“Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.”
It’s an adage most commonly attributed to holy matrimony, but the age-old quip seems to also be quickly gaining traction in the ever-trendy world of Enduro™ racing. Yesterday, something very blue showed up on my doorstep—an Ibis Ripley; a bike that I plan to race the entire California Enduro™ Series with this year.
Now some people are already giving me static, saying “Hey bro, 120mm of travel and 29-inch wheels is totally not Enduro™, man.” But when you’re coming from racing on a 26” hardtail singlespeed, any full suspension bike is Enduro™, especially when it’s emblazoned in Pantone 801, the official hue better known as Enduro™ Blue.
So in classic ASS fashion, if I’m going to be participating in mountain biking’s biggest current cliché outside of fat bikes, I’m going all-in. Short of custom-painting components, in the parlance of Nigel Tufnel from Spinal Tap, my Enduro™ racing bike and wardrobe will be “none more blue.”
I got right down to business and started researching what I could waste my hard-earned dollars on that’s Enduro™-specific and blue. I was quickly overwhelmed by the choices, but here’s a short list of how my dream Enduro™ build will go.
I’ve got the Enduro™ Blue frame and 140mm Fox Float 34 with Enduro™ Blue graphics, now it’s time to fill it out with Enduro™ Blue componentry.
Putting the “gon” in Ergon, the folks from Deutschland have gone fully Enduro, with a full line of Enduro™-specific components slathered in blue. The GE1 grip will most definitely be going on the Ripley, after all, Ergon says this grip is specifically engineered for Enduro™, which I think means that it’s also great for mountain biking.
Another Ergon product, the SME3 saddle, is also made specially for getting all Enduro™, featuring a v-shaped body to get behind the saddle easier, a flatter profile for more ergonomics and a shorter nose that doesn’t catch your Enduro™ Blue baggies as much. And of course, the SME3 sports blue side panels to make perfectly clear that this saddle is specifically engineered for Enduro™, which means it’s also great for sitting on.
When it comes to selecting a drivetrain for your Enduro rig, the choice comes down to the words of Morpheus; do you want the red pill or blue pill? Since this is Enduro™ the choice is obvious. The Ripley will be rocking shifty bits from Big Blue, better known as Shimano. A full range of XT and XTR will be bolted up for Enduro™ duty. The only unfortunate aspect is that none of the shifty bits have any blue in them, so I’ll have to run blue cable housing.
I would have loved to get some Mavic Crossmax Enduro™ wheels, because after all, they’re Enduro™-specific. With a wider front rim profile and a narrower rear rim, they’re perfect for getting all…well, you know… but there’s only one problem—they’re yellow. I guess the folks in France didn’t get the memo. It ain’t Enduro™ if it’s yellow, Pierre. Get with the program.
So instead it looks like I’ll be putting some Nawth Cackalacka ano bling bling on the Ripley, and equip it with a set of Industry Nine 29” Enduro wheels, featuring anodized blue hubs, spokes and nipples. Industry Nine claims the Enduro wheels are reliable and strong while still being lightweight enough for long backcountry excursions. I don’t know about all of that, but what I do know is that these things are Enduro™ Blue and they roll in a circle. That’s good enough for me.
Since Shimano components don’t feature much blue, I’ll have to make up for it by rocking an Enduro™ Blue Shimano windbreaker, some X-Series sunglasses and one of their slick and comfy new day packs called the Hotaka. Shimano says its “Lightning Blue,” but come on, we all know what color it really is.
Club Ride has me covered on the apparel front, featuring a Precinct jersey and Fuze baggy shorts in, you guessed it, Enduro™ Blue. As a bonus, the Club Ride gear is comfortable and looks good even off the bike when you’re refueling with some Enduro™-specific food and alcoholic beverages, so there’s no need to bring an Enduro™-specific podium change of clothes with you.
When it comes to head protection, there’s no other choice than a POC lid. Arguably the one product that forever associated the color blue with Enduro™, the POC Trabac Race features MIPS system technology, an impact protection system proven to help reduce the risk of concussion when you eventually run out of Enduro™-specific talent.
POC also makes some very snazzy gloves, with touch screen compatible fingers to show all your friends on Facebook how Enduro™ you are. I’m not sure the gloves are engineered specifically for Enduro™, but they’re blue, so they’re acceptable by default.
Footwear is proving to be a little tougher. Shimano only has their Enduro™-approved SH-AM41 shoe in black, the Mavic Crossmax Enduro is only available in yellow or white and the Giro Terraduro in black or red. I’m seeing a completely untapped market here. If someone were to just make an Enduro™-specific shoe in Enduro™ Blue, my entire wardrobe would be complete. Anybody got any hot leads?
Editor’s Note: The Angry Singlespeeder is a collection of mercurial musings from contributing editor Kurt Gensheimer. In no way do his maniacal diatribes about all things bike oriented represent the opinions of Mtbr, RoadBikeReview, or any of their employees, contractors, janitorial staff, family members, household pets, or any other creature, living or dead. You can submit questions or comments to Kurt at firstname.lastname@example.org. And make sure to check out Kurt’s previous columns.