Specialized’s Enduros were some of the ﬁrst ‘all-mountain’ all-rounders and the latest version is still a very capable terrain-tamer for those who want friendly rather than feisty.
Ride & Handling: Relaxed, confident and reasonably lively
The immediate feel of the Enduro is totally conﬁdence-inspiring. With the ProPedal lever in the open position, the long, medium tune shock settles easily into its travel, with the short stem, wide bars and long front end giving an immediately commanding and stable position.
The big RockShox Lyrik fork and Fox rear shock are impressive too, requiring only a quick basic set-up to deliver a balanced, high control ride that hoovers up small stuff as well as handling the big hits ﬁne.
Typically for Specialized the rear end is tucked right in underneath too, so once it’s turning, it whips round quickly, making it easy to hurry the hindquarters through stuff even faster with a ﬂick or skim of rear brake. The low bottom bracket gives it plenty of stability through faster turns and the double ring chainset means ground clearance isn’t too much of an issue on pedally technical trails either.
You’ll need to ﬂick the ProPedal on to get a ﬁrmer pedal feel but light wheels and a reasonably low complete weight for such a big-looking bike means it accelerates and climbs OK.
The lightweight wheels and ﬂex from the quick-release back end do undermine it once you start piling the pressure on though. The back end starts to squat and twist rather than rail round and the tyres are more likely to slide than stick once you start really pushing through your feet. It’s all perfectly controllable and never feels overly nervous, but it’s deﬁnitely a warning not to get too wild. Switch the wheels though, and there’s deﬁnitely more ﬁght in the frame.
Frame & Equipment: Big fork and long shock to suck up the big stuff
The Enduro chassis is well proven. The tapered head tube is backed up with a long shared seam between the curving main tubes. The sloped top tube has a thick seat tube support strut and broad shock mount tube to form an X across the centre of the frame.
A neat curved clamp shock mount and U-shaped kicker linkage links everything together to the chunky tubed, FSR pivot rear end. Machined pivot caps and a rubber-wrapped chainstay keep everything looking neat and there’s room for a bottle and mounts for a dropper post cable.
You’ll need to trim the supplied post to get it low and clearance is tight even with 2.2in tyres. The rear end uses a QR skewer rather than a screw-through axle too.
The rebound adjustable solo air Lyrik fork is relatively simple but works ﬁne and the adjustable 55mm stem and 711mm bars are ideally proportioned for control. The big brake rotors give plenty of stopping power too.
The double ring chainset reduces clearance issues while still giving a useful 18-gear range and the Gamut chain device works OK if well set up. The light DT rimmed wheels are pretty twangy when you’re pushing hard. There’s plenty of volume in the similarly light Specialized tyre twinset though, so punishment survival stats are surprisingly good.
This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine.