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Elitest thrill junkie
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I'm trying to decide between a trail bike and all mountain l/Enduro bike. I ride some bike park and some more flat more basic trails. Would an Enduro bike be too much? I am about intermediate skill level.
It depends on how you ride.

For me, I occasionally ride "black diamond" and "double black diamond" terrain. I want to ride at the park too and be comfortable on the bike and enjoy it, rather than fight it. To that extent, my bike needs to be at least semi-capable at the park and that means a minimum amount of travel and certain other requirements, like no XC-shocks, decent casing tires, wheels, brakes that can stand up to the heat, etc. I also like to hit the hard trails on vacations too. I have a few bikes, but I ride my "all mountain" bike most of the time. It is overkill much of the time on the long XC trails I do, but then I can hit any jump or drop or hard terrain along the way and enjoy it. Not the fastest way, but allows me to do what I want. I keep fit by racing XC on my XC bike and doing other competitions, but that's another dimension. If you aren't the best climber, a heavier and long travel bike is going to bog you down and you may not be having fun, especially when you ride with other people that just seem to fly away effortlessly. So you have to do some real honest assessments with what you want, what you are willing to put up with, what you are capable of, etc.

So for me, that bike is a minim of 150mm of travel front and rear. I don't find that wheelsize makes up for travel, it does make the bike continue to roll over stuff and roll faster in some cases, but that's if you can hold on. The 150 is a rough number though and quality of travel vastly outweighs quantity of travel, so a good Push 11-6 coil shock equipped 29er with 145mm of travel would be better than a 155mm air shock rig. If I chose to ride a bike with significantly less travel than that, I'd be throttling back my riding in some of the terrain, such as at the bike park, etc. But I'd be faster probably on the majority of riding that I do. Again, get honest with yourself and think about what you ride, what you want to ride, etc. Do you want to show up to Whistler or Trestle under-gunned? Are you prepared to rent in places you travel? Are you ok climbing with more weight and an inefficient bike (compared to less travel)?
 

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Buy the bike you want...

Dam the nay-sayers to hades!!

Or, own several mules and enjoy looking at them, more than you ride them all.

Just saying, for a friend

Sent from my Asus Rog 3
 

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Buy the bike for the trails that you find most fun.

So.... If that's smashing bike park laps then get the enduro bike. If you prefer the easier tracks and just want to hold on, on the park days then get the trail bike.

Me personally.... Enduro bike every time.

Now if you want to go more detailed i would suggest a light built enduro bike. Aiming for 30lb. That will pedal pretty the same as a lower travel bike of the same weight and then be able to handle the jandle at the park.
 

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Santa Cruz Hightower C XXL
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I'm trying to decide between a trail bike and all mountain l/Enduro bike. I ride some bike park and some more flat more basic trails. Would an Enduro bike be too much? I am about intermediate skill level.
I don't really think the term 'Intermediate Skill' means much when I comes to buying a bike. Some of the least skilled riders have the absolute best bikes, because they just have 'Expert Budgets' :rolleyes:
With more suspension, comes more weight. The heavier bikes with more travel don't usually climb that great. Tallboy, Ripley, and Fuel are trail bikes with 120mm- to 140mm travel range. Usually 34mm stanchion forks which the lightest forks and climb really good. Moving up in weight and more travel would be the HighTower, Ripmo, and the Slash with 150mm to 170mm travel. They usually have 36mm stanchion forks which are a little heavier. If you plan on sending it off some big drops and riding bike parks, then a longer travel would be better. If you want to blast down medium rock gardens and flowy single tracks but still do lots of XC riding, the 120mm to 140mm range is perfect.
Those bikes above are Santa Cruz, Ibis, and Trek bikes. They were just used for example purpose only. There are tons of other great brands.
 

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I’d say I’m somewhere between a daring beginner and intermediate rider. I ended up with a 140/130 Stumpjumper this year. Does great at the park but I flatten it here and there when I outride my skill level (bad landings) but the bike soaks it up way better than one would expect. It does great at the local trails (still feels like overkill most places) As everyone has mentioned, make an honest assessment and buy the bike you want.
 

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Buy what's best for what you do the most. In my case with the bike types discussed here I will agree they both work in a range of riding but the modern trail bike with a Pike fork gets the most use because park riding is less often. Also the modern trail bike with general purpose knobby tires better handles what was once the realm of heavy duty bikes.

This observation might be worth considering. Friends are engineers and product managers for one of the major bike firms as well as very good riders. They do not tend to over-bike the way many do.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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You'll be happiest buying a bike for the trails you ride 90 percent of the time. I have bought too much bike before. It's no fun peddling a pig constantly if the downs aren't worth it. If you're not going to the park a ton, renting one is probably the way to go if you can't swing a two bike setup.
 

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I'll agree that rider skill means very little when it comes to bike choice.

what's more important will be the actual trails you're riding, along with how you ride them.

are these bike park trails really rough and bony or are they really smooth and buttery? different bikes would be best in each of those situations. when you get to something rough, do you have a tendency to finesse your way through, or do you charge hard at it and plow through? again, different bikes would be optimal for each situation.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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