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  • How much faster is your enduro bike?
  • ferrals
    Member

    So for an opposite perspective to: How much faster is your XC bike?

    For those of you that have an xc race hardtail and a trail / enduro FS bike, how much faster are you downhill on a bike with FS, wider, grippier tyres and a dropper (or just not max efficiency high saddle height)?

    I was wondering about this after my ride yesterday. Based on strava, I’m about mid-leaderboard and taking roughly twice as long as the leaders on ~500m “enduro” descents (tight, steep, techncial pine forest). This is on a 100mm forked hardtail with 2.1in xc tyres – obviously largely inept skills but in terms of skill compensators ๐Ÿ˜‰ , what makes the biggest difference?

    Premier Icon cynic-al
    Subscriber

    There’ll be some anecdote and loads of opinions about but little evidence – too many other factors…

    Milkie
    Member

    Faster up and down on the Wreckoning than the HT on something like Afan. What surprised me is that I’m still faster on the 160mm FS bike at Ashton Court. ๐Ÿ˜† The HT feels loads faster though, I would swear I smashed my strava times, then find I was a couple of seconds slower on that section. I think I need to re-test this. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Premier Icon Trimix
    Subscriber

    Yup, I agree with Cynic-al on that.

    But from my own test:
    I did a CX race on my XC bike and the following week on the same course I did it on my YT Enduro bike. (just to make the proper CX riders shudder)

    On the YT I could out corner everyone due to its tyres and handling, but it was way slower. It was a CX course, so no real tech or hills.

    Mates I would normally have kept behind me overtook about 2 laps in and I couldn’t hold onto them for more than 100 yards.

    Its the top spec YT, so its under 30lbs. Tyres were the biggest difference.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    TBH with me it’s not so much fast or slow, when things get pointy it’s ride or don’t. I like riding inappropriate bikes but I just wouldn’t take my XC bike down, say, nae spleens or waterworld at the golfy, or a wet dunkeld.

    But yeah, there’s a middle ground where I’ll ride properly on the #enduro bike and tiptoe on the XC bike where it’ll be a ton slower. (and also, it’s just less fun so I commit less…). But that’ll vary from trail to trail, and conditions… The easier it gets and the simpler the surfaces, the smaller the gaps.

    (this is all assuming we don’t cheat… I reckon I could just about fit a pair of shorties in my XC bike, that’d change the odds. But at that point, ti’s not really being an xc bike)

    Sorry if that doesn’t meet whatever evidence standard Cynic-Al’s demanding…

    fifeandy
    Member

    but in terms of skill compensators, what makes the biggest difference

    For me (also in the inept skills bracket) the order is:
    Slacker head angle
    Tyres
    Dropper

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    but in terms of skill compensators, what makes the biggest difference

    Great question. I’ve been pondering it for some time and I’m really not sure, but I’m leaning towards good suspension, well set up.

    ferrals
    Member

    Interesting. I was thinking the key might be saddle height, really noticed it knocking into me on tight turns yesterday.

    How much of the tyre issue is grip and how much is bigger softer tyres not getting pinged off roots (feeling that makes me slow down).

    Premier Icon core
    Subscriber

    I had a demo on a 150mm Stumpy last year, on regular routes I ride on a 29er hardtail I found I was hardly any slower, and in some cases faster on climbs, I think due to the increased grip.

    Tyres were wider, and knobblier, but I think the suspension allowed a smoother and less interrupted pedalling action on the bumpy stuff where on a hardtail your arse almost gets lifted off the seat and pedalling nearly stalls. The stumpy would have been at least 5lb heavier than my hardtail at the time.

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    enduro races are won on enduro bikes
    XC races are won on XC bikes.

    Makes you think.

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    I was thinking the key might be saddle height

    Don’t get me wrong, I think saddle height is very important. It’s just not something unique to a particular type of bike. Some of us oldies have been dropping our saddles on our “XC” bikes for 25 years or more ๐Ÿ˜‰

    rocketman
    Member

    Example

    Local DH popular with Stravaists, scallys in trackie bottoms and everyone inbetween. Fastest time about 2 mins. Over 1000 people on the leaderboard a couple seconds separates the top 25.

    I’m usually 300th and something but have managed a stellar 174th or thereabouts on the enduro gnarpoon so 10 secs off my time of 3 mins which is 5.5% faster

    Worth evey penny lol

    deviant
    Member

    enduro races are won on enduro bikes
    XC races are won on XC bikes.

    Makes you think.

    This.

    I took my newly delivered DH bike out today, bearing in mind I haven’t dialed the suspension in for me yet but the ability to smash and crash through everything was astounding….and I thought 160mm bikes were the high point of current design!

    DiscJockey
    Member

    I’m sort of with stilltortoise on this….

    My new 160mm travel bike is sometimes quicker on the flat and even some uphills because it’s got must better suspension than the 120mm bike it replaced. It glides over bumps, whereas the previous bike tended to lose momentum too easily.

    But it’s not a good comparison as my new bike is 5 years newer, and other things have improved – and my 120mm bike wasn’t really XC.

    Semi scientific comparison.

    [video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Udf-5Xh3UsY[/video]

    Premier Icon oikeith
    Subscriber

    I have just gone from a 2016 29er Stumpjumper comp with 140mm front and 135mm rear to the 2017 29er Enduro Elite 160mm front and 165mm rear.

    Now I dont know if it because the newer bike has better wheels and other spec, but on my local trails which are currently super wet, muddy and greasy I am smashing previous PR’s from last year when the condition where prime!

    The bikes weigh about the same and I also wouldn’t say I have lost anything going up hills either!

    The thing I like the most about the new bike is the geometry, the 66degree headangle and short stays make the bike super fun at any speed, in the turns, when hitting drops or lips, everywhere!

    Premier Icon bwakel
    Subscriber

    I rode the Garburn Pass in the Lakes the other day. Up from Troutbeck and down to Kentmere. The climb is 1.9 miles long and has a relatively rocky bit at the start and short technical, rocky section near the top but is mostly quite smooth. The descent is rocky and would be very challenging on an XC bike.

    I rode it on my Yeti SB75 with 2.3″ tyres, 27.5″ wheels, 140/127mm suspension, which I’ve got down to 27.5lb weight. Last time I rode this route was back in 2013 on my Trek Fuel EX 9.8. A carbon fibre XC/light trail bike weighing 24.5lb with 26″ wheels and 2.1″ tyres.

    The conditions were very similar. Cool, sunny day with ice at the top of the pass. Needless to say, I was unsurprised that the Yeti was 5m30s faster on the technical, rocky descent. But I was amazed that it was 2m faster on the climb! Now, I may be slightly fitter than I was in 2013 but since I’m 50 years old now and ride about the same amount, I doubt it. My climbing time put me in the top 8% on Strava and on the descent I was in the top 16%.

    First time I rode the Garburn Pass was in 1997 on my Cannondale Super V with 26″ wheels, 71 degree head angle and 50mm front/70mm rear suspension. I remember carrying it most of the way down!

    Premier Icon ampthill
    Subscriber

    The descent is rocky and would be very challenging on an XC bike.

    I feel so much better about this descent now. I thought it was just me…

    Lester
    Member

    oops, wrong thread

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