What Is An Enduro mountain Bike?

What Is An Enduro mountain Bike?

Mountain biking has a lot of different variables. These include, the rider’s ability and the terrain they ride. Some people may like to trail centres, some may like to pedal long distances on fire roads, but others may love blasting down mountains in ski resorts. There is a different bike for each discipline of mountain biking. In this post, I am going to answer the question of what is an enduro mountain bike?

What Is Enduro Mountain Biking?

Enduro is actually a type of racing. But, the term is also used to describe a type of clothing, trail, bike or equipment. Enduro is used as a term to explain a particular that would be used for a particular type of riding.

Enduro mountain bike racing is basically getting to the top of a mountain as quickly as possible, then racing back down. They usually have three to six stages. Riders are mostly timed not he downhill sections. These vary in steepness and how technical and long they are, depending on the location of the race. Riders have to ride between each stage in untimed “transfer stages”. These are mainly up hill slogs before the timed race down he mountain.

To be an enduro racer, you need a mixture of skills, such as physical fitness, endurance and technical skills to tackle the rough terrain on the descent.

This Sounds Serious!

Enduro racing is one of the most accessible ways of competing for an amateur mountain biker. Here are a few reasons why enduro is great for amateurs:

  • When you are racing, you are only competing against the clock. You don’t have to worry too much about other racers, as everyone sets off at timed intervals. Therefore, you don’t have the panic of getting in a big pack of riders like you would in a cross country race.
  • Everyone rides the same track. This means that you can compare your times with everyone else’s, giving you a good idea of what level you are at.
  • It is super fun! The atmosphere at an enduro event is really friendly. It is common for people wait for their friends after the timed stages and ride on to the next one together. Enduro events are basically trail rides, but with some more motivation to go faster.

What Is An Enduro mountain Bike?

What Is An Enduro mountain Bike?

An enduro bike, at a glance resembles most of the full suspension bikes you see on the trails. In terms of specifications, enduro bikes fall between trail and downhill bikes.

Suspension Travel

Enduro mountain bikes lots of suspension travel. This allows riders to go faster over very rough terrain. During a race, it is common for a rider to have never ridden the course before. Therefore, this extra travel gives them an extra margin for error when they don’t pick the smoothest line. This makes it much safer and prevents many of those over the bars moments. Expect 160mm to 180mm of travel on an enduro mountain bike.

Enduro bikes tend to come with either 27.5″ or 29″ wheels. The amount of travel usually varies between the two wheel sizes. Normally 27.5″ wheeled bikes have more travel than 29ers. This is because 29ers roll over bumps easier and are faster in a straight line.

Head Tube Angles

An enduro bike has a slack head tube angle. This pushes the front wheel forwards, increasing the wheel base. The benefit of a sick head tube angle, is that the bike is more stable on descents, which gives you more confidence to ride faster. However, slack head angles make life more difficult when climbing and mean that you need to put more weight on the bars when cornering.

Bottom Bracket Hight

When you compare an enduro bike to a trail bike, enduro bikes have a higher bottom bracket. This is because the terrain enduro bikes are used in is generally rougher and there needs to be more clearance.

We are seeing more bikes with adjustable geometry now. These have flip chips to lower and raise the bottom bracket height. This is so the rider can choose the optimum geometry for them. The lower setting is usually used for smoother trails and railing corners, while the high setting is used on rough terrain where you are likely to be doing jumps and drops.

Wheel Base

The wheel base of a bike is the measurement between the axles. Longer bikes are more stable, this is why downhill bikes are very long. However, enduro bikes are getting longer too, and are getting pretty close to downhillers.

Tough Components

The components you get  on mountain bikes are made for the bike’s intended use. Enduro mountain bikes use much tougher components than trail bikes, as they are intended to be put in more punishing environments. Comparing an enduro bike to a trail bike, you will see the following differences:

  • Reinforced tyres
  • Wider handlebars
  • More powerful brakes
  • Grippier tyres
  • Wider and stronger wheels
  • More suspension travel
  • Burly suspension components


Do I Need An Enduro Mountain Bike To Race?

What Is An Enduro mountain Bike?

If you were taking on big alpine terrain or riding in Finale Ligure, absolutely. But, if you are entering a local fun race and you don’t have an enduro bike, you should be OK with what you have. But there are a few things you need to consider:

  • Your bike needs to be one that is good to ride up and down hills all day.
  • If all you have is a hardtail, you will feel the benefit of efficient and fast peddling. But, the technical descents will be tiring.
  • A full suspension bike is the best option for enduro racing. If you are intending to race local races with less technical terrain, you should look at trail bikes with travel between 100mm and 150mm.
  • For more technical terrain, you may want a bike with 150mm to 170mm of travel.
  • You really need to consider what brakes you have on your bike. If you are doing a lot of steep descents, your bike should have large brake rotors to ensure that you have enough braking power.
  • The surface you will be riding on and the weather conditions will determine what kind of tyres your have on your bike. Tougher tyres will reduce the likelihood of getting punctures. If you go tubeless, you reduce the danger even more.
  • Enduro races consist of steep descents and lots of pedalling. Therefore, you should have a wide range of gears, to cope with the variety of terrain. I recommend putting a chain guide on your bike too. This will stop your chain bouncing off on those really bumpy downhill sections.
  • Another recommendation, is a dropper seat post. This is because during an enduro race, the trail will have lots of up and downhill sections. By being able to drop your saddle out of the way easily, you will be able to change your riding position for the descents. Then when it comes to pedalling, you can easily raise it back up again.

What Should I Wear?

mountain biking samoëns

Obviously the weather will make a big difference to what you wear during a race day. There are loads of options for mountain bike clothing even for cold weather. There are a few things that you need to consider for enduro racing:

  • Some events require you to wear a downhill rated full face helmet. But no matter what, you will be required to wear some sort of helmet at all times. A good option, is a convertible helmet that allows you to remove the chin bar for hot and sweaty climbs.
  • I recommend that you carry a backpack. This is so you have all the essentials with you, such as water, snacks, multitools and inner tubes.
  • Knee and elbow pads are a wise idea. These will protect you if you have a crash and will give you more confidence to ride faster.
  • Eyewear is essential. Keep mud and grit out of your eyes with glasses or goggles. Goggles will give you more protection, but makes sure you take them off for peddling up hill. This is because they will fog up on a cold day.

What Is An Enduro mountain Bike?: Answered!

Now you know what an enduro mountain bike is used for and some essential information for your first enduro event. Please leave your thoughts and questions in the comments section below.

18 thoughts on “What Is An Enduro mountain Bike?

  • 03/12/2019 at 8:53 pm

    Thanks for this post about the enduro mountain biking, this is one of my best sport so far, I started it since when I was a kid we do have the race within ourselves in the neighbourhood, but it got to a time I stopped because I felt unprotective when riding the bike on the mountain,it’s really a great experience for and i really wanna start it all over again after seeing this post and what i can get to protect myself while riding.thanks

    • 03/12/2019 at 9:09 pm

      Hi Rose,

      Thanks for your comment. It is great that you want to get back in to riding. There is a lot of mountain bike protection to keep you safe when riding.

  • 03/12/2019 at 8:54 pm

    Hi Tom,

    I really enjoyed reading your article about what is an enduro mountain bike. I hadn’t realised the complexity involved in choosing a good mountain bike. As someone who is fairly new to mountain biking, can you recommend any good resources for someone just getting going? I am thinking mostly of locations (holidays?) and starter gear. Thanks in advance, Andrew.

  • 03/12/2019 at 8:56 pm

    In recent years the mountain bike scene has really taken off, and luckily bike manufacturers have come to the party with great new bikes that fit this style of riding and are more durable than their predecessors.

    There is a lot to think about when doing a race, and your post indicates clearly everything you will need as well as links to purchase the goods which makes it a one-stop article.

    Would you say that the Enduro Mountain Bike is the best bike to get for beginners to mountain biking, or is there a better recommendation? This is for someone just starting out.

    • 03/12/2019 at 9:04 pm

      Hi Michel,

      Thanks for your comment. I would say an enduro bike is overkill for a beginner. I would recommend a beginner to ride a hardtail, as it would teach them the basic skills and is cheaper to buy.

  • 03/12/2019 at 8:57 pm

    Wow! This is as informative as also interesting to read on. Of a truth, I really like the fact that the racer is racing against the time and not against an opponent or anything of such. It is strictly  based on beating the personal time and racing to increase the speed and skill of the biker. However, the risk factor is also to be taken into consideration here as the bikeman is exposed coming down from the mountain top having ridden their way to the top. This is a great one. Thanks

    • 03/12/2019 at 8:58 pm

      Hi Rodarrick,

      I’m glad you enjoyed it. Enduro racing is a great way to spend a weekend. Thanks for your comment.

  • 03/12/2019 at 8:58 pm

    Eduro is a fitting name, comes from endurance, right? It sounds like a tough thing to do, going up a hill or mountain on rough terrain, but once you are up there, the feeling must be incomparable. (I’ve done mountain climbing, so I can relate 😉 although it is still entirely different, but when climbing you also meet with obstacles and eventually you get to the top) The bike looks interesting, a little different, doesn’t it? The head tube angles certainly help when racing down the mountain. I can just imagine the adrelanine racing through your body as you’re racing down the trail! It must be incredible, (perhaps scary?) and so adventurous. 

    I didn’t know about dropper seats, that sounds very useful. I find your article very interesting, and it explains a lot about mountain biking. I am learning a lot here 🙂 You also give great tips regarding safety, anything a serious mountain biker needs. 

    • 03/12/2019 at 9:24 pm

      Hi Christine,

      Yep, you are correct. Enduro comes from endurance. The bikes are very capable and can be used all over the mountain, which is a amazing. It can be scary, but we all need to do things that scare us.

  • 03/12/2019 at 9:00 pm

    Thanks for summarizing such an amazing content about enduro mountain bike. I have a friend who is passionate with this sport but he use enduro moto. He has an Enduro Cross Honda 250. This motorcycle is phenomenal, it reaches all impossible terrains. I didn’t knew that exist a enduro mountain bike too. Because the moto enduro is not for me, i want buy something like enduro mountain bike. It is very interesting how many suspensions can have this bike,  which will help you on the rugged mountains road. 

    We have in Romania beautiful mountains. Do you think if I purchase this enduro mountain bike, it can be delivered in my country ?

    Thanks and keep in touch. 

    • 03/12/2019 at 9:21 pm


      Thanks for your comment. Moto Enduro is arguably more grilling than the mountain bike version. There are lots of online shops that deliver worldwide, so you should be fine.

  • 03/12/2019 at 9:00 pm

    WOW, the bikes are pretty (lol that’s as far as I’ll  get to the actual thing, my weight and the fact that I’m “housebound” keep me from biking, and I’d prefer something with 4 wheels for balance).  The article looks very professional and you give extremely detailed information on the bikes features.  I do like how you let us know how it compares to other bikes and the information on how the racing works, it seems a lot better to me that each person takes off on their own at timed intervals instead of all at once.  

    The one thing that would scare me though is…isn’t it dangerous out oon bumpy dirt paths and such?  What if your bike or tires slide and you go careening off a cliff or something?  Sorry I’m just a huge worrywart about things like that.

    • 03/12/2019 at 9:17 pm

      Hi Kristina,

      Thanks for your comment and for taking an interest. Mountain biking is dangerous but we manage the risk with lots of protection. The danger is part of the fun too!

  • 03/12/2019 at 9:06 pm

    Hello there I own an Enduro as a result of well, riding down Pikes Peak for one. But I have found everything written about the new “Thunderbolt Greases lapper” as I call her to be true and then some. As an added bonus my Enduro is in Plus mode ride now with Surly Dirt Wizard 3.0s front and a 2.8 in the back. However while demoing the Enduro I managed to CRUSH Strava times on almost every trail here in the Springs up and down with the standard 29×2.3 tires front and back. And yes the Enduro takes a 3.0 up front but only a Dirt Wizard I have found.thanks alot for taking time to putting out this review

    • 03/12/2019 at 9:15 pm

      Hi David,

      Thanks for your comment. I bet Pikes Peak is an interesting ride. My Nukeproof Mega is a fantastic enduro bike and is perfect for the alpine riding I do in the summer.

  • 15/04/2020 at 1:59 pm

    Thanks for the info, new to the sport and looking to enter some local enduro races. Feel a bit stupid in the bike shops when you don’t know exactly what you’re asking for but I feel a little more knowledgeable now.
    Looking forward to picking up the right type of bike and smashing some trails with the right equipment now that I’m about to upgrade from my old worn out MTB.

    Thanks again

    • 15/04/2020 at 4:02 pm

      Hi Paul,

      Thanks for your comment. I am glad to be of help, let me know if there is anything else that you would like to see on my website. Always looking for ways to help fellow mountain bikers!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.