The endo: a classic mountain bike move that's as practical as it is stylish. Master it, and you'll master steep terrain and navigating hairpin bends.
The endo doesn’t just look cool; it’s a next-level skill that has lots of applications. Use it to navigate tight turns and hairpins when descending, or to understanding how far you can push your breaking on steep terrain.
Understanding where that tipping point is, and working out how to control it when it goes too far, will give you loads of confidence to trust this technique while you are using it in context.
What is an endo?
In the world of motorbikes and cycling, it’s also sometimes called a ‘stoppie’. Essentially, it’s where you apply the front brake only so the rear wheel lifts, leaving you balancing on the front wheel. The difference between an endo and a stoppie though is that you don’t necessarily stop; skilled riders can keep the front wheel rolling, essentially making it like a wheelie on the front wheel rather than the back.
Endos can also be really useful for endo turns. When a corner or hairpin is super tight and it would be difficult to get around it the regular way, by doing an endo the rider can pull the rear of the bike around while it’s in the air, changing direction, then land the rear wheel ready to accelerate off. And it looks damn cool too.
Step-by-step guide on how to do an endo
- Pick a place on the trail with predictable grip and bend your knees. Start to pull your front brake on and as you do so stand up on the pedals and move your upper body weight forwards. This will load the front wheel and give it more grip as you pull the brake more.
2. Continue to pull the front brake lever more forcing the front wheel to dig in heavy and the rear wheel up and into an endo. Pay attention to how much grip you have on the front wheel and how far you are taking the tip over the bars. It will go up slowly to start with and get faster the closer you get to the tipping point.
3. As soon as you feel like you are going over the bars, or that you’ve had enough, release the front brake and the rear wheel will immediately start to fall. This sudden release of the leaver should give you confidence that you can make an endo stop safely and quickly whenever you want, and perhaps give you more confidence that you can take it further next time.