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The 7 Best Enduro Mountain Bikes of 2021

“Enduro” is one of the most popular, but also ill-defined words in mountain biking. What began as a style of racing, long human-powered days with timed descents, has grown to encompass bikes with more travel than a “trail” bike, that doesn’t have a double crown fork. These bikes are built for gnarly descents, but they can still get you to the top of the trail, without a chairlift. For some riders, the best enduro bike means the most fun bike park and shuttle rig, while other riders are simply looking for the fastest bike on the racecourse.

When we put together this list of the best “Enduro” bikes we’ve found, we made sure we had something for everyone. A few of the bikes on this list are purebred race machines, prioritizing all-out speed over everything else. Others are more well-rounded, sure they’re happy to show up and race the clock, but they’re also meant to stand up to the abuse of bike park trips, shuttle days, and even long backcountry rides.

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Scott Ransom 920

Best 2021 enduro bikes
 

Scott’s Ransom has always been a long travel heavy hitter, but this latest iteration brings plenty of nuance to the table as well. By the numbers, the Ransom’s 170 mm of travel front and rear would suggest that it might not be the most efficient climber. But that’s not the case, mostly thanks to Scott’s Twinlock system. Twinlock effectively gives you three bikes for the price of one with the flip of a switch. Fully open the Ransom sports 170 mm of travel, perfect for chasing the gnarliest descents you can find, in, or out of the bike park. But push that lever to the middle position and the Ransom’s travel drops to a taut 120 mm that keeps things efficient on technical climbs or rolling mellow sections of trail. And if you’ve got to spin road miles to get to the trails, you can use the same lever to effectively lock the Ransom’s suspension all the way out. On top of that, the Ransom also has a flip chip to adjust the geometry, so you can slack out the head angle for steep shuttle laps, or steepen it up for more mellow riding.

Between the Twinlock and the flip-chip, Scott’s Ransom has a lot going for it, and it lives up to the hype on the trail, aggressive and supple in the rough, and snappy on smoother terrain. The 920 build is probably the best value for your money option on the Ransom. It combines a lightweight aluminum frame with a sensible build that will last for years. The Fox 38 fork combined with the custom Fox rear shock keeps the wheels tracking consistently. The Sram NX drivetrain is a reliable performer, and Scott spec’d Shimano’s excellent four-piston brakes to help slow things down. Finally, sometimes bikes at this price point come with cheap tires that you’ll have to swap out immediately. Not so with the Ransom, a Maxxis Assegai up front, and Dissector in the rear ensure that you’ll have consistent traction. If you wish you could have a mid-travel trail bike, and an enduro crusher, but two bikes just aren’t in your budget, the Scott Ransom has the versatility to do it all and keep a smile on your face the whole time.

 Suspension Travel Wheel Size Category Original Price
 170 mm Front/170 mm Rear 29" All-Mountain / Enduro $3,999.99

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Orbea Occam M30

Best 2021 enduro bikes
 

Orbea’s Occam is a jack of all trades, but that doesn’t make it a master of none. Instead it does a really good job of balancing on the fine line between trail and enduro bikes, and handling just about any trail with ease. The Occam has 140 mm of travel front and rear, and comes Fox’s lightweight 34 fork, to keep the front end light and snappy. A combination of Shimano’s SLX and XT components help deliver power from your legs to the wheels. This 12 speed drivetrain is one of the most precise and durable out there, and is a great addition at this price point.

The spec and suspension travel don’t tell the Occam’s full story though. Its intelligent geometry helps it perform harder than its travel numbers suggest. A 76.5° seat angle helps set you up in a comfortable pedaling position, combined with a slack 65.5° head tube angle that keeps the front end composed descending steep, gnarly terrain. The Occam is one of those rare bikes that’s happy to become whatever you want out of it. Looking to race enduros or rally the bike park, swap a longer air spring into the fork, and throw on some burly tires, and the Occam is ready to chase fractions of a second on technical race courses. In its stock build, it’s a reliable daily driver, and with lighter tires it wouldn’t be a bad choice for marathon racing. Through it all, the Occam’s personality shines clear, it’s a precise ride, not a plow. It’s designed for riders who like to dance and pop their way down the trail, and it rewards that style with an intuitive, playful feel. If that sounds like you, what are you waiting for?

 Suspension Travel Wheel Size Category Original Price
 140 mm Front/140 mm Rear 29" Trail/All-Mountain/Enduro $4,299.00

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Juliana Maverick C S

Best 2021 enduro bikes
 

Juliana’s Maverick is based off of one of Santa Cruz’s best-selling platforms of all time, the Hightower. But this iteration manages to bump up the travel numbers while also gaining better pedal efficiency and an intelligent female-specific spec. What does that look like on the trail? Well, a 150 mm Fox 36 fork paired with 145 mm of lower-link VPP rear suspension, a GX Eagle Drivetrain, and Code R brakes make the Maverick’s intentions pretty clear. This is a bike that likes to go fast, regardless of what sort of trail you’re riding today. Racing a local Enduro? The Maverick is, as long as you like going fast. Mellow trail ride with friends? No problem. Trying to patch together miles of unknown trail into a mega-loop? The Maverick is ready for whatever the mountains throw at you.

Some of that versatility comes from the Maverick’s geometry, the 77° seat tube angle and 65.5° head tube are right in line with the best bikes in this class. But a lot of the Maverick’s performance comes from its VPP suspension design. The new lower-link VPP suspension pedals so well that there’s really no reason to reach for your shock lockout, even on long smooth climbs. But in chunder, the rear wheel tracks remarkably well, and it ramps up smoothly on big hits, keeping the bike, and more importantly, the rider composed. If you’re a female rider looking for a do-everything weapon, the Maverick is hard to beat.

 Suspension Travel Wheel Size Category Original Price
 150 mm Front/145 mm Rear 29" Trail/All-Mountain/Enduro $5,749.00

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Santa Cruz Megatower

Best 2021 enduro bikes
 

Santa Cruz Bicycles' “tower” line has grown and evolved over the years, from the original Hightower to the Hightower LT, to their newest option, the Megatower. The Megatower is Santa Cruz’s dedicated 29er enduro race bike, it’s designed with one thing in mind, to go fast. 160 mm of front and rear travel, combined with Santa Cruz’s proven VPP lower link suspension design eats up the most technical trails, while still responding efficiently to every pedal stroke.

Because the Megatower is a race bike, it’s designed to be easy to tweak for different styles of tracks, it’s got a suspension flip chip that changes the kinematics and lowers the bottom bracket, along with adjustable length chainstays. These adjustments allow you to tune the Megatower to your personal style of riding, and terrain. The Megatower isn’t the most playful bike on this list, that’s not the point, instead, it’s focused on smoothing out rough trails and shaving seconds off your race time. If you have podium aspirations, or just want to tag some KOM’s the Megatower might be the bike for you.

 Suspension Travel Wheel Size Category Original Price
 160 mm Front/160 mm Rear 29" All Mountain/Enduro $8,149.00

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Yeti SB165 T2

Best 2021 enduro bikes
 
 

Yeti Cycles made quite the stir when they introduced the SB165. After all, they already had one of the best “enduro” race bikes available, the SB 150. But the folks at Yeti wanted something with a little more travel, and slightly smaller wheels, so they came up with the SB165. It’s the longest travel bike that Yeti makes, and it shows. While you might be more likely to find the SB165 ripping freeride lines than on a racecourse, it can still keep up with the rest of the enduro bikes on our list.

Like all the rest of Yeti’s bikes, the SB165 uses their Switch Infinity system that suspends the lower suspension pivot on a pair of rails. This helps the SB165 erase brake bumps, while still maintaining an efficient pedaling platform. No, this isn’t the bike for all-day exploratory rides, but if you like to punctuate your bike park laps and shuttle days with the occasional human-powered ride, the SB165 won’t make you regret your decisions. And as soon as the trail turns downhill, this bike turns it all the way on. No matter how steep and technical your trails are, the SB165 will take them in stride and leave you stoked for another lap at the bottom.

 Suspension Travel Wheel Size Category Original Price
 180 mm Front/165 mm Rear 27.5" All Mountain/Enduro $8,400.00

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Revel Rail

Best 2021 enduro bikes
 
 

Revel is a relatively new name among long-travel bruisers, but their pedigree is far from inexperienced. Revel bikes take Canfield’s proven Balance Formula rear suspension design and pairs it with modern geometry and lightweight carbon construction. The result? A long travel rig that pedals and climbs shockingly efficiently.

The Rail is right at home on technical enduro stages, or gnarly bike park laps, but is efficient enough that it’s happy to go wander around new trails on all-day rides. The Rail is one of the most well-rounded bikes on this list and offers a high-end carbon frame with a proven suspension design, and a well-thought-out component spec that might not be the flashiest, but is built to last. If you’re looking for a long-travel one-bike-quiver, the Revel Rail is one of the best enduro bikes.

 Suspension Travel Wheel Size Category Original Price
 170 mm Front/165 mm Rear 27.5" All-Mountain / Enduro $7,699.00

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Transition Patrol Carbon GX

Best 2021 enduro bikes
 
 

Transition has always been clear about their mission statement: they make bikes to party in the woods. The Patrol is their ride for folks whose woods happen to be punctuated with steep, gnarly, technical trails, with plenty of big jumps and drops thrown in. The Patrol is their longest travel enduro bike, and it brings a lot of personality to the party. For 2020, all Patrols are #oncoil, with coil suspension specced in the rear. This change makes for an even more supple ride, with plenty of traction.

Combine that coil-sprung rear end with Transition’s long, low, and slack SBG geometry, and you’ve got a monster on the descents. Riding the Patrol feels like you’re out with that one riding buddy who’s sort of a bad influence, but always pushes you to go a little bigger and try something new. And the Patrol has the competent suspension and geometry to support those questionable decisions. If you’re the sort of rider who sees every trail as a series of gap jumps to connect, you’ll feel right at home on a Patrol.

 Suspension Travel Wheel Size Category Original Price
 170 mm Front/160 mm Rear 27.5"All-Mountain / Enduro $4,999.00

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