Field Test: 2020 Specialized Enduro S-Works - Basically a DH Bike Without a Dual Crown Fork

Dec 19, 2019
by Mike Kazimer  


PINKBIKE FIELD TEST

Specialized Enduro S-Works



Words by Mike Kazimer, photography by Trevor Lyden



The venerable Enduro received a massive makeover for 2020, and the result is a bike that looks a whole lot like Specialized's Demo downhill race machine, minus the dual crown fork. All models of the Enduro have 29” wheels, 170mm of travel, and carbon frames.

The new Enduro still uses a Horst link design, with the chainstay pivot located below the rear axle, but the shock now sits lower in the frame and the main pivot location has been shifted. Those changes allowed Specialized's designers to increase the amount of anti-squat by 40%, and to add more end-stroke progression to prevent unwanted bottoming out on bigger hits.

Specialized Enduro S-Works Details

• Travel: 170mm rear / 170mm fork
• Carbon frame
• Wheel size: 29"
• Head Angle: 63.9 / 64.3°
• Seat Tube Angle: 76°
• Chainstay Length: 442mm
• Weight: 32.5 lb / 14.7 kg (Tested)
• Price: $9,750 USD
www.specialized.com

Along with the suspension changes, the Enduro borrowed a page from the Stumpjumper EVO's book, and now has a 63.9 or 64.3-degree head angle, a 76-degree seat tube angle, and a generous reach of 487mm for the size S4.

We tested the S-Works model Enduro, which gets all the bells and whistles, including a frame that's 250 grams lighter than the standard model, a SRAM AXS wireless dropper post, Shimano XTR 12-speed drivetrain and brakes, Fox Factory 36 fork and Float X2 shock, and Roval Travers SL carbon wheels. All of those niceties add up to $9,750 USD.



2020 Specialized Enduro
2020 Specialized Enduro

Climbing

You're never going to mistake the Enduro for a short travel trail bike, but it is an efficient climber, especially considering how much travel is on tap. The increased anti-squat is noticeable, which help give this big beast much better acceleration than before. Like the SB165, it's a bike that has a very gravity oriented focus – it'll get to the top of a long climb without putting up much fuss, but it's best suited to riding areas with long climbs and long descents, rather then somewhere with mellower, more rolling terrain.

The low geometry setting is exactly that, and we experienced a decent number of pedal and bashguard strikes with the shock set in that position. The higher setting, which raises the bottom bracket height by 7mm and changes the head angle to a still-slack 64.3 degrees may be the way to go depending on how rough your climbing trails are, or if you care about the end of your cranks.

The Enduro's seat tube angle is 76-degrees, which isn't out of the ordinary, but it'd be nice to see it get even steeper for a less stretched out climbing position. A 40mm stem, rather than the 50mm Deity that's spec'd would help with this as well.


2020 Specialized Enduro

2020 Specialized Enduro
2020 Specialized Enduro

Descending

Hands down, the Enduro felt the fastest out of all the bikes in our test fleet. While the longer overall length was occasionally noticeable while climbing, it wasn't a detriment in the bike park or on more natural trails. There's a massive amount of stability, both in the air and on the ground, and having the weight nice and low in the frame makes it easy to rocket through the turns. It takes a little more effort to pop up and over obstacles, but if you mistime a jump it's not the end of the world – the Enduro will just smash through whatever is in the way.

The Enduro never faltered, no matter what we took it on, whether it was high-speed jump trails or steeper, more technical downhill tracks. This is a bike that wants to go flat out all the time, with handling that's about as close to a downhill bike as you can get without being the real deal. Even though it does all right on mellower terrain, it doesn't have the same 'all-rounder' feel that the Ibis HD5 delivered - this is a bike for letting it all hang out on big, fast descents whenever possible.

As far as components go, the Roval carbon wheels held up to all of the rock smashing we subjected them through, the AXS electronic dropper post never ran out of juice, and the XTR drivetrain rattled off perfect shift after perfect shift.
Timed Testing

Our timed lap for the enduro bikes took place on Schleyer, a Whistler Bike Park classic that includes a variety of features, including drops, chunky rock gardens, longer rock faces, plus a few jumps and stepdowns added into the mix. A few timed runs isn't the final say on whether one bike is faster than another, but it did give us a way to compare our perceived vs. actual speed.

Jason Lucas I got my fastest timed lap of the timed sessions with the Enduro, and I tested it in similar conditions as the other bikes.

Mike Kazimer: I got my third fastest time on the Enduro, 2% off my quickest lap, but it'd probably be a different story if conditions had remained the same for both timing sessions.




2020 Specialized Enduro


Pros

+ Near DH bike feel. Can handle pretty much everything and still pedal to the top.
+ The SWAT system is so good it’s hard to go back to bikes without it.
+ Very reasonable weight considering amount of travel and capabilities

Cons

- Seat tube angle could be even steeper - top tube length is relatively long.
- S-Works version is really expensive, but the next models down offer similar performance at more realistic price.









The 2020 Pinkbike Field Test was made possible by support from
Race Face apparel & pads, Giro helmets, & Sierra Nevada beer.



387 Comments

  • 288 4
 Failing to refer to the SWAT system as the S-hole is beyond disappointing.
  • 7 1
 I will now!
  • 49 4
 As long as you remember the tagline: "You can put your weed in there."
  • 70 1
 Just remember, Spesh has the S-hole, and Trek's version is forever known as the TWAT box.
  • 8 1
 Well the one on the latest Treks we can call the TWAT... So we got that going for us, which is ok
  • 4 0
 I'll never be able to call it a SWAT system again.
  • 8 1
 @teagues: storage for weed and tools right?
  • 8 5
 @teagues: ???? that’s where their EWS riders hide their doping syringes.
  • 1 0
 the 'trash bin', keepin them trails tidy!
  • 211 5
 The 10k, 32 lb Enduro was fun at Whistler. What a plot twist...
  • 160 27
 Riding Whistler without a double crown fork is like having a one night stand without a condom: You don't really know what you are getting into and there could be dire consequences.
  • 64 2
 @62mphEbike: so much fun though
  • 34 1
 @62mphEbike: feels great in the moment, though
  • 8 2
 @gnarcissist: you got yours off 2 minutes before me...something something “without a condom“
  • 60 2
 @62mphEbike: it’s better to have one indeed, when so many people are riding the same spot
  • 103 3
 @DARKSTAR63, I also spent time on the 5k, 34 lb Enduro Elite at Whistler earlier in the season. Turns out that was a ton of fun too. It's not the carbon wheels and wireless dropper post that makes this bike such a blast to ride, and you certainly don't need to drop 10 grand to enjoy its performance.
  • 13 0
 @karoliusz: like throwing a Fox 26 down a double diamond
  • 11 26
flag Jaybirdy (Dec 19, 2019 at 9:31) (Below Threshold)
 Megatower's C' S build with the reserve carbon wheels is the same weight But 3,000$ less... Lol
  • 9 1
 @mikekazimer: Same experience here. I demo'd a stock elite model with Specialized tires on my favorite trail system (rugged terrain, rocks, drops, gnar) and was sold right away. Set a PR on the first lap, even though was going a little cautious for the first minute or so. Felt so good pushing the bike, just kept pushing and pushing, never felt out of sorts. Was even quicker the next lap. I didn't want to ride my (old) bike again after that experience.
  • 4 2
 @DARKSTAR63 LOL. That comment made my morning.
  • 7 44
flag blowmyfuse (Dec 19, 2019 at 10:10) (Below Threshold)
 I've ridden Whistler in a downpour after 2 weeks straight of rain in fall and it's an utter cakewalk..

I feel like all these product tests should have to have a 1 1/2 hour ride on some crap twisty red clay terrain that the bike just bogs down into and you actually have to pedal it and move it around relentlessly in that slop convincing yourself that it was worth it to have a $10k 32lb 29er 365 days a year instead of a $2600 Canyon Spectral for it all while you know that next week you're gonna load up your $2700 YT Tues and go to Windrock for a weekend of shlt slinging, rock hammering, bike cartwheeling off into the scree rock...good times.
Some place like this:
www.trailforks.com/trails/rocky-river-trail
  • 39 2
 @blowmyfuse: whistler was a “cake walk” for you, you must be an incredible rider, much impress, please tell us more about how good you are, this is scintillating...
  • 10 20
flag dirtbiker6015 (Dec 19, 2019 at 10:31) (Below Threshold)
 @mikekazimer: was it like 1% less fun?
seriously if you are trying to say you are objectively only reviewing this “frame” and it performs better than others then why in the world test the 10k one? Oh because it’s lighter, more efficient peddling, and has attributes that take the riding experience up a notch. You can not objectively say these build kits do not influence the overall feeling of the bike. If this is a field test on stock bikes then the bikes should all be the same price point. If this is a test about the frames the bikes should all have the same build kits.
I read a comment in the gt review about how doing more bikes and more comprehensive testing would be way to expensive, I.E testing frames with all the same build kits, but I don’t get how that’s true, you bought all these 8-10 k bikes.....maybe like idk buy the 5k ones and test double the bikes? Seems silly to try and pull budget card when talking about the tests, but then test bikes that disregard budget.

If 2 lbs makes the gt heavy and it’s noticinle as you say,
  • 8 1
 @dirtbiker6015: Ahhm - wait. Where did you get the idea they bought all these bikes? These are manufacturer supplied bikes, and of course the manufacturers make sure to send the nicely spec'd ones. But yes, if they wanted to get them all spec'd the same (your frame test scenario), that cost would be on PB (as the brands submitting bikes aren't going to spring for that).
  • 7 2
 @TypicalCanadian: The trick is to only ride Crank It Up and B Line
  • 10 14
flag duzzi (Dec 19, 2019 at 13:42) (Below Threshold)
 It is a bit of a commercial for Specialized, and a bit silly all the way down to report the "timed runs" in %!

Just to clarify: the use of % is an old trick used by statisticians to show differences where there are none, or none of significance. In this case one can be pretty sure that the handful of seconds of variation measured among bikes is simply due to the overall variation among runs, unrespective of the bike used (plus, perhaps, testers fit and experience on a specific bike). Ignoring that, and reporting mean differences as % is just meaningless, no much better than tossing dices and reporting the results of a few tosses as indicative of trends.
  • 1 1
 @mikekazimer: as long as you don't have to service the suspension, either
  • 4 1
 @dirtbiker6015: guess which build specialized is going to send you if you are a major media outlet.
  • 2 2
 @duzzi: This is the way they did it for all the bikes in the review...
  • 4 3
 @TucsonDon: I know: the test runs, and the test runs data reported as they did are completely meaningless.

If they insist in reporting the results of these "test runs" they should hire a statistician, they clearly have no idea of how to interpret the results ... or publish all the results not just an average %
  • 4 9
flag blowmyfuse (Dec 19, 2019 at 19:26) (Below Threshold)
 @TypicalCanadian: first off, yeah Whistler is big. Whistler is thebest place I've ever ridden in my life. There are a lot of reasons too. 1. Grip-unlimited That volcanic grit is awesome. It drains insanely well & dries in no time.
2. It's got bench cuts on so many trails it's hard to get pushed down an offer camber bank.
I've never gotten to ride Blackcomb. That looks awesome and raw.

But my point is it is a cake walk way to test that bike physically. 99% of rides on that bike for 99%of people will be spent slogging away on a shallow, mundane trail within 30 minutes of work. That is the suckiest bike for what most of us do. And a great way to be reminded of how having a giant 32-34lb do all rig is crap on 9 out of 10 rides...is riding the trails like I linked.
Whistler is a cake walk for the reason I listed for that bike, but everyday riding elsewhere is a miserable sufferfest on it. That make more sense?

And the other part of my post is that why would you want to thrash your daily ride bike at the park? It will spend way more time on trails, so why make the bulk of your rides boring for $10k
  • 3 3
 @dirtbiker6015: you’re a stupid head
  • 5 3
 @blowmyfuse: you’re a deadset f*ckwit
  • 1 2
 For $9,900, how is it heavier than the $6,600 Ibis?
  • 6 1
 @duzzi: that's why several people took several timed runs. The word is irrespective; the plural of dice is die, and a positive review isn't an advert... If describing data in % difference terms is in need of improvement we're all ears. A confidence interval would be ludicrous if they aren't making statistical claims - it is a descriptive stat used to frame their experience.

The trolls on this website should go form a new website, with better statistics
  • 5 1
 @blowmyfuse: it's a review for an enduro bike. It should be tested on enduro terrain, which it was. Obviously would be ridiculous to test this bike on (or buy this bike for) a rolling XC loop. They tested the trail and downcountry bikes on different terrain more suited to their intended use too.
  • 2 6
flag blowmyfuse (Dec 20, 2019 at 6:56) (Below Threshold)
 @dthomp325: So you think that most people are going to buy this thing for $10k, only take it to a race on Whistler like terrain and have something else they ride the other 90-95% of the time?

It's obvious that it will shine when only going down the mountain. It's obvious that is the intended use is as a race machine, but it's not built how most racers would and it's price is not "multiple bike ownership" friendly so the person who buys this thing is probably putting in most all their miles on it elsewhere, so why not test it how most all of us will ride it...a day in the park, and 3-4 days in the meadow.

So why not take it out and ride it on the stuff that the guys buying will and give that test?
I just did a ride with a bike tester well known product tester. He was on a sick bike for the trails we were on that day. It cost $7000 less than the bike in this review, weighed within a pound and I'd love to traded bikes with him for that trail.

But on the other 3 rides that same week, I would have hated myself and not enjoyed it. For what we rode that day, I was salivating.

@peschman can you translate? I don't speak Brit.
  • 6 1
 @blowmyfuse: Most people who would buy this type of bike as their primary rig live somewhere where the majority of their rides are enduro type terrain and/or lift served bike park. It'd be stupid to buy it to ride around "90-95% of the time" on rolling terrain. This bike is obviously not the best choice for that terrain and you should check out the trail and XC bike reviews if that's more similar to your rising habits.

The vast majority of people buying the $10k spec likely also have a shorter travel rig for riding tamer terrain, but the percentage probably drops towards more single-bike owners as you head lower down the price sheet.
  • 2 1
 @dnnbrgr: more weight helps you go down hill faster bro.
  • 152 10
 I'm just stoked to see Shimano as an OE spec on more bikes again.
  • 28 3
 Same here. The more options the better.
  • 24 11
 Well it was Shimano's fault for being late to the game. Everyone wanted 12 speed and they did not offer one til recently. Wish I had waited for shimano tbh. Much prefer them over Sram
  • 34 0
 @stumphumper92: quality takes time...was worth the wait
  • 2 0
 @agree
  • 10 0
 @mountainyj: agreed. If I had to pick between shimano just slapping something together to get it to market vs taking the time to do it right. I will choose the latter everytime.
That being said I’m wishing for an raw aluminum version of this enduro (like the stumpjumper evo) with an XT-12spd & fox 36/X2air performance elite spec.
  • 2 0
 @mountainyj: Oh I fully agree. I was just pointing to the fact why we stopped seeing bikes stocked with Shimano drive trains and saw a lot more Sram
  • 9 16
flag seraph (Dec 19, 2019 at 11:43) (Below Threshold)
 It just means that I'll have a bunch of Shimano stuff sitting around when I swap it out for SRAM Blank Stare
  • 4 1
 @stumphumper92: next is making the same range with 8 speed or so, cable actuated, and waaaaay lighter.
  • 3 7
flag handsomedan (Dec 19, 2019 at 12:16) (Below Threshold)
 @mikekazimer:

No mention of the Shimano brake problem?
  • 2 0
 Very nice indeed, I have been running Shimano XTR with HD cassettes for years and now I finally can go back to full Shimano!
  • 3 1
 @stumphumper92: “everyone”
  • 2 0
 @handsomedan: tell me more
  • 1 1
 But to get carbon cranks, they still have to leave the brand. Shimano is losing sooo much there.
  • 4 0
 @tripleultrasuperboostplusplus: There is zero practical reason to buy carbon cranks given shimano XT/XTR cranks exist.
  • 2 0
 @skelldify: Try and sell your used bike without 12 speed. You won't get nearly as much
  • 89 6
 On a serious note- I know a lot has been said about these tests and the attempts to be objective, I have so far not been too harsh a critic. I know you wish to test bikes that have not reviewed before ect ect. However, I don't know how you can defend the decision to test the $9700 top spec version of this bike when yesterday we saw a mid level $4700 build of another bike. You go through the trouble to use control tires, obvious implication being these is an objective comparo test. At least put these bikes in the same ball park? You can't tell me with a straight face the spec on this machine doesn't have something to do with how brilliant it is? I understand the chassis is sorted and prob would still outshine the bike we saw yesterday if similarly priced. But we don't know that. You didn't do that. It feels like stacked deck. That's all I'm saying.
  • 32 4
 In their defense, they test whatever they are sent in most situations. They do not always get to choose what comes to them. It is as much GT’s fault for sending an alloy lower spec’d bike.
  • 17 2
 @Colson217: Perhaps .... in which case I don't believe a substantive comparison test can be held.
  • 16 0
 GT did send their top level Force 29 it just happens that it's a more affordable alu bike that can hold it's ground to something almost twice it's price.
  • 36 7
 Actually, I can tell you that the performance has much more to do with the suspension layout and geometry than the spec. I was aboard the Enduro Elite earlier in the season, which costs almost half as much as the S-Works version, and there wasn't a drastic performance difference. Here's the coverage of that model. www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLLA7GMfqtg
  • 20 0
 @mikekazimer: Sooo ... Then you are re-reviewing the same bikes?!? Just poking the bear now.. lol
  • 7 1
 @mikekazimer: I do have some experience riding and racing many different frames and designs. I would fully agree with your statement. I admit in my comment that a lot of what was said about the Enduro would be true of any model tested. But objectivity is claimed, tires controlled, weight and specification considered in the reviews. I can also tell you my current race bike is much more lively with the 200g lighter wheel set up I sometimes run at home and on track. It's not as if spec is irrelevant. My only point was, if it's feasible not to, why tip the scale ? Does that not only serve to undermine the result ? I like what you guys are doing, not being difficult for the sake of it. Always appreciate the content. I just had to share my thoughts on this one.
  • 7 1
 @mikekazimer: I'd love to see a "shootout" of top, middle, and bottom spec of the same bike. Something along the lines of which bikes still rock even with a few extra pounds and less amazing suspension; which bikes need the top end suspension to be any good despite their problematic kinematics, which bottom-end spec bikes are just poverty-spec teasers as opposed to which ones are good value.
  • 2 0
 @DARKSTAR63: In a perfect world (If it wasn’t a time consuming, logistical nightmare given all the different standards used between frame manufacturers) it would be awesome to do the ultimate control test/bike shootout: frame only, exact same build for each bike in the test. Nothing over the top spec’d. Say Shimano XT drivetrain, stans flow wheels, fox 36/x2 performance elite suspension, 2.4” maxxis minions. Level the playing field and focus on the unique characteristics of each frame & suspension design.
  • 2 0
 @brycepiwek: Of course, and I also realize how difficult it would be. This just happens to be a bit distracting spread between the lowest and highest tested specification in test.
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: when’s the Aluminium version coming out?! If you’re in on the secret, you can tell me. Just a quiet hint, a little nod between you and me, I’ll keep it to myself I promise....
  • 2 0
 @Jaybirdy: its hard to even be mad that specialized gets special treatment.
  • 1 1
 Honestly I liked the dpx2 on the elite more than the x2 on the S-works. Since I built up an S-works frame, the only frame they sold at the time I was able to save a ton I’ve $$$ on my build. Seriously without a doubt I would take the elite to any bike park and be just as fast and happy. Pedaling up the lighter spec bike is definitely nice. With Cush cores and dh brakes I’m at 32lbs on my build. That AXS dropper is heavy and expensive.
  • 1 0
 Can't agree more, assuming an objective comparison could be done, a big assumption when using two people to test bikes, it is just very questionable to compare bikes with such different components ...
  • 1 0
 @DARKSTAR63 , we all should be honest with our feedback. I have seen PinkBike give bad reviews on Specialized Bikes before, so I doubt this is a "Commercial". We have to take all reviews with many grains of salts. I have always found it very difficult to gauge a bike 100% after only spending 1 week with it, but it does give me an idea what it is about.
  • 2 0
 @HendersonMike: Absolutely, and I never said it was. This Enduro is probably a riot in any build.
  • 55 19
 Looks like a Megatower
  • 25 6
 Megatower looks like a 2011 Specialized Demo
  • 22 14
 megatower looks way better Big Grin
  • 8 3
 It only looks like a megatower at first glance. Look more carefully - they are very different linkages, but they just happen to have the shock mounted low on the frame. That's not very surprising, as lots of bike companies are trying to get all the mass of the shock as low as possible.
  • 23 5
 @AD4M It must be hard not knowing the difference between VPP and Horst link...
  • 3 1
 @TypicalCanadian: I know, right... WTH.
  • 2 1
 @TypicalCanadian: loved that comment ????????
  • 28 1
 Why does the reviewer accept at face value the claimed seat angle of 76 degrees while also complaining about the climbing position. 76 deg should be fine - the issue is that 76 is the virtual angle at the top of the head tube, and gets considerably worse the higher you extend the seat post... Tall and long legged people take note (but you probably know this already)
  • 19 0
 The way companies measure STA needs to be standardized. Tie it to stack and measure from the top of the head tube or something. Comparing bikes' numbers are impossible when they're all measured differently.
  • 8 0
 Agreed. Should definitely be noted as this is becoming a real joke for us with some inseam length. I tend to use Photoshop in order to test these new bikes with my correct saddleheight. 76 degrees sounds good but in reality it's a big fail just like most of the rest. Actual angles needs to be addressed asap.
  • 16 1
 @shredddr, in order to avoid going too far off on a tangent I didn't dive into the difference between effective and actual seat tube angle, but you're right - this bike would benefit from a steeper actual seat tube angle.

This is one of the reasons it's good to compare effective top tube numbers, rather than just sizing off of reach. You can have two bikes with identical reach numbers and significantly different top tube lengths, which affects how the bike feels during seated pedaling.
  • 6 0
 This makes me wonder when forward offset dropper posts are going to be offered. It would be the poor mans solution to creating a steep seat tube. I'm ready to grind off a bit of the rear of the upper clamp on my One up post just to get a few more mm forward mounting.
  • 3 0
 @heatproofgenie: I believe 9.8 or one of the dropper makers already offer this offset post top you are wondering about.
  • 1 0
 @shredddr Good point, I mean look at the picture of the Enduro and imagine where your seat would end up when you extend it all the way up... (That's what I have to do even on XL frames these days as these seat tubes get shorter and shorter, I have a 33'' inseam...)
  • 2 0
 @shredddr agree, effective STA is at the same time the biggest truth and biggest lie in the mtb industry right now. Companies are claiming eff STAs as fairly steep to look progressive when the actuals are still very traditional, tall people especially suffer but even normal dimensions are affected. Who runs their seat at head tube height when climbing (aside from maybe short tech climbs)?
Let’s have something more representative of what real eSTAs actually are. Maybe that’s STA at a standard height.. 800mm?
  • 1 0
 @heatproofgenie: I can't imagine that would be good for the longevity of posts. The further forward (or back, for that matter) you push down from, the more force you're putting into the back (or front) of the internals.
  • 1 0
 @scvkurt03: I completely agree that it will put more stress on the post. However I think that if designed correctly it could be done and give 10-15mm forward offset.

Obviously grinding some of the clamp off will negate and warranty and all bets are off. At 165lbs I think I have some margin with regards to what kind of load a post is designed for. I'd imagine that companies need to assume that someone of at least 225lbs is going to be using their product and thus design for that load.
  • 3 1
 @mikekazimer: Hi Mike - it's not that you didn't go off on a tangent here - it's that no one ever does, and it does warrant explaining once. I still get people who think virtual seat angle = sagged seat angle or some such nonsense. Explain it once maybe in a review or elsewhere?
As for ETT, that's a better measure, but even then I believe most companies measure that horizontally from top-center of head tube to middle of seatpost. At 6'5" my saddle at full extension is above my bars leading to a much longer ETT and a horrible climbing posture.
Anyway, maybe for bikes like this and the Santa Cruz bikes, just a "the actual seat angle is considerably slacker than the claimed angle on the geometry chart" would help others take note of the issue.
  • 1 0
 @g123: I think @TransitionBikeCompany does this - their seat angles are good to begin with, and they measure seat angles from an estimated point of full extension.
  • 1 0
 @Speeder01: they do, but not in the 175mm or longer posts. I'd own one already if they did.
  • 6 1
 @g123: PB needs a separate, alternative website where people discuss and debate and complain about seat tube angles exclusively.
  • 2 0
 Confounding this issue is that the rear shock will sag and that 76° angle may be now 73 – 74?

It would be nice if companies can print out what the STA would be at say 25% rear shock sag – especially those bikes with longer travels
  • 1 1
 A lot of reviews mention STA not being steep enough.. begs the question, is it possible to have too steep an STA? What would be wrong with, say, an 80 deg STA
  • 1 0
 @heatproofgenie: I've been wondering about that, too - but would be worried about how much extra strain that would put on the dropper.
  • 1 0
 @scvkurt03: I think reviewers need to actually measure. I hear time and again about reach too short, seat tube angle too slack and when I have actually measured on many bikes and they are all over the place.

I have even seen reviews where they proclaimed that bike A felt more comfortable than bike B due to the steep STA, when we actually measured at a range of seat heights bike B had steeper STA throughout all heights. Same applies to BB height (at sag), reach, HTA etc.. Ie marketing placebo effect in full force.
  • 2 0
 @jamesbrant: lol maybe true. Having gone from a 74.3 actual to a 79 actual I was pretty amazed at how much improved seated climbing overall, and the reason I'm compelled to chime in. The trend I see is this:
- rider with bike 2-3 yrs old hears/reads hubbub about steep sta's
- rider is in market for new bike, buys something with claimed steep sta but the reality is that its similar to the old one when they get it on trail in real world, and there's not much difference
- rider feels the sta debate is a load malarky

FWIW when I flip between my 2 bikes - one with 79 actual and one with 77 effective - I feel a fairly big difference in climbing position, everything else equal.
  • 1 0
 @g-42: Yeah that's a worry but since the seat tube is directed back then a forward offset post would actually change the force delta to be more directly in line of the post itself. I think the clamp would need to still be designed with this new force vector in mind but for trail and enduro bikes or rather long travel bikes I don't see much of a downside to a forward offset post.


Also another solution would be for a saddle to have a more rearward mount. The rails could go directly downward from the rear and allow clamping from there to the midpoint. Would accomplish the same thing.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: I think that article was good (and you should link to it in reviews), but might have benefited from a comparison or calculation of what the effective angle on that Commencal is at full extension for a person at 6'5", or how much longer the ETT is at full height. I'd also say that while I agree, it is personal preference, I don't think many tall people find a slack seat angle remotely tolerable while climbing, and thus, it is a big deal (to them). Anyway, thanks for engaging here.
  • 1 0
 @emponix: Agree!! Why is it impossible to know STA for 2 different bike at the saddle height you will ride?

In 2019 you would think that geometry between bikes would be more comparable but there is hope!

Check out this calculator which gets you your STA for your saddle height and sag:
www.datumcycles.com
  • 24 3
 Almost a DH bike. Nothing truly compares to a DH bike.
  • 4 0
 Agreed. Mostly just the laps on laps beating a dh bike can yawn at
  • 14 63
flag duzzi (Dec 19, 2019 at 7:22) (Below Threshold)
 Nice commercial for Specialized, including suggesting that you should abandon other bikes because of a storage box (the SWAP), And frankly it is hard to believe that this bike would actually climb ...

These "tests" are really just comparing a few shuttle runs and have no relevance for how a bike performs. Want to do a test run? Use a real loop, with as much uphill as downhill and use a dozen testers, not two.

Cherry on the cake? They do not report real times, but instead show % differences. The use of % is an old trick used by statisticians to show differences where there are none, and I bet that there is a as much variation in the individual runs on a single bike than there are among runs across bikes.
  • 6 2
 I'm just waiting for @WAKIdesigns to ask for a comparison to the Mondraker Summum set up with a single crown, dropper, and 12 speed
  • 17 2
 This is more of a DH bike than a DH bike from 10 years back.. So it all depends on what your frame of reference is.
  • 19 0
 I have heard the "descends like a DH bike" phrase so many times before. What it usually means is: "this brand new non-DH bike feels like it descends as well as the DH bikes i remember from several years ago"
  • 10 1
 @duzzi:didn’t realize you were the pinkbike insider mate pipe down and enjoy the reviews for what they are
  • 10 1
 @kfccoleslaw: This review reminds me of Pinkbike's first review of the enduro 29 years ago when Levy ridiculously claimed most riders on DH bikes would be better off on an Enduro 29er.

"That thought is fitting, though, because the E29 has the wherewithal to offer downhill bike-like performance, and we'd say that it makes more sense for roughly 80% of downhillers to be on an S-Works Enduro rather than their gravity pigs, if cost was no factor, that is."

And that was back when the enduro had a 67.5 ha!

m.pinkbike.com/news/specialized-enduro-s-works-29-test-review.html
  • 5 0
 @62mphEbike: Yes, I remember. I bought the OG enduro 29 based on that review, and to be honest it kinda sucked. Even with the 650b link to slacken it out to 66 degrees it still wasn't that great on the downhill, plus the old specialized shock yoke design was perfect for roasting rear shocks.
  • 2 3
 @62mphEbike: 67.5 replacing a DH bike. Lol...it makes you wonder how much of this is marketing when I read that quote. You can also see people "dampening" the real impact of a flaw like the slacker STA here. Its a flaw, but they call it out and then tell you its not a big deal.
  • 19 5
 Sure, but where are you going to ride it? I live in CO, we have Trestle, Keystone, Granby, Angel Fire, Steamboat, Crested Butte, Powderhorn. Each of these bike parks has a single run that's really suitable for a DH bike and unless you just lap that one run all day a DH bike is not the right choice because it's slow and boring on all the tamer trails. The 160-180 bikes keep their speed so much better on moderate grade trails and are way more fun on jump trails with A-Line sized jumps or smaller. Seems pointless to buy a DH bike unless you race DH or live next to Whistler.
  • 3 1
 I haven't ridden a DH bike since my old 2008 Demo 8. I would love to try one of these new 29ers.
  • 4 1
 My 2007 SX Trail was also labeled a mini DH bike. Like this Enduro, the SX Trail was as well. Mini. DH.
  • 9 1
 @kfccoleslaw, it's true - you can't beat a proper DH bike when it comes to outright speed and stability, but the Enduro gets close enough that many riders could get away with owning one bike instead of two. We discuss this a little more in the upcoming roundtable video. Overall, the point we're making here is that the Enduro inspires a level of confidence that's typically associate with dedicated DH machines.
  • 7 12
flag WAKIdesigns (Dec 19, 2019 at 9:20) (Below Threshold)
 @mikekazimer - the question is why DH bikes don't have 78 seat angles, dropper posts, 10-50 cassettes and lock outs... bike industry is missing the opportunity to sell more DH bikes... E29 needs DH tires anyways... at least I would need them to not remove some silly Exos off the rim when schralping or sending it sideaways - and I can't even ride... you guys should run DH tires with procore.
  • 3 2
 @WAKIdesigns: check out Orange 324
  • 21 4
 @getsomesy: A commenter on Pinkbike made me google blue waffle once, so I am hesitant to follow your hint Smile
  • 2 2
 @WAKIdesigns: haha its my bike on my profile.

212mm dropper, 200mm rear travel 27.5 wheel, front is 29" 180mm travel, 9-46 cassette.
  • 3 1
 Nothing compares to a DH bikes depreciation either.
  • 1 1
 What does a DH bike have over the Enduro? Is it just length, 30mm travel, and fork stanchion?
  • 4 4
 @High-Life: try one... more travel, DC fork, a tiny bit slacker and longer. These small differences add up to a bigger difference. It off course depends on what you are comparing. Sworks E29 with Demo or Sworks 29 with some random crap with dc fork from few years ago like low end rental Spec Status with dry seals and blown dampers. Unfortunately in most cases people who claim Enduro bikes are almost DH bikes mean the latter. A crappy DH bike feels like sitting on a back of a meth addict.
  • 1 0
 @Lucjones1: It is kind of fun to point out how silly all this is!
  • 3 0
 @duzzi: This nonsense keeps getting spouted so often that hardly anyone I know has a DH bike anymore (and every one of them did 5 years ago), but it's been so long since they rode one they forgot what they are missing. Of course it's all horses for courses,, and yes you can ride a hardtail down any trail in Whistler, but on the right terrain there's nothing like opening up a DH bike. I just wish more of my friends would remember that and and stop saying their trail bike is just as good. Maybe as good as their clapped out 2010 DH bike. Makes it hard to shuttle DH laps when everyone is on bike they can pedal. Last time I took my DH bike what was supposed to be some shuttles, we did one lap and everyone else pedaled off and left me looking at my DH bike asking it why it's now an endangered species. Silly indeed!
  • 3 0
 @High-Life: Regarding suspension travel, there's no replacement for displacement.
  • 14 0
 So why do EWS racers use trail bikes instead of beasts like these? Efffing Graves and Brosnan when he did a few enduros rode the Stumpjumper instead of the enduro at the time, and even this past season they were on the stumpy after this came out, and not even the stumpy evo.
  • 12 0
 You're basically right. Trail bikes are morphing into enduro bikes, enduro bikes are morphing into freeride bikes (best not mention downcountry). It'll be interesting to see what the EWS pros use this year...
  • 5 0
 Same with the Rocky Mountain team. They were using the Altitude instead of the Slayer. Would be interesting to see if they switch from the Instinct to the new Slayer.
  • 11 0
 Because they have the time to train full time and the skills to take advantage. Shorter travel (to a point) can be faster if you have the strength to hang on, and they general pedal a bit better. They're also a bit more precise; many scenarios where us non-pros need to smash, pros are picking up and putting down exactly where they want.
  • 8 2
 @Ttimer: That would only be possible if the EWS changes the rules to allow swapping out snapped rear ends Smile
  • 3 0
 @Ttimer: Yeah I'm also wondering this. Team Rocky was top notch this year before Jesse broke his leg/foot on that Instinct. The Slayer has entirely different geometry too. I also know that Jesse even rode the 140mm rear end for a few races too.
  • 3 0
 @scvkurt03: That – but also the bike only needs to survive one weekend of abuse.
  • 6 0
 Probably because they have enough skill to race a smaller bike on those trails, while easier pedalling/lower weight (if it's really lower) helps them save some energy over the time/distance they have to survive? Efficiency over comfort and huckability (as I think there are no totally massive hucks on most enduro race tracks)? IDK, just a guess.

I also think that despite the name (that probably sells better and hints at being pedal-friendly), this and some other "enduro" bikes are not really enduro race bikes but modern day freeride bikes for hucking, bikepark etc. that are still good where there's no uplift/shuttle. Not aimed at the pro racers but rather the amateur who needs it to handle a large variety of riding from big days to DH, but doesn't care how fast it is on flats/ups. The real "one bike"?
  • 6 2
 @bananowy: Not sure on comfort...think about how long an Enduro race is. Lots of rough miles put in there. I think the pros just outweigh the cons with the Enduro bikes the pros are riding. Over biking might be jumping the shark a bit. I think most/all of us don't need a new long travel sled with a wheelbase of a 90's Lincoln but would be better spending that money on coaching instead. We'd all be twice the rider and do small bit for the environment.
  • 2 0
 @Ttimer: They use the Insticnt BC Edition (29r with 155/160), not the Altitude (27.5). The previous Slayer had some weird kinematics and was 27.5... I would have chosen the IBC over the old Slayer as a race bike all day.

Interestingly... lots of their insta and various other shots, show them riding the new Slayer quite a bit... wonder if they'll use it next season??
  • 1 0
 @islandforlife: They were using the Altitude in 2017 and 2018 before switching to the Instinct. At least Jesse was also riding the non-BC version of the Instinct for some of the races.
  • 4 0
 @islandforlife: It'd be cool to hear from Jesse/ALN about pros and cons of racing the new Slayer vs Instinct BC. I'm wondering if they will size down (Jesse to a Small) to avoid the length or if they want it. That's the big omission from these reviews...how does it compare to last-gen bikes? Pros and cons?
  • 2 0
 good points. Keene rode this at the Northstar stop. it seems nonsensical on that brutal course to go shorter. but that was also a PR move. Graves will be back next year (at least for the first couple rounds) so we'll be anticipating his setup choice. it is kinda funny tho that the Enduro hasn't seen that much racing under the Big S's top riders but the longshocked/overforked Stumpy has.... hmmmmm.
  • 1 0
 @pizzaiolo: Very good point.
  • 2 0
 It'll be interesting to see where the longer/lower/slacker progression in design ends up. All mountain skis (for out west) ballooned to 120+mm a few years back, then thinned down to 105mm, give or take a mm. Seems like enduro bikes are approaching that point as well. If pro EWS riders aren't choosing the biggest guns their sponsors offer, they may be onto something.

That said, I'll bet some pros are upstroking their rear shocks and forks-running lighter frames to save some energy on the transfers. When you're sponsored, doing stuff that might void a warranty isn't a problem.
  • 3 0
 @peleton7:

it seems like some are, some aren't. Pivot riders are on the Firebird29, Pole riders are on that 180mm beast.... but yeah lotsa interesting setups going on.
  • 2 0
 @peleton7: I'LL DIE BEFORE I GIVE UP MY SURFACE NEW LIFES
  • 3 0
 @peleton7:

for sure. so many enduro rigs are now in the 64hta ballpark. i'm looking forward to geo calming down but love what's happened even as of late especially with most categories going steeper sta and slacker. funny that a handful of trail bikes are fully onboard with enduro geo. interesting times. it will be nice tho if consumers can continue to choose how their 140 bike handles. like some want it slack AF while some just want it snappy and quick. the Sentinel was what woke me up to woke geo. 'hey this thing is fine a trailbike. cool and confident' tho it's not peppy enough for all preferences.
  • 7 1
 Winning enduro races is about exit speed and snipping time off the course with line choice, not smashing all the gnar sections. This bike would be 0.8 seconds faster through rock sections and 1.5 seconds slower out of every flat turn, not to mention the effects of the extra fatigue from humping it around all day when you get to the last few stages
  • 1 0
 @jlf1200: this exactly! All the super scary rock sections we love seeing videos of only make up a part of the EWS day - there's plenty of time to be made up with a faster accelerating bike
  • 2 0
 @mountainsofsussex: @jlf1200 this is what others have told me in the past, but with EWS races its so much harder to follow and get an idea of what the tracks are like compared to DH. I know EWS is by definition more remote, rugged, and off the beaten path than DH, but man if they could figure out a way to get us viewers in the action better it would be so amazing.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: Go race one! Seriously, even just an 80 will give you an idea. Do you have one near you?
  • 1 0
 @scvkurt03: The Scott Enduro cup is in my backyard. But I've ridden the trails they race on, and so I find it hard to pay $100+ lift fees to ride my bike
  • 1 0
 Even a regular local enduro will tell you all you need to know about why so many pro teams run beefed up trail bikes.

Then again plenty of of the fastest guys are monster trucking it. Sam being one of them. 165mm+ 29er with sticky DH tires and a very soft fork
  • 17 3
 Where does one acquire this new Fox 26?
  • 21 4
 The same place you acquire a decent component spec on a non S-Works Specialized build. Nowhere.
  • 6 0
 @Smokee9000: The early 90's.
  • 10 0
 I spent three days on one riding Monarch Crest side trails and then some other CO high country stuff and I'd say the review is spot on. Climbs surprisingly well, certainly better than the old Enduro and is an absolute beast on descents. So much stability and it turns quite well. I think having the weight of the shock so low helps quite a lot with both stability and turning. I agree that the STA could be steeper. I pushed the seat all the way forward on the rails and that was good but for steep climbing it could be steeper.
  • 1 0
 You are spot on about the shock and therefore alot of the reenforcment for the shock and linkage being so low.

I don't own one of these but my bike has very low shock placement and when you add in the bb height and the bb drop of a 29er it's magical.

www.lightcarbon.com/all-new-lightcarbon-trail-mtb-frame-lcfs958_p118.html

My bike.
  • 13 1
 Queue dude who broke the suspension linkage and has a post on Vital in 3...2...1...
  • 5 0
 @yetimike2019 where u at bro?
  • 1 0
 ‘Here’s Johnny!...apologies, wrong room. I’m looking for Wendy’
  • 4 1
 Sorry I was out riding all day...
  • 3 1
 On my aluminum links!!!
  • 1 1
 @Yetimike2019: do you know whay Yeti has suppressed the SB 165 review? Come on fess up!
  • 7 0
 "Basically a DH Bike Without a Dual Crown Fork" - ironically that's what these type of bikes are beginning to need in order to minimize flex and CSU creaking. The Boxxer U-Turn was ahead of it's time! (Not forgetting dual crown SIDs, Junior Ts etc)
  • 6 0
 MRP makes a dual crown super-enduro fork
  • 13 0
 And yet people complain about the steering radius of the knock block. Cant win in this industry
  • 2 2
 @Tmackstab: This issue with the knock block isnt steering radius, its that it's noisy as hell and you have to apply fresh grease every few weeks if you dont want to hear it constantly.
  • 1 0
 @bullit398: well that sucks
  • 4 4
 It’s not just CSU. The DC fork will always have stiffer stanchions minimizing the binding, thus offering a smoother operation. If companies want to keep 180 single crowns, they better make 1,1/8-2” tapered steerers and taller, more massive crowns.
  • 11 1
 26 ain't dead ! Wait... "Fox Factory 26 fork"? Maybe not even born...
  • 10 0
 So basically a purebred race bike. #missionaccomplished
  • 5 1
 I've been on one around a month or so and feel like it does really well all-around, I can't find any reason why I'd get a shorter travel bike when this one climbs and descends faster than my previous two shorter travel bikes.

I'd also disagree that it's not responsive or it's hard to get the front wheel up, I had two Transition bikes previously and I've been able to land features, slow and fast, with greater ease on the new Enduro. Part of me wonders if it's shock related, since mine has a Super Deluxe Select+ instead of the X2, which I've found to be somewhat firmly damped compared to the RS shocks in the past.
  • 2 0
 @shinook: what transition are you coming off of? I ride a L 18 patrol and thinking about going to the enduro S4.
  • 1 0
 @Lamarshnarf: I've had a Patrol, Smuggler, and Sentinel, all Carbon except for the OG Smuggler. I comment on the differences further down and my thoughts on comparing them (just ctrl+f my username)
  • 7 0
 I took one with the expert build on a 16.7 mile loop with 2835’ of climbing/descending. Climbing was a 50/50 mix of fire road/single track. IMO, this bike is a great all-rounder if you size down.
  • 4 0
 "if you size down"...this has become a thing. People are into the slacker hta, but avoiding the crazy length. Similar to Rude riding 460mm medium of reach despite being basically 6ft tall and 200lbs. No one ever talks about "Agility" anymore.
  • 1 0
 @Svinyard: His height is kind of a mystery... I've found bike checks that state his height as 5' 10", 5' 11" and 182 cm. But he seems to be as tall as Levy. Also, stating height in feet an inches is stupid and way too inaccurate.

I'm in the same range (~181cm) and at a Pivot test event I instinctively picked a large after doing a quick lap on the car park without knowing any geometry numbers, although the large had much more reach than my current bike... those steep STAs make seated pedaling on a smaller size kind of uncomfortable.
I might add that I've got a weird 35,5" inseam...
  • 2 0
 For reference, I’m 178cm and rode a S3 with 35mm stem. It seems crazy to call a bike with 464mm reach and 619mm ETT “sized down” but it seems like most people my size are going S4.
  • 1 0
 @Svinyard: I think the industry trend towards generous standover addresses this. Rather than shopping by size, you can now shop by reach-which is way more relevant.

Notably, despite being 5'9" (175cm) tall, I went with a large Slash this year to get a 450mm(ish) reach, same as a medium Ripmo. Both bikes are amply agile. Standover on an XL Slash wouldn't have worked for me, but I did try a large Ripmo-didn't like it even tooling around a parking lot.
  • 2 0
 @Svinyard:

I experimented with lots of long WB bikes and eventually came back to a short WB with a long chainstay. 29” wheels with heavy tires and cushcore are so stable that I preferred the agility of the shorter bike. And I don’t want to leave an athletic position to keep front wheel traction.

I feel like most bikes are sacrificing everything to straight line rocks a few percent better
  • 1 0
 @Svinyard: couldn’t agree more. I’m 5’11” and I chose the S3 after posts of demos. It’s actually much easier to whip and “play” sizing down, and I have yet to experience any kind of compromise on the performance. Except a bit smaller dropper post than I like. Can only run a 160mm bike yoke.
  • 1 0
 @Yetimike2019: If a 160mm BikeYoke work for you, the 180mm OneUp should work as well. Min insertion is nearly identical.
  • 1 0
 @asf: yep that might be the next “upgrade” for sure.
  • 9 3
 For that kind of price they didn't even bother to even cover the hole in the frame next to the steering column for the remote seatpost cable. I understand this one is wireless and it's good to still have it if you want to go back to a cable version but a small cap in the same color or a little attention to detail would be welcome, the price of this version is crazy and it doesn't seems to be high end...
  • 4 4
 Agreed, the spec and attention to detail doesn't fit the price. For that kind of money i would expect the utmost in bling and tech. Full AXS, Chris King hubs in custom colour anodizing to match the frame details, Zipp rims, EXT shock, the works...
  • 3 1
 Also it only has one hole on the right ride of the frame that I could see. That's a problem if you run your brakes moto style and a mechanical dropper (as I do) because you need 2 cables to enter that 1 hole.
  • 6 0
 @mikekazimer: Mike, can you comment on how the Enduro compares to the Scott Ransom 900 Tuned? I know you have spent a lot of time on the Ransom and am really interested to know how they compare on the downhills, hard technical terrain, in the air, and sizing. Thanks.
  • 4 10
flag Svinyard (Dec 19, 2019 at 8:56) (Below Threshold)
 We are only talking about new bikes...you have to buy a new bike to figure out how to compares to your sick last-gen bike. Marketing and all that. If the brands give PB bikes to test (for free), then PinkBike can't come out and say...well its better in some areas but a step back in others compared to the Ransom 900. Because then you'd rationally just prob stick with your sweet bike and not be tempted by the new green grass Smile And that would maybe lead to brands not giving PB new free bikes to ride/test/create content about.
  • 15 0
 @jcg2, the Ransom has a more nimble feel to it - while the Enduro encourages you to plow through everything, the Ransom feels lighter on its feet. The Ransom would make a better do-it-all bike - it has a lot of travel, but it doesn't feel out of its element as much as the Enduro does on mellower trails. The Ransom has steeper head tube angle, and overall shorter wheelbase than the Enduro, but it's still very capable in the techy stuff.

As far as sizing goes, a large Ransom fit me well (I'm 5'11"), and I went with the S4 on the Enduro. Realistically, I'm probably in between an S3 and S4 on the Specialized due to the top tube length; I prefer the S4 for the extra stability.
  • 10 0
 @mikekazimer: THIS. Can we get a section added to the reviews that include exactly what you described based on bikes you've ridden a lot in the last year or two (serious question)? The new stuff is great but only talking about the new stuff isn't ideal...and you guys certainly have a mountain of experience on bikes that many of us actually have ridden but can't compare to the new stuff. Nothing even official, just an update on "how it rides compared to what I've ridden" section similar to what you just posted. Its a "thing" that comes up every year I think.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: I was going to suggest this. I thought maybe you guys should be on the S3, and that being on the S4 would affect your impressions of the nimbleness. This is a big bike. The sizing they’ve come up with just contributes to the confusion.
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: Thank you for your response. Very helpful.
  • 1 0
 Yes, I would like a comparison to the Ransom, Megatower and/or the New Norco Sight (I know the travel numbers are different on the last two). Especially it's climbing ability compared to those.

I can not for the life of me decide on getting something like this over a little shorter travel bike because I still have to climb a lot. The Sight seems like the best choice but if this Enduro 29 climbs just as well then...
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: Thanks, I was very curious about this comparison as well. I ride a Ransom on 6-10 hour back country rides all Summer long so its definitely a well rounded machine.
  • 3 0
 @zarban: FWIW, I demoed an Elite and found it to be a pig on the climbs compared to my 2014 E29 Expert.
Mind-warping down hills but I crossed it off the list because of the uphill sluggishness.
Racers though: the new Enduro would be the one to get.
Effortlessly blitzes downhills.
  • 1 0
 @AndrewAndFam: Thanks for the info, that makes me think that it needs to fall off my list too. It was only on as hopeful anyways. Mike's comments above about the Ransom has me intrigued but still want to hear more about the Sight.
  • 1 0
 @zarban: The Sight and Rasom are on my demo list for sure. Tried several others this season -- Kona 153&134, SC Hightower and Ripmo -- but the only one that I was sure I'd trade my trusty E29 for was the Slash 9.9 with full XTR.
Great bike.
That being said, I'm sort of obsessed with the idea of a S-Hole so unless the next Slash has a TWAT and loses the KnockBlock, I'll be looking for a nice 2019 S-Works E29.
  • 2 0
 @AndrewAndFam: The Ransom is a sick bike. Best non dh full suspension bike I have ridden. It is light, nimble and pedals better than any other 170mm bike I have tried. Basically, I use it as my trail bike and then if I see a big drop I want to do that I would not do on a normal trail bike I have a bike that is up for the task. FYI: I am not a Scott loyalist. I ride a YT Tues as a dh bike and a Trek Stache hardtail. The Ransom fills every gap in between.
  • 1 0
 @jcg2: Thanks for the input. I'll demo a Ransom as soon the opportunity presents. It sounds naive I know, but I was surprised this year by how bikes in the same class feel different out on the trails. It's great to get/read input from non-industry folk.
  • 10 1
 I particularly like the retro-noodle feel of the Fox 26 forks.
  • 8 3
 Before anyone says 'looks likes a Megatower' let me point out that the suspension is totally isolated to the lower end of the bike with the Enduro whereas the Mega top link is bolted to the top tube. This is fine and well except for when you get into the bigger sizes and the Mega seat tube starts to look a little ridiculous because the top tube cannot be raised. I wish they would have put a brace or something in there like the Bronson to at least smooth it out a bit. This of course is just vanity speaking as both bikes are awesome.
  • 7 0
 It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.
  • 3 0
 I would love to try the DH version of this bike! problem is it only comes in 29 specailized doesnt make 29ers in small. what sucks even more is it seems they given up on the 27.5 and they haven't changed it from 2015. So does this mean in specialized eyes 27.5 for dh is dead if so that sucks cuz I would love the new Demo in a size small and then i would just run it mullet.
  • 3 0
 @rockchomper I know the Specialized new sizing can be confusing, they don't sell an S1 size in the 29 Demo, but see if you can test a S2. The Demo sizing is on the small side, the S2 reach is only 425mm.
  • 2 0
 @Davemk: Thats not really the main problem its that im to short in the legs to run a 29er and they just left / neglected the 27.5 as if it having and outdated frame and geo wasnt a big deal becuase its 27.5. kinda a bummer
  • 3 0
 I don't get the 'Enduro is copying the Megatower' debate. Shock position is the same, but that's about it. The rear triangles and linkages are completely different. Using this logic, Norco, Giant, Trek, Transition, Devinci, Scott, etc, are all the same because they use a vertically mounted shock. It's a silly argument.
  • 6 3
 It's weird because it looks a bit dated. But when you look at the geo numbers it looks modern. At first it looks like a mix of an ellsworth and nomad with the stand over height of the GT from yesterday.
  • 10 8
 I'm getting really tired of these ridiculously slack actual seat tube angles... Unless you have tiny little legs and keep your saddle low, your effective seat tube angle will be much slacker than advertised. 3-4° slacker in some instances (cough Kona cough).
  • 3 8
flag JohanG (Dec 19, 2019 at 7:59) (Below Threshold)
 3-4°? I sprained a muscle rolling my eyes at your hyperbole.
  • 7 0
 @JohanG: I appreciate your vote of confidence... I model frames in CAD, set them up for my saddle height, and measure the actual angles that result. The current Process 153 29er is the worst one I measured with close to a 4° difference (about 72° effective STA) IIRC.
  • 3 0
 True story. As a tall guy...you can easily just see where the seat tube starts and go "oh yeah that's going to be a flaw". Same with the big kinked STA brands. Its all less than ideal design. Then, like the testers, you are left once again shoving your seat forward to compensate for bad design.
  • 2 0
 @pnwpedal: you are not wrong
  • 1 4
 @pnwpedal: Did you do this with this bike? Just eyeballing, it look like about a 76 angle at the full saddle height.
  • 1 0
 @pnwpedal:
Is the Kona worse than the Wreckoning?
  • 7 1
 Cost difference 200%; performance difference 1%
  • 8 0
 utter nonsense.

performance difference 1.2%
  • 2 0
 @WasatchEnduro: Preposterous! You're way too generous, it's more like 1.19998%
  • 2 0
 The top tube in reality just isn't that long. I rode the bike and I had to measure it. The S4 reach is only slightly longer than my large Stumpjumper. The bike comes with two large tapered headset spacers that are almost like a head tube extender. If you use the longer one it makes the bike, in terms of reach and stack, very similar to the SJ. My only complaint is that it not only has a slack HA but also comes with a short offset fork which makes the handling at lower speed even worse. It's maybe a good trail bike if swapped for a 51mm offset fork. But yeah, other than that gripe, insane how good it is. Not a long reach (in reality)
  • 3 1
 What's with everyone being all over seat post angle? By the review's own admission the bike climbs well. Slightly stretched out position? Put a friggen shorter stem or buy a better fitting bike. Are we alll pushing for bikes within 1-2 degrees geo of eachother and lettering different rear suspension designs change how the bike handles? Ugh. End rant.
  • 2 0
 So, the Enduro is no more Enduro race bike, is like a New Small Demo DH bike, .The new SP Enduro race bike is the Stumpjumper and the Epic Evo is the new Stumpjumper Trail bike???? WTF????
What bike should I buy for mountainbiking???? Maybe a Clunker????
  • 1 0
 If riding on gravel roads is "mountainbiking" for you, get a Chisel...
  • 2 0
 Hey @mikekazimer - first please let me say I've enjoyed these field test reviews. They are well produced and I think you've managed to strike a good balance of geeky detail, ride feel and commentary - and have handled the breakages very well.
The point I'd like to make is that (as a journo but not in the bike industry) it always seems a bit odd to me that the bike media all allow brands to just send out whichever model they deem most suitable.
I'd argue that PB in particular has enough clout to be a bit more fussy and to specify you don't want the silly bling top end model, and perhaps to persuade the brand that they'd be better served sending a more realistic model anyway.
I get that there are commercial relationships with the brands too - but I think your readers would appreciate PB being a bit more assertive in this regard.
  • 2 0
 how is this bike so heavy? full carbon everything..

32lbs is pushing into DH bike weight. literally, my dh bike weighs 1lb more.

it doesn't exactly seem like it's a brawler, given that someone snapped the carbon wishbone links.
  • 4 0
 Climbs well, descends better, more progression for jumping over canyons and hucking to flat...Tell me more!
  • 8 3
 I want a head to head comparison between the Enduro and the Nomad.
  • 1 2
 Could not agree more. They sound like very similar bikes
  • 2 1
 "Seat tube angle could be even steeper - top tube length is relatively long."

Are you at the top end of a size's height range and slammed the saddle all the way forward (doesn't look like it in the pics) and it still was too long? No? Then the seat angle is fine.
  • 5 3
 One question about the huck test... how do you manage to bottom a 160 bike off a little ramp like this? Come on, how on Earth do you even ride in Whistler with so little SAG and HSC?!
  • 4 1
 I guess they softened the suspension for this test. Otherwise it would be ridiculous to ride with such a setup.
  • 1 0
 got the same question...used to be heavier than Jason and never bottom out bikes that harsh.
  • 1 0
 @brcz: They said about a bazillion times in response to those comments under every single test that they did not soften it and ran 30% sag for Jason. Whether you believe that is a different matter, but you're not gonna get any different reply Wink

I guess if people are sceptical, a PB user will have to perform an independent huck to flat with appropriate sag and share the results. For science.
  • 2 1
 @PJSANAB: I blame air springs suspension Smile
  • 2 1
 This is a bad A bicycle in so many ways, but it still would not be a top choice for a bike I have to pedal all day.

The 160mm+ rear travel bikes I've ridden just feel like they have so much weight transfer when sag is set correctly, plus extra beef to deal with DH runs, that they just feel sluggish to me when pedaling.

But I'm not certain the SJ Evo really pedals any better due to kinematics.
  • 2 1
 There's no doubt the Enduro is the better pedaling bike vs the SJ Evo. It'll take you about 30 seconds on the bike to figure that out.
  • 1 0
 Compare component specs of all the same bikes except for models in the $5000 to $7000 range. Tell me it's the same results. It's not just a small difference in climbing. If you now have shit brakes guess what happens to you descending, dropper post is whack, how you gonna like that? Things to consider... These are the bikes we will own.
  • 14 11
 Bikes are becoming so fucking good. Any enduro bike now days will trump any 5 year old dh bike. its hilarious.
  • 3 0
 why the downvotes. this is true!! my 130MM thunderbolt will out ride my friends 200mm 2008 Norco A-line for sure! what a sketch bike. lol.
  • 2 0
 2008 aline vs a new ensure sure.. 2015 dh bike vs enduro dh still destroys it downhill. Come again..
  • 1 0
 @m33pm33p: i guess i was a few years off lol.
  • 3 0
 So... has anyone compared this to the Stumpy Evo with the longer-stroke rear shock mod?
  • 2 0
 Looking at the Shimano 12 speed vs SRAM 12 speed derailleurs on the huck to flat tests....looks like the Shimano isn't as flopppy as the SRAM.
  • 10 2
 Good to hear. I aways need to downshift after I flat bottom stuff so I can case the next set.
  • 3 0
 So Shimano RD aren't as compliant as SRAM on big hits. Got it Wink Tuned flex and all that lol. (Nice spot btw, thats interesting)
  • 1 1
 Probably works much better than my old , very old Enduro. But my Spesh Enduro looks cool. This one looks boring. Sorry Spesh. The raw aluminum ones look good. Maybe that was the stump jumper. They all kind of look the same these days.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer How would you compare playfulness with last generation Enduro 29? I'm really considering one and i'm not sure I will be able to wait until demo season in may haha
  • 1 1
 How about that seat post shim you have to run if you ever want a dropper other than the shat x-fusion post the rest of the models come with? Seems weak that the 10k bike has to come with a plastic shim in the seat tube, thanks for dumb proprietary sizing Specialized!
  • 3 0
 34.9mm dropper posts are becoming more common; that's more of a forward-thinking feature than anything else. The new Norco Sight also uses a 34.9 post.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: Good point and good to know. Thank you.

Since you just brought up the Norco Sight, Is there anyway you could give an ETA on an in-depth review for that? Enquiring minds want to know.
  • 1 0
 OneUp and BikeYoke both make a 34.9 dropper. Max seatpost insertion depth is 200/220mm for the S3/S4. The OneUp is the only way most people will fit a 180mm dropper.
  • 1 0
 I'm sensing a plateau in mountain bikes this year. All these new bikes in the field test this year are just not that exciting. They're not really any better than bikes that came out last year.
  • 3 0
 This looks a lot like an Equilink. Does this mean Felt Bicycles are cool now?

Where is Kavic to defend his honor?
  • 2 0
 Specialized has many haters but if a spez bike gets featured, it sets the comments section alive. From a brand perspective, the more people talk about you, the better.
  • 1 0
 Are the frames rated for use with a dual crown fork?
It would make a great do it all bike for here in the UK with a 180mm Boxxer.
I currently have the 2015 Enduro Evo Expert with 180mm Boxxers!
  • 1 0
 Dam. I cannot mount my pink seat bag under the dropper. Thank goodness specialized has the in frame storage. Any chance the bike comes in Santa Cruz barf pink?
  • 1 1
 The new fox 26 is Fox’s newest approach to suspension. It allows for both regular telescopic travel and provides the extra end-stroke end up using the extra flex built into the 26 mm stanchions.
  • 4 2
 The entry level Enduro Comp is listed in Sweden for a "reasonable" $6069...
I'd buy the 1% slower GT force...
  • 3 3
 Specialized gave rise to Öhlins MTB division. You traitor!
  • 2 1
 And immediately spend the price difference (and then some) to replace the garbage Stans wheels on the GT.
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns: You called all Volvo engineers boring! Also, you can spec your new Volvo with Öhlins! Razz
  • 1 0
 @peleton7: you know you can change spoke nipples for literally less than 10 dollars per wheel right?
  • 2 0
 @S1mmo: Öl-duro sounds more fun! (and cheaper, but more dangerous Razz (Öl is beer in Swedish) ).
  • 3 0
 The do it all bike, that costs as much as a dynamic fleet...
  • 4 0
 “It’s easier to ride 1 bike than 4” - marketing
  • 2 0
 I'm glad that specialized is out of the raw frame, or I would have totally impulse bought this today
  • 2 0
 Props if u can impulse a bike this $$$. All the power to you Smile
  • 3 0
 It even comes in dentist white, nice touch!
  • 4 1
 Is it true the carbon links have been cracking?
  • 2 0
 I was wondering the same thing. I had seen a few comments on this issue, but couldn't find anything on it outside of those. The comment below yours has this picture though:

www.shrani.si/f/1k/vT/3ps1GkXB/2019-11-16-125548.jpg

So I guess it really has happened. We'll see how these hold up long term, I guess. Does anyone else have other pictures/info on this issue?
  • 2 0
 Maybe, but it's guaranteed that those Next cranks will soon enough.
  • 1 0
 @Snowytrail: 2000 miles on my Next Sl cranks and no issues and they hit rocks like they were free.
  • 3 4
 the real question is who is crazy or rich enough to believe this bike is $4000 better/funner than a capra pro race that weighs nearly 3lbs less, or a tues pro race, which barely weighs a 1/2 lb more but is a real dh bike.

S-holes indeed.
  • 3 1
 Main benefit: Did not break.
  • 8 10
 It would be beneficial if these tests were done on the actual bikes that people were going to own. Sure many people are going to own an Enduro... But 95% of em' are not going to own the $10 000USD model. Same goes with most other test. I'm sure the results may alter a bit when the bikes have everyday build kits.
  • 2 5
 no kidding here. it's pretty salty of @pinkbike
  • 10 3
 Easy! If you want to know what the $5k version is like vs the $10k version, just increase your climbing times by 1.5% to account for the additional 1kg of bike weight. Everything else in the review still applies.
  • 8 0
 Or like a lot of us do, only buy frames. Move our top end components over. The top end components get replaced/upgraded over time as finances, wear, and desire dictate. I've only bought one top end spec bike in my life and I've been surfing it ever since. And usually there is enough parts laying around to build up and sell the old frame or keep it around as a backup bike. Or the other approach I've seen is buy and sell a bike every year or 2 at most. Then your're surfing the "float" between new and old. Besides there is usually something I dont' like about the spec even when its top end. A lot of us get very particular about certain items or brands anyway.
  • 4 3
 The difference between 10 to 5k bike is usually just weight so I don’t get why people get so mad about it. You can still get a good feel for a bike from the review. If car magazines rarely (If ever) test the low spec’d cars why should bike magazines.
  • 2 3
 $10k isn't a lot of money.
  • 1 0
 @Sardine: so when your budget builds happens to come with shit Brakes, it's going to descend the same? Or crap wheels, dodgy dropper post. These things matter to the riding experience. Some companies budget builds always have crap parts thrown in. That's something to consider.
  • 3 0
 Only reason I say this is because my sister got into yacht racing, my dad was into car racing, and I have a brother whose wife is heavily involved in a highly efficient form of cash destruction known as the show jumping of horses. Even a high end bicycling hobby is almost as cheap as chess, in comparison to these.
  • 1 0
 @JohanG: man, some rifles and guitars are 10 grand i suppose. so....... theres a ugly guitar at my local shop new for $26,000 EVH bummble bee piece of chit!!
  • 2 0
 Good bike, disgusting price. Good think my dad's friend is a dentist.....
  • 6 3
 so "basically a nomad"?
  • 5 6
 I'd say their sizing labels are a bit confusing. To top it off, this bike is gigantic, so the "S" designations don't really tell me what size I should be on. Just go with S, M, L, XL, like everyone else.
  • 4 4
 To anyone down-voting me -- please explain to me why I'm wrong. What good reason is there for the fancy sizing?
  • 2 0
 @TheR: perhaps because the rate at which reach measurements are changing differs greatly between brands, and this is an attempt to get people to actually look at the numbers instead of blindly stating "I'll get a Large cos I always ride a Large"?
  • 1 0
 @DownhillDoozy: Understood, but how many people truly know what numbers are right for them?
  • 2 0
 "Almost a DH bike". Wouldn't that be called Downenduro?
  • 6 4
 LOOKS LIKE A SANTA CRUZ!!!!!
  • 1 0
 Added the Enduro to the Bikedigger.com site. Very high rowdiness score... highest yet out of the bikes we've entered.
  • 1 0
 Is there an evo version with a dual crown fork dropped to 180-190mm going on soon then?
  • 2 0
 It's like down payment on a house expensive. I still want one.
  • 2 0
 You had me at, the TLD colab fivetens.
  • 2 1
 Rode one back to back with a Scott Ransom. Neither felt like a downhill bike.
  • 2 0
 Love to see it compared to the stamina 180 .
  • 1 0
 I feel like sending a letter to santa or singing "All I want for christmas is a bike like you"
  • 2 0
 Should have gone with 6 chainstays
  • 1 0
 if I were to get this frame and put my 27.5 wheels and 200mm dual crown fork on it would I get arrested?
  • 3 1
 Fox 26 ????
  • 1 0
 forks were getting to stiff, we need to design a fork around compliance of the terrain. Fox 28 is upcountry specific!
  • 1 0
 I have the old enduro. How about a trade in Spaz dealers?
  • 1 0
 ΥΕΕΕΕΕΑΑΑΑΗΗΗΗΗΗ
  • 2 0
 Fantastic looking bike.
  • 1 0
 Waiting for the megatower review to see how it compares
  • 4 0
 Enduro MTB mag did a review of 17 enduro bikes and compared the MT to the Enduro, check it out if that's what you are after. I think you'll find similar conclusions here if you compare this review to the previous PB MT review. I've ridden both and own the Enduro. The Megatower feels like a long travel trailbike, it's a lot shorter and the steeper HTA was pretty noticeable even coming from my Sentinel at the time. It's more all around-ish, though, and if I was on more rolling terrain then it'd be a better option since it's shorter. The Enduro is more stable and provides better suspension performance. The design details and workmanship on both are very good, although the MT has an edge in bearing maintenance thanks to VPP. What I didn't get to do was demo sizes that are more alike. I rode a L MT and I ride a S4 Enduro, had I gone up to a XL MT, then it may have been closer. I'm 6ft and went L based on previous SC bikes, but probably should have been on a XL to get the reach closer to what I normally ride
  • 2 0
 @shinook: how did the enduro compare to your sentinel climbing and in tight stuff, changed the shock on mine which made it better but still thinking of getting an enduro.
  • 7 0
 @henricksen: I went from a Smuggler to a Sentinel and I think going from the Sentinel to the Enduro is a similar transition. The Enduro is more planted, more stable, handles chunk better, has better bottom out resistance, and fewer suspension setup compromises. It's designed better in the sense that there is internally tubed routing, it uses a standard shock size, and the kinematics are much better.

I think it climbs better and my times indicate the same, I've been PRing climbs on the Enduro by a fair margin, it bobs less and responds better than the Sentinel to out of saddle pedaling. The only hard part with the climbs is the length of the bike, like the video said, tight switchbacks and turns require you to go super wide to get around them, but I don't think it's markedly worse than the Sentinel. It is a longer bike, but I don't think the transition was as odd for me as going from the Smuggler to the Sentinel.

I had a hard time getting the Sentinel set up properly with the shock. It was either too soft and bottomed out a lot or it was too firm or too progressive. I expect a better shock would have made a difference, but the Enduro for me was a lot less of a setup compromise and a much easier to setup bike.

The Enduro is faster up and down, but what surprised me was that on the slow speed stuff, it retained the same responsiveness as the Sentinel and Smuggler. There is one drop here that's small, but has an awkward landing and a very short run in, so you can't really get a ton of speed. I was worried I wouldn't be able to hit it with the Enduro due to the length or that it'd be more work to land it properly, but I found the opposite, when you push into the bike, it gives you a really responsive feel and return.
  • 1 0
 @shinook: thanks for the detailed comment, I currently have an xl ibis HD3 but wanting to change to a 29er. I'm 6" also and find the ibis to be the right size. Im going to try be patient and wait for the local sc demo day in the summer. Unfortunately no specialized demo days...
  • 1 0
 They should have included the YT Sold Out in this field...
  • 1 0
 Aren't you a bit old to still jump on water beds @mikekazimer
  • 1 0
 It’s “rather than”
Sheesh
????
  • 1 0
 The "no climbing" bit better be a joke lol
  • 1 0
 Brand says it but doesn’t look like it..just saying:0
  • 1 0
 I like that it looks like a mountain bike.
  • 1 0
 But where’s the yeti review
  • 1 0
 Narrator needs to be a tad less monotone
  • 5 6
 A Specialized the same color as the Ibis? What will all the Special Fan Girls say now?
  • 12 4
 Specialized will likely patent the color and sue Ibis.
  • 5 4
 Watch out, Specialized will probably sue, claiming they own the color Tan.
  • 1 3
 @jrich2095: watch out, @Foolcyclist knows the ways of Specialized and you just stole his joke...Better lawyer up!
  • 3 4
 All of you -- what's it like to have Specialized Derangement Syndrome?
  • 1 1
 @Sardine: Yikes, I should have refreshed the page before commenting.
  • 4 1
 @TheR: brand loyalty is a mental illness
  • 3 0
 @TheR: the company that’s sued local bike shops can eat a bag of elephant dicks.
  • 2 0
 @dnnbrgr: Haha! I bet you couldn’t name one relevant detail about the suit.
  • 1 0
 You’re mad at a bike company and don’t even know what you’re mad about.
  • 1 2
 @TheR: you mean the one where they sued the Café Roubaix bike shop in Cochrane, Alberta, over a trademark they established years after the shop was opened? Nope. No idea.
  • 1 0
 @dnnbrgr: How long did it take you to google that?
  • 1 0
 How did the whole thing end?
  • 1 0
 @TheR: www.outsideonline.com/1920596/war-specialized

Excerpt:

Richter said he didn’t blame Specialized for its position. “If I found out someone was riding wheels with Café Roubaix on them, and they didn’t come from my shop, I would be concerned. If it fails, it reflects on me. Sure, I could disclaim it and say it’s not mine, but it would still reflect on me,” he told me. “So I understand Mike’s and Specialized’s position, especially as one of the biggest bike manufacturers in the world.”
“Because of their size, Mike’s either loved or hated,” Richter said, adding that he was ready to move on. “But I met him face to face, and he’s very personable, very charismatic. I feel no ill will towards Mike or his company. Ten years down the road, I hope we can sit down and have a beer together and laugh about this.”
  • 1 0
 @kootenayrider: Thanks. I already knew. I was asking the guy who was up in arms about Specialized suing the shop if he knew. He's apparently angry at a big bike company about a misunderstanding that ended amicably.
  • 1 0
 @TheR: doesn’t matter how it ended. Never should have happened in the first place. Their bikes crack like crazy if anyone over 200 pounds rides them hard and they’re a shit company, run by an out of touch twat. Piss off.
  • 1 0
 @dnnbrgr: Triggered much? It's SDS.
  • 1 0
 @TheR: Specialized Douchebags Suck? Yep, It is!
  • 1 0
 @dnnbrgr: Hope you get well soon! Angry and irrational is no way to go through life.
  • 1 0
 @TheR: neither is sucking on the tit of a company famous for new bs standards and that only made the lawsuit right after a HUGE public backlash. Enjoy your S-Works skirt, fan girl.
  • 1 0
 @dnnbrgr: Get help, get well.
  • 1 0
 @dnnbrgr: You know what might make you feel better and chill a little? A nice, long bike ride. I’d recommend a Specialized Enduro. Hear they ride like a dream.
  • 1 0
 @TheR: a friend has broken 6 of them, while my v3 Ripley is solid. Thanks, but I’ll pass!
  • 1 0
 Super sick.
  • 1 0
 Gwin approved? :>
  • 1 1
 Looks like a Session! First! Wink
  • 1 0
 Pros: it didn’t break.
  • 1 1
 Damn... I should consider go working.....
  • 3 3
 #winner
  • 3 1
 But it comes at a price. A quite huge price...
  • 3 0
 @mlangestrom: thats why there is a $4500 Comp version instead of the 10K cersion. It’s still full carbon front and rear triangle, code R brakes and decent suspension
  • 1 0
 @vanillarice19: In the US of A. Not here.
  • 1 0
 @vanillarice19:

except that it weighs more than my downhill bike!!
  • 2 2
 10k$ what a steal
  • 2 5
 All it needs is a handlebar shock remote to be the all-around king!
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