Alpine Bikes' sponsored rider Stuart Nicholson gives a quick summary of enduro if you're just not getting it. You'll be on the trails in no time.
Stuart has been racing Enduro since 2012 and joined the Alpine riders' team in 2016. View his full biography by clicking here.
Well in short, it's a competitive version of the riding most of us do on a weekly basis. Ride to the top of a hill and enjoy the ride down the other side! It generally consists of 3 to 6 timed (mostly downhill) stages linked together by non-timed links, although some races (i.e. the Enduro World Series) have set time limits for the links. UK stage lengths range from 2 to 10 minutes with varying physical and technical levels. Some stages will have a technical bias, some a physical bias, others a mix.
Simply put, you get more time on your bike than DH racing… and it doesn’t require XC fitness levels (or pain!). Of course, the guys and girls at the top of the sport have top level DH skills and are as fit as XC racers. Enduro really is a test of all-round mountain biking. Its appeal is far more widespread than traditional MTB racing disciplines. It entices riders who wouldn’t normally race XC or DH as its emphasis is on riding great trails and having fun on your bike. Nothing better than comparing your stage times with your mates at the end of a great weekend’s riding!
People race on anything from 100mm hardtails (in specific HT cats) to 180mm full-suspension bikes, with most people choosing somewhere between 140mm and 160mm front and rear travel. Ride the bike that makes you smile the most! Kit wise, a helmet is essential (most UK events don’t require a full face), gloves generally compulsory, and knee/elbow pads highly recommended. A backpack with general trail riding kit (multi tool, pump, spares, food, etc) is also very useful.