2013 Predictions: Matt Wragg's Euro Enduro Edition

Dec 19, 2012 at 11:23
by Matt Wragg  
The decline of the DH bike:
Mid-travel begins to rule

Modern 160mm bikes are incredible pieces of engineering. It's now possible to buy one relatively affordable bike that can climb mountains and then tear apart the descents on the way back down. That starts to beg the question, why would you need a more specialized downhill bike? For racing, you need the right bike, of course, or if you're lucky enough to live around serious terrain, then it makes sense. But for the rest of us who just want to have fun, grab laps at a bike park, or shuttle a few descents, then the truth is that if you stick a wide handlebar, short stem and big tyres on one of these
aggressive trail bikes it can be just as much fun (not as fast, but as much fun). The difference is that you can take it out for a quick XC loop in the evening, or head out to find wild, natural descents that no shuttle or chairlift will ever reach. As people catch on to just how little you give up on the way down and how much more of the world they open up, then how do you keep justifying an expensive, specialist bike sitting there in your garage?

One less shift:
The death of the front mech

I have moral issues with front mechs. I think they are unnecessary complication and weight on a bike and should have died out with purple anodizing. A 32-tooth chainring and 36 -11 cassette is the lowest gearing I believe you should ever need, but I'm a minority voice, a grumpy man with a box full of chainguides and sore knees. It was when talking to a bike designer this year that I discovered a much more profound reason to hate them - they are holding up bike design, especially on big-wheeled bikes. One of the biggest factors in making a bike handle well is chainstay length.The problem is that the
wheel needs to clear the front mech, so the stays have remained long. If you remove the front mech, the possibilities for bike design open up. With the introduction of SRAM's XX1 group this year and its wide-range cassette, even the most timid of riders should have enough gears to stay happy and the front mech can finally meet its well-deserved death.

Enduro: Kill the Hype

"Enduro might just become mountain biking's participant sport." Those are the words of Santa Cruz Bikes' owner Rob Roskopp in a recent interview. Today cross-country racing tends to be a test of who can pedal up hills the fastest and downhill racing is who has the balls to stay off the brakes longest coming down the hardest lines. Mountain biking needs a middle ground, a race format that isn't too physically demanding, isn't too technically challenging, but is fun and accessible to riders of all abilities. Enduro could very well be that, but what it needs to grow and reach that potential is patience; it needs to be left to develop and spread. The danger for
enduro is that right now there is a gap between its media profile and the reality on the ground. Progress is good with more national and local races springing up, and the World Series has a lot of people excited. However, people and companies (us journalists included) becoming over-enthusiastic because enduro is fashionable right now and then pulling back if they don't see immediate results is a real threat to the future of the discipline. The potential for enduro is very real, but it won't get there overnight.

Electric Bikes:
Not quite Enduro, but...

Electric bikes are going to become a big deal, whether you like it or not. Chances are that if you're reading Pinkbike you're somewhere in the top few percentage of cyclists. Anyone who's ever ridden a downhill track, cleared a dirt jump or hopped a railing is somewhere in the upper echelons of cycling ability. While the difference between an average mountain biker and Steve Peat may be huge, the difference between an average mountain biker and a member of the public is equally vast. And that public is much bigger than we are. It's to that market electric bikes appeal, people who don't have
the athletic ability, technical skills or interest to ride seriously, but would like to experience a bit of it. We need to welcome these people. Anything that gets more people interested in cycling, that gets more people out on bikes is good for us. It means a healthier cycling industry and more understanding from the general public for what we do and why we do it, which is what we need if we want more land access in the future. What's more, electric bikes might just be fun too - a wise man sketched out a stunning-looking 96km back country loop for me this week, and it would only be possible on an electric bike.


  • + 43
 Electric bike are maybe good to bring money to the bike industry. But should we not be encouraging people to gradually get a little fitter than giving people the easy lazy option. Riders should earn their pleasures. Enduro events are for sure the future for the masses.......would love if there was a hardtail category in the events. Hardtails rock!
  • + 27
 Electric bikes are not about the easy lazy option at all. There is no need to feel threatened or anything. Electric mountain bikes are used by (generally older) people riding mainly on fire roads and and they never do the crazy things we like to do on a bike. And I seriously doubt that will ever happen.

Matt nailed it by saying that we need to welcome these people to cycling. E-bikes open up possibilities for them that weren't there in the past. People can now ride longer (both distance and age) and can now explore and enjoy nature that otherwise would not be possible for them.
  • + 3
 completely agree if brings wealth to our sport aswell by people buying the electric bikes more money is spent on improving the sport for everyone not just the electric bike world.
  • - 13
flag nojzilla (Jan 5, 2013 at 4:52) (Below Threshold)
 yea great! more "cyclists" to hold back trail development for more aggresive riders
what i mean is.. round my way its ultra hard if not impossible to build, illegaly or legaly, good technical trails that test skills for all types of mountain biking weather its XC or more dirt bike style riding
more peolple just pedaling round the forrest enjoying nature is only gonna hinder mountain biking....
but hey... as long as the "industry" makes a buck out of it..........................
  • + 0
 keep electric (motor) bikes for the commuters
  • + 13
 Dude we all gone a get old, maybe sometime in the future we can actually ride using obe of these e bikes been at 80 years old Wink
  • + 2
 I really dont see how ebikes are going to hinder trail development. And the vast majority of ebikes are for recreational use, not commuters. (trust me on this, its my job to know)

I am with you on trail development, I would like nothing more than better trails in my area!!! But ebikes cannot be blamed for the lack of trail development. If anything it is currently greatly helping in improving bike infrastructure in the alps and hotels welcoming bikers and facilitating them with transport, storing and maintenance.
  • + 4
 They are electric ASSIST bikes. The amount of effort put into pedalling can still be same same as a conventional bike. You just go uphill faster. I don't think I'll be buying one any time soon, but I have ridden them and can certainly see their appeal.
  • - 5
flag Protour (Jan 5, 2013 at 8:59) (Below Threshold)
 I HATED It when people bought electric bikes into the shop I worked at. Heavy to lift, pain to take rear wheel off. I dont care if people ride them, it's better than a carbon burning motor I guess. But know that you will be hated when you bring it into a bicycle shop.
  • + 3
 You are right Protour, suddenly mechanics had to use laptops and know about electronics to fix a bike. I understand why one would hate that. But its a young product and it takes time to evolve. Give designers and engineers some time and they will sort those issues out. Like we did with the steel hard tails with skinny tires, super high standover and bad suspension.
  • + 5
 Not all people is able to pedal as we all in pinkbike do, I agree that dome people will take the electric option to avoid pedaling hard, but it will enhance a lot of people that can not pedal at all!
  • + 14
 I met these 4 old guys last year out on a spin. One of them had 3 heart attacks behind him and without the E-Bike ( A really nice one from Hi-bike) he wouldn't have been able to go out with his mates anymore ! At that point I changed my whole opinion on the subject, maybe that'll be me someday :-( . Better going out with a Battery then not at all.
It's also encouraging people to get out of their cars ! People have become incredibly lazy and if they need something like this to get them out in the fresh air, then I'm all for it.
Yes, E-bikes are the future !
  • - 11
flag Questrails (Jan 5, 2013 at 11:02) (Below Threshold)
 Step right up folks and get your miracle machine 27.5er. With penis pump dropper seat and auto lube lever you will always be in control. We have multiple riders testimony noting an average increase of 1/4" of length to your penis after purchasing our geek machine anal blaster 3030.
  • + 6
 I know someone that has lost 30lbs on a pedal assist electric downhill V10 and have riden it myself. I had so much fun u wouldnt believe. Whats the deference between shuttle runs, chairlifts,hike a bikes? Imagine doing 2,3,4 loops instead of 1because of a little assist from a elect motor or bringing your downhill bike on your favorite singletrack? For all you dont like to pedal downhillers think about it and for us in shape, love the burn before the downhill all mountain,xc riders, i prefer to peadl under my own power,but i sure wont hate on having some fun.
  • + 1
 I have an electric scooter which I ride to work three times a week in winter. The good parts about them are they are silent, you don't have to wear a helmet, you can ride drunk, you don't have a number plate so you can flout the traffic regulations. The bad points are, the battery only lasts about 50km, the top speed is 35kph, it's silent, it can't go up steep hills, it doesn't have a crankshaft to pick you up out of corners, you look like a tool. The argument about a 160 bike being slower but as much fun as a DH bike could be made about any bike. My singlespeed STP is great fun too! I like the points about Enduro being a real man's real mountain biking. I hope it takes off. Tip the balance away from balls towards skills and fun.
  • + 0
 Wow this is crazy! The new mtb bike has a 30t front chainring by 42t rear cassette with no chainguide and cables running everywhere and dropper post with 27.5" wheels and 2.0 tires. First off some people not going for the big wheels bottom line. Then some riders don't want huge cassette in rear and a 30t front giving you a bad ratio for dh. Well forget dh since you have no chainguide or front deraileur and 30t throwing your chain off in two seconds. Then some riders don't want fifteen cables running front to rear. How many toys can you fit on your new toy? Each new toy adds weight and cables which also add weight. The gay knob has been twisted past 11 at the mtb design table recently. No chance I putting all that gadget crap all over my bike. BMX is the only way out of this mess for me. Have fun looking homo on your big wheel cabled bikes with neon yellow 27" rims and remote control dildo anal machines. Some twisted designer laughing on way to bank. Not every mtb rider is living in laguna beach 90210. Companies need to get their heads out of eachothers asses.
  • + 5
 Ha ha! "The gay knob has been twisted past 11 at the mtb design table recently." Love it!
  • + 30
 Everything you said about 160mm travel bikes. Fact. My DH bike is great for hauling down the nastiest lines or riding a day at the bike park, but I don't race professionally anymore and it just doesn't get used as much. My all mtn bike, however, has the angles of my DH bike and weighs under 30lb. I'm not going to win a sprint to the top on it, but it certainly doesn't feel at all cumbersome on long climbs. In reality, it's actually the weight of my early XC bikes in the 90's and better at DH than any DH bike I raced until the mid 2000's. Seriously, what's not to love about that? Plus I don't have to go mach-stupid to have fun on it.
  • + 3
 My DH bike is my AM bike. But I'm lucky enough to have a Canfield Brothers One. Climbs great, descends amazing, virtually no chain growth, etc, etc.
  • - 13
flag foghorn1 (Jan 5, 2013 at 9:40) (Below Threshold)
 Experience has shown if I didn't have a dh bike, I would destroy about five "all mountain" bikes a year. For me there is no such thing as an all mountain bike. My "light" bike builds up at about 34 pounds. Anything lighter than 32 lbs is just going to get trashed. That said, I haven't tried carbon rims with tubeless yet...
  • + 6
 Foghorn, unkess you are 250pounds+ it is not that hard to build a sub 32lbs 6" enduro bike that holds well without spending a fortune. Air sprung fork and shock, then ex500 or d521 rims, and 1ply Minions Exo run ghetto tubeless. For bikeparking 2ply tyres with light tubes will still keep you below 34lbs
  • - 2
 I weigh 180 pounds
I was an early adopter of ghetto tubless, but lately it seems too much hassle compared to running dh tires and xc tubes. Havn't yet found a single ply tire that doesn't get slashed and the 729 is about the lightest rim that will last, and even then I've got some dents in the rear. I'm about to try an 823. I run the rear at 40lbs and the front at 25-30.
Frames I've broken or worn out prematurely ( the list would be longer if I spent some time trying to remember)
Iron horse sgs
Giant AC broken frame
Canfield Balance broken frame
Canfield F1 (only the shock and mounting bolt)
Ellsworth Joker (swingarm axle)
I admit that riding DH is big fun on a 6" bike, but will continue to ride the dh bike for lift assist to save wear and tear on the "light" bike.
  • + 12
 My DH bike is my hardtail. And its also my DJ bike. And enduro bike.... Big Grin
  • + 17
 Is anyone else getting annoyed with these journos telling us what to ride without any respect for the different terrain throughout the world? "Ride shorter travel bikes" they say, "get rid of your granny gear", "hooray for big wheels". All this tells me is the kind of terrain these old geazers ride. It's all backwards. The riding community should be dictating the needs to the industry, not the other way around.
  • + 1
 Agreed on the Canfield One. The bike rocks. I've outclimbed every xc and all mountain bike I've ever been on with that bike. And it takes on any downhill as well as the best dh bikes. Except for the Canfield Jedi, which is smoking fast and insanely smooth. Props for Canfield for getting it right. Why go with less suspension when canfield out preforms or is equal to others in almost every way. We ride what we want. I just say try the gravity bikes out before you say they can't do something. Most people just say things that they've never tested themsevles assuming they know what they are talking about.
  • + 1
 You nailed it jfyfe! It's location location location - it's for tyres, frames, drivetrain setups and probably even handlebar widths. But give them a bit of a break, it's better when they say stuff coming out from their experience from their own backyards, than make up things.
  • + 4
 Am I an old geezer at 30? Bloody hell.
  • + 2
 We all like spending money on bikes I guess... My STP is as much fun and only about 20 seconds slower than my Konig on our local DH track. Those extra 20 seconds actually prolong my enjoyment by 20 seconds per run!

The only reason I want to get a Wilson is because I like spending money on bikes, and I want to be competitive in races. I wish everyone would ride DH on hardtails to be honest. It would make the sport a lot cheaper. Make the tracks smoother and the jumps smaller and you'll get the same sensation at a much lower and safer speeds.

RE: The Canfield One. I've heard nothing but glowing praise for its performance. I looked into it when my mate recommended one, but they look dog shit hey. To me, the bike's looks are as important as its performance. The One doesn't cut the mustard in the looks department. One word: hydroforming.
  • + 1
 Bang on dude
  • + 6
 From my experience, you need at least a 400% spread for a true all-mountain bike that's not limited on climbs or descents. One of my bikes has an Alfine 11 which has a bit more than 400% and when geared for the climbs I regularly need to do, it's limited on downhill stretches of road.

This can be achieved with a 10-40 cassette. No-one needs 11 gears (or even 10) on an AM bike, so if someone would just develop an affordable freehub body that takes a 10t lockring and a light, 9 or 10-speed 10-40 cassette with the 3 largest cogs in aluminum, I'll buy one.
  • + 2
 What you said, but I'd prefer 11-42 or even 11-40 and losing a little bit of the top end speed. I can't say I've spun out 36/11 anywhere but roads and farming tracks down hill, on single track it never gets close. To me keeping my (expensive) rear hub unchanged would matter more than a little bit of top end speed!
  • + 3
 It all depends on fitness but for me I've never ridden anything that can't be got up with a 1:1 lowest gear. Currently that for me is a 36T front with a 11-36T out back. Everyone's different though, which is why the 11spd is so great, it enables a wide enough spread between top and bottom yet reasonably finely gapped between the individual ratios - and allows everyone to get the benefits to ground clearance, and simplicity, that running a single on the front offers. I ditched the front mech years ago and never looked back, I've certainly never had a problem with gear spread, and that's over a wide expanse of terrain. If I physically can't get up it in 1:1 then I'd be quicker walking...
  • + 5
Nah, 33T up front and a 11..32 or 11.34 out back.
Once upon a time I was on holiday in Spain with FreeRide Spain (an XC holiday company). I was a 22/34 climber, I could climb all day in that gear. Simon who owned FRS and was a top Elite XC racer said to me...
Simon: "John, you gonna race the boys up this climb?"
Me: "Nah, as I said, I can climb all day in a 22/34, what is the point in changing",
Simon: "I bet you can, that but you could not climb in a 32/34 for any distance can you",
Me: "No, not really, not my thing",
Simon: "It is because you have trained your legs to spin that small gear all day and never go fast".

I remember this advice very well, and I changed, I kept all my gears but middle ringed everything, my arms, shoulders, back and legs got stronger quickly, I ditched the 1lb of front gears and have never looked back.

Thank to Simon, I changed for the better. We can all change, it is not easy, but we can change.
  • + 4
 @Betsie and cloverleaf: you probably made my year with your great comments. It makes so much sense. 1:1 as a challenge it shall be! Thank you for motivation

On XX1: both 9 and 10sp rear meachs wont take more than respectively 36 and 38t respectively, as there will be not enough room for the chain between pulley wheel and cassette to allow good shifting. They had to make a new rear mech with paraeleogram moving at a steeper angle. That also means that indexing on a shifter had to be changed. So if you need a new mech and shifter they probably thought lets kick it up to 11sp for XC racers. My only doubt is: 10sp gives already less precise shifts than 9sp and is harder to setup.
  • + 1
 I said 10spd was less precise a couple years back and just about got shouted off the site. Then over the last twelve months more people have come to my way of thinking. Now the industry moves to something that looks good in the lab but for the average $30000-$60,000 per year rider it will take way too much love we here story after story about how great it is.
Meantime the local hammer headers take single speeds up slopes that make motorbikes go over backwards.
We could all get by with less. Too bad we can't buy new high end wheels with 11- 32 on a 7 speed cassette. A nice hope pro 2 with a shorter body and a wider spoke spread would mean less wheel wear too.
  • + 2
 It all depends where you ride and for how long. I'm normally a musher but still prefer 30T or 32T up front and 11-34 on longer local rides. That might change to 34T or 36T elsewhere or for when I only get out for an hour or two. As for changing over existing bikes to the new 11 speed hubs and drivetrains is just not feasible for most. To get extra climbing prowess out of existing 1x 7, 8, 9 or 10 speed systems, just run smaller rings. You can go below 32T up front with spiderless rings.
  • + 1
 for me also 1:1 is a fine low gear, and i run 36 with 12-36... lately the gaps in the gearing kills my legs in the climbs and also is a problem with pushing hard in descents...i have been thinking to run 2x with 22-36 and 11-23 cassette... am i the only one who thinks the gaps are too big with a 1x?
  • + 1
 Evidemtly not alone since the number of cogs keeps growing
  • + 1
 the cogs grow, the gaps grow even bigger... i would love the cogs to grow so the gaps can decrease... i am never in the zeitgeist...
  • + 1
 Let's see how I get by with my new setup, single 26 up front, and a 11-36 in the rear...
  • + 0
 Cathar - 11/42 Xx1 with tripple chainset or no care.
  • + 7
 Hit the nail on the head with the 'kill the hype' portion, industry needs to chill the F out on its koolaid drinking, or it will end up with another 4X on its hands!
  • + 5
 "...a wise man sketched out a stunning-looking 96km back country loop for me this week, and it would only be possible on an electric bike."

You do realise that means a minimum 1 and probably 2 stops to recharge batteries, how many power sockets there are in the back country? Wink
  • + 4
 this is pretty much all on point. 160mm bike with a 36t cog in the back and you can ride up pretty much anything you weren't going to walk anyway. Chain guide keeps it on in the front. Not exactly groundbreaking stuff, but glad to see it catching on.

I will admit that "enduro" sounds cooler than "all mountain", but I don't understand why we have to have races and special enduro clothes and bikes and videos and stuff to justify our decision to have fun on our bikes. Once again, the bike companies see $$$ and the bike media is all too happy to help prime the gravy pump.
  • - 6
flag wakaba (Jan 6, 2013 at 2:08) (Below Threshold)
 Riding up - well... Going down with an Enduro is not a happy thing. Inadequate frames with lousy dampers on underengineered bearings, horrible tires, narrow bars, scarry rims and then to add injury to insult - no body protection - make this a nogo. 120-160mm travel is fine for a special purpose parkbike otherwise its tech from 10 years ago. As for the enduro circuit - fine for the lycraclad pain crowd - otherwise hardly and interesting event.
  • + 2
 Enduro bikes are nesrly as burly as DH rigs with shorter travel. "Narrow bars"? Bars change with the body but most people go wide.
Enduro is about using the most common kind of decsent in a race. It is really fun. And most people who do it use the same bike at the park.
  • + 3
 Wow, Wakaba, I was expecting you to be way younger than your profile suggests, because I remember the bikes when I started racing in 1998, and they were terrible. In theory they're similar to the Enduro bikes we ride now but in reality they're night and day. The current crop of 140-160mm travel bikes are blindingly good; massively capable, great fun, and they have the ability to get you back to the top.

I've raced downhill all over Europe for years, and I've loved it, but now I'm finding increasingly that I pull out the 'wee' 150mm bike that weighs 28lb's and truly means that I can ride all day rather than spend the day shuttling. We ride the same trails, arguably more technical trails, than the big bikes and yet they can get you into descents that you could only dream of on the bigger DH specific bikes. Big bikes are great in parks, great for shuttling, and great if you have chairlifts. Not everywhere in the world has this.

The equipment argument to me is null and void (they're mini DH bikes), as is that for armour (I don't wear any on either bike). Maybe you're scared of pain, maybe you're unfit, or maybe you just don't enjoy the technical challenge of riding the smaller bikes, only you can answer that. Personally, I find myself increasingly bored of riding such short tracks on such big bikes that take away so much of the challenge and subtle nuances of bike riding. Big bikes are good, small bikes are good; people who preach that their opinion is the only way is boring.their opinion like gospel are boring.

Enduro isn't new, it's the same stuff we've been riding for years; the difference is that we're now getting the gear capable of dealing with the punishment while being lighter than the previous generation.
  • - 3
 Yep, been doing that for a very long time and still have fun with it - keeps my reflexes fast - best sport to keep mind and body in the flow.

I started serious dh on a Marin Pinemountain in 92, Mt.Tam, Ca. For most of that time since rigs were utter crap. I never even updated my 1998 Kinesis dh bike till 2007 - there was nothing better - just same or worse.

Only lately a huge leap in functionality: More and better controlled travel, really flat head angles, long and low wheelbase. Would I want to go back to short travel am-style bikes - no f&/= way.

Here in the alps great shuttling/chairlifts, long/fast/technical descents and no Enduroriders in sight. If you see one of them - they usually patch their tires for the umpteenth time or just ripped a bearing out of their crap frames - consumercattle? They also block the tracks because of their lack of abilites and generally dont learn anything because that AM (aka Enduro) holds them back. They tend not to wear protection - and that is a very bad thing - I was in ER last year - and that was just a minor and slow dh-crash with full protection. Do I take Enduro riders seriously? No I dont.

Enduros are definitely not MiniDh - I have a Commencal Supreme Racing Mini DH - that is a Mini DH by definition. Its beefy, DC fork, serious rearend, supersoft Minions, quick and safe. Enduros lack all the qualities of a DH - are renamed AM - it pays to understand the term markeneering. Does a MiniDh pedal? Not likely at tirepressure of 1.6 and an Enduro would pop the tires of the rim at this pressure. Low pressure is key to grip - an Enduro cant even do that.

Nope - I dont enjoy AM bikes at all - Its the 8.5 inch Intense battleaxe always for everything and I learn something new everyday on a level an AM rider will never know.
  • + 4
 wakaba, My fork has the same lowers and same diameter stantions as the boxxer. My rear shock is is a dhx air 5.0 (an air sprung DH shock), the modern model of my bike has a rear through axle, and shares the same hardware as it's longer travel freeride sister rig. I use atomlab wheels, a short stem and wide bars. My bike rocks the bike park and does not break so long as I do regular maintenance. And it is 32lbs, ready for enduro, or lift access any day of the week.
That is why enduro rocks. I don't have to buy another bike to have fun.
Also, I have ridden by plenty of DH bikes as people push them up the hill. I make it up and down in the time it takes them to climb up once. Yes their bikes are faster. Nobody is claiming otherwise. The question is, how fast does it take to be a total blast? I may not be able to smoke a DH rider who's skill level is the same as mine, but I also don't have to go as fast to have the same amount of fun, making less padding necessary. I just wear soft shin and knee pads and a full face at the park and just the knees and a RED hybrid helmet on the trails at home. Where you live a DH bike might make more sense, but don't slander enduro because you get stuck behind people on the trails. If you really doubt enduro take your DH rig and do the Megavalanche. See who dusts you and what they are riding. I bet you it will have 6" of travel or less. It might even be a 650b.
  • + 0
 Enduros, AM, Freeride light whatever name is de rigeur for blingy overpriced and underperforming bikes. So yes - people not wearing proper protection, riding Enduros on Dh-tracks are ruining everybodies experience.


3-5 miles descents, big rocks, drops, slippery when wet, slippery when dry. Hard to see - really steep.

This track eats tires, pads, boils fluids, kills gaskets till you get the hang of it and your bike is made of the thoughest components (not necessarily expensive). Yep everybody hates trackshutdowns because an enduro-idiot not wearing proper protection ends up helilifted to the next ER for spinal treatment.

Boxxer and Domain are fine. Single crown with less volume is not. DHX5 Air wont last one ride. DHX 3 with coil will last a very long time. 12 and 20mm axle are good, smaller diameter means trouble, rear derailleur will go south in half a season, Shimano even faster, cheap Sram will do. Lowend Sram and Raceface cranks last, Shimano not. Avid 1 and 2 will last, most other brakes will not. Minion Supersoft at 1.6 will work fine, other tires will get you fast to ER. Notube is deadly.

Carbon anything will brake the bank first, then your neck.

Frames: 951, Voltage, Supreme last, Specialized, Giant, some Boutiquebrands etc. wont.

Megavalanche? This is for the pain crowd, pretty flat track, except 500m in the midlowerpart. Not DH. Uninteresting to the max...
  • + 2
 You make me smile with your silly statements.
My domain fork was nice, but the steerer and lowers were identical to my lyric's. the stantions are almost the same volume as the domains and are the same diameter and material as the boxxers. Volume is different so there may be a performance difference there, but between the lyrik and domain the only difference I've noticed was the domain sucked in the rock gardens, making it worse for DH.
SLX crank is rated super tough and the reviews back that up. I ditched sram cranks in 2 months of "all mountain" after going through 2 pair (yes 2!). Simply a bad interface design between spindle and crank. Cheap race faces have a rep for bending in the drive way. Expensive ones (atlas) are legendary, but cheapos suck. Shimano is the only crank set I've had that hasn't had a problem. These and the saints I had previously.
My Avid elixer CRs are better than what a lot of the rentals at mountain creek (formerly diablo) have and they held up for a buddy for a long time previously. They have never boiled and failed thatI'm aware of, but maybe I am not on the brakes as much as a true DH rider. . .
DHX air is on a lot of dh bikes. Needs a lot of maintenance, I'll give you that. Doesn't blow out though. Not as often as my brother's coil shocks seem to. That may have more to do with care for the parts. he's a set and forget kind of guy.

I've seen all kinds at the bike park. I saw a guy in an xc helmet on a carbon cannondale putting the DH armored guys to shame. (he switched to his cannondale 5" after his giant Reign X busted at the horseshoe link). I saw a lot of beginners blocking my way on dh rigs. Skill is the biggest variable. Sam hill would probably school us all on a tricycle.
As far as I can tell, a lot of great parts will break if not cared for well, but most of what is out there can hold up to most of what most of us do. You don't like shorter travel. That's nice. I can tell you though, it's the rider, not the bike.
  • + 1
 Also sweet POV video. Nice trail for sure. Smooth though so i don't see how it supports your argument. Those rock gardens were not much compared to mountain creek and plattekill.
  • + 5
 There are pro's to a front mech that are never mentioned.. Ok there is 1 pro which is instantly shifting many gears.. Sometimes it's fun to ride and try to use the front shifter more than the rear
  • + 1
 I'm with you on that bro. I use Saint 9 speed 22/36 with a 12-34 cassette. Dropping a bunch with the fronty in a nice thing. I still see no use for 10 speed as 9 is enough and if it ain't broke I'm not updating it. I will never buy a DH rig as I don't race DH. My Nomad covers all of the terrain the Ibis can';t cope with.
  • + 4
 Electric bikes, no. Enduro, wish it were happening around here. Death of front deraileur, Please don't, some of us out there aren't 150lbs sopping wet and actually use these other gears. I love my 44 up front for a lot of reasons. For one, when in 5th gear in my 9 speed, I like switching from the 44 to the 32 for a fast downshift before a climb, and same with the 32 to my 20T granny. Plenty of section of trail out there where this technique is superior to rear cog shifting. I've only been riding for 30 years, so what do I know.
  • + 3
 Enduro is just a fad. It's having some time in the lime light. DH is the pinnacle of mtb racing. Enduro in cycling or enduro moto will always be in the shade of DH and Moto.

Hahaha how much neg props am I going to rack up from this?
  • + 3
 None, because you're right. Enduro is a racing term for those that are not good enough at XC or DH to place well at either. If someone really were a great 'well-rounded' rider, they would win at XC and DH. If you're not racing, it's not enduro, it's just mountain biking.
  • + 2
 That is an utterly, utterly ridiculous statement. Why not apply the converse to your statement and say "if enduro is such a useless sport, then the world cup XCers and DHers would win every enduro race they enter". Now lets look at where those guys finish in the Mega and Transprovence. Clementz went to New Zealand and was getting good DH results on his 170mm bike. Are you telling me Quere can not ride a bike: www.pinkbike.com/news/The-Quere-Attitude-video-2012.html ? DH is the pinnacle, there is no doubt about that, but for many a racing format which lets you ride your bike all day, down different trails and terrain, with a total race time of between 20-50 minutes per day and all the while having just as much fun as a DH race makes sense. Insulting dedicated enduro racers doesnt achieve anything at all. Very surprised to see such a comment from a pinkbike contributor.
  • + 2
 Surprised that a contributor has opinions that he will place into a public forum? Quick, call the internet police! Like I said, a strong, well-rounded racer would win both XC and DH events, which is racing your bike all day, up and down different trails and terrain, with a total race time of, say, several hours. These riders mostly only exist in the amateur leagues though, which is why fastboyslim above commented on enduro as 'it's having some time in the lime light'. In the 1990's, racers were much more versatile and would race both XC and DH events in the same day. Enduro is the new category for those too afraid to try to win at DH or for good DH riders that have decided to start training. Don't get me wrong, it's great for everyone to have a sense of ambition.
  • + 1
 That is such a black and white way to look at it. Sprinters dont win marathons because they are good at running. A good triathlete isnt going to beat a swimmer/roady/runner of the same caliber. Do we get to belittle their achievements also? There is only so much training you can do, dedicated enduro riders exist and are both very talented and hard working. I am just suprised at how so many people effectively insult them. The only succesful DHers in Enduro are Vouilloz, the greatest off road biker of all time, who coincidently lives in the birthplace of enduro riding and thus has been exposed to the format from the start, and Dan Atherton, WC downhiller, WC winning 4x rider, BMX racer.
  • + 1
 Triathlons are multi-sport events. That's not what we're talking about. It's mountain biking. Enduro is the same as XC, but the uphill is not timed. It's the same as DH, except you have to pedal to the start. All I said was that a really great 'well-rounded' rider would win both the XC and DH events. You're reading into it too much. I'm not insulting anyone, it's just unimpressive to me. If it was a timed event the entire time you are on your bike, uphill and down, incorporating lung-busting climbs and rock garden descents with drops and jumps, that would be impressive, but that's not what it is.
  • + 2
 my santa cruz v10 (2012 v10.4) with a 38 x 11-34 combo and rockshox WC and vivid air is becoming the do all bike...before that my ibis mojo hd was that bike........death of front mech...meh, when i had a dual on hd it was awesome instant shifting to the desired combo versus going up and down the range of rear cogs...have not tried the sram 11 maybe it works like magic...who knows.
  • + 2
 There is one thing that would really ensure that Enduro becomes and remains a "participant" sport. That would be keeping down the costs.

I don't remember which sanctioning body it is that specifies that a frame must be used for an entire event, but they are on the right track. Some may say, "well there goes carbon", but it's not really about that. It's more about making sure teams with deep pockets don't go out there on super light exotica knowing it may brake or be useful for only one or two runs.

That said, I think they should stipulate a max number of frames to be used per season with allowances based on accidents or some such.

Keeping costs down is huge in many classes in motorsports and would make a lot of sense here in Enduro racing where we want everyone to come out and have a good time.
  • + 2
 I have to say I was hugely against (As in disgusted by the thought) Electric bikes......however since riding a few a the cycle show last year I have changed my mind, I can see how helpful and accessible they can be for people that have health issues who would struggle with a non powered bike. And for those would can ride.....well they are fun for the novelty but I cannot see a use for them amongst the top % of riders on here....lol
  • + 2
 Same as these guys, I would love to save weight and cables and handlebar room but the trails I ride I need the gears, my 3rd ring is 44t with a 10spd rear cassette, I always use these on downhill sections but with me riding the dales I need the low gears for climbing
  • + 3
 Same, I do a lot of XC where I can do a whole ride in the outer and middle ring, so 1x setup would be fine... but then I've taken my bike to the alps, and ridden up some of the hills there, you need those gears!
  • + 1
 Matt, spot on. Especially with the first 3. Got an Intense Tracer 2 with 36's, and 1 x10, and have just entered my first Enduro. DH'ing in Malaga with RoostDH made me want a DH bike again, but now back in the UK my Tracer is perfect, and SO much fun on the downs.
  • + 2
 The section on endure : kill the hype is so true, Enduro could become a poor cousin to dh if its hyped up to much and not allowed to developed, I think the world serious will be awsome though, cant wait
  • + 3
 I think it deserves the hype from a riding perspective, but not in terms of enduro ever being a big spectator sport like DH is becoming. Enduro is a blast, but it's not much fun to watch....unless it's MegaAvalanche.
  • + 1
 Has this not all been said before fast becoming bored of being told what bikes I should be riding I own a xc bike and a dh bike I don't need an enduro bike . I have two bikes for the cost of that specialized enduro and take the appropriate bike depending on where I ride . This website is fast becoming boring now by all means everyone ride what you want to ride but please don't post an article a week telling me what I should be riding !
  • + 1
 I think Enduro/ Super D racing is misunderstood.
It never intended to be the best. It was born of racing based on what everyday riders had in garage. To that end, I think it has done a great job.
It doesn't want to punish you with huge climbs or 20' doubles that are cased.
It's a racing format that is more about fun than results.
In Europe, I believe the racers group themselves at the start to make the race more competitive and fun in general.
Out here in California, we have one of the original Super D's " The Downieville Classic"
Last time I checked that race filled up in about an hour.
Again, Enduro is a every mans sport, similar to NASCAR. It's not as fast a F1, but it was started with the Everyman ( well bootleggers ) racing the car in his garage.

I guess it's Mountain biking's version of bowling: you laugh at it all you want, but at the end of the day it cares more about participation than results. You win by entering the race. If you want to be best ,XC and DH will always be there waiting for you.
  • + 2
 "However, people and companies (us journalists included) becoming over-enthusiastic because enduro is fashionable right now "
Can't say i'd noticed ..........
  • + 1
 On a 26'', 22x36 is about 16 gear inches. 32x36 is about 23 gear inches. That is a substantial difference when climbing. I don't think steep, sustained climbs can be done with 32x36.
  • + 1
 I think we could all see the mid-travel thing coming for some time now. There have been a number of real good 6" bikes out there since '98.
  • + 2
 The "KNOLLY CHILCOTIN" is the epitome of a mid-travel bike that DOES IT ALL!!! And it doesn't compromise in any aspect.
  • + 2
 Nice read , well done Matt!
Agree 100% with it and thats actually not often here on the board
  • + 1
 just saw you fat albert test, guess the zee works great with the gereral lee, any wear and tear?
  • + 3
  • + 1
  • + 1
 Everything in this article is just.... so.... right....
  • + 1
 Whatever you think is right, I will just go with the flowSmile
  • + 1
 Takes more skill to handle such rough terrain on a single crown fork.
  • + 2
 especially when you've chopped 20mm of travel off it: starting to think I should have kept a 180mm fork on mine, especially since the one I had did travel adjust.
  • + 3
 I didn't believe this till I rode a dual crown. I had ridden only single crowns for a couple years, and then boom- stiffer than a 15 year old with a playboy
  • + 2
 hahaha, Ive never ridden a dual crown
  • + 1
 I've never ridden a dual-crown, but I consider it common knowledge, that dual-crown forks make it easier to make mistakes, while a single crown makes it unforgiven. Like the idea with a HT and FS, granted I like the comfort having a squishy ride.
  • + 1
 Well, I felt flattered with the intro to the Ebikes.
  • + 1
 after a couple weeks of not riding i would like an Electric bike
  • + 1
 Well said ! Smile
  • + 5
 I agree with most, but there is no way I'm going 32-36 single ring option on my bike. Trails that I ride have long and steep climbs that I can barely manage on 22-32. I will go single only when XX1 becomes X71 that will come with a new bike.
  • + 1
 And that was the entire point of that section, that people that has been hesitant to single rings before (like you) are now given even less reasons not to convert (not necessarily right now but in the foreseeable future).
  • + 3
Agreed. I'll be waiting for the trickle down of the tech before I dive into such a drivetrain. Love the concept though and definitely like how it cleans up your cockpit and the overall mechanics/ appearance of the bike...

Can someone answer this? Does SRAM have to have an 11 speed cassette to get that crazy big cog on the rear? Could it be done with existing 10speed setups?
  • + 1
 You could always try to find the Leonardi Factory cassette mod, it replaces the 3 biggest cogs on a 10spd cassette with bigger cogs (biggest being 40, can't remember the other ones). Works with most long or medium cage derailleurs. Doesn't come cheap (something like 130€ for just 3 cogs), doesn't look super good (brownish anodizing) but should be working pretty good ^^
  • + 1
 @Stampers, The XX1 cassette is 10-42 I think, or that is one of the options
  • + 2
 www.i-mtb.com/leonardi-factory-40t-general-lee-test we tested the cassette adaptor, it works really well with a sram x9 medium cage mech...
  • + 2
 I have to agree the problem with 1x set ups i find is 2 par, 1) not big enough on the rear unless you go xx1 and even then you still only have 11 or 9t that with a 32 just aint enough i run 36-24 front and 11-34 on rear and thats perfect for most places in the uk. I think what it would be nice is if they stopped cocking around and just let us build our own x9/x10 cassettes ie test them from a range of say 11-38 or something and make sure they run smooth then just sell the seperate cogs.

I know when from my set up that not all of the gears on the cassette get used equally id likely say its a case of 1,2,3,5,7,9 that get the most abuse and i can only really forsee this being exagerated with 11 speed. you dont need all the gears in super close ratios.
  • + 1
 It would be nice to be able to build a custom cassette, but keep in mind, alot of the weight reduction in cassettes in the last 7-10 years has been due to putting one piece spiders on the big cogs. older cassettes are just like you're talking about, just with the big cogs riveted together. In fact, i think SRAM mentioned something about having to machine the XX1 cassette from one chunk of metal to get it to a reasonable weight.
  • + 1
 Ploutre: 9speed rear mechs won't take more than 36t unless and 10sp won't take more than 38t as there is no room between jockey wheel and the cog. To run 40t or 42t you need a derailleur with a steeper paraelogram( or smthng) angle. You can cheat the system by making an own der hanger with the eye mount lower, but that will seriously compromise shifting on lower gears. Indexing on shifter would be f*cked as well. Longer I think about XX1 the more I understand Why it's
made the way it is. And I was dising it all the way before. I will surelybuy X91 with 11-42t cassette if it ever comes out
  • + 0
 The gearbox will innevitavly kill both derailleurs, but enjoy your ridiculous 42 tooth casettes while they are around...
  • + 1
 all my cassettes ( hg50, slx 9 speed, 950 sram, 970 sram all are bolted together and use plastic spacers so i cant see what the issues is there. @ waki, you can run bigger rings thats what the p/b ( i forget which now) adjuster is for as you can move the mech out to accomodate for the extra size. Also thats why i said theyd need to test it and likely modify the rearm mech to compensate but the gains of a bigger stronger chain and thicker longer lasting cassetter / chainring wins over for me. just a shame they are very unlikely to do it as for some bizarre reason more = better when it comes to gears.
  • + 1
 fss how did the 25-40 adapter work out on the Shimano setup? presume you need a long mech. any different to the sram set up?
  • + 1
 Im 99% sure that 9sp and 10sp rear mechs wont go over 38t. I was looking at the issue on my bikes when I wanted to order 12-40, 10sp cassette for my 29er. Off course with B screw (that is) all in with a longer bolt, which is a bad idea, as shifts on harder gears get compromised when the distance from the pulley to cogs is too big. You could make an own, longer der hanger but the shifting issue on 11-20 cogs would be even worse.
  • + 1
 Waki - I've seen it working this week. More to follow when I get round to it.
  • + 1
 Id love to see it - all hype killers are heroes...
  • + 1
 Edited ....
  • + 1
 2013 the year of Enduro!
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