Earlier this year Specialized rolled out several of its tyres in 27.5in (650b) sizes, shortly thereafter it introduced several Stumpjumper FSR models to match. Now the company will offer its aptly named Enduro in models with 29 and 27.7in wheels. Sadly, the 26in Enduro will be discontinued for 2015.
The 650b frame includes a new alloy rear end with slightly longer 422mm chainstays than the 26in version offered previously, Specialized’s 142+ rear axle spacing (this steps out the hub flanges and pushes the cassette out a further 2mm) to improve stiffness, a slack 65.5-degree head angle and 351mm bottom bracket height.
Check out more of our Specialized 2015 coverage.
The revised Enduro 650b sports an alloy rear end with slightly longer 422mm chainstays – but the same front triangle as the 26in wheeled version
Little has changed in terms of the FACT 11m IS-X carbon ‘X-Wing’ style front triangle, which Specialized openly admits is simply taken from the 26in wheeled Enduro. Specialized claims this is in no way a compromise, and that the 26in front end provides the geometry that works best.
The S-Works, Expert Carbon and Elite versions of the Enduro all feature the new, custom Cane Creek Double Barrel Inline shock, which controls the 165mm (6.5in) of rear wheel travel. Up front will sit either a custom RockShox Pike RC or the RCT3 fork with 160mm (6.3in) of travel.
The higher spec model Enduros receive a custom Cane Creek Double Barrel Air Inline shock
In a small but significant detail, Specialized’s Command Post IR dropper gets an all new remote lever which is far easier to use. The new SLR (Single Ring Lever) is shaped like a shifter paddles and is designed to sit under your bar, in place of a front shifter.
The top S-Works Enduro receives SRAM’s XX1 11-speed transmission, the Expert Carbon model gets the X01 transmission and the aluminium Enduro Elite gets SRAM’s X1 transmission. The Comp is the only 10-speed model, with a single ring mounted on SRAM’s X1 crank and using an X9 transmission.
Every Enduro will get the new Roval Traverse Fattie wheels, but the S-Works is treated to the stiffer carbon SL model for good measure. All bikes also receive Specialized's newly revised Henge saddle, which – it's claimed – is comfier than ever, available in either 143mm or 155mm widths.
Specialized has redesigned its popular Henge saddle to improve comfort and durability
Pricing for the Enduro range is as follows:
- S-Works complete bike: £7,000
- S-Works frames: £3,000
- Expert bike: £4,600
- Comp Bike: £3,600
Although we’d need to ride the 650b Enduro on familiar trails to provide you with accurate feedback, a couple of things really stood out about the S-Works Enduro early on. The slack front end and supple suspension truly makes this feel like a small downhill machine. A mellow, smooth trail is not what this bike is about – steeper, rougher descents are where you start to reap the benefits of the Enduro and where it begins to shine. The proportions and shape of the bike feel good and stick you in a confident, trail attacking position.
We’ll have more for you as soon as we get some time on the bike back here in the UK.