Which bike for the Dukes Weekender?

You might have read our description of a Gravel Enduro and thought what’s the best bike for the job. Well arguably the best things about Dukes 2018 was the variety of bikes we saw during the event…. From Graeme Obree on his touring bike, Danny Macaskill on an Enduro MTB and a whole host of gravel, cyclocross and mountain bikes too. Yet one of the most common questions we get is about what should and could be ridden at the weekend.

Danny MacAskill on an enduro MTB vs a drop bar tandem…. You see it all at Dukes!!

Danny MacAskill on an enduro MTB vs a drop bar tandem…. You see it all at Dukes!!

So the short answer is pretty much any bike suitable basic for offload riding. We designed the Dukes Weekender course not to favour one type of bike over another. Any bike with decent off-road tyres and good brakes will be perfectly capable of getting around the course. Most of you might even have a suitable “Gravel” bike in the garage without realising it. Mountain Bikes and Cyclocross bikes are very well suited and many hybrid and commuting bikes would be great if the tyres have a bit of off-road bite (With the full weekend including a road hill climb stage, we will allow you to change your tyres if you insist!).

So what's going to be fastest?

This is the next question, and to be honest we're not quite sure.  Last years winner Dave Duggan rode a cyclo-cross bike which does offer light weight, fast rolling and an aerodynamic advantage over a mountain bike on certain parts of the course. Having said that, the comfort and smoothing out of the trail by fatter MTB tyres and suspension will certainly help on occasions (and some stages) and you could well benefit from the improved handling of a MTB elsewhere too...

If you’re riding the main event, our ‘Full Weekender’ the remember that you must use the same bike across the weekend for both the Hillclimb and Enduro. As with last year tyre and wheel changes are allowed but the frame must be the same :). We know that one of last years leading riders Rab Wardell has suggested he might ride his MTB in this year. It genuinely is a regular debate amongst our team which would be better so it’s very evenly matched and always intriguing to see what the fast guys bring!


We designed the course specifically so no one bike will have a distinct speed or fun advantage. The Dukes Weekender will be a cycling challenge on mixed terrain and great experience for all, regardless of bike. As with last year there will be a winner and podiums for the fastest overall riders, but we wouldn’t want to bet on what they are going to be riding.

See you there!

Robert Friel