Pinkbike Poll: What's Your Favorite Type of Mountain Bike Racing?

Jan 18, 2024 at 18:42
by Mike Kazimer  
Goldstone versus the people.

It's no secret that it's a challenging time for elite level mountain bike racing – the number of World Cup races has been reduced for 2024 and teams are slashing budgets, in many cases leaving talented riders looking for new sponsors. In addition, for the fans at home it's becoming more difficult and more expensive to tune in to spectate.

Watching the state of mountain bike racing (and the industry in general) is like watching someone pump up a tire without paying any attention to the pressure gauge. Things seem like they're going well until suddenly, "KA-BLAM," the tire bursts off the bead, leaving unlucky bystanders partially deaf and covered in sealant. This isn't the first time the mountain bike world has experienced a sudden deflation – I'm old enough to remember what happened in the late '90 / early 2000s, when the mountain bike market collapsed, causing race teams to re-evaluate whether or not they could really justify paying for a semi-truck trailer at every race, or even attend races at all.

Racing Isn't Going Away

As easy as it is to bemoan the supposed 'death of enduro,' or whatever discipline seems like it's on the chopping block, racing isn't going anywhere. Yes, at the highest level things aren't looking that great for the near future, and I'm sure it'll take a few years before stability returns, but this could be a good time to shift the focus towards more grassroots events, the ones that tend to be the most entertaining and exciting anyways.

Slawomir Lukasik in 7th
Enduro racing can be a ton fun to experience, but it's a tricky discipline to spectate.

Sometimes Participating is More Fun Than Spectating

For enduro in particular, it's a discipline that seems to be more fun to experience from in-between the tape rather than watching from the sidelines. I know I'd much rather be in the fray, trying to make it through a weekend of racing tricky stages versus watching an extra-dry highlights video that seems specifically designed to cure insomnia. That seems to be the biggest hurdle for enduro – it's extremely difficult to put together coverage that's engaging enough to attract more than diehard aficionados.

Downhill, on the other hand, seems tailor-made for prime time, as long as silly things like semi-finals runs aren't stuck into the mix. It's a discipline that's long been poised to enter the mainstream as a spectator sport, but for whatever reason it never quite gets over that final hurdle that would have non-endemic sponsors clamoring to get their name on racers' jerseys and bikes.

When it comes to actually participating in a downhill race, that pool of potential riders is much smaller than the one for an enduro or XC race – DH equipment is more specialized, as is the terrain required to create a suitable track.

Laura Stigger making light work of the slick roots and rocks in MSA.
XC courses have gotten more challenging, and the racing has become more exciting.

At the moment, cross-county racing sits in the sweet spot of being accessible to the largest number of riders while also being entertaining to watch. Courses have grown more technical and bikes have become more capable, which makes for a much better experience for fans and riders alike. Plus, this year is an Olympic year, which means that there's the opportunity for millions of people to watch the sport for the first time.

Grassroots Racing Is Where It's At

While I have plenty of opinions, I don't have any quick and easy solution to solving the struggles at the elite level of the sport. (Hint: e-enduro racing is not the answer, and for the record, I don't think professional eMTB racing should exist at all, but that's probably worth a separate article).

That said, I'd highly recommend checking out a local race or two this season. It's great way to shake things up, and even if you don't feel like racing it's still worth showing up to do some good old-fashioned heckling. If there isn't any organized racing in your area, well, it doesn't take much to get something going – grab a crew of friends and a couple of stopwatches and you have the ingredients for fun, no pay-per-view subscription required.



What's Your Favorite MTB Discipline to Watch?

What type of mountain bike race would you most like to watch?




What Type of MTB Racing Do You Most Want to Participate In?

What type of mountain bike race would you most like to participate in?



Author Info:
mikekazimer avatar

Member since Feb 1, 2009
1,726 articles

248 Comments
  • 461 11
 Whatever Rob Warner is commentating.
  • 101 1
 Rob Warner commentating actual snails racing would be gold. The puns would be incredible
  • 18 2
 @Stuartkbmx: I’d pay to watch that
  • 15 0
 @Stuartkbmx: true! Reminds me of hermit crab racing in Costa Rica. Dig a trench in the sand, place your crabs side be each, grab a beer and lay back and watch (for a while). First crab to the end of the trench wins (LOOK AT THE TIME!!!!!!)
  • 2 0
 Pretty much.
  • 6 0
 This was the first year in I don’t know how long I watched all the Crankworks DH and only one WC. Usually I watch all the WCs and I’ll catch a Crankworks or two if I have time.
  • 130 0
 @Stuartkbmx: "LOOK AT THE SLIME!"
  • 29 0
 @Slowbeard: Snailed it. I'll get get my coat..
  • 11 1
 @mikedk: "Look at the Tide"
  • 102 0
 @Stuartkbmx: I had a racing snail. I took off his shell to lighten him up and make him faster... turns out it just made him sluggish
  • 6 0
 rob warner with AG or Reece wilson - Reece Is the man on the mic, super pro and natural
  • 4 1
 and free
  • 16 0
 @Stuartkbmx: "How does he even sit down with a hermaphroditic duct that big !?
  • 25 5
 @likeittacky: hah nothing sucks more than e-bike racing.
  • 11 21
flag psullivan65 FL (Jan 19, 2024 at 14:19) (Below Threshold)
 @shredddr: really I can think of all kinds of things worse than that. Must suck to be so triggered.
  • 6 1
 @shredddr: Did i say anything pertains to ebike? "Rob Warner"..... "and free" televised racing was my
added comment.
  • 3 3
 @likeittacky: yeah - apologies. My fat fingers and lousy typing grabbed you by mistake. Was in response to a comment below. Nonetheless, Warner is awesome and eeb racing sucks.
  • 2 0
 Crankworx forever! Warner’s behind the mic!
  • 6 6
 @shredddr: Honest question for you as a lot of people have your views but not many people support their opinion when they post.

E-bike racing sucks because……..

I always wonder why people hate e-bikes as their sales do support companies that make bikes. I just can’t see how e-bikes or e-bike racing hurts the industry or any type of bike race.
  • 8 6
 @RevedOut: it promotes laziness if you ride only a ebike and you’re young, healthy, and able bodied. However if you use it because you have injuries, or health conditions, etc. and it allows you to get out and ride more when otherwise you couldn’t then it promotes a healthier lifestyle. Lastly, you could use it as a bike for “recovery days” or “zone 2 training” when otherwise you might have to do something less exciting like ride your road bike, or jump on the trainer. They are great for keeping your average heart rate lower on intense rides, but I’m sure there are some people who could argue that they could still maintain avg heart rate over 150, but you would have to be really pinning it.
  • 2 0
 @Slowbeard: The best part is that I know everyone reading that is imagining it in his voice too.
  • 6 4
 @RevedOut: I don’t hate e-bikes personally. I also recognize that this is the direction the industry is going and have seen it in my friend group. Once a few guys flip to eee, it’s over. They’re not coming back and everyone eventually more join them.
But for racing? Bicycles have been human powered for 100+ years of racing. Man vs nature, similar to running. We can’t know if how much the motor and or battery contributed to a result. It’s like if F1 came to electric motor bicycle racing. I get that some people love F1 and the technological side, but I don’t want that for competitive bike racing.
  • 7 3
 @RevedOut: Nothing against the bikes themselves but making up a new category so that lesser athletes can compete at the world cup level seems odd. Not sure why anybody would want to watch that.
  • 4 0
 @Stuartkbmx: Together with Ozzy Man!
  • 2 0
 @Stuartkbmx: Rob Warner commentating actual snails racing.


OMG. Somebody needs to make that happen Big Grin
  • 7 3
 @devinkalt: "it promotes laziness"

Some of the times when I got the most tired after riding a bike were on the days when I rode an ebike.
Because it just makes you try stuff you otherwise wouldn't, and basically you get so into riding, that it's really hard to stop ... You're always like: I'm on an ebike, I'll climb one more time to ride downhill again. And again. And again...
It's fun. You should try it sometime, especially if you want to have an informed opinion.
  • 1 2
 @colinb19: its not ment to be like that im assuming, my guess is it was ment to take them further, make races longer OR to step up the performance anther level and finish even faster.
  • 4 1
 @devinkalt: Great points and I appreciate your willingness to have dialogue and not an argument. My primary discipline is DH riding / racing. I use mine as a shuttle bike to get a few more DH laps and I use Eco mode to compensate for the extra weight when I want to get some good climbing cardio in. It is a great bike for me to have as I can do everything I need and want to. I’m looking forward to using my E-bike to take my son on some trail rides. I’m sure I’ll appreciate the ebike with a toddler in a shotgun seat. Mad props to those pedal their kids an a regular bike.
  • 1 1
 @shredddr: I respect your point. I am a purist when it comes to gasoline engines. I raced a Honda for four years, and when the new NSX came out with electric motors, it hurt my soul. I think there is a place for everything but I understand where you’re coming from.
  • 2 0
 @colinb19: I agree. I don’t think it should be a World Cup event.
  • 1 0
 @RevedOut: I respect that, though I think that NSX was an incredible machine when it came back. As for racing, I’m somewhat ignorant but aren’t there a ton of other disciplines that are purely for gasoline powered engines? It’s funny - I’m not against eebs, and I love Supercross and moto, but ebike racing - just can’t get behind it. The enduro format is struggling enough - I’d hate to see it go and they keep e-enduro.
  • 1 1
 @shredddr: Correct. There are many other forms of racing gas powered engines. Lol. I raced Time Attack / road course long before cars had engines and electric motors combined. I feel I can relate to the purest MTBers and understand their point of view. Like you though, I do appreciate the new NSX. It is an amazing machine. I guess I just love racing anything I can.
  • 3 1
 @FredFreeRideGang: exactly this. It's more mountainbiking in every way!
  • 2 0
 @FredFreeRideGang: I do own a ebike, a '23 turbo levo, and ride primarily on it using eco mode usually getting about 4-6k feet of elevation gain in 3-5 hours of riding. I also ride my other bikes too though so I can maintain cardiovascular fitness. When I say they promote laziness, I mean they can make you soft if you used to have to put in more effort and simply don't anymore because you don't have to. There are many circumstances though where they are excellent tools for improving quality of life.
  • 1 0
 @devinkalt: He literally just wrote that riding his ebike makes him want to push more, physically....
Ok, can we at least agree that it can vary from one person to another? Not everybody is going to get lazy? Did you get lazy or not, can't really tell from the whole story you wrote...
If you did, don't you think it would be more, idk, objective to say that it made you lazier, but that doesn't have to be the same story for everybody???
  • 1 0
 @chmurka3rg: Yes I agree it can vary from one person to another, not everybody is going to get lazy, it can make you lazy, but it's better than sitting on the couch.They can also provide an opportunity to ride more then you would ever have thought possible in one year. Will it make you more fit? I don't know, depends how you use it. Some people don't care about fitness and just want to ride more.
  • 1 0
 @Stuartkbmx: "How he can snail with shell that big?"
  • 215 10
 eMTB XC is the most nonsensical thing I have ever seen in my life.
  • 15 73
flag BenPea (Jan 19, 2024 at 11:59) (Below Threshold)
 Is it though?
  • 42 4
 @BenPea: no, but it's stupid and ridiculous.
  • 20 5
 I do some e enduro. It's fun, especially since I'm old. But there shouldn't be a pro category.
  • 5 2
 Does it need to make sense?
  • 1 2
 OMG turns out it is! Hyperbole is dead. There's a UCI snowbike series, not sure you've heard. I'll be into it by spring though, so all good.
  • 4 0
 That's what makes it so great. BECAUSE it makes no sense.
  • 11 6
 It is, but imagine a 100 km race on a bike with 30 kms full battery range. Racers must choose how to best portion out that battery power to complete the race. I think it would be interesting...
  • 8 17
flag CYCOlogist818 (Jan 19, 2024 at 14:51) (Below Threshold)
 @woofer2609: I'm in the minority here but I actually do enjoy watching emtb racing.
  • 4 3
 @woofer2609: it's not.

They're slower than normal bikes in xc marathon races.

They blast past you up the first hills but later in the day you pass them at like the half way mark trying to push their shitty heavy bikes up some climb because the battery is dead. And the rider is totally gassed having to push and pedal that thing around.
  • 4 4
 @Ktr0n: Then it's on the rider to know their range when on a full charge.
  • 9 5
 @BenPea: to race a bike with a motor is to race a motorcycle, and there ain’t no way an ebike is gonna compete with motos, therefore it’s nonsensical.

Ride what you like, but e-bikes racing is as sensible as painting on toilet paper.
  • 13 1
 @sanchofula: I paint on toilet paper every morning...
  • 4 1
 I have an emtb and I agree. I don’t want to watch anything ebike related.
  • 8 0
 Wait… emtb demolition derby! I would watch that.
  • 2 3
 It's basically legalised doping. I don't get it at all.
  • 2 0
 I take it You have seen snow bike racing?
  • 1 0
 @CYCOlogist818: I like watching any racing but I’d rather be competing.
  • 1 0
 @RevedOut: Fair point.
  • 2 0
 @HardtailHerold: What exactly is there to "get"?
  • 5 4
 @sanchofula: Wrong. E-bikes compete with other e-bikes, not regular bikes or motorcycles. There is nothing to make sense of. If eMTB racing is not what not what you're interested in than don't watch or compete.
  • 2 0
 @woofer2609: Toilet paper art is the best.
  • 6 0
 @PtDiddy: eMTB jousting.
  • 4 2
 @HardtailHerold: How is it legalized doping? All the bikes fall under the same restrictions. 250w motors, assist only up to 25kph before the motor cuts off. So with that, all the bikes are under equal footing. Beyond being interested or not interested, there is nothing to "get".
  • 1 6
flag HardtailHerold (Jan 20, 2024 at 8:33) (Below Threshold)
 @CYCOlogist818: If someone took a PED that gave them an extra 250w of power they would be banned for life. Clearly I'm not the only one that doesn't get it.
  • 5 1
 @HardtailHerold: That's not a good argument. We're taking about a designated category. If an ebike were competing against non ebikes that would be a different story. Again, there is nothing to get.
  • 2 0
 @HardtailHerold: but if everyone did it? Oh...
  • 3 1
 @BenPea: Since it’s a specific designated class, all arguments against it are a non starter. It’s not a matter of “if everyone does it”. It’s its own thing.
  • 4 0
 @CYCOlogist818: oh I agree. The doping point is ridiculous if the playing field is level.
  • 4 0
 @BenPea: Yep. I truly don’t get the issue anyone has with it. There are things I don’t get into so I don’t watch or participate. It’s just that simple.
  • 2 1
 @woofer2609: I couldn’t care less. If they added an e category to Leadville, I hope everyone would ignore it.
  • 1 0
 @woofer2609: I am just happy your gallery is a private collection.
  • 2 0
 @CYCOlogist818: I would pay to watch that
  • 162 29
 Anything without motors
  • 87 32
 Especially chairlift motors. Those things suck
  • 14 4
 @IllestT: touché
  • 18 4
 I mean supercross >
But yeah not into watching or racing e bikes
  • 19 3
 Imagine dh WC but they have to push back up while timed.
  • 34 1
 @IllestT: Chairlift racing is top notch, you don't even know.
  • 16 0
 Crashes in chairlift racing are brutal.
  • 5 0
 @vinay: It's the overtaking that really makes it exciting.
  • 11 3
 I'm fine with watching motors, but ebike racing is lame. If I'm gonna watch 2 wheeled motorized racing, it'll be Supercross.
  • 1 2
 @IllestT: They're not really timed on the chairlift are they?
  • 2 1
 @IllestT: Chairlift racing w'd be cool.
  • 5 0
 @CYCOlogist818: you'd have to allow ranged weaponry though, I'm thinking t shirt cannons and super soakers filled with *insert energy drink of sponsorship*.
  • 7 0
 Pretty soon we won’t get to watch anything, free or paid, if Discovery has anything to do with it. They have done a great job killing viewership.
  • 91 1
 Juuuuuust bring 4X back already.
  • 7 36
flag nozes (Jan 19, 2024 at 12:18) (Below Threshold)
 It's dead for over 10 years now. Give it a rest.
  • 4 0
 @nozes: retro comeback
  • 22 0
 @nozes: More exciting to watch than DS/XC/Road. Just because it hasnt been on a grand stage for 10 years doesn't mean people do not want to see it...

Give your "Bahumbug" attitude a rest, scrooge.
  • 7 0
 The best cycling sport to watch by far imo
  • 22 0
 It's a sad state of affairs when the UCI will hand out rainbow stripes for Zwift racing, but don't recognise 4X.
  • 1 0
 I wish. That would be so fun to watch again.
  • 2 5
 Zero chance the top world cup downhill racers are gonna risk racing in 4x so zero chance of success. But many of them would be willing to race dual Slalom, like they used to in the old days.
  • 10 0
 I LOVED 4X. One of the formats where you have 100% track coverage and interesting battles between racers. I love Downhill but 4x was nuts
  • 2 0
 4X is probably the most exciting race format, so sad that it gets next to no coverage or love.
  • 3 0
 @hohmskullkrishten: Why does it have to be the top DH guys? Riders like Scott Beaumont and Michael Prokop (and arguably Dan Atherton) weren't top DH guys, but they were amazing to watch racing 4X.
Dual Slalom doesn't even get close to the excitement a 4X race can generate.
  • 1 0
 @commental: and snow biking.
  • 3 0
 Yes!
I have a dream team ready: Ropelato, Masters brothers, Bulldog, and Martin Soderstrom.
They didn't race 4X full time, but when they did it was the most exciting ever!
  • 2 2
 @commental: If you had guys like Loric, Loic, Goldstone, and Finn racing it would increase interest dramatically and improve ratings. I would actually consider paying to watch if they brought back Slalom.

Dual Slalom was very successful as both a NORBA and World Cup discipline, most of the top racers would compete and there was plenty of interest and fans watching. Somebody convinced the UCI 4x would be better for spectating so they went that route. Most of the top racers stopped racing it because it's risky, and it died and the UCI dropped it. There is hardly any interest in it anymore, be realistic. 4x is exciting but if the top pros aren't there, it's irrelevant. The big names will never race 4x, it's essentially BMX racing. But the Sea Otter dual slalom still attracts a lot of pro DH racers because it's fun for them to race it.
  • 54 1
 It is no fun to watch but good old single loop XC races that take 2-3 hours are my favorite to do. You have to be a good all around rider. If you suck going downhill you are going to get beat, if you suck at uphill you will get beat, and if you can't ride single track you will get beat.
  • 33 0
 Agreed. Long, single-lap races are great, especially if the climbs and descents are difficult.
  • 13 4
 If you suck at going downhill or uphill then you just enter the ebike XC.
  • 10 0
 I am surprised no one has brought back this format and called it "trail racing" in order to sell more "trail" mountain bikes. Dont get me wrong, I know of plenty of marathon XC races, but these days those involve a lot of fire road. legit 25 -40 miles of single track only races are rare (or to your point do they exist?).

As long as the UCI doesn't lay claim to it, id be all about it.
  • 2 4
 Correct, I hate XC racing but those kinda ones are Worth watching.
  • 9 0
 @dpars63: lots of them out there.... Firecracker 50, Steamboat Stinger, Whiskey Off-Road (used to be a Grand Junction Off Road too), True Grit just to name a few. Most of those have smaller/shorter versions too.
  • 3 0
 @stevemokan: Apparently I need to spend more time in Colorado.
  • 3 0
 @dpars63:
Check out the Revy50, in Revelstoke BC. www.racerevelstoke.com/revy-50
There used to be one in Bragg Creek Alberta (west of Calgary), the Bow80. Epic when the weather was good, absolute frozen hell if not.
  • 1 0
 Reminds me of Absa Cape Epic
  • 1 0
 @dpars63: There's loads of those races in South Africa. Multiday, and single stage races over singletrack with loads of great tech and downhills etc. 50 to 100km stages. It's the reason also so many bikes like the Spaz Epic has an Evo edition being more slacked out and longer travel.
  • 1 0
 @dpars63: East Coast races up in Western NC
  • 1 0
 @stevemokan: Fuego XL--the marathon event at the Sea Otter--has been pretty great in recent years as well. There's some fire road/double track, to be sure, but a majority of last year's 70 miler was on singletrack.
  • 2 0
 Username checks. Pretty sure I spend a good amount of effort on these kind of races doing my best not to get mopped up by a @jonemyers

@dpars63 take a look at some of the XC races and series in the PNW. You might find what you're looking for. A lot of the climbing is still double track, but that makes passing possible. Still a good amount of really fun singletrack.
  • 1 0
 @stringer8247: The mudslinger has been on my to do list for a few years now.
  • 1 0
 Agreed! Not quite a marathon but still more than an FTP test.
  • 42 2
 Make dual slalom great again
  • 11 0
 Shocked how few voted for it. It’s probably the best for spectating. Also one of the easiest to cover for broadcasting
  • 11 0
 Dual slalom is so entertaining and the knockout format works so well for it. I also don’t know why it hasn’t got more votes
  • 4 1
 @aly-14: guessing it’s because very few people have access to or have ridden a dual slalom track. It’s like a subset of a subset. And to be competitive it’s another bike to buy, either a dj or a modified short travel trail bike. Fun to watch the finals when it’s on cranworx tho.
  • 5 0
 @jessemeyers: All the the non-pros (99.9% of PB commenters) ride their trail or enduro bikes. The buy-in is almost nothing for most regular MTBers. Super fun for all ages and skill sets. Always lots of new youth riders as well as geezers. There is Cat 1,2,3 Expert/Intermediate/Beginner, all the age cats, 60+ Open, and Adaptive. Gated head-to-head racing is super fun - anything can happen LOL.
  • 3 0
 @mfoga: I voted for it!
  • 2 0
 @aly-14: because it’s been gone for so long nobody remembers it. Needs bringing back though.
  • 1 0
 I was more meaning in terms of wanting to watch. I have no interest in riding/racing it but it is a great format for spectators
  • 4 0
 @mfoga: likely because we could only vote for one.

DS is amazing, but DH is still my #1.

But I think they compliment each other well. They could run DS Friday night to get the party started and run DH on Sunday.
  • 44 4
 No snow biking option?
  • 12 1
 C'mon, no one would be so stupidly cretinous that they'd organise a bike race on snow.
  • 6 3
 @bigtim: They'll very common and popular in the mid west part of the U.S. Also Alaska. Whether or not it's stupid is a non issue.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iYL-BOsZQU
www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFh2cnv9REk
www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6BMtNS_0t0
  • 10 2
 @CYCOlogist818: I’ll take snow racing over e bike racing any day.

I don’t even hate e-bikes, but they are for training and / or exploration. Not racing.
  • 2 6
flag CYCOlogist818 (Jan 19, 2024 at 16:22) (Below Threshold)
 @nvranka: All a matter of personal preference. If it moves it can be raced.

Interestingly enough, a lot of pros race them specifically for training purposes.
Others do race them because that’s what they enjoy.
  • 1 2
 @nvranka: So to say they are or are not for racing is a non starter. It's up to whether or not people want to race them.
  • 4 0
 @CYCOlogist818: I think this is a reference to the snow bike race that the UCI has organized that is a race on regular bikes down a downhill ski course.
  • 2 0
 @Spencermon: Perhaps, but I think most will assume fat bike when they see the word "snow". If what you're saying is the case, bigtim is still out of the loop to truly be baffled that bike races in the snow exist.
  • 1 0
 @bigtim: we have winter bike racing in Alberta.
  • 1 0
 @bigtim: yeah, can imagine if some morons got together and actually decided to make a World Champs for it, complete with Rainbow Stripes. It would become a jumping the shark moment for cycling.
  • 2 0
 I used to live in Duluth, MN. 8 or so years ago, our local ski resort called Spirit Mountain became the first place in North America (maybe the world?) to offer lift-accessed fat biking during winter on both their ski slopes and on their summer gravity trails.

The following year, they started a DH fatbike race called the Frosted Fatty. The year after that, they added an additional dual slalom event where you got to race against skiers and snowboarders!

I have to say, those races are some of the most fun I've had on any type of bike, I miss it. Fat bikes are underrated.

Here's an old video of the racing: www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=rjL5DTehSY4
  • 36 4
 What racing will you be watching this year? Probably only frameworks post race wrap ups.
  • 9 0
 Crankworks is still free on RB. The more of us that watch it the more money they’ll have for the next year.
  • 1 0
 @stubs179: the more of us that watch the more likely it is to get scooped up by a pay service actually.
  • 3 0
 @stubs179: pretty sure you have to buy the drinks afterwards for this to be true
  • 23 4
 I voted XC for most likely to race... I do love racing Enduro and the rush of going uncomfortably fast down gnar terrain, but I'm an amateur. Going uncomfortably fast down gnar terrain has little to zero payoff, with a significantly high risk of a serious, time-off-the-bike injury. With XC, a huge majority of the discomfort comes from churning yourself inside out during a climb or long flat section, and even on the downhills a rider is rarely hitting the same discomfort factor. Amateur enduro racing just ain't worth the risk of injury.
  • 3 1
 2 words - Friday Fails.
  • 1 1
 Was going to say almost the same thing. I have done some enduro races but it's usually scary for me and I always crash at least once. Still great to push my comfort zone but picking between the two, xc is more reasonable.
  • 3 0
 Counter point: amateur enduro racing is really freaking fun
  • 1 0
 @mrbrighteyes: You're way too young to think that way.
  • 2 0
 @suspended-flesh: Too many injuries from enduro racing/riding under my belt. Or on my shoulders. Or my legs.

Doesn’t stop me from riding fast, but race fast is a whole different beast.
  • 1 0
 @mrbrighteyes: OK - fair enough!
  • 22 0
 If no one else will say it then I will - bring back four cross!
  • 10 0
 THIS. Used to love watching it!
  • 3 0
 @JonnyTheWeasel: I used to watch replays for hours
  • 17 4
 "(Hint: e-enduro racing is not the answer, and for the record, I don't think professional eMTB racing should exist at all, but that's probably worth a separate article)." Hot damn I knew there was a reason I liked you Mike. I'll be waiting on bated breath for that separate article.
  • 12 1
 Dual Slalom on of the best to watch/televise since the whole race is in one spot. Touch be beat DH overrll though.
  • 13 0
 4x/ DH BMX ftw!
  • 8 0
 Watching Enduro would be awesome, but the coverage has been hard to follow. The race recap has been cool, but having live or a full replay would be awesome. Watching multiple stages of DH is an exciting type of racing. In the recent podcast, Jesse Melamed mentioned a great idea which is to blog/video/record the transition stages to see what's going on between timed runs. I think there's so much more depth to an enduro race that hasn't been shown.
  • 7 0
 I'm not really interested in watching. I'm more of the participating type with participation sports. I miss watching MotoGP the most of all things I used to watch, but if I have time to watch a MotoGP race, than I have time to take my motorcycle to the track so I pass on watching.

For MTB, I prefer racing XCO. I think enduro would be great if races did more stages and less lifts, so you actually had to have the "endurance* in enduro, but every race I have done has either had a lift, or very few stages. So I end up sitting around waiting in a long start line. At least if I sign up for an XCM event I know I'm racing for HOURS, not sitting around. I rode the local DH course the other day (Southridge in SoCal) and then course was great, but the idea of waiting in line for who knows how long for a 2 minute run seemed silly (the fact that i would lose was not a factor).
  • 7 0
 Yes. I also would like to do a proper enduro race that actually required endurance. They are mostly just over complicated downhill races now.
  • 1 0
 You must live a lot closer to the tracks than I do, unless you’re talking about local mini Moto kart tracks…a track day usually warrants all weekend.
  • 2 0
 @milliniumfalcon: I just do minis. Big bike is just way more money than I'm willing to spend on it. That said, I do have a couple popular tracks near by (was a few, but one just closed). But one of the local kart tracks is popular with national and international pros, so it's a good one to play on.
  • 12 1
 slope-duro-cross!
  • 10 1
 You're missing mate's races. Discipline doesn't matter. It's all about the fun and banter. Looking forward to SSWC.
  • 4 0
 SSWC is where my money is at.
  • 1 0
 Marla Streb Forever.
  • 1 0
 @suspended-flesh:
She and I are related.....by tatoo.
  • 1 0
 @buckshot45: Congratulations! That's awesome. Much respect.


On the bum, though?
  • 8 0
 blind stage racing
  • 2 0
 I like this as it puts (most of) the locals on more even footing and racers really send it hard blind
  • 7 1
 Pink bike doesn’t already know what everyone wants to watch without asking?
  • 6 1
 Where is ultra AKA Bike Pack racing? Its crazy what people are doing in that space.
  • 3 0
 Obviously it would beyond boring to watch, but participating in unsupported bikepack racing is a lot of fun. Totally different mindset from all the others. That being said, dot watching things like the Tour Divide can be interesting.
  • 2 0
 @Rich-Izinia: It's kind of fun to watch the dots move when it's tracked... the docuinfluentaries that get released a few months later are the best part when not participating.
  • 5 0
 I don't know who needs to see this, but you're welcome: www.youtube.com/c/LeagueofPigs
  • 2 0
 The age old debate is settled 4X > DS ! Wink at least when it comes to watch other people do it.

But no wonder 4x died . More expensive to build and maintain, without any significant income advantage from a race promoters stand point . One of those things that’s just great, but sadly doesn’t make a ton of business sense
  • 8 5
 "emtb enduro" lmao you know every single one of those votes is just a joke. Come on. Why even include it as a category. Industry shills!
  • 2 1
 I answered in terms of what I would watch on TV, since obviously I can't go to every race but I could watch them all on TV or some internet thing. I had to go XCO because the cameras can be everywhere and follow the action. DH is awesome but you get the same part of the track for each racer, if they crashed in the camera free zone they can't even find that for the replay. Ultimately, it becomes tiresome. That is the unfortunate nature of all time-trials races. Same is true for alpine skiing.

Somewhat less true for longer time-trials races like stage road races, where they can bounce around to different riders (show starts, check in on a couple people and comment on where they are doing well).

Watching DH in person is a different story. Even if you hang out at the finish and watch the big screens, the atmosphere is electric. I didn't want to do that for XCO so I walked the whole course and found a spot that was interesting and waited until the end before I went to the finish area. DH better in person.

Also in a dream world where I could complete in an elite event, I had to go Hardline.
  • 7 1
 Does Cyclocross count?
  • 2 0
 Event participation numbers are quite the opposite of those answers here. Times have also changed, participating in a DH race isn't an option anymore for most of us that started in the 90's.
  • 2 0
 DH is incredible to see live but XCC is also really entertaining. A weekend that includes DH, XCC, and XCO is a great time. In addition to being able to go ride your bike after watching all that racing.
  • 2 1
 You know Mike, I love watching world cup DH racing amongst the worlds fast elite riders, but I remember enjoying racing myself only when it was like a Friday night thing just for the locals. But then when some of the locals get organized and sponsor larger enduro races on our trails it is kind of a shame because all of a sudden the new trails that we had made blew up with hundreds of riders doing multiple laps over the course of a 3-day weekend and it kind of sucked.

I understand race organizations "give back to the trails" both monetarily as well as "sponsored dig days" but f*ck that, in some cases the deep pitted loam turns into a highway with brake bumps.

That's just where I'm at currently, but maybe it's cause I'm old and grumpy now and all the new kids are faster then me?
  • 2 0
 DH for the raw, intense, adrenaline rush. Put it all on the line. Give the fans the fastest 3 minutes of your life! I used to race DH and loved it. The people, the terrain and the overall atmosphere of the sport was amazing
  • 1 0
 No interest to watch racing, but would chose this for participating:

XCC - short track cross-country (race times of 30 minutes or less, 6-8 laps)

But in the Greater Van I don't see short 30min races, and what I do see is more like the following:

XCO - cross-country (race times under 2 hours, 5-7 laps)
  • 3 0
 Marked enduro, but tbh the Shenandoah Mountain 100 is the best race, just have not had the fitness to do it again for years
  • 1 0
 Checkpoint 6 french fries!!
  • 1 0
 Have they had it in a few years?
  • 1 0
 @jmusuperman: Spain in Oct, I think.
  • 2 0
 @jmusuperman: sorry, SSWC in Spain last year,

Yes,100 last Sept. hardest one ever.
  • 3 1
 I think this survey should have been multiple choice. I love watching both XCO and DH! Also, I most want to race a bunch a different types of races!
  • 3 0
 Has tracklocross not come up yet?
  • 3 0
 Mass start racing for me. Not a huge fan of time trials.
  • 3 0
 What about Trials? Otherwise 4X FTW!
  • 1 0
 Is trials a race? Honest question -- I could imagine that time factors into it, but isn't the sole factor in determining the winner.
  • 4 1
 The kind without motors and with Rob Warner.
  • 4 0
 Dh Over everything
  • 1 0
 So Pinkbike, it’s pretty obvious that you really want enduro to appear as few like to watch it by dividing it into 2 categories.
  • 1 0
 Pinkbike I get the single possible answer thing but an exception should be in place so that whoever clicks "downhill" can also click "Hardline and similar".
  • 3 0
 Mega avalanche with the mass starts and lots of snow at the top.
  • 1 0
 anything that is not over UCI regluated (DH course taped like a ski-slalom), no enduro races were UCI rules are the base and anything with Rob Warner
  • 2 0
 I think this poll would me interesting if it was a ranking of the options rather than a single top choice
  • 2 0
 City DH, or whatever it is called
  • 2 0
 Downhill is still the king
\m/
  • 3 0
 Nightduro
  • 2 1
 I don't want to watch someone having fun. I want to have fun. I'm going to ride tomorrow.
  • 2 1
 Why is there no option of "Downhill (the way it used to be...without the semi final nonsense)"?
  • 2 0
 It’s not mentioned, but I enjoy watching Speed & Style.
  • 2 0
 Any racing that ends up in the pub!
  • 1 0
 I’m 50-50 on downhill and slopestyle as disciplines. Slopestyle isn’t an option on this though.
  • 1 0
 downhill is real fun to watch on tv (well, used to be). In person, XCC is way more exciting to watch.
  • 1 0
 Definitely a toss up. Wheel to wheel XC racing is cool to watch. I was impressed with the WC riders at Snowshoe last year and how they sent it down rooty pebbles in the masses. You can’t pass up the spectator party that DH brings though. The DH world champs looked like a great time!
  • 3 4
 Anyone saying they wanna participate in Hardline event is a boastful dweeb unless its that dude with 'Minnaar' as his username.
  • 11 0
 I would like to. That doesn’t mean that I’m able to.
  • 2 0
 I could fire road it all the way.
  • 9 0
 New category: Amateur Hardline, where you have to carry your bike down the whole track.
  • 2 0
 @barp: walks down> sucks teeth> “Well it’s definitely doable.”
  • 5 4
 The 31 people who put multi-day enduro are the 31 racers participating.
  • 4 0
 I'd love to watch enduro if there was a good way to do it...
  • 2 0
 @notthatfast: the best way to enjoy enduro is to practice it Wink
  • 1 2
 The only MTB disciplines I've ever watched live are Crankworx Slopestyle and Rampage. The astute reader will note that neither is a race.
  • 3 6
 Opposite of PB commentator's sentiments, a huge number of MTBers simply enjoy riding and being outdoors with friends, not racing. Much prefer watching average riders/personalities on YTube vs any of the horrible UCI coverage which does a disservice to the sport. Bring on Seth any day.
  • 2 1
 Whatever one the UCI does not have part of.
  • 2 1
 Crankworx Whistler DH was the best race to watch in 2023.
  • 2 1
 XCO for riding, DH for watching. Wink
  • 1 0
 Pump track world championships are pretty darn cool
  • 3 2
 I'd rather watch XC than Rampage these days.
  • 1 0
 What? No UCI sanctioned World Cup Snowbike Championship?!
  • 1 0
 Does racing to the beer fridge after a really good ride count as racing?
  • 1 0
 XC or DH. Everything else is sub-category.
  • 2 0
 Beer league hot doggin
  • 1 0
 At this point... Anything other than a UCI race.
  • 2 0
 Modern xco is awesome!
  • 1 0
 Favorite racing to watch? Whatever racing my kids are participating in.
  • 1 0
 24hr XC events- solo or team.
  • 2 0
 Beerduro only thanks
  • 1 0
 Anything with "Fest" in the name
  • 1 2
 Same dudes who are into DH are anti-ebike. “Yeah I’m for sure into shuttles and chairlifts but ebikes cross the line big time.” Big news - those pros LOVE their ebikes.
  • 1 0
 Volunteer Course Sweep is the best way to do any Enduro or Downhill race.
  • 3 4
 Best on telly is DH Best live is XC Can only pick one option in the 2nd question.
  • 3 1
 @betsie: agreed on the XC being great live. Went to the Snowshoe WC in 2021 and the DH was super hype but running a few feet from Nino and cheering him on for multiple laps is a memory I'll never forget!
  • 3 2
 @mtnjamscott: I saw Nino in Andorra, the DH world cup there and fort William is great, I have been to crankworx whistler a couple of times too but watching the xc racing and the way they setup the track in Andorra so you could easily move between a few sections of the track was incredible. Like you, I will never forget that experience, I really wanted Nino to win as he is a legend but he blew due to getting to Andorra at the wrong time before the race. The speed they climb and descend at is something to behold.
  • 1 0
 4 Crossssssss
  • 1 0
 What about Slopestyle
  • 1 1
 E-fatbiking!
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