I just dont get Enduro

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  • I just dont get Enduro
  • geologist
    Member

    I mean I do get Enduro as being a great fun format and being very similar to a lot of riders ‘normal type of ride’ i.e. take the uphills at a leisurely pace and then blast the downs.

    But what I dont get is how its aimed at being a race anyone can win. To me it seems that you have to be a downhiller to be in with a chance of winning. Its only ever downhillers that seem to win these things. You never see traditional XC racers winning them.

    Are there events out there where XC riders can compete with downhillers?

    Im a fairly alround type of rider, but i feel that no matter how fit I got, I could never compete at Enduro as my DH skills will never be good enough ( ie my bravery 🙂 )

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    Martha Gill started as an XC rider.

    Are there events out there where XC riders can compete with downhillers?

    XC races.

    Im a fairly alround type of rider, but i feel that no matter how fit I got, I could never compete at Enduro as my DH skills will never be good enough ( ie my bravery 🙂 )

    Work on your DH skills, rather than hitting the gym?

    ndthornton
    Member

    Enduro is always going to be for the downhillers who like a bit of peddling as its the descents that are timed. If you timed the ups as well then you are back with an xc race (maybe this is what you are looking for). Or just enjoy doing the races and don’t worry about your position. I wouldn’t come close no matter what the format!

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    To clarify, your gripe is that faster people would beat you in a race because there are faster people than you?

    Premier Icon vincienup
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    ‘Traditional XC’ has come a long way too, some of it can be pretty hairy now too.

    The ‘Everyman’ aspect of Enduro is that (in theory) it’s not as limited by specific kit etc and you can turn up on your Trail bike and have a go.

    How successful this is depends on the level of the event you try your hand at I think and it might not be obvious without research what level you’re letting yourself in for. Apart from the strict training regimes, the top end of the field do very definitely approach the thing just like any other serious pro/semipro with all the kit advantages they can get etc.

    I’ve accepted I’m not an Enduro racer. I can clear the terrain but not at anything like the speed to be competitive. Mostly because I’m trying not to get injured cos I’ve got responsibilities that landing myself in hospital would mess up, so I’m never fully committed and beyond a point that becomes dangerous in itself.

    Katy Winton – started life as an XC racer then decided it was shit* and turned to Enduro.

    *paraphrasing but she wasn’t enjoying it according to her interviews etc

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    To me it seems that you have to be a downhiller to be in with a chance of winning

    They’re not winning cos they’re downhillers, they’re winning cos they are blimmin good bike riders.

    trumpton
    Member

    I always thought pro enduro was for retried downhill riders

    Try a gravelduro event. not technical but fitness matter… a lot.

    stevextc
    Member

    It’s one thing riding a 5 min DH after being lifted… quite another riding 15+ min stage after climbing
    GMBN did a video where Nino pasted Neil on a descent after XC 2 laps…
    As I found out its not so easy to ride DH when your so exhausted and your heart rate is well into the red before you start!

    Obvious XC racer is Ravenel… but Jolanda took the gold in DH at Windrock… she’d absolutely paste most people (including many of the blokes) if she ever does an Enduro!

    Some good , solid STW replies to the OP. No one mentioned ‘marketing’ yet.

    I get what he’s saying…so what’s the point of the climbs if they’re not timed, why dont they just uplift instead and save some time & effort? I sort of enjoy the uphills on my ‘Enduro’ rides coz it helps with my fitness and I get to talk nonsense to my mates, but Sam Hill probably doesnt need to climb for no reason.

    I’ve not noticed much TV coverage of the fireroad stuff on Pinkbike.

    Having said that, Katy Winton did say on the Downtime podcast that she enjoyed the climbs as it gave her a chance to enjoy the scenery and chill out a bit (but that still doesnt mean it should be the majority part of a race).

    Geologist – take a look at the Redbull coverage of the Czech round of the xc, parts are pretty full on and it looked like a course most of us would be challenged to ride uphill and down.

    letitreign
    Member

    I’m struggling to make sense of your post (I don’t mean that in a bad way btw) but isn’t the whole point of enduro racing being a test of endurance, with a mixture of XC riding and DH, so ideally you’d need to be good at both to really to come anywhere? the DH riders that dominate the enduro scene are super fit because they have to be, so they’re going to be strong riders in both disciplines, no doubt if they wanted to race XC more completely, they’d probably do equally as well in those races too, least you’d think so.

    Premier Icon feed
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    I think the thing for most people is to be “racing” against a group of mates who are at a similar level. Even though I only do a few Enduro races and a few XC races each year it’s all about seeing how you compare to people you deem to be of a similar lever. I’d never threaten the podium in any category of any discipline but enjoy competing in races for a bit of fun (took me a bit longer to appreciate the “fun” part of XC racing 🙂 ) .

    Premier Icon sockpuppet
    Subscriber

    They could reduce the times available for the transitions, to since the best DHers as super fit it would just penalise normal folk more, or if the time resides too far they’d essentially become timed section too, which is a rather different sport!

    Hob Nob
    Member

    I get what he’s saying…so what’s the point of the climbs if they’re not timed, why dont they just uplift instead and save some time & effort? I sort of enjoy the uphills on my ‘Enduro’ rides coz it helps with my fitness and I get to talk nonsense to my mates, but Sam Hill probably doesnt need to climb for no reason.

    They are timed. You (usually) have a set start time for each stage, and if you are late, you get a time penalty. Or get canned. Some races are fairly relaxed and you have a reasonable amount of time, others I have done have been savage and even on 1h30m transitions I have only just made it in time.

    The smaller stuff, doesn’t tend to have timed transitions, or set stage start times because it’s more ‘grass roots’ and trying to appeal to a wider audience (i.e. attracting the weekend warrior). If you start making it tough, you lose that customer base.

    no doubt if they wanted to race XC more completely, they’d probably do equally as well in those races too, least you’d think so.

    Case in point, Jared Graves raced, podiumed and won a few national XC races early in his ‘enduro career’. Around the same time he also came 3rd in the DH world champs. Good, fir riders are good, regardless of discipline. I’m sure if he wanted to Nino could be a very good enduro racer too 🙂

    Trimix
    Member

    Go and watch one of the World Enduro races online. They are not at all like DH races or XC races.

    They are downhill, but with lots of pedaly bits, some of which go uphill and way more tech than normal riders can handle.

    One of the Enduro chaps, Martin Maes, recently won the French DH race in La Bresse, he normally wins the Enduro races. He said the reason he won it was because the first section needed a lot of pedaling. I was there and watched it, the top bit needed skill and power through the pedals which was much more like an enduro. The DH chaps train for 10 second sprints, the enduro chaps train for sevearal minutes of sprinting.

    trumpton
    Member

    I would have thought that DH riding and XC riding is very different with different riders being good at different things. I do not think a good rider can do it all.

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    geologist

    Member

    But what I dont get is how its aimed at being a race anyone can win.

    It isn’t. It’s a race hardly anyone can win, because the quality of the top end of the field is phenomenal, and the range of abilities you need are arguably higher than any other bike sport. Not the sheer level of any one skill, but you’ve got to be good at more things. As a lot of DH pros found out- Rachel Atherton got her arse kicked in a couple of local races then decided it wasn’t proper racing, Minaar got overtaken in almost every stage in his first EWS.

    The reason it’s so succesful with us knobbers is that it’s a race that can still be great fun and be a pretty comparable experience even if you’re 150th, whereas in XC and to a lesser extent DH, at that point you’re basically there to make the race financially viable so the top guys can do their thing. Which is why so many race organisers do it wrong- UKGE was totally obsessed with the top 10%, when actually they’re the riders the series could most easily have done without.

    Premier Icon jamesoz
    Subscriber

    The lack of practice of each stage or balancing practice against running out of legs makes a big difference to me, a different skill to racing/practicing one track in my opinion.

    But what I dont get is how its aimed at being a race anyone can win.

    It isn’t. It’s a race hardly anyone can win, because the quality of the top end of the field is phenomenal, and the range of abilities you need are arguably higher than any other bike sport.

    Yeah, its a race anyone can enter and finish, not win.
    Take someone that’s never mountain biked, give them a trail bike of some sort and half a year of riding once a week in the same sort of geographical location as the race, and they’ll probably not die and enjoy it.

    That one bike you own is probably the right one too (in the UK with travel increasing the further north you live), rather than having to pay another 4 figure sum for a vaguely competitive second hand race bike.

    Premier Icon CheesybeanZ
    Subscriber

    They’re not winning cos they’re downhillers, they’re winning cos they are blimmin good bike riders

    At going down hill .

    fooman
    Member

    What happens when Pro DH racers do Enduro? Look at Ard Rock podiums last year. Pro DH racers are as not far off XC fit but generally don’t race Enduro because they are Pro DH racers – there isn’t the same money racing Enduro. A prestigious Enduro like Ard Rock will attract a few anyway.

    Flip side is DH racing isn’t actually appealing to the average rider. Spending hours waiting on the side of a cold wet mountain for 5 minutes of racing or just trying to hang on… Enduro is more of a day out on a bike with a bit of racing thrown in, so really even at the back of the pack you can have a fun day out.

    Some generalisations above I know, but I think it largely why Enduro is gaining traction that DH is not. XC is a different kettle of fish for sure, but to be at the top these days you have to be good at everything not just fit. Can XC be fun for the average rider? Depends how much you like being at the red line for an hour, I try to treat them as an offroad TT rather than pushing to race other riders.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    Are there events out there where XC riders can compete with downhillers?

    Yep… Enduro.

    I think what you’re really asking is:

    “Are there events out there where XC riders can beat downhillers?”

    And TBH here are lots of cycling sub-disciplines and niches, including Enduro, where an XC racer could win, but it’s probably only Enduro that currently has the broad base appeal to attract both serious XC and DH riders as well as the more casual MTBerist…

    The fact that being an “Enduro Racer/rider” is now a thing where it wasn’t a decade or so ago says everything about where MTBing is headed… Overall I see it as a positive.

    To clarify, your gripe is that faster people would beat you in a race because there are faster people than you?

    Nail on head.

    trumpton
    Member

    Enduro is indeed a great addition to the mtb scene. Shame it isn’t streamed like dh is.

    DH coverage is poor tbh, enduro would require a ridiculous amount of cameras, and even at that, as it’s not just one run, wouldn’t have the direct comparison from rider to rider that dh does.

    trumpton
    Member

    the xc coverage is good though.

    jaketurbo
    Member

    I always thought pro enduro was for retried downhill riders

    Yeah, other than the fact Maes is faster than pretty much the entire UCI DH roster, wins enduros and DH events for fun.

    geologist
    Member

    Thanks for your thoughts all.

    Nobeerinthefridge/thisisnotaspoon – you have either completely misunderstood my post or you’re looking for an argument.
    I have no gripe – I’m old enough, and long enough in the tooth to be comfortable with the fact that I would be/have been beaten by pretty much anyone. I’m simply voicing something that I’ve been pondering for a while and interested in peoples thoughts.

    It seems to me that a downhill specialist arriving at the start of a timed DH stage , lets say 80% knackered would still ride a DH stage quicker than an XC specialist arriving at that DH stage 60% knackered, and also vice versa.

    I think that a format where the timed stages include uphill sections, undulating sections and DH sections would be a better/more inclusive format. Or maybe have small parts of the linking sections as timed. Are there races like this ?

    the xc coverage is good though.

    we still never saw what happened to the Dutch lady that was battling Courtney… until suddenly she just wasn’t

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    At going down hill

    I’d say ‘At riding offroad’ – I’d bet my arse enduro race winners are incredibly talented at more than just going downhill.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    take the uphills at a leisurely pace

    Under current EWS rules you’d get a minute time penalty if you miss you start time by under 5 mins, if you miss your start time by more than 5 mins you get a 5 minutes penalty. Given how close the racing is now,  that would mean the difference between winning for Meas, at Madeira or dropping him down to 80th if he missed by over 5 mins.

    That’s why they rush to do repairs, or help each other out in transitions.  (like Meas has done, helping Sam with a puncture, or Ravenel pushing Katy Winton along)

    I think you have be pretty competent all round to win

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    geologist

    Member

    I think that a format where the timed stages include uphill sections, undulating sections and DH sections would be a better/more inclusive format.

    That’s pretty common. TBH it’s massively down to the area and the organisers- some places lack the vertical to go for all-out descending even if they want to. Sometimes an organiser will go to real efforts to add in or avoid pedals

    If anything, this is a problem with the format- you never really know what you’re going to get. But it’s certainly not often all short downhill race style stages, if nothing else hardly any venues can do that. And “downhill” means different things, like, the grey mare’s trail at Kinlochleven is 100% downhill and has some pretty full on committed sections (being essentially a walker’s trail with a river running down it rather than a bike trail) , but it’s also massively physical.

    I mean this in the nicest possible way, but I think you just don’t really have much knowledge of what it actually is, and you’ve made some wrong assumptions.

    geologist
    Member

    No offence taken, you’re right actually.
    I’ve only ever seen a couple of enduros, all the EWS stuff , which I know isn’t typical of most UK stuff.

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    As soon as you start timing the bigger ups (not just having a time limit) that MASSIVELY favours the fitter riders who might not be as skilled on the downs.

    If a rider is 10% faster on a 20 min climb, he’s 2 mins up. You try making up 2 mins on a 5min descent at that level…

    I’d rather see someone chill on the climbs then attack the downs, rather than zip up a climb and mince down.

    ocrider
    Member

    EWS stages can have uphill sections too. I know that the organisers at Olargues intentionally put pedally bits into specials on both days to spice things up a little and if I’m not mistaken Ainsa had one with a tough climb straight out of the start gate.
    You just don’t see these parts of the race stages because they aren’t worth the effort of trying to shoehorn into a 20 minute show which only has room for the best bits.

    orena45
    Member

    I’m sure if he wanted to Nino could be a very good enduro racer too 🙂

    Nino did an EWS race in it’s first year IIRC and don’t think he did that well.

    (*looks at Roots and Rain…167th of 293, his worst race result of his career!).

    I’m sure he’d do better if he tried again though.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    geologist

    Member

    No offence taken, you’re right actually.
    I’ve only ever seen a couple of enduros, all the EWS stuff , which I know isn’t typical of most UK stuff.

    I think even then, you might be surprised. Like, the 2 EWS rounds I did were pretty varied terrain- but of course all the pics and videos and that were of the Peril, very little about the fire road sprints or the short horrible climb followed by the long pedally traverse. Plenty of people on here that have done more of the continental events that can tell more..

    And also, even if it were 100% downhill, they’re still pedalling like mofos and stages can run 10 minutes plus. I’ve never raced at La Thuile but I rode some of the stages and racing those would break me like a twig. 11 minutes flat out for Sam Hill, we stopped halfway down for a picnic.

    peaslaker
    Member

    The original argument walks like a duck, quacks like a duck.

    When you turn up the stage start of an enduro stage you aren’t an xc rider or dh rider. You’re a competitor. Simples.

    I’m a fifty year old. 27 years ago I was a half decent roadie who bought a mountain bike. I committed every single BITD sin. 150mm Atac stem. Suspension boing bits made of rubber. Saddle at optimum height for pedalling. A complete dirt roadie who entered the dh stage at one BITD event (as you did) on the bike I had because it was my mountain bike.

    Didn’t clear a simple titchy gap jump for 15 years. Took me until 2007 to try full suss.

    These days I have some skills downhill. Came to it late in things but love the process. Race enduros.

    Practice makes a difference. If I have a sense of the terrain and I’ve got my confidence in a good spot I can turn a good result. If there are much more skilled /practiced riders they will always beat me. So what? Until you’re between the tapes you have no sense for how much it is a race of not screwing up. The satisfaction /frustration quotient is almost always in my own head. It is cool. I find ways to ride at my best. By racing I’ve got better which is amazingly rewarding in itself.

    Give it a go. Let it change you. Enduro is a journey.

    tails
    Member

    I kinda get what you mean geologist. I think the reason it’s come about is that xc, dh and dirt jumping were very defined disciplines with high competitions and lower level to enter.

    Where as most of us were doing trail riding in its various guises from people blasting around Cannock to the more gravity alpine stuff. So they made a sport out of it, without the UCI who at the time would have not understood it.

    As the riders at the sharp end are very quick and hard on their kit, enduro trail bikes have become popular which are much more burly and have more travel than I’ll ever need. I’m not sure where that leaves trail riders like myself who only need 130mm trail bikes. I guess we’ve become another genre. I often think I’m an xc rider without the skills or fitness so I don’t buy an xc bike.

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