Drover Cycles-sponsored enduro rider Lewis Day took the win at the Hopton Gravity stages recently. Following on from his race report here, Lewis has come up with five top tips for enduro fiends.
Get your shred on!
Over to Lewis:
1. Be prepared
Lay out everything you could possibly need for the weekend. I take pretty much all my riding kit (full-face helmet, jackets, goggles etc). We all know how unpredictable British weather can be so pack for any eventuality. Chances are the stage gnarl factor will also be unknown so take sufficient padding to cover all bases. Also pack a well-stocked tool box.
There’s often not enough time to eat a complete meal during the race, so flapjacks, energy gels and the like are key to keep you going all day. A solid energy-biased breakfast is also very important. I favour lots of toast, bananas and lots of water come the morning of the race.
You will be allocated a start time for each stage, it’s quite important you keep to these (for most events at least). At some races you’ll be handed a sticker with this info which you can slap on your bike. Failing that, keep a note. I like to use a piece of Duck tape stuck to my top tube where I write my times with a marker pen. Obviously a watch is also handy.
4. Bike setup
In my opinion, some people get too hung up on bike set-up and bike choice, painstakingly tailoring them to each stage. I like to have a base set-up which I feel comfortable with all round, meaning I can concentrate on learning the stages. That way I know how the bike reacts in situation, and there are no nasty surprises. I might alter tyre pressures slightly but that’s all.
As for bike choice, a mid travel (140-160mm) full-suspension bike is ideal. The jury is out on wheel size but my choice would be a 650b as it would cope well with most situations. Something like the Commencal Meta AM would be my preference.
The best training for this style of event is to simply get as much bike time as you can on a variety of terrain. This will increase your fitness and also give you the skills to cope well with the different terrains you’ll encounter come race day. Fitness is obviously a key factor in Enduro racing so if you feel this is lacking, a Turbo Trainer is a vital tool.