“I’ve heard about these Enduros. Are they good for me?”

We’re glad you have, and we know you fear them so we’re going to steal 4 minutes from your day to tell you why you don’t need to be fear this excruciatingly fun discipline of mountain biking.

Number one, Enduros can help all cross country (XC) and marathon riders get faster. Looking back at how many racers some the Enduro Western Cape (EWC) team overtook on the descents during 2018 Wines to Wales race, it became clear that most of the field could increase their speed significantly down all the key hills. With some simple exposure to more descending, riders could easily increase their confidence, brake less, hop over rock gardens and gain minutes on their competition.

Image Credits: Ewald Sadie

Number two, Trail bikes (the suggested enduro bike of choice) may be better suited to your overall riding style.  Given that we’re not in the Alps or Rockies, the latest enduro bike would just be overkill for most riders in South Africa. The latest round of trail bikes are so good at climbing and descending that they can be used at marathons and XCO events.  Some members of the EWC team have switched their bikes for 2019 and opted for significantly less travel and chosen a bike more suited to all-around mountain biking. The key factors that make a more competent trail bike are wide handlebars, dropper seat-posts and a touch slacker head tube angle. We’re saying it now so that it can be heard in the public realm. Most SA riders choose a bike more suited to fast XCO racing, but if 50% of the field were to select a more trail-oriented bike, they’d have significantly more fun at races and actually ride better.

Number three, the trails where enduros are held are riding wonderfully. Tygerberg MTB Club has continued its fantastic maintenance to its trail network and extended their reach to Greyton. This merely means that we have an abundance of safe, fun trails to ride ourselves silly on each and every weekend. Even the city bowl has some technical, quick post-work riding for those who reside in town. Try keep to a singletrack on your mtb. It helps with skill development. And go away riding for the weekend. The Cedarberg, Grootvadersbosch and The Garden Route Trail Park and fantastic fun family riding weekends away.

The Enduro season is now underway, with the Dirtopia enduros kicking of the first half of the year – they are the perfect introduction to the discipline. After this the EWC Enduros commence and this is when the ante up’s a couple notches or 10. The EWC won’t have a lite category this year, so all newcomers and riders wanting to get up to speed, start at the Dirtopia races to familiarise yourself with the very relaxed and fun style of riding. The EWC races are on the 9th June, 21st  July and 6th October, 2019.

Also remember that enduros are spectator friendly. If you thought the downs at a cross country race where exciting to watch then your family and friends need to watch you descend a stage at any of the EWC events this year. The team will be working on better spectator areas at critical points ensuring maximum visuals of the action!

In summary, enduros are fun days out and very different style of mountain biking most mtbers will enjoy immensely. The value added by its skill’s development will improve riders overall capability and quite simply, we live in province perfect for Enduro and trail riding.

This public service announcement brought to you by Rupert and the EWC Team. If you’re enduro-curious, give us a shout and we’ll help you have the most fun since the velocipede!

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