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.”