Enduro Bikes Review: Durable & Stable

Enduro Bikes Review: Durable & Stable

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If you are into bike racing or you just love well-designed, high-tech bikes, then you should definitely love enduro bikes. Over the years, bikes with the characteristics of the enduro design have won more races than many other types.

Their design continues to improve to help ensure enduro bike riders keep gaining speed and performance to match their competitors. These bikes continue to grow more and more popular as the companies producing continue to innovate and produce great advances.

Whether you are shopping for an enduro bike right now or simply assessing the field, we’ve done some solid research for you. Here, we will describe what an enduro bike is, identify some key design elements and features that help define them, and cover their price range.

Then we will share our evaluations of four representative enduro bike models from highly regarded manufacturers in this product category.


Enduro bikes are specially designed for downhill and cross-country racing. For many, they are “equalizers,” providing performance comparable to some bikes labeled as “extreme,” but offering an easier ride when racing. While most high-tech bikes require that you are fairly physically fit before riding them, enduro bikes are not extraordinarily demanding in this respect. Ride one a lot, and your fitness level will certainly increase, though!

While riding an enduro bike is not easy in every respect because of the demands of long rides, they are designed to ensure that riders stay comfortable while achieving high speeds over challenging terrain.


A good enduro bike’s suspension travel is greater than for most other bikes, which gives the rider more maneuverability and forgiveness when moving and turning at high speeds. Their wheelbase (distance between the rear and front axles) is typically longer to ensure the bike remains stable at high speeds.

To accommodate this increase in the wheelbase, the front wheel is essentially pushed further and the head tube angle is left with more slack than on other bikes. This increases speed and stability during a downhill descent. In comparison to other designs, the handlebars are wide and the calipers and rotors on the brakes are large.  The aluminum or carbon fiber used to make the rims is often heavier than for other bike styles.


You can buy enduro bikes at a dealer near you or locate one available online from an independent seller or the bike manufacturer. Generally speaking, prices of high-quality, precision-made enduro bikes range from $2,000 to $12,000.

How They Compare

We picked a few enduro bikes available on the market to see how they compare. We chose representative models from several top makers in this category and included bikes available at various price points.



PRICE                                        $$

This bike cost around $3,600.

FEATURES                                 ★★★★★

A Santa Cruz Nomad is one of the best bikes available and that is no surprise to most people especially those who have tried it before.  You can ride this bike pretty much anywhere as the bike comes with a much better frame geometry. The front and rear travel have been increased over the prior-generation bike, and the seat tube’s VPP linkage helps control and reduce shock.

This enduro bike comes with a head tube angle of 65 degrees, and the seat tube is not too steep to use in comfort. When pedaling, the suspension stays high and does not experience hangup problems, staying right in travel instead. This bike model is very capable for rough climbs, fast on downhill stretches, and versatile overall.

PERFORMANCE                                             ★★★★★

Due to the stated aim of Santa Cruz to produce an advanced, full-suspension bike that stays simple in design and remains affordable, this bike is faster than we anticipated. You can easily climb hills without difficulty and during the downhill ride, you can descend with confidence. This bike model is lightweight, and you can control and balance it with ease. In summary, a Santa Cruz Nomad is a great race bike you can ride on variable terrain. The wheels of newer models are bigger than previous ones, but we found it easy to adjust.

DESIGN QUALITY                                                         ★★★★★

This bike is lower-slung and much longer than most, which goes a long way in maximizing stability. It is easy to pedal thanks to the seat tube angle, and some other changes in its geometry, together with much larger wheels, have added more speed to the equation. The frame is made from carbon CC, and the Nomad we evaluated was equipped with a RockShox Lyric RCT3 fork. The underbelly protection of this bike is excellent as well. It uses a bolt-on guard that is made from thick plastic to fend off rock strikes that may damage the carbon.

DURABILITY & WARRANTY                                            ★★★★★

These bikes are very durable, especially when given proper care and maintenance. A new Santa Cruz Nomad bike comes with a lifetime warranty.


  • Lifetime warranty
  • Simple construction
  • Lightweight yet stable
  • Great suspension travel
  • Easy to climb with
  • Great feel
  • Easy to adjust


  • Higher price than some comparable enduro bikes


Commencal has produced some of the best bikes in the industry when it comes to enduring harsh, rough terrain steadily and aggressively. Their enduro bikes are developed with great geometry, and they are available in different sizes, allowing riders to choose the bike that fits perfectly.While Commencal Meta enduro bikes come in numerous different styles, we chose to evaluate one of the latest models: the Commencal Meta AM 29.

PRICE                                 $$

You can buy Commencal bikes on the manufacturer’s website for prices starting at approximately $3,000.

FEATURES                                                      ★★★★

Commencal Meta AM 29 team enduro bikes come with a flat-top tube that is wide and curves over the shock. To provide tire clearance, this bike design uses a swing arm. The stout frame is made from aluminum with a 170mm up-front fork and 160mm of rear travel. To add even more stiffness, this enduro bike comes with a brace between the seat-stays and large bearings in the rocker.

This bike style has a long reach, and the seat tube angle is steep and much more effective than those on some other bikes. It has shorter chainstays than average at 432mm, too, because the designers were able to push the seat tube forward and increase tire clearance as a result.

PERFORMANCE                                           ★★★

The bike is great when ridden on almost any terrain. Although it takes a bit longer to adjust to than some bikes due to its weight and rigidity, this bike is steady at any speed. If you are planning on setting new records, then you may want to choose a bike built more for speed. This ride is a bit hard on the climb, but during descents, the feeling is great.

DESIGN QUALITY                                                       ★★★★★

A Commencal enduro bike is designed to handle rough terrain really well and support its rider all the way. With the latest design, you can carry up to two water bottles. One can be mounted on the downtube’s bottom while the other one, if small, can fit near the shock. We liked the protectors on these bikes that minimize chain slap noise.

DURABILITY & WARRANTY                                                           ★★★★★

This enduro bike model is very durable, especially with good care, and it comes with a five-year manufacturer’s warranty.


  • Parts and components are all high in quality
  • Meta AM 29 is available in four different sizes
  • Great on steep and rough terrain
  • Easy to fit an extra water bottle inside the front triangle


  • Heavy and rigid, creating a more challenging ride for some
  • Wide seat stays


If you are looking for an aggressive bike, then you should know that Evil Insurgent enduro bikes are so named for good reason. If you love riding at fast speeds, especially downhill, a bike like the X01 Eagle from this maker will not disappoint. This bike provides an exceptionally stable ride with its smooth DELTA suspension system. For uphill performance, however, this is not the best bike we evaluated.

If you are looking for a bike that offers a decent climbing experience and great shuttle lap times, you will definitely love this bike. There are numerous models and styles of Evil Insurgent bikes available.

PRICE                                                $$$

You can order this bike or a comparable Evil Insurgent model directly from the manufacturer for a price starting at around $6,100.

FEATURES                                                                           ★★★★★

This bike comes with a great suspension system and rear wheel travel of 151mm. The top tube is 557mm, you have a 1221mm wheelbase, and the 423mm chainstays are nicely situated. Its geometry is adjustable to either of two settings: Low or X-low. The wheels of this 27.5″ bike come with clearance for 2.5-inch tires.

PERFORMANCE                                                              ★★★★★

This is a bike built for aggressive riding. It offers excellent overall performance, including great stability. Evil Insurgent bikes, however, are not the best bikes for long-distance races; you’ll get the best experience in your downhill performances. This bike works even better when pushed harder, and the design of the suspension is very effective, especially on descents.

DESIGN QUALITY                                                       ★★★★★

This bike has a complex geometric design, and it requires multiple steps to ensure that it is set up properly. It comes in carbon fiber construction only, and the rear wheel travel of 151mm can fit a 170mm, 160mm, or a 150mm fork.

DURABILITY & WARRANTY                                                    ★★★★★

This bike is durable, and it comes backed by a three-year warranty.


  • Great downhill capabilities
  • Ultra-aggressive build and styling
  • Great suspension design
  • Durable
  • Handles high speeds well


  • Expensive
  • Average uphill performance
  • Poorer handling at low speeds


In our view, YT Industries does a good job of producing bikes with performance qualities that justify their prices. The geometry of the model we evaluated, the CF Pro Race bike, has been updated to make it faster, and it has been given more travel while retaining a stylish look. Most significantly, the clearance of the stand-over has been increased in all four Capra models with 29” wheels.

PRICE                               $$$

You can buy a YT Capra enduro bike directly from the manufacturer or from a dealer for a price in the neighborhood of $5,900.

FEATURES                                                       ★★★★★

Recent design improvements have done great things for YT enduro bikes. The height of the stand-over on the bike we evaluated has been lowered. The chainstays are made from carbon, a switch from alloy, and reinforcement around the head tube is improved. Hidden inside the frame, you will find the dropper-post housing, the derailleur, and the brake.

The head angle is 65 degrees, and the seat angle is 75.5 degrees. The medium and large frame sizes have 435mm chain stays, whereas the extra-large and XXL models have even longer ones.

PERFORMANCE                                             ★★★★★

This bike is designed to handle harsh terrain really well, and if you are in the market for a dual-crown fork, this design can handle it. It is extremely easy to set up your bike, and you can ride it in two geometric positions: one to give you a head angle that is steeper, and the other offering a great “slack” position.

DESIGN QUALITY                                           ★★★★

A YT Capra CF Pro Race bike has a classic look and is easy to ride if you have tried similar models. The bike, however, lacks a place where you can put your water bottle, which is an unfortunate oversight. Its weight is reasonable, so you can expect a great downhill experience, but climbing is a challenge.

DURABILITY & WARRANTY                                          ★★★★★

This product is highly durable in design and construction, and it comes with a five-year warranty.


  • Easy to manage and maneuver
  • Available in four different sizes
  • Easy to jump with
  • Easy to set up
  • Great value
  • Great design and look


  • No place to keep your water bottle
  • Comfort issues on some rough terrain
  • Limited availability & high price


Enduro bikes are becoming more and more popular because of their outstanding performance and quality. These bikes have taken bike technology for racing and navigating rough terrain to another level. Although high-end enduro bikes are certainly a bit pricey, a dedicated rider can get his or her money’s worth with every ride on these bikes. We rated four popular enduro bikes and compared our results, giving several models in this current field of enduro bikes 4-star or 5-star ratings overall.

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