The ‘enduro’ label gets slapped on a lot of bikes but when we use it we’re talking about race machines. Something that’s ready to charge out of the box, with the ability to drag you up to the top of an Alpine peak then spit you over rocks, roots and jumps in the fastest time possible back down.
These are bikes that can be ridden everyday as well, but they really come alive between the tapes when they are pushed hard. Unfortunately, enduro is probably the discipline of mountain biking that’s hardest on bikes. Sure an enduro bike won’t take the big hits found on a downhill race track but a consistent beating over 50km a day will test any component to breaking point.
But you can’t just have a tank, it’s no good turning up with a 40lb sled between your legs if you have hour long transition stages to pedal, you’d end up gassed by the start of the first special stage.
So, you’re after a combination of light and strong but unfortunately that doesn’t always translate to cheap. The advent of direct sale bikes has moved this price point backwards but we see these bikes as the exception to the rule, so we’re instead going to focus on bikes sold in the traditional manner. Here’s what you can expect for your money if you want to lay it down on an enduro machine.
£2,500 enduro bikes
If you want a bike that’s ready to race then the minimum you should be paying is £2,000 – £2,500. We know this is a bitter pill to swallow but the last thing you want is your bike falling apart underneath you when you’re miles from home.
For this money you won’t get the showiest components but you can be sure they will be robust enough for the job and you have a great frame from which to start upgrading when you have the chance. It is worth looking at direct sale options at this price with the likes of YT, Canyon and Radon offering amazingly specced bikes that we love. However, be aware of the pitfalls of buying online before you commit.
Even the biggest name frames aren’t out of your budget at this price point as brands such as Nukeproof, Specialized and Trek all offer 160mm bikes at this price. In essence you get an Enduro World Series race winning platform for a fraction of the price of the pros’ bikes, and you can’t say fairer than that.
You’ll be looking at an aluminium frame but it should have all the features you would associate with a top end enduro bike, that includes race geometry, bottle cage mounts and a 12mm thru axle on the rear.