Xtreme Country: XC is the New Enduro - Video

Sep 8, 2016
by Peter Wojnar  
Views: 42,076    Faves: 270    Comments: 28


This summer, Evan Mant adopted an unusual training strategy. Partly out of necessity, and partly because it's outrageously fun, Evan has been destroying some of Whistler's gnarlier trails on his XC race bike—and it's been making him really fast on his bigger, squishier "E-word" bike. Evan was already producing consistent, good results in his first year racing enduro. He's been on the U21 podium more times than not—in local races, NAET, BCES, and CNEC races. But 1st place eluded him until last weekend's BCES/CNEC race in Revelstoke, where he beat the rest of the U21 field by an impressive margin. Coincidence? Not likely.

Dat bottom out doe
That 69.5 degree head angle is closer to 75 when you bottom out this hard.

But don't worry kids, Evan still likes to ride his #enduro bike sometimes... even on Whistler's local "XC" trails!

Gaaaaap
Rock roll? Maybe the bottom bit...
Skrrrrrt foreground foliage dabs
Skrrrrrt! #foregroundfoliage

omg bc vibes yo
The Pacific Northwest vibes are strong with this one.

Whistler North mountain biking trails

Whistler South mountain biking trails


MENTIONS: @PeterWojnar / @evanmant / @NAETRacing / @bcenduroseries




151 Comments

  • + 270
 This is the same type of riding I have been doing for the past 25 years... I just call it mountain biking.
  • + 96
 well its called enduro now jeeze..
  • + 16
 Well, seems like this kid believes that it was unknown before )
  • + 7
 @the-gunt that name.....I'm dying.
  • + 5
 HAha that's what I was thinking, I like this because it makes me feel current.
  • + 1
 On a hardtail or otherwise? The hardtail was the whole point of the video.
  • + 12
 @bridgermurray: I'm pretty sure 25 years ago I was on a HT... And I still ride a HT. Lol
  • + 5
 this is so enduro
  • + 1
 Here here!
  • + 1
 @milkdrop: agreed still a sick vid
  • + 10
 @milkdrop: no, he is fully aware, it is a joke. Give the kids some credit.
  • + 7
 oops, I posted under the wrong account. My bad.
  • + 6
 Wait wat? Who is on my account? Also #ENDURO
  • - 8
flag bridgermurray (Sep 9, 2016 at 13:19) (Below Threshold)
 @THE-GUNT: Soooooo 25 years ago you rode Enduro trails on 1990s hardtails? Trails that weren't even attempted on downhill bikes yet? Wow.
  • + 5
 @bridgermurray: Yeah... What don't you understand?
  • + 2
 @THE-GUNT: and kona proyect two fork
  • + 1
 amen...
  • - 6
flag bridgermurray (Sep 9, 2016 at 15:04) (Below Threshold)
 @THE-GUNT: I now understand ur Aaron gwin or something
  • + 2
 yeah baby...
  • + 4
 @bridgermurray: almost everyone rode a rigid bike 25 years ago. Lucky to have 80mm on the front and we still rode this stuff. Just hit the ground more often!
  • + 1
 @milkdrop: I think you've missed the point.....
  • + 103
 Listen up kids! You dont need daddies money to get a big bad bike to be wicked fast. You just need some guts and a bike that can take a beating through gnarlie trails. Thats how you get fast
  • - 29
flag abbfan2 (Sep 8, 2016 at 19:49) (Below Threshold)
 I ripped the hardtail until I finally got a dh bike. All I have now is DH and XC. #f*ckenduro
  • + 9
 Absolutely. I still ride a hardtail from 1995 (with a few upgrades of course) and it has seen some of the gnarliest trails you can imagine. Sure, a new full squish would be nice, but until I can afford it, I'll keep shredding with the old Caloi.
  • + 2
 Damn, you are only eighteen!!!!?
  • + 16
 Sour comment: Quite funny how you can watch a sick video and then try to take credit for someone's riding skills just because you also ride a hardtail sometimes... I could ride that on my wife's 16" XC frame from 2001 with V-brakes and Manitou black, and so what? There's nothing like hitting proper gnar on a crappy bike twice a year, sure, but for the rest a 160 or DH bike would be a much better experience. And if my kid was 15 I'd rather see him on a cushy bike in there. It's so easy to forget where you come from.

Video was super cool, great to show that aspect of riding a MTB.
  • + 3
 It's crazy how far bikes have come, sometimes you don't even realize how much your bike is doing until you ride the same trail on an older/more simple bike. Hitting up some of the trails I got bored of (because they weren't technical enough anymore) on a rigid single speed makes the whole trail come to life again and forces you to focus on some of the skills you get lazy with on a long travel bike.
  • + 10
 my kids do need daddies money to get them a bike given they are still at school, all under 11 and have no job
  • + 1
 @SonofBovril: Hallelujah brother.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Did you read the article? Thats how the guy trains his skills. So when he gets on an all mountain bike he can destroy people in races. I wasnt saying people or kids should settle for less. Im saying you can ride things with something less. So when you get on something with more, you dominate the field. Now I know Yoann Barelli does it for fun. But its kinda like taking his CX bike down dirt merchant. It takes huge balls, but Im sure he learned a thing or twon when doing it. Im sure those few things can be used on his mountain bike too.
  • + 4
 @Jslavoie3: If youre on the same bike for 21 years, chances are you arent going to be able to afford a new bike
  • + 2
 @owlie:@THE-GUNT/ prefer chris akriggs extreme biking youtu.be/xWy5xX3-e3U
  • + 1
 @owlie: You a financial accountant? Wink
  • + 8
 @SonofBovril: yeah, I don't think riding a hardtail or crappy bike makes you faster, it's more that switching bikes periodically wakes you up and makes you notice your weak points or parts of the trail you haven't noticed - I've ridden a hardtail almost exclusively for the last year or so, and it's definitely made me a lot smoother and more precise, but it's also made me more cautious into gnar, jumps, and hard corners. There's no substitute for the level of traction and forgiveness you get on a nice AM bike.

On the flipside, my wife only owns a hardtail. Getting her on a Bronson during a recent trip to NC did wonders for her confidence, both descending and climbing. Having a bike like that allows you to not sweat the small stuff on the trail, and now some of the features that looked super gnarly on her HT look more attainable.

Both bikes make you faster/better. The thing that makes you slower is stagnating and allowing yourself to get bored.
  • + 4
 @owlie: The bike was originaly my dad's. I just started riding a little over a year ago. I started on what I could afford at the time, not knowing if I would be interested in continuing. You're right, I probably won't be able to afford a new bike for a whole still. I'm still finishing up paying for college, and I work in law enforcement. My point was, there is no reason you can't get out on the trails just because you can't afford a brand new $3k bike.
  • + 1
 @bkm303: Everything you just said is so true.
  • + 1
 *daddy's
  • + 3
 People get better at things by practicing. It's physics, it's biology. Neuro-muscular connections are created whenever you do something and practice creates a neuro highway in your brain making your muscles twitch in a particular way based on the input from eyes and how your brain processes that info and anticipates what is going to happen and how to react on it. If action is quick you have to rely on patterns of movement embedded in muscle memory. Now you can have good and bad practice, each creating certain neuromuscular highway, that's why it is so hard for people who ride for a long period of time to rewire their bodies from bad habits. Best practice is about taking complex skills apart (cornering, jumping) and practicing them separately in drills. That's why if you can't corner in a good form between cones on a parking lot, you won't do it well in the woods. Keeping balance and pumping can be well trained on a pumptrack. Jumping on BMX track on dirt jumps. Bunnyhopping, manualing on street. All those fundamental skills are best trained on a HT, it is the best tool for the job. But just taking a HT to the woods and thinking it improves your riding on a fully is a nonsense because if it were the case we can make an argument that riding a DH bike makes you a conversely a better HT rider. Both statements are as true as false. You pick different lines, ride at different speeds, load bike into different places depending on ehat sort of bike you are riding therefore this dude gets nothing else but another taste of fun of riding a bike by riding ht on that trail. Yes it can makehim dare more since he thinks oh wow I'm not as tossed around on this, I can open throttle, but it does not enhance any element of his technique. If a fs bike allows you to plow through 50% more obstaclesthan ht then obviously you are reacting to the trail differently, hence there is little connection.

Again a kind of practice where you know what you do is the one that makes you good, no matter if it's math, mtb or tennis.

This Ht makes you a better fs rider is a term open to incredible variety of interpretations, of which the most false is that just riding ht in the woods makes you better as if by magic. Riding pumptrack, dirt jumps, flat ground sharpens your fundamental skills and is best done on HT.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: how bout 120 rear 130 front for the rest... Its all I ever ride these days... Plenty of cush
  • + 1
 @owlie: Hahahahaha nice!
  • + 1
 @Jslavoie3: 3k? I wish more like 6..
  • + 1
 @chillrider199: actually, yes
  • + 1
 @bohns1: I tried 140 front 120 rear, before it got cool. it was fun for 3 months.
www.pinkbike.com/photo/9787576

Now I'm (back) into 160 but I'm super curious on 100/100 as my second bike... actually a 29' HT with 100mm fork and "modern" geo as a training/mile eater bike would do me. However I'd go for a short knobbed tyres. I don't really get the trend: says 160 bike is too big, gets a HT or 120FS, puts 160 fork and minions on it... I've done that... it's ridiculous...
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: why anyone would want 140 or 160 on a hardtail is just beyond my comprehension. And yet, I see people doing it, like your HT isn't cool if it just has a regular 100/120 fork on it. If you're riding fast enough to use all 160mm in the front, that rigid rear will absolutely murder you. And if you're going hardtail speeds you're just pushing around an extra 40mm of travel and f*cked up geometry for no reason at all. Just embrace the HT for what it is: a fun, durable CROSS COUNTRY bike for people who kind of enjoy being beaten up a little.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Slow is smooth, smooth is fast. Hardtails force you to ride smooth—so if you have shit line choice but get away with it on your 160mm enduro bike, riding a hardtail will force you to get smoother, fast. Get back on your squishy bike with those smooth skills and whabam, you're suddenly fast. It's science.
  • + 4
 @bkm303: Or you get a hardtail that's designed around 160mm forks, with a low bb, long TT, and slack head angle, and don't worry about not having rear suspension. Shit's fun, fast, and handle's like a champ. (See Chromag for examples)
  • + 1
 Getting bored of riding. Something I'll never understand. Boredom is a choice.
  • + 2
 @PeterWojnar: there can be no doubt that hitting roughest stuff you can find in your area on a HT (and the worse the better) is super fun, thrilling, rewarding and what not. I do it myself a few times a year. However as a former hardtail zealot I no longer have delusions about it's role in practice. Yes I agree about smoothness, that it forces you to be smooth, but quite frankly, it's basically an argument for fighting own lazyness rather than learning something. Yes, there are people who cannot be productive without unplugging the internet, who will never get into 1x drivetrain unless they take away the front mech (even though they can easily crank on middle ring with the granny on) but I rather see that as an opportunity for real growth, holding yourself acvountable rather than finding "nazi coaches" who will keep you in check.

HT on trails: fun! Mega fun! But a tool for practice? Mnehemeh... Doing cornering drills on parking lot, manuals bunnyhops at some spot with logs, pumptrack, that will activate your lower body much more than riding ht on trails. To me it's just a lousy excuse to not do (or rather try) doing off-trail practice, which can be super fun too if you put your heart into it.
  • + 1
 @PeterWojnar: You are not wrong. I have been on a 100mm hardtail for nearly 2 years now while my sqyishy bike has been gathering dust and cobwebs. A HT forces you to find smooth lines if you want to be fast and punishes you if you don't. It makes you think and look.
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: yes sure, but just because line is smooth doesn't mean it's the fastest, funnest and most challenging. The real thing is to make a rough line smooth. I've said it million times on that subject: HTs and long travel fullies ride on different lines, if those lines are supposed to be fun/fast/challenging. Fully touches the ground in a different way, you load it less often but harder (heavy/light sinewave of pumping through the terrain) you look into different spots and further ahead on a fully because A you go faster and B there's less feedback from the ground so you can focus on looking ahead more. If you look at latest RAW from Vital from Val Di Sole, you'll find that those bikes spend lots of time in the air. You could ride that track on HT but it would be a completely different way of riding. Your bike would be on the ground much more. If Nino would have 2 weeks on that track on his scott xc HT with saddle up he'd draw some nice line through it, but it would be a completely different line, places where he loads the bike into the ground would be different, his braking spots would be different. Everything would be different and would require completely different approach to riding and different technique. Therefore I call BS the notion that riding same trail on ht makes you better when later riding in on FS. And I speak only from experience. There are so many spots around my place where fully gaps some big rocks because it can carry more speed into them and I assure you that I ride a smoother line on fully than on ht.

I actually got horny for riding ht this weekend...
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: But does Smooth = Fast... probably a good debate for the Pinkbike community.

I get your points about different bikes being ridden differently but see HT riding as a form of cross training. If you only every ride one bike you are going to be slower than if you ride many.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I guess I have to eat my words after watching the World Champs - Smooth is SLOW, Ragged and on the edge is FAST.
  • + 0
 @fartymarty: smooth is always fast, but smooth as a way of riding. When Adam Brayton (him in particular) or Aaron Gwin rides the Val Di Sole track there's an earthquake going on, but you may miss Minnaar passing by if you were looking away. I loved Laurie Greenlands run, the difference between his being heavy and light was incredible, he was literally flying. In the air, hard into the corner, unweight - both wheels off the ground right into the steep, bang bang bang, in the air again, bang bang, weightless again an so on and so on. It's been beatiful to watch. Those three G-outs to flat Oh my fkng God, I'd fk up ligaments in my shoulders or chest after the first one. I cringed watching Minnaar going into those hucks after Rob said he has injured ankle.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I bought my ride this way and do It on 29er.. Fuel ex 9.9..Had ibis Ripley before that.. These short travel wagon wheelers feel like more travel than they are and are super fun to huck around... COOL MEANS NOTHING TO ME..
  • + 70
 I went into this thinking you were going to keep the seat up...would be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed.
  • + 29
 that triple negative! my brain hurts from reading that sentence.
  • + 12
 Yeah.... Agreed. Dropping the seatpost is not XC!
  • + 2
 @MaxDeutsch: haha! Upon rereading it my brain hurt too
  • + 3
 Yeah, seat up and lycra. missed these essential xc elements.
  • + 5
 Seat up and negative rise longer stem plz or it isn't XC Smile ps. where is the lycra?
  • + 3
 @tigerteeuwen: My guess is we're going to see many dropped seats in future XC events.
  • + 3
 Nino would do it with his seat up, probably faster too.
  • + 5
 Absolutely! This is just a hardtail ride like almost everyone does (did?)... no XC about it for me
  • + 51
 Training for enduro on an XC bike? That's baby stuff. I train for downhill on my spin-bike.
  • - 3
 lol so true!
  • + 2
 Great video!
  • + 8
 I train dh on my PlayStation
  • + 3
 @Rainozeros: Grand Theft Auto V, riding a bike down that big Mt Chiliad on the Scorcher hardtail!
  • + 43
 Sooooo basically he went for a normal mountain bike ride...
  • + 12
 0 to 100 real quick
  • + 2
 that was 0 to 40 ish maybe.
  • + 7
 anyone got a link to the video of the XC heckler with the megaphone? All the XC riders who couldn't make it down the rooted section, funniest shit ever.
  • + 1
 lmao!
  • + 14
 Am I the only one that thinks that the heckler is just being a d**k?
  • + 4
 @YouHadMeAtDrugs: The other one is way better, not that negative: www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Jh0W2xpoJ0
  • + 2
 Seems like a bit of a jeb end to be honest
  • + 1
 Yes!! Haha there was a lad at PMBA Graythwaite with a vuvuzela who managed to take the piss just by blowing that in different ways, awesome
  • + 6
 I'm all for hard tails on rowdy trails, but that headline has got to go!
  • + 5
 Ditch that sus fork and go rigid
  • + 1
 I currently have an Intense Tracer 275C, and it is very much of the 'enduro' variety, but I love it! That being said, the next bike I would get would be sweet hardtail like that. That bike looks like a ton of fun and those trails look EPIC.
  • + 5
 F#(ker had His seatpost dropped! That's not XC!!
  • + 3
 He made up for it by having two bottles inside the frame, now that's XC.
  • + 3
 It is here.
  • + 4
 Now the real test. Race enduro on an xc bike... With his skill I bet he could do it
  • + 1
 I love it!!!! Reminds me of the one month a year I ride my backup bike while I do the annual overhaul on my main bike that I put off every year until mid summer for some reason.
  • + 1
 Great vid, and incredible trails... loving the slabs, looked slippery as hell and the roots..... any vid that makes me want to go out and ride works for me... don't need the politics
  • + 1
 Tis true, as Much as I would disagree this video has anything to do with XC it definitely makes me want to hit the trails
  • + 1
 I loved riding my DJ hard tail on all the DH trails but in the last few years my back gets pretty angry with me the next day, so I have to use a squishy bike so I can move the next day.
  • + 4
 Slow Joey turned pro Joey
  • + 1
 Such a joey
  • + 2
 this is finally catching on lol i have been shredding my 100mil for a while. get some good tires and bars and you will be fine
  • + 4
 Good beats, sick vibe. Got me pumped and itchin to ride.
  • + 1
 Anyone take notice of the stem length? Not XC for sure. Looked like a 35mm to me. With that length way more manageable with an XC bike.
  • + 1
 Funny how things goes around. I been doing this type of riding for the last 20 years and here on the eastern part of Canada it just normal XC LOL
  • + 3
 Great vid, riding like that on a full xc bike is impressive
  • + 1
 A CC hardtail is the best thing you can do for your riding and it makes tamer trails really challenging. Props to that dude for riding some gnar.
  • + 2
 Most of us will never be able to find the limits for a bike - we find our limits for what we're able to do on a bike.
  • + 2
 I swear I cracked my frame on my HT just watching this, and I'm not even home!
  • + 1
 It's cute how some are still riding the "against enduro" trend, just save up and get a Spitfire and you're set for all mountain bike riding.
  • + 1
 Never have I come across another person that shares the surname Mant (other than my close relatives) let alone one that shreds on a xc bike too haha Smile nice riding!
  • + 2
 I have always believed that on a hardtail you could do everything..
  • + 2
 This is XC? So I've been commuting all this time?
  • + 1
 1,2,3...17,18,19 places I would of walked down or gone OTB on a DH. No bike in the world can compensate for skills.
  • + 1
 and riding like that is how I cracked three hardtail frames in less than a year... it's great fun though.
  • + 3
 If you go with Spesh or santa cruz you can get a free replacement every time.
  • + 2
 Man, is that Yeti's new Enduro bike with shockless technology?
  • + 1
 Duuuuuuuuuuude, I need some 26+ tires, my GT Ruckus HT will be perfect for Xtreme Country! [sarcasm=off]
  • + 1
 That ride is as close to real life, not like the pro videos, it's only mountain bike!
  • + 2
 Is that a trail named after Rossi at 0:44?
  • + 1
 Now I want to see Yoann Barelli on his CX bike and Evan Mant duke it out.....
  • + 1
 I thought this was the how to xc m.pinkbike.com/video/432133
  • + 1
 i knew my nsx videos would be cool again
  • + 1
 Just a trail ride. Real mountain biking.
  • + 1
 'could have used a bmx for all i care....that trail looks sick !
  • + 0
 The rise of XC mirrors the rise of america's sissy new youth generations. It's too bad. Men are dying out.
  • + 1
 Fork bottoming out all day.
  • + 1
 Expected to see Sam Hill when I saw the title Frown
  • + 1
 Must get thirsty needing two water bottles.
  • + 1
 Hey, we can sneak a multi stage dh into Olympics if XC is the new Enduro!
  • + 1
 Evan you're a beast! well done
  • - 1
 Eh. I know jet rails are steeper than the video makes out but nothing overly impressive...lets take a look at the 26" wheels aren't dead rider again, that guy shredded.
  • + 5
 I love it when you guys from North Carolina comment on our trails not looking hard. Hahaha! You have no idea. I'm betting you'd walk most of the valley trails in whistler
  • + 11
 @theedon: I actually said "I'm sure the trails are much steeper than the video portrays" I never said the trail isn't hard or difficult. I was meaning this video itself wasn't that impressive, and I base that on other BC or WA videos I've seen...oh and the North Carolina comment, I won't get on the subject of Luca Shaw growing up riding here and Neko Mullaly choosing to live here to train and being two dominant World Cup racers, but also I've lived and ridden plenty of places other than here. Whistler is awesome and I can't wait to RETURN, and until you branch out of your own backyard you really have no idea what is out there.

So again, never did I hate on the trails, just the video and riding wasnt as exciting as what I've seen by other riders in the same geographical area.
  • + 2
 @theedon: sometimes I get so wasted that I walk the valley trails.
  • + 2
 @theedon whistler is gnarly. But not so much that people who are not local cannot ride there. I turned up with my hard tail and had a scary but jolly good time never once walking the whistler valley trails. No need to be so elitist.
  • + 1
 @ktmman143: so a couple of guys bust their butts to put out an edit showcasing his skills and local trails. Why critique it at all? It looks to me that the video is just all about positive energy. Getting out there and doing it. I'm just thinking if you've got nothing nice to say, then why say anything at all?
  • + 0
 @ktmman143: well said, gotta represent Pisgah!
  • + 1
 Ha. That's my house! Nice riding, the boybarian Evan the Destroyer.
  • + 1
 Those rocks look scary as heck.
  • + 2
 Slow joey
  • + 2
 Where the f.ck is WAKI?
  • + 1
 Sorta like Phil atwill in slow mo
  • + 2
 I only ride park
  • + 1
 This is quite normal riding for many of the guys I ride with in CT
  • + 2
 Yeah, I hear CT is pretty gnarly.
  • + 4
 @skelldify: a lot of people don't realize it because it doesn't get the exposure that the shore does, but there are tons of massive granite features and technical stuff in the northeast that rivals anywhere else.
  • + 1
 @MasterSlater: Yup my wounds would validate
  • + 1
 Crazy steep
  • + 1
 That was RAD!
  • + 1
 I don't get it.
  • + 1
 Where was the XC? Lol
  • + 1
 Peter, you rule!
  • + 1
 Sssssssweet
  • + 1
 as in mountainbiking
  • + 1
 Nice slabs wiked riding.
  • + 1
 That SQ5 though..
  • + 0
 Whos mans is this?

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