Enduro is a form of racing like no other in mountain biking. Sure, it effectively boils down to who is quickest down the hill, but if you can’t be self-sufficient for a whole day you’re unlikely to do very well.
No one knows about winning enduro races better than Tracy Moseley. The Enduro World Series racer is unbeaten since March and hasn’t finished outside the top two in her entire career, at the final race of this year’s series she announced her retirement after clinching her third consecutive World Championship.
Here are Tracy’s top tips on ensuring that you have all the kit you need to finish as high as possible in an Enduro race
Packs are prime
I always use a pack because I want to have food, water and be prepared, it’s crazy to try and do it any other way. You never know if you’re going to have delays where you have to stand round and need another layer.
I’ve ended up handing out so much of the stuff that I carry to other people. Maybe it’s good karma though because I’ve never actually had any issues in the three years I’ve been racing.
Choose the right pack
Recently I’ve used the Osprey Zealot 15 because I find it more useful when I have to carry two helmets and a decent amount of stuff. At other times I’ve been using a Raven 14 because it’s a bit smaller and a bit lighter and then occasionally the super small Verve 9. It all depends on what I need for the race.
A good pump is crucial
I think a good pump is key. I carry a Topeak Mountain Morph that is a bit like a mini track pump. It means you can get some weight behind it and actually get your tyres inflated quickly.
I’ve got CO2 canisters as well for those quick fills mid-stage but when you run out you still need a pump to get air in your tyres.
Make use of a pressure gauge
My pressure gauge is the most used thing in my pack because I check my pressures between every stage.
I will change tyre pressures dependent on the stage but also on altitude and temperature, which some people don’t realise affects your pressures.
Look after each other
I’d love to see first aid kits become mandatory for enduro races going forward. The races are marshalled but the first person on the scene when something happens is going to be another rider and I think it’s our responsibility for us to look out for each other. Obviously if I get hurt I want something in my bag that can help me too.
I always have a 500 ml bottle on my bike and I try and have one-and-a-half to two litres of water in my bladder on my back.
If we haven’t got water available throughout the race then I’ll probably end up putting a three-litre bladder in and trying to make that last for the day – you have to be like a camel sometimes.
Watch us try and race round three of this year’s EWS in Scotland
Take your own food
I don’t rely on the food stations because you don’t know if they will have run out or if the quality of food isn’t great. I don’t want to have put in all that effort in training and then eat something that doesn’t agree with you in the race.
I make pretty good flapjacks and we’ve started using little rice cakes like the road guys do. It’s all about getting simple carbohydrates in, along with proteins, but without way too much sweet stuff.
I remember last year in America there was one rock that everyone was catching and bending their discs on
I knew it was there from the previous year so I’d taken a knipex tool and countless people had to use that whilst we were waiting for the start of the next stage. I’m generally the go-to person for the stuff in my pack at the start of a stage but that’s the way I like to do it. They’ll be stuffed next year.
And take toilet paper, you never know when you’ll be caught short in the woods