Video: New Zealanders build world’s first 27.5-inch-specific enduro trails

Kiwis use divining rods, POV rakes and mad science to build wheel size-specific trails

27.5 Enduro Travel

Mountain bikers in New Zealand are building what may be the world’s first enduro-specific trail optimized to the new 27.5-inch wheel size. Being constructed by a Kiwi mountain bike club called TeMiro, the groundbreaking new route is actually a rebuild of an existing alignment called PD’s Track. The trail’s designer says the new school trail is a mathematical expression of the growing 27.5-inch mountain bike zeitgeist.

Cameron Whelan

Head Flow Designer Cameron Whelan describes the advanced algorithm that led to the PD’s Track redesign.

“We found that with the new 27.5 wheel size, the berms as they have been don’t quite work,” explained Head Flow Designer Cameron Whelan. “We’ve had to build them to the new radius of 206.25-inches which is exactly 7.5 times the diameter of a 27.5 rim.”

Because building such a trail is essentially uncharted territory, Whelan and company have resorted to unorthodox means to make the track both 27.5-compatible and enduro-compatible—or as they say in New Zealandish “N-Duurow.” The trail design starts by applying a complex 27.5-inch-optimized curvature algorithm to both the corridor’s side-to-side axis, as well as its up-and-down amplitude modulation.

Gary Campbell

Chief Flow Engineer Gary Campbell uses a divining rod-like instrument called a “whaddhe wood” to align the trail and determine jump placement.

In addition to the high tech methodology, this group of Kiwi innovators also use centuries-old divining rod techniques to optimize flow along the courses of ancient, long-dormant watercourses, hypothesizing that a trail which follows the path of water will have the best natural flow qualities.

POV Video Footage

After a day’s build, the trails creators verify their work by reviewing video footage from POV cameras mounted on their hand tools.

To insure a high level of harmonization between the route-alignment and construction techniques, trail builders attach point-of-view cameras to their finishing tools—hoes, McCleods, Pulaskis and the like—and review the footage at the end of each build day.

New Zealand 27.5 Enduro Trails

This rider—on a 27.5-inch enduro bike—enjoys the feng shui of a trail built to his riding discipline and wheel size.

Like the video, this article is mostly parody—the trail does exist and the involved builders referenced are indeed real. The comments should be fun.

About the author: Don Palermini

Chicago-born Don Palermini became a cycling-based life-form in the sixth grade after completing a family road bike tour of his home state. Three years later he bought his first mountain bike to help mitigate the city's pothole-strewn streets, and began exploring the region's unpaved roads and trails. Those rides sparked a much larger journey which includes all manner of bike racing, commuting, on- and off-road bike advocacy, and a 20-plus-year marketing career in the cycling industry that landed him at his current gig with Santa Cruz bicycles. Now residing in the San Francisco Bay Area, his four favorite words in the English language are "breakfast served all day," together in that order.

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  • Gordon Stewart says:

    silly stuff

  • Art says:

    I really hope this is a joke. Riding your bike on a trail= mountainbiking. Learn to ride the terrain that unfolds infront of you.

  • Joules says:

    Thanks for clarifying that it’s a joke. With people that use the term “enduro” seriously, and/or talk about fanny packs without mocking those that wear or make them, it’s hard to tell sometimes.

  • Ryan says:

    Dumbest article ever

  • Josef says:

    This is all fine and good, but what are they going to do to warn people with 26 and 29 inch bikes to stay off those berms? Somebody could get hurt!

  • james says:

    All I can say is that I have switched to the proper Enduro size wheel and now when I crash it is in a much more specific Enduro kind of way. I will never go back to crashing on a 26er again

  • Alex Bo B'Alex says:

    Oh shoot…. After doing all the math I ended up w/ a 24″ cruiser wheel…. crap, I bought the wrong size.

  • Lenny says:

    Reads like an Onion report.

  • AD says:

    Ah our kiwi brethren, just like our English cousins, they do have a great sense of humour, very understated and quite brilliant!

  • albee boden says:

    After having done an endo on this trail, I must say that the trail’s “enduro” configuration creates a unique flight path that through the air, that can only be described (after subjecting said endo to the strict enduro algorhythmic configurations) as enduriffic!

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