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Enduro vs All Mountain – A Detailed Comparison

Written by Gary Johnson / Fact checked by Henry Speciale

enduro vs all mountain

The joy of mountain biking greatly depends on the equipment you are using off-road. Choosing the right MTB for a specific purpose is essential, along with large tires, suspension systems, and shock-absorbing features.

There are various types of MTBs that you should be aware of before investing in this kind of sport. Indeed, many are confused between Enduro vs all mountain bikes, as sometimes these terms can be used interchangeably.

But, they actually have some distinct differences. Read this guide about all mountain vs Enduro to understand the unique characteristics of each type, and their specific functions.

What are Enduro Bikes?

Enduro bikes are one of the most popular genres of MTBs.

It is a competition bike with extended suspension travel, a robust frame, and a highly powerful braking system. It is a preferred type of mountain bike among cyclists who love riding downhill, challenging descents, and rocky mountains.

The design and structure of an Enduro bike are intentionally created to withstand rough terrains and conquer challenging descents.

It comes with a longer suspension of around 140-180mm. The highly extended suspension system allows Enduro bikes to enjoy better control, traction, and ease on rocky and tough terrains.

Since Enduro bikes are becoming more popular among cyclists, many manufacturers produce this MTB. Norco, Yeti, Santa Cruz, and Evil are the most reliable brands you can check out. These brands have an excellent portfolio of robust and durable MTBs.

What Are All-mountain Bikes?

All-mountain bikes are more versatile compared to Enduro bikes. Unlike Enduro bikes specifically designed for downhill riding, you can use an all-mountain bike for all possible terrains.

Some would compare an all-mountain bike with a trail bike, but you will notice that it has a full suspension system and is more powerful than a trail bike. This is because all mountain bikes need to be robust when climbing a hill.

Aside from that, all mountain bikes are not as heavy as Enduro or other types of MTBs. It is as light as 10-14kg so you can use it on extended tours or long bike rides. All mountains are also capable of drops and jumps, ideal for your MTB adventures and different types of courses.

How to Tell the Difference?

1. Purpose

The primary difference between an all-mountain bike and an Enduro bike is their purpose. All mountain bikes are all-around bikes that you can use for downhill and uphill rides.

On the other hand, an Enduro bike can work greatly with speedy and powerful descents. You can ride an all-mountain bike on various terrains, while Enduro is a heavier type of MTB intended only for downhill riding.

If you use an Enduro bike for long tours or extended rides, you would easily get burdened by its weight and size.

2. Suspension System

Another thing you would notice between an all-mountain and Enduro is the suspension system. Even though an all-mountain bike already has a powerful suspension system, the suspension system in an Enduro bike is more powerful and robust.

The said suspension system allows an Enduro bike to overcome steep and highly technical terrains. Using this kind of suspension system is more advantageous when having a descent.

Other Types of MTBs

1. Geometry and specifications


Geometry is one of the most important things you immediately notice about a mountain bike. These are the specific measurements of the bicycle, including frames, angle, seat tube, top tube, head, and wheelbase, among others.

  • It is also how you can identify an all mountain vs trail at once. The former has more suspension travel, from 120mm to 160mm, meanwhile, the trail bike features 120mm to 150mm of travel.
  • Between Enduro vs trail bike, the former has a longer suspension. It makes the bike more stable at high speed.
  • Wheels are also an aspect of bike geometry that can easily be observed among MTBs. When you compare Enduro vs downhill bike, you will see that Enduro has a bigger wheel of 29 inches, while the latter can have a wheel size of at least 26 inches.
  • Between Enduro vs XC mountain bikes, Enduro has a longer suspension travel ranging from 140mm and 180 mm, while cross country starts from 120mm suspension travel.

2. Tires

Another noticeable difference you can identify among MTBs is the bike tires. Enduro bikes have larger and thicker tires than styles of mountain bikes.

When you measure the bike tire between an Enduro bike vs cross country, you will find that tires in an Enduro bike start from 2.3 inches and more. Meanwhile, cross-country bikes can be as thin as 1.6 to 2.2 inches.

The bike tires for cross country need to be lightweight, while Enduro bikes require heavier and more robust tires for a powerful descent at a higher speed.

3. Wheelbase


Wheelbase refers to the general length of the bike without the wheels, with important components: reach, tube angle, and chainstay length. The wheelbase provides stability to the MTB, especially when riding at the highest speed.

Among XC vs trail vs Enduro, you will observe that the wheelbase in downhill and Enduro bikes are very long, while trail and cross-country bikes tend to be short. It means that an Enduro bike needs more stability for descents, while trail and cross-country bikes should be easy to maneuver on different terrains.

It is also why trail bikes are lighter and Enduro bikes are heavier and more robust.

4. Head tube angle

Another deciding factor you should consider when buying a mountain bike is the head tube angle. It refers to the angle or degree of the bike’s front fork relative to the ground. There are two primary categories available regarding head tube angle – slack head angle and steep head angle.

It determines the stability of an MTB during high speeds. You should consider getting an MTB with a slack head angle if you want more stable equipment at high speeds. Enduro bikes have a slacker head angle of around 63 degrees.

Road bikes and even XC bikes have steeper head tube angles ranging from 67 to 68 degrees.


Is all-mountain the same as Enduro?

Yes, recently, these terms are interchangeable, as all mountain bikes are also refered to as Enduro bikes. Now, they can be used to call a bike that is powerful on challenging descents but still can climb uphill.

The biking industry initially used the term ‘all mountain’ for this MTB category. However, over the years, they settled on using the name ‘Enduro bike’ to refer to a bike intended for downhill riding.

Is an Enduro bike good for trail riding?

Not really. Enduro bike is designed intentionally to withstand rough and heavy terrains with lots of downhill slopes.

It means that an Enduro bike comes with features and specifications for this purpose. Enduro bikes have slacker head tube angles, heavier tires, a larger wheelbase, and longer suspension travel.

It is exactly the opposite of an MTB meant for trail riding. You need an MTB with steeper head tube angles, lighter, shorter wheelbase, and short-travel suspension like trail mountain bikes. The MTB should be easy to maneuver, so you can cover more territory in a shorter time.

Can you ride a hardtail downhill?

Riding a hardtail downhill can be highly challenging for you. Hardtail bikes are all-purpose mountain bikes suited for any off-road travel.

It lacks rear shocks but comes with a front suspension fork, but they are not meant for navigating rocky obstacles, drops, and difficult descents. You will need full suspension bikes for downhill riding like an Enduro bike.

Read more: Hardtail vs full suspension mountain bike: what is the difference?

Can you ride a mountain bike on the road?

There are different types of MTB that you can ride on the road. However, the cross-country bike is the best mountain bike to easily navigate the road. They are lightweight and simple to maneuver because they are meant for easier and less bumpy roads.


As a beginner, you might wonder that once you have a mountain bike, you are ready to go and explore all off-road adventures. However, it is vital to know your purpose, terrains, and courses you will frequently visit.

In this way, you can pick the right mountain bike for you. All mountain bikes may look similar, but they have unique specifications when you examine them closely. So, it is better to conduct comparisons among MTB all mountain to get the best out of your equipment.

May this detailed guide about Enduro vs all mountain vs various MTB help you choose the right one for your needs.

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