How to dress for Enduro

01 September 2022

By Tom Wheeler

When mountain biking started it was a clear divide between XC riders and Downhillers. As mountain biking aged and the products became stronger the gap between the two disciplines got smaller: Introducing Enduro! 

A new breed of riding and riders who were miles away from the lycra-wearing cross-country crowd. It was only a matter of time before Troy Lee Designs started offering kit that works going up and looks good coming down. Troy Lee Designs now offers a full range of gear from helmets, jerseys, gloves, shorts, pants and armour.

What helmet should I wear?

If you’re a more casual rider who likes to stay cool on long hard climbs then the traditional open-face style helmet is best for you. Troy lee Designs has the A1, A2 and A3 models. All are available with MIPS and come in a selection of designs to best suit your style.

Troy Lee Designs has the most stylish helmets on the market but on top of that Troy is obsessed with safety. All TLD open-face helmets have a Virginia tech 5-star helmet rating, read more about Virginia Tech helmet ratings here - https://www.helmet.beam.vt.edu/.

Not afraid to sneak on the Downhill tracks and hit up some Bike Parks?

This is where the Stages range comes in, designed specifically for enduro riding it shares the same feel as the open-face helmets but has full coverage with a chin bar to protect your face. Weighing just 690 grams, you almost feel like you're wearing an open face.

It combines MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System), EPP (for slow-speed impacts) and EPS (for high-speed impacts).

Are you a hard hitter who likes to get sendy?

The D4 still appears now and then on enduro riders and racers. Most TLD athletes racing the Enduro World Series opt for full protection, but these are the exception who are the fastest riders in the world. If all-out protection is what you are after, Troy lee Designs Downhill helmets are designed for the highest speeds and impacts. Sometimes safety is more important than breathability and weight. This is why the D4 features anatomical "3D” contoured cheek pads with an emergency release system for EMS responders. 

What jersey and bottoms should I wear when racing Enduro?

Similar to helmets, what clothing you wear will come down to personal preference which ultimately will come down to balancing between protection and moveability/breathability.

Modern Enduro bikes are so capable, that the speed and stability of these bikes allow riders to go at speeds like that of downhill bikes from only a few years ago. Riding at these speeds has led to many Enduro racers choosing more downhill-orientated kit, with more coverage and abrasive resistant materials just in case of crashes, rock strikes or near misses with trees.

The Sprint Pant and Jersey is iconic amongst downhill racers and is a popular choice for Enduro racers. If pants and a long sleeve jersey are of preference, but you want more breathability and flexibility for warmer days then the highly technical Sprint Ultra offers the best solution.

I prefer wearing shorts and short sleeve jerseys. What are my options?

If an increase in flexibility and breathability is more important (or you simply prefer shorts) then there are multiple options from TLD to choose from.

There are 2 main collections in the TLD range that are designed for the high demands and competitive nature of Enduro racing: Skyline and Ruckus.

The Skyline range is more trail orientated using lighter weight materials on both the jersey and shorts compared to something like the Sprint collection. This leads to a ‘freer’ feeling and increased breathability and wicking for cooler climbing and cardio efforts. The jersey comes in a long and short sleeve option for riders who want a trail weight top but the option of long or short sleeves.

The Ruckus range uses a thicker, heavier duty material which bridges between trail and downhill…like Enduro. The shorts have large pockets for on body storage, whilst the cut of the shorts is longer for better protection and integration with knee pads. The jersey only comes in a ¾ sleeve, creating the perfect blend between breathability, flexibility and protection on the arms for when you get your elbows out. The mixture of superior technical fabrics and fit means the Ruckus range is premium, however it is an outfit for Enduro racers who don’t want the protection of the Sprint range but want more resistance compared to the Skyline.

What do Enduro racers wear when it’s raining?

When the heavens open and that pristine loam starts becoming mud, it’s time to grab the waterproof gear. Overall, waterproof kit for mountain biking is used across all disciplines without any trail or downhill-specific kit. The quality of the manufacturer will determine how good this kit is and how applicable it is across multiple disciplines.

Fortunately, TLD has some great wet weather gear that is robust enough for downhill, yet breathable and athletically cut to make it perfect for racing against the clock. The Descent Jacket is a 10k/10k waterproof jacket that is perfect in wet weather, whilst the Resist pants are the pro’s favourite for keeping them dry and protected

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