The recent release of the 2020 29er Specialized Enduro go me wondering if a modern enduro bike would make a good trail bike. Are the tires to heavy and slow rolling? For that matter, is the whole bike too heavy. Is it too long and slack? Does it have too much travel? Does it really climb well or is it just a passable climber? Is the modern enduro bike really just made for enduro racing? Are they just mini-downhill bikes that barely climb?
I like big bikes. I currently ride a 29+ full-sus Trek Full Stache. However, I don’t race. If I was going to buy a new bike should I get an enduro bike? Do you use an enduro bike as a trail bike? Can a modern 29er (or 27.5) enduro bike also be a good trail bike?
I have wondered this as well. I’m tempted to get a bike with adjustable geometry and an adjustable travel fork. I’d keep it in short travel/steep mode for my local trails and put it in longer travel/slacker mode for bigger trails. Lots of bikes have flip chips but that doesn’t change that much. Guerilla Gravity bikes take this a step further and you can swap out the seat stay and linkage (and maybe shock) to further change the geometry. So if you buy the Smash and find it is too much bike you can literally turn it into a Trail Pistol (and you can change it back to a Smash if you need it).
I’ve been very tempted by Bird Bikes Aeris One20 LT lately. It is 130 travel but can go down to 120 with just a linkage. They also have the One45 that can go from 145 to 160 with just a linkage. Not sure if the 29er has any travel options though.
Serious question: what is the downside of an enduro bike for general trail riding? They weigh virtually the same as a trail bike but have more suspension. They also probably climb better because enduro racing involves climbing. So basically, you have a bike that is better at both climbing and descending. I’ve never even understood the “trail bike” category. Seems like the only advantage is price.
Interesting question. Seems that you could also ask the question in reverse, i.e. could a modern trail bike serve as a good enduro bike. Just need to know how you are defining Enduro vs Trail. To me, the lines quickly get blurred between XC/Trail/Enduro.
The newest group of 29ers are so good, I wonder if there is really much difference. I rode a new Ibis Ripley on a recent trip to Santa Cruz – wow, what a fun bike!
I have a feeling if most of us were given a new Specialized Enduro, we would think it was the best trail bike we had ever ridden — or if we were given a new Stumpjumper, we would think it was the best enduro bike we had ridden.