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Thread: Explain Enduro.

  1. #1
    Wrench
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    Explain Enduro.

    Hey guys,

    I've been hearing the term thrown around a bit.

    From what I understand, it's basically a number of timed downhill runs, with the best times deciding who wins?

    Is it totally gravity-based?

    What's the optimal trail condition? Is this done on the same tracks as DH and lift assisted runs?

  2. #2
    think
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    This article will get you started: Beginners Guide to Enduro: What the hell is it? - Pinkbike

    The optimal trail conditions are gnarly. You should want knee pads and a full face, or at least be strongly strongly considering them. The stages are, in theory, 85-90% downhill. Transfers, anything goes (big climbs, chair lift, whatever). Fitness matters as much as skill, and if you don't have both in spades you won't go far. Depending on the venue using DH trails is viable (and probably preferred haha).

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    From that article, it seems to tell me "Yeah, too much climbing in super-D. I don't want to wear Lycra. Too tight! I'd rather not pedal as much and wear something that doesn't show off how large my butt is."

    But I get the gist. Whether or not I get the anti-lycra, anti-xc sentiment is another matter all together.

    And I would think Fitness matters way less than skill in these races.

    I was looking at the Trans Providence highlights, and that looked pretty awesome. I like the idea of stage-racing these events. That really makes you focus on doing things right, since you'd be tired from days of riding.

  4. #4
    Bike's hmmm nice
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    Was on a multiday small scale event/race a few weeks ago. Was my first "enduro" thing. Loved it! Been riding fat tires for 22 years and this boils down to the essence. A long full day of riding in a cool atmosphere and then a couple of nice sections of gravity assisted trail racing that are timed to give it all a little edge. All our stages were "on site" no one had seen them before, so it was equal parts skills and reaction speed. Also fitness was a good part as you had to stay focussed after 1200 meters biking up. Evenings filled with a few beers and many cheers.
    Some frenchies joined us and made a little report about it. In French but pics tell the story and google translate can help.
    Portfolio : The Blast #3 – L’aventure enduro pour pilotes avertis | Enduro Tribe
    click below the ad to continue and see the pics.

  5. #5
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    The enduro discipline is still being defined in my eyes. I think the industry is behind it because the AM/Trail bike category probably accounts for most of the mtb sales these days. True XC or DH bikes are specialty tools, great for what they are intended for, but not what most mtb’ers are riding. I have a DH bike, but my trail bike is ridden at least 3 times a week, DH bike about 3 times a month if I am lucky. XC racers are probably more likely to ride their bikes more often, but it seems most of them are hitting the road bike during the week for training.

    I think the best way to look at it is when I ride with my friends, there is always a trail or section of trail that is fun to push it on. Then when you get to the end we ride up a hill talking about how fun that was and complain about the climb until we get to the next fun section. You need to have some fitness to enjoy the ride but you do not need to be the strongest climber to hang (lord knows I cannot climb). It seems like they are trying to make it an epic day of riding. Trans Provence was 7 days, total riding was about 300 km (186 miles). But if you look at the times they raced about 20 minutes a day. Not sure of the exact distance, but it looks like it was about 8-12 miles of racing per day and rode a total of about 26 miles per day.

    It will be interesting to see how it is defined in the long run. I hope to see more events and see how each event interprets enduro. I think that the riders showing up will determine this in the long run.
    Someone posed the question to me if I thought if these every day riders on their AM/Trail bikes are racers or just riders. Again time will tell.

  6. #6
    think
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    Quote Originally Posted by FNFAL View Post
    From that article, it seems to tell me "Yeah, too much climbing in super-D. I don't want to wear Lycra. Too tight! I'd rather not pedal as much and wear something that doesn't show off how large my butt is."

    But I get the gist. Whether or not I get the anti-lycra, anti-xc sentiment is another matter all together.

    And I would think Fitness matters way less than skill in these races.

    I was looking at the Trans Providence highlights, and that looked pretty awesome. I like the idea of stage-racing these events. That really makes you focus on doing things right, since you'd be tired from days of riding.
    I'm going to quote a post from the TWE Enduro thread that I've found to be very true as well:

    Quote Originally Posted by thorkild View Post
    This is the number one issue I've seen heard with most people when they start racing enduro/super-d. They think its all about the descending skills, but overall skill and massive fitness are really more important. There was a relatively lengthy debate here in OR this year over how to make the races so "the xc types" weren't winning. In the end, the same guys won because they are good at everything. You can put minutes into your competition if you can build the fitness to stay on the gas hard through the flats and climbs and even the mellow descents.

    That's pretty much the case...fitness is crucial.

  7. #7
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    Fitness is key. The mountain creek enduro had some gnarly sections for a trail bike which I hope to see more of! I raced three enduro events this year and I think fitness and endurance in the flat sections and climbs is where the races are won. The tech sections and ripping downhill is what make the races fun and the format so popular.

  8. #8
    think
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    Mountain Creek was fun.

    You just can't make enough time on the DH to make up for what you loose to the real fit guys on the flats or climbs...not to mention those dudes are usually motoring through the tech as well.

  9. #9
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    Fitness is key ... but so are bike skills. And so is the ability to avoid mechanicals. If you only do one or two well, you're going to get beat by people who do all 3.

    It's like the early days of MMA, when people debated who would win, submission guys or strikers or wrestlers. As the sport matured (if that's the word) everyone realized the answer was that the guy who usually won was the guy who could do all 3. (And then it became the guy who could do all 3 and was an elite athlete too.)

    Assuming enduro keeps growing, it will be the same. Who wins, the bombers or the climbers? The bombers who can climb. (And, as a matter of topographic reality, it has to be that way. How many places in the eastern US could you hold an enduro that needed no climbs or level stretches to string together the downs? Not many. Three to five stages, each 5 to 10 minutes long, nothing but downhill but rideable on a trail bike.)

    Bike skills and fitness are both important, but so is finishing. Enduro racing is hard on trail bikes. That means avoiding flats and broken chains and the rest -- choosing the right parts, keeping it running right, picking good lines, etc. Pros finish first, amateurs like me talk afterwards about how they would have finished first if they hadn't had bad luck. To mix in another sports metaphor, football coach Bill Parcells famously said 'you are what your record says you are.' The guy who would have won if he hadn't flatted twice was not the best enduro racer there.

    Or so it seems to me.

  10. #10
    think
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    Wise words with accurate correlations. I agree.

  11. #11
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    Oldman- good point on keeping the bike together. Every event that I was a part of claimed multiple chains and tires. There is a real balance between tire weight, line choice and trying to preserve equipment if you want to be competitive.

  12. #12
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    Hi Guys,

    There is a good explanation there: It's Only a Name... Right? | NSMB.e.MAGAZINE - Freeride, Extreme and North Shore style Mountain Biking
    By Ash, the organizer of Trans-Provence.

    I race Trans-Pro this year, and if I had to define Enduro from this perspective, I would say that this is all about fun. Globally, that was like normal riding with friends. Timed staged being the spice on top of it. But what a spice !!!

    I was a never a racer, but right now I am just craving for another Enduro adventure...

    Stéph.

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