Specialized Enduro becomes slacker, gets Boost and 1x

Popular model gets 2017 refresh in a bid to make it the ultimate do-it-all big hitter

The Enduro has been around for a staggering 17 years, having first rolled into shops way back in 1999. Though much has changed with the bike itself, its intentions and Specialized’s end goal remain pretty much the same. That continues for the 2017 models, though with some important changes.

The goal of the Specialized Enduro is to be “as big a bike as possible that I can still get to the top of the hill on”. So says Sam Benedict, Specialized Brand Manager, while introducing the latest 2017 Enduro. We made our way up to the Sunshine Coast, British Columbia to find out just how the latest incarnation of this popular bike has changed for next year.

Specialized Enduro: updated design and geometry

There are four models in the Enduro line up, including the Enduro Pro Carbon which comes, the only other bike aside from the S-Works to use the Ohlins STX rear shock
There are four models in the Enduro line up, including the Enduro Pro Carbon which comes, the only other bike aside from the S-Works to use the Ohlins STX rear shock

Although the new Enduro’s silhouette may look similar to that of the old bike, a lot has changed for 2017. While the X-Wing frame design and FSR rear suspension platform remain (albeit tweaked slightly here and there), look a little closer and it doesn’t take long to spot a number of significant differences. 

The seat stays are now bulked up and bridgeless for more tyre clearance and increased compatibility, the amount of travel on offer has increased for both the 29in and 650b wheeled offerings (the 29er now pumps out 165mm at the rear and 160mm up front while the 650b bike gets 170mm of travel at the front and rear), the suspension tune has been tweaked, geometry has been adjusted across the board too in a bid to better the handling, and there are now even more wheel/tyre options than ever before. It’s also their first totally dedicated single-chainring-only bike.

Let’s get into more detail now though. With a big focus on handling, Specialized were keen to update the Enduro’s geometry. The popular ‘longer, lower and slacker’ mantra was applied wherever possible, across the board, stretching and slackening the new bikes out by quite a bit in certain areas. 

Clean lines, internal cable routing and the Ohlins STX shock help to add appeal to Specialized's latest Enduro offering
Clean lines, internal cable routing and the Ohlins STX shock help to add appeal to Specialized's latest Enduro offering

If we look at the Enduro 29 in size medium for example, the head angle has been raked out by 1.5 degrees and now sits at a slack 66 degrees. Its reach has increased to 430mm, the seat angle gets steepened to 76.5 degrees and the chainstay grows ever so slightly to 432mm. Bottom bracket height with the 29x2.3in tyre remains roughly the same at 352mm.

It’s a similar story with the 650b version too, which also sees its reach increase (430mm on the medium) but this time around, the head angle remains the same at 65.5 degrees. Specialized have steepened the seat tube angle to 76 degrees in a bid to improve pedalling and climbing efficiency and the chainstay grows to 425mm. 

Unlike the 29er, the 650b frame does see the bottom bracket drop from 351mm to 345mm with the standard 2.3in tyres in place.

Boost axle spacing and plenty of tyre compatibility

The huge 2.6in Butcher tyre adds comfort and traction but will only be available on the 650b model sold in the USA
The huge 2.6in Butcher tyre adds comfort and traction but will only be available on the 650b model sold in the USA

Like most new bikes we’re seeing of late, the Enduro gets Boost axle spacing (15x110mm front, 12x148mm rear) at both the front and rear, improving tyre clearances and increasing stiffness. This also means for the 29in wheeled bike, you can now very easily slot plus wheels in place without having to change a thing, and it adds to the buying options when you’re on the shop floor (though it’ll only ship to the UK with 29in wheels as standard). 

Switching between the wheel/tyre sizes drops the bottom bracket to 345mm if using 3in tyres, or a slammed 339mm with the 2.8in tyres in place.

In terms of tyre compatibility then, while the Enduro 29/6Fattie will happily except tyres up to 29x2.5in and 27.5x3in, it’s the Enduro 650b that will draw a lot of attention, accepting tyres as wide as 2.6in, which is an option for those of you living in the US. Due to clearances at the fork arch though, it’ll not be available in Europe. With the 2.6in tyres in place, the 650b’s bottom bracket climbs to 350mm.

Specialized Enduro gets SWAT… and threaded bottom brackets

Just like the latest version of the Stumpjumper, the Enduro now gets the full SWAT downtube storage in all models that use a carbon front triangle
Just like the latest version of the Stumpjumper, the Enduro now gets the full SWAT downtube storage in all models that use a carbon front triangle

Additional updates to the Enduro frame include the SWAT (Storage, Water, Air and Tools) trap door located under the bottle cage on the downtube. This will happily stow a tube, thin jacket or food. 

In a bid to improve durability and make the Enduro easier to work on, Specialized decided to move away from press fit bottom brackets, and many will be pleased to see a standard, threaded bottom bracket in the 73mm shell.

All sealed pivot bearings are the same size throughout, and thanks to the revised, burlier links, are bigger too in a bid to make servicing that bit easier as well as to withstand the high loads and heavy demands on them. 

Specialized revised the cable routing and have also moved away from press fit bottom brackets in favour of easier to install threaded numbers
Specialized revised the cable routing and have also moved away from press fit bottom brackets in favour of easier to install threaded numbers

If you weren’t a fan of the previous cable routing on the Enduro, Specialized have tweaked that too, and gone are the cables looping low under the bottom bracket shell. The alterations mean the cable now exits the downtube, sitting just above the bottom bracket before entering the chain stay for a far cleaner look and better protection against damage. 

Finally, no matter which of the four Enduro models you go for, it’s worth knowing that all bikes are 1x only. All models get the Specialized IRcc dropper posts, they all use SRAM’s Guide brakes (obviously models vary throughout the range), all rotors are 200mm up front and 180mm at the rear, and all tyres (which include the Butcher on the front and semi-slick Slaughter on the back) use the tough Grid casing to withstand the abuse likely to be unleashed on such a bike. 

Specialised Enduro 2017 range

The new Specialized S-Works Enduro 29/6Fattie has had a proper overhaul for 2017 and is now longer, lower and slacker than before, while travel gets bumped up to 165mm on the 29er and 170mm on the 650b models
The new Specialized S-Works Enduro 29/6Fattie has had a proper overhaul for 2017 and is now longer, lower and slacker than before, while travel gets bumped up to 165mm on the 29er and 170mm on the 650b models

There are four different models available, each of which is offered in 29/6Fattie or 650b. These include the S-Works, Pro Carbon, Elite Carbon (which uses an alloy rear triangle) and the Comp, which is the only full alloy bike in the Enduro line up. Those in the USA also get the choice between the regular 650b bike or the 650b bike with 2.6in tyres.

Spec highlights on the top-flight S-Works Enduro 29/6Fattie include the Ohlins RXF36 fork (the 650b version uses the RockShox Lyrik RCT3), Ohlins STX rear shock, SRAM Guide RS Carbon brakes, SRAM XX1 Eagle 1x12 transmission and the Roval Traverse SL carbon wheels. 

Specialized Enduro 2017 pricing

US

  • Comp Alloy – $3,000
  • Elite Carbon – $4,400
  • Pro Carbon – $6,500
  • S-Works Carbon – $8,500
  • S-Works Frame – $3,500

UK

  • Comp Alloy – £2,600
  • Elite Carbon – £3,700
  • Pro Carbon – £5,200
  • S-Works Carbon – £6,600
  • S-Works Frame – £2,800

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Related Articles

Back to top