Downhill racing is awesome. We love nothing more than watching the top guys smash it down World Cup tracks at speeds that would scare the living piss out of most of us. If we’re honest, top-level XC is pretty gnarly too, what those guys put their bodies through is nothing less than hardcore. The thing is, most of us are, well, average. That’s the point of elite athletes, for a living they do things that most of us can’t or won’t do, if they didn’t they’d be average too. At that level the bikes are pretty specialist, you can’t pedal a DH race bike up a mountain and you wouldn’t want to ride a World Cup downhill track on an XC race bike.
As mountain biking has progressed through the years those disciplines have become more and more extreme, yet what about those of us in the middle? What if you just want to ride some great trails, are happy to pedal to the top if you need to and mainly want to have fun on your bike, but still fancy doing a bit of racing? What if you can only afford one bike in the garage and can’t justify having a specialist race bike? That’s where enduro fits.
Originating from France in 2003, the format is based on motorbike enduro and anyone who has followed car rallying should find it instantly familiar. The most basic definition is timed downhills and untimed uphills. Racing is over a series of special stages and whoever has the fastest combined time after those stages wins. Riders need to get between the stages, often for a set start time. Originally the Tribe enduro races in France were over ten timed stages, the Italian Superenduro PRO races are over four or five, the Gravity Enduro races in the UK are also over five, but three stages seems to be more common among smaller, slightly easier races.
Accessibility is an important aspect too – expect to be racing on the same tracks at the same time as the top guys, there’s no separate elite category or insane pro-lines on the tracks, it’s all about a race that everyone in the field can enjoy riding. While everyone should be able to have fun on the stages, don’t think that doesn’t mean the top guys aren’t absolutely smashing it though – it was while riding enduro that Fabien Barel had his horrific 70km/h crash a few years back...
The word downhill is an important one: if the timed stages aren’t mostly downhill, it ain’t enduro. The UCI are looking into becoming involved with the format and it is their gravity section who are looking at it, that’s the same people who look after downhill. With the original Tribe enduro races in France they aimed for no more than 10-15% uphill in a stage. That is just a rough figure, you won’t catch them out on the hill with a trundlewheel checking the precise ratio of downhill millimetres of versus uphill millimetres of trail – it was all about how the trail felt when you rode it. If a race has skills' sections or climbing stages in, sure they might be fun races, but they aren’t enduro and shouldn’t be called enduro. Same goes for the long-distance XC races that called themselves enduro, if they don’t have the timed stages and untimed liaisons format, it isn’t enduro.
Why is this detail important? If you show up to a race with a 160mm, 30lb+ enduro race bike, kitted out with big, dual-ply tyres and someone tells you that the race you’ve paid to enter is a 100km slog around a flat field, you’re going to feel burnt, right? The same goes the other way, if you show up to a real enduro race on a 20lb carbon XC race bike, there’s a good chance that something is going to get broken, whether it’s you or the bike. More importantly, it’s not going to be fun for you. As enduro is a relatively new format in many countries there is still some confusion as the format settles down into something stable, but race organisers need to describe their races in a way that riders understand to avoid that kind of confusion. Hopefully the long history of motorbike enduro will help make this easier.
And as for Super D? As far as we're concerned that's more of an XC race, the low-fat, vegan-friendly version of enduro. Lycra has no place in a real enduro race, nor does racing up the climbs. Generally you should expect to bring at least a good set of kneepads and, here in Europe, your full-face helmet. In the UK full-face helmets aren't compulsory (yet), but in Italy and France they are very necessary for the terrain.
Getting to the top is the one area where there isn’t a set rule – it depends on where you are and who’s the running the race. When they ran the first Tribe enduros in France, they used the ski lifts to get to the top of the hill and the physical element came in the ten descents. As the format spread to areas outside the high Alps where enduro began, people began pedalling to the top. You might also find some races with a combination of the two. There isn’t a right or wrong version, the only thing that matters is that it’s supposed to be enjoyable, while you can cover long distances and have hard days, it shouldn’t be lung-burning climbing for hours on end.
So, that’s a very brief guide to enduro. If that sounds like something you’d like to have a go at, here’s a few series you could think about doing:
Tribe Events (France): www.tribe-events.com
Superenduro (Italy): www.superenduromtb.com
Gravity Enduro (UK): www.ukgravityenduro.com
Gravity Enduro (Ireland): www.gravityenduro.ie
Enduro (Germany): www.enduroseries.net
Oregon Enduro (USA): www.oregonenduro.com
In the next article in this series, we’ll have a look at setting your bike up to go enduro racing.
Yeah the racers should defiantly give a good description on what they mean by enduro, I turned up to an xc event that was called an enduro according to there webs site the the description was something like:
This track is so much fun with more descents then climbs and single track that will blow your mind. when i arrived it was very different 29'ers, lycra, energy gels, shaved legs and 3 to 4 inch travels bikes.
There i was with my 5inch travel bike, shorts, wide bars and single front chain ring.
Was not fun.
but i agree with erlier comments about races advertising as enduro that turn out to be xc, i think that there should be a clear difference to people out side of the sport about their differences or maybea name change...but thats just me anyway!
While you suggest it's about just one bike, you actually argue that you feel you need a quiver. Ride what you have. My riding buddies are 85% 29er hardtail, 10% 29er FS, and 5% 26er FS. I ride 26er FS. I don't get caught up in whether my bike is the same as theirs, or in what ways my bike is different. It's my bike, so it's the right one for me. Dig?
Interestingly, an all rounder means 85%-90% DH and 10-15% climbing. Any more climbing and it becomes xc with a technical descent section.
I'm talking about Darcy's concern over having the wrong bike. Compared to a 29er with 4" travel I do just fine on a trail bike with 5.5" travel, and Darcy can probably do just as well. XC racers will most often ride the bike they're fastest on and if the race is Enduro or Super D they'll likely race that on the race bike.
Good riders are fast on multiple bikes.
(thanks for the neg reps, doods. next time just skip thinking entirely!)
CFOxtrot, I meant it looks like you think it is about the bike. I am saying it is about the trail. The race determines the bike setup right? It a guy is winning on an xc rig then it is not enduro. He was looking for a race type that made all-mountain rigs optimal. He isn't saying everyone should have to ride them, but that the trail is wrong for what the race claims to be. Who cares what other people ride. But if Gwin or Hart, or Hill showed up to the world cup race with his DH sled and found it was a marathon and he would be pissed. They wouldn't wine that Lance Armstrong showed up on his 29er and won it, but they would use his win to illustrate what was wrong with the thing. False advertising can ruin the race for the rider who showed up expecting it be what the event claimed.
You got negative props because you either didn't take the time to read my response or you still have failed to make your point clear.
I'm done here I don't give a fk, do it as a format of XC for DHillers and in less than 5 years time XCers will develop their DH for XCers on 4-5" bikes and niners - it will all be jolly good with divisions and people keeping on hating on each other who's the real mountain biker. Keep those huge, gravity taming, fearless, balls out - proove to the world that Dhers can pedal and XCers suck on downhills. Pump that dick with ego until it blows the baggy pants
P.S. I ride everything from XC/Trail to DH tracks on 6" Nomad with 2.5 minions DHF, 750 bars and flat pedals - (oh and I haven't found any steep tough shit that I couldn't ride on HT with 100mm fork that I could ride with DH bike) just if anyone thinks that I am biased... and I ride in this way long before AM was considered cool, you all sort of jump on the wagon I'm on from 6+ years - glad that mainstream is catching up with us
WAKI nails it again -- it's in the head & body, bike doesn't matter!
Darcy, I dig the 3d place on the 5" travel bike. Do you think not getting 2d or 1st was about the bike? Do you think those who finished 4th through last place were imagining they did poorer than you because you had 5" travel?
The near absence of humility is what WAKI seems to be mocking. I find it funny. You and others will probably hold that against me. Oh well. But let's get back to the subject at hand.
I just bought a Mojo HD because the salesman says it's an ideal Super D - Enduro - All Mountain bike. I don't have any cycling experience but AM looks exciting to me. I'm not much of an athlete, but it's time to start. I don't have any climbing fitness or descending skill. I need a race where I can put my hot new Mojo HD to the test! What do you recommend?
As for enduro - AM, depends. Lopes has been shredding everything on his Mojo, and has even won air DH in whistler on it. Im a Scott Bikes guy, so im kinda biased towards them, I have a Gambler, Genius Lt, Spark 29r. The Genius LT is an enduro/am machine! one of the most fun bike (overall) Ive ever ridden, you can lock it out and climb like a hardtail, unlock to 4inch for flat trails, and open it up to 7inches for DH and bike park fun.
If you want to get better, just ride. If you want to excel, do a bit of training 2 times a week as well as ride every week. simple stuff makes a huge difference in controlling your bike and increase your speed and skill of the bike, especially when your pushing it in a race. I dont know anything about your local race sence, but im sure your local shop can point you in the right direction.
My brother and I are 2 yrs apart, grew up as decent enough friends, same household, etc. We have entirely different senses of what's funny vs what's offensive. Same genetics, same relative intelligence. Two different perspectives.
I think WAKI is doing some fine satire. I think most people don't see it. That's because to most people, satire is nothing but insult. They don't see what's funny about it. They prefer a very bland satire, one that really lacks all satiric angles. Like Will Ferrell.
Neither view is all bad or all good. They're different ways of seeing the world and different communication styles. The audience for one is small, for the other much larger.
PS: my last paragraph above, talking about the Mojo HD -- that was a sort of satire. I've been riding bikes since I was 6 and haven't ever owned an Ibis of any kind. I haven't raced bikes since 2005 but I am doing a Super D series this summer. Thanks for the suggestions, I bet others will find them very useful.
What if you don't know where to put pics of your enduro bike because it doesn't fit Freeride/DH Bikes as well as XC Bikes?
I rode the second round which turned out to be the fitness round, think of the enduro version of PMB in DH... Although all the routes went down they weren't exactly DH and the pedalling killed me off.
Also interesting you mention the "could really suit older guys like me" the masters class in the UK series is always well attended and its definitely the older crowd who race rather than the young guns who are doing pure DH.
The Italian Championship is getting bigger and bigger, and the skill level of the top 20 riders is amazing (try to believe it !!), and more and more International riders comes here to compete.
That's (IMHO) the real essence of MTB,
I have to disagree on one point tho: a 3 stage race is harder than a 5 stage race. Here, nearly all races are 3 stages which typically means 1200m positive climbing (up to 1600m) and 30km total. This means up to an hour long continuous pedalling on the uphills (x3) with a 30lbs bike, full face and armour. And the descents take anywhere from 6 to 15 minutes for the top guys.
One thing the author failed to mention is the fun factor of different formats: single starts, 3 man starts, groups of 20+...
For pictures of the races, check out this blog: enduroazur.blogspot.com
You might be interested to see the changes in technical difficulty at World Cup XC races now, versus 5 years ago. Dirt sidewalks no more. Interesting inversion going on -- DH is getting smoother and more groomed (slopestyled), XC is getting rougher and less groomed. Runs contrary to the enduring myth of XC being 100% fitness 0% skill. Fun to watch the world's best XC racers descending chunky ledgy stuff (see MSA course last weekend) on 20 lbs spindly bikes with a seat raised all the way to the roof, and descending quickly. Wait. How's that happening? They're not on 6"/6" bikes!
I wouldn't be rushing to "weed out" people based on spandex. Among all the riders I know and ride with, the fastest and most skilled descenders usually ride in what many pinkbike readers would call Disco Lycra XC Racer Kit. The ones wearing body armor and TLD full face? Well, they look the part at least.
People who know me know what I know, what bike I ride, what bikes I have ridden, and how long I've been riding. I'm not clear on why I have to prove those things here on pinkbike. I don't believe in projecting my personality on pinkbike. I use it for entertainment, and to offer thoughts on the state of the so-called "industry" and the people who write about it. People are free to believe I am a 98-year-old grandmother in a nursing home for all I care.
Lycra shorts are the only things worth wearing if you spend time in the saddle. Whether you are too modest to wear them alone is up to you. It's easy to wear a shell over them. Most of my friends who wear lycra do it because it's more comfortable, less drag on the legs when pedaling, cooler. It's not about showing one's twig & berries to the world. They're worn on bikes. Not when hanging around and not riding bikes. I wear lycra shorts without a shell about 15% of the time, usually when it's above 85deg.
I'm sure you pass me all the time. Sucks when the alarm clock wakes you from those dreams though, eh?
The ONE person I saw on a DH bike was riding it becasue that was what he had and probably worked harder than anyone else all weekend to get seventh in his class, so yes you can do it, but not competively.
It IS like moto enduro, bacause you roll easy in the transfer sections, bs with your fellow competitors at the check ins and do your best to haul ass in the tests. Doesn't matter whether you have a throttle or not, the format is the same.
Ashland was great and well organized for a first effort at enduro, the only thing better would have been if the cat 2/3 could have raced the Horn Gap, as it was the funnest thing I rode all weekend.
California needs an enduro series!!!
Bottom Line - There is simply no way to rig a timed race so that the weekend warriers in baggys will win. Its racing and its won by the fittest, hardest working guys and girls on the course. What makes Enduro absolutely awesome is that its the type of trails that a weekend warrier can have an absolute blast racing on. That's what separates it from upper level DH and XC.
I think that's a good compromise
We have a 6 race enduro cup ongoing in Finland(www.mtb-enduro.net), but it would be nice to try races in other Scandinavian countries too, since you have some amazing terrain and actually have real mountains where to ride...
Will post more later. Have to go have some beers in Oslo now. :-D
Anyway, if you want to learn how others do it you should research time keeping enduros in America. The time keeping aspect would make it 100% different than what is described above and I think it would work really well in MTB.
The great thing about adding this to the event would be that it really helps level the field, just because you cant absoultely rip it down the timed sections doesnt mean you cant get a good result, if ur spot on in ur pace outside of the special stages u still have a good chance barring the fact that faster guy ahead of ur muck up pace and end up getting points added.
I like the idea but i think this discipline is still young and evolving, so many ppl are still i guess "figuring" it out
I had trouble finding Super D events on the east coast (along with others) and found that most race organizers didn't like to put on the events because they couldn't
get enough riders to show because it was a unique event. That was 3yrs ago. Since then Harlan Price and I started the East Coast Super D group on Facebook to gather event dates for east coast riders looking for Super D and enduro events. It also shows the amount of people interested in these events, the list keeps growing which is great.
I agree with the story in that enduro is supposed to be mostly DH but some race organizers putting on new enduros don't get this or are influenced by XC when they set up events here in the US. It's my guess that this will change as this category grows with popularity here in the US...especially on the east coast.
unfortunately all the places that you can ride is not that proffisional and we have just all mountian plus DH contest...
I wish to improve my all mountian skills at that competition in italy ^
The smaller series or individual races are in most cases 1 day race.
According to this description a race down the 5 easiest trails at the bike park would be enduro. I pictured it longer than that, but locally we have nothing longer.
B) Most of the stuff and chatter I've seen describing Super D put's it as a DH event that's supposed to have some amount (less then 15%) of climbing. But even in the non-climbing sections on some tracks, you need to be on the pedals if you really want to kick a$$.
Some observations: A fit DH'er will absolutely KILL IT in Super D. The problem is that most DH'ers aren't fit to the level of XC guys, which shouldn't be a big deal for a Super D event as you shouldn't have to go for more then 15 to 20 minutes. But most DH'ers I know don't train for that kind of thing.
A fit DH'er on an AM rig that trains to go as fast as he can for 30 minute shots would be an a$$ kicker in Super D races.
At the Super D events in this part of the world, most guys are there on trail bikes. They looked at my bike (A Khyber Elite) as if it were a DH or FR rig.
Just like the Oregon guys have set up, a good Super D will be fast. It will have jumps. It will have technical. It's exactly the kind of thing a DH'er should kick a$$ at if only he or she were fit enough to do it.
I think we need to change how it's perceived. I think the Oregon Super D stuff is a step in the right direction for that.
Precisely the problem!
It's a bruise to the ego to build yourself into a burly DH racer/fast descender image, and then encounter a serious XC racer who kicks your azz on a descent. I guess the natural response is to blame XC racers for being lycra geeks who are 100% fitness, 0% skill, and the only reason they're faster than you is because they're on an XC race bike while you're on a 30 lbs "all mountain" (or whatever) bike.
The more people obsess over their bike choice and the image it provides them, the further they get from understanding how to structure a race to test a given set of skills.
ive been wanting a more all around trail bike as im much more inclined to the tech stuff hopefully the 5.7 is wat i need
Anyway, I really don't care what some individuals think, in spite of actually just trying to be plain and clear earlier. There was no intent to piss anyone off.
Next weekend is planned for 13 - 16 September, and will be held on a secret location in Wallis, Switzerland
enduro for xc marathon is simply the word ENDURANCE shortened
ENDURO is ENDURO!!! its not short for endurance its another word with another meaning.
On another note, I think an exciting new sport could be a cycling only triathlon, DH, XC and Road in one race. (Obviously 3 types of bikes would be needed but most serious cyclist will usually have more than a single discipline bike)... If this type of event already exist, please care to share I'd be very interested to find out more
also many of these enduros do have up-hill riding, thats how u get to the start of the next stage, that portion of the race is simply not timed but often there is a cutoff time where if u arrive late u will be penalized. Its something new and exciting for alot of guys who are more into the technical aspect of the sport and not just hammerhead roadies pretending to be mountain bikers
edit: also ive seen they have changed WEC to Enduro World Championship, cuz the FIA does the World Endurance Championship... thats kinda funny
Since when did a mountain bike have a throttle you can twist to go uphill?
Seems to me it's sorta like the ISDT in the sense of having daily requirements (stages) but actually is a lot more like (for example) the Tour de France. Different stage each day, overall category/class winners.
Very cool format. I'm really glad to see it finally catching on here in the U.S. Our local club has been putting on the Fears Tears and Beers MTB Enduro in Ely, NV since 2005 and as far as I know we were one of (if not the) first to put on a race with this format here in the States.
Here's a link to a thread with some reports from this year's race.
"idk wats so hard to understand about this.."
How am I supposed to read your mind or have the experience of a race I've never entered? Your description wasn't clear and sounded like what I described, and the best you can do is pretend I'm too stupid to get it? Maybe you should note that I was correct in the ISDT analogy and start from there.
Communication skills are important. Pretending you're superior? Not so much.
Here's a quick, self-filmed edit I made of part of the top section of the Hood River course that kind of gives you an idea of some of the riding there. www.pinkbike.com/video/261567
Uphills are essential - they will separate wooses from racers. I have a feeling you would like to adjust the racing format for the use of one particular type of bike which is 6"-7" mini-DH bike. Variation of tracks is the best potential in this sport, different wheels, tyres, maybe different bikes for different tracks - make it a series and the most versatile rider will win anyways
As soon as we talk 2ply full-on DH tyres then huh something gets biased isn't it?
As far as I can tell from every race I've been in, including two of Oregon's series, the pros start first, followed by cat 1 and so on. Also there are VERY different tracks at each race that do require different set ups but the point of an enduro is to use the SAME setup for all the stages of a particular race. This sport is very easy to professionalize (what you mean by that, I don't know exactly) and has the most potential out of any racing format due to the fact that you need a bike that most people love- one that can slay dh but can also pedal uphill without the risk of death by exploding lungs. It's a race for the person who wants to ride everything but doesn't have the budget to have a bike for both... which I see more of every year.
At least the Polish Enduro Trophy series states pretty clearly before the race what kind of terrain you are going to face, so you can prepare properly and bring according bike with according setup, and come in according safety gear. If its 500ft hills you might bring semi slicks, if it's a nearly a DH track with washing-machine size rocks might want 2plies a FF helmet with Leatt brace, if it's both you might want to bring both. If you see a race description 100km Enduro marathon and see pics from last year with people on 29ers with semislicks on fireroad then you either bring a sub 20lbs bike with Furious Fred tyres and stiff fork or just don't take part
And this latest race in Oregon with top dogs in lycra and winner on 29er - wasn't it Enduro enough?
If you don't time the climbs then you're basically suggesting people use their DH sleds. Sure hope the descents make it worth lugging all that weight!
On the other hand, if the climbs are too big, the winner will be whomever can climb fastest, and descending skills/speed will be secondary.
Which means the biggest Q here is what should be the emphasis of the race. Descending? Climbing? Is it a test to see who is fastest on a 30 lbs 6"/6" bike? What is the focus of the race? The type of bicycle most will want to use? Or the skills the race is testing?
IMO the format should have timed climbs with cutoffs, the descent sections should be technically difficult, and the racers themselves should be able to call out sandbaggers.
I guess Ill add to that, Im not big on labels, and welcome more styles of mountain bike racing.........whatever you want to call them.
A lot (not all) of the places used aren't steep and fast enough for a DH bike to work. The amount of pedaling needed to keep up with anybody else under such circumstances would pop a ventricle.
""Which means the biggest Q here is what should be the emphasis of the race. Descending? Climbing? Is it a test to see who is fastest on a 30 lbs 6"/6" bike? What is the focus of the race? The type of bicycle most will want to use? Or the skills the race is testing?""
I suspect that the bulk of us here want something that's more a test of the riders skill over fast and technical terrain and not too much of the pedaly fitness side. That tends to suggest gravity with enough difficulty that the XC guys can't just pedal away and be done with it.
So to summarize: Fast and technical enough that you can't win by fitness alone? How does that sound?
And how does that affect bike choice? Well, it's ultimately going to boil down to a matter of taste, but a 6 to 7 inch travel bike with good pedaling efficiency sounds like a great compromise in my opinion. But if you can manage it on a hard tail or a 9" DH rig, then rock it! That's obviously what works for you. :-)
If your local XC talent pool includes lots of great riders who are strong in XC as well as DH you're gonna have a hard time designing a course or format that will prevent the XC guys from winning.
Why would someone want a course/race that is wimpier than DH, if the point is to emphasize technical descent skill? Easier than a DH race course suggests you're trying to reward intermediate-level technical skills and beginner-level fitness. Why doesn't beginner/Cat4 XC racing cover that already?
Who are these "fitness alone" riders that completely lack technical skill? What regions of North America do they inhabit?
There is nothing wrong with someone that is skilled in both. I ride a lot of XC, but I prefer DH. But the point is that they can't win on fitness alone. That's all.
""Why would someone want a course/race that is wimpier than DH, if the point is to emphasize technical descent skill? Easier than a DH race course suggests you're trying to reward intermediate-level technical skills and beginner-level fitness. Why doesn't beginner/Cat4 XC racing cover that already?""
Actually, I didn't use the term "technical descent skill". :-) It was "fast and technical terrain". Technical not just because it's steep and/or rocky. There are a lot of interesting things that can be done in terms of line and camber alone. Do I square that entrance? Do I late apex it because I want to be setup for the next corner? How am I going to do that with a tree on the inside of that off camber corner? Are those wet pine needles at the apex? At speed all of those things take on greater and greater import. And it doesn't need to be steep and rocky for the pucker factor to skyrocket when you push the front while pressing on at a good clip.
So I'm not suggesting easier. Lots of speed always changes the equation and from what I've seen "strictly" XC guys aren't that fast when they don't have to pedal and the decision window compresses.
""Who are these "fitness alone" riders that completely lack technical skill? What regions of North America do they inhabit?""
I never said "completely lack". Stop building straw men.
Are there some XC guys that can rock? Hell yeah? Is that percentage less then 30? Hell yeah?
It's not about precise exact terminology. You suggested technical descending skill should be emphasized. Maybe you used a different phrase than my 3 words but it's what you were talking about. Same with your qubble on "completely lack" -- you suggested there are riders who win on fitness alone. Win what? Online scrabble games?
Seriously... are you trying to make this into some bizarre debate? If you think posts are about having to use the exact same phrasing as someone else... you're splitting hairs and seeking disagreement.
WHOM is going to win WHAT on "fitness alone"?
It all reads to me like people who bought "enduro" or "all mountain" bicycles think that a race needs to be designed to suit what they imagine are their best ridership traits.
Sad to say that increased saddle time brings increased bike skill as well as fitness and you're gonna have a hard time keeping good riders from winning -- but you'll always have a ready excuse in "he won on fitness alone, the course wasn't technical enough." Unfortunately the guys making those arguments tend to be imagining the winning rider as being nothing but a pair of lungs on wheels. I guess there's a need to protect the self-image of being a burly "all mountain" rider who spits at XC riders/racers and mocks lycra. If that's really your aim, I suggest you try racing DH in beginner or sport class, where everyone does it to brag about being a burly DH racing badazz and to have fodder for mocking XC riders.
Meanwhile you should invite Adam Craig or Carl Decker or Sam Schultz for a ride so you can see their "fitness alone" handing your azz to you in the technical sections.
If it's a part of the country where there's no hills to speak of, you can't really have a lengthy race focused on descending. Pretty much if you can't have decent DH races there, you can't create worthwhile descent-oriented races. I thought that would be obvious to many.
Seems to me people bought a kind of bike, decided that they can't race XC now because their bike isn't designed for it, and so they are insisting they need a race to suit the bike they now have. Seems they never went to any beginner or sport class XC races where people are on 35 lbs Wal-Mart bikes that are far more inefficient and annoying in an XC race than a 6"/6" 30 lbs bike.
What is the point of enduro racing? Not what does "enduro" mean, but what is the racing seeking to test as the point of competition?
Has anyone got close to an answer yet? Or are they stuck on the Francis Cebedo Tagline: More than XC, less than FR/DH. ???
Also, as to "enjoy their riding style" -- most riders don't have any style except Corpse Tied To A Bike. You're confusing the image they think they got from buying Bike ABC, with the way in which they ride that bike. Most riders, regardless of what they're on, ride like statues.
Next year I am taking my wife's 28lb 4" travel jamis dakar to the race. I can hit the jumps and take the techy spots a little slower with that and then pull out a good sprint up the back half.