The Carbon Enduro Chronicles: local benchmark ride

Hey all, I’m back from Sea Otter, back from Ranchstyle and back from two weeks of puking and coughing. It’s time to see what this 2010/11 Enduro Pro Carbon is all about.

Yesterday I rolled my local techy/steep loop, and …

New record!
Before Sea Otter I rolled the new Stumpy in 45:45.

Yesterday I rolled the new Enduro in 45:15.

This ride has some tech/steep/gnar singletrack, but it’s mostly uphill pavement.

– Short road climb from the house
– Technical singletrack traverse/climb
– Steep, raw, techy singletrack descent
– Long road climb to the top of the mountain
– Short road decent back to the house

When you consider all possible variables — health, training, rest, hydration, nutrition, mood, dirt conditions, etc. — the Enduro might not be faster than the Stumpy, but it sure doesn’t seem slower.

– 2011 Enduro Pro Carbon frame. Identical to the 2010 except for the sweet white paint job.

– X-Fusion rear shock with extra mid-stroke support. Climb at platform position #4 (max), descend at position #2. I’m testing the X-Fusion stuff to see how it stacks up.

– Fox 36 Float fork at 65 psi and stock settings: low speed compression one click in from all the way out, high speed compression one click in from all the way out

– 2.3″ Specialized Chunder tires. 40/42A front, 55/65A rear

– 50mm stem and mid-rise bars

– Hayes Stroker brakes with 8-inch rotors

– Full-on DH wheels

– Gamut dual ring chain guide with 24/36 front and 11-34 rear

– Specialized Lo Pro Mag flat pedals

This carbon Enduro is built like a DH bike, but it weighs less than 30 pounds — only one pound more than my aluminum Stumpy. We live in an awesome age!

This bike climbs very well, even with the short cockpit, sticky tires, slack angles and flat pedals.

The whole chassis feels super stiff. Seated climbing feels un-wiggly. Standing climbing feels rock-solid; on the last, steep middle-ring pitch I’m pulling a gear taller than I was on the Stumpy.

The bike holds off-camber edges, and it finds traction on the steep/bumpy uphills. When it’s time to lunge up rocky ledges, this plush machine requires more oomph than the Stumpy. I wasn’t riding aggressively enough, and I got balled up in these sections.

Planted. Stable. Trustworthy. The new Enduro feels awesome so far, but I haven’t had a chance to really push this bike.

My local trail is so raw it’s more about survival than pinning it. Tomorrow I hope to rip Left Hand Canyon or Hall Ranch. I know these trails and can really get after it.

– Add some low-speed compression to the fork. It feels a bit wallowy.

– I got an X-Fusion Vengeance fork to try. That should be interesting side-by-side vs. the 36.

– Ride as much and as hard as I can — and tell you what I learn.

Carbon fiber braaap!

— Lee

Know more. Have more fun!

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