GMBN : Trail Vs Enduro Mountain Bikes | Is There Really A Difference?

Is there a real difference between the META AM 29 and META TR 29?
GMBN attempted to answer this question in one of their latest videos, testing the two models in different situations; uphill, on a trail loop and downhill.
Here are their thoughts.

"Enduro racing and riding takes place on long arduous courses. There are transitional segments also known as liaisons that need to be ridden but you’re are not timed on them. The timed segments are predominantly downhill and it’s always on very technical terrain. Enduro bikes are essentially heavy duty all-mountain bikes specked up to handle brutal racing conditions.

They summarised the META TR 29 too:

"The trail bike sits between XC and enduro bikes, handling balance perfectly to suit climbing and descending, but will happily whistle along flatter terrain without feeling lethargic. The META TR has a climbing friendly seat angle of 78.6 degrees and a relaxed 64.5 head angle. (…) Trail bikes are not quite as twitchy as XC bikes, but they’re not quite as relaxed as an enduro bike. This is really the MTB for everyone, but it’s also worth noting that some trail bikes follow the geometry favouring the enduro bike end of the spectrum whilst others lean to the XC side."

With these three different scenarios; a dry climb, a trail loop and finally a downhill, the aim was to compare the two bikes in all possible conditions. Note that this video was shot in the UK on rolling terrain, not necessarily the most physically and technically demanding that you can get and therefore one would say, rather more favourable to META TR 29 on paper.

What about in practice?
During the first uphill test, the META TR 29 climbed in 3 minutes 12 seconds, while the META AM 29 rolled in at 3 minutes 19 seconds, a difference of 7 seconds on a climb!
For the second trail loop test, there was a mix of uphill, downhill and jumps throughout the course. With a time of 1 minute 43 seconds, the META TR 29 was once again faster than the META AM 29 by 2 seconds, demonstrating the versatility and pedalling qualities of the META TR 29 once again.

For the third and final stage, the two METAs went head-to-head on a single downhill track. Rolling, not too technical and featuring several jumps, it was the META AM 29 which was quickest! With 1 minute 9 seconds on the clock, the reporter completed the descent 3 seconds quicker than behind the bars of the META TR 29. This last test and these times clearly demonstrate the different reasons for which the META AM 29 and META TR 29 are designed. But what about the CLASH?

“If you want a big hitting, capable and versatile bike, but you’re all about ripping rather than racing, you definitely want to be considering a bike park shredder over an enduro race bike. (…) This bike does it all: enduro, downhill, bike parks, chilled rides and even riding some technical trails with ease. Unlike the other two bikes being 29ers, this is 27.5 and this thing is a beast!”

What’s the verdict?

“The trail bike is perfect for long, epic adventures where trails are mellow, flat. You need to gain your speed, you can pedal. You’ve got a lot of climbs, they’re great in the climbs. And when it comes to gnarly trails, these things are capable. I can go down some gnarly rough stuff and not worry about being ‘underbiked’. The META AM 29, when it comes to gnarly Alpine trails, this thing is super capable. For big long descents (…) this bike can take a hell of a lot! But tell you what… that CLASH is unreal!”