Enduro Bike Test | Haulage

Mountain Biking Magazine


Trail and Enduro Bikes

Enduro Bike Test | Haulage



A vanguard of rule breaking for a decade or so the Enduro continues to boss the direction of everything that goes here there and everywhere, a bike of adventure, of racing, an apparatus of limitless gymnastics… and fast. At 160/155mm the effect of the big wheels and solid chassis become amplified on the Enduro meaning this is a bike that goes looking for trouble like any other 160mm bike. But then it’s not really like ‘any other’ 150–160mm bike. All I can say is when considering the Enduro just remember it’s a LOT of bike. Size large is great up to six foot and extra large we found only just about right for six foot and upwards.


Bearing loads and expectation way above what is was originally designed for, the Enduro comes wearing a Cane Creek Double Barrel air and the leader of the pack a RockShox Pike Solo Air at 160mm to match the 155mm chassis. It is a simple system, but as good as the Pike is we’ve not been massively impressed with the air over the coil version of Cane Creek’s finest. Still it’s a good package, but with the RockShox Monarch rear shock the ride was far more engaging. The shorter eye to eye (213 compared to 216 on the CCDB) also enabled us to lower the bottom bracket a touch.


Weight distribution and handling is not as good as the Stumpy Evo 29 out of the box, and whilst the slightly shorter travel stablemate only really likes to dip its toe into trouble the Enduro needs deep–end tactics, it’s almost waving goodbye to its enduro tag so rugged, fast and charging is its character. Because the bottom bracket is slightly high cornering and steering could be improved and the lifeless lethargic CCDB really needs that Monarch Plus to energise the rear end to get popping off groundworks. In dry conditions the lack of soft compound 29 rubber is exacerbated because of it speed ability. The most solid bike on test by a distance.


Whilst the low bottom bracket and long chainstay’d Stumpy Evo has been a revelation, a game changer even, the Enduro for all its ‘king of the jungle’ muscle, travel and speed is not quite the finished article due to that damper and high bottom bracket. As mentioned, through no fault of its own it lacks sticky dry weather tyre options and a bigger harder rider will certainly be looking at the stronger Easton Haven carbon wheelset if the bike is truly to be used as it was meant to.


It’s a mix of SRAM XX1 delights with some of Specilaized’s own included (wheels, seatpost) and a bar/stem set–up that needs to be replaced with a wider/shorter option for heeling the big wheels over and as always to get the correct weight placement up front. We slotted in a Burgtec offset bushing up on the top mount and are now working on lowering the front with a flat bar and Syntace stem.


Enduro racing is more than trail riding, this really needs to be taken into consideration when looking at this bike. The scariest thing about it is that it can be improved when many have dubbed it the ultimate – that slightly high BB, the lifeless shock and the cable routing is on the messy side. Its current modus operandi in stock form is straight–line, yet the slight tweaks we made to it took it to another dimension. It will only get better. Sticky tyre availability will hopefully get better, those angles will get tuned–in, so much to do but so much to work with. Having said that, the bottom line, when all is considered and with the terrain and clock beckoning, and you have to make a call on bike choice (and there are many people in this position as the year awaits) this is where the force lies. This is a bike to be taken into battle to bulldoze, flow and carry speed. It’s a front–line bike without doubt. And you’ll struggle to out ride its potential.

FRAME Specialized S-Works Enduro
FORK RockShox Pike RCT3 Solo Air
SHOCK Custom Cane Creek Air
BRAKES/DISC Custom Avid XO Trail
BAR Specialized XC 750mm
HEADSET Specialized
HUBS Roval Traverse
RIMS Roval Traverse
SEAT/POST Specialized Command
STEM Syntace F109
TYRES Specialized Butcher / Purgatory 2.3″ 60 TPI

Specialized S–Works Enduro Carbon 29 Frame only £3000

Specialized Expert Carbon Complete £4600



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