The world of enduro riding is really hitting new heights both in popularity and participation. Enduro Series events are popping up on a national and local level, with riders throwing any bike they have down the tricky and technical courses. But once you've been bitten by the bug, it's high time you bite back! Maybe with one of these tempting teasers...
We've put together a short list of 5 popular enduro bikes. These bikes are spread across the enduro/trail spectrum offering anywhere from 115-170mm travel! Be it a well-known brand, an affordable performer, or even one voted as the official Best Enduro Bike 2015 by more than one mountain bike authority - Interbike and MTBR.com - they're all good and all ready for the trail. The question is, are you?
THE AFFORDABLE PERFORMER
Giant Trance 27.5 1
When you're a smart shopper you buy a Giant. No other brand can offer the value for money that Giant can, purely because of their size. But their bikes have also always proven to be good, if not industry-leading at times. The Trance 27.5 1 is evidence of this, with a solid frame and killer components.
A lightweight Allux Alloy frame gets things started, with a 5.5 inch Maestro suspension system rolling on from there. Giant have also chosen the Rockshox Revelation RL Dual Air 140mm fork to bolster the ride, along with a 15mm thru axle and a Monarch RT3 rear shock. This creates a stiff and solid platform for abusive enduro riding.
Giant have faith in their own wheels, with a set of composite 27.5" hoops bearing a Shimano HG81 cassette on Giant PTRX1 3 pawl hubs. The groupset is all Shimano, with XT and SLX levels mixed. A bit of XC influence shows with a mixed rotor sizing, with 180mm on the front and only 160mm on the rear. Schwalbe Nobby Nic tires keep you planted, so you can roost, shred and gap it, baby!!
THE NOTORIOUS SHREDDER
Trek Remedy 8 27.5
Trek Remedy 8 27.5. Not cheap, but absolutely worth it. Trek's Alpha Aluminium frameset sets the standard for an incredible 27.5" bike. Their patented ABP (Active Braking Pivot) full floater suspension system needs to be ridden to be believed. Its ability to offer supple suspension performance under extreme braking lock and negating 'brake jacking' is inspiring. The rear triangle performs completely separately from the mainframe, held together by the proven EVO Link system. (Frame geometry adjustable too which is a crucial addition to an enduro rig).
Dropper post internal routing is a nice touch, along with the derailleur cabling! Technical aspects include a set of Fox Evolution 34 Float forks, and a matching rear shock - the complete system offering 140mm of travel, and full CTD (Climb Trail Descend) preset abilities.
Bontrager wheels offer sturdy riding, along with tubeless capacities. Bontrager rubber is as reliable as the wheels, so it's a complete performance package straight out of the box. A Shimano and SRAM drivetrain offers seamless performance, with SRAM X7 front shifter and Shimano XT Shadow Plus rear shifter running on a Shimano 10 speed cassette. Shimano also own the brakes - XTR performance on a set of SLX brakes and rotors. A full Bontrager cockpit carries the same reliability as the wheels and tires, so you can have the Trek cake and eat it too. Enjoy!
THE DARK HORSE
Devinci Spartan XP 27.5
The dark horse never finishes last. The Spartan XP is no exception. Devinci have selected their Optimum Aluminium frameset to hold this rig together, along with Rockshox Pike RC 160mm forks and a Rockshox Monarch rear shock. A set of Jalco DD28 wheels and Formula hubs keep you blasting along, while the strength of Shimano M615 180mm brakes brings you back to earth.
Shimano also venture into the groupset, with Deore shifting throughout, except for the SRAM front shifter. A 10 speed cassette is enough for going fast, while some top notch V2 780mm bars offer fine control at speed. A Rockshox dropper post finishes things off nicely, along with small details like Lock-On grips and Schwalbe Hans Dampf tires!
This bike first earned its reputation in 2014, with many riders eager to get their hands on it at Outdoor Demo day at last year's Interbike meet. As Devinci suggests - "Hammer the throttle. Launch the gap." Quite simple, really...
THE BIG TRAVEL BEAST WITH TECHNO BLING
Scott Genius LT 720
At a Nokia party, someone always turns up with an iPhone 9. This time it was Scott. The Genius LT 720 is all kinds of hectic. A full alloy frame is slung from Rockshox Factory 36 forks and a Fox Float rear piston - all equipped with CTD (Climb Trail Descend) features and whopping 170mm travel. Scott then added their Twinloc control system, allowing you to remotely lock out/control your front AND rear shock with one little thumb. Neat!
SRAM take care of shifting, with X5 and X9 respectively front and rear. Shimano step in for braking duties, with their M615 setup and a whopping 203mm front rotor and the smaller 180mm on the rear. That should be enough to stop this rocket... SRAM also supply the cransket which comes fitted with a bash guard.
Syncros components litter the cockpit, from saddle through to handlebars and even wheels, offering comfort and performance in one solid package. Schwalbe inject their Enduro dominance into this bike as well, with their proven Hans Dampf rubber, all 27.5 x 2.35" Kevlar-reinforced inch of it.
THE PROVEN WINNER
Pivot Mach 4
A little higher in the pricepoint, but for good reason. When MTBR.com got their claws into Pivot's toys they tried to tear them to shreds. They failed. Then Interbike had a look from a critique standpoint. Not one bad word. We kind of figured we'd be saying the same things about the bikes, in this instance, the Mach 4 2015.
Pivot offer various front lines of technology on their bikes, allowing you to fine tune, customize, and maximize your ride. The Mach 4 is no exception, with Pivot's DW Link suspension offering fast and efficient climbing and descending - the makings of an Enduro weapon. Super short chainstays allow for nimble cornering and bike play-ability.
Fox slots in 115mm of travel, with Kashima coated glory in their Fox Float custom performance package. If you want to take this to the next level, send your shocks off for race tuning on top of the existing tuning setup, suited to your style and size.
The frameset itself is said to be the cleanest in the sport this year, with full internal routing for cables and dropper post hydraulics. That allows for flowing lines and hassle free performance in all conditions.
Groupsets make or break a bike, so Shimano have offered up their Di2 Electronic shift system. With pre-programmed automation of shifting, a touch of a button will change gears in any conditions. No more worn cables and definitely no more dodgy gear adjustments midrace. The front and rear derailleurs mimic Shimano's Shadow Plus range in size and profile, reducing your chance of hitting any rocks. Oh and uh... you can change front and rear gears with one lever. Just saying!
The rest of the bike is visually incredible - internal cabling or Di2 shifting is your choice. DT Swiss Spline rims finish off the bling, along with Maxxis Ardent tires. The cockpit of this particular rig is all Phoenix, with bars and stem, seat and post all being Phoenix Team edition spec. And yes, with that kind of money, you're getting full carbon componentry and Pivot's lightest Enduro frame ever. Seriously? Did you just say "What else?"