The Carbon Enduro Chronicles: Left Hand Canyon

Yesterday I took the Mighty Carbon Enduro to my favorite OHV area. Findings:

Steep, rocky and loose

Up, up, up, down

Again, this bike climbs very well. With the pedaling platform on, it rips up the mellow hardpack. With the platform off, it finds great traction on the rough and loose.

In the steep/treacherous sections I could really feel the front end’s slackness. The only things that kept me rolling up the ultra-steeps were: 1) Pulling myself way forward on the saddle. 2) Pinning it.

Yesterday I rocked a heavy pack, and that slacked the bike out even more, which I did not like.

Our favorite new singletrack is closed! The sign says something like “Trail closed until the shooting issue can be resolved.” I would ordinarily go for it, but — blam! blam! blam! — people were shooting at the bottom of the trail.

Dang. A bunch of people built this sweet trail, and now it’s closed because a bunch of meatballs can’t follow the NRA handbook?

But! Another new trail starts at the same place. This trail shall be forever called World Cup. It is super narrow, very raw, ridiculously steep and pretty darn turny. It would be tricky on my 450. Probably fun on a trials moto. A handful.

I would have felt a bit undergunned on my Stumpy. The Enduro, with 50mm stem, 8-inch rotors and big tires, felt perfect. I didn’t attack this brand-new route, but the Enduro’s bigness and slackness let me explore it with confident control.

The rest of the descent — planing over jumbly rocks, pumping waterbars, railing sweepers — was fun as expected. Maybe because of the bigness and slackness, maybe because of the sticky Chunders, I felt like I wasn’t riding fast enough. That’s easily fixed.

One thing I noticed: The Enduro feels very balanced when jumping. My Stumpy feels out of whack front-to-rear (could it be the different generation fork and shock?), but the Enduro is dialed. On the final dirt-road descent I was manualing and doubling like a fool.


The wringing out continues.

— Lee

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6 replies
  1. ian says:

    Hey Lee,

    Awhile back I posted a question regarding the changes I could expect from going from my stock RS Lyrik 160mm fork on my 2010 enduro to a RS Revelation 150mm. Most of the riding I do is XC with occasional trips to downieville and few super Ds a yr. With how slack the enduro is I definitely take advantage of the travel adjustment while climbing. My question is, if I switched to a RS Revelation 150mm w/ no travel adjustment, would my friend end be low enough to still climb well on the steeps?



  2. Adam says:

    Sounds like a shed full of bikes is the only way to go…no silver bullet…no bike that does it all WELL.

    Thinking a XC race bike and an All Mountain…Maybe a Blur XC or Epic….and a Nomad or Enduro. carbon for all of course 😉

    What you think Lee? is that a good way to go?

    I’ve got a 2009 Stumpy and P.3…would keep the P.3 as my “commuter”…but find the Stumpy not aggressive enough for my recreational rides and not racey enough for the XC Race Season…

    doesn’t help that a sale person convinced me to buy the size they had not the size I now know I need…seriously a medium for a 6’1”, 190lbs person? what was I thinking?

  3. leelikesbikes says:

    Ian: I agree that bike would climb best with the fork dialed down. After today’s ride of techy climbs, I’m sorta wishing I chose a Talas instead of a Float.

    A 150mm set-travel fork will not climb as well as a new 160mm Talas dropped to 120mm.

    Or: Imagine the new 180mm Talas set at 140mm! I know, crazy talk.

  4. leelikesbikes says:

    Adam: Yeah man, this is a tricky issue.

    There was a time when I had rode the P.3, SX, Stumpy, Enduro and Demo at least once a week. I was doing, like, 10 rides a week.

    Those days are done. At this point I need bikes that cover the various styles and — importantly — that I can ride often enough to feel confident on.

    I sold my DH bike. Panic decision when the babies came.

    I like the idea of an XC race or quick trail bike, plus an all mountain bike. Throw in a DJ hardtail, and you have most situations covered. I’ll write more on this as I wring out the new Stumpy and Enduro.

    Friggin salespeople. That’s why I say, if you find a good shop, mate for life.

  5. Adam says:

    Pulled the trigger on this one. Just bought a carbon nomad with the new talas 180.
    Stumpy with preform xc race duty till I can afford/justify/get permission to buy an epic or blur xc.

    Thanks lee for all the help on this site and in your books.

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