5 Key Stats From Enduro Racers in the Pinkbike State of the Sport Survey 2024

Apr 5, 2024 at 10:41
by Ed Spratt  
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Welcome to the 2024 Pinkbike State of the Sport Survey. This anonymous survey is designed to highlight key issues and riders' perspectives on the sport that we, pro riders, and Pinkbike readers all love so much. We surveyed the best riders in the world to hear their thoughts, ideas, concerns, and criticisms on mountain biking in 2024. Now, we're breaking down what we've learned. We're now publishing a series of articles that break down sections of the results, and you'll see the results in full shortly. This year, we introduced the public survey, which will help gauge public views on the sport and should make for some interesting comparisons to what the racers say. Stay tuned for that. To read the introduction to the survey click here, and to see all the other currently published SOTS articles click here.



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Overview

After ten seasons of EWS racing, 2023 marked a change for Enduro racing as it became an official World Cup event under the race organisers at Warner Bros Discovery (WBD). The first season of World Cup racing saw incredible achievements on the track with closely fought battles and surprise results. 2023 also saw rumours about the future of Enduro and raised questions about how to run the discipline alongside the spectacles of XC and Downhill World Cups.

After asking some of the world's best Enduro racers what they think about the state of the sport, here are our takeaways.
Quick Stats:

Percentage of Respondents Racing Downhill World Cups: 31.5%
Men/Women: 61.8%/38.2%
U21 Racers: 14.7%
Percentage of Elite World Cup/EWS Winners: 20.6%
Percentage of Riders Within the Top 10 Overall in 2023: 41.2%
Mode Wage: 50,000-100,000 USD
Median Wage: 30,000 - 40,000 USD
Home Continent:
Europe - 50%
North America - 29.4%
Oceania - 17.6%
Asia - 2.9%



78% of Racers are Dissatisfied About the Current State of Enduro World Cups


While the Downhill racers had mixed feelings and the XC racers were mostly positive, the view of the current state of Enduro World Cups is fairly negative. 25 of the 32 respondents were either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied. Of those surveyed, only six didn't hold strong views either way and just one rider was satisfied with the sport. Looking deeper into the numbers of those dissatisfied there were five past race winners and ten riders who were top ten in 2023's overall rankings.

We do not want to speculate on what might be causing some of the world's best racers to be unhappy about the Enduro World Cups, but we hope whatever problem they may have can be fixed for the future health of the discipline. Although some of the other takeaways in this article could be contributing factors to the general sense of dissatisfaction we have seen in our data.



No World Cup Enduro Racers Surveyed are Happy with the Current Prize Money


Prize money for World Cup racing has been a big topic for the past few years and in our latest State of the Sport survey we have found that of those surveyed, there were no Enduro racers happy with the current financial benefits of a top result. Currently, a win at an elite EDR and EDR-E World Cup offers €1,500, a drop from the €3,750 offered to XC and DH riders. The amount for a win after a full day of riding and racing is €250 lower than a win in the sub-20-minute XCC Short Track World Cups.

When we asked all riders who took part in the survey how they felt about the prize money for the top level of racing, we received five who didn't feel strongly either way, eight who were dissatisfied and 21 of the 32 were very dissatisfied. It is worth pointing out here that riders will nearly always ask for more prize money and as State of the Sport is not a mandatory survey and doesn't cover the full field of racers and so there may be those at World Cups who did not answer the survey and are happy with the current financial compensation for a race win.


For reference here is the complete prize money table for 2024.

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84% are Worried About the Future of World Cup Enduro Racing


After some of the currently unproven rumours began swirling last year about the future of Enduro racing, we decided to ask racers how they view the outlook of the discipline. When asked about the statement "I am worried about the future of World Cup Enduro racing', 27 of 32 respondents agreed with the statement, while four were neutral only one outright rejected the notion. While there has been nothing to prove the rumours about the end of Enduro, part of the reason why racers might be worried is that 31 of the 32 surveyed who race EDR feel there has not been adequate communication from the organisers at WBD about this year's racing. The 97% of Enduro racers feeling communication hasn't been adequate tracks far above the 64.8% across all disciplines answering the same way.



46.9% of Riders Wouldn't Race eMTBs if the Current Format of Enduro World Cups Ended or Became Inaccessible to Them


In a follow-up question and after rumours of Enduro switching to just eMTB racing in the future (again these rumours are so far unfounded), we wanted to know if the world's best would switch to electrified stage racing. Nine racers were neutral on the issue with eight either agreeing or strongly agreeing that they would switch to eMTBs if the current format of Enduro Worlds Cups ended or were inaccessible to them. 15 of the 32 racers surveyed disagreed, suggesting they would not move to eMTB racing.



The Current Coverage of Enduro World Cups is viewed as either Poor or Very Poor by 80% of Racers


One aspect of Enduro racing that has remained consistent throughout the years is the vocal opinions around its coverage. While there have been some suggestions over the years about live production, the official coverage has stuck to the same format of live results and a highlights package uploaded shortly after the race.

For this year's survey, we offered the top racers a chance to share how they view the current coverage offering from the race organisers with 26 of the 32 respondents feeling it was either poor or very poor. Three riders thought it was acceptable with another three thinking it was at a good level.

The difficulties of covering a full-day event across multiple stages live will always be both a tough task and a very expensive one and while riders may not be asking for this level of coverage, they are not happy with the current offering.




We have contacted the World Cup organisers and broadcasters Warner Bros. Discovery for its comment on the State of the Sport data and we will update this article if a statement is provided to us.



Author Info:
edspratt avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2017
3,165 articles

68 Comments
  • 150 3
 "Currently, a win at an elite EDR and EDR-E World Cup offers €1,500, a drop from the €3,750 offered to XC and DH riders. "

Why don't they just drop the motorbike racing and pay it all to the EDR winners?
  • 10 0
 Amen
  • 21 2
 Agreed !! They can honestly drop the e-Bike format.
  • 102 2
 Grassroots enduro race is as popular as ever but UCI shits the bed.
  • 4 0
 Agree and we should all call the UCI what it is a road bike organization. They do not understand or care about riding on dirt. The only thing they actually care about is owning everything so they can squeeze a few pennies out of the sport. I am sure they say they are distributing the money back to the places that produce it, but when your promotion of the dirt products sucks sooo bad you are driving all that. We freed Britney maybe mountain biking should be next. I hate Red Bull the beverage but would love to see their sports division just take over mountain bike racing at the global level. At least they understand how to market and produce event footage.
  • 97 18
 Imagine winning a race where you climbed 2000m over the course of the day, and getting the same prize money as someone who did that with a motor assisted bike...
  • 9 42
flag Velowebby (Apr 6, 2024 at 9:50) (Below Threshold)
 Does anyone have a link that compares a typical E-EDR to EDR race? It would attempt to compare the two sports and make a judgement call on who works harder and endures more risk.
  • 21 33
flag lincoln3 FL (Apr 6, 2024 at 11:25) (Below Threshold)
 DH don’t do any climbing….. take their money off them too….
  • 8 28
flag Mugen FL (Apr 6, 2024 at 11:39) (Below Threshold)
 @Velowebby: Sure the edr riders are putting more effort in than the e-edr riders, but they are riding the same tracks at the same speed, so risk level is the same.
  • 17 8
 @Velowebby: It's pretty obvious the EDR racer would work harder if it's the same course. And very similar risks. Please don't embarrass yourself arguing the opposite.
  • 18 4
 You can see why people like Flo switched to racing E-EDR. Same prize money, less competition. They can get 1st, 2nd prizes in E-EDR almost every race, while they would likely get nothing in prizes in EDR.
  • 4 22
flag thatguyzack (Apr 6, 2024 at 17:10) (Below Threshold)
 Ebike racing is the same "earned" ratio as DH though when they shuttle up in trucks. Lets call it like it is.
  • 16 3
 @Mugen: edr riders will be more tired than e-edr riders and will make it easier to make mistakes therefore more risks.
  • 4 2
 @Velowebby: In the EWS the E-Bike race was doing a lot more than the standard category. Tweed valley 2022 it was 2800m E, 1800 standard. The EDR has seemed to have them just do the last stage twice but maybe they are doing more climbing and not using any lift transfers.
Like most things EWS was doing it better
  • 5 2
 on E-bikes they have two loops, so, not 4-5-6 stages but 8-10-12 stages and uphil stages , so its not 2000m up but 4000m up in 6-7hours. Easy yes?
  • 6 1
 They can’t even get round the course with one battery. If emotor racing wants to be anything other than a joke at least only let them used one battery in a day like the public can
  • 3 2
 As you know, the courses for E are much longer and steeper, so it evens out.
  • 1 0
 @chrismac70
In rallying, cars are refueled and serviced during the day. In many races the same thing is done. Not to talk about changing tires. DH compares itself to Formula 1 and here and here it is fast and without refueling
  • 40 0
 UCI Is the death of fun sports!!
  • 8 0
 UCI prefer shaved legs.
  • 5 0
 @zoobab2: Not even, when the lycra guys show up with something cool and innovative on their bikes, the UCI comes and gets banned haha.
  • 26 1
 I think enduro racing is the autocross of the MTB world. It's really fun and challenging as a participant, and for amateur competitions, you don't need a specialized venue, but it's not a great spectator sport - as compared to XC and DH.
  • 16 2
 This! And EDR E is even worse as a spectator sport. Seriously UCI, wake up and learn that no body cares. Ebikes sell themselves so ditch the sport.
  • 3 1
 @karatechris: I think you hit the nail on the head. No one watches enduro (some of US do, but we also inhabit the comment section of an mtb website). It’s never driven sales in a meaningful way, e-bikes aren’t selling because people have an interest in e-enduro racing. There’s a good argument to be made that EDR has never impacted bike sales at all.
  • 3 0
 They haven't even tried to make the spectating aspect better though. Bring back the pro stage (call it qualifying) and put 5 cameras trackside. Then have the final stage of the main race be on the same track as quali so we get that nail biting excitement that DH has.
  • 17 0
 Would’ve liked to have seen some quotes from the riders in this article, similar to the DH and XC analyses. Guess enduro really does get the shaft in coverage.
  • 16 1
 Let's be brutally honest. At the core of Enduro is marketing.
Now manufacturers have saturated the 'enduro bike' sales, all they want to push is e-bikes.

Go back 15 years people had whatever mountain bike seemed good enough for their trails and probably aspired to get a DH bike for rougher, steeper gravity based days. With the advent of enduro and the 'enduro bike' the focus by media and marketing was switched to that. Remember how many 'enduro' specific items and components there were? It became a joke. Like ebike specific stuff now.
The racing really was an extension of this - a contrived attempt to create something people could buy into to sell the enduro bikes. That now is not needed.
Ironically the media now present us with what we had pre-enduro, bikes with lower amounts of travel and more 'fun'.
If ebikes hadnt come along in force someone would have touted a downcountry world series I'm sure!
  • 12 3
 I see it from a different perspective.

The formulation of enduro racing was just a way of making the kind of MTB riding most recreational riders were doing, that is going fast down designed trails and pedalling to get between them, into a competitive format.

I’m doing so, it progressed these kind of bikes to descend better and be more reliable. Before enduro you had XC bikes, DH bikes, and then just a bunch of slightly longer travel XC bikes that sucked, as well as freeride bikes that also kinda sucked.

Derby shows us that not all enduro stages need to be full DH tracks. However, It would be interesting to see a rule that forces rider to stick to one chassis (and fork/shock stroke) for the whole season.
  • 4 0
 Enduro started as a genuine grassroots sport and has been rinsed and left out to dry by the industry and organisers (only too happy to have got their grubby mitts on DH instead).
A downcountry series would be awesome, but the coverage would be terrible.
  • 13 0
 We've talked about lots of ways to make it more spectator friendly on pinkbike before.

Base the coverage around POV camera footage. Have the race series furnish a standardized POV camera to each of the top 10-20 racers (with anyone else having the option of running their own and submitting footage afterward). Run long-form (2-3 hour) race edits, with nearly full race runs back to back, showing direct racing, rather than the hacked together stuff we get now. Include a few odd track-side camera shots when possible. Provide commentary (have commentators watch the long-form edit and record their live reactions and then include that in the edit), rather than just narration over a short highlight reel.

Think WRC/rally coverage.
  • 10 0
 Yep, rally coverage is a great guide for this. People love a good story, and a multi-stage event is full of good stories, with people making up time in sketchy sections of track, mechanicals throwing riders for a loop, competitors helping each other with parts and tools to keep each other competing, and so on. If done right, that could be an amazing media package - not for live broadcast, probably, but for the day after, to consume on Monday (there's a reason PB does "Movies for your Monday" - bored people in their offices are a ready audience).
  • 13 0
 Has anyone asked the UCI or Warnerbro dics as to why there is absolutely no coverage from countries in the Australasian area? It's a disgrace and no one has covered why it's happening
  • 14 3
 what a surprise, enduro is dead
  • 8 1
 The second I read that Chris Ball and the hated EVIL EMPIRE that is the UCI had come to an "agreement in part" to take over management of the EWS......I knew the fate of Enduro was a foregone conclusion! The UCI and ESPECIALLY Lappartient are CROOKS and give two shitz about anything other than road racing and their evil twin the ASO!
  • 7 1
 In Japan, if you win any event you get a piece of paper with a 1 printed on it. That's all you get!(No dinky plastic trophy) No money no prizes just a worthless piece of paper.
The organizers and the JCF (Japanese Cycling Federation) pocket the rest of the money. If you want to really feel screwed over move to Japan.
  • 1 0
 I once saw saw a local Japanese ski race club announcing the days race results. The trophies were made from Ashai and Kirin beer cartons.
  • 3 0
 @dirtyburger: Just the cartons? No beer?
  • 7 1
 We do not want to speculate on what might be causing some of the world's best racers to be unhappy about the Enduro World Cups,

Can’t you just ask them then. This would be far more interesting than anything else the survey has revealed so far
  • 8 4
 I think payouts are low cause it's borderline impossible to broadcast enduro. The tough truth is that enduro, with it's "just riding a bike in the woods" format, doesn't make good TV. A fun format for riders is not always a fun format for viewers.

Really it should be 5-6 mini downhill races, where the top 15 in the series get their runs full broadcasted. Times and positions would be available to everybody at the end of each stage. I know a lot of people probably hate what I just said, try to think of the perspective of a *non-rider* viewer.
  • 5 0
 Enduro racing is in a shit state, who'd though? Not like competitors and spectators have been complaining about this for years. (and rightly so), time for uci to sort their shit out.
  • 5 0
 Sadly, it sounds like it's time to close up shop. I remember like 5 minutes ago when Enduro was so new, novel, and exciting, in amazing locals. What happened? Just start over.
  • 5 1
 @Pinkbike.

Please make the follow-up to this an interview with the UCI about these results, what they admit they have got wrong, what they will do to improve and when they will achieve this.

The old EWS seemed to be a much better state of affairs (are there any comparable surveys from the 'old days'?) so they need to analyse what went wrong.
  • 4 0
 It’s little wonder that teams and riders have pulled out of EDR & E- EDR.
I appreciate it has not been helped by the industry difficulties we’re currently experiencing , but as the parent of an ex- EWS and then E-EDR professional rider , who has placed top 10 in EWS, and podiumed in E-EDR , it’s been sad to see his frustrations with the sport increase , particularly last year . The coverage used to be good , however the UCI format destroyed that .
Someone please sort it out .
It needs its own organisational body to get a grip once more of what used to be a great format in the EWS days .
300 plus riders , good coverage , good stages . Exactly what it isn’t any more !
You are going to kill Enduro unless it’s improved dramatically!
  • 7 1
 46.9% are real ones. Also why is it not 100% for poor coverage. I'd love to know why people think it's good.
  • 7 0
 Credit to PB for contacting WBD. I would be amazed if they did respond.
  • 2 0
 I know top tier bike racing is traditionally global throughout a season....but I do wonder if a totally different structure for Enduro might make sense from an accessibility/travel costs/fun/spectator point of view. So you'd have national (or continental) series/league feeding somehow into a single world champs each year. So I guess a bit more like football or track and field (ignoring the Diamond League). The single Worlds venue could be set up with more cameras etc. to make it more compelling event people would actually tune into. There'd be less travel costs overall. It'd give privateers/up-and-comers etc. more of a chance of glory. It'd lend more weight to grassroots/national competition and might increase local interest. It'd probably even up the playing field a bit for riders from less affluent backgrounds/countries. I'm probably missing something obvious that'd make this a bad idea....most obviously it'd provide less frequent competition between top riders (you'd only get to see Rude vs. Moir once a year, for example) but seeing as how the status quo seems so broken I thought I'd see what people thought.
  • 4 2
 “ 46.9% of Riders Wouldn't Race eMTBs if the Current Format of Enduro World Cups Ended or Became Inaccessible to Them”

I understand the sentiment here, but not sure I believe that half the riders would give up their pay cheques* and leave racing

*checks
  • 3 0
 If I’m reading correctly 31% of them are already also racing downhill, so they’d probably just shift their focus to that instead of e-edr
  • 1 0
 would be interessting if they would switch to e-enduro without a paycheck. cant be much money in e-enduro, if its already bad in enduro.
  • 1 0
 @Korbi777: it’s all from the bike companies pushing e-bikes.
  • 2 0
 @stevemokan: Are the pushing them, or is this what people are buying? Are they still sitting on lots of inventory? Probably both . Is this what's keeping some of the afloat? Probably a few.
  • 6 0
 The future is unpaid trail riding.........for me.
  • 3 0
 So what a disgrace to had given EWS to UCI and WBD... who is responsible for that? Is he/she earning less like the riders??...
  • 8 0
 @PauRexs..... his name is Chris Ball.
  • 1 0
 @sloguy: I didn't want to point out...
  • 2 1
 What if they had edm-edr and edm-e-edr where you rock out to edm music during the race. Then we could extrapolate all the results and compare to see if times improved d/t the thumping, fast paced music.
  • 3 0
 Turns out the spirit of enduro was the ghost of enduro future all along.
  • 2 0
 All while winning a professional golf tournament pays out over a million dollars with minimal chance of injury.
  • 1 0
 The axes on all these graphs should be switched, it would make visualizing the data much easier.
  • 5 0
 Disagree. On narrow mobile devices vertical bars would mean either the tick labels would overlap or the text would have to be rotated.
  • 1 0
 I'm shocked! UCI taking it over wasn't a smashing success... who could have ever predicted this would be the result.
  • 2 0
 Top stat is no panzies are riding 26ers
  • 8 7
 Good thing riding is fun, because this site has gotten booooorrrrriiiinnnnnnggggggg
  • 1 0
 Pretty sure Big Mountain Enduro pays out same or better. What a world
  • 9 0
 At the current exchange rate the big mountain enduro pays out almost $400 more than an EWS win. Really disappointing for the sport that a national series is cheaper to enter and pays more than a World Cup.
  • 3 3
 e-bikes are sick
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