Specialized have had a stranglehold on the mountain bike market for many years now, and for good reason – they make good bikes that cater for every type of rider. The 2013 line-up looks massively impressive and will no doubt further cement their credentials as one of the big names in the MTB world.
Having been in the bike business since 1974, Specialized understand the impact bikes can have on individuals. “Cycling changes lives,” said founder Mike Sinyard. He went on to say that “any ideas of how you can expand on what you can do with a bicycle let’s more people into the sport”. This statement couldn’t be more appropriate for Specialized’s Enduro range. Built to tackle the ultimate in mountain biking, the Enduro gets the full overhaul for 2013.
The idea behind the bike is simple – based on the successful Enduro platform from 2012, the latest incarnation is designed to “climb higher and descend further”.
Visually, the frame remains roughly the same, using the X-Wing design, short 419mm chainstays, a 350mm bottom bracket height and suitably slack 66.5-degree head angle. There’s still the tapered head tube, ISCG 05 mounts and a 142x12mm rear axle, plus a new PF30 BB.
Most significant, though, are the changes to the FSR layout and tweaks to the suspension kinematics. These have created a bike that’s more responsive when you hammer the pedals, and get rid of the wallow previous versions of the Enduro could suffer from. Specialized see gravity enduro-style racing gathering momentum, which is what’s helped push the development of a more efficient system.
The shock mount configuration is now similar to that of the Stumpjumper FSR, using the shock block that mounts directly to the base of the shock at the lower mount. This means the shock pivots on cartridge bearings rather than DU bushes, making it more sensitive to movement and more durable.
Travel wise, the bike is still designed around a 160mm travel fork but now boasts 165mm of rear wheel travel.
Other changes include a shorter head tube, new graphics and internal routing to accept a dropper post. The rest of the geometry stays the same.
Other than the S-Works, the Enduros receive the AutoSag shock setup system.
Enduro S-Works highlights
Specialized’s top-flight, FACT IS-X 11M carbon front triangle is paired with an M5 aluminium rear end on the S-Works Enduro. It comes shod with some of the finest equipment ever to have graced the mountain bike world. This includes:
– A Cane Creek Double Barrel air shock, which offers masses of adjustment.
– New Roval Traverse SL carbon all-mountain wheelset (more on this later).
– Custom Avid X0 Trail brakes featuring new four-piston callipers.
– Fox 34 TALAS CTD fork with Kashima-coated stanchions and 160mm of travel.
– Specialized Command Post BlackLite dropper post.
– SRAM XX1 11-speed transmission featuring the all new 1x11 setup. This uses a 10-42T cassette and single 34T chainring with a 32T ring included should you wish to mix things up a little.
Specialized claim the S-Works Enduro weighs in at an amazing 25.9lb (11.7kg).
A price on the S-Works is still to be confirmed. Availability-wise, we should see every Enduro model other than the S-Works (due to the wait on the SRAM XX1 transmission) in the shops around October.
Specialized are firm believers in the 29in wheel movement. So much so that certain 2013 lines will only feature 29er wheels, the Camber being one of them.
They’ve gone to great lengths to provide 29ers that will suit riders all of all sizes, tweaking geometry along with considering how they spec each bike and each size of bike to produce the ultimate fit. It’s looking at this ‘complete package’ that drives the company’s ‘29ers for all’ ethos.
The Camber Pro and Expert Carbon will also benefit from the Fox Shox weight reduction on the 32 fork. Both models will offer thus improved, custom, 110mm travel fork.
Camber M5 aluminium frames
For 2013, the Camber range expands to include new alloy models sculpted from Specialized’s highest grade M5 aluminium, with greatly improved, 29er specific geometry. These new models are known as the Base (the entry-level bike) and the Comp.
Key to the Camber’s new M5 frame is the improved standover height. By shadowing the carbon counterparts’ blueprint, Specialized can ensure that the new M5 frame offers a 23mm lower top tube on the small frame. A large drops by 26mm compared to the older, alloy framed Cambers.
The top tube is lower on the M5 aluminium frame of the Camber
Interestingly, in order to create this reduction in standover height, the front triangle had to be compacted and a shorter head tube used. On the small frame, this caused a specific issue, which is why a special rubber fork crown stop has been integrated into the down tube to prevent the fork crown impacting and damaging the tubing should the bars spin in a crash.
Again, on the small frame, the lower standover also helps reduce weight by creating a smaller head tube/seat tube/down tube, requiring a smaller weld and reduced tube butting without impacting on strength.
Out back, there’s 110mm of rear wheel travel, all controlled via either a Fox or RockShox AutoSag equipped shock and driven by the new concentric link. Specialized claim the new concentric link helps reduce frame weight yet increase stiffness.
Pivots are now better sealed, to keep things smoother for longer and easier to maintain.
Camber Comp 29 highlights
The Camber Comp features the newly improved M5 aluminium frame and includes the following spec highlights:
– M5 hydroformed tubing with 29er specific geometry, a tapered head tube, dropper post routing, 142x12mm rear dropouts, a PF30 BB and 110mm of rear wheel travel.
– Custom RockShox Monarch RL with AutoSag.
– Specialized Ground Control 2Bliss Ready tyres.
– Custom SRAM S1250 2x10 chainset with bash ring.
The claimed weight for the Comp is 28.1lb (12.7kg).
The Cambers should be available in August, and the likes of the Comp will set you back £2,000.
We’ve covered the 2013 Demo already, but this beast is always worth a mention.
Specialized have said the latest carbon incarnation of the bike is lighter, stronger and the “raddest complete race bike” – so a lot to live up to, then.
While the Team Replica receives the rather custom 135mm rear axle spacing and 7-speed cassette, the Carbon Demo 8 I will stick with the more standard 150mm spacing but feature all the same geometry as the S-Works.
S-Works Carbon Demo 8 Team Replica highlights
With only 250 of these special bikes in the pipeline, it’s no wonder they come with the best of the best aboard. This includes:
– New FACT 11M carbon front triangle with M5 rear end and 200mm of rear wheel travel.
– The unique FSR with sub seatstay design allowing for ultimate kinematic suspension tuning.
– Beefed-up down tube in critical areas to protect against rock strikes, as well as an aerospace polymer down tube protector.
– Reworked drivetrain to improve clearance. This includes Specialized’s micro drive system, which uses the 32T chainring and a 7-speed rear cassette. The cassette features a 9T sprocket, so requires a custom DT Swiss freehub body.
– New 135mm rear axle spacing to improve heel clearance.
– RockShox Boxxer World Cup with BlackBox Black Gold stanchions and 200mm of travel.
– A RockShox Vivid shock that’s likely to be upgraded to the custom shock Sam Hill is running.
– SRAM X0 DH transmission and brakes.
– Specialized Sip Grip – half waffle, aramid infused custom grip.
The Team Replica version of the Carbon Demo 8
The claimed weight for the S-Works Carbon Demo 8 Team Replica is 35.8lb (16.2kg).
If you’re looking to buy one of the 250 full builds it will likely set you back in the region of £9,000. Fear not, though – it will be available as a frame-only for £3,500.
The Epic line-up is also set to go 29er only for 2013. The big news here, though, is the introduction of the Marathon model, which should help span the gap between the S-Works and Expert Epics.
Epic Marathon highlights
Here’s what stood out for us:
– New graphics on the carbon frame help to reduce weight by a claimed 90g.
– Carbon seatstays and M5 aluminium chainstays.
– Due to numerous consistency issues with Avid brakes, there’s been a switch to the Magura MT brakes for many Specialized bikes in 2013. The Marathon uses the MT6 brakes.
– SRAM X0 10-speed Grip Shift.
– Fox Brain rear shock and RockShox Brain fork.
The Epic Marathon will cost £5,000.
Another of the range to go 29er only for 2013. And, as with the Epic, a Marathon model is being introduced to bridge the gap between the S-Works and Expert models. The Marathon model looks set to cost £3,800.
The new Marathon version of the Specialized Stumpjumper hardtail
All Stumpjumper hardtails will now use Magura brakes, and there’s a Chisel fork (a carbon, rigid suspension corrected fork) on the Stumpjumper Expert EVO R. This also features 1x10 gearing.
The Stumpjumper FSR goes largely unchanged for 2013 in terms of design and geometry. A full carbon model has been introduced, as well as the new Comp EVO, which comes in at a reasonable £2,000 considering the package on offer.
The Comp EVO version of the Stumpjumper FSR, new for 2013
Both the standard FSR and EVO models will be available with 26in and 29in wheels.
The guys at Specialized are firm believers in introducing new riders to mountain biking, and the Carve is a great example of their commitment to entry-level riders. It’s also another bike to go 29er only for 2013.
Specialized were also adamant that improvements needed to be made to enable this well-priced bike to be raced if the riders wanted to. To do this, Specialized focused on making the bike lighter and improving its control.
This was done by introducing a new, lighter wheelset that uses a new rim extrusion. They also upgraded the fork – the entire range only uses air-sprung forks, to improve tenability and increase travel to 100mm compared to the previous 80mm. Head tube height has been decreased, though. On top of all this, the drivetrain has had a seeing to and now offers a custom SRAM 2x10 chainset with 29er specific gearing.
To help improve concerning, Specialized raised the BB a smidge over the previous version.
Carve Comp highlights
This competitive entry-level beast has plenty on offer for those keen to get into mountain biking:
– The M4 alloy frame has cross-country specific geometry and is fully butted and uses smooth welds. There’s a tapered head tube and forged post-mount rear disc mount.
– RockShox Recon Gold TK SA solo air 29 SL fork with 100mm of travel and a PushLoc remote lockout lever.
– Avid Elixir 1 brakes.
– Custom SRAM S1250 2x10 chainset.
Specialized claim they’ve knocked 3.6lb off the Carve Comp, which will cost £1,200.
When it comes to other significant news across Specialized’s 2013 range, it’s worth noting that both the Rockhopper and Hardrock will soon only be available with 29in wheels.
The 650b question…
As for going over to the much-hyped new wheel size of 650b (27.5in), Specialized openly said that they were reluctant to make the switch while there’s limited size-specific equipment available (forks, wheels, tyres, and so on) to let them do what they want.
On top of that, they also remarked on the minimal difference you get jumping from 26in to 650b wheels compared to going from 26in to 29in wheels.
Although there are no 650b machines for 2013, Specialized were quick to point out they wouldn’t rule it out in the future.