least 6" of travel. Any time I ride a trail/track that I wouldn't mind riding a DH bike on, I want at least 6" of travel. If it's loaded with obstacles and jumps where a mistake could mean you ricochet off of the ground if you bottom out, I want around 6" of travel. Some descents are slower on a bike with 6", for sure, but many, if not most, are funner to me, so it's what I choose to ride. Choose carefully though, because some bikes in the ~6" travel category are so optimized for DH that they really suck for climbing and anything else, even though they are supposedly "enduro" bikes. Rode last week in Washington, some fun DH tracks like Chuchanut DH in Bellingham, Predator in Snoqualmine, Exit 27 at the same, and other tracks, and it was well worth it to have a bike with 6" of travel to rock the steep DH descents. Also did some longer epic rides, but even those had many-thousand foot descents on them where it was nice to be able to get back on the bike and enjoy the descent.

    For most riding, a trail bike rides fine, if you want to cover the spectrum of riding INCLUDING stuff that is straight "DH" riding (where people will do shuttle runs), then an enduro bike kind of makes sense IMO. If you stick to stuff where the descents do not favor this, then a trail bike is probably better for the majority of riders out there. I don't mean that you should be doing shuttle runs, just that the descent is long and fun enough to make that idea viable.
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  5. #5
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    I think a good rule would be, which one are you willing to pedal? If you have a 5000' climb to do, are you willing to push a 30 pound soft suspension bike?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    I think a good rule would be, which one are you willing to pedal? If you have a 5000' climb to do, are you willing to push a 30 pound soft suspension bike?
    I can't speak for anyone else, but 35lbs of dh tires and acceptably optimized suspension and geo isn't really much of a burden on 5000' climbs if it's more fun on the descent. If it's not an improvement (or increasingly frequently as bikes get longer, a handicap) then it sucks.

    That's why it's so hard to quantify how much bike you need like jeremy wants us to. I hit features on my hardtail that other folks won't touch... but i won't go near other features riders will hit with style.
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  7. #7
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    Travel and geo aside, many (most?) trail bikes aren't designed to take the abuse it sounds like you'd want to give it...

  8. #8
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    I think looking at jumps etc. is a bad way to look at when you need to step up to a full blown enduro bike from a trail bike. If you're charging down descents and the suspension is packing up or bottoming out on you in spite of being tuned correctly, you need more bike. If you're losing control of the bike in those sections and the suspension isn't packing up or bottoming out, you need more skills. You need to look for signs that the bike is stressed at what you're doing rather than trying to define a set of features that indicate you need an enduro bike.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by hitechredneck View Post
    When you are doing big boy hits on all the features on say a trail like Jam Rock at keystone. You need to be on a "enduro" bike at the least to att the very least save your equipment. Sure it CAN be ridden on a fully rigid bike, but your body and your bike will take a beating all while going slow.
    Thanks, it's good to see an example of what kind of terrain is mostly suited to an enduro.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    but honestly a giant fathom with a good fork is a pretty capable bike. If it's your 1st-2nd real quality mtb there's no harm in riding it and really getting to know it intimately.
    I plan on sticking with it at least through winter.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    I can't speak for anyone else, but 35lbs of dh tires and acceptably optimized suspension and geo isn't really much of a burden on 5000' climbs if it's more fun on the descent. If it's not an improvement (or increasingly frequently as bikes get longer, a handicap) then it sucks.

    That's why it's so hard to quantify how much bike you need like jeremy wants us to. I hit features on my hardtail that other folks won't touch... but i won't go near other features riders will hit with style.
    Singletrack Sampler (beareded youtube guy) rides an S-Works Enduro and mostly rides longer singltrack with lots of climbing and I don't think I've seen him ride anything as gnarly as Jam Rock. I've noticed the answers also depend on if the question is about general enduro vs trail or comparing specific bikes (like Giant Trance vs Reign).

    So it sounds like you don't 'need' and enduro until you're doing shuttle assisted runs or similarly gnarly DH runs but which (trail or enduro) you'll enjoy more is personal preference. Does that sounds about right?

    I'm going to try and take a road trip to demo some different bikes at some point.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by EatsDirt View Post
    Travel and geo aside, many (most?) trail bikes aren't designed to take the abuse it sounds like you'd want to give it...
    Another of my concerns is durability. I know fully rigid bmx bikes can handle crazy abuse so it's not all about suspension travel. So what are the durability limits of a trail bike?

  13. #13
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    I think the steepness of the descents and the roughness/frequency of bumps should factor in to what bike you choose to a much higher degree than the jumps or drops on a trail.

    Most natural trails don't feature drops that are terribly big, unless you're riding in North Vancouver perhaps. With the right technique, you can drop 4 feet to flat or so on a hardtail and absorb it properly with your arms and legs. Most of the time anymore, trailbuilders avoid drops to flat and will do work to include a transition. Same with jumps. These modern "flow trails" usually have nice transitions on jumps, so you're really not using your suspension to absorb the landings.

    Suspension is used more for general trail nastiness, and enduro bikes have enough travel to handle high-frequency chatter and big terrain changes more effectively than lesser-travel designs. Steepness also factors in because with it comes speed, and the geometry of these modern enduro bikes is more suitable for that kind of riding.

    I ride a light-DH/heavy enduro bike that has 7" of travel at both ends and a 65* head angle. It is overbuilt for a lot of stuff I ride, but I still prefer to ride it on most of my local rides because of how it carves turns and eats up every bump in its path. Most of the descents I ride are steep, so the extra weight of the bike does not really impact my downhill runs.

    On trails that are lower angle, I find that I prefer my 29er hardtail, as then I don't find myself fighting the extra weight of the big bike, and more of the ride is enjoyable. When it comes to steep climbing, it doesn't matter to me which bike I'm on -- both can climb quite well. I'm barely any faster when climbing steep terrain on my hardtail, even though it's about 8 pounds lighter.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    I can't speak for anyone else, but 35lbs of dh tires and acceptably optimized suspension and geo isn't really much of a burden on 5000' climbs if it's more fun on the descent. If it's not an improvement (or increasingly frequently as bikes get longer, a handicap) then it sucks.

    That's why it's so hard to quantify how much bike you need like jeremy wants us to. I hit features on my hardtail that other folks won't touch... but i won't go near other features riders will hit with style.
    My bike is 32 lbs, 6" travel, dual coil suspension, 4 pot brakes, 1000gm tires. No problem going on 5000' climbs and it makes the descents totally worthwhile

    Avoid the temptation to think that all bike travel bikes have "soft" suspension. Modern shock technology, frame design and materials gives us a wonderful assortment of "enduro" bikes, which are essentially DH-lite bikes which can still pedal quite efficiently to the top.

  15. #15
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    I always based my bike type on gearing towards the parts I enjoyed, moreso than the terrain specifics.

    So lets say you like the flowing DH part of riding and generally just push through the climbing part to get there. In this case who cares if the trail climbs slightly better than the eduro, either way you're not exactly going to enjoy the climb. Meanwhile the enduro would allow you the maximum amount of enjoyment on the flow sections vs. a trail bike. It doesn't matter if the trail CAN do it, its which one is going to allow you to maximize the "fun parts" for YOU.

    Shoe on the other foot if you like climbing then get the trail. It will allow you to enjoy the part you love and can certainly survive the DH part you may just feel is ok.

    Its why I went with a M6 over a 429. The 429 may climb better, but I hate climbing to begin with so it offers me no additional joy. However, I like going DH and technical and to me the M6 allows me to fully enjoy that part from a geo standpoint and offering durability in that aspect as well.

    Unless you're racing climbing a properly setup new-geo enduro is not a night and day difference vs. most trails. The lines really are blurred on capability, so again pick the bike type that will maximize the 'funnest' part of the ride for you.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookieMonster View Post
    With the right technique, you can drop 4 feet to flat or so on a hardtail and absorb it properly with your arms and legs.
    I used to do 6 foot drops to flat pavement on my bmx but I'm not 17 anymore and my ankles pop when I walk now. The 4.5 ft drop I did the other day wasn't terribly rough but I also keep knocking my wheels out of true.

    Quote Originally Posted by cookieMonster View Post
    Suspension is used more for general trail nastiness, and enduro bikes have enough travel to handle high-frequency chatter and big terrain changes more effectively than lesser-travel designs. Steepness also factors in because with it comes speed, and the geometry of these modern enduro bikes is more suitable for that kind of riding.

    I ride a light-DH/heavy enduro bike that has 7" of travel at both ends and a 65* head angle. It is overbuilt for a lot of stuff I ride, but I still prefer to ride it on most of my local rides because of how it carves turns and eats up every bump in its path. Most of the descents I ride are steep, so the extra weight of the bike does not really impact my downhill runs.
    That makes sense. Another reason I'm pondering an enduro is that my current hardtail already has a 67* HA. I plan on keeping it assuming it holds up. Maybe a 67* HA XC/Trail hardtail + a 65* enduro makes more sense than a 67* XC/Trail HT + a 67* FS trail. I know HA isn't everything though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jahkneefive View Post
    I always based my bike type on gearing towards the parts I enjoyed, moreso than the terrain specifics.
    I do hate climbing but I also don't want to ruin the downhill sections by running out of steam on the climb up. I guess I just need to test some bikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    I used to do 6 foot drops to flat pavement on my bmx but I'm not 17 anymore and my ankles pop when I walk now. The 4.5 ft drop I did the other day wasn't terribly rough but I also keep knocking my wheels out of true.
    Enduro bike for sure. You could put heavy duty wheels on a trail bike, but all that energy has to go somewhere and that somewhere is the frame and the rider. Someone who breaks a lot of wheels has a high likelihood of damaging frames & suspension parts on a trail bike, those bikes are pretty capable these days but they're not built for constant abuse. Frames are lighter & weaker, suspension pivots are smaller, suspension is lighter duty and so forth. A good enduro bike will have big strong pivots that can handle heavy loads and abuse, shocks & forks that can soak up big hits without blowing up dampers and spewing oil everywhere, and heavier stronger frames that can survive being slammed into immovable objects at high speed.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    I also keep knocking my wheels out of true.
    Either those wheels suck or someone competent should drop down the spoke tensions and retension them. Easy to keep doing spot trues and come out with some really unbalanced wheels that don't hold true.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    Either those wheels suck or someone competent should drop down the spoke tensions and retension them.
    They're at the shop now getting that done along with a linseed oil application. I'm also 6'5" and 220 lbs which probably doesn't help.

  21. #21
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    My kidneys hurt too bad to do downhill on a hardtail.

    Have you not noticed kidney pain from rattling them to death?

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    Quote Originally Posted by @Ride@ View Post
    My kidneys hurt too bad to do downhill on a hardtail.

    Have you not noticed kidney pain from rattling them to death?
    Not really. My feet and hands hurt after a while and I'll get that general worn out feeling from being rattled too long.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    I think looking at jumps etc. is a bad way to look at when you need to step up to a full blown enduro bike from a trail bike. If you're charging down descents and the suspension is packing up or bottoming out on you in spite of being tuned correctly, you need more bike. If you're losing control of the bike in those sections and the suspension isn't packing up or bottoming out, you need more skills. You need to look for signs that the bike is stressed at what you're doing rather than trying to define a set of features that indicate you need an enduro bike.
    This is a great post.

  24. #24
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    I'd say these days you can find short(ish) travel enduro bikes and long(er) travel trail bikes. IMHO geometry is more an indication of bike capability than suspension travel is.

    My answer to the OP's questions is that enduro bikes are meant to be ridden very fast over rough terrain, aiming for good results (on strava or an actual race).

    "Trail" bikes these days can be ridden anywhere and can be as much fun but you'll probably enjoy the ride most tackling the terrain at your own pace. They should be a bit more involving and fun on less challenging terrain as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by justwan naride View Post
    "Trail" bikes these days can be ridden anywhere and can be as much fun but you'll probably enjoy the ride most tackling the terrain at your own pace. They should be a bit more involving and fun on less challenging terrain as well.
    Agree with your entire post, and just want to add to the last bit. Trail is the 'fun' category. I don't mean that real high speeds plowing over real rough trail is not fun, all of this MTB is fun! At some point a lot of us realize (for us only) it is MORE fun to stop worrying about getting our best section times, and start flying off all the little features on the sides of the trail. That takes longer from start point to finish so it blows your times. So if Enduro bikes are made for high speed over anything, Trail bikes are set up for quicker response to steering input, and firm suspension for launching.
    oops I wasn't clipped in

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    So are trail bikes generally just as durable as enduros?

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    So are trail bikes generally just as durable as enduros?
    From my reading, many makers are making tough trail bikes. I hear the fuel ex8 is super capable. Do some research and a lot of people are saying that trail bikes are more capable than they are given credit for.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    So are trail bikes generally just as durable as enduros?
    No, it's just that most people don't really ride as aggressively as they think they do. A few people do, those people know they need the enduro bike at times.

    This is why they aren't building freeride rigs like the Banshee Scream, Knolly V-tach and Turner Hiline anymore. These were massively overbuilt bikes designed for riding up and then riding down over the biggest obstacles, but no one really was going "big enough" on the downhills to justify the massive weight and strength, so AM bikes became prevalent, suiting the needs of a higher percentage of the riders.

    More often than not, on the "trail bikes" at around 130mm of travel, when the terrain gets really challenging, you are fighting the bike trying to just keep your head above the water on a serious tech or gnar downhill. This isn't all the time, but it's always important to stop and think about the black and double-black diamond sections: was that actually fun, or was I fighting the bike/trail?

    I want it to be fun.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    No, it's just that most people don't really ride as aggressively as they think they do. A few people do, those people know they need the enduro bike at times.

    This is why they aren't building freeride rigs like the Banshee Scream, Knolly V-tach and Turner Hiline anymore. These were massively overbuilt bikes designed for riding up and then riding down over the biggest obstacles, but no one really was going "big enough" on the downhills to justify the massive weight and strength, so AM bikes became prevalent, suiting the needs of a higher percentage of the riders.

    More often than not, on the "trail bikes" at around 130mm of travel, when the terrain gets really challenging, you are fighting the bike trying to just keep your head above the water on a serious tech or gnar downhill. This isn't all the time, but it's always important to stop and think about the black and double-black diamond sections: was that actually fun, or was I fighting the bike/trail?

    I want it to be fun.
    All that said, if you're well north of 6' and 200lbs and hitting >4' drops to flat you're gonna break stuff, including enduro bikes, if you don't set them up for that.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by @Ride@ View Post
    From my reading, many makers are making tough trail bikes. I hear the fuel ex8 is super capable. Do some research and a lot of people are saying that trail bikes are more capable than they are given credit for.
    Are modern trail bikes capable? Yes. Could you ride them at a bike park for a weekend? Sure. Will you have fun? Likely. But if you do it all the time the bike's gonna get beat to hell pretty fast unless you're a light smooth rider who knows how to pick lines and doesn't crash. A trail bike isn't going to stand up to sustained pounding & abuse nearly as well as an enduro bike, and an enduro bike won't take as much abuse as a DH bike.

    I bought an enduro bike because I enjoy riding like a barely in control lunatic and do a lot of stupid, warranty voiding stuff on my rides. I don't want to worry about breaking my bike when I mess up, I want the size of my balls to be the limit of what I do, not the bike.

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    The reason it's hard to give definitive answers to the OPs questions, is differences in terrain and riding style. I'm pretty sure Tennessee blue trails are very different from BC blue. Also riding styles and aggressiveness. Drop to flat from 4ft? Either bike will work. First question is how fast are you going. There at double blacks at Northstar in Tahoe that I've ridden an Ibis Ripley, Yeti SB6c, and a V10. I can ride rough sections on the Yeti comfortably around 25+mph that would bounce the Ibis Ripley around and probably crash.

    If your riding 25+mph through technical terrain and taking jumps at speed, Enduro Bike is more appropriate. The bike is designed for that type of use. Not saying you can't ride a trail bike, but that's my opinion. other considerations how steep are the trails (30% grade mild terrain trail bike). 30% grade technical rocky and you want to ride it at 15 mph, Enduro Bike.

    Really depends on where you ride, rider skill and how you ride.
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    If you break it, upgrade. Its how I ended up with an enduro bike.

    120mm bike with xc wheels. Taco'd wheels; upgraded to heavier duty wheels. Broke frame
    140x140mm bike with same wheels, broke frame
    150x140m bike, broken frame twice.
    160mmx155 enduro bike now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post

    More often than not, on the "trail bikes" at around 130mm of travel, when the terrain gets really challenging, you are fighting the bike trying to just keep your head above the water on a serious tech or gnar downhill. This isn't all the time, but it's always important to stop and think about the black and double-black diamond sections: was that actually fun, or was I fighting the bike/trail?

    I want it to be fun.
    I see what you're saying. I'm going to stick with the hardtail for a while since it can handle 95% of my local trails. There's only a couple things where I feel like I'm fighting the bike or are just too big to risk it on a HT.

  34. #34
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    I would say you definitely want a full-sus ;0)

    Four four too flat on a hard-tail is impressive, but if you keep doing that it will probably break.

    I have a 'trail' bike which has 120mm at either end. At trail parks I see guys on 'endure' bikes all the time, 150mm or so. They seem to climb well enough and man, can they cover the ground when things get rough. And oddly enough, they seem to be having fun too! Sometimes whoop and holler in fact.

    I'd say that if you're doing sizeable drops and riding fast over rocky trails the benefits of the extra suspension will outweigh the extra weight etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    I would say you definitely want a full-sus ;0)

    Four four too flat on a hard-tail is impressive, but if you keep doing that it will probably break.

    I have a 'trail' bike which has 120mm at either end. At trail parks I see guys on 'endure' bikes all the time, 150mm or so. They seem to climb well enough and man, can they cover the ground when things get rough. And oddly enough, they seem to be having fun too! Sometimes whoop and holler in fact.

    I'd say that if you're doing sizeable drops and riding fast over rocky trails the benefits of the extra suspension will outweigh the extra weight etc.
    I'll probably ride the HT until spring at least then I'll start demoing different bikes to figure out what I like. That'll give me that much more time to improve my riding before I decide how much bike I need.

  36. #36
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    When do you go with an enduro over a trail bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    I think looking at jumps etc. is a bad way to look at when you need to step up to a full blown enduro bike from a trail bike. If you're charging down descents and the suspension is packing up or bottoming out on you in spite of being tuned correctly, you need more bike. If you're losing control of the bike in those sections and the suspension isn't packing up or bottoming out, you need more skills. You need to look for signs that the bike is stressed at what you're doing rather than trying to define a set of features that indicate you need an enduro bike.
    Excellent post.... from the little experience I have- this is exactly what I went through. I wanted to add another bike to my stable.

    The entire time- it was my skill set. I now realize I have more bike than I need at the moment (2017 EX8+).... I have waaay more fun on my bike now that i polished my skills...

    Cost me some pride, but thatís cheaper than another bike. I know.... I know- Iíll buy it later anyway.



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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    I see what you're saying. I'm going to stick with the hardtail for a while since it can handle 95% of my local trails. There's only a couple things where I feel like I'm fighting the bike or are just too big to risk it on a HT.
    Can you post photos of said features?

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    Quote Originally Posted by EricTheDood View Post
    Can you post photos of said features?
    I'll try to take some pics next week

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    I'm sort of in the reverse of this situation, but the question is still the same. Is my bike right for the type of riding i'm going to do?

    I've been riding around on a steel Chromag Stylus with a 160mm fork all season and it's just not right for the kind of trails around here in Connecticut. It's too long, low, and slack to efficiently handle the constant pedaling and short punchy/technical ups of New England. Esentially, it's a steel enduro hardtail with similar geometry to a capra / nomad. Technical climbing on it is a nightmare and there aren't too many sustained downhills around here. Everything is flat-ish, chunky tech. Can I take it everywhere.. you bet I can, but it's not really the right tool for the job.

    I've decided to begin the hunt for my next bike, but i've been a bit conflicted. I want something that is perfect for the kind of terrain I ride but I still want to be able to head out west, or up to highland / killington and not have to rent a bike.

    I've basically come to the conclusion that i'll be picking up a short to mid travel 29er trail bike as my next purchase, and using the Stylus for more aggressive / gravity riding until I find a frame I want to slap the parts on. (Or just sell it and buy an aluminum Capra for bike park days / heading out west)

    Looking at the Devinci Django 29, Tansition Smuggler, and YT Jeffsy 29.

    I rent / demo bikes as often as I can, and i've been on almost the full line of Santa Cruz, Cannondale Jekkyl / Trigger, Trek Fuel / Remedy, Banshee Rune, Pivot Mach 6, and Transition Patrol.. I was very interested in the Bronson because all my parts would move over to it seamlessly, but after riding it and the other bikes mentioned, they all seem like too much bike for the area i'm in.

    That's where I'm at right now. My skill isn't limiting my riding necessarily (i'm sure it is in some ways), my bike really isn't either.. it's just not fun/efficient to pedal a 31lb bomber hardtail around slow, undulating, techy, New England trails.

    (as an aside, I do use all my travel on my 160mm fork on every ride)

    While this probably seems a little off-topic, i'm not looking for advice necessarily. I'm just trying to reiterate the point made earlier that more bike isn't always necessary. Someone mentioned The Singletrack Sampler earlier in the thread and even Alexander will be the first to tell you that his bike (Specialized Enduro) is more than he needs for 90% of the riding that he does.

    OP mentioned taking his hardtail down DH runs, but man.. if you don't go to the bike park / DH runs for 50-90% of your riding, it probably doesn't make sense to get a bike geared more towards that.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tower View Post
    I've been riding around on a steel Chromag Stylus with a 160mm fork all season and it's just not right for the kind of trails around here in Connecticut.
    Have you tried it with a shorter fork and faster-rolling tyres?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tower View Post
    I'm just trying to reiterate the point made earlier that more bike isn't always necessary.
    I get that. I was trying to find out when it is necessary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tower View Post
    I'm sort of in the reverse of this situation, but the question is still the same. Is my bike right for the type of riding i'm going to do?

    I've been riding around on a steel Chromag Stylus with a 160mm fork all season and it's just not right for the kind of trails around here in Connecticut. It's too long, low, and slack to efficiently handle the constant pedaling and short punchy/technical ups of New England. Esentially, it's a steel enduro hardtail with similar geometry to a capra / nomad. Technical climbing on it is a nightmare and there aren't too many sustained downhills around here. Everything is flat-ish, chunky tech. Can I take it everywhere.. you bet I can, but it's not really the right tool for the job.

    I've decided to begin the hunt for my next bike, but i've been a bit conflicted. I want something that is perfect for the kind of terrain I ride but I still want to be able to head out west, or up to highland / killington and not have to rent a bike.

    I've basically come to the conclusion that i'll be picking up a short to mid travel 29er trail bike as my next purchase, and using the Stylus for more aggressive / gravity riding until I find a frame I want to slap the parts on. (Or just sell it and buy an aluminum Capra for bike park days / heading out west)

    Looking at the Devinci Django 29, Tansition Smuggler, and YT Jeffsy 29.

    I rent / demo bikes as often as I can, and i've been on almost the full line of Santa Cruz, Cannondale Jekkyl / Trigger, Trek Fuel / Remedy, Banshee Rune, Pivot Mach 6, and Transition Patrol.. I was very interested in the Bronson because all my parts would move over to it seamlessly, but after riding it and the other bikes mentioned, they all seem like too much bike for the area i'm in.

    That's where I'm at right now. My skill isn't limiting my riding necessarily (i'm sure it is in some ways), my bike really isn't either.. it's just not fun/efficient to pedal a 31lb bomber hardtail around slow, undulating, techy, New England trails.

    (as an aside, I do use all my travel on my 160mm fork on every ride)

    While this probably seems a little off-topic, i'm not looking for advice necessarily. I'm just trying to reiterate the point made earlier that more bike isn't always necessary. Someone mentioned The Singletrack Sampler earlier in the thread and even Alexander will be the first to tell you that his bike (Specialized Enduro) is more than he needs for 90% of the riding that he does.

    OP mentioned taking his hardtail down DH runs, but man.. if you don't go to the bike park / DH runs for 50-90% of your riding, it probably doesn't make sense to get a bike geared more towards that.
    Canfield Riot is a good East Coast bike. Not too low, so you can peddle more. How low would the BB be if you put a 120-130 fork on the hardtail?
    I never can see the reason to put such a big fork on a HT that's a lot of geometry change when it's compressed.
    Last edited by Cerberus75; 10-15-2017 at 09:15 AM.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tower View Post
    I'm sort of in the reverse of this situation, but the question is still the same. Is my bike right for the type of riding i'm going to do?

    I've been riding around on a steel Chromag Stylus with a 160mm fork all season and it's just not right for the kind of trails around here in Connecticut. It's too long, low, and slack to efficiently handle the constant pedaling and short punchy/technical ups of New England. Esentially, it's a steel enduro hardtail with similar geometry to a capra / nomad. Technical climbing on it is a nightmare and there aren't too many sustained downhills around here. Everything is flat-ish, chunky tech. Can I take it everywhere.. you bet I can, but it's not really the right tool for the job.

    I've decided to begin the hunt for my next bike, but i've been a bit conflicted. I want something that is perfect for the kind of terrain I ride but I still want to be able to head out west, or up to highland / killington and not have to rent a bike.

    I've basically come to the conclusion that i'll be picking up a short to mid travel 29er trail bike as my next purchase, and using the Stylus for more aggressive / gravity riding until I find a frame I want to slap the parts on. (Or just sell it and buy an aluminum Capra for bike park days / heading out west)

    Looking at the Devinci Django 29, Tansition Smuggler, and YT Jeffsy 29.

    I rent / demo bikes as often as I can, and i've been on almost the full line of Santa Cruz, Cannondale Jekkyl / Trigger, Trek Fuel / Remedy, Banshee Rune, Pivot Mach 6, and Transition Patrol.. I was very interested in the Bronson because all my parts would move over to it seamlessly, but after riding it and the other bikes mentioned, they all seem like too much bike for the area i'm in.

    That's where I'm at right now. My skill isn't limiting my riding necessarily (i'm sure it is in some ways), my bike really isn't either.. it's just not fun/efficient to pedal a 31lb bomber hardtail around slow, undulating, techy, New England trails.

    (as an aside, I do use all my travel on my 160mm fork on every ride)

    While this probably seems a little off-topic, i'm not looking for advice necessarily. I'm just trying to reiterate the point made earlier that more bike isn't always necessary. Someone mentioned The Singletrack Sampler earlier in the thread and even Alexander will be the first to tell you that his bike (Specialized Enduro) is more than he needs for 90% of the riding that he does.

    OP mentioned taking his hardtail down DH runs, but man.. if you don't go to the bike park / DH runs for 50-90% of your riding, it probably doesn't make sense to get a bike geared more towards that.
    Check out the canfield Toir ( riot) they are having a killer sale right now. 140mm 29er

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    I found the limits of my 130mm bike. Bigger drops and more aggressive riding and trails are using all the travel more often than I'm comfortable with. To the point it's putting more stress on me and the bike. Don't feel like breaking either so bigger bike was needed.

    Upgraded from a 2008 Kona dawg to a 2012 Ibis mojo hd and Kona process 153. Sold the dawg. Loving the new bikes as they ride much faster and more confidently in the terrain I enjoy most. They are a bit slower in super tight portions of the trail but make up for it in the gnarly and descents. The Ibis is an insanely good climber to boot.

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    Never go full Enduro

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    Quote Originally Posted by eshew View Post
    I found the limits of my 130mm bike. Bigger drops and more aggressive riding and trails are using all the travel more often than I'm comfortable with. To the point it's putting more stress on me and the bike. Don't feel like breaking either so bigger bike was needed.
    is your setup too soft? I think you could keep the travel in line by increasing pressures, no? I don't ever plan on having more than 130mm travel that my EX8 has. If i'm pounding it hard and bottoming it out, to me, at least, that means my shock pressures need to be higher. It doesn't mean I need a tougher bike with more suspension.

    A tougher bike would be only if I'm damaging the frame and cracking it up. More suspension would be if I was a glutton for wasting my energy pedaling or something.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    Are modern trail bikes capable? Yes. Could you ride them at a bike park for a weekend? Sure. Will you have fun? Likely. But if you do it all the time the bike's gonna get beat to hell pretty fast unless you're a light smooth rider who knows how to pick lines and doesn't crash. A trail bike isn't going to stand up to sustained pounding & abuse nearly as well as an enduro bike, and an enduro bike won't take as much abuse as a DH bike.

    I bought an enduro bike because I enjoy riding like a barely in control lunatic and do a lot of stupid, warranty voiding stuff on my rides. I don't want to worry about breaking my bike when I mess up, I want the size of my balls to be the limit of what I do, not the bike.
    now that is awesome.

    I just read that to me wife and she agreed



    OP.
    I asked this same question .
    I ended up ordering a 2018 Slash 9.8
    It will do it all
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  48. #48
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    if youre only climbing, cause you like to go downhill, get an enduro bike

    if youre only going downhill, cause you like to climb, get a trail bike

    if you like both, take up golf

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by @Ride@ View Post
    is your setup too soft? I think you could keep the travel in line by increasing pressures, no? I don't ever plan on having more than 130mm travel that my EX8 has. If i'm pounding it hard and bottoming it out, to me, at least, that means my shock pressures need to be higher. It doesn't mean I need a tougher bike with more suspension.

    A tougher bike would be only if I'm damaging the frame and cracking it up. More suspension would be if I was a glutton for wasting my energy pedaling or something.
    Riding in western Washington the Dawg was setup soft enough to absorb trail chatter while not compressing harshly. Enough to stick to the trail when corners got fast, tight and bumpy. The bike didn't wallow, it rode well fast & active. I use a lot of body english while weaving through the trees. Getting ready to corner; a hard shoulder initiated lean right after buzzing a tree is a blast. This bike ate up those corners.

    Suspension was 04 Marz Z1 freeride (coil w/ proper oil height) & an Fox RP23 w/ a medium spacer in back. 2.4 hans dampfs.

    The issue was never in the corners or bumps. It could handle everything. Fast drops & hits, rock gardens etc are great. But I could feel the bike hitting it's limits on big stuff. Never a harsh bottom, but a bottom none the less.

    Prior to the 130mm Z1 front I had a '10 160mm Marz 55 on it. This fork ate up everything ... EVERYTHING, but it raised the BB so high that it got twitchy in corners and I felt too on high on the bike. Almost never bashed a pedal or bash guard though.

    2.5 years ago I began looking for a Yeti sb66 or Ibis Mojo hd frame to build up, found an amazing deal on the HD and here we are... I've got a bike that climbs SO much better than the Dawg ever did/could. And this is with Propedal on the Dawg & a coil shock on the HD w/out climb switch. The bike eats up climbs like a goat. On the trail it feels faster & more confident, always suspension to spare but still flickable and agile. On the steeper stuff the bike stays more composed when jammed into pocket corners and over roots & rocks. On the big stuff, I've done 1 14' to a transition once, and it had no issues. No harsh bottom, quite smooth considering I was following a local & had only rolled it a few times years prior myself. My eyes were wide open to experience it's poise.

    I've only gently bottomed once when I flew into the face of a jump 15 feet away from the lip I jumped from. That almost buckled my wrists. But the Ibis let me down gently enough considering. On the Dawg it would have been a bad mistake, would have folded me onto the bike, on the face of a jump, not great with no full face or chest protection.

    That's when it became clear... The upgrade was worth it. (Assuming the enduro bike you choose excels in what you like/want to ride IE good, climber, jumper, descender & the head tube angle makes sense for you, & how you ride )

    The process 153 descends as well if not better than the Ibis but doesn't climb nearly as well. I've only ridden it less than 10 times since building it, half "enduro" rides, half on a mild DH course. This is the bike that kicked the Dawg from the backup bike spot. It was a smoking deal otherwise the Dawg would still be around.

    The HD isn't perfect though, geometry wise it's a bit old school. Seat tube is too high by an inch at least, it does feel cramped going down near vert. Although that's very rare 1-2 times a year & could be one of the reasons I feel a bit cramped.

    <The Dawg was upgraded to an 85mm stem & 750 bars right after the below pic, before the Z1 130mm.>
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails When do you go with an enduro over a trail bike?-kona-dawg.jpg  

    When do you go with an enduro over a trail bike?-works-1.5-angleset-installed-1.jpg  

    When do you go with an enduro over a trail bike?-img_20170825_155456_01.jpg  

    Last edited by eshew; 10-16-2017 at 12:15 AM.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    All that said, if you're well north of 6' and 200lbs and hitting >4' drops to flat you're gonna break stuff, including enduro bikes, if you don't set them up for that.
    This. You're decidedly in "clyde" territory, and 4ft to flat isn't a small task for an average trail bike. Make sure whatever you buy is burly and keep usin your same BMX skills hucking to flat or you'll likely be breaking stuff.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by car_nut View Post
    This. You're decidedly in "clyde" territory, and 4ft to flat isn't a small task for an average trail bike. Make sure whatever you buy is burly and keep usin your same BMX skills hucking to flat or you'll likely be breaking stuff.
    That was part of my concern; especially considering how easily I broke stuff on my bmx.

  52. #52
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    A good chunk of the rides I go on are on trails used in the enduro world series so therefore I ride a giant reign

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  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by EricTheDood View Post
    Can you post photos of said features?
    When do you go with an enduro over a trail bike?-20171016_165647_50.jpg

    Sorry for the quality. The camera phone flattens it out of course. It's doable on a HT but feels like I'm about to OTB any second.

  54. #54
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    If it's so steep on the climb I have to carry my ****ing bike on my back alpine-climber style, I want an enduro bike for the downhill.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    That was part of my concern; especially considering how easily I broke stuff on my bmx.
    Totally understand. I'm roughly your size and i carry it easily. Loads/impacts that are no big deal to me break equipment. It's annoying. Seems like the best/easiest preventative measures are to run wtb tough, specialized grid, maxxis doubledown (etc... enduro, 1.5 ply, 1000g+) tires and to set suspension up for your weight, then use air spring volume reducers to ensure you never bottom out on a normal ride.

    There aren't many athletic, skilled 220lb riders out there, so it's hard to get good information. I mostly ignore what people say on forums.




    As far as trailbike/enduro durability- although enduro bikes are 'more durable' they allow the rider to make bigger mistakes and hit obstacles faster. Their durability is in proportion to their capability.
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  56. #56
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    "That's too much bike for _____"

    I've always laughed when I've heard this over the years. On the contrary I have always preferred having more bike than I "needed" than not enough. Basically, I never want to feel limited by the bike. The best bikes I've had all possessed that devil on my shoulder whispering "Eff it, you got this". My current bike has 160mm of travel front and rear, 29er wheels and weighs 31.5 lbs. I've ridden it on local XC rides, in bike parks down double blacks (at Trestle in fact), on all day N GA/W NC/E TN epics, and all day crushers in Moab. It was great on all of them. Great for me at least. I am fine with the fact that I will never be able to "out ride" this bike. Party.

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    Good points. I want to make sure I have enough bike to handle the gnarlier stuff well since I already have a bike that covers XC and non-crazy trail duty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HELLBELLY View Post
    I've always laughed when I've heard this over the years. On the contrary I have always preferred having more bike than I "needed" than not enough. Basically, I never want to feel limited by the bike. The best bikes I've had all possessed that devil on my shoulder whispering "Eff it, you got this". Party.

    You guys are correct about it, but I have another take. I weigh <160lb kitted up, and been on an over-built (read heavy) Trail bike for nearly 3yrs. Love it and agree with your sentiments on feeling confident. However I live near (therefore ride 99.9% of my time) kinda tame trails, and have demoed and loved a few light-duty Trail bikes like C-dale Habit and Scott Spark. Those bikes rail and change lines so well, I love that characteristic lighter 120mm bikes have. Yes we here in SoFla have some 3-4ft drops, and my Kona Process 134 soaks that up along with mistakes I may make on tamer features, and I love that confidence too. I'm not changing bikes soon, but I know the next one will be built less All Mtn and more XC.
    What a life!
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  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim c View Post
    I'm not changing bikes soon, but I know the next one will be..
    Change? Don't you mean additional?

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    I don't understand why everybody obsesses over 2 lbs of bike weight. Your own body weight fluctuates over 5 lbs every day...

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    Neat thread.

    Here is a very important part of the equation that is often missed...

    You are going to spend way more time on a ride going up. So, a lot of what defines what bike is best is not the down hill, but rather what type of climb it takes to get to the dh.

    Of course we all love the downs, who doesn't.


    IMO...

    Enduro =
    Not fun on the ups. Made for going "race pace" speed on the downs - not playfully picking through features. Longer travel is mostly needed if you want to hit the chunk _fast_. Enduro bikes are generally designed to go fast for racing, down. If you have a one hour long slog up a dirt road to the top of the mountain, then bomb back down at race pace - to me, that is where and enduro bike comes in. If you've got a lift, get a dh bike.

    Trail/AM=
    Fun on the ups and downs. If your trail that goes up is techy, challenging single track then to me, that is trail/AM bike territory. Face it, to go down, you must go up. And, you are going to spend a lot more time and energy going up.


    If you got lift assist, then that's DH bike territory. Right now I ride a full bore DH rig and an AM/trail bike. My AM bike is a bit downsized from my last AM rig, and having a lot more fun overall.


    Too many riders are "overbiked", but zealously defend it to themselves. It's ok, we've all been overbiked at one point. It's something we all go through. Ride with an overbiked dude. He's missing every other tech climb unless he "rests up" before hitting it. He is slow on the flats. After waiting for him at the top for several minutes he needs a break. Worst of all he can't charge the downhill because his motor is shot. At the bottom, the guy on the nimble AM/trail bike is ready to do it all over again while Mr. Overbike can't bear the thought of having to pedal up again, so he goes home. If you ride a big bike and can still hang on the techy ups, then you got horsepower, and you ain't overbiked.

  62. #62
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    My bike has the Fox 160/140 Talas fork. I leave it lowered in the 140 setting most of the time. But there are a few trails I ride where I'll expand it to the full 160 travel. Those trails are steep and chunky; flagged as black diamond trails. Otherwise I feel like my bike is faster on the smoother trails with less travel.

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    When do you go with an enduro over a trail bike?

    I️ think itís all relative. Iím a 220lb guy, I️ regularly ride a plus hardtail with 130mm fork on my local singletracks, lots of short steep climbs and quick downhills, lots of roots and no rocks. Iíve ridden it at bentonville with no problem. Iím currently in the market for a full sus. I️ have gone through the same thing most of you are discussing here. Enduro or trail? Less travel more travel etc etc. I️ went to crested butte this summer and rented a bike. It was my first time in a bike park. So I️ rented from the first place I️ came to. They rented me a transition scout (2017). Many would say that would be underbiked for bike park. There were a couple of trails the extra travel would have been welcome, but overall I️ had a blast. I️ hit jumps, popped off some stuff, charged the berms and smiled all day. I️ even hit a Black because I️ dropped a pack under the lift, it was surprisingly capable down a pretty tech trail. So my takeaway was basically a modern trailbike can handle that kind of stuff, it didnít break I️ hit jumps etc no prob. Next time around Iíll go for the full on dh bike just because Iíve never ridden one. If that was my primary riding a full on dh rig or enduro bike would be my primary. For me my normal trails, and any I️ may travel to within a couple hours, the scout would be perfect for. I️ think that from where Iím sitting the trail bikes they build now are extremely capable and well built and to some degree I️ think itís splitting hairs. As for the scout this year with 150mm front and 130 rear itís starting to slide into enduro territory. Just my opinion.


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  64. #64
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    Theres only two times when its ever appropriate to change over to an enduro bike.

    1: you're racing enduro.

    2: you want to ride an enduro bike.

    If you're totally into golf or something, dont buy an enduro bike. Buy golf clubs. Otherwise, sure go for it.

    I use my 160mm travel bike for a ton of XC riding. I've owned XC bikes in the past. And trail bikes. Now im doing it on a 160mm bike. I'm still having fun. Next season I think ill try another mid travel ~130mm bike, just because.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post

    Too many riders are "overbiked", but zealously defend it to themselves.
    That's why I was trying to phrase the question in a way to find out in what conditions (with examples) riding an enduro is not 'overbiked'. I guess the better question would have been, what terrain/features do you feel a trail bike is beginning make you 'underbiked'?

    I asked for examples because I realize people's opinion of gnarly terrain varies wildly.

    If you have a one hour long slog up a dirt road to the top of the mountain, then bomb back down at race pace - to me, that is where and enduro bike comes in. ...
    If your trail that goes up is techy, challenging single track then to me, that is trail/AM bike territory.
    That part makes sense to me but I wasn't sure if there's a point certain features (big drops, rocky descents, etc) are a bad idea on a trail bike. I think I asked the wrong question. I should have asked....

    At what level of terrain/features do you feel unsafe on a trail bike?

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    That's why I was trying to phrase the question in a way to find out in what conditions (with examples) riding an enduro is not 'overbiked'. I guess the better question would have been, what terrain/features do you feel a trail bike is beginning make you 'underbiked'?

    I asked for examples because I realize people's opinion of gnarly terrain varies wildly.



    That part makes sense to me but I wasn't sure if there's a point certain features (big drops, rocky descents, etc) are a bad idea on a trail bike. I think I asked the wrong question. I should have asked....

    At what level of terrain/features do you feel unsafe on a trail bike?
    Some times you might want to look into more of a niche bike. There are bikes that are built tough with bigher bering and pivots. But may not be as long travel or wheel base. Geo and travel put them into trail bike category but they can handle more.

  67. #67
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    If I'm riding a trail where my arms will be close to full extension/lock out & my kahones will be buzzed by the rear tyre and/or my fillings may get rattled out of my head, I'll defer to my Enduro steed ^^

    Anything else & I'll take my trail mule (aka AM HT)...

    Jumps/drops?? I'll do both on either bike, depending on my personal Chicken Factor for that particular ride/day.

    Jumps 10-12 feet length ways, 5-6 feet height ways.

    Drops 3-5 feet.. drops are my Kryptonite o_0

    Not too many drops on my local trails, so not a lot of practice to be had.

    Comfort comes into it also...

    If I'm more in the mood for a cushioned experience, then 160mm it is. If I'm up for a more engaging ride, AM HT :FTW:

    N+1 is awesome!!

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    If a skilled rider can navigate the terrain with an XC bike then a trail bike is all you need. If a skilled rider would be foolish to do it on an XC bike then get an enduro bike. I think the best way to put is if your brave enough to do it on your current bike then you don't need an enduro bike. An enduro bike is at home on the edge of your seat trail bike ride and a trail bike is at home on an edge of your seat xc ride. Bikes aren't designed to be dropped 5 feet onto flat. If your doing 4.5 feet to flat than your likely riding sections that aren't part of the trail and may want to talk with the people who manage the trail about grooming a spot to drop. Look up dirt jump bike videos and it will show you how your supposed to be landing.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    That's why I was trying to phrase the question in a way to find out in what conditions (with examples) riding an enduro is not 'overbiked'. I guess the better question would have been, what terrain/features do you feel a trail bike is beginning make you 'underbiked'?

    I asked for examples because I realize people's opinion of gnarly terrain varies wildly.



    That part makes sense to me but I wasn't sure if there's a point certain features (big drops, rocky descents, etc) are a bad idea on a trail bike. I think I asked the wrong question. I should have asked....

    At what level of terrain/features do you feel unsafe on a trail bike?



    Many ways to answer that but the simplest way....

    If you are afraid to let go of the brakes most of the way down the hill, get a bigger bike, more skills, or a bigger set of balls.

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    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    If I'm riding a trail where my arms will be close to full extension/lock out & my kahones will be buzzed by the rear tyre and/or my fillings may get rattled out of my head, I'll defer to my Enduro steed ^^
    That actually sounds like a good description of being under biked.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by party_wagon View Post
    If your doing 4.5 feet to flat than your likely riding sections that aren't part of the trail and may want to talk with the people who manage the trail about grooming a spot to drop. Look up dirt jump bike videos and it will show you how your supposed to be landing.
    They're wooden features (and smaller dirt ones) built directly on the trail by the main trail builder. I rode bmx, the technique is no problem, I'm just worried about the bike.

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    Only reason I have gone to a Enduro bike is I like to do Enduro races and scream down the whole enchilada along with plans of improving my skills with trips to bike parks next year. My trail bike with some beefy tires (Devinci Django) is super fun down and doesnít wear me out on the climbs. If I didnít plan to race next season or go to parks I would keep my trail bike as my only bike.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    If you are afraid to let go of the brakes most of the way down the hill, get a bigger bike, more skills, or a bigger set of balls.
    heh-heh
    Sounds spot on to me!
    oops I wasn't clipped in

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by INF216 View Post
    If I didnít plan to race next season or go to parks I would keep my trail bike as my only bike.
    Part of the reason I'm considering an enduro is I already have a bike with 'slack (67* HTA) trail' geometry...but it's a hardtail.

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    Iíve seen guys with minions on their trail bikes. Why? If youíre running minions, a dh tire that doesnít roll well on a trail bike what exactly are you gaining with the shorter travel?

    What does a trail bike do that a good ďenduroĒ bike like a firebird or a Mach 6 or a tantrum etc doesnít do?

    I think most people ride a trail bike with fast, reasonable tires. And then ride an enduro bike with slow, grippy, heavy dh tires and then conclude that trail bikes are much more zippy and nippy on single track, when really the extra pound (or two!) of rotating unsprung mass and 50w+ of rolling resistance is what made the biggest difference.

    Ride what bike makes you happy and you enjoy, but keep in mind tires make a massive difference and can basically transform bikes. A 1200g enduro tire with 50w of rolling resistance is much much different to ride than a 500g XC tire with 23w of rolling resistance. Itís easy to swap tires.

  76. #76
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    Not all minions are DH tires, and low rolling resistance is great until you washout in a corner.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

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    Yup. I run Minions on my Nomad, and Minions on my hardtail. I don't ever fret about tire choice anymore like I used to. Just Minion DHR front and rear all the time.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by litany View Post
    Iíve seen guys with minions on their trail bikes. Why? If youíre running minions, a dh tire that doesnít roll well on a trail bike what exactly are you gaining with the shorter travel?

    What does a trail bike do that a good ďenduroĒ bike like a firebird or a Mach 6 or a tantrum etc doesnít do?

    I think most people ride a trail bike with fast, reasonable tires. And then ride an enduro bike with slow, grippy, heavy dh tires and then conclude that trail bikes are much more zippy and nippy on single track, when really the extra pound (or two!) of rotating unsprung mass and 50w+ of rolling resistance is what made the biggest difference.

    Ride what bike makes you happy and you enjoy, but keep in mind tires make a massive difference and can basically transform bikes. A 1200g enduro tire with 50w of rolling resistance is much much different to ride than a 500g XC tire with 23w of rolling resistance. Itís easy to swap tires.
    They make trail versions of the minions, this is probably what you see. The high speed corners, slick roots, roots and now leaves. Not going to happen on icons and ardents

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by litany View Post
    What does a trail bike do that a good ďenduroĒ bike like a firebird or a Mach 6 or a tantrum etc doesnít do?
    Ever climb something so steep that it feels like theres half an ounce of weight on your front tire? Where you're leaned over, elbows down, getting super low just to keep from lifting the front end?

    ... thats what trail bikes do better than enduro/AM bikes. Its waaaaay easier to climb that with a lower front end.

    If you really only ride smooth flow trails, I think shorter travel bikes are a lot more fun. If your trails are flatter overall, standing and mashing is more fun with less travel too.

    Im riding your scenario. Im on a reign, but with KOM rims and trail bike tires. Its fun to ride, but it doesnt change the tall front end and necessary body english to climb with a tall fork.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    They make trail versions of the minions, this is probably what you see. The high speed corners, slick roots, roots and now leaves. Not going to happen on icons and ardents
    Funny. I was ripping past over-biked, over-tired, under-skilled people on my XC tires (Vittoria Mezcal) in Moab all weekend.

    Occasionally I'd pause at intersections to take pictures and confirm my location/route. Observe the bikes/tires. Yep, lots of people on Minions and 140-160mm bikes who can't clean XC trails like Bull Run.

    I'm not ever going to be confused for a DH pro, either.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
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  81. #81
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    Running a XC type tire say a ardent would put my life in jeopardy unless I went snell pace where I live. So basically it comes down to where you ride the most.

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post

    Im riding your scenario. Im on a reign, but with KOM rims and trail bike tires. Its fun to ride, but it doesnt change the tall front end and necessary body english to climb with a tall fork.
    My scenario?

    Besides keeping the front down, how is it effeciency wise? Does it feel like the weight or suspension is bogging you down?

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Ever climb something so steep that it feels like theres half an ounce of weight on your front tire? Where you're leaned over, elbows down, getting super low just to keep from lifting the front end?

    If you really only ride smooth flow trails, I think shorter travel bikes are a lot more fun. If your trails are flatter overall, standing and mashing is more fun with less travel too.
    I wish we had smooth flow trails here, they are so much fun! The closest thing I know of has huge braking bumps everywhere, like almost bikepark sized. It used to make my feet hurt going down that trail until I got my shoes and such sorted out better. Some sweet berms and jumps though.

    I ride steep climbs all the time--I live in Laguna. We don't have many switchbacks here so we have >30% sections on nearly every climb I do. I know all about the body english and a light front end. When I bought my first FS bike I got a SC Blur LT with a Talas fork. The talas was the BEST because it really helped make those super steep bits so much easier. That bike loved to sag into its suspension super far going uphill, like 50% or something.

    The newer bikes with the more refined suspension and steeper seat tube angles really help with that. I haven't really had a problem on pretty much any bike I've demoed recently. Trek Fuel Ex, Rocky Mountain Slayer, Pivot Switchblade, 429sl, 429 trail, Tantrums, Scott Spark, etc. I'm not an expert, and I haven't ridden everything though. The last time I rode a Reign was when I rented one at Northstar a few years back.

    I'm not really sure what you mean about the front end being much higher on the enduro bikes. The new ones are actually pretty low. Look at the firebird: 23.78" stack vs the 429 Trail's 24.59" stack. The firebird has less stack! It's the same thing with the reign vs the trance. It's just not something I've really noticed.

    Slam that stem!

    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Funny. I was ripping past over-biked, over-tired, under-skilled people on my XC tires (Vittoria Mezcal) in Moab all weekend.

    I'm not ever going to be confused for a DH pro, either.
    There are plenty of spandex warriors out there who can smoke most enduro bros. I got behind a couple yesterday who at the drop in put their seatposts down and LOOKED like they were sprinting--it was more like play acting or something. They barely accelerated, it was hilarious.

    Moab has insane grip. I love it, that's like the best thing about Moab. There's also not a whole lot of sand or soil on most trails--I don't think big knobs really help on rock slabs. XC tires are pretty well suited there imo.

    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    Not all minions are DH tires, and low rolling resistance is great until you washout in a corner.
    If you can't get your tires to slide anymore then maybe they have too much rolling resistance for you to go fast? I mean seriously, it actually can be a problem. Sometimes its just a trade off where you NEED the extra grip for the steep DH stuff but it kind of ruins the flatter, faster singletrack where you could actually go faster and push harder through the corners on a more xc/trail tire. It's just a balancing act. My point was if you're prioritizing that downhill part of the ride anyway, then wouldn't the slacker, longer, squishier bike be better too?

    If a trail bike is more fun then for sure, ride a trail bike but I don't believe a whole lot in the over biking thing. Most of the time when I ride a trail bike I think, "this is great, but it would be even BETTER if it was squishier!" One thing I really enjoy is smashing through bumpy singletrack. We have a few trails and races here where there are some flatter singletracks that are quite bumpy. Guys on hardtails almost always struggle but the longer travel bikes make it soooo much easier for me to pedal through rougher stuff. I remember one race where a guy who I beat the week before showed up on a brand new FS bike--he said he got it because he couldn't keep up through the rough part of the track where other guys were able to pedal.

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by litany View Post
    We have a few trails and races here where there are some flatter singletracks that are quite bumpy. Guys on hardtails almost always struggle but the longer travel bikes make it soooo much easier for me to pedal through rougher stuff.
    There's a couple places I ride that are so bumpy I find myself standing or just lifting slightly off the saddle even on the flat sections just to give my ass a break. I realized that was costing me energy.

    Quote Originally Posted by litany View Post
    If you can't get your tires to slide anymore then maybe they have too much rolling resistance for you to go fast?
    I had my DHF in the front wash out on me a week ago coming out of a dh run on some damp leaves on a smooth turn. It just gently slid out from under me. Softest "crash" ever. Thankfully I didn't hit a tree, been a different story then.

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Funny. I was ripping past over-biked, over-tired, under-skilled people on my XC tires (Vittoria Mezcal) in Moab all weekend.

    Occasionally I'd pause at intersections to take pictures and confirm my location/route. Observe the bikes/tires. Yep, lots of people on Minions and 140-160mm bikes who can't clean XC trails like Bull Run.

    I'm not ever going to be confused for a DH pro, either.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

    You're talking about riding in the exact opposite of what I was talking about. Costal wet mountains require different tires than riding on giant rocks. With some sand. You can get away with lighter tiers. If you're carful with line choice. Some people like to not worry about ripping a tire on a rock and the extra weight is worth it.

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by PUNKY View Post
    Never go full Enduro
    When do you go with an enduro over a trail bike?-alg-robertdowneyjr-jpg-1-.jpg

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by abelfonseca View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	alg-robertdowneyjr-jpg (1).jpg 
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    This guy went all the way!
    Thanks for reminding me of that ****ing funny movie.
    oops I wasn't clipped in

  88. #88
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    this question always bugs me when i was riding an xc bike. trail or enduro, that is a 5thousand dollar question. so i bought a bike with a 130mm rear travel and 160mm fork. problem solved. business at the back, party up front. lol.

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    When do you go with an enduro over a trail bike?

    I think depends on the bike, my Mojo HD4 160/153mm climbs better that my previous SC Hightower 150/130mm. I do 15í+ drops on HD4, while I would not attempt that on Hightower. (Also HD4 has better suspension, Fox DH2/ Fox 36, vs Hightower Monarch/Pike).


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    Quote Originally Posted by BojanMikic View Post
    I think depends on the bike, my Mojo HD4 160/153mm climbs better that my previous SC Hightower 150/130mm.
    My understanding is that geometry is what mainly determines climbing ability. I wouldn't think 10-20mm of travel would make a massive difference.

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    My understanding is that geometry is what mainly determines climbing ability. I wouldn't think 10-20mm of travel would make a massive difference.
    Geometry and suspension design effect climbing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    My understanding is that geometry is what mainly determines climbing ability. I wouldn't think 10-20mm of travel would make a massive difference.
    Itís with the design(geo) of the frame, since Ibis makes progressive frames it stays higher in the travel and it climbs great!


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