Enduro envy (racing)
yup, i spent way to much time reading/watching Enduro racing...... now all i can think about is how fun it looks and how cool the spirit of the whole thing seems!!!
my problem is the bike, i have and love my Epic Comp 29er and just dont think it has enough travel/not slack enough for the demands of Enduro racing? I know, just buy another bike, well not sure how thats going to happen unless i sell a body part on the black market.......
who out there has some experience with doing some Enduro racing on an XC bike?
thanks in advance
This wont be the most popular advice, but here it is.
"XC" bikes used to be all there was. No trail, all mountain, "enduro", etc.
An "XC" bike is a whole hell of a lot stronger than most think.
I guarantee you that about 95% of all riders have more travel than riding skills.
I've beaten guys downhill and uphill on my SS 100mm hardtail. A race is won on skill, not the bike.
So if you want to do an enduro race, go for it. Don't let the bike stop you. It isn't, nor will it ever be, the limiting factor.
My opinion: go for it. Sure, it's not the ideal enduro bike, but it's the only bike you've got. I don't think you'll kill yourself or your bike. At most you'll just have to ease up on the gas a little in the steepest sections. Hold off on selling body parts until you've got a couple races under your belt.
Well the thing with Enduro racing is that there's no setup set in stone, i have 2 5.5'' bikes ( FS and HT ) and a 4.3'' FS and i use them all in Enduro racing, it all depends on the trail.
I'm actually faster on the 4.3'' FS on some trails, specially if i know or i'm able to scout the terrain first and see where are the fastest lines. In EVERY Enduro race i attend i take both my 5.5'' and 4.3'' and decide which to take after i scout the trail, so yeah, it's perfectly doable.
Something hardcore like Megavalanche might be asking a bit too much but i bet 80% of the trails Enduro races are being held you can do them with a 100mm HT, you might not be the fastest dude there and you might get a bit of a hammering but perfectly doable.
I would focus myself more on the quality and durability of the parts than the amount of travel you've got. Just because Nico or Absalon like to ride with 170mm full sussers doesn't mean everyone needs to use that too, i bet most of use won't be riding like them anyway ;)
Where and what races are you planning to do? There are Enduro races that will favor a FS XC bike and some you might want a 7" travel bike for.
thanks for all of the responses!! I live and race primarily in NJ, but would travel into PA and DE.
i know mountain creek has a series of enduro events and a few other NJ races exist. I love my FS and i am coming off of being a die-hard HT guy!! 100mm of travel front and back are all the squish i need for my XC endeavors. i have ordered a dropper post after test riding a bike with one, even with it being about a pound heavier i think it is so practical for XC riding/racing. maybe some pads and a full-face helmet are in order this X-MAS from santa?
maybe beefier wheels and tires specifically for enduro and try and make my bike a dual-purpose macine?
for now finish off my Cyclcoross season (my first true love) and dial everything in over winter!!
I would agree with everyone above... there is nothing worse than a guy on a 9K 26lb 160/170 bike that comes in dead last.
Race what you've got! Bike handling skills always win the day in Enduro, and those oh so valuable skills will benefit every other type of cycling that you do.
I would bump your comment on the full face helmet. I wear really light kit and protection gear to stay cool, but would never race without my full face.
Go for it! It might not be the optimal bike for the purpose, but sure you can do the race and have plenty fun with that too.
One thing to consider is if you have your bike now set up for XC/Marathon type of riding, you might want to try shorter stem & wider bars, makes handling easier on technical and/or fast terrain and thus more enjoyable, while being relatively inexpensive, especially if comparing to buying new bike... :)
I know some guys that are racing enduros on Tallboys, with a 120mm fork. I got a Zaskar 100 9r (100mm F and R) for a couple a rides and was amazed how well it did on the descents. Just put some wide bars and big tires on your Epic and give it a try.