I would love to race an enduro format with timed climbing stages
The primary reason I dislike many XC races is not that there is too much climbing, but that the courses are not very technical. Say what you will about the lack of technical downhills in XC racing, but technical uphills are even more rare. Steep, ledgy climbs cause too much back-up to be put into mass start races. I would love to see a staged enduro format type race that also includes technical climbing stages alongside descending stages to truly test the all around ability of technical trail riders.
That's not Enduro.
Enduro tests guys that have trained specifically for Enduro.
You want to test all around then make a multi stage race that has lots of different stuff in it, but it's not Enduro.
I wouldn't call it enduro either, I am just comparing it to enduro. It would be the same 10-45 minute multi stage with untimed transition format as enduro, with the addition of 1 or more technical climbing stages that must be completed on the same bike.
They have those races. Called XC racing.
Seriously though, all of the wins would go to the climbers unless you put a 10x multiplier on the time gaps for descents. A lot more time to be made up on the climbs.
i have raced a lot of xc races. The closest i've seen to a technical climb(besides very short sections) is the Whiskey Offroad, which is intermediate level at best. Using points instead of cumulative time negates time differences between stages.
I wish U.S. Enduros more closely resembled European Enduros. That means more/longer stages and a time limit on the uphills.
Pro riders walking their bikes uphill? Shameful. I raced one Enduro where there were three stages and the combined winning time was less than 10 minutes. Kind of a bummer when I spent $60 on the entry fee, $100 in gas and 8 hours in a car.
I would love to race an enduro format with timed climbing stages
dthomp325, I see what you're saying. Around my area we don't have a much elevation change at all, just lots of shorter/steep ups and downs, so have to make the most of it. But we do have a lot of embedded rocks/outcroppings w/ roots that make for very technical riding, especially some of the climbs. I began dabbling in racing last season with two XC races and a few this season so far. I've had some fun and surprised myself (and others) by taking a different approach to riding compared to the typical racer types. Have had a lot of fun and met some really cool people but I still just feel the itch for something different.
Been thinking along the lines of your original topic and the "problem" with these XC races isn't the lack of technical terrain and climbs, but rather how the course is routed and optional Sally lines. I ride with a few guys who design some of the race courses and have learned that sometimes it's better to avoid some of the tough tech climbs that might cause a bottleneck. And other times (not sure why) they route the course so that you are climbing up what you'd normally consider a "downhill" section, which sucks as this is where you can actually find some flow and carry speed. And I guess the biggest punch in the gut (for those who favor technical descents and punchy climbs) is that the race is pretty much won or lost on the gravel/grass/road sections that are used for passing and connecting different parts of singletrack. But hey, that's called XC racing and it is an established genre already. No reason we couldn't do multiple timed sections on the parts and call it something else though (of course not enduro).
Anyway, I'm getting excited for the Big Mountain Enduro #5, it will be my first event outside of local XC races. Big change for sure!
Wow horrible value to money in that $60 race with sub 10 minute total race time.
Originally Posted by Berkley
We finished up our local 6 race series last night. Three stages, the winning time was 15:31, the average time over 97 riders was 21:41. This is a Thursday night after work series, average time to complete the whole course is 2hrs. It's a long gravel road climb up to the main stage then some smaller climbing in the transitions to get the two smaller stages in.
To race you need to be a member of our trail organization, cost is $40/per to be a member then the races are $2. $52 gets you 6 races over 6 weeks and over 2 hours of timed racing.
Enduro is an established genre already, too. :D
Originally Posted by conekilr
How about "Reverse Enduro"?
Or Orudne? :thumbsup:
The idea of timed climbing sections... they did this in the late 80's/early 90's, I remember watching it (painfully) on ESPN - they just called it "uphill" I think. Making the courses technical might make it more interesting, but seems like it would feel more like a trials event. And I don't mean to disparage climbing - its as much a part of riding as anything else. But it does not seem to have the appeal or bling factor that riding at speed or going downhill does... not saying its right or wrong. Or, maybe I'm missing something.
Not sure I'd do a climbing enduro... Honestly, I doubt I could hang. Hoping I can make BME #4 though.
Re: I would love to race an enduro format with timed climbing stages
Go to Arkansas. Plenty of technical climbing. Syllamos Revenge, etc. Btepic in Missouri. Bone bender race in Kansas.
Originally Posted by dthomp325
I've raced many places in Colorado: firecracker 50, steamboat, pueblo reservoir, Breck 100, Gunnison Growler, rabbit valley rally (discontinued msc race)...
I'd contend that racing in the ozarks is more relentlessly technically demanding than any race I've seen in Colorado.
Never done whiskey off road, but I've heard it's not technical at all. And I believe it when I see the finish times.
Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
I don't particularly care if there are uphill timed stages, although I wouldn't mind. But there should be way tighter transfer time allowances than this casual cruise speed. This is how moto enduros are. You have a speed average you have to meet and need to be at the next check in by your minute or you get a one minute penalty for every minute you are over. I did the Angel Fire BME and had a blast, but other than stage one it seemed nothing more than a mini DH race. And getting rid of the super short climb on stage 5 was ridiculous...
What's funny is how clueless mountain bikers seem to be as to what enduro is but it's been going on for decades in various formats (timekeeper, restart, qualifier, etc) in the moto world.
The races you mentioned are pretty non-technical, with the exception of the Growler. Overall the Growler is not very technical either, but there are at least several tech sections. This year there was a great tech climb over Ridgeline at the end of the lap. The Growler course would be a perfect place for an XC enduro type event, as there are several fun sections (Rattlesnake, Top of the World, Ridgeline, Josho's, Skull Pass, EnchantedForest, various other trails in the 'rocks' area) that would be great timed stages separated by neutral transfers on all the really boring connector miles.
The Whiskey Offroad is somewhat similar. The singletrack sections are fun, but there is a bunch of boring road connector. That race could be turned into an 'xc enduro' with a singletrack climb stage and 2 descent stages with neutralized transfer stages on the road connectors. It would end up being a much better race because I could go all out on the fun stuff instead of having to save my energy for the road, which is inevitably where you really make your time.
I know nothing about moto. I am guessing that the 'average speed' requirements are designed to keep riders separated by a even amount of time when the timed stages start?
Some mtb enduros have mass starts with people starting each stage as ready, others have 30 sec or 1 minute intervals between riders starts. Having to maintain an average speed would certainly help keep riders apart, but I don't know how useful it would be with races like BME, where many of the transfer stages are lifts.
Here in CO the enduro stages tend to have 2000+ ft of descending, so it would be hard to have the same format somewhere with less elevation, but I think the same multiple 5-45min timed stage format could be used for other terrain. From what I know about moto enduros, the timed stages are on diverse terrain, so I don't see why mtb enduros have to be constrained to DH only.
Moto schmoto. :p While the idea of timed stages and untimed liason stages is borrowed from moto enduro - mountain bike enduro has been happening for nearly a decade already in Europe. There's a nice pinkbike article that discusses how it came about:
", when we bought our first bike, didn't think to do races or know much about international-level mountain biking. The first thing we did with our mountain bikes was climb up hills so we could have fun going down them. That is the philosophy of enduro." - Franco Monchiero
"For me, enduro is a recognition that you might as well formalise the race that you would do anyway with your mates – so you have a time and can see who did actually win.” What that works out to is a format where you race over a series of timed special stages that are mostly downhill. Those stages will be less full-on than downhill racing and could well involve some going uphill. Depending on where you are in the world, getting to the top can mean pedalling, a chairlift or a combination of both. Whoever has the fastest combined time over the special stages wins. Races tend to be fairly relaxed outside the top ten, with the focus on getting quality time out on your bike with your friends." - Ash Smith, the man behind the Trans-Provence
"... As Fred explains, “in the Alps it would be too much to pedal up the hills – it wouldn’t be fun, so we used the lifts to go up. There were ten timed stages per weekend, on Sunday it was usually more all-mountain, on Saturday more enduro-DH. The goal was always to have about 90% down and 10% up." - Fred Glo
And of course, it's still evolving...
"...Because there were no lifts or high mountains, there was adaptation to the territories. At the beginning when everyone took the name of enduro and put the name on this other format I believed in two formats: enduro with ski lifts and rallye enduro for everywhere else. But in the end it’s normal, everything was not under my control. Everyone put the name enduro on their local race and now things are very different and we have to consider what enduro is ten years later. When the federation asks ‘what is enduro racing today?’ you have to consider all the aspects of enduro. For this year in our four race weekends we have the classic format, with no pedalling, one where we mix pedalling and lifts and one round with no lift" - Fred Glo
A Small History of Enduro - Pinkbike
Reflexively, I was opposed to the idea of a "climbing" stage... but the inclusion of a tricky/techy upwards stage might be interesting. When I'm out with the group, we usually seek out and ride the tech stuff, most of the time its level or downhill orientated, but there are a few techy climbs/lines that we'll stop and session over and over. IMO, the tech/skills part is important... not interested in an hour long lung buster steep trail or 14 mile timed fire road climb for the sake of inlcuding an endurance component...
My thought would be if I'm racing Enduro, I don't want some dudes on carbon fiber hard tails to take the podium.
If they are, the organizers need to reevaluate how they market that race.
I think many organizers, especially in regions with smaller mountains, need to get better at describing the race style and format.
I just raced a 20 mile "XC" race that certainly favored full suspension, tubeless, and higher pressures, and many folks on hard tails were complaining about being beat up. I wish the organizers would have said "all these trails are rocky, bring extra tubes."
Similar descriptions could be made for "All-Mountain Races", where the organizers simply say "these trails will include some drops under 3' in height, some jumps, and some rocky sections that may require full suspension."
I'd like to see some more techy chunk in general in both XC and enduro races. I raced the CB BME #2 and there wasn't one section in the whole 6 stages that made me question riding the line, I'm not an awesome rider either. It was mostly berms and rollers, which was a blast just not what I was training for. I thought it was going to be tech central since that was what I thought enduro was. This is just an experience from one race though, and I heard the Keystone BME #3 was major chunky.
As far as uphill tech climbing, I would like to see that as well in both XC and enduro. For the enduro race it could just be a 20'-50' climb on some chunk, or time the transitions and have cut off times and those cut off times should make you hurt too.
Just looking for a race that encompasses what me and my group rides, steep and chuncky, up and down.
Enduro racing has the potential to truly capture the spirit of the sport. Like the post above alluded to, it takes how most technically advanced riders ride in group compete for fun and make it a real event.
XC racing which has been dominated by the lightest rider, on the lightest bike, who put in the most road miles training to be the first up the 3 mile access gravel road climb - this hardly captures the spirt of true mountian biking.
Tech climbing... Would be nice if there was a stage dedicated to tech climbing where you'd have a specified time to finish a no-dab climb. If you make it you get points or a deduction of time off your other stages.
XC racing on the world cup level has become progressively more technical, to the point where XC racers are winning or making podiums at Enduro races.
Originally Posted by Miker J
The days of 3hr WC races on fire road climbs and butter smooth descents are over. Aside from the start/finish area, most WC races are 1:30-1:45 in length, 6-7 laps of a course that, excluding the Start/Finish area, is very technically demanding. Guys like Nino Schurter can take 3-4' drops on a 650b 100mm hardtail like most people dropping off a curb.
And thats where organizers and amatuer racers alike could improve. As an amatuer racer I've got to realize that 95% of my fellow racers are better than me in some aspect.
As an organizer I've got have classes that attract riders. Sure it sucks having 5 people in a class, but if everyone in that class feels they've been equally matched, they are more likely to stay racing. Unlike a class of 40 people with 5 pros, 5 semi-pro, 10 racers on teams and another 20 of guys who ride twice a week.
4 whole feet?
Originally Posted by Le Duke
Yeah, that 2012 Olympic course was nuts:
<iframe width="640" height="480" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/9hFqldLCfXU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
or the British National Champs:
<iframe width="640" height="480" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/fZhQNYfNMEw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
or the UCI Mt St Anne course:
<iframe width="640" height="480" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/BhvL0Oixv7A" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
And "wold cup level racing" applies to about... nobody here at least. Courses may be "technically demanding" but those are World Cup courses. Nobody is racing those... except World Cup level athletes - which I bet there are a total of about zero participating in this particular thread.
I'll admit, I'm being a little combative/jaded (no coffee yet!) - and concede that they're not all long distance flat-fests (Mt St Anne looked sort of fun actually)... But XC is still, by definition - a test of endurance above all else. The fact than XC racers place well in Enduros should not be surprising - they are fit, well rounded riders.
But as Miker J said, it (XC) hardly captures the spirit of true mountain biking. Enduro, as it stands - may not capture it either, but I would bet it's closer to the "truth".
Why? Is the spirit of "true mountain biking" about getting a chairlift to the top of a mountain, wearing flat billed baseball hats and baggies?
Or is there something wrong with being brutally fit and having skills on the bike too?
Personally, real mountain biking is something I do without a clock, without a podium, and without paying a registration fee.
Everything else is racing.
That doesn't mean we can't make racing more fun, and I think there are numerous ways that XC racing, Enduro racing, and DH can all be made more fun. Much of that has to do with how classes are set up, rules and regulations, and course design.
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.
In regards to some of the points above....
I'm not a fan a lift assisted race events. I am a fan of a format that most closely resembles the usual, everyday day ride that fit, technically capable riders ride....
That is, pedaling a trail bike to the top of a hill within a reasonable time frame. The bike would be light enough to not completely drain the rider, yet be substantial enough to allow them to totally enjoy the ride back down at race pace. Bombing down technical trails, at race pace, on a 23 pound xc race is not that fun, been there, done it, many times. Most core riders these days don't even own that type of bike.
Excellent point by the above poster who sees we are not talking about pro level xc riders. Rather, we are talking about events that will allow the semi-fit masses of riders with more skills than lungs to enjoy, compete, and move the sport of mountain biking forward.
You see, guys with full time jobs, kids, mortgages, marriages, etc... might not have the time to train 20 hours a week to get the lungs to do well in traditional xc events that favor lungs over skill. However, they might have 20 years of experience on a mountain bike and have developed good skills on a bike. Why not help the sport out and create an event that caters to this? The only thing it may harm is the already dying, traditional xc format.
Admit it, for the average riders who are racing non-pro xc, you don't have to be all that skilled to win. Course and format design has traditionally rewarded lungs more than bike handling skill. Enduro/Freeride type racing that I've done has been every bit as physically demanding as any of the xc events I've done. However, trail design and race format simply generated a situation where skills put you up front faster than lungs.
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.
Well said, OldMan :thumbsup:
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.
Originally Posted by Berkley
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.
I don't think DH bikes should be able to take a podium position either...there's nothing "all around" about a DH bike.
Originally Posted by PHeller
Is this happening at the (enduro) races?
Originally Posted by brentos
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.
I think BME and EWS are about spot on with the formatting and course selections.
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.
Originally Posted by brentos
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.
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.
Originally Posted by brentos
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.
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.
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.
I like the idea. Short technical climbs with time added for dabs. It would be like a proper Enduro special test.
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).
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
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.....
^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).
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.
rhamilton, you're alright man. :thumbsup:
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.
Originally Posted by whybotherme
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.
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).
Originally Posted by JoePAz
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...
Originally Posted by JoePAz
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.
Originally Posted by jhazard
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.
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.
Originally Posted by jhazard
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 .
Ahaha, 'grape smugglers,' that is awesome.
Originally Posted by jhazard