Updated: 18th December 2017
The Specialized Enduro is the benchmark for hard-hitting mountain bikes that you can ride uphill and down all-day-long. The 2018 Enduro features subtle changes to the frame geometry that give the bike a thoroughly modern feel and make it more capable than ever on the most challenging trails. Climbing ability remains efficient, though it is on the descents that the Enduro truly shines. This is a true trail destroyer.
The 2018 Specialized Enduro range we review here is available with both 27.5” (650b) and 29” wheels and with either a carbon (S-Works, Pro & Elite) or an aluminium frame (Comp). While the Enduro 29er is supplied with 29” wheels it has also been optimized for use with 6fattie (27.5+) wheels with tyre widths up to 3.0”. Tyre size has been increased on the 650b Enduro so you can benefit from the of the new breed of wide rubber. New for 2018, a flip chip allows you change the geometry to better match your riding style. Each Specialized Enduro model features a very capable component spec for all-day-riding over challenging terrain.
The Specialized Enduro has been given some subtle geometry changes for 2018, with the reach being slightly longer and the bottom bracket slightly lower on all frame sizes. The head angle remains the same (65.5 degrees on the 650b and 66 degrees on the 29er), but a flip chip in the shock allows you to slacken the head angle by half a degree and drop the bottom bracket by 8mm. This gives the Enduro even more stable handling over the rough with confident cornering abilities. Short chainstays keep things nimble in the tight.
Both the 650b and 29” Specialized Enduro MTBs are available in four different models. The top of the line S-Works and Pro Carbon models get a full carbon frame built from Specialized’s highest quality FACT 11m carbon fibre. The Elite Carbon features a carbon fibre front triangle made from slightly less exotic FACT 9m carbon combined with an alloy rear end, while the Comp features a full M5 aluminium alloy frame.
All Enduro models feature oversized pivot bearings for improved handling characteristics as well as reliability. The cables run internally through independently moulded tubes, while a threaded bottom bracket reduces creaks. This all helps to make servicing a breeze. As with last years model, the SWAT Door downtube storage system on the Carbon bikes allows you to store more of your ride essentials on the bike to reduce the weight of your backpack.
The faster you go, the louder this bike sings - Wideopen Magazine
The FSR rear suspension platform gives you fully active rear suspension performance that keeps on soaking up the hits on the trail even while you are pedalling and braking.
The 650b Specialized Enduro features 170mm of suspension travel front and rear while the 29er gives you 160mm on the front and 165mm on the rear. Combined with the dialled geometry, this enables you to take on the most challenging descents with confidence.
There is a choice of two different rear shocks on the Enduro. The S-Works and the Pro both feature the new Öhlins STX, which offers Pro level ride quality with easy damping setup, while the other models get the capable performance of the RockShox Monarch Plus. Up front all the Enduro Carbon models feature the much sought after Öhlins RXF 36 fork, which is ideal for hard-charging on challenging terrain. The Enduro Comp features the RockShox Yari fork which delivers all the stiffness you need for confident control on gnarly tracks, but is less adjustable than the Öhlins.
SRAM ‘one by’ groupsets offer the very best drivetrain options for aggressive trail riding, so it is no surprise to find them spec’d on all of the new Enduros.
Ideal for hard charging trail and enduro mountain bike riding, each model features a SRAM ‘one by’ drivetrain that combines a very wide range of gears with the excellent chain security you need when riding rough trails. The S-Works and the Pro Carbon bikes both feature the SRAM Eagle 12 speed drivetrain, with a massive 500% gear range, while the Comp and the Elite Carbon are 11 speed. You get the confident stopping power of SRAM brakes, with 200mm/180mm front/rear rotors, on all models. For 2018 the Carbon Enduros all get the more powerful stopping offered by SRAM Code levers and calipers.
The 800mm wide handlebars give you confident handling in technical terrain while the Command dropper post allows you to make the most of every trail section. The S-Works and Pro models get the new WU Command Post, which alters the seat angle in the lower settings making it easier to move around on the bike on steep descents.
With such a variety of wheel and tyre sizes now available for mountain bikes, it is great to see that the Enduro is ready for all eventualities. Boost hub spacing on the front and rear of all models allow you to fit wide tyres - anything up to 2.8” on the 650b Enduro. The 29er is even more versatile and allows you to run either regular 29er wheels or 27.5+ (6fattie) wheels with up to 3.0” wide tyres. The 650b Enduros are all fitted with the new 2.6” Butcher tyres for more cornering grip.
The Roval Traverse wheels on each Specialized Enduro feature wide rims that offer great support for the tyres. This is especially significant when running the lower pressures that provide the most grip. You get carbon rims on the S-Works and Pro bikes with high-quality alloy rims on the other models. The build quality is superb with super-skinny DT Swiss Revolution spokes on all the Carbon models. All Roval Traverse wheels are ready for easy tubeless conversion.
Stiff strong and lightweight, the Roval Traverse wheels are an understated highlight on every Specialized Enduro.
From enduro mountain bike racing to epic adventures, the Specialized Enduro is a mountain bike that excels on technically challenging trails, but is lightweight enough to ride all-day-long. The 170mm or 160/165mm of suspension travel, combined with dialled geometry mean that the Enduro is capable of taking on even the most demanding enduro race stages as well as downhill tracks. Add to this the pedalling efficiency and climbing prowess of a trail bike and you have an ultra-capable MTB that you can ride pretty much anywhere. The different wheel size options allow you to choose the character of your ride and experiment with different tyre widths for the optimum performance set up.
With Öhlins and RockShox suspension, SRAM groupsets and Roval Traverse wheels, each and every model in the range features a very capable component spec that is perfect for riding challenging terrain. As you move up through the range the bikes get lighter and slicker while maintaining and improving the Enduro's great performance characteristics.
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