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  1. #1
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    enduro training in northeast

    So I'm new to enduro. Have not raced before. Have not competed in any mtb event really but I'm pretty set on competing this summer.

    I'm from the Boston area, and am aware of the Eastern States Cup and Triple Crown Series (are there any more that operate in the greater northeast??). Right now I'm targeting the enduro @ Killington in July and the Sugarbush enduro in August.

    My question lies with general training. I'm not looking to win but more have fun and get a feel for the scene. I'm pretty confident in my trail riding abilities. I ride a 100 mm Trek superfly --- albeit not the ideal enduro bike but I've taken it through some rough stuff before. From what I hear as long as my riding skill is there the bike choice shouldn't necessarily be an issue...

    Once the season hits, I typically ride 1-2 times per week, as well as jog and lift weights. My workouts are fairly generalized- mostly to keep me in shape - as a newcomer to this sport what kind of training or regimine would you guys recommend? Anything in particular I should focus on? Again, not super interested in trying to break top 10 but I do want to do relatively well and maximize my enjoyment of the whole event.

    Thanks for any tips!

  2. #2
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    Just get out there and do a couple races. Use Strava and try to improve your times on downhill sections. Pre-ride the race courses as much as you possibly can. After you've done some races, you can worry about doing some more specific training.

  3. #3
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    First go ride the trails that you plan to race on. From what I remember hearing the Killington enduro race is really pretty rough. I think it uses some of the same sections as the DH race. I raced a 120mm one for a bit and it really didn't hold me back but if the Killington enduro is the race I'm thinking of a 100mm bike might not be much fun. I definitely wouldn't say don't race just know what your going to have to ride and decide if its worth it and maybe bike a race that might suit you and your bike better.

    For conditioning just make sure you can give it a strong effort for 10-20minutes downhill. Figure out how to pace yourself so can give it as much as possible for the whole segment and not so much that you get sloppy and out of control.

    For skills just figure out what your lacking on most and work on it. Following faster people is always a good way to learn and find weaknesses.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockdude14 View Post
    First go ride the trails that you plan to race on. From what I remember hearing the Killington enduro race is really pretty rough. I think it uses some of the same sections as the DH race. I raced a 120mm one for a bit and it really didn't hold me back but if the Killington enduro is the race I'm thinking of a 100mm bike might not be much fun. I definitely wouldn't say don't race just know what your going to have to ride and decide if its worth it and maybe bike a race that might suit you and your bike better.

    For conditioning just make sure you can give it a strong effort for 10-20minutes downhill. Figure out how to pace yourself so can give it as much as possible for the whole segment and not so much that you get sloppy and out of control.

    For skills just figure out what your lacking on most and work on it. Following faster people is always a good way to learn and find weaknesses.
    Ok so now I'm at a bit of a loss...a friend of mine (who has significant enduro experience) told me that the Killington race is the mellower course out of all the ESC races.

    Any opinions? Other venues that might be better suited to a new enduro rider?

    Thanks for the conditioning/skills tips!

  5. #5
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    I haven't ridden it so its probably best not to listen to me. I was just thinking I read that in an article and maybe saw a video but I could be thinking of a different race. Unless the ESC is all just brutal and borderline DH. Just make sure you ride the trails before (preferably a couple of times) and that its something you think you can race and not just make it down.

    And I agree with alewi Strava is a good way to practice. Just don't be an ass when you use it, you can always make a good run another day.

  6. #6
    RTM
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    I know I'll get some "I ride a hard tail!" responses, but just keeping it real here.

    a 100MM Superfly is really not sufficient for an enduro race. you and the bike will take a real beating, and the "race" won't be much fun. every stage of every race contains at least one section (usually a lot more than one) where you'll be thankful for every MM of 160-170MM of suspension travel. spend a day at a bike park riding the blues & single blacks to get a sense of what you'll be racing on.

    that said, I highly encourage you to rent, borrow or buy a bigger bike and enter a race. it is the most fun you can have racing a mountain bike. the vibe is very cool and the trails are outstanding.

    oh - and here's a great list of upcoming events:

    East Coast Enduro | Enduro Mountain Bike racing in the EST - 2015 events

  7. #7
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    Having done esc races both in Killington and Blue mountain and triple crown at Mountain creek I can say killington is def a challenge.

    Since I'm a slightly less north-northeaster than the OP one of our biggest challenges is simulating a 10min + descent in our day to day riding. Killington is one of the few east coast mountains that has the kind of vert to give you such a long run. In my home riding/training, even when I'm at Mountain Creek I can't get close to that long of a descent.

    What I end up doing is sessioning a "long" DH section over and over again and try to get myself as tired as possible. It's not a perfect method but it's the best I can locally.

    And yes the killington races do have sections of the full on DH race course in them. So you might(?) get by on a superfly. But I wouldn't recommend it.

    SP

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    Is there some reason you can't ride more?
    Death from Below.

  9. #9
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    Don't worry about training just ride as much as possible will be your best training. Sugarbush is new this year so I don't know what that enduro will entail but the killington one you need to be pretty fit. It has the longest stages of the enduro races in the ESC by far but fun. 100mm travel bike your pushing it but I know a guy that raced a few ESC races on a 120mm giant anthem and won so go figure. Go out have fun. Only thing I would recommend is a dropper post.

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    I raced my first season last year and foolishly thought the 40 to 49 year old mens class would be older guys out to have fun - it turned out to be a bunch of recently retired pros... That said I had a blast and am headed back for more this year. The stages are generally held on medium difficulty (and sometimes a little advanced) downhill trails. Get used to 2 and 3 foot drops and weird roll downs... The second race at killington last year had one segment that was 11 to 15 minutes - It doesn't sound like a lot but you're sprinting the entire time... Training - time on the bike, ride up and down... After the first race - you'll have a lot clearer picture...

  11. #11
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    Thanks guys. I'm starting to think that maybe killington might not be the best choice. I've found other sources that says that the ESC champs are more DH oriented than the Triple Crown series (Mtn creek/highland/burke).

    I found the Burke enduro course map online and I've actually done a couple of the DH stages when I was up riding around kingdom trails last year with some friends. We found ourselves on some of the lift-accessed terrain (black diamond rated) and I handled it no problem with the superfly, so that's encouraging.

    Just out of curiosity...if I do end up wanting to enter one of the ESC races...do I need to qualify or can anyone sign up? Their website isn't too clear on this.

  12. #12
    OMZ
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    Quit jogging and use that time to ride more. Time on the bike is the biggest key.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OMZ View Post
    Quit jogging and use that time to ride more. Time on the bike is the biggest key.
    Doing my best. I live in South Boston so getting to decent singletrack requires putting my bike on the car and then driving. Trying to ride after work means I'm dealing with rush hour, which takes ~30-45 minutes just to get to the closest area (the Fells, which is a laughable 10 miles from where I am, but virtually impossible to bike to in a reasonable amount of time considering the way Boston is laid out).

    Erego...jogging and weights are my only other option for exercise...

  14. #14
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    A superfly will be out of its element... It can be done, but... Most of the bikes are 6" plus. Both series are show up and ride - no qualifying needed.

  15. #15
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    I've ridden multiple enduros (Highland, Killington, a bunch of smaller races) on a 130mm Kona, it always felt pretty well suited, but there were a few sections in various races that a bit more travel would have been nice.

    Killington is pretty pedally (more than other ESC races from what I understand). I hear Plattekill and Mountain Creek are the gnarliest in terms of rough terrain.

    This season I hope to do Killington, Sugarbush, and maybe Highland and Burke. I have a 160mm (Spec Enduro) to ride this year.

    As for training. Ride, ride, and ride. Concentrate on long, pedally DH sections. Make 10 min segments that are mostly down and ride the snot out of your bike. Weights aren't bad, nor is jogging for crosstraining. But, concentrate mostly on the riding. I try to ride 4-5 days a week during the warm months.

    You can Endurify(tm) the Superfly some by tweaking a few things (shorter stem, wider bars, bigger tires at lower pressures). But that bike is way more XC oriented. Enduros are best run on trail bikes to all mtn bikes (120-170mm travel, but still pedal friendly).

    Good luck and have fun!

  16. #16
    OMZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by bear99 View Post
    Doing my best. I live in South Boston so getting to decent singletrack requires putting my bike on the car and then driving. Trying to ride after work means I'm dealing with rush hour, which takes ~30-45 minutes just to get to the closest area (the Fells, which is a laughable 10 miles from where I am, but virtually impossible to bike to in a reasonable amount of time considering the way Boston is laid out).


    Erego...jogging and weights are my only other option for exercise...
    Right on man. Just stay on the bike as much as possible and have fun.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bear99 View Post
    Thanks guys. I'm starting to think that maybe killington might not be the best choice. I've found other sources that says that the ESC champs are more DH oriented than the Triple Crown series (Mtn creek/highland/burke).

    I found the Burke enduro course map online and I've actually done a couple of the DH stages when I was up riding around kingdom trails last year with some friends. We found ourselves on some of the lift-accessed terrain (black diamond rated) and I handled it no problem with the superfly, so that's encouraging.

    Just out of curiosity...if I do end up wanting to enter one of the ESC races...do I need to qualify or can anyone sign up? Their website isn't too clear on this.
    Burke is the most pedally of the races you mentioned. Highland this year had you dropping off reef drop so not sure your short travel bike would survive that. ESC you just sign up no qualifiers. I feel that series is a bit more organized than the overmountain series. You would b fine doing the killington enduro. Only one that is mostly dh oriented is Plattekill. Real fun though!!

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