I’ve raced a lot of DH over the years, so much so that it’s reached the point where my weekends are on autopilot. Unfortunately with social distancing rules in place, DH races are nigh on impossible to hold, so instead, we have been seeing more enduros popping up all over the place. To help out the DH racers like myself making the switch, I thought I would throw together a beginner’s guide to racing enduro.
Practice for an enduro is all about balance. You need to know where you are going, how hard to push and be confident with all the features on each stage. However, as important as practice is, you also need to be careful you don’t expend too much energy on the penultimate day. Using too much energy on the day before will have you behind your competitors before the race has even begun.
Quick Tip: Identify the stages that you are struggling with and focus on making up ground or find those stages which suit your strengths and focus on maximising your gain.
Something I didn’t think about the first time I raced an enduro was nutrition.
Do not underestimate the liaisons (interstage climbs). Especially, if during practice you have been taking the easy way up the fire roads or the shorter climb trails. It is also worth considering all the time you’ll be spending at the top, waiting in line for your start time.
I personally really like these GU energy gels . If you go for the extra caffeine it will give you the kickstart you may be in need of while mid race. Keep in mind that by the time you’re hitting the wall it’s too late. You need to be preemptively feeding to ensure you’re performing at your peak!
What to Carry
This is a tricky one because until you have done a few races and know what issues your bike is most likely to have it is hard to choose what tools to bring. However, common things are common, so, always carry a good multi tool. Preferable one that can be stowed on your bike somewhere.
Flatting is all too regular on an enduro, so be sure to bring a tube and a decent set of tire levers that are strong enough to get your tires off. You don’t want to get the smallest and lightest only to find them snap straight away.
Don’t forget a way to inflate that tube. Either a pump or a C02 canister will do the trick, whatever you prefer (don’t forget the regulator if you choose to carry a canister).
For the bigger races and longer days, consider throwing a quick link that suits your chain somewhere (they are really easy to tape to a gear cable). In addition, I always keep a derailleur hanger zip tied to my seat rails. If you need that your day probably isn’t going well but they are always handy just in case!
So that’s all you need to know to get started on your first enduro! Get out there and learn the rest for yourself!
Categories: Riding Tips