Interesting MTB Survey Results - Trail/Gravity Focus

I found this to be an interesting read. The TR vibe certainly seems more XC-focused but worth a quick read and review for all MTB folks not just those of us who like bigger travel bikes.

I knew the consumer direct brands were gaining market share but wasn’t aware to what degree.

10,000 Mountain Bikers Respond - 2020 Vital MTB Survey Results


Where are people riding all those enduro bikes??

Yes I was surprised by the magnitude of those numbers too even considering the source. That said, I have a “funduro” bike with 137/160 and to me it is just more fun than my XC bike. Unless I’m wanting to go fast I grab the big bike. Even on days I want to go hard, the heavier longer travel bike is just as easy to go hard on as the XC bike and going down it’s just a lot more fun.

I am sure others will have a take but that’s my quick $.02.

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Yeah - upon 2nd look, the question is phrased as “What type of bike are Vital MTBers looking to purchase?”

Pretty much everyone I know who has an enduro bike also has an XC/trail bike. But not vice verse. So maybe this is people (like me) who don’t yet have an enduro bike saying that’s what they’d buy next.

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Could also be the number of people that already own big bikes are sticking with them and are going to buy enduro bikes to replace what they already have.

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That’s a lot of enduro bikes. I’m surprised by that, given I’d expect the majority of people don’t live in areas with nearby access to “enduro trails”. I would have expected XC and trail to be the most popular two.

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XC bikes don’t look as cool. I swear that’s the answer. I live next to rolling flowy trails and 75% of the people i see on them are WAY over-biked, wearing full armor and full face helmets. You could easily ride a hardtail with 100mm travel on 99% of them. I have back issues so I ride a full sus XC bike. Whenever someone posts on local group chat asking for bike recommendations everyone tells them to buy 140-160mm bikes. When someone asks for shorts recommendations half the replies are some form of “just wear some old dockers and some vans shoes”.

All that to say I think a LOT of people want to LOOK badass, not RIDE badass.


I look like Nate Hills therefore it’s makes me feel like I ride like Nate Hills :rofl:


Exactly!! I follow Nate and he’s nuts. :joy:

I’m having at least 3X more fun on my slightly longer travel trail bike than I was on my XC race bike and really not giving up much on the way up. The trade off on the way down is sooo worth it. Gotta think with the cancelation of many XC/endurance events more people might be looking for a fun play bike.

The real interesting industry trend is e-Bike sales. For the right environment, I have to admit, they look good. I still don’t think they’re quite there yet, and they will absolutely cloud access issues, but I can’t deny the fun factor there. There is now an e-Bike specific bike park near me (yes, regular bikes are welcome) and from a business perspective it makes sense - who needs a lift when you have an e-Bike? I don’t want them on shared used trails, or at least sensitive shared use but it’s clear there’s a high demand for this experience. Still feels like cheating to me, until I can make the “kill the lift or shuttle” argument.

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Yes, that’s honestly what got me here. Mass start XC racing seemed less likely for the season. Enduro racing with single rider starts and 1 minute gaps seemed much more likely to occur. Where I live the XC races for the most part were canceled, I think 3/12 ended up happening whereas I am not aware of any enduro cancellations.

I have PR’d so many trails just jacking around going down on the big bike which definitely makes things a lot of fun. And I have been really surprised with how these things pedal up so to your point other than the weight differential and the lower BB making for the occasional unexpected chainring/pedal strike, I don’t feel the desire to grab the XC bike off the rack unless I’m racing or want to do some uphill KOM hunting. The big bike is just more fun.


Same in my area! Casual riders riding XC trails with enduro bikes and downhill bikes w/coil shocks! Also they take their full-face helmet off on the uphill climbs, lol.

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Parking lot posers. :slight_smile:

I think mountain bike culture is more susceptible to fashion trends than even the road scene. It’s pretty funny how tribal we all are, yeah, I’m not immune. I started wearing baggies again a few years ago on most non training or racing days, mostly for fashion. Although I do enjoy the slightly more protection they offer. I’m also completely comfortable in full lycra though. Funny how polarizing that sentence is.


Is started doing the same. Even on chill road rides. I find it make me subconsciously take it easy and not push too hard.


I tend to wear mtb shorts on XC rides too. I like having my phone and a gel in easy reach. Having said that, I bought some Rapha cargo shorts (regular road shorts with a mesh pocket on the thigh) and I’m pretty impressed. I might switch back to being “that old guy in girly shorts” again.

The funny thing is how the mtb guys will all bag on roadies for being uptight about their Lycra, when what they’re really saying is “you’re in the wrong uniform”. Kind of like whining about whiners. :joy:

Our mtb page had one of those posts recently where someone pointed out that “roadies are cyclists, mtb’ers are bikers”. I had to laugh because when I think “bikers” I think Harley Davidson.


Keep in mind that:

  1. Only a fraction of people on mountainbikes care about XC racing, or have any intention on participating in a race. It’s recreational riding, for fun.

  2. Most people cannot afford a quiver of bikes. If you’re not racing XCO, it’s better to be a bit over biked than limit yourself to an XC type bike. Your one bike may serve you on the flow trails, as well as for the trip o the bike park.

Also I think a lot of people would answered aren’t riding/talking about what the modern “Enduro Race bike” is, but rather 130+ travel trail bikes/all mountain bikes. I almost never see anyone out on a full on 170mm enduro bike, and I live near trails where you could use on.


I realized I’ve become this guy a few weeks ago :laughing:

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That I disagree with as there are 10,000 responses to this survey on a website that is more oriented towards gravity and trail than something like this forum that is more XC focused. I don’t think there was any confusion regarding the survey but I would agree with you that their audience is more big bike focused as a subsection of the MTB world than what you would get if you asked the TR forum folks the same question.

This question is “what is the travel on your primary bike” which more than 40% of respondents said 150-180 mm. 23% responded consistent with what you are saying with the 130mm trail bike.

Over 185 mm is the DH category which they explain “continues to slide.”

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Your friends are nicer I guess as most of my enduro friends call XC riders “confused.” By that they mean dressed like a roadie but riding off road and frequently not on mountains :joy:

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Fair enough.
But take my bike, 140mm/160mm. For some that might be an “enduro bike”, but for others that’s just a trail/all mountain, heck let’s just call it what it is - a mountain bike.

From my n=1 riding all sorts of gravity trails in Tahoe, Santa Cruz, Dowvnieville etc. I almost never see anyone out on what I would call a true enduro race bike, like the specialized enduro etc.