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  1. #1
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    Beginners' Guide to Enduro: Bicycle Setup

    So i was reading this, Beginners' Guide to Enduro: Bicycle Setup - Pinkbike and agree with them on most part but disagree or at least have have a different opinion on some points.

    They use a 160mm setup but i tend to prefer riding a 140mm bike, usually there aren't that many sections where you'll need the 160mm and yes, sometimes i do loose some speed ( and precious seconds ) on those sections but usually i make out the time on the more pedally sections but it's just my style of riding. Not so fast on the downhill sections but i have quite the stamina/endurance to make up for it ( XC background helps on this ). And i'm riding a 650b bike so that helps a bit too.

    About the 1x10 ... well it's all fine and dandy until you're riding in events where there's 1000/1500m of uphill and you've already been racing for a couple of hours, that granny ring sure does come in handy ...

    Other than that i can't find any flaws on their logic. This part of the article pretty muchs sums up everything nicely,

    The right answer to the question "what bike should I bring to race an enduro?" is the one you've got. The point is: come and ride, come and have fun. So if your bike doesn't look like this one, don't let it put you off. Think of this as a guide for someone who is lucky enough to be building up a new bike with enduro in mind, or has some spare cash to upgrade their current setup. There are some limits. For the most part, you need to be ready to pedal the bike. In many of the Italian Superenduro PRO races, riders will tackle more than a thousand meters of climbing per day. If you're happy to do that on your downhill race bike, then you've got our respect already. In France, more than a few people show up to lift-assisted races on their big rigs. It's worth noting, though, that you don't see them on the podium at the end of the weekend. As for the other end of the scale; how light should you go? Enduros are gravity races, not XC races, so you're going to want kit that can take a beating.
    Bit random but i liked how they're running a expensive bike with some SLX's for cranks ... can't fault them for doing so either, i also run SLX cranks on all my bikes ! Light, strong and of course, cheap

    What's your choices ?
    2006 Cannondale Rush 650b
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  2. #2
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    Great article. Currently building a bike for this very purpose of racing my first season of Enduro and Super D. Decided to go with a ~5" travel platform and agree about wanting a faster climber. For what I am planning on racing this good 5" of travel should be very adequate. I agree with you on running a 2X10 since I'd hate to really need that granny and not have it. I went with X0 and some XX for the components. Time will tell if that was a wise choice or not!

    Thanks again, would like to see more of this kind of stuff.

  3. #3
    derp
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    I've been running X0 and X9 for some time and beat the living hell of them, never failed on me, don't know if XX would live through some of the mode demanding courses though, but i've seen a couple DH racers using them so ...

    I even saw one dude with a full 200mm susser riding with a road ( SRAM Red if i rememeber well ) derailleur on his sled I wouldn't do it but he sure was goin fast ...
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  4. #4
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    I agree. I loved the article. On the subject of running a 2x10 as opposed to 1x10, I really think it's a matter of choice. I just got back from being in Spain for about 3 months in a VERY mountainous area. I rode the same bike they posted in the article (though it was a 2011 EVO Enduro Expert) and I found it was the perfect bike for a lot of the terrain I was riding. I did have it set up with a 1x10 setup, which didn't seem to bother me too much, but then I've always been a strong climber. There were only a few times in which, on rides around 5 hours in length, that I'd wished I'd gone for the 2x10 with a granny gear. What I guess I'm getting at is that it's more a matter of choice than what the article said. For some of the fitter guys and gals out there, 1x10 might be fine, but it's not the "standard" they made it out to be.
    I also wasn't all that psyched about what they were saying about "real" enduro being exclusive to Europe. While I haven't done any North American Enduro races, I feel like we've got a great opportunity here in the States to have a great Enduro scene, it's just going to take a little time. Enduro is already what so much of us do without knowing it-just seems like the natural evolution will make it that much bigger here. We'll never have Megavalache Stateside, but then again, not everyone is into that type of thing.
    Anyway, great article and I'm stoked that we've got a dedicated Enduro thread here... Finally!

  5. #5
    derp
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    I also wasn't all that psyched about what they were saying about "real" enduro being exclusive to Europe.
    In their "defense" i don't think they meant that the sport is exclusive to Europe but rather that it's more popular and more experienced in this side of the pond since enduro racing here is a lot "older" than in the US.

    Some of these popular reaces are actually quite "old" and have been raced for years, they are just getting a lot more popular latelly.

    And besides, alhough beeing Euro myself i would LOVE the opportunity to go to Moab !
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  6. #6
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    To me the problem with 1x10 is that it forces you to run a smaller front chainring (or get real fit ). I would give up probably 3 teeth from my 26/39 setup by going to 1x10 (going from 26/39 with 11-36 to 36t with 11-36), effectively like chopping a gear off the top end of the cassette while simultaneously losing the 26t "bailout gear" options. With a good two ring chainguide chain retention is superb, so the downsides to running 2x10 are relatively few in my opinion and I love having that 39t.

    Whatever works for each individual is, as always, best though.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad news View Post
    To me the problem with 1x10 is that it forces you to run a smaller front chainring (or get real fit ). I would give up probably 3 teeth from my 26/39 setup by going to 1x10 (going from 26/39 with 11-36 to 36t with 11-36), effectively like chopping a gear off the top end of the cassette while simultaneously losing the 26t "bailout gear" options. With a good two ring chainguide chain retention is superb, so the downsides to running 2x10 are relatively few in my opinion and I love having that 39t.

    Whatever works for each individual is, as always, best though.
    If you really wanted to simplify gearing,

    Megavalanche Class Won on Hardtail

  8. #8
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    1x10 eliminates the possibility of dropping the chain ever. One of the guys in my riding group rides 1x9 with a 38 up front and 11-34 in the rear and he did 5K of vertical in 21 miles yesterday. He is a sport class rider, but exceptionally strong obviously. It can be done. BTW I am still running 2x10!

  9. #9
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    The sandman bikes with the fat tires also work pretty well for enduro!

    Mountainbike with one leg in Millau - YouTube

  10. #10
    derp
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    The problem i find with that type of bikes is that they're not very flickable, which can be a problem in some courses.
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  11. #11
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    Can you describe flickable?

    off course, every bike has advantages and disadvantages, but these tires help me much more than a few inches of travel!

    Anyway, Martin campoy was 15' in the megavalanche on a sandman, but I guess that in a few years time there will be big tires in the top 10 of such events!

  12. #12
    derp
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    I mean flickable an in easy to throw the bike around, being easy to change lines in a heartbeat etc

    I bet that there are people there who can do it and have the upper strength for it but most people would be a bit overwhelmed, the same as the guy who finished 2º on megavalanche with a hardtail, i *could* do it but i bet my joints would desintegrate as soon as i finished the race
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  13. #13
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    I was using a 2x10 (26,39) at the start of the season and decided to switch to 1x10 on the xo dh crank. I picked up a chain guide from Noah at MRP that will fit up to a 38T ring, and then picked up standard 104bcd 34, 36, and 38T chainrings to fit the courses respectively.

    This was the way to go, it cleaned things up control wise, shed a tiny bit of weight, and simplified things. The best part is that I am a stronger rider now. In my experience, sitting and spinning in an enduro/super-d is just an invitation to get passed by a stronger rider. Granted I still get passed occasionally : )

  14. #14
    derp
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodeoj View Post
    In my experience, sitting and spinning in an enduro/super-d is just an invitation to get passed by a stronger rider. Granted I still get passed occasionally : )
    I don't think anyone uses the granny ring on the timed sections though ....
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by danielsilva View Post
    I don't think anyone uses the granny ring on the timed sections though ....
    Agreed for enduros, but you do come across riders in some super-ds using it.

  16. #16
    derp
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    Dunno, never rode a SuperD before ... don't think i ever came across one before in this side of the pool
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by danielsilva View Post
    In their "defense" i don't think they meant that the sport is exclusive to Europe but rather that it's more popular and more experienced in this side of the pond since enduro racing here is a lot "older" than in the US.

    Some of these popular reaces are actually quite "old" and have been raced for years, they are just getting a lot more popular latelly.

    And besides, alhough beeing Euro myself i would LOVE the opportunity to go to Moab !
    I agree with them 100% actually. Most of the Enduro courses in the US have been somewhat more XC/Trail bike oriented vs. Enduro/DH oriented like they are in Europe. I feel a 140/150mm travel Trail bike like the Remedy, Stumpy EVO, Blur Trc etc are perfect for US Enduro courses. Hell, most are won by XC guys on FS 29'ers just because you can make up so much more time on an uphill rather than down. I think it's a little sad actually.

    I feel a true Enduro stage race should be multiple timed DH level trails with uphills that have to be completed in a given amount of time but do not add to your overall time. The DH level trails make it such that you have to have a bike like Pinkbike described to be competitive but also can't have a DH bike because you wouldn't be able to make the climb in time, unless you're a beast.

    It seems US bike companies are trending towards the US style of Enduro with lighter weight 150/160mm travel bikes that used to be more hardcore in the past, the new Specialized Enduro for example, and the new 34 forks from Fox that seem to be pushing the 36 out. These setups are tempting because you get the same travel as before but the bikes pedal better and more importantly climb better with a more poppy overall feeling. The downside is they don't shred the DH trails or jumps as well.

    Hopefully US style events will more closely resemble the Europe style and benefit the riders with true all around performance rather than XC fitness.

  18. #18
    derp
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedsterR View Post
    I feel a true Enduro stage race should be multiple timed DH level trails with uphills that have to be completed in a given amount of time but do not add to your overall time. The DH level trails make it such that you have to have a bike like Pinkbike described to be competitive but also can't have a DH bike because you wouldn't be able to make the climb in time, unless you're a beast.

    It seems US bike companies are trending towards the US style of Enduro with lighter weight 150/160mm travel bikes that used to be more hardcore in the past, the new Specialized Enduro for example, and the new 34 forks from Fox that seem to be pushing the 36 out. These setups are tempting because you get the same travel as before but the bikes pedal better and more importantly climb better with a more poppy overall feeling. The downside is they don't shred the DH trails or jumps as well.
    Careful though, although most Euro Enduro are pretty technical you won't be doing them with 180mm trail shredding pigs ( ok you can do them, just like you can do it with a trail bike, you probably just won't the fastest guy ).

    Some of these are >50km long with quite a lot of uphill ( sometimes > 1500m ) and while you would shred the timed sections you would end up completely busted for the upcoming sections. It's all fun and dandy doing jumps and stuff but when you're racing you want to be the fastest as you can and not show how flashy you look to your bros.

    If you come to an Euro Enduro race you'll be seeing a LOT of variance in setups between the riders and even between each course. I think Dan Atherton puts it pretty well,

    I think as far as enduro goes as a sport it's very young, and it hasn't kind of identified itself yet. When people race downhill you really know what the fastest products are on the market, and you really know how to set your bike up. But with enduro all the races are different... and with that comes a massive range of bike setups. Some races you'll be running single ply tires and another race you'll be running full on downhill tires. It really does depend on the track and the riders preferences.
    ... that comes from the fact that enduro pretty much is a downhill race, but you have to ride to the top.
    Some - lucky - people will have the means to have multiple bikes or multiple parts to adjust themselves to each course but most aren't that lucky and must race with the same bike regardless. Now it comes down to personal preference/choice, do you build a lightweight bike around 140~160mm and loose in the most technical/downhill stages/courses or build a more burly bike around 150~170mm and rush the downhills while loosing a bit on the more flowy courses ?

    To me, this is he beauty of Enduro.
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  19. #19
    No known cure
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    140 rear, 150 front. Both coil 'n oil. 36 X 10spd
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  20. #20
    Dude, got any schwag?
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    Still rockin' the TRIPLE. None of your 1x or 2x systems can compete with my 44 x 11 on the wide open sections!
    Billy

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    ... Shredtopia!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by danielsilva View Post
    I mean flickable an in easy to throw the bike around, being easy to change lines in a heartbeat etc

    I bet that there are people there who can do it and have the upper strength for it but most people would be a bit overwhelmed, the same as the guy who finished 2º on megavalanche with a hardtail, i *could* do it but i bet my joints would desintegrate as soon as i finished the race
    At speed even a 200 kg motorcycle is flickable....
    Big bars, like on all 29'ers, make it work.

    Handling is pretty ok, only really short turns go more fluent with my 29'er (wheelbase is pretty long).

    In the climbs the weight counts!!!
    Rockgardens are like riding concrete
    But, if you land on flat you have to work your legs as you only have the travel of the tire in the rear

  22. #22
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    I've been running 1x10 setup using a 34T front ring and 11-36 cassette. I like this setup because it simple to use, faster to shift gears and no chain drop even riding the most aggressive enduro downhill track in Australia. However when I 1st used the 1x10 setup I admitted I was struggling during steep long climb. I managed to improved my leg strength and endurance by working out in the gym.

  23. #23
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    good day! i need help!!!! what fork or how long the travel of the fork should i use for setting up an enduro bike(more DH)?? i have a haro xeon bike frame, has a 160mm of rear travel, about 6.3 inches... the haro xeon built bike came with a 140mm fork in their website, IMO a little less for enduro... i can only afford for a sr suntour duro 160mm or a rockshox domain 160-180mm... are these good forks? would it be advisable to use them for my frame or would it change the geometry drastically that it would be unsafe to ride the bike. thanks!!! cheers!!!

  24. #24
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    What 29er tires do you recommend for enduro use?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by rave81 View Post
    What 29er tires do you recommend for enduro use?
    Depends on the course. Fast and smooth, rough and rocky, wet, etc…

    Most of the season I've been using Specialized Butchers on the front and the Maxxis DHR II on the rear. If it's loose and dusty, but not too rocky I like Butchers F/R. I've had good luck with the Minion DHFs, though they are heavy. Good for park type riding.

    Looking at the specialized Ground Control Grid/UST for a rear right now.

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