Enduro / trail bike advice

Hey everyone, after some advice, am thinking of getting back into riding on dirt as I have a bike park in my town, as well as lots of gnarly trails, and I kinda miss my pre kids MTB funtimes!

I don’t think my 15 year old 100mm full suspension bike will cut the mustard in the bike park… But am going to give it a try anyway!

I am getting quite aroused by 29er enduro and trail bikes, would like a light weight do it all bike (cringe) but funds won’t allow, looking more at something like a Trance X or Slash 8 kinda money… I’m only 173cm / 5’8", any reason why I shouldn’t go 29"?

Imho there’s no reason why you shouldn’t go 29er. Wheel size seems to be a preference thing anyway. Either should be fine.

If I could start over I’d buy a used MTB. You’ll fall down, you’ll scratch the frame, brake stuff etc. If you are in the northern hemisphere bike parks are probably about to close, so you might want to check out if the shops around the park are selling rentals. Those bikes should be well maintained. Good luck and have fun!

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I ride a Rocky Mountain Altitude and next season will be on an Instinct.
RM makes all bikes in AL so you can moderate price.

YT bikes are hard to beat on price and spec and perform very well.


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One one hand, it’s a really great time to be looking at MTBs because there are tons of great ones out there. On the other, the bike biz has boomed during the pandemic and a lot of bikes are difficult to impossible to get.
My suggestion is to check with a few local bike shops to see what brands they carry and what you can get your hands on - having local support from a good LBS that supports the riding community is pretty key, particularly with the parts shortages we’re seeing now.
One minor caveat to this is that if you’re a hard core DIYer, you could consider some of the direct to consumer brands like YT, Canyon, Commencal, Fezzari, etc. You can sometimes get better pricing on DTC bikes but sending an email and hoping for help is about as close as a lot of people get to ‘support’ from these brands.

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If you’re basing your understanding of the xc-trail-enduro spectrum on a 15yr old xc bike, you might be surprised how much a modern xc bike can handle. That’s not to say you should look at xc bikes, but you might find that trail bikes can handle so much that trying to step up to an enduro bike wouldn’t be necessary. You’ll also be impressed how well 120-140mm modern bikes climb, despite looking heavy on paper.

In the area of bikes you’re looking at, there is a pretty good spread between 27.5 and 29 bikes. I’m generally a 29 fan all around, but I do have a nice set of 27.5 wheels with Maxxis Minion 2.5 WT tires that I’ll put on my Pivot Mach4SL (120mm front, 100mm rear), and it’s amazing how playful and aggressive the bike feels wearing those shoes. It feels totally capable on all but the gnarliest bike park trails, including some pretty big lift-accessed jump lines.

All that to say… don’t rule out 27.5, and don’t feel that you need to push to 160mm travel to have a pretty darn capable bike.


Thanks everyone, I have looked closely at YT and Canyon but here in New Zealand theres absolutely no stock, currently looking at a 2020 Reign Advanced 2 which is at a really sharp price as my top contender, I’m fairly cautious on the steep stuff which is common around here which with the slacker geometry is quite appealing, also considering a Trek Fuel EX 7 as another contender :slight_smile:

FWIW I’ve been super happy with my 2021 FUEL EX AXS, Fox 34 rather than 36, 140/130 travel with a 29x2.4” tire I weigh 175lbs kitted up and it’s been good so far. 27lbs no pedals, quite good for what it is especially with the heftier AXS dropper

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You might be better served on the Pinkbike Forums. The responses here will be more from the XCO crowd and will push towards climbing ability and less travel. I’m an XCO guy for racing but also own two longer travel bikes for training/fun. If you are really riding park and gnarly trails then follow your instincts and go with 150-170mm travel up front. You will have a lot more fun and the bike is really built for the abuse it’s going to receive. If you aren’t racing uphill then weight is really not something to worry about. Even a top of the line Scott Ransom or Yeti SB150 will be a +30lb bike.

You can get an aluminum 29" wheel Ibis Ripmo AF for $3,199. It’s a great spec for the price and will eat the harsh trails up all day long. 160/147 and DW Link makes it climb well enough for what it is.

Whatever you do avoid XC bikes for what you want to ride. All of the bikes you mentioned would be fine candidates but I wouldn’t go less travel. If you have steep steeps one thing an Enduro bike should have out of the box is 4 piston calipers and bigger 200/180 rotors.

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The primary input to deciding what bike to get is what kind of trails are you are planning to ride. This will inform whether you go more enduro (eg Yeti SB150) or trail (ex Trek Fuel).

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The Reign series is a pretty big hitting enduro bike, but I’m told that it padals better than an enduro bike has any business doing, so that’s a great thing. The Reign and the Fuel aren’t really in the same class though - the Fuel series is more of an all-around trail bike than an enduro machine. Both are great, but they’re different.

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Well an update, have a 2020 Reign Advanced 2 on hold, its on crazy special and lovely and light, pedals great and I expect will give me lots of confidence on the steep stuff!!

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Awesome! I think you’re really going to enjoy it.