The Evolution of the Specialized Enduro

Aug 14, 2016
by Vernon Felton  




Evolution is not what you’d call “snappy”. About 5.8 million years ago our ancestral line split off from that of the great apes. While there was much hooting, lurching about on hind legs and awkward high-fiving at the time, things quickly stalled out. For three million years. It took three thousand friggin' millennia for Homo Habilis to stumble upon a rock and think, “Hell, I bet I could use this thing to smack my neighbor and steal his pile of ants.”

Three million years to invent the handle-less hammer. So, yeah, evolution—it’s not so quick on the gas. The exception to this rule? The modern mountain bike.

Mountain bikes evolve at a dizzying rate. Consider the Specialized Enduro. In 1999, the Enduro debuted as a pudgy trail bike with an odd name. Seventeen years later, the Enduro has metamorphosed no fewer than eight times. The result? A super bike that weighs less and climbs better than its progenitor, yet offers the kind of descending performance that was once the sole purview of downhill bikes.

Over the years, the Enduro has often defined its niche—the lightweight, long-travel ripper. That isn’t to say, however, that every Enduro has been flawless. There have been glorious advances and ugly stretches alike. Evolution is a messy affair. Here’s how it unfolded for the Enduro.




Evolution of the Specialized Enduro

Humble Beginnings

This probably wasn’t what you were expecting. The first Enduro was really just a riff on Specialized's existing Ground Control FSR models - a component-spec option rather than an entirely new line of bikes. Few people realize the Enduro was born here in 1999, but if you look closely, you can glimpse the future.
1999 FSR "Enduro" Pro
• Lifespan: One year
• Designed by: Mark Dinucci
• Design intent: "Everything...this was before full suspension became so segmented."
• Frame material: Specialized M.A.X. Aluminum
• Fork travel: 80 millimeters (3.15 inches)
• Rear wheel travel: 109 millimeters (4.3 inches)
• Geek facts: Front triangle made in Portland, Oregon

Specialized began making its popular Ground Control FSR bikes back in 1997. At the time, they were considered long-travel bikes. While they may not seem like gravity sleds by today’s standards, the Ground Controls were rugged and capable for their time. The bikes were configured around Horst Leitner's patented, four-bar, rear-suspension system and featured a burly, extruded-aluminum “MAX Backbone” front triangle, which was crafted for Specialized by Anodizing Inc., in Portland, Oregon.

The Ground Control FSR models--the Elites, Pros and Extremes (yes, there really was an “Extreme” model) were the mini-DH bikes of their day. Which is another way of saying they weren’t exceptionally light. Coil-sprung shocks and dual-crown forks added mass and limited their appeal. Enter this Enduro Pro model, which boasted the same 4.3 inches of rear-suspension travel, but opted for a lighter build kit.


Up front, the bike was spearheaded by a....RockShox SID XC? Yep. By today's standards, the three-inch travel SID boasted all the rigidity of overcooked fettucine, but the fork was, again, a nod to lightweight performance. This was 1999—everyone in the States seemed to be weighing their chain lube and trimming their handlebars—the SID was the fork of the moment, which probably explains why the first Enduro also wore a SID shock. As for stoppers, disc brakes were still a rarity at the time, so V-brakes got the deed done. Kinda. Sorta.

The first Enduro was a solid bike for its era. "It was technically very advanced," recalls Specialized's senior design engineer, Jason Chamberlain. "The mainframe was a triple-cavity extrusion that was then machined and bent. That was a pretty tricky engineering feat."

Evolution of the Enduro

But groundbreaking? No, you couldn't toss that adjective at what was a slightly hopped-up version of their existing Ground Control model. In fact, if you were the betting sort, you probably wouldn't have wagered much on the proposition that the Enduro would even stick around for long. The hot bike in Specialized's 1999 line, after all, was the Stumpjumper FSR XC - a featherweight, short-travel bike. You kind of have to squint at the 1999 Enduro to get a sense of where it was going. But it was going places. Fast.


Evolution of the Enduro
Starting From Scratch

Now, this is the bike that most people think of as the first Enduro. Though the 2000 Enduro was, essentially, a burlier, longer-travel version of Specialized’s lightweight FSR XC model, it also had an identity of its own, thanks to the disc brakes, much more capable suspension and, yes, those mud flaps.
2000-2001 Enduro
• Lifespan: Two years
• Designed by: Mike Ducharme and Robert Egger
• Design intent: "Long travel version of our XC bike."
• Frame material: Aluminum
• Fork travel:100 millimeters (4 inches)
• Rear wheel travel: 97 to 117 millimeters (3.8 to 4.6 inches)
• Geek facts: Adjustable geometry and rear suspension travel

Looking at this bike you can see where Specialized is heading: Less flex, less weight, more squish and a nod to climbing performance. Today those seem like obvious goals for just about any bike, but in 2000 there was a yawning gulf between cross-country dualies (such as the Santa Cruz Superlight and Specialized FSR XC) and the more gravity-oriented rigs. Relatively few bikes surfed the divide. This Enduro, however, plunged right into the gap. You could tweak the suspension and frame geometry via a four-position shock link and even though it only boasted 40 millimeters (1.6 inches) more rear travel than the company’s featherweight cross-country racer, the suspension was world’s more capable.

Evolution of the Specialized Enduro
The first Enduro frame design was basically a burlier, squishier version of this bike - Specialized's featherweight FSR XC.

There were a few important details in the first Enduro frame that often go overlooked. Bearings top the list. “This was possibly our first bike with bearings at the pivots (instead of IGUS bushings),” says Specialized’s Chamberlain. “I distinctly remember Mike Ducharme and Shawn Palmer yelling back and forth about bushings and bearings. Palmer insisted he had to have ball bearings like his Intense. Ducharme insisted bushings were good enough. I think this was the turning point for the industry where everything that followed had to have cartridge ball bearings.”
The components also set the Enduro apart from most of its competition. The bike was built to get rowdy, or at least rowdier. Disc brakes were also just beginning to gain traction as an original equipment item and there was only one brand that made solid, powerful and reliable brakes in 2000—Hayes. The Enduro rocked a set, thanks to a novel, if-sorta-wonky rear disc brake adaptor. The bike also sported riser bars, beefy frame gussets and fenders front and rear. Why did a longer-travel bike suddenly need mud fenders? It didn’t, but it sent a message: The Enduro was not like other bikes.

The Evolution of the Specialized Enduro

The Big Leap Forward

This, as the kids are fond of saying, is where shit gets real. In 2002 the Enduro made a massive leap forward with its semi-monocoque front triangle and a shock from the future that instantly bumped up suspension travel at the flick of a switch.
2002-2004 Enduro
• Lifespan: Three years
• Designed by: Jason Chamberlain and Robert Egger
• Design intent: "To be the Swiss Army knife of bikes."
• Frame material: Aluminum
• Fork travel: 80-130 millimeters (3 to 5.1 inches)
• Rear wheel travel: 100-132 millimeters (4 to 5.2 inches)
• Geek facts: On-the-fly adjustable suspension--front and rear.

Up until 2002, the Enduro was derivative—a spin off of already-popular Specialized models. This time around, the Enduro was a beast of its own making. The "TransForm" frame looked like a science-fiction movie prop and it was backed up by a proprietary Specialized-designed-and-Fox-built shock. Simply flick the “Itch Switch" and the bike went from four to five inches of travel. Up front, you could do the same with the Fox TALAS fork. While the previous version of the Enduro featured adjustable travel and geometry, it required pulling out the hex wrenches to make the swap. Now, all you had to do was flex an index finger. Brilliant.

If all that sounds like just so much gimmickry and cleverly-trademarked names (the latter of which is, admittedly, a Specialized specialty), there’s also this: The 2002-2004 Enduro was one of the most competent bikes of its time. Which bike is “the best” at any given time is always a matter of debate, but it’s hard to argue with this point: The Enduro defined its niche during this period. Lightweight, crazy-versatile and sexy as all hell.

"We wanted it to be the longest-travel trail bike going--yet as light as most XC bikes," recalls Chamberlain, who cut his teeth working on this model. "We never really had another bike on our radar. We usually never do. We just build what we personally want to ride ourselves. Back then, a lot of trail riders liked to stop and session stuff on the side of the trail, so we designed this to handle big stuff (big for the day) while being light enough to get anywhere you wanted to go. It was like the Swiss Army Knife of bikes – adjustable to do it all."

Evolution of the Enduro
In its final year of production, this iteration of the Enduro were equipped with Brain remote shocks. It was a very XC touch, though the Enduro would soon move in the other direction.

What could have been improved? “It wasn’t possible to vary the wall thickness with monocoque technology at the time,” says Chamberlain, “so it wasn’t as light as it could be, but the Enduro was still one of the lightest bikes of its type at the time.”


The Evolution of the Specialized Enduro

Enduro Goes Aggro

If the 2002-2004 Enduro was the all-purpose, people-pleaser bike, the 2005 and 2006 editions marked the Enduro’s angry adolescent phase.

You want a bike that locks out and climbs like an XC bike? Screw you, buddy. This Enduro lived to descend. Simple as that. The 2005 and 2006 Enduros were fierce (and polarizing) bikes.

2005-2006 Enduro
• Lifespan: Two years (later rebadged as "SX Trail")
• Designed by: Jason Chamberlain and Robert Egger
• Design intent: "Long travel, plush and burly."
• Frame material: Aluminum
• Fork travel: 150 millimeters (6 inches)
• Rear wheel travel: 152 millimeters (6 inches)
• Geek facts: One of the first bikes equipped with a long-stroke, large-volume, air-sprung shock.

Burly. There’s no mistaking this Enduro’s intentions. The bike is one big orgy of forged frame components, a low-slung cockpit and suspension components aimed squarely at descending. If you want to climb big peaks all day, you were knocking on the wrong door. Amazingly, the new aluminum frame didn’t gain weight—it tipped the scales at 6.9 pounds, but there was no shortening the bike’s six inches of rear suspension or “locking-out” of either the fork or shock.

The Evolution of the Specialized Enduro
The Enduro was equipped with the new Fox 36—the longest-travel, single-crown fork of the day, as well as an extra-long stroke, large- volume air shock. In an effort to maximize the smooth, the new Enduro eliminated DU bushings in the shock, replacing them with outboard ball bearings, which lasted much longer and provided a more supple feel.

The bike was a ripper. In 2006, the Enduro line diverged with a new SX Trail model getting a rowdier build kit and a bump in travel, from 150 to 168 millimeters. With its low center of gravity, slack angles and deep suspension, the Enduro was a go-to model for the descending set. Which also means that it didn’t appeal to as broad an audience as earlier Enduros.


“Riders continued to progress and develop increasingly aggro expectations of their trail bike, so we went big” says Chamberlain. “Journalists, connoisseurs and shop guys loved it. And internally this Enduro was the personal bike of choice for most of the product development team. Sales were good, but it was probably ahead of its time—too much bike for most people. A lot of people still wanted XC bikes that locked out.”<

The Evolution of the Specialized Enduro

The Black Sheep

The 2007 Enduro was a head turner and a departure. Specialized boldly ditched the basic swing-link shock layout in favor a rocker link. Moreover, this Enduro was equipped with forks and shocks designed by Specialized. The bike had big potential…and a few big problems.
2007-2009 Enduro SL
• Lifespan: Three years
• Designed by: Jan Talavasek, Jason Chamberlain and Robert Egger
• Design intent: "A lighter weight, XC version of the Enduro"
• Frame material: Carbon/aluminum and all-aluminum models
• Fork travel: 150 millimeters (6 inches)
• Rear wheel travel: 150 millimeters (6 inches)
• Geek facts: Carbon Enduro debuts. Specialized-branded suspension, dual-crown forks.


While the 2005-2006 era Enduro was much loved by downhillers, it was more bike than many riders wanted. This new version aimed to correct that. In fact, it aimed to do a lot of things. Lightweight and efficiency were, again, at the top of the priority list, but how Specialized achieved it was radical.

The frame was an entirely new, swoopy-tubed affair. For the first time, there were both carbon-fiber (front triangle) and aluminum Enduro models. Frame weight dropped significantly. The carbon edition tipped the scales at a feather 5.5 pounds with its shock. The complete pro model weighed less than 28 pounds. Those figures are still impressive today.

For 2007, Specialized went all in on “Total System Integration”. By designing more than just the frame, Specialized intended to make a bike that worked better as a unit. The bike would now wear Specialized forks, shocks and wheels. The company rehired Mike McAndrews to head up a new suspension unit. McAndrews had previously led R&D at RockShox, launched Fox’s fork line and designed some of the key suspension components at Paul Turner’s Maverick brand.

The initial results were impressive. Consider the FutureShock E150, a 4.5-pound, 150-millimeter (six-inch) travel, dual-crown fork with 35-millimeter stanchions and a massive 25-millimeter through axle. If those stats don’t get your geek blood boiling, I question whether your heart is even beating. Or, maybe, you just know how this chapter of the story ends. Badly.

The Evolution of the Specialized Enduro
Specialized's first carbon Enduro had a frame weight of less than 5.5 pounds. Complete bikes weighed less than 28 pounds-and that was with the dual-crown fork. Damn. Reliability issues, however, plagued both the shock and fork.

Both the radical fork and the Specialized “AFR” shocks were prone to failing. The bike developed a reputation as a brilliant idea that didn’t pan out. When it comes to manufacturing reliable suspension, the execution is just as critical as the design itself.

“I think we underestimated the complexity in manufacturing shocks and forks,” says Chamberlain. “It was a collaboration with a young factory (at the time) and I think both parties struggled with the volume and time challenges.”

What did Specialized learn from this version of the Enduro?

“Riders preferred brand name suspension and they didn’t like proprietary parts (stem and 25mm hub). We also learned,” continues Chamberlain, “that lightweight is always a driver and that carbon was a suitable material for aggressive, heavy-duty trail bikes.”




Evolution of the Enduro

A Return to Form

The 2010-2012 Enduro ushered in a new era. Gone was the rocker-link design of the previous model. The new bike was, in many ways, a more efficient, featherweight version of the company's 2009 SX Trail model.

The all-new “X-Wing” front triangle debuted on this Enduro and it would prove (after the Horst Link, itself) one of the most resilient design features to ever grace the Enduro line. This new bike was stiffer, lighter, more capable and more reliable than the model that preceded it.

2010-2012 Enduro
• Lifespan: Three years
• Designed by: Jan Talavasek and Ian Hamilton
• Design intent: "Even longer travel. Even lighter."
• Frame material: Both Carbon/aluminum and all-aluminum models
• Fork travel: 160 millimeters (6.3 inches)
• Rear wheel travel: 160 millimeters (6.3 inches)
• Geek facts: 20 percent boost in frame stiffness. Shock extension allowed for full-length seat post to co-exist with swing-link design.


By the time 2010 rolled around, Specialized found itself in a new position—they needed to catch up. There were plenty of great bikes out there that were only too happy to eat the Enduro’s all-mountain lunch, including the Santa Cruz Nomad and Trek Remedy. Specialized responded with this—a sleeker, svelter version of their 2009 SX Trail. The SX Trail was a downhill assassin, which gives you a sense of where this new Enduro was going. Specialized improved upon the SX Trail’s pedaling efficiency, lopped off plenty of weight and were back in the game.

The Evolution of the Specialized Enduro
2010's Enduro, with its "X-Wing" frame borrowed heavily from the company's lightweight freeride SX Trail, and proved a return to form.
The company hadn’t entirely given up on proprietary suspension bits. The high-end carbon versions were equipped with a carbon-crowned, 160-millimeter travel Specialized E160TA fork that weighed a mere 4 pounds and featured adjustable travel.

This fork required a proprietary headset lower assembly, though the company had clearly learned from the previous Enduro—they sold an aftermarket bearing kit that let you also run non-Specialized forks. That bearing kit came in handy since the Specialized fork still wasn’t as reliable as most of the competition.


At the rear of the bike, Specialized wisely opted for a Fox shock. The shock, however, was a proprietary affair which mated to a shock extension. Again, this was a feature that debuted the prior year on the SX Trail.

"The 'shock extension' is an idea that I had because I was tired of designing seat tubes around shocks, and decided to start designing shocks around seat tubes," says Chamberlain. "Riders still wanted to slam their saddles and we just couldn’t eke out any more seatpost travel with the shock in the way. A 'rocker' design was really the only other option, but too many competitors owned that look. We wanted to get back to a unique 'Specialized' look." The design also left more room for a water bottle mount in the main triangle

Though Specialized owns five patents surrounding the shock extension concept, they clearly haven't fought to keep it out of other companies' hands - it's a feature that's popped up on plenty of competitors' bikes since then.



The Evolution of the Specialized Enduro

The All 'Rounder

At first glance, it doesn’t look like the Enduro changed much in 2013 (same X-Wing design, same geometry). The tweaks are subtle on paper, but profound on the trail.

This version handily dropped its predecessor on the climbs, lost a bit of weight and gained stiffness. Moreover, the Enduro managed to maintain its nimble go kart handling while weathering the wheelsize storm that blew through the bike industry during these years. Hello, 29er and 27.5 Enduro.

2013-2016
• Lifespan: Four years
• Designed by: Jason Chamberlain and Dennis Wrobleski
• Design intent: "More travel and lighter--again. And in every wheelsize."
• Frame material: Both Carbon/aluminum and aluminum models
• Fork travel: 160 millimeters (6.3 inches)
• Rear wheel travel: 165 millimeters (6.5 inches) for 26 and 27.5. 155 millimeters (6.1 inches) for 29er
• Geek facts: Eventually available with 26, 29 and 27.5-wheels.


All-mountain bikes are the most demanding models to design. People want their burly six-inch travel bike to climb like a goat and descend like a DH bikes. That’s a lot to ask for. It’s also why this niche generally turns out the most innovative models—people demand it. No surprise, then, Specialized tweaked the 2013 Enduro’s kinematics and shock tune to improve the bike’s pedaling efficiency, they bumped up rear-suspension travel a smidge (five millimeters) and trimmed about a quarter pound from the carbon frame and boosted stiffness with the adoption of a 142x12 rear through axle. The changes sound small, but they were immediately noticeable the moment you began pedaling.

Those changes might have been enough, but they paled in comparison to the next tweak to the formula: 29-inch wheels. Let’s be clear, no one asked for a 29er Enduro. At least, I never heard anyone ask for one. Most long-travel 29ers of the era had all the handling grace of shopping carts. The 26-inch wheeled Enduro, by contrast, was a low-slung, nimble bike with a long top tube and a short rear end. That formula is all the rage these days, but it had been a hallmark of the Enduro for a decade by this point. Adding 29-inch wheels to that formula? It didn’t make sense. But Specialized did it anyway. Amazingly, it worked out.
The Evolution of the Specialized Enduro
Specialized wasn't first to market with a long-travel 29er, but they broke molds with this one - which featured a much shorter rear-end, and it changed a lot of peoples' perceptions of what a 29er was capable of.

“I still remember the exact moment when Brandon Sloan told me to stop working on the 26 version and get a 29 version into production. And it had to have all the same geo as the 26 bike,” recalls Jason Chamberlain. “I just sat there and deflated in my chair as the reality hit me. Short chainstays with wagon wheels simply weren’t possible with existing front derailleur technology, and 1x had not taken over yet. I had to get really creative and convince SRAM to partner with us. I had to design a front derailleur mount that was easy enough that SRAM could get on board.”

The end result, however, was stunning: A 29er with 155 millimeters of travel and 430-millimeter (16.9-inch) chainstays… Many riders climbed aboard expecting to hate the thing and wound up eating crow instead. Make no mistake, a new crop of nimble-yet-capable 29ers was already sprouting up, but the Enduro 29er was the most extreme and innovative of them.

And yet the wheelsize that many riders wanted was neither 26 nor 29: They wanted an Enduro with 27.5 (aka “650b”) wheels. Though plenty of Specialized engineers personally preferred the wagon-wheeled Enduro, the company released a 27.5 version as well in 2015.



Evolution of the Enduro

This Year's Model

And here we are…looking at the new Enduro, which makes its debut today. For 2017, Specialized refined, rather than reinvented, the Enduro.

The latest Enduro receives a modest bump in suspension travel and several tweaks aimed at upping the ante on frame stiffness and reliability. The most obvious change, however, is that there are now Enduros that mesh with every wheel size, including, you guessed it, 27-plus.

2017 Enduro
• Lifespan: Time will tell
• Design intent: "Do it all. From steep, root-laden climbs to white-knuckle descents."
• Frame material: Full-carbon models, carbon/aluminum and all-aluminum models
• Fork travel: 160 millimeters (6.3 inches) in 29/27+ and 170 millimeters (6.7 inches) in 27.5
• Rear wheel travel: 165 millimeters (6.5 inches) in 29/27+ and 170 millimeters (6.7 inches) in 27.5
• Geek facts: Press-fit bottom brackets go away, SWAT storage door arrives. Two frames (29/27+ and 27.5) allow for three wheel options.


Fatter “plus-size” tires are making their way into more and more bike lines and they show up here as well. For 2017, Specialized is offering a line of Enduros that play nice with both 29 and 27-plus (what Specialized calls “6Fattie”) wheels and tires. The chassis is designed on a 29er frame platform “with tire clearance and wheelsize options as a consideration.” In other words: you can fit both 27.5x2.8 tires and 29x2.5 inches tires in the thing.

Still hate wagon wheels and you’d rather burn in hell than rock a set of 2.8-inch tires? If that’s you, you’ll be glad to know there’s also a complete line of Enduros specifically designed around “normal” 27.5-inch wheels. You can fit a 27.5x2.6 tire in that sucker if you are sorta plus-curious.


Evolution of the Enduro
When it comes to new-bike launches, reliability and utility tend to get short shrift in favor of bells and whistles. Not this time. The 2017 Enduro receives larger linkage hardware and bearings, improving stiffness and reliability. Boost 148 also shows up this time around. Specialized improved the Enduro's Internal cable routing, adding independently-molded tubes within the down tube that should reduce fist-shaking and cursing at the heavens when it’s time to run a line through the frame.

The rat’s nest of cables that always hung beneath the Enduro’s bottom bracket is gone. And speaking of bottom brackets, the press-fit bottom bracket that took root on the Enduro in 2013 is, thankfully, banished and replaced with a threaded bottom bracket. Finally, if you always felt that the Enduro desperately lacked a burrito storage unit, there’s a new SWAT utility door on the down tube.



How will the latest Enduro fare over the long run? We'll see. In the meantime, Tech Editor, Mike Kazimer, has spent some time aboard the bike and has this to say about it.




Must Read This Week

171 Comments

  • + 134
 Very good read, loved it i would like to see this more often. They were beginning to look like a big hit for a bit!!!!
  • + 9
 great read (would be brilliant, if it also included a geo chart of let's say the Medium model through all those years). I never owned one, I critizised them a lot (especially that terrible 2007 model...), but it's undisputable the most iconic of all enduro bikes and there wouldn't be a better model to base such an article on.
  • + 4
 @MatthewCarpenter: "I never owned one, I critizised them a lot..."

At least you are honest about that Smile


Great article btw, I would love to see an overlay (interactive even) to compare the geo and wheelbase of the different models through time.
  • + 84
 More of these articles please
  • + 34
 Speaking of enduros anyone got a 2010 rear swing arm cheers
  • + 9
 I have an extra swing arm for 2010 endure 26" red.
  • + 1
 @bike-skate: anybody have a 2000 chainstay laying around?
  • + 3
 I do, broke carbon frame, so have rear triangle.
  • + 2
 Yeeow cheers guys sent you both messages
  • + 1
 how bout a 2005 SxT chainstay, eh?
  • + 1
 I'm in need of a 2009 Stumpy chainstay. I've broken many and now Specialized is finally out Frown
  • + 31
 Pressfit has been given the arse for 2017, very nice, end users rejoice.
  • + 20
 I think I got butterflies in my stomach when I read, "Press-fit bottom brackets go away." Please let this be a trend! A threaded BB is one of the things that sold me on the Nomad. Also love the clearance for a 2.6" tire. That size is going to be where it's at.
  • + 17
 @ninjatarian: ~Hmmmm. I'm not sure. Personally I think a 2.61" is a gazillion percent better, and because you think 2.6" is the best I now regard you as my arch enemy.
  • + 2
 @ninjatarian: Ask Jared Graves if its where its, especially after this weekend.
  • + 2
 @SlodownU: I doubt tire width had much of an impact on the fact that he got a flat.
  • + 2
 @ninjatarian: It was 2 flats, and of course width has an impact. Width impacts tire pressure (whats the point of more volume if you can't lower pressure).
  • + 2
 @SlodownU: it was whistler EWS. Rude hadn't had a flat all season, and flatted also. Graves tore his sidewall stage 1. Had to run the same tire stage 2 and the repair didn't hold resulting in loss in tire pressure. For 90% of the riders on 2017 enduro 650b bikes, a 2.6 will most likely improve their bike handling.
  • + 16
 "What did Specialized learn from this version of the Enduro? 'Riders preferred brand name suspension and they didn’t like proprietary parts.'"

Nice realization Specialized. Glad you left the proprietary parts after that. Oh wait - 142+, shock mount...
  • + 6
 142+ is just their own hub type, you can still fit a 142x12 hub in...
  • + 12
 I've never been a fan of Specialized designs so would never buy one, but found this article really interesting. I'd like to see a lot more history of manufacturers pieces on here. Maybe the likes of Trek, Norco, Ellsworth, Santa Cruz and Whyte will see this and publish a history of their bikes in the future!
  • + 6
 well since 2008 the trek bikes have been all the same using the same platform and design even between different models. As much as people bash specialized they really have pushed for innovation. The swat downtube storage i thinks is the most game changing feature i have seen recently
  • + 6
 @OLTI27: please list me some things where specialized was the first to introduce something great. Horst-link isn't designed by them, they just bought over the patent from another company that designed and patented it. The first mountainbikes by specialized were basically Ritchey frames, but produced in Asia for lower costs. The swat thingy, I'm sorry, even though it is handy, it is no real innovation in my eyes because it doesn't make your bike ride better. (Kind of like putting an extra pocket on your jeans doesn't necessarily make it better). Especially in a world with dropper posts, hydraulic disc brakes, hollowtech II style cranks, n/w chain rings and wide range cassettes, it is not worth calling a game changing feature.

Yes they make decent bikes and are often quick to jump onto new trends, but I don't remember them actually creating new trends or being the first with one of these.
  • + 1
 @Mattin: Brain technology.
Dropper post, disk brakes hollowtech II cranks are not really recent innovations and they are made by parts manufactures companies. Riding in +20°C without having a sweaty back because the lack of back pack makes you ride happier and better. At the end of the day all high end bikes from different brands perform very well and more or less the same. Its the little things that differentiate them.
  • + 8
 Nice article, however, the writer overlooked the Specialized Enduro hard tail. See the linkhttp://www.bikepedia.com/quickbike/BikeSpecs.aspx?year=2001&brand=Specialized&model=Enduro+Expert+HT
  • + 11
 Oh, I remember it. Blast from the past.
  • + 2
 Still have one I ride from time to time!
  • + 5
 The 2002-2004 Enduro SX deserves a mention. The bike Anneke Beerten rode to a second place at the Lisbon Urban DH (after winner ACC) and which Matt Hunter used for herding cattle in The Collective movie. I think this particular bike is what first associated "Enduro" with aggressive riding. The next generation of Specialized Enduro bikes seemed more like an evolution of that particular frame, with the bridge around the shock. It got a life on it's own so much so that the actual meaning of SX (supercross, like BSX, DS, 4X etc) got lost so much that eventually they even came with an "SX trail" model, whatever that's supposed to mean in this context. That's when they decided to bring the actual Enduro back to the original intentions of what we currently call "trail". And that's what no one liked because people started to associate "Enduro" with the more aggressive incarnation. So in my perspective (which could be all wrong), the recent branch of Specialized Enduro bikes is more an incarnation of the 2002-2004 Enduro SX bike than of the regular Enduro bike of that era. I still think that old Enduro SX bike seems like an incredibly fun short travel bike I wouldn't mind riding today.
  • + 1
 I still have my 04 SX. It's had Shiver SC's on it (which looked great given the silver frame) 66's, Travis', now Nixons. My brother in law rides it. Honestly people talk about innovation and the latest bikes (I have the last of the Enduro 26's 2014) and yet with wide bars and a dropper on it, it rides as well as any other 4-5 inch bike. But it is heavy, 16kg versus 14kg of my new bike. And the new bike has a coil shock, the old doesn't.
I really really want to get hold of an 04 S Works that had the brain, just to try it.
www.pinkbike.com/photo/13827729
  • + 1
 @ChazzMichaelMichaels: That looks perfect! The bike was for racing so I suppose it could be build lighter. But if you're going to spec it with a Shiver you probably had different intentions Smile . Full sus 4X/DS/whatever frames have been around for a while and as they're so much fun, have also been used for general fun. B1 (beone) also used to have something back then that looked good (B1 DS Killer B) and surely so must there have been others. Every now and then a bike manufacturer claims to have invented something new: a flickable aggressive short travel fully. It is basically just this kind of stuff and it's been around for a while.

Not sure whether you could get this frame spec'd with the brain shock though. It is shorter travel than the regular Enduro. They had the Epic with the brain first, then I suppose it came on the Stumpjumper (where it switched to a platform instead of to a full lock out). It eventually came to the Enduro but I thought that was a later generation with came with a very different shock. Or is it possible to replace a Fox lockout knob by a (remote) brain unit. Is that just possible? Otherwise you might stand a better chance with one of these modern electronic shocks.
  • + 9
 threaded bb!!!!!I wish pressfit wouls just go away for good already.
  • + 5
 Still repin' an 05 Enduro. Couldn't agree more with Felton's comments. Most sluggish AM bike I've ever ridden on up-hills but descends as well if not better than some downhill bikes I've been on (especially from around the same time). Bulletproof too! Aside from tires and rear shock (Specialized upgraded to Fox for no charge), it's bone stock and largely original and still going strong.
  • + 4
 I feel that with a shock that had a proper compression adjustment, or something more effective than fox's propedal, these bikes would be better climbers.
  • + 6
 Meh! Never liked the x-wing design! They should've continued developing the Pitch, one of the funnest all round bikes specialized has made.
  • + 7
 Love my pitch! It's still going strong! Although the new stumpy seems to be pretty similar in geometry and intent...
  • + 2
 @millsr4: Same here, still Pitching around..
  • + 13
 I got 99 problems but my Pitch ain't one.
  • + 2
 The Pitch was the 2007-2009 Enduro with a cheaper to produce straight top tube and a different name... it's the exception. (and of course not using the proprietary shocks/forks that were actually very good when they worked)

Although diamond back had the X frame design way before Specialized. (before they went bankrupt and got bought and started making cheapo bikes)
  • + 1
 Three cheers for the Pitch!
  • + 1
 I use to have the enduro 2011 and the pitch, i sold the enduro and keep the pitch whit some upgrades and still goin strong is one of the best bikes specialized have ever made.
  • + 5
 Headline: 26" wheels no longer exist...

"The most obvious change, however, is that there are now Enduros that mesh with every wheel size, including, you guessed it, 27-plus."
  • + 2
 kinda contradiction
  • + 2
 You need to go with the times. The new Enduro comes with 12", 14", 16", 18", 20", 22", 24", 27.5", 29" and 36". Why bother with 26"?
  • + 3
 You know I've spent plenty of time ripping on the big S for its overly aggro take on patent Law, but the Enduro has been growing on me for years. (like a tasty fungus?) If I had the cash to buy a properly Spec'd bike of this type I doubt if buy from the big 3 but this bike makes that decision harder and harder to make.

Someday I'll be able to afford to get off of the 'cave man wheel' size (26er, since you know this new Enduro comes in 'every wheel size') and this bike will be on the short list for sure. Nice article too. More of these please!
  • - 1
 'Though Specialized owns five patents surrounding the shock extension concept, they clearly haven't fought to keep it out of other companies' hands--it's a feature that's popped up on plenty of competitors' bikes since then'

The funny thing is, this is precisely the reason they 'had to' take action against Cafe Roubaix, as they were 'legally obliged to protect their patents'

I genuinely feel like Specialized's Legal, Marketing, R&D etc etc departments are run by entirely different companies
  • + 2
 @olinof: You are legally required to protect trademarks or you lose them. Patents can be enforced, or not, at anytime with no consequences.
  • + 3
 My '04 Enduro was an absolute tank. Burly frame, agile, decent suspension. Great for it's time. My '09 Enduro was massively capable, though flexy, and I avoided the suspension issues by running Fox. Used the geo adjust rear shock mount regularly. Also great for it's time.
  • + 3
 Back in the 90's I had a very special Specialized Max Backbone, was a FSR DHO kit that comes with DHO fork and a tuned Fox in the back with more than 5 inches of travel. For shure was one of the bes bikes I had. Won my first DH races on that bike against riders with Santa Cruz Super 8... the bike had amazing geometry and worked perfect all the time. Bought in Supergo near LA... some years ago got a Demo and also is one of the best bikes I ever had...
  • + 3
 Man, tough to see everyone rag on the 07-09 models like this. Bet they never owned or even rode one. The issues with the shock and fork got fixed pretty quickly and specialized did such a good job at taking care of their customers, upgrading all the internals for free. They upgraded my 07 fork and shock in 2010 even though there was nothing wrong with them, no questions asked. Once everything was upgraded the suspension worked amazingly good. Was one of the best bikes I ever owned, served me well for nearly 8 years. LOVED that bike. I honestly think it deserved more credit than this article gives it - and think the author was wrong in suggesting it was intended for XC type riders. Clearly it was designed for descending, but they kept it light and pedal-able for going back up (shock had a lock out and fork had a travel reduction feature) - starting a design philosophy that continues today in all trail/enduro/all mountain bikes. They were way ahead of their time.

I upgraded it in 2012 with new brakes, the light and strong Roval wheelset, spech's 60mm direct mount stem, and a dropper post and when i sold it in late 2014 there were people on brand new all mountain rigs lusting over it.

I know there are people out there that agree with me because they held their value for so long.
  • + 1
 Great comments. Had an 08 Comp that I upgraded like crazy. One of the best bikes ever, perfectly balanced. Killer bike. And gotta give credit to Spesh for that e150 fork. Such a light fork and super stiff. 25mm axle. I dig it when people think outside the box and take a risk. It had some issues and blew through it’s travel but I was kinda bummed when they dropped it. Potential I thought.
  • + 2
 the 2006 vintage is the shit. Cold forged frame bits. All about free ride with an enduro name. Mine builds up to 35 pounds with free riding in mind. Ht angle is a bit steep on paper but the bike handles like a dream.! Newer enduros look cool but do not look like they are built to last many years. How else do you keep bringing down the weight.
  • + 1
 I have to disagree I've ridden the crap out of my enduro 29 it still rides great
  • + 1
 @tblore: ride the North Shore for a few years .Do all the double blacks when you ride and get back to me.
  • + 1
 @Sshredder: I'm sure we each have our own trails that stress the bikes. All I'm saying is with proper maintenance no one should have any trouble
  • + 1
 @tblore: OK I'm talking about hucking Free Ride bikes . Pushing bikes to the limits. Cold forged aluminum ect.
Your saying that you have a 29 er that aint broken.
We are talking about two different things bro.
Read the article again, the 06 Enduro is built to take big hits.
Proper maintenance doesn't stop frames from snapping.
How many frames have you destroyed...........
  • + 2
 @Sshredder: I've never snapped a frame. Have you? If so maybe a proper downhill bike instead.
  • + 0
 @tblore: um a proper free ride bike?
  • + 3
 Always a sucker for the Enduro:

2008 Expert
2011 Expert Evo
2012 S Works
2012 Expert 29

That said, this release feels a bit like the iPhone 7. Some great refinements but not in a hurry to sell and purchase anytime soon.
  • + 3
 (I meant 2016 Expert 29 not 2012.)
  • + 1
 Then you need to take a closer look at the geometry chart, "refinement" is an understatement... That geo is a significant improvement...
  • + 1
 @stiingya: Compared to the three year revision cycle of yore, I’d call it a refinement. It’s a similar frame, refined.

As for geometry it can be a personal thing can’t it? Slacker HA and it’s gonna flop around a bit more and be tougher on the climbs. My E29 is a pretty great climber as is and will descend way faster than I can push the thing!

I’m sure it’s better but I’m not going nuts like I was when I bought the ’12 before the ’13 came out.
  • + 1
 @jeremiahwas: I'd say big improvement,
-threaded bottom bracket
-same bearing size for all pivot links
- full carbon frame on s-works
-geometry change to make it stupid fast on the descents, and climb like an xc bike
  • + 1
 @Trevorspecialized: Yes on the bottom bracket, but not a handling thing.
Same size bearings would be handy but again, not a handling thing.
Full carbon - awesome, yes, but I’ve gotten plenty of nasty rock strikes on the rear triangle and it seems to be the only place my friends tend to crack their carbon frames. (Not a reason I wouldn’t want it, of course.)
Geometry being more dialed, yes please.

All I’m saying is it isn’t enough for me to feel too badly for not dropping the $ on the newest version considering what I paid for my 2016, halfway through 2016. The differences between a 2016 and 2017 aren’t like they were going from a 2012 and 2013...I know because I ponied up full MSRP for a 2012 S Works frame and built one. I literally paid close to the same price for that frame as I did a 12016 Expert complete. Oops.
  • + 1
 No mention of the 2017 frame designers? I loved my 2007 Enduro (non SL). Wish my new Stumpy climbed like that thing did. After riding the new 29'er Enduro, I'm regretting I bought a Stumpy...that thing railed. Only thing I wasn't impressed with on the new Enduro's is climbing switchback trails, the head tube is a bit slacker than I like - give me some height adjustable front forks, please.
  • + 1
 I remember riding the 2004 Enduro as a demo for a few days while my GF Sugar was getting repaired (agian). I was surprised at how well it rode for a "big bike" with 130mm of travel.

The following year when it was time for a new ride, I wound up going with an Epic, because one, I was getting into racing and two, as Vernon pointed out "A lot of people still wanted XC bikes that locked out."

Fast forward to 2015 and what kind of bike did I buy? A 130mm trail bike. I figure I'm still behind the times though, as it's only 650b Smile

Great overview @vernonfelton - thanks.
  • + 1
 Moved to Tahoe 4 years ago, broke as all hell with a few buddies. One of 'em bought a 2002 Electric Blue Enduro for $500 that had nothing stock on it, had been turned into a freeride machine while still hovering around 30lbs.

So began my love affair, I bought a 2002 for my girlfriend as her first ever mtb and she loves it, bought myself a 2006 and this article is spot on, dog of a climber but beasts anything when pointing down!
  • + 2
 I work at a shop and we have a customer that still rides her 2000 enduro with the same matte navy and red frame, but no fenders. I love that thing it's like a piece of history. The fox shock on the back still woks
  • + 2
 I still have a 1999 frame.
  • + 1
 @h-beck83: Me too
www.pinkbike.com/photo/5115863

It just sits in the garage doing nothing. Just there looking old and cool.
  • + 3
 Always hated spesh, but got a beyond great deal on a '15 enduro... now I'm a huge fan, and I guess a hypocrite. But still, FU spesh! Wink
  • + 3
 Great article, I'm surprised you didn't mention the Enduro hardtail?
www.mtbr.com/cat/bikes/bike-hardtail/specialized/01-enduro-ht-pro/prd_354920_96crx.aspx
  • + 1
 Propriety suspension, said it at time fail, check, press fit BBs fail, check, the industry not just Specialised should listen more to riders who ride and work on theyre bikes, we are test riders too, riders that ride know ya know! I had a 2013 Stumpy Evo with that Press fit BS it ruined the experience for me as a bike as did the shitty down the under tube cable routing, cut rear disc brake cable in the forest , not fun time, so glad to see the pending death of press fit BB the big S pushed on the industry though.

That said this new Enduro looks good, good signing of JG and likes of Curris Keeene and da Girls developing good bikes on the Enduro circuit for the Enduro (pun) but even Id be tempted in the wagon wheel options and that Ohlins sus, well.....ohlahlah
  • + 8
 that's not a pun.
  • + 2
 I know someone with that first fsr, I think he paid £100 for it but it's probably worth a lot more now. It's very dated but I'm still jealous and desperately want it to hang on my wall.
  • + 1
 I still have my 1st edition FSR Pro Enduro...it was a prototype and never received stickers...made many adjustments to ride it DH at Bootleg Canyon back in 1999-2003....basically adjusted everything but the frame
  • + 1
 Bootleg is the shit.
  • + 2
 You lost me at the idiotic evolution summary. 5.8 million years ago we split from apes? Man! That must have been a great day!
  • + 0
 I cant believe there are people that truly think we come from apes.... it drives me nuts
  • + 3
 @Narro2: we didn't come from apes, we came from a common ancestor...
  • - 1
 @xeren: yeah, whatever you wanna call it... it still drives me nuts
  • + 3
 @Narro2: okay, so you don't believe in the theory of evolution. do you also not believe in the theory of gravity or nuclear theory? because all 3 are equally proven
  • - 2
 @xeren: I really dont care about the other 2, and as far as I know gravity is already a law, so show me the equal proof for evolution.
  • + 4
 @Narro2: a scientific theory is not the same type of theory as you saying "I think i have a theory about who took the last beer out of the fridge".

A scientific theory is based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment. Such fact-supported theories are not "guesses" but reliable accounts of the real world.
  • - 3
 @xeren: yeah... And the facts for theory of evolución are...?
  • + 8
 @Narro2: you can lead a horse to knowledge, but you can't make him think
  • + 3
 @Narro2: now that you know that a scientific theory is based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment, and NOT a theory in the way that you or I commonly use the term "theory", you can google all the facts yourself!
  • - 2
 @xeren: yeah, just as i thought no proof.
  • + 1
 FishSquirrel
  • + 3
 My 05 still going strong with a couple of trips to the alps each year. Will be very sad when or if it eventually breaks.
  • + 1
 If you are the original owner and have your receipt, any S dealer can warranty the frame. It would most likely be a newer version, as they can't keep every version stocked in their wharehouse.
  • + 1
 I had an 02 Enduro Comp... Later, the frame was upgraded to a S-Works as the front shock mount cracked. . I put on a 130mm fork and that thing was awesome. . Railed singletrack like a slalom bike.. It was a fun bike. .
  • + 2
 Best bike you can buy weather new or second hand ,it's a game changer ,love them ,should be part of mtb history ,if u want 1 bike to do it all its got to be an enduro
  • + 3
 I still have a 99 FSR Comp like the first bike, and I still love that thing!
  • + 2
 I had one of those too, my first fs. I had a lot of fun on it and ended up giving it to a cute hippy chick a several years ago. She's still riding the trails in Norcal on the thing.
  • + 1
 Nice article.

Hayes were not the only disc brake manufacturer in 1999, there was also Hope with their C2 (as fitted to my 1999 Marin WolfRidge..., before I upgraded to V-brakes ;-)
  • + 1
 It's great looking back at how many Enduros got ruined by the shit shocks Specialized put on their bikes. Daring to be different but just ended up being crap. And those E150 forks, haha, what a fucking joke they were!
  • + 1
 I'd love to see one with a coil and a modern cartridge damper retrofit.
  • + 1
 I asked them in 2012 when the Enduro would have an option for 29" wheels when I attended S.B.C.U. for a tech clinic. I had just purchased the SJ Evo 29, their longest legged 29r to date. Still loving my 2014 expert frame!
  • + 3
 Applause for the return of the threaded bottom bracket.
  • + 1
 Cool article! But why no mention of the evo models? I think they're different enough with their coil suspensions to deserve a mention.
  • + 1
 Sweet! Since 2001 when I got a first MTB catalogue, the Enduro was always in top 3 of my dream bike list. There are very few bikes that are as iconic as this one.
  • + 2
 The 2004 S-Works Enduro was the best bike I ever owned. The 2008 Pro Carbon SL rode much like its colour, shit!
  • + 1
 I always wanted to ride the brain equipped one. What was it like? More active than an Epic?
  • + 1
 @ChazzMichaelMichaels: It was brilliant, very subtle on small bumps and chatter but for me the balance of the bike front to back was excellent, I had a 2008 and a 2010 Enduro that just didn't match the feel and performance of that bike, my old buddy bought it from me in 2009 and still uses it today. I didn't try the Epic but i'm assuming it was slightly more active due to the additional suspension travel.
  • + 3
 Still rockin my 2006 Enduro!! Smile
  • + 2
 So am I bud always end up back on my enduro
  • + 3
 and I Just bought a 2016 S works..... maybe i should have waited.
  • - 5
flag dbodoggle (Aug 14, 2016 at 3:21) (Below Threshold)
 no... the one you have is better than 2017
  • + 1
 @dbodoggle: How so?
  • + 0
 @dbodoggle: Let's determine that once Graves and Keene speak out.
  • + 1
 Did the same thing in 2012. Paid full MSRP for the frame only and built it up.

This time, I just bought a 2016 Expert for a great price. Learned my lesson.

Did you get a deal at least?
  • + 3
 Anything S Works is amazing. Enjoy your bike
  • + 1
 When you say just bought, like within the last two weeks? Yeah the new one is probably an improvement, maybe would have made more fiscal sense. However it's still an s works so you'll have a blast regardless.
  • + 1
 @AverageAdventurer: I bought it a 2-3 months ago.
None of these bikes is an investment. Like a car, they drop in value a lot as soon as you leave the store with them. (Warranties don’t transfer!)
Did you get a good price on it? If so, don’t sweat it. You won’t get a good price on a 2017 for a long time and they probably won’t even be available for a little while.
  • + 2
 I knew I'd get some neg props from saying that. What I meant by my comment was just my opinion that you don't need to participate in the newest/best bike hype and that his 2016 model will still be great.
  • + 1
 @jeremiahwas: Yeah got an awesome deal was reduced from NZ$13,500 to NZ$9,500 and because I have bought some many bikes from the store they knocked another $1,000 off!
  • + 2
 @markhouse: $6135 US is a killer deal! I’d fully ‘relax’ knowing you scored. You won’t get an equivalent 2017 for that price for sure! Everyone else will be spending thousands more to have this ‘refined’ version. Would be different if you paid full retail.
  • + 1
 @likeittacky looks like last year's model was better for Graves.
  • + 3
 @jeremiahwas: now just have to wait another month or so till I can ride it again. 4th ride out and had a massive stack on a big table top and crushed my T6. nothing like a broken back to spoil a ride!
  • + 1
 @markhouse: Oh man! Sorry to hear. Scary stuff. Take your time and heart up correctly.
  • + 1
 Great, only missing a mention of the EVO line here, to pull the SX Trail history along
  • + 2
 Thanks @vernonfelton, nice article
  • + 1
 there is a mistake. the 168mm travel enduro was dhe sx trail model based on the same shasis
  • + 2
 Poor wording on my part. I added a bit of clarification. Cheers.
  • + 2
 I remember when the first generation enduro came out. I feel old!
  • - 2
 What the Stinkin heck, make something special not just some more proprietary crap we can never service and always have the worst time finding parts for!!!! Go Santa Cruz!!!!! Lifetime bearings and Frames! Plus geometery that always pushes the future and others have to follow!!! Suck it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • + 1
 Don't get me wrong, I still hate specialized. But this was really awesome and I now hate them a little less.
  • - 1
 Great!!!! Now we get to reward am the posts about how specialized is so bad ass... Well they aren't... Their R and D department stands for, Rip off and D duplicate.... They never had an original idea....
  • + 4
 I'm not sure you'd recognize an original idea if it sent you OTB. Never had an original idea...classic.
  • + 1
 I always was told that Kinesis Portland welded the first frames. Bike shop rumors.
  • + 1
 2013 sworks was the best looking enduro for sure
  • + 1
 What kind of shock is that in the last photo?
  • + 2
 Ohlins.
  • + 1
 Öhlins STX 22
  • + 2
 O... ah never mind.
  • + 1
 @vernonfelton: I know I'm bagging on the reach. But I'm not going to lie, I'd ride that last frame thank you very much;-) Is the Ohlins fork custom to deliver 165mm travel or is that a misprint?
  • + 1
 @ukr77: misprint (Felton. . . . . ? ) 160 mm
  • + 2
 @ukr77: The 2017 Enduro 29 has 160-mm of front suspension and 165-mm of rear travel. The 2017 Enduro 650b has 170-mm of front and rear suspension. Both bikes got a bump in travel. Yup, misprint on my part on the 29er fork travel. Good catch.
  • + 1
 I had a 2000 Enduro and it rocked! It had V breaks and was a matte silver.
  • + 1
 The Aggro Enduro was the Best Bike there ever created
  • + 1
 just realized that I tried all the models
  • + 1
 Shout out to the '99 designer, the Portland OG, Mark DiNucci.
  • + 1
 Ah my first bike, the 2000. Then with the 2007, my pneumothorax. Memories.
  • + 1
 Should be some good deals on 2013-2016 models now
  • + 1
 Scored a great deal on mine.
  • + 1
 I wonder why they didn't include the 1998 FSR....
  • + 2
 Shawn Palmer.
  • + 1
 Shaun!
  • + 1
 Great article and layout was very easy to follow
  • + 1
 Storage compartment in the down tube - nice.
  • - 1
 And the biggest leap is when it was made in Portland now its made in Taiwan wow what a leap
  • + 0
 The Enduro just evolved into the 2014 nomad.
  • + 1
 The Nomad has short reach even for a 2014 bike... their XC/trail bikes have had better geo than the Nomad for nearly a year now...
  • + 1
 34.9 ?? Shim ???
  • + 2
 What...you expect a seatpost that actually fits the frame for $8.5K. Get real! Wink
  • + 4
 Look at the upside. . Change the shim and run any dropper on the market.
  • + 0
 @vikb: sooo who makes a 34.9 dropper?
  • + 1
 @vikb: I suspect it's just a placeholder, and that they've encountered some production issues on the bigger command posts.
Still seems like they could leverage some buying power and toss on some KS/RS/Fox posts for the high end models.
  • + 1
 @truehipster: No idea. That be a question for the engineer that designed the bike with a 34.9mm seatpost.
  • + 1
 @tehllama: That makes sense, but sucks if you are buying the bike before they swap in the proper dropper.
  • + 2
 @lumpy873: That's like saying sure there are holes in your brand new bike shoes, but look at the upside - more ventilation. LOL.

If Special Ed was giving away the undersized droppers that would be fine buying a new dropper that fits at a later date, but the price tag doesn't seem to reflect that. Otherwise you are paying twice for something that should come properly spec'd on a premium bike.
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