You cannot fail to have seen Joe Barnes hilarious exploits as one of the Dudes of Hazzard, a Fort William based group of scamps who have been shredding round Europe on their bikes, long road-trips filled with stunts, mini-bikes, assorted animals and claiming race podiums.

Over the last few years Joe has made a big impression on the DH circuit, and his passion for trail bikes led to an obvious move to the rapidly growing enduro racing scene.  Early this year he announced a surprising move to the new Canyon factory racing team, we are still waiting to see who else will be joining him but it already looks to be a very strong team.  Over the last few months Joe has been sunning himself on some dusty trails, so we thought it was time to catch up and see how he is getting on with his new Canyon Strive.



 2013 will be a Fresh start for Enduro racing, and for Joe too on his new Canyon Strive.  

Enduro: Hey Joe! You seem to be hitting up a fair few warm locations this winter, cannon-balling pools in Tenerife and now sunning it up in Majorca, is this official training or are you just staying clear of the snow?

JB: Yeah, I have been on a couple of trips this winter. A bit of both really, Tenerife has a massive mountain and some great trails on it. We hired a small van and took it in turns doing shuttle runs. I have never done so much riding in 1 week! Good times. And then off to Majorca for some exploring on the bikes with my girlfriend Fiona. Not specific training trips but I arrived home from both knackered. A break from the Scottish winter is always good but its nice to be home and ride some classic mud.

Enduro: The whole enduro field seems to be professionalising rapidly, are you working with a trainer this winter?

JB: I am working with Alan Milway on my programme. I am doing more specific work on the turby, but still getting out to ride some brown most other days.


With the first round of the new Enduro World Series in May, winter is the perfect time to get fit and strong!

Enduro: How are you keeping your fitness up, is it lonely miles on a road bike or blasting about on the strive with the boys?

JB: A mixture of turby, gym and riding with the boys really. The weather has stopped a regular ride happening midweek but that will soon get going and then the weekends are always for riding with the baeys.

Enduro: There seems to be a lot of factory teams forming up at the moment and lots of ex pro DH’ers moving to Enduro, it is going to be crowded at the sharp end this year! How does it feel to be racing with so many big names?

JB: I am not sure really. I haven’t really thought about it. Just riding my own race. I think it is more competitive than many think already and you can’t simply just switch over and do well.

Enduro: You have spent a long time throwing fives around, how are you getting on with the new Strive?

JB: Really well. Its a good size, weight and the suspension works really well. Ticks all the boxes for me.

Enduro: The Strives still a single pivot, though this time linkage driven, but size for size it’s a little slacker, longer and taller that the five, have you had to adjust your riding style to the new geometry?

JB: I used to run the five slightly adjusted anyway so the Strive fits really well as it is. It is perfect for the bigger tracks and races in Europe with its 160mm travel. I am building up the Nerve CF as a UK enduro bike so this will be the other side of the 5 and provide a lighter stiffer bike.


Joe seems real happy with his new bike, ready to race out of the box

Enduro: The hot topic right now is wheel sizes, are you going to be running the 650B’s this year?

JB:  Not this year. I will be doing some testing and seeing how things go and at some point in the future I might make the jump. For the time being I am very happy on 26″ and the set up with tyres and bikes that I am used to riding.

Enduro: Any changes to the stock bike? Angle sets etc?

JB: The strive frame I will be racing is fully stock. I went into it thinking I would play about with angles but after riding it, decided it is great out the box.

Enduro: What’s your racing focus for 2013, are you still going to be hitting events like the Megavalanche and Mountain of Hell, or will you be focussing on the EWS and SuperEnduros?

JB: I have got a busy year ahead. I will be racing the full EWS and also slotting in races like the Mega and MTOH. Some racing in Scotland and the Trans Provence.

Enduro: Now you are with Canyon, does that mean the end of the landship / mini bike missions or can fans expect more shenanigans from the Dudes?

JB: Things won’t change, the landship is still the preferred way to get about a there will always be a need for a jumbo pipe to be used for the air-conditioning. Yeah we have got loads of plans for the year and can’t wait for the first mission to Italy and some scooter driving round Lake Garda.

Enduro: So with three Dudes of Hazzard riding Canyons, will you be introducing Ines Thoma and Marco Bühler to bridge jumps, rope swings and pony riding?

JB: I am sure they will get involved. The “Dudes” come along with all the boys so the Canyon pits might become team Fort William if they aren’t careful. Pony’s in the pits maybe not but I am sure we can get them to Jump off the van roof. It should be a fun summer.

Enduro:  Any good racing advice for aspiring enduro racers out there?

JB: Ride your bike as much and possible and try to build trails that test you. Its this time on the bike and ability to get out of sticky situations that makes you learn fast and ride the unknown.

Enduro: Nice one Joe! best of luck for 2013!

More info

Canyon Bikes website

To see Joe shredding some Tenerife trails on the Strive, check here

Interview: Trev Worsey

Photos: The Dudes of Hazzard

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