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Six Bikes We Are Riding at Big Mountain Enduro Winter Park

By Bruce Lin
Photos By Caroline Tan
The 2019 Big Mountain Enduro (BME) heads to Trestle Bike Park in Winter Park, Colorado on July 13 for round two of the series. Since this race is close to home, several of our employees (and one friend of the shop) will be up there testing their speed on the rocky, high-altitude trails. They’re not pros, just normal everyday people who love riding bikes. Let’s meet our racers, take a look at what that they’ll ride to learn how they set up their bikes to handle Trestle's big descents.

Stephen Wilkens - Transition Sentinel

Continuous Improvement Coordinator
BME Class: Amateur Men
Transition Sentinel Enduro Bike
Stephen grew up dirt jumping in California and is hoping to transfer his aerial skills to enduro racing. This is his first enduro race, and he’s been working hard on his fitness to get ready. He’s also been spending weekends up at Winter Park in his camper to get some extra practice on the technical terrain. His ultimate goal is to beat his arch-rival — the other Stephen.
Transition Sentinel Enduro Mountain Bike
Bike: 2019 Transition Sentinel
Size: Large
Weight: 35 lbs 4 oz
Frame Material: Aluminum
Fork / Rear Shock: Fox 36 Performance Elite Grip 2 / Fox DPX2 Performance Elite
Travel F / R: 160mm / 140mm
Wheel Size: 29”
Wheels: Industry Nine Enduro S / Hydra Hubs
Tires: Maxxis Minion DHF EXO / Aggressor EXO with Cushcore
Drivetrain: SRAM GX Eagle
Brakes: SRAM Code RSC
Cockpit: Race Face Atlas 780mm bars / Atlas 50mm stem
Dropper: Bike Yoke Revive, 160mm
Pedals: Race Face Chester

Details: Stephen chose the Sentinel because of Transition’s Speed Balanced Geometry. He has the slackest head angle in the shop at 64 degrees, and when paired with the reduced-offset fork, he says it increases his confidence on steep and fast descents. Stephen is a flat pedal evangelist. He’s tried riding clipless but it just didn't suit his "foot out, flat out" style. His suspension rebound is set slightly slower than normal to stay composed on big jumps. There is one volume spacer in his fork and a large volume spacer in the shock to give him additional support for when he hucks to flat. His Sentinel rolls on Industry Nine’s Enduro S wheels with the new Hydra hubs that provide an impressive 690 points of engagement. He has a CushCore tire insert in the rear to protect the rim since he has a tendency to smash his back wheel.

Maggie John - Specialized Stumpjumper Expert

Customer Experience Manager
BME Class: Amateur Women
Specialized Stumpjumper Expert 29 Enduro Mountain Bike
This is Maggie’s second season riding mountain bikes and she has stunned everyone in the shop with how quickly her skills and speed have progressed. She competed at the first BME round in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and gained valuable race experience. She says she’s nervous, but the rest of us believe in her ability to rise to the challenge.
Specialized Stumpjumper Expert 29 Enduro Mountain Bike
Bike: 2019 Specialized Stumpjumper Expert 29
Size: Medium
Weight: 31 lbs 6 oz
Frame Material: Carbon
Fork / Rear Shock: RockShox Pike RCT3 / RockShox Deluxe RCT3
Travel F / R: 150mm / 140mm
Wheel Size: 29”
Wheels: Roval Traverse SL
Tires: Specialized Butcher Grid / Maxxis High Roller II EXO
Drivetrain: SRAM GX Eagle
Brakes: SRAM Guide R
Cockpit: Spank Oozy 760mm bars / Specialized 50mm stem
Dropper: Specialize Command Post IRcc, 150mm
Pedals: Straitline Defacto

Details: Maggie chose the Stumpjumper because she wanted something that could climb well but also allow her to ride gnarly downhill trails. She likes the rollover capabilities of the 29” wheels, though she does occasionally wonder if the nimbleness of 27.5” wheels would be better for cornering. Even with the bigger wheels, she likes how the new Stumpjumper geometry allows her to feel "in" the bike as opposed to the "on" it. The Specialized SWAT box in the downtube is a cool feature that she can't live without because it's the ideal place to stash all of her Sour Patch Kids. She likes the stiff and responsive feel of carbon wheels, and she is the only racer from the shop not running tire inserts. Though she likes to push hard and ride at the limit, she weighs much less than the male riders and rides precise and clean enough to protect her rims and tires.

Myles Overstreet - Giant Trance SX

Bike Technician
BME Class: Expert Men
Giant Trance SX Enduro Mountain Bike
Myles moved here from El Paso, Texas and has been living in Colorado for a month. He was formerly a mechanic for the Stan’s-Cannondale Women’s Pro Team so he knows a thing or two about fixing a bike. His biggest concern is how he’s going to deal with the high altitude since he hasn't fully acclimatized yet.
Giant Trance SX Enduro Mountain Bike
Bike: 2015 Giant Trance SX
Size: Medium
Weight: 31 lbs 12 oz
Frame Material: Aluminum
Fork / Rear Shock: Cane Creek Helm Air / RockShox Monarch Plus RC3
Travel F / R: 160mm / 140mm
Wheel Size: 27.5”
Wheels: Stan’s NoTubes Flow MK3
Tires: Maxxis Minion DHF EXO+ with Cushcore / Aggressor Double Down with Cushcore
Drivetrain: SRAM X01 / Absolute Black oval chainring / e*Thirteen TRS+ cassette
Brakes: Magura MT7
Cockpit: Chromag BZA 800mm bars / Easton Haven 50mm stem
Dropper: Giant Contact SL Switch, 150mm
Pedals: DMR Vault

Details: Myles is the only racer from the shop riding 27.5” wheels, and he says he just can’t bring himself to try bigger wheels yet. Maybe it’s because of his BMX background, but 27.5” wheels just feel more playful and easier to throw around. On his Trance he runs a highly adjustable 160mm Cane Creek Helm fork for more precise control of high and low-speed damping. The drivetrain is tricked out with a Kogel ceramic bottom bracket and Kogel derailleur pulleys. Though he has flat pedals, he prefers to race in clipless pedals and plans to switch them before the race. He has a couple of cool tricks up his sleeve too. He keeps a spare derailleur hanger on his frame, bolted to the unused front derailleur mount. A spare quicklink is zip-tied under his saddle to repair a broken chain. He rides a Double Down casing tire in the rear and Cushcores in both tires to handle his aggressive riding.

Bruce Lin - Reeb Sqweeb

Technical Writer
BME Class: Amateur Men
Reeb Sqweeb Enduro Mountain Bike
Bruce is a former park rat who used to ride Trestle every weekend. He had a child last year though, so he’s gained weight, lost sleep, and has had less time to ride his bike. He’s hoping that "dad strength" and good karma will be enough to help him survive the race.
Reeb Sqweeb Enduro Mountain Bike
Bike: 2019 Reeb Sqweeb
Size: Medium
Weight: 35 lbs 10 oz
Frame Material: Aluminum
Fork / Rear Shock: Fox 36 Factory Fit4 / Fox DHX2 Factory
Travel F / R: 160mm / 145mm
Wheel Size: 29”
Wheels: Stan’s NoTubes Flow MK3 / Hope Pro4 hubs
Tires: Maxxis Minion DHF EXO+ with Cushcore / Minion DHR II EXO+ with Cushcore
Drivetrain: SRAM X01 Eagle
Brakes: SRAM Code RSC
Cockpit: Renthal Fatbar Carbon 760mm bars / Apex 50mm stem
Dropper: Bike Yoke Revive, 125mm
Pedals: HT T1

Details: Reeb is a local framebuilder in Lyons, Colorado that fabricates all of its bikes in a repurposed barn. The Sqweeb is its first full suspension mountain bike. Reeb does custom work, but Bruce chose to ride the stock geometry. Frames are powder coated in-house and Bruce's is done in black with a colorful rainbow metal flake. It's designed to run a trunnion shock but Reeb machined an adaptor so he could run his preferred Fox DHX2 coil shock. Bruce's suspension is fairly stiff. He has 95psi and two volume spacers in the fork, and a 600lb spring in the shock. He likes to set up his bike to handle the biggest hit possible, and he just deals with the stiff ride everywhere else. He also runs his brakes reversed, with the front brake on the right. There are Cushcores front and rear to compensate for bad lines and a tendency to plow into things. He also has the shortest dropper of the bunch because he has the shortest legs.

Chad Hague - Canfield Riot

Warehouse Manager
BME Class: Amateur Men
Canfield Riot Enduro Mountain Bike
Chad is a former engineer who left the world of amusement park design to pursue his passion for bikes. He’s the only rider in the shop who will be riding all the stages blind, meaning he hasn’t practiced or seen the trails he’ll be racing on. His plan is to stay smooth and "not die." 
Canfield Riot Enduro Mountain Bike
Bike: 2017 Canfield Riot
Size: Medium
Weight: 34 lbs 5 oz
Frame Material: Aluminum
Fork / Rear Shock: DVO Diamond / DVO Topaz T3
Travel F / R: 140mm / 140mm
Wheel Size: 29”
Wheels: Stan’s NoTubes Sentry
Tires: Maxxis Minion DHF EXO / Minion DHF EXO with Cushcore
Drivetrain: SRAM GX Eagle
Brakes: TRP Quadium
Cockpit: Funn Full On 820mm bars / Answer ATAC 40mm stem
Dropper: DVO Garnet 150mm
Pedals: Race Face Chester

Details: Chad comes from a motocross background and that influence can be seen in how his Riot is set up. Despite riding a medium, he runs the widest bars in the shop at 820mm, and he prefers old school push-on grips that are safety-wired for additional security. His brake levers are set extremely far from his bars to mimic the lever position of his motocross bike. The DVO suspension is stiff with fast rebound to make his bike to feel more lively and playful. Even though he's the lightest male rider of the group, he rides with a Cushcore in the rear to help prevent flats. His fork is capable of being extended to 160mm travel, but he kept it at 140mm since that’s what he’s used to. Chad’s been agonizing over whether to run flats or clipless pedals for the race. He prefers flat pedals for jumps, but clipless pedals for rough rock gardens. He’ll likely make the final decision on race day.

Stephen Lewis - Orbea Rallon M10

TPC Customer
BME Class: Amateur Men
Orbea Rallon Enduro Mountain Bike
Stephen is a longtime friend and customer of The Pro’s Closet and he bought his race bike from us last fall. He’s spent lots of time building his skills racing enduros and riding hard with the TPC crew. He’s a dark horse in this race so the other Stephen is watching his back. Who will be the top Stephen?
Orbea Rallon Enduro Mountain Bike
Bike: 2018 Orbea Rallon M10
Size: Large
Weight: 33 lbs 4 oz
Frame Material: Carbon
Fork / Rear Shock: Fox 36 Performance / Fox DPX2 Factory
Travel F / R: 160mm / 150mm
Wheel Size: 29”
Wheels: DT Swiss E1900 Spline
Tires: Maxxis Minion DHF EXO / Aggressor EXO with Cushcore
Drivetrain: SRAM GX Eagle, Absolute Black oval chainring
Brakes: Shimano Deore XT
Cockpit: Race Face Aeffect 800mm bars / Aeffect 40mm stem
Dropper: OneUp Dropper, 150mm
Pedals: Crank Brothers Mallet E

Details: Stephen bought his Rallon from The Pro’s Closet after he started feeling out-gunned on his old enduro bike. The progressive geometry and plush suspension have helped him grow his confidence and take his riding to the next level. Stephen is a very fast runner, and he's transferred that fitness over to mountain biking. He likes using oval chainrings on all his bikes because he feels they smooth out power delivery and make climbing just a touch easier. His riding style is light, active, and focused on choosing smooth lines. This race will be the first time he’s tried using a tire insert since he rarely punctures, but he's trying to beat the other Stephen so he plans to go harder than ever. His favorite thing about his new bike is the purple frame because it reminds him of his favorite Skittles flavor.

Trends

We can see a few trends emerge from our small sample of racers. For enduro racing, our riders prefer 140-160mm of suspension travel. All of the male riders have a Cushcore insert in the rear tire for rim and flat protection. Wide bars and short stems are the norm. There are no handlebars narrower than 760mm, and no stems longer than 50mm. Most are on 29” bikes this year as they are becoming increasingly popular among racers. All bikes weigh just over 30lbs, which is currently the magic number for a tough and reliable enduro bike. 

Which race bike is your favorite? What do you ride in your local enduros? Which Stephen do you think will come out on top? Let us know in the comments!

If you’re looking for a bike to tackle your next enduro race, check out our collection of long travel mountain bikes.

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