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.
- Best mountain bike: the ultimate buyer’s guide
- Best enduro bike: 9 we recommend
- Beginner’s guide to enduro racing
Specialized Enduro: updated design and geometry
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.
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
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 29×2.5in 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
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.
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
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 1×12 transmission and the Roval Traverse SL carbon wheels.
Specialized Enduro 2017 pricing
- Comp Alloy – $3,000
- Elite Carbon – $4,400
- Pro Carbon – $6,500
- S-Works Carbon – $8,500
- S-Works Frame – $3,500
- Comp Alloy – £2,600
- Elite Carbon – £3,700
- Pro Carbon – £5,200
- S-Works Carbon – £6,600
- S-Works Frame – £2,800