The Specialized Enduro is a very long-running name in the pantheon of classic models from the Other Bike S. The Enduro has always been a pioneering model too – heralding longer travel than ever before, or innovative geometry and even custom shocks going way back to the first Fifth Element-equipped models. This was true with the current Enduro model (reviewed in the current issue of Singletrack as it happens) with its long-legged 29er moves – and this is even more true with the new, 2017 Specialized Enduro, as we shall see…
You’ll be pleased to hear that Specialized has definitely kept the innovation tap open on this model, while still keeping some of the bits that people like. The very distinctive X-frame remains, as does the long travel. Only now it’s even longer legged – and there are now two models.
Specialized Enduro 29/27.5+ AND a ‘regular’ 27.5in version
Rather than aim to do the same job for all wheel sizes using the same frame, Specialized is making TWO different Enduros. One will take 29er wheels up to a 2.5in tyre and 27.5Plus wheels up to a 2.8in. Then there’s ANOTHER version dedicated to 27.5in wheels that will take regular 27.5in wheels up to a 2.6in width.
All the travel
Travel: The 2016 Enduro raised eyebrows with its big travel AND big wheel combo. The 2017 version is due to raise them even further: The 27.5in version of the bike is designed for a 170mm fork with 170mm rear travel. The 29er (and 27Plus) model will come with a whopping 160mm fork and 165mm rear travel.
Let’s get to the numbers. The two versions have slightly different numbers, but all of them are pretty impressive and very ‘on trend’
Head angles: The 27.5in version has 65.6° head angle, the 29er/Plus model has 66°. Bottom bracket heights are as follows: 27.5in x 2.3in: 345mm | 29 x 2.3in: 352mm. 27.5in x 2.6″: 350mm | 27.5in x 3.0in: 345mm. 27.5in x 2.8″: 339mm
Chainstays are also quoted as being very short with 425mm for the 27.5in version and 432mm for the 29er/Plus bike. As you might expect, the bike will only run a one-by transmission.
Specialized has a long history of developing its own forks and shocks with other suspension companies and the new Enduro is no different, with Ohlins providing the rear shock (and in some cases the fork). Specialized’s simple ‘Auto-sag’ feature is seen here to make setup easy and the shock is designed to make setting it up badly a hard thing to do.
While we’re looking at the details, the frame has a SWAT hinged door in the downtube, with full, enclosed internal cable routing for neatness and ease of installation of cables and hoses. There are oversized bearings everywhere that are all the same size (yay!) and, wait for it: there’s a threaded bottom bracket shell!
And finally, here’s a look at the geometry chart (taken from the press release, sorry about the greenness…). There will also be new trail/enduro helmets and shoes coming, but we think you’ve see enough for one morning – we’ll bring you those later.
What do you reckon? Just the bike for you? Or a world gone mad in the pursuit of longer travel and bigger grins?