Specialized don't do things by halves, and with the first generation Enduro frame they realised they'd made the bike just about everyone wanted. With 4in (100mm) of travel, the early versions were perfect for riders wanting to get the miles in, hit the long distance marathon-style events, or just thrash round the woods having fun, though they were deemed too cumbersome for out and out XC by some.
With the Specialized range segregated into more defined styles of riding, the Enduro is now better than ever, and is one of only a few mountain bikes that we can honestly say will do it all...
The Enduro Pro shares the same A1 tubing chassis as its other family members - the cheaper Expert, Elite, Enduro and SX Trail.
Featuring a nonadjustable 6in (152mm) of travel, the Enduro has adjustable geometry in the shape of interchangeable shock mounts - one comes fitted, and the other with the manual. This means you can have an XC friendly head angle and bottom bracket height for nimble handling, or a slacker, lower feel, which makes the bike stick better in the corners and feel more stable on the steep stuff. There's even a badge on the frame stating the geometry in both settings and, proudly, the fact that the frames are designed in the USA and made in Taiwan.
The Enduro Pro has the usual high quality build expected from Specialized, and all the usual FSR features - Horst link, interrupted seat tube design, dropped top tube for better clearance and enough morphing of tubes into various butts to make for a torsionally rigid, light and strong design that will handle everything that a 'do-it-all' biker can throw at it.
Costing 3K, the Enduro Pro is a bike you would expect to have a great spec - and it really is fantastic for the money; the only thing we would upgrade are personal preference grips and pedals - Specialized don't spec pedals, knowing that the customer buying the Pro would have a specific choice...
Rolling on excellent wheels - Specialized Enduro Dual Compound tyres with DT EX 5.10 rims, DT rear hub and Specialized bolt-through front hub, the Enduro is brought (ultra) quickly to a halt by Shimano XT brakes and 8in discs, and back to speed again by a well mixed drivetrain consisting of a Shimano LX front mech, SRAM X0 rear and SRAM X9 shifters, all propelled by an SRAM chain/Shimano cassette via a sturdy Truvativ Stylo chainset (fitted with twin rings and a bashguard, and also supplied with an outer ring. Nice touch).
The unbelievably good Fox 36 RC2 fork graces the front end while an equally impressive Fox DHX Air 5.0 slices it through the rough stuff.
Well thought out Specialized products finish it all off; a well designed saddle and post combo will offend no one, while a smooth looking stem bridges the perfect length between efficiency and control. But a few of our testers did wonder why such a flat, narrow bar with very little rake was fitted on a bike that would no doubt be ridden into the ground...
With such good looks, and a spec to match, we couldn't wait to hit the trails on board the Pro, and we weren't disappointed, although we did find we had to think more about what we wanted out of a bike. As standard, the Pro comes with the lower/slacker shock mount fitted; with this, it's not too hot on climbing - forcing your weight further back on the bike, the shock tends to bob (despite Pro Pedal settings), and the front wheel gets very light, but chogging along singletrack, flying downhill, sliding through turns and pretty much anywhere else, it rules. Fit a shorter stem, lower the seat and don some flat pedals for a rig more than capable of dicking around in the quarry and sessioning DH tracks.
Switch the shock mounts around though, and it becomes a little more XC friendly - climbing is improved and handling gets lighter, although being a 6in travel bike it's never going to be a whippet. Run the bike in this setting, with slightly harder suspension and some lighter tyres, and it'll scoff 24-hour events for breakfast.
Specialized have created a bike that's great at loads of things, but not so specialist at any one thing. It's perfect for the 'do-it-all' riders, and a damn sought-after bike over at MBUK Towers. We love the Enduro Pro - it's a truly fantastic bike.