Can You Race Downhill On An Enduro Bike? | Neil Rides Garbanzo Downhill At Crankworx 2019

Can You Race Downhill On An Enduro Bike? | Neil Rides Garbanzo Downhill At Crankworx 2019


– Pretty much every year, bike manufacturers redesign their bikes and make them much more capable. That’s what they claim which got me thinking, how much more capable are bikes nowadays? Could you ride one of the most brutal, physical Downhill races in the world on let’s say an Enduro bike? Would it be up for the challenge? More importantly, would I
be up for the challenge? (energetic music) So let’s find out we’ve
teamed up with Canyon. I’ve flown halfway around
the world to come here, to Whistler Crankworx, to race the infamously
brutal, Garbanzo Downhill. Bought by Canyon Strive,
canyon’s Enduro race rig. The Garbanzo downhill
is a Crankworx classic that’s been going since 2004, and it’s a real beast of a race. Taking part within whistler Crankworx in British Columbia, Canada, the festival website describes as a race for the bold, brave and
borderline masochistic. The track starts at the
top of the garbanzo chair, hence the name. At 11,080 meters above Whistler village before a seven kilometer descent plunges you down nine
of whistler’s bike parks gnarliest, most aggressive trails. Including Original Sin,
In Deep and Longhorn. (upbeat music) okay, so it’s tough. I think we’ve established that, but it’s also ridiculously long. To put it into perspective, you’re average world cup downhill takes three to five minutes. Whereas last year’s downhill went in time a course record was 12 minutes 46. Everyday, amateur racers
can expect to take about 19 minutes or so. By themselves, a really long Dino track or a really gnarly Dino
track are bad enough. Put them together and
it’s a bike breaking, body breaking combination. But I’m not the first person
to race this on an Enduro bike. Back in 2017, Sam Blenkinsop, actually, despite a crash, came second. Just a few seconds behind
the five time winner Marcelo Gutierrez on a downhill bike. (intense music) so why would you choose an Enduro bike? Well, the light weight
does mean they’re agile, great for pedaling. There are a few kind
of long flat sections, a couple nasty little climbs which are very short to be fair. In that case, I want a nice light bike. I can pop the seat post up
and I can crank it super hard. Cons of riding an enduro bike? Well, just some of those
super brutal downhill bits. Some big holes up there now. It’s just going to give me more punishment on those bits where maybe our
bikes have some more travel. But, it’s doable. (intense music) I’m riding the Canyon Strive CFR 9.0 team. So it’s got the premium carbon frame. It’s also got the longer fork up front. 170 mm up front, which
I’ll definitely use and it’s a 150 on the rear. 29er of course, I’m running
downhill tires, so dual ply. Also, with an insert in the rear tire. Because that’s where
I think there’s a risk of me getting tired, getting a bit sloppy and definitely risking
me getting a puncture. The bike comes with big brakes. Sram Code, the downhill brakes
are 200mm rotor up front, 180 on the rear, definitely going to help. I think on an Enduro bike they’re possibly not going to get quite as hot as a downhill bike, just because the bike
is a little bit lighter. Nevertheless, they definitely
are going to get worked to the max on this big track. I’m also choosing to run the Crankbrothers Mallet Downhill pedals. I think in this case, clipless pedals are the
recipe for success for me. On a long track like this, not too much travel on the rear. There’s a chance of me
slipping a flat pedal. So it’s nice to have the big
Mallet DH clipless pedals. (smooth music) all right, we’re good. Top garbanzo lift. About half an hour before my run. Some of the pro women are up here already. I’m a little bit early actually. (beep) I’ve mistimed it. You can hear the beeps. That makes me feel nervous. The butterflies start to come already, (beeps) it’s going to be tough. I know I keep saying that but
I’ve done one practice run and it is rough, it’s gnarly. I’ve forgotten how sort of
gnarly the top of this track is. Big holes, big gnarly rock rolls, really sort of technical sections
and it’s going to be long. It’s going to be a long race
for me, that’s for sure. Anneke Beerten’s on her Enduro
bike, so it’s not just me. Right. Time to warm up. (beeps) (smooth music) (pants) whoo that was good. It’s nice to be back on a racetrack. Really enjoyed that. I mean, 15 minutes is like 10 minutes longer than I
want to race downhill for, but it was different. It was good. It’s one hell of a challenge. You want to save some energy, not crash on a big mistake. You know when you like, grab too much front brake. The front was a wash wash wash and I was like trying to unclip and then luckily it
gripped and I rode out. Pure luck but I made it. So I did it. I raced downhill on an
Enduro bike and yeah, so did others. So I’d say “definitely you can.” it depends on the track
as to how good it will be, how fast it will be, but you’d definitely be able to do it, and actually I enjoyed it. I think for me, that was
the right bike for me for this track to help
me get down in one piece and not get completely tired. Loved it. Goes to show just how
versatile an Enduro bike is, and actually this bike is probably better than the downhill bike that I
raced here 11 years ago. I recon if you put them back
to back, this’ll probably win. So, there you go. Loved it. If you want to see a video of
Blake racing in Valparaiso, over there. If you want to see the
last time i raced properly, that was the Andes Pacifico. Didn’t go quite to plan. Click down there. Thumbs up if you love racing downhill. And subscribe. That’ll be wicked. See ya later