Greg Callaghan trains in Dublin, Ireland, on 14 June 2021.
© Ramsey Cardy / Red Bull Content Pool
MTB Enduro

8 of the best enduro mountain bikes you can buy in 2023

Fancy getting between the tape and on to the stages for some enduro race action this year? Here's the best machinery to do it on.
Written by James McKnight
7 min readUpdated on
The best enduro mountain bikes are light enough to pedal around a long day’s ride yet strong and dynamic enough to take on the toughest, fastest natural and man-made trails thinkable. They are built to be pedalled up, thrashed back down and relied upon – the perfect go-anywhere, do-anything bike for modern mountain biking.
As a result, they are also a handy rig to have in your collection if you're considering taking up racing. Of course, you could just jump on any regular mountain bike to race between tape. But what if you fancied getting serious about competing? And money was no issue?
Fortunately, you're in the right place. We have highlighted eight of the best enduro MTBs on the market in 2023, based on their reliability, pedigree and versatility.
Want to see what it takes to compete at the highest level of enduro racing? Watch Irish star Greg Callaghan battle it out in the Enduro World Series in the latest series of On Track:

12 min

A question of timing

Greg Callaghan finds himself on the starting line in New Zealand, 10,000km from home.

English +9

1. Marin Alpine Trail 7

Marin Alpine Trail 7

The Alpine Trail is the American brand's enduro offering

© Marin

Price: £2,625

Frame sizes: S, M, L, XL

Frame material: Aluminium

Wheel size: 29”

Travel: 160mm front/150mm rear

Marin’s Alpine Trail range offers fantastic value packages built around a sturdy frame with modern geometry (including a 63.5º head tube angle and 78º seat tube angle), putting the rider in a comfortable pedalling position for grinding up the hills and a confident descending position for fun on the way back down. The Alpine Trail 7’s 160mm-travel RockShox Yari RC fork and 2.6-inch Vee Tire Flow Snap tyres on 29-inch wheels are fit for monster trucking through the roughest terrain.

2. Commencal Meta SX Ride

Commencal Meta SX Ride

Commencal redesigned the Meta back in 2022

© Commencal

Price: from £3,180.63

Frame sizes: M, L, XL

Frame material: Aluminium

Wheel size: 29"/27.5”

Travel: 170mm front/160mm rear

Commencal is an Andorran-based brand that makes bikes to cope with the harsh terrain on its doorstep, and that is clearly visible its Meta range. The Meta, available in several guises, has progressed over the years into a bike that fears no terrain or scenario, as proved by its many podiums in the Enduro World Series.
The latest development is this Meta SX version, which uses a 29” front wheel and a 27.5” rear wheel to achieve, Commencal says, a perfect blend of grip (with the big front wheel) and manoeuvrability (thanks to the smaller rear wheel). The bike’s geometry has been updated for this ‘mullet’ version, with 10mm longer chainstays, revised 63.6º head angle (in the ‘low’ setting) and 10mm shorter reach than the 29er Meta AM.

3. Pivot Firebird

Pivot Firebird 2022

Available frame-only, the Firebird can also be specced as a five-figure rig

© Pivot

Price: from £7,450

Frame sizes: S, M, L, XL

Frame material: Carbon fibre

Wheel size: 29”

Travel: 170mm front/165mm rear

Pivot’s latest version of its Firebird has already tallied numerous podiums and wins at Enduro World Series level. Taking geometry inspiration from the previous Firebird (low top tube, slack head angle, steep seat angle, short rear end) but updating the suspension layout, it seems the new Firebird is set to be just as popular as the original. As with all Pivots, the only catch is the price – they are some of the most expensive mountain bikes out there. If you’re going big, you might as well go really big, so buy a frame (which comes complete with a Fox Performance Elite Float X shock) and build your dream bike around it.

4. Nukeproof Mega Carbon 290 Elite

Nukeproof Mega Carbon 290 Elite

The Mega is named after the iconic Alpe d'Huez event, Megavalanche

© Nukeproof

Price: £4,349.99

Frame sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL

Frame material: Carbon fibre

Wheel size: 29”

Travel: 170mm front/160mm rear

The Mega’s name – derived from Alpe d’Huez’s renowned Megavalanche mass-start race – pretty much states the bikes intentions. It is built for full-on enduro riding and racing, with long, low and slack geometry and a plethora of neat technical features. Sam Hill secured the 2019 Enduro World Series title on the last version of the Mega 290; the bike has morphed into a new shape, but Nukeproof promises it retains the best bits of the 2019-20 bike and builds on its performance. The Carbon Elite model is uses the same chassis as all the carbon models, but is surely one of the most affordable carbon enduro bikes on the market.

5. Rocky Mountain Altitude Alloy 70 Coil

Rocky Mountain Altitude Alloy 70 Coil

The geometry and suspension action has nine different possible settings

© Rocky Mountain

Price: $5,699 USD

Frame sizes: S, M, L, XL

Frame material: Aluminium

Wheel size: 27.5” (sizes S, M) 29” (sizes M, L, XL)

Travel: 170mm front/160mm rear

Apart from having the best website URL in cycling (, Rocky Mountain also has enormous heritage in Canadian mountain biking (where the brand is based) and has nurtured the off-road scene since its early days.
Now, Rocky Mountain supports a factory enduro race team that not only seems to have a lot of fun but also pushes for the top step of the podium at every Enduro World Series race. The S size features 27.5-inch wheels only, size M comes with either 27.5 or 29-inch, and L and XL have 29-inch wheels. This might give you a hint at Rocky’s attention to detail on the Altitude.
The frame’s adjustability is like no other: it has no less than nine settings positions that affect the geometry (from ‘slack’ to ‘steep’ and everything in between) and suspension action. This coil shock-equipped Altitude Alloy 70 is ready to take on massive descents, then pedal back up for another go.

6. Specialized Enduro Comp

Specialized Enduro Comp

Enduro by name, enduro by nature

© Specialized

Price: from £5,00

Frame sizes: S2, S3, S4, S5

Frame material: Carbon fibre

Wheel size: 29”

Travel: 170mm front/170mm rear

How could a company state a bike’s intentions any more firmly than claiming its intended usage as a name? The Enduro has long been a rider-favourite bike in Specialized’s line-up and it has always pushed the boundaries for mountain bikes of its ilk.
The Enduro has championed big wheels for years and this latest version is inspired by the brand’s downhill bike – it has a similar suspension system that eats up burly terrain and keeps the centre of gravity low. Plus, the SWAT Door that opens beneath the water bottle cage means you can store stuff in the downtube – now that's enduro.

7. Forbidden Druid SLX

Forbidden Druid SLX

The high pivot and idler pulley make the Druid stand out from the crowd

© Forbidden

Price: £5,149

Frame sizes: S, M, L, XL

Frame material: Carbon fibre

Wheel size: 29”

Travel: 150mm front/130mm rear

And now for something quite different. Forbidden Bike labels its Druid as a short-travel trail bike, but it is such a capable machine that it deserves a place among enduro ranks. This is a bike that pushes build quality to a high level while employing the most modern geometry (the steep seat tube angle for easy pedalling is adapted across the range of sizes, as is the chainstay length, for example).
Of course, the Druid’s most notable feature is its high pivot and idler pulley. The former gives the bike a rearward axle path, the latter counters the excessive pedal feedback the design incurs. You’ll notice similar on many World Cup downhill rigs of recent times and this is yet another reminder the Druid is a lot more bike than its 130mm travel suggests.
The SLX model is the lowest-priced version, but it still features a range of solid components.

8. Yeti SB150 T3 Turq

Yeti SB 150 T 1 2021 MTB

29” wheels and a 170mm-travel fork smooth out the worst of terrain

© Yeti

Price: from $10,600 USD

Frame sizes: S, M, L, XL

Frame material: Carbon fibre

Wheel size: 29”

Travel: 170mm front/150mm rear

Richie Rude is one of the most powerful forces in enduro racing right now. The two-time World Champion requires a bike to match his speed, and Yeti’s SB 150 appears wholly capable. In 2022, Rude rode his SB150 to three Enduro World Series race wins and contested the overall series title throughout the season.
Don’t be fooled by the SB’s 150mm rear travel: its 29” wheels and 170mm-travel fork firmly place it as a machine ready to smooth out the worst of terrain. Sleek looks conceal Yeti’s highest-grade carbon fibre. As with the Pivot Firebird, when you’re spending Yeti-level money, you’ll probably want to go for the top-spec SB150 T3 model. Then go hit an EWS race.

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On Track

Follow the top mountain bikers competing in the Enduro World Series.

5 Seasons · 42 episodes
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