Should I Get A Trail Or Enduro Bike? Find Your Answer Here!

“Should I get a Trail or an Enduro bike?” Is the question bothering you? You’ve come to the right place.

This topic has been beating my brains out for a long time and I’ve done all possible research for my understanding and here I will share my findings with you.

Before we move on, let me confess how confusing it was to distinguish between the numerous types of mountain bikes that have evolved over the years, thanks to the novel standards and styles of riding that exist!

Delving deep into enduro and trail bikes gave me a whole new perspective on mountain biking.

Finally, here I am, brimming with confidence to talk about the interesting duo, enduro, and trail bikes.

It is not possible to give a one-word answer to this question. So, let me explain in detail.

Major Evolutions

Mountain bikes have evolved drastically into a fun to ride vehicles. Some major changes that have happened over the years are:

Enduro bikes are one of the latest evolutions, but should you get an enduro bike or a trail bike. Let’s find out.

What is a Trail Bike?

Image of a Trail Bike
Image of Trail Bike

Great climbers and pretty good descenders, trail bikes are familiar to most bike riders. Also known as the jack-of-all-trades in mountain biking, trail bikes have chunkier tires, offering more gravity with better traction and larger brake rotors.

With better suspension travels, the geometry of trail bikes is more relaxed, when compared to their XC counterparts. These features make trail bike a versatile option to ride on any kind of terrain.

Riding trail bikes give an enjoyable mountain biking experience and are favored by those who love exploring different kinds of terrains.

Are still wondering what is a trail bike good for?

The simple answer is, it is great for epic backcountry rides, swish around the town or hit your local trails, and for uphill and downhill climbs, as well as occasional jumps and drops, a trail bike can satisfy all your mountain biking needs.

Related:

Want to ride the trails more comfortably? We have complied a list on best mountain bikes for trail riding.

Trail Bike Wheels

Trail Bike Wheels
Wheels of a Trail Bike

Trail bike wheels are typically 27.5” to 29”.

I have seen many people ask “do you need suspension for a mountain bike?” Of course you do, when you are riding on tough terrains trail bikes offer good suspension ranging from 4.7”/120mm to 6”/ 150mm on both front and back.

Trail Bike Head Angles

Trail Bike Head Angle
Trail Bike Head Angle

Considered to be neutral, trail bikes typically offer 66 or 68 degrees of head angle. However, it could vary drastically depending on the riding style.

Trail Bike Tires

Trail Bike Tires

Trail bike tires are popular for their durability, rolling efficiency, and traction.

What is an Enduro Bike?

Image of Enduro Bike
Enduro Bikes

The first-ever modern format enduro mountain bike racing is considered to be the one that took place in August 2003 in Val D’Allos.

Also referred to as all-mountain biking, the enduro style of racing used to take place in the UK, Newzealand, and Italy in the ’80s and ’90s. The main difference of this earlier format is its cross-country nature, rather than downhill.

If you are looking for the definition of enduro mountain biking, it can be described as the type of mountain racing where downhills and uphills are mandatory, but only the downhills are timed.

An enduro bike, therefore, has a geometry that impressively supports descends.

Enduro Bike Wheels and Tires

Enduro Bike Wheel

Typically, enduro bikes come with 27.5” or 29” wheels. Sometimes, you will also find enduro bikes with mullet-like sizes, with 29” in the front and 27.5” in the rear.

Since the application of enduro bikes is mainly gravity-assisted, enduro mountain bikes are equipped with aggressive knobs for traction and cornering.

Enduro Bike Suspension & Head Angles

Image of Enduro Bike Suspension
Enduro Bike Suspension And Head Angles

Enduro bikes have suspension travel ranging from 150mm to 180mm. The bike’s head angles typically fall between 65 to 67 degrees range.

The features such as long wheelbase and reach, slack head angle and low bottom bracket can be considered as the highlights.

What’s The Difference Between Trail Bike And An Enduro Bike?

The simplest answer would be, trail bikes are designed to ride all kinds of trails, while enduro bikes are designed to ride many difficult trails or technical trails with significant descends.

Does that mean you have to be an enduro racer to ride an enduro mountain bike? Definitely no. If you are interested in riding more downhills and rough terrains, then enduro mountain bikes will make your rides easier.

However, it does not mean that you cannot ride an enduro on your local trails. It is just that the enduros would be heavier and less maneuverable, which may interrupt the joy of a relaxed riding experience on trails.

Especially when you go uphill, the extra suspension travel of enduro mountain bikes may take up more of your energy than you would require while riding a trail bike.

Descends or downhills, however, could be much easier when you are on an enduro bike, thanks to the extra suspension travel. Unlike trail bikes, enduro bikes will make jumps and drops more enjoyable.

In general, enduro bikes or all-mountain bikes have heavier duty components when compared to trail bikes. Even though one can modify the trail bike into enduro, originally enduros come in heavier, sturdier components.

They typically have larger brakes, tires with larger rugs, heavier and wider rims made of carbon or aluminum, 1shorter stems, coil-sprung suspension, shocks with reservoirs, wider handlebars, forks with larger stanchions, and reinforced tires.

Similarities Between An Enduro And Trail Bike

We have discussed several differences between a trail bike and an enduro bike. But do they have something in common? Let us find out.

Trail Bike vs Enduro Bike Geometry

Enduro bikes or all-mountain bikes have more suspension travel. Typically, bikes that are considered enduro have more than 150mm suspension while trail bikes have up to 140mm suspension travel.

An enduro bike is timed on the descents, and more suspensions will make the descents easier. According to Singletracks, “The extra suspension travel lets riders go faster with a larger margin of error when choosing lines.”

The head tube angles of enduro bikes are slacker than their trail mountain bike counterparts. Even though the fork travel will make the head tube angle slacker, enduro bikes are mostly designed with a slacker head tube angle, in combo with the suspension travel.

For the uninitiated, the head tube angle (h.t.a) refers to the angle between the ground and the head tube (and therefore the fork).

Why is slacker head tube angle a distinctive feature? Because it slows down a mountain bike’s steering response, making descends easier, when the fork is raked out and more parallel to the ground. In short, a slacker head tube will help you descend with confidence.

But do they have any disadvantages? You will find out soon.

The wheelbase is a metric that can tell you how stable the bike would be while traveling at great speed. The wheelbase of a mountain bike is essentially the distance between the front axle and the rear axle.

Experts say that longer bikes give more stability while riding, the reason why you will find more wheelbase in downhill bikes. Enduro bikes have also begun to adopt the wheelbase like that of their downhill counterparts.

To increase the length of your bike’s wheelbase, one could follow the following steps:

A 27.5” enduro bike, on average has 40mm longer and a 29” enduro bike has 43mm longer wheelbases when compared to their trail bike equivalents.

Our Bike Recommendations

If you are still wondering “should I get a trail bike or enduro bike?” here are two bikes we feel are the best ones available. 

This mountain bike from Sordar has a 27.5” wheel size and rear, front, and dual suspension. This unisex bike is made of aluminum alloy and high carbon steel handlebar and chain and comes with two replaceable seats.

These materials are used to prevent the bike from damages and make it sturdy enough to withstand harsh environments, including rain.

The “three gears front derailleur and nine gears derailleur deliver 27 speeds of ultra-smooth shifting, finger-type shifter.” The brakes do not accumulate dirt easily and provide powerful braking.

The 27.5×1.95” tires come with an aluminum suspension fork that makes sailing on gravel less cumbersome.

The mountain cross-country saddle and the soft saddle make this bike suitable for highways and mountains; you can easily replace the saddle as per your need.

The buyers find the assembling of this bike easier, as 95% of the bike comes to you, assembled. When you buy a trail bike online, it’s important to have good customer support, and Sirdar provides a year of after-sales service.

Pros

Cons

Like a typical enduro bike, this mountain bike has 29” wheels, lightweight aluminum hardtail frame with a front suspension fork.

The bike comes with front and rear disk brakes for crisp stopping and 21-speed Sram twist shifters with a rear derailleur. The 29-inch knobby tires offer great traction while descending downhill.

The bike is equipped with an 18” medium suspension frame that offers a comfortable riding experience even on rough terrains. The alloy wheels are capable of quick front release and the bike comes with front and rear disk brakes.

Pros

Cons

Who Should Get A Trail Bike?

If you ride the bike for a more relaxed, fun-filled experience and if you do not want to lose your energy easily, then a trail bike is for you.

Trail bikes are heavier than enduro bikes and would require you to exert more energy when compared to enduro bikes.

Another important factor is the terrains that you would be riding on. If you use your bike to ride on all kinds of terrains and do not do a lot of long climbs and descents, a trail bike will do the job.

Who Should Get An Enduro Bike?

If you are planning to go for enduro racing, or you would like to explore various terrains that involve a lot of descents, and climbs then an enduro bike will be your best companion.

Enduro bikes are slightly heavier than trail bikes; if you are ready to enjoy the fruit of their extra weight, then you can go for an enduro bike.

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