En­duro Tips

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - CONTENTS - by Ryan Taylor

7 point­ers to go faster and get the most out of a big event

For your first en­duro, you should em­pha­size hav­ing a good time, rid­ing with friends and meet­ing new ones. Re­mem­ber, for an am­a­teur, an en­duro is es­sen­tially a big day out on a moun­tain bike on a set, marked loop where you ex­pe­ri­ence the best and row­di­est trails the area has to of­fer. Only the down­hills or cer­tain sec­tions are timed. You do the climbs at your own pace as long as you make it to the seg­ment by a cut-off time. At the end of the day, your cu­mu­la­tive time from the seg­ments de­ter­mines where you stand over­all. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of an event. Do a mock en­duro on your lo­cal trails You would be sur­prised how much you learn about your­self, and your bike, while charg­ing longer down­hill seg­ments. Sprint­ing as hard as you can for two to five min­utes is dif­fi­cult. In an all-out ef­fort, you might even clock a slower time than if you sim­ply went slightly faster than your nor­mal pace. When fa­tigued, you tend to pick poor lines, make small er­rors and gen­er­ally don’t ride as well or quickly. Man­ag­ing your pace is key.

Also, when you push your­self, you’ll be sur­prised how lit­tle things about your bike or gear, which you prob­a­bly didn’t no­tice be­fore, be­come is­sues. You might want to ad­just the align­ment of your shifters or brake levers. Maybe the tire pres­sure isn’t right. Maybe your shorts slowly slide down when you sprint. You’ll want to discover and cor­rect all these things be­fore you en­ter an event.

Get burly En­duro is sim­i­lar to rac­ing four to 10 mini down­hill races in one day. For these con­di­tions, you want burlier equip­ment. Gen­er­ally that means heav­ier, wider tires, a hel­met with a chin guard and even gog­gles. Choose more re­li­able items over lighter ones.

Tune your bike a few weeks be­fore the race A few weeks be­fore the event, get your bike setup just right. Find the sus­pen­sion set­tings that work for you. If you don’t have any ex­pe­ri­ence play­ing with air pres­sure or re­bound, do your research or buy your lo­cal

shop tech a six-pack and have a chat. A tuned bike will make your rid­ing ex­pe­ri­ence much faster, safer and more fun.

Get a dropper post If you don’t al­ready have a dropper post, get one. Your ride will be bet­ter.

Sort out your on-bike nu­tri­tion While the timed parts of the race de­ter­mine the fastest rider, the ma­jor­ity of the day is spent rid­ing to the timed sec­tions. These con­nec­tions tend to in­clude a lot of el­e­va­tion gain and re­quire some en­ergy out­put, es­pe­cially if you’re on a heav­ier bike wear­ing a pack. On your mock en­duro day, load your hy­dra­tion pack with a lot of food, gels, some tools and tubes. See how much food you will need through­out the day and ad­just the con­tents of your pack ac­cord­ingly. Most en­duros have feed sta­tions, but don’t rely on them. Their food might not jive with your stom­ach.

Ride the course be­fore­hand Rid­ing the course a day or two be­fore the event is crit­i­cal. Fa­mil­iar­ity with the trails and ter­rain is key not just for speed but safety.

Have fun En­ter the race with friends and ride the whole day with them. Use an en­duro event to ar­range a week­end away or in­cor­po­rate it into a camp­ing trip. Maybe even travel to an area you have never been to, but al­ways wanted to ride. Most likely, the day will pro­vide a sam­pling of the best trails. Ev­ery­thing will be marked, so you won’t have to mess around with apps or maps. You can just ride.

“If you don’t have any ex­pe­ri­ence play­ing with air pres­sure or re­bound, do your research or buy your lo­cal shop tech a six-pack and have a chat.”

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