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The 5 Best Enduro Mountain Bikes of 2020

“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.


Santa Cruz Megatower C S

Best 2020 enduro bikes
 

Santa Cruz’s “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.

 Travel  Wheel Size  Category  Original Price
 120mm  27.5"  XC / Trail  $1,949

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Revel Rail GX

Best 2020 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 some of the best bang for your buck too. For under $5000 you get 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.

 Travel  Wheel Size  Category  Original Price
 120mm  29"  XC / Trail  $1,550

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Santa Cruz Nomad C S

Best 2020 enduro bikes
 
 

The Nomad was an enduro bike before enduro was even a thing. It’s always been focused on providing top-notch handling and descending traits, while still feeling reasonable on the way up. And the newest edition of the Nomad turns both ends of that spectrum up to 11.

The Nomad was the first bike Santa Cruz brought their new lower-link suspension to, and the change was remarkable. This current Nomad pedals much better than any 170 mm bike has a right to, the wheel stays glued to the ground, with no unnecessary pedal bob or wasted energy. And when it’s time to party your way down the mountain, the bike’s weight is concentrated near the bottom bracket, making it a cornering maniac. The Nomad has always been a lot of different things to a lot of people. Want a dedicated bike park basher? The Nomad is a great choice. Looking for an ultra long travel trail destroyer? The Nomad will get it done. The Nomad is a classic choice for good reason, and it’s one of the best 27.5” wheel enduro bikes.

 Travel  Wheel Size  Category  Original Price
 130mm  29"  Trail  $2,699

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Transition Patrol Carbon GX

Best 2020 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.

 Travel  Wheel Size  Category  Original Price
 140mm  29" Trail / Enduro  $2,899

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Yeti SB165 T2

Best 2020 enduro bikes
 
 

Yeti 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.

 Travel  Wheel Size  Category  Original Price
 115mm  29"  XC / Trail  $2,100

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