How big is your typical enduro?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    How big is your typical enduro?

    I would like to participate in some enduro's, but every time I see any they are just way too short to suit my interest. I wasn't sure if that is normal, or if it is just my local races. The one small fun series I don't really count, last one was 17 miles and 2400' (which almost everyone shuttled!). But the last race in my local series was only 14 miles and 2000'.

    I was thinking about doing the California Enduro Series race when I saw it was 5 stages and I estimated 5000' of riding, but then saw it is TWO days with a lift assist for a stage on both days!

    Is this 'normal' for enduro racing? My quickie fun ride after straightening my wheel on Saturday was 13 miles and 2000'!

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    It depends on if its backcountry or lift assisted. If its backcountry and you factor in a some pre-ride time the day before riding can add up quick- Then quite often you can go practice the next days stages AFTER the first day. If it's lift assisted even easier, bonus for lift assisted stages if they open the lifts early in the am and you can nail a practice run or two before hand that day as a warmup

    I've never had an issue with 'not getting enough' as far as riding. Usually after a full day of practice, race day, afternoon practice & 2nd race day - It's fully time for beers and recovery (I'm an ex XC guy who would do 6-8 hour rides regularly...)

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    Sport here in PNW is usually +/- 15mi ~4k feet, 4-5 stages. Expert/Pro usually 18-21 mi, 5K ft, 6-7 stages. All same day, no lift assists. All the courses here are pretty steep and technical and physical. If you're racing at or near your skill + physical + mental limit for 30-40 minutes of timed downhill you'll be gassed at the end of the day.

    The focus required to race enduro (or DH for that matter) is a big factor, it's not like XC where you can tune out and push the pedals. Every foot you roll is another chance to die, lol

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by schnellmann View Post
    Sport here in PNW is usually +/- 15mi ~4k feet, 4-5 stages. Expert/Pro usually 18-21 mi, 5K ft, 6-7 stages. All same day, no lift assists. All the courses here are pretty steep and technical and physical. If you're racing at or near your skill + physical + mental limit for 30-40 minutes of timed downhill you'll be gassed at the end of the day.

    The focus required to race enduro (or DH for that matter) is a big factor, it's not like XC where you can tune out and push the pedals. Every foot you roll is another chance to die, lol
    Okay, that's more what I had in mind. So it is more of a local thing then maybe. I would enter expert classes, see how I compared before trying Pro. I'll hold out hope that maybe we can get more in for the expert/pro classes in the future.

  5. #5
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    remember a race that is as long and as much climb as you regular rides will be a lot to handle since you will be racing which is much more demanding than just riding, like no coasting downhill, instead always on your pedals as hard as you can.

    that said races between 15-20mi, 3.5-4.5k, 5-6 stages are usually what I do... it really depends on the location sometimes there are not enough to cover that much and you will find shorter races.

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    Logistics plays a big part in how long the races are. The CES races typically have a field of ~300 racers and even at the sharp end of the expert/pro classes, it takes much longer to finish the race than it would to just ride the course because of waiting at the top of stages for the individual time trial starts. the back end of the field takes forever to finish, both because they climb slowly during transitions and somehow there are still long lines at the top of stages. that means for even the very shortest race (Toro i think is about 15 miles and 3K vert) it takes at least 4-5 hours from start to awards/podiums. most of the races you will be there all day with awards happening in the mid to late afternoon. the CES races have gotten better, but the fact is there are more logistics than an XC race. frankly I like doing the shorter races just because I have a shot of getting home with some daylight left.

    on top of that, as the other folks in this thread said, even the most fit are worked at the end of the day doing the big mountain/resort races where you may get a chairlift ride. the northstar, china peak, mammoth races are all big, tiring days even if the mileage and vert don't seem intimidating. last year the mendocino race had a course that around 40 miles, but the length was balanced by the buff, less technical nature of the course.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardboiled View Post
    the back end of the field takes forever to finish, both because they climb slowly during transitions and somehow there are still long lines at the top of stages. that means for even the very shortest race (Toro i think is about 15 miles and 3K vert) it takes at least 4-5 hours from start to awards/podiums.
    Yeah, one of the things that put me off racing. I couldn't mentally justify paying the same amount of money as an endurance race, for 15 miles of riding, with most of it just standing around and waiting. One of the small local series has really improved their efficiency, not a lot of standing around the last time I was there. But...out of maybe 50 people I think 5 of us actually climbed each stage, everyone else shuttled.

    Thanks for the feedback everyone. I might just stick to enduro riding and pass on the enduro racing. I'm just very competitive and Strava isn't the same as racing...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    Yeah, one of the things that put me off racing. I couldn't mentally justify paying the same amount of money as an endurance race, for 15 miles of riding, with most of it just standing around and waiting...
    You'd really hate DH racing then.... haha

    Some of the multi-day Enduros are big days. I just did the Trans NZ and most days were a solid 5 - 7 hours without much sitting around.

  9. #9
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    Locally there was an endurance race and enduro race on the same trail at the same time. People had the option of entering both, so basically they did the typical 50 mile endurance race but also got timed on the downhill enduro sections. I didn't get a chance to do it, but it looked fun.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by toodles View Post
    You'd really hate DH racing then.... haha
    Ha ha, I would know what I was getting in to with DH at least. I know they are only doing very fast, short runs and aren't pedaling to the top. I do want to race some of the local DH, just haven't gotten the chance. Good enough for Aaron Gwin to practice on, good enough for me to kill myself!

    Quote Originally Posted by toodles View Post
    Some of the multi-day Enduros are big days. I just did the Trans NZ and most days were a solid 5 - 7 hours without much sitting around.
    That's what I want!


    Quote Originally Posted by coke View Post
    Locally there was an endurance race and enduro race on the same trail at the same time. People had the option of entering both, so basically they did the typical 50 mile endurance race but also got timed on the downhill enduro sections. I didn't get a chance to do it, but it looked fun.
    That...actually sounds really cool.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    That...actually sounds really cool.
    It does sound good, but I think you could really only concentrate on one or the other for sure. You'd not want to get caught up and match the pace of guys competing in the endurance race or vice versa.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by toodles View Post
    It does sound good, but I think you could really only concentrate on one or the other for sure. You'd not want to get caught up and match the pace of guys competing in the endurance race or vice versa.
    It's always interesting to compare times during an XC race compared to the enduro guys. While not an enduro race trail (or, an actual XC race either), I set a 5th fastest time on a 5 mile, 2000' singletrack descent on my XC bike in a 50 miler (10k climbing). Sure, it only has 100 people who have been on that trail, but I rode the whole race blind. Now that the snow should be gone soon, I need to go hit those trails up on my enduro with proper tires!

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    Just to give you an idea about PNW/BC enduros... here are two of the local courses:

    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/2018-c...t-enduro2.html

    ...and an upcoming DH, sometimes used in enduro races:

    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/nw-cup...-released.html


    Sometimes locally competitive XC guys show at our enduros thinking "how hard can it be?" and generally get humbled (we have a high concentration of riding talent in all types of cycling). XC/enduro are really different disciplines and the bikes needed to be competitive in our local enduros are generally very big.

    Reality is fitness only helps so much in proper enduro. You need to be fit enough to pedal the transfers comfortably AND whole-body strong enough to stay on the edge of control for the duration of the stages. The rest of podium placement is bike handling skill, knowledge of the course, courage and some luck.
    Last edited by schnellmann; 05-03-2018 at 04:04 PM. Reason: typo

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    The Pisgah Enduro is 29 miles on day one and 27 miles on day 2. 7 Stages total. I did an Enduro Race in Paris Mtn, SC last year and it was about 16 miles(did 18-ish because I got lost) but it was 4 stages, with an extra bonus stage for re-doing stage 2 to get a better time. Depends on who's running the venue. I know a lot of the events in the Pisgah and Brevard area are long and tough. They love doing big events out there. Word on the street is that the organizer likes to have a pretty decent attrition rate. In any case, even the fittest and most skilled of riders have tough time out there.
    I no longer like to party. But I like the idea of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    I would like to participate in some enduro's, but every time I see any they are just way too short to suit my interest. I wasn't sure if that is normal, or if it is just my local races. The one small fun series I don't really count, last one was 17 miles and 2400' (which almost everyone shuttled!). But the last race in my local series was only 14 miles and 2000'.

    I was thinking about doing the California Enduro Series race when I saw it was 5 stages and I estimated 5000' of riding, but then saw it is TWO days with a lift assist for a stage on both days!

    Is this 'normal' for enduro racing? My quickie fun ride after straightening my wheel on Saturday was 13 miles and 2000'!
    Where do you live?

    If California is close enough to try, give Tears, Fears and Beers a shot on Jun 9th in Ely, NV.

    Sport course is 25m/3,500', expert and pro are significantly longer.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by schnellmann View Post
    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/2018-c...t-enduro2.html


    ...and an upcoming DH, sometimes used in enduro races:


    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/nw-cup...-released.html




    Sometimes locally competitive XC guys show at our enduros thinking "how hard can it be?" and generally get humbled (we have a high concentration of riding talent in all types of cycling).

    Sounds like a good course, better than what we do here.


    All my riding is on my 2017 Enduro. My XC bike only comes out for racing XC. Otherwise I'm on the E29. I honestly have no idea how I compare to others, which is why I want to race (Strava only gets you so far in comparison). I don't make any claims I am a top Pro or anything, but I'm pretty strong when the trail points downhill (that's where I make up my time in XC).


    Quote Originally Posted by almazing View Post
    The Pisgah Enduro is 29 miles on day one and 27 miles on day 2. 7 Stages total. I did an Enduro Race in Paris Mtn, SC last year and it was about 16 miles(did 18-ish because I got lost) but it was 4 stages, with an extra bonus stage for re-doing stage 2 to get a better time. Depends on who's running the venue. I know a lot of the events in the Pisgah and Brevard area are long and tough. They love doing big events out there. Word on the street is that the organizer likes to have a pretty decent attrition rate. In any case, even the fittest and most skilled of riders have tough time out there.

    That sounds good!

    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    Where do you live?

    If California is close enough to try, give Tears, Fears and Beers a shot on Jun 9th in Ely, NV.

    Sport course is 25m/3,500', expert and pro are significantly longer.
    Looks to be about 500 miles away. Might be a stretch with my budget. But it doesn't conflict with my main series, so it is possible. I'll look into it. Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    Looks to be about 500 miles away. Might be a stretch with my budget. But it doesn't conflict with my main series, so it is possible. I'll look into it. Thanks.
    That is a big hike, but Ely is pretty far from everywhere.

    Last year I was there for four days of riding. Pre rode 3/4 of the sport course, the race itself and a couple days riding around Cave Lake. Dinner and beer are free after the race too.

    The course is pretty fun, fast and non-threatening, except for Whorehouse Hill in the expert and pro courses...and that just has one gnarly section. Some guy podium'd expert on a hardtail.

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