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Doing my First Enduro Race, need advice.

willhartwillhart Posts: 41
edited June 2010 in MTB beginners
I origionaly posted thin in XC but nobody has replied, maybe its to newby a question for the XC set so I'll try again here, any help or advice very much appreciated.....


I am in the Navy and have been into mountain biking on and off since I was a kid. I did some cross country racing in my teens but have only ridden for fun since then. I am now 29.

I have been riding with a friend recently and we have talked each other into entering the Army's "Are You Tough Enough" Enduro next month. I will either be entering the 4 Hour Solo or 6 Hour Team race with my riding mate.

I am not expecting to be competative and am just doing it for the challenge and hoping to keep going to the end, whatever position I am in. However we are doing training rides prety much daily and I freequently go for long off road rides of 4 hours or so, so I think I am physically up to it!

I have a reasonable bike (Specialized FSR XC Pro with a few upgrades) but am just wondering what else I will need and what type of gear to wear etc.

Are Baggies or Lycra the usual attire for an enduro? What type of spares should I carry or have handy? Should I eat much during the race or just load up on carbs beforehand? I don't currently own a camelbak, should I buy one?

Does anybody know how extreme is the course likely to be, just a long slog or quite technical?

I will hopefully do more in the future so I don't mind buying some usefull new kit if it will make the experience better and more fun.

Any Advice much appreciated.

WIll Hart.


  • mf5mf5 Posts: 207
    I recently did my first race, i wore baggies some people in lycra. Wear what ever you feel most comfortable in. Spares i only took out a spare tube but i only did a two hour race. I loaded up on carbs the morning of race and took out a few energy gels did the job nicely. I used a camelbak with sports drink in it also had a bottle on bike which got covered in sh!t so recommend the camelbak.
    But just have fun! Good luck
  • willhartwillhart Posts: 41
    Thanks, thats all good stuff, I only really have baggies so I will wear them! I will get a camelbak too I think. I have entered the 4hr solo race but still don't think I should need any crazy spares, I'll take a few tools, a tube and maybe a new chain and powerlinks. If I brake anything else then I'll just have to make do or give up!

    Training is going well so I'm really looking forward to it, were allready planning another outing as a pair at the 12-12 Torq in yer sleep 12 hr race in Aug! That migfht need a bit more preperation though!
  • mf5mf5 Posts: 207
    I'm thinking of doing the Torq in your sleep, just need to put a team together for it, don't fancy going solo just yet!
    I wouldn't bother taking a new chain but couple of powerlinks would be good, and some zip ties, can fix alot of problems!

    Good Luck
  • willhartwillhart Posts: 41
    Me and my training mate are also going to do the 12:12 Torq in your sleep. Were doing it as a pair. Should be an interesting event!

    Thanks for all the advice. I think I have finalized my kit for the 4hr enduro, any other suggestions or alterations welcomed...

    3L Camelbak
    Waterbottle of energy drink
    Energy bars
    Mini Pump
    Puncture repair Kit
    Spare Inner Tube
    Chain Tool
    Cycle Multitool
    Cable Ties
    Spare SPD Cleats? (Probably OTT)
    Spare Brake Pads? (Probably OTT)
  • mf5mf5 Posts: 207
    Don't bother with the spare cleats. Brake pads i wouldn't bother with, brakes slow you down don't they :lol:
    I found i didn't use them much but depends where your race is? If its fairly flat don't bother
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,675
    If you're doing it as the pair, find yourself a nice loop the same length and ride it like you would on the race- ie if you're expecting to ride an hour, rest an hour, do that. It's very different from regular stop-go riding, you'll want to know how hard you can push and when you have to rest. It's good physical training too of course but mainly it's good event training.

    Carry as little as you can, if it's laps theres little point in taking 3 litres of water frinstance, even a half litre bottle with a spare to swap to when you get back to the staging area is better. Or a smaller amount in a camelbak and refill quickly when you stop. Likewise spares, I just took my usual kit, if you have some mechanical or crash that needs all that kit you'll be basically out of the race anyway so think about fixing punctures or loose bolts but otherwise, just have tools and sensible spares back at the transition so you can sort stuff if you need to but won't be hampered if you don't.

    All IMO of course, I'm no expert but the learning curve for a beginner's still fresh in my mind if you know what I mean.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    You don't need zip ties, cleats, brake pads, the Leatherman or the puncture repair kit with you on the course.

    If you need any of those things they can wait until you're back in the feedzone. Unless it's biblically wet you won't need the brake pads at all. I'd still take them mind.

    The less stuff you carry with you the quicker you will go.
  • willhartwillhart Posts: 41
    The first race I am doing is 4hr solo race. If that goes OK then we'll be doing a 12 hr pairs race. In the 4hr solo race I won't be planning on stopping after every lap unless I have to hence the 3L of water. Also the course is 8.5miles long so thought a puncture repair kit might be sensible as I didn't fancy pushing my bike 5 or 6 miles if I get a decent puncture.

    I thought the pads and cleats might be too much, but I lost a cleat once and found it very hard to ride my SPD bike with one missing!

    Thanks to everybody for the advice.
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,675
    3 litres of water is still a lot for a 4 hour ride unless it's scorching.

    Take a spare tube, you don't want to be fannying around repairing one really.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • willhartwillhart Posts: 41
    Thanks northwind, much appreciated. Will definately be taking spare tube eitherway.

    If I am doing a solo event and don't have anybody supporting me how do I leave valuable stuff like tools and spares in the transition/pit area? Can you have your car in the pit area with gear locked in or is it all done on trust with your fellow competitors? Its one thing leaving water in the feed area but my tool are all good quality and valuable.

    Sorry for all these questions just don't know how it all works!
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,675
    Depends on the event. Like, at 10UTB they use the huge nevis range car park as the base and transition so you can get from the route to your car in just a few moments, ideal. But not everywhere can do that. Some events have special areas set aside for soloists but I don't know how that all works, I'm far too lazy to solo.

    I wouldn't leave anything lying around myself, tbh people are ridiculously trusting at these things, then you hear shock when a bike walks off by itself... No wonder, there was about 2 million quid's worth of bike at the last race I was at and loads of them were just left lying around the car park. If I was a bike thief that's where I'd be ;)
    Uncompromising extremist
  • willhartwillhart Posts: 41
    Thanks again for more good info.

    I think I will take your advice. I will work hard on prepping my bike and kit to avoid any unnescesary breakages, then travel light and hope for the best!

    Cheers. WIll.
  • ian220476ian220476 Posts: 164
    spare tube, multitool, tyre boot, pump in terms of kit for me. the tyre boot is a new one I've hadded having done a summer based race last year and with all the exposed flints slashed a tyre open.

    Camelbacks are very good and always carry that instead of a bottle.

    fig rolls are good for an energy boost alongside the other stuff you have mentioned

    The race will be run round a course and quite often there is a 'feeding zone' marked out near the start/finish. I siometime leave a small crate with a few extra spares, bottle of drink, water refill for teh camelback etc there so that as i come round I can just jummp off and stock up as required

    Finally - not so much for the 4hrs, but maybe the 12. Some spare clthes. You'd be surprised how if its teaming down with rain and you jump out for 10 mins just to put some dry (ish) socks on, wipe down with a towel etc, the difference that it can mae.

    For me the enduro's have been about the prep etc, but nothing beats making yourself comfortable - it keeps the morale up

    Good Luck
    GT XC1 - the harder you ride it, the better it is

    Stumpy FSR 2010 - Rides over everything and everyone
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