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  1. #26
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    What's the question here? Based on post #3, it's not "should people start adding tech climbs to enduro races." (That answer would be, "hell no, because enduro is a specific format and that tech climbing stages don't belong in that format any more than road gaps belong in an XC race or long climbs in a DH race.")

    Is it, "should someone organize a race that is similar to enduro except that it also included tech climbing sections?" Answer: well, OP, you want it. So organize one, call it something, find out if people come out and enjoy it. Maybe it will catch on. Where I am, on Strava you see people trying to hit both tech climbs and descents fast, so maybe you're not the only one. Personally, I love enduro and would hate a climbing race, but to each their own.

  2. #27
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    Well said, OldMan
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  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkley View Post
    I wish U.S. Enduros more closely resembled European Enduros. That means more/longer stages and a time limit on the uphills.
    Agreed, or just on more backcountry trails (NFS) which usually do not quite flow start to finish as much as bike part trails and actually have small uphills/downhills. EWS #2 had a 100M climb in a stage with 1,000M decent and EWS #3 had one stage with a climb close to 150M. IMHO, courses should be hard enough that if your not fit, you get destroyed, but technically demanding enough that if you don't have the technical skills you also get destroyed.

    BTW, I thought last weekends race at Winter Park was a good change over BME #2 and #3. Not 100% bike park trails, course announcements only 1/2 day before you raced them, so if you wanted to practice some of the stages you actually had to climb 500' for every lap of practice. In general more of a variety to the courses, thank you Chris Ball!

    In the pro class, you had 45 minutes from your start time in 3a (best time just under 12 minutes) to your start time in 3b. Between the two there was a 10-15 minute climb between stages, so pushing a bike probably wasn't a realistic option to make your 3b start time. Also made for some quick bike repairs and forced riders to carry tools/equipment if they wanted to score points on the 3b if they had any issues on 3a. Whistler does a similar format.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by PHeller View Post
    My thought would be if I'm racing Enduro, I don't want some dudes on carbon fiber hard tails to take the podium.
    I don't think DH bikes should be able to take a podium position either...there's nothing "all around" about a DH bike.
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  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by brentos View Post
    I don't think DH bikes should be able to take a podium position either...
    Is this happening at the (enduro) races?
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  6. #31
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    Didn't say they were, but I have heard from a couple pros that a DH bike would have been competitive at Keystone. I wasn't there, so I can't say whether this is true or not.

    I really do feel that the courses should be be tailored so that the bikes that most people buy for trail riding can be competitive. So if timed climbs are necessary to keep the bikes honest, so be it. For me I would hate for it to truly turn into mini-DH, or a DH stage race. People will have to start buying bikes specifically for Enduro, which I think starts pulling the fun out as it becomes more specialized.

    I think the variety of the courses has kept people from being able to win on a hardtail, or DH bike for all races. It would just suck if they all came so steep/rough that a DH bike is the best tool for the job. If the courses stay varied from race to race, I think that's a good thing.
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  7. #32
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    I think BME and EWS are about spot on with the formatting and course selections.

    Quote Originally Posted by brentos View Post
    I really do feel that the courses should be be tailored so that the bikes that most people buy for trail riding can be competitive. So if timed climbs are necessary to keep the bikes honest, so be it. For me I would hate for it to truly turn into mini-DH, or a DH stage race. People will have to start buying bikes specifically for Enduro, which I think starts pulling the fun out as it becomes more specialized.
    As far as BME is concerned, this seems to be the case (as in, they are not mini DH stage races). This will be especially true for the Durango and Moab legs. And while AF had all but one stage at the bike park - a DH bike would not have been an advantage, as there was a good amount of trail that required efficient, powerful pedaling.

    I do think however, that people will definitely start buying bikes specifically for Enduro. Doubt they'll be DH bikes, and I'm guessing 650b will use Enduro races as a marketing tool as time goes on. We'll see.


    Quote Originally Posted by brentos View Post
    It would just suck if they all came so steep/rough that a DH bike is the best tool for the job. If the courses stay varied from race to race, I think that's a good thing.
    Totally agree, don't want to see it become a gravity event, in the same way I don't want to see it become an endurance only event.

    So far, EWS and BME have done an excellent job keeping the courses varied through out the series. Downhillers are not dominating, XC racers are not dominating and perhaps more importantly, most racers are pleased with the trail selections.

    I would hope they keep the technical difficulty at a moderate to high level. Even if that includes some techy climbing sections. I was surprised that the transition parts in BME were not timed. I expected like 45 minute limit, with a time penalty if you didn't make the cut. I still think that's a good idea.
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  8. #33
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    I guess it depends where you live, but some of the local xc races around here are very technical (up and down) and include the same DH sections that the enduro and SD races go down.

    Thing is, if the time up counts the same as the time down, you are going to come back to it being an xc race being won by the strongest xc racers on xc-ish bikes. With very few exceptions, courses that start and end at the same elevation are won mostly on the climbs. Even very technical courses. There is simply a lot more time to be gained or lost on a 2,000' climb than a 2,000' DH.

    EDIT: Sorry, I think I might have missed the finer points of your idea. If there are just more timed uphill sections, but still more descending than climbing overall, what I've said might not apply so much.
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  9. #34
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    I live in CO. Not too many of the XC courses have technical downhills. There are a few, but technical climbs are even more rare. The courses with technical downhills usually go up a fireroad or easy trail, and down a more technical trail. Technical climbs are tough for a regular XC race because they can cause backups and people get pissed off. Using points instead of time would negate the time differences between uphill/downhill.

  10. #35
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    I like the idea. Short technical climbs with time added for dabs. It would be like a proper Enduro special test.
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  11. #36
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    EWS #5 @ Whistler looks like a pretty sick weekend with two pretty big days and lots of variety!

    Crankworx: Enduro World Series Stages Released - News Blogs - Vital MTB

    Crankworx Whistler 2013: HOA 1: SRAM Canadian Open Enduro presented by Specialized - YouTube

    Inspection and riding will be permitted on all stages on August 9-10. Download Race Book for details (pdf, 469k).

    START
    SRAM VIP Deck - Skiers Plaza Whistler Village

    TRANSITION / LIAISON 1
    upload Whistler Village Gondola -> descend Peak Chair Connector trail -> upload Peak Chair -> descend Top of the World trail to entrance to Khyber Pass trail.
    distance: 3.37 km | 0m climbing
    allocated time: 1h 15 minutes

    RACE STAGE 1
    Khyber Pass trail
    distance: 2.8 km | elevation: start 1820m | finish 1415m | change -405m
    allocated time: 20 minutes

    TRANSITION / LIAISON 2
    Access road from bottom of Khyber Pass to It's Business Time (Duncan's Trail)
    distance: 6.19 km | 35m climbing
    allocated time: 25 minutes

    RACE STAGE 2
    It's Business Time (Duncan's Trail)-> AM/PM
    distance: 1.45 km | elevation: start 780m | finish 620m | change -160m
    allocated time: 10 minutes

    TRANSITION / LIAISON 3
    Eastside Main (Cheakamus Lake Road) to Valley Trail -> Valley Trail to Function Junction -> climb Flank Trail to Pura Vida
    distance: 4.57 km | 290m climbing
    allocated time: 1h 05 minutes

    RACE STAGE 3
    Pura Vida -> Baby Snakes -> Danimal South -> THC
    distance: 1.64 km | elevation: start 965m | finish 728m | change -237m
    allocated time: 15 minutes

    TRANSITION / LIAISON 4
    Descend Lower Sproat trail to Alta Lake Road -> Alta Lake Road to Rainbow Park -> Valley Trail from Rainbow Park to Mel's Dilemma trail -> Matterhorn Drive -> Fissile Lane -> Alpine Way -> climb Ricks Roost dirt access road -> Flank Trail to 200 meters past Paragliding Launch.
    distance: 12.0 km | 493m climbing
    allocated time: 1h 30 minutes

    RACE STAGE 4
    Flank Trail -> Billy's Epic -> Bob's Rebob
    distance: 2.87 km | elevation: start 1118m | finish 675m | change -443m
    allocated time: 15 minutes

    TRANSITION / LIAISON 5
    Parking Lot at bottom of Bob's Rebob trail on Alta Lake Road to Rainbow Park -> Valley Trail to Village -> upload Whistler Village Gondola -> descend Peak Chair Connector trail -> upload Peak Chair
    distance: 6.02 km | 45m climbing
    allocated time: 2h

    RACE STAGE 5
    Top of the World -> No Joke -> In Deep -> Little Alder -> Expressway -> Too Tight -> Upper Angry Pirate -> Lower Angry Pirate -> climb up Lower EZ Does it -> Del Boca Vista -> EZ Does It -> cross Mountain Access Road -> Ho Chi Min -> cross Mountain Access Road -> Longhorn -> Monkey Hands -> Finish Skiers Plaza
    distance: 10.63Km | elevation: start 2138m | finish 688m | change: -1450m

  12. #37
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    a while back (before "Enduro" was anything more in the US than a Speccy bike model) there was a discussion in the XC race forum about adopting the Euro style Enduro races. being a fan of technical both up and down i suggested not timed uphills, but time bonuses for cleaning technical uphill option lines within a time limit. this does require a bit of monitoring by the promoter to enforce a "no dab" rule.

    i felt in combination with the timed super D style sections the uphill bonus sections could reward fitness and skill without singling out the skeletal XC racers that fly uphill like they are on steroids (some of them are but that is another discussion). in this scenario a clyde with trials skill could get a time bonus if he was willing to expend the energy.

    i know when i was a larger rider the climbs were always about getting to the next technical spot that I could try to clean and never ever dabbing. funny how much that mentality hurt me in a few cyclocross and XC races where just getting off and running was way faster.....
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  13. #38
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    ^This format is similar to how the Wicked Witch of the East Enduro was run this past weekend.

    Optional timed climb up a long techy, difficult climb with sections that have reputedly never been cleaned. I opted for the untimed climb, which was still brutal. (I think timed climbing isn't really in the spirit of an Enduro.)

    Individual timed descents on the same trail (fastest descent was over 29 minutes...so this is a pretty long stage).
    Last edited by 8valvegrowl; 08-29-2013 at 08:43 AM.

  14. #39
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    OK two points I want to make.
    First: If you are going to do well in an Enduro you had better be beyond ‘fit’. I have paid my dues racing road,CX, XC and ultra endurance. And I can say without a doubt that Enduros are some of the most physically demanding races I have ever done. Every form of racing has its own kind of fitness requirements and Enduro is a lot like CX. You need to pedal as fast as you can down every straight away and out of every corner. Your heart rate instantly goes through the roof and on long courses your arms burn like hell fire. If you think Jared Gaves is not fit, please go tell him to his face. I am sure most anyone on this thread would be fully humiliated if they raced any of the top 10 BME pros in an XC race. Just look at Ross’s 2nd place finish in the Breck Epic a few years back. The focus of the Enduro training however is not sustained climb speed, so yeah XC pros will beat Pro enduro guys on an XC course, it is different fitness, but it is fitness all the same.
    Second: The climb, technical or otherwise, should not be a part of enduro. I used to be interested in climbing and keeping my bike light because in XC racing you win or lose based on the climb. As I got older and could not get 20 hours a week on the bike I stopped getting on the podium, racing and mountain biking in general started to feel boring. Lucky, I figured out that for years I had been riding with the wrong priorities based on my interests. Downhills on the XC bike had always felt like I was absolutely pushing the envelope and I always figured that I was pretty darn fast on my XC bike so why ride a heavy longer travel bike, oh the blasphemy of the inefficiency…. So about 5 years back, I (somewhat reluctantly) demoed a heavier 160mm bike, I was blown away. It was so much faster and fun to ride downhill that I got rid of all the XC bikes. I spent hours riding a single corner or a stretch of rock garden, riding it over and over again until I felt confident drifting the bike and airing between rock holes. The bliss of the ride for me came following the transition from the climb mode to the descend mode. Where before my long XC style rides all blurred together my new favorite rides have a distinct Dr Jekyll to Mr. Hyde style transformation at the high point of the ride. I take my sweet time getting to the top, a time to enjoy my surrounding, take in the view, and make a steady progression, and then rail the downhill like a scolded monkey.
    Yeah sure it is fun to clean a technical punchy climb but that is more of entertainment and should not be a part of an enduro race. Most all the really techy stuff is way faster to run up then ride. Making techy climbs part of an enduro race, even if just on points, is like making roadies ride wheelies for time bonuses in a stage race. Yeah it’s an awesome skill to have, but it is not racing.
    My point of this long ramble is that as mountain bikers we tend to fall into two general groups; those who see the climb to the top as a race and those who don’t. If you fall into the class of the former and you want to have a technical climb as part of a race, look for an XC race that has them in it, Little French in Firecracker 50 is a good one. For those who are in the latter of the two groups, Enduro is your race format. Enduros should feel a lot like DH races on small bikes. The difference is that the trails will have many more opportunities to pedal, and because these pedally sections a DH bike would not be the best choice if you wish to get on, or near, the podium. Throw in a few transition stages to assure that a trail bike is the weapon of choice and you have a race that uses the exact bike and ride style you willingly choose to ride every time you get a hall pass to hit the trail.
    Last edited by rhamilton; 08-28-2013 at 02:03 PM.

  15. #40
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    ^^^^^^^^^^
    rhamilton, you're alright man.
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  16. #41
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    rhamilton gets it.

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by whybotherme View Post
    ...but time bonuses for cleaning technical uphill option lines within a time limit. this does require a bit of monitoring by the promoter to enforce a "no dab" rule...funny how much that mentality hurt me in a few cyclocross and XC races where just getting off and running was way faster.....
    For years my riding has always been about "cleaning" a section of trail. You are so right in sometime the fastest way to just to jump off and run over stuff. That to me is fine with XC racing and required for CX, but for "enduro" it should not. So the trick would be to either make it so walking it is always slower than riding it you you have officials on at the spots to mark dabs like a trials event. To me there is no way to time an uphill only and force everyone to clean it. Even if it is a nasty technical spot it probably is faster and takes less effort to run up anything that would be technical enough to be considered.

    Now what I think needs to be a part of every enduro are time limited transit stages. These are stages where you are give 20 min to get from Point A to point B. If you are late you get a penalty. These times should be such that you need ride them at a reasonable casual pace to get there. This is will limit the heavy DH bikes and force guys on to bikes most people ride. That is bikes that have to be good enough pedaling bikes to make to the fun stuff. It kind of the way you would ride with friends. All start out and regroup before the good stuff. Waiting a few minutes for your friends is great, but after a while if you have to wait too long you give up and don't want to ride with them any more even if they are good on the downhills.
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  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    ... That to me is fine with XC racing and required for CX, but for "enduro" it should not. So the trick would be to either make it so walking it is always slower than riding it you you have officials on at the spots to mark dabs like a trials event. To me there is no way to time an uphill only and force everyone to clean it. Even if it is a nasty technical spot it probably is faster and takes less effort to run up anything that would be technical enough to be considered.
    Not sure I agree with timing the tech.... What about technical descents too? Like The Notch in Moab? It's not really a DH line, just a techy line that happens to be rocky and steep. If you dab on it, you lose time? One could arguably run the notch faster than riding it, and heck, most people walk it anyhow (though it was cool to see just how many people did try to clean at the race last year).

    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    ... This is will limit the heavy DH bikes and force guys on to bikes most people ride.
    Why are you afraid of dh bikes? Most people are not showing up to enduro races with them. And the ones that do, are not winning them...
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  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhazard View Post
    ..Why are you afraid of dh bikes? Most people are not showing up to enduro races with them. And the ones that do, are not winning them...
    Not afraid of DH bikes, but on the one end we have XC bikes and XC riders and we don't want to see enduro turn into XC. Same should apply on the down hill side where making it staged DH seems rather missing the mark of the what it is supposed to be. To me Endruo is about being fast on the downhills while being fit enough and riding a light enough bike to pedal the flats and climbs. I do think that as enduro evolves it will be dominated by a certain bike/ rider type as every rider that wants to win will always pull out all the stops and push the rules to the limit and not care about intent. Time to set the stage now before DH bikes "take over" and before 24lbs hard tail wins due to climbs. Right now riders are still experimenting to see what is the best combination.
    Joe
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  20. #45
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    I see where you're coming from, and to a degree I do agree, I'd love to see it remain settled between the two. Guess I don't the see impending danger... Its been an established format in Europe for quite some time, and the races over there are not being dominated by DH bikes or XC bikes. The reason its becoming so popular here (other than the nearly constant marketing blitzkrieg) is that its established comfortably between XC and DH. I think the course designs help to keep people... "honest"

    Saw only one DH rig at the Angelfire Taos BME - and 4 out of 5 stages were raced on the DH runs at the resort. To my knowledge, the guy on the DH bike did well, but he did not win or slaughter the competition. I think people get it - that it takes an in-between bike, and experimentation is dealing with how far towards the middle a person wants to go.
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  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhazard View Post
    ... I think the course designs help to keep people... "honest" ...
    This is what will do it. Don't restrict bikes or riders, but make sure the course is designed properly. If there is no penalty design in the course for dragging a 50lbs 8" DH bike then it will get used to be faster where it counts. Just the same way there should be no a big time gain to race up hills on 20lbs bikes. The issues comes down to the course designers understanding this concept well enough to do it right.
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  22. #47
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    You sure your not attending a DH race? I have NEVER seen a DH bike at an Enduro event around my area. All i see is bikes that have travel from 140-160mm .

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhazard View Post
    I dunno, is it? Or is it about wearing grape smugglers and sending very technically demanding 3 foot drops on a hard tail? Guess it depends on the circles you travel in...

    Nothing wrong with being brutally fit, and having skills. Coincidentally, these are qualities that winners of Enduro races usually possess.
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