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  1. #1
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    Is Enduro racing just staged DH?

    I watched all the Winter Park Enduro videos on the main page of this site last night. Before that, I'd never paid any attention to Enduro but assumed it was a multi-stage mix of XC and downhill on one bike.

    Sounds like a cool format.

    But watching the video last night, I saw some things that surprised me. First, Enduro seems to be 90-10 split between downhill and XC. I assumed it was closer to 50-50.

    Second, the riders seemed to complain a lot about the course being more "pedally" than they are used to. So a race that looked to be 90-10 DH-XC also appears to be abnormally skewed to XC. So is a standard enduro race more like 95-5? Some of the pictures of the guys climbing were a bit laughable so I'm guessing climbing isn't a big part of their training.

    If the latter is true, what makes Enduro different from DH?
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    I watched all the Winter Park Enduro videos on the main page of this site last night. Before that, I'd never paid any attention to Enduro but assumed it was a multi-stage mix of XC and downhill on one bike.

    Sounds like a cool format.

    But watching the video last night, I saw some things that surprised me. First, Enduro seems to be 90-10 split between downhill and XC. I assumed it was closer to 50-50.

    Second, the riders seemed to complain a lot about the course being more "pedally" than they are used to. So a race that looked to be 90-10 DH-XC also appears to be abnormally skewed to XC. So is a standard enduro race more like 95-5? Some of the pictures of the guys climbing were a bit laughable so I'm guessing climbing isn't a big part of their training.

    If the latter is true, what makes Enduro different from DH?
    The bigger question is "what is enduro"?

    One of the alleged "first enduro events" (there are several) was an endurance DH event - basically many runs with a combined time vs a single run. That's one possible definition.

    Another definition (which I prefer), is that enduro is DH racing with multiple runs where you need to climb to the top of each descent. This mimics what many riders do already - race each other down their local trails (no one in my group has raced each other UP a trail since the 90s). This format keeps us using the bikes most of us ride on our local trails, and it introduces a fatigue/recovery factor to racing that also mimics what happens on many people's normal rides. My weekend route has two steep 1200 foot climbs and an 800 foot climb, with three single track descents. How fast I push on each trail is affected by the length of the overall ride, and I don't consider that loop super strenuous.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    I watched all the Winter Park Enduro videos on the main page of this site last night.

    Winter Park is only one stop in the BME series, there are two more to go yet - and those courses are much different. I'd say also look at some videos or coverage from the EWS races too, might shed a little more light on the format.

    Gurp hits it pretty on the mark, this is also a good summary/history of Enduro: Beginners Guide to Enduro: What the hell is it? - Pinkbike

    This mini interview also sums it pretty well from a racer's perspective:




    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    If the latter is true, what makes Enduro different from DH?
    If they were just staged DH races, everyone would be riding DH bikes, and the stages would be over in about 4-6 minutes. In contrast, Enduro stages take from 15-30 minutes to complete, and the courses are such that riding a DH bike would be distinct disadvantage.
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  4. #4
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    I've seen many events where it is pretty legit DH type trails. the only reason people arent on DH bikes is you have a time limit to complete the circuit, and there is no way your climb 3000-6000ft on a DH bike within the time limit. The Events i've done have between 6 and 25 minute stages, with total times in the 35-50 minute range over 3-5 stages.
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  5. #5
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    I've never done an enduro race but it sounds pretty cool. Personally, I think a race that's 50/50 downhill and XC would be fun too. Although it doesn't sound like that kind of race exists.
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  6. #6
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    I think your perspective is a bit skewed OP, since most filmed coverage will be of the knarlier section, i.e. the steep DH sections and not of all the "pedally" bits, I think this last round had a good lot of pedaling and even climbing within the tracks. It is best summed up though I think as doing DH on a Trail-AM type bike.

    If you check out Jerome Clementz Cdale on I think Bike Rumor you'll see he has dual stage rear suspension (90/150) hooked up to a twist shifter he says he uses a lot, so to me this tells me there's a lot of areas where efficiency is needed, i.e. pedally sections.

    Personally I think this series is great, would just like to see the climbs actually timed shorter so riders would have to work on their fitness and climbing ability and also maybe think even more about bike setup that is more that way inclined. It definitely is the type of race most riders can relate to as already said, very similar to what everyone does on their avg Jo rides.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    I think your perspective is a bit skewed OP, since most filmed coverage will be of the knarlier section, i.e. the steep DH sections and not of all the "pedally" bits, I think this last round had a good lot of pedaling and even climbing within the tracks. It is best summed up though I think as doing DH on a Trail-AM type bike.

    If you check out Jerome Clementz Cdale on I think Bike Rumor you'll see he has dual stage rear suspension (90/150) hooked up to a twist shifter he says he uses a lot, so to me this tells me there's a lot of areas where efficiency is needed, i.e. pedally sections.

    Personally I think this series is great, would just like to see the climbs actually timed shorter so riders would have to work on their fitness and climbing ability and also maybe think even more about bike setup that is more that way inclined. It definitely is the type of race most riders can relate to as already said, very similar to what everyone does on their avg Jo rides.
    Are you insinuating that the racers are not somehow "fit"? Having to train for the transition stages sort of defeats the purpose of the race - don't you think? The people racing these events are quite fit, those that are competitive are probably as fit as can be... I guess I miss your point.

    I'd say that with people like Jerome Clementz riding a bike that switches between 90/150, people are thinking very hard about their bike choice.
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  8. #8
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    The better bike handlers amongst the WC XC crowd could jump on a 150mm bike and compete for a top 10 at an EWS race. Schurter, Naef, Absalon, Fumic, Fontana, Kabush, etc.

    The other way around? Not so much. Not even close.

    Very fit, yes, but not like the guys I named.

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    I would agree with that, makes total sense.

    Throw timed climbs in there, and the XC guys (and gals) will do even better. Have to admit, I don't know a lot WC XC racers - but I do think a couple of the female racers are doing pretty well, at least in EWS.
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  10. #10
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    Come on Dude, seriously, as Le Duke said, compared to a Pro XC racer, not even close to fit I watch video of them slogging up those climbs like their 25% gradient, when in fact they're just stuff that most ride every weekend in and out and most likely a lot of amateur riders could out climb them, but not out descend. Right now it is DH biased by a large margin, easily the time "limits" between stages are a joke, they're like the time between rally stages, you can get there just chugging along quite easily once you don't have a mechanical problem. Because it is DH biased the bikes they ride are also such and tyres, make it an honest time between stage finish and start and then we'd see who does what. Actually I'd like to see some of the XC Pros give it a go if they did introduce hard pedaling between stages, where you have top push it because for every 10 seconds late you loose equivalent on the stage, or have the climbs timed as well and count into the overall time, heck make them technical and not fire-roads for even more fun.

    Quote Originally Posted by jhazard View Post
    Are you insinuating that the racers are not somehow "fit"? Having to train for the transition stages sort of defeats the purpose of the race - don't you think? The people racing these events are quite fit, those that are competitive are probably as fit as can be... I guess I miss your point.

    I'd say that with people like Jerome Clementz riding a bike that switches between 90/150, people are thinking very hard about their bike choice.
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  11. #11
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    Indeed. Heather Irmiger, Rosara Joseph, Krista Park, Sue Haywood, Teal Stetson-Lea, and Cecile Ravanel have or still do race WC XC.

    One thing that comes into play, particularly on the more pedal-heavy downhill sections, is the ability to, and familiarity with, controlling the bike when absolutely on the limit. I think having absolutely massive fitness would definitely help in this regard; you're either (a) used to such things and/or (b) have developed fitness that results in leg/lung power exceeding your handling skills. Thus, you never really push the limits, and everything is relatively comfortable, in terms of physical stress during the event.

  12. #12
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    Is Enduro racing just staged DH?

    Well, every race is different, but I remember reading that Brian Lopes barely had time to pull his helmet back down before running out of allotted time on a transfer leg in last years Crankworx Enduro. When Lopes is close to running out of time, those transfers sound tight.

    I don't see any reason to change the format from time allotments to timed transfers. But I would like to see XC races on courses like those in the EWS or the BME series.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    Come on Dude, seriously, as Le Duke said, compared to a Pro XC racer, not even close to fit I watch video of them slogging up those climbs like their 25% gradient, when in fact they're just stuff that most ride every weekend in and out and most likely a lot of amateur riders could out climb them, but not out descend. Right now it is DH biased by a large margin, easily the time "limits" between stages are a joke, they're like the time between rally stages, you can get there just chugging along quite easily once you don't have a mechanical problem. Because it is DH biased the bikes they ride are also such and tyres, make it an honest time between stage finish and start and then we'd see who does what. Actually I'd like to see some of the XC Pros give it a go if they did introduce hard pedaling between stages, where you have top push it because for every 10 seconds late you loose equivalent on the stage, or have the climbs timed as well and count into the overall time, heck make them technical and not fire-roads for even more fun.
    Of course its "DH Biased". It's even been described as DH racing on a trail bike, which is fairly accurate. Why is barreling down a trail, very fast, on the appropriate bike a bad thing - especially when most who are participating in such events, understand this and enjoy it? Its what a lot of people do when out riding with friends - grind through the climbs and race the downhill parts, on a bike they ride every day. It's how they've been raced in europe for a long time.

    Tracking time on the transition stages would effectively make it just another XC race. Climbing from point A to B will take at least X amount of energy no matter what you do - run, walk, ride fast. There's no free lunch in climbing up a hill... They all have to get there.

    If enduro favored DH racers and bikes, they'd be dominating all the enduro series that out there, but this is not the case. The current world champ DH racer got smoked at the last event he participated in. WC XC racers (as Le Duke pointed out) do very well in these races.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Indeed. Heather Irmiger, Rosara Joseph, Krista Park, Sue Haywood, Teal Stetson-Lea, and Cecile Ravanel have or still do race WC XC.

    One thing that comes into play, particularly on the more pedal-heavy downhill sections, is the ability to, and familiarity with, controlling the bike when absolutely on the limit. I think having absolutely massive fitness would definitely help in this regard; you're either (a) used to such things and/or (b) have developed fitness that results in leg/lung power exceeding your handling skills. Thus, you never really push the limits, and everything is relatively comfortable, in terms of physical stress during the event.
    Agree here too... pretty good description of the fatigue/control factor.

    That is why I feel its a pretty fair "fight", if one wants to put in that context.

    WC XC racers getting used to riding at that limit, on perhaps more challenging terrain -upping their skills game a bit (NOT to say they don't have skills, they certainly do)... And the riders coming from a DH background definitely have to up their fitness/endurance for the "pedal heavy dh sections", of which there seems to be a lot of.
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  15. #15
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    I think to describe enduro racing in terms of numbers is wrong

    People wanted to have races that were more fun for the majority of riders.(then the current race formats allowed for) That's all it is. Some people love 24 hr races some love 4x some love hill climbs. Enduro is one of the many race formats that were out there and its caught on.


    Sad part is it will get ruined by its own success. People that take the things to seriously will start complaining to make more standards. Soon it will be less about haveing a fun couple days of racing and more about having a "true enduro" race.

  16. #16
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    ^^^
    True.
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  17. #17
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    I'd like to see a loose 1:5 ratio, uphill to downhill, in terms of timed sections.

    Not length of stage; a 5km uphill will take significantly longer than a 5km downhill. Just the estimated time. One uphill section of approximately 10 minutes, 5 downhill sections of 50 minutes or so in length. Maybe make the uphill in conjunction with a downhill section, as one complete stage, twenty minutes of soul crushing effort.

    The rest of the uphill sections don't count, with relatively easy time limits, with penalties for being outside of them. I think you'd still have the "spirit" of enduro, while discouraging the sport from morphing into an extension of DH or XC.

    Personally, the fact that people rode chairlifts at the WP EWS race makes me sad. And that they cancelled a stage because the lifts were down, even worse.

  18. #18
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    Never said have "XC" type time in between stages, but just not so loose and easy you can put it in your granny and just easily pedal your way up while just shooting the **** with your buds. I'm just saying cut out the chairlift all together, unless the stage itself has some good pedal or uphill bits in it, make it more like the last round in Colorado at Trestle, with real stages that have some of everything, give the "true" all rounders a chance. Still think Jerome Clementz would be at the top, as he seems to get the whole idea, that's it's not just about having handling skills on the DH, but also having some good fitness. Right now, I can't wait to see the next rounds coverage, think it's most definitely the most interesting racing on right now, it's something easy to relate to as others have said.

    I've got the heaviest bike out of all I ride with, yet I'm always the first to the top of the hill and then have to wait on the others on their lighter bikes because they don't want to put in the effort and actually work a bit harder, really kills the whole thing and then on the downs have to wait and re-group again, so neither way, up nor down do their light bikes help them it seems.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    Never said have "XC" type time in between stages, but just not so loose and easy you can put it in your granny and just easily pedal your way up while just shooting the **** with your buds. I'm just saying cut out the chairlift all together, unless the stage itself has some good pedal or uphill bits in it, make it more like the last round in Colorado at Trestle, with real stages that have some of everything, give the "true" all rounders a chance. Still think Jerome Clementz would be at the top, as he seems to get the whole idea, that's it's not just about having handling skills on the DH, but also having some good fitness. Right now, I can't wait to see the next rounds coverage, think it's most definitely the most interesting racing on right now, it's something easy to relate to as others have said.

    I've got the heaviest bike out of all I ride with, yet I'm always the first to the top of the hill and then have to wait on the others on their lighter bikes because they don't want to put in the effort and actually work a bit harder, really kills the whole thing and then on the downs have to wait and re-group again, so neither way, up nor down do their light bikes help them it seems.
    Which "all rounders" aren't getting their chance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    People that take the things to seriously will start complaining to make more standards. Soon it will be less about haveing a fun couple days of racing and more about having a "true enduro" race.
    Fug is right....
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    Sad part is it will get ruined by its own success. People that take the things to seriously will start complaining to make more standards. Soon it will be less about haveing a fun couple days of racing and more about having a "true enduro" race.
    It'll be just like XC racing in the late 80's-early 90's, then DH, then cyclocross (happening now)... the folks who started it will be pissed when the "athletes" decide to compete and "ruin" it for everyone else

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyrod74 View Post
    It'll be just like XC racing in the late 80's-early 90's, then DH, then cyclocross (happening now)... the folks who started it will be pissed when the "athletes" decide to compete and "ruin" it for everyone else
    Its a natural de evolution I guess. Im not to worrierd aboit it. I like uphill suffer fests in racing fun to watch. People dig deep. Not that. They arnt digging deep in enduro their just to far past me fo me too see.

    The race that has me the most excited that is another "differnt format" is the red bull final decent.. 12 hr down hill next time its at angel fire im there!!!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    Its a natural de evolution I guess. Im not to worrierd aboit it. I like uphill suffer fests in racing fun to watch. People dig deep. Not that. They arnt digging deep in enduro their just to far past me fo me too see.

    The race that has me the most excited that is another "differnt format" is the red bull final decent.. 12 hr down hill next time its at angel fire im there!!!
    Yeah, but its just downhill and therefore really easy.

    LOTS of fun though
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  23. #23
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    Why is it that people always try to twist what others say? Where did I say DH was easy?
    Quote Originally Posted by jhazard View Post
    Yeah, but its just downhill and therefore really easy.

    LOTS of fun though
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    Why is it that people always try to twist what others say? Where did I say DH was easy?
    People like Lynx are why I love racing!!

    I just ride behind them the whole race and and hold a one person conversation. Saying things like "How many miles have we done" , "What Gear are you in, How many more hills", "What Psi are you running".. and my favorite during race question, "do you go on mtbr?"

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhazard View Post
    Yeah, but its just downhill and therefore really easy.

    LOTS of fun though
    Lets Do a team race Next Time they hold a 12hr DH around here.

    Call ourselves team Apathy and shoot for .... 3 laps?

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