After reviewing a few key changes to make the bikes more modern, the 2018 Specialized Enduro mountain bikes looked great on paper, but we wanted to get them out on the trail. This was actually my first ride on an Enduro, so I was really keen to get aboard and see why so many people choose this bike. I like to test bikes in their intended modes, so the Ohlins STX rear shock was set firm for climbing and wide open on the descent.

Leaning over the Enduro’s lengthy front end put me in a great position for mashing the pedals on the steep climb we tackled. Even on a dusty, rocky forest road traction was great, too. The bike’s sit-down pedalling performance was top-notch, and even on a standing burst I only got a tiny bit of bob out of the rear end.

Specialized Enduro test bike, rear end

We descended a highly technical B.C style trail where the bike’s racey character made itself known. The Enduro leaves a bit of the work up to your arms and legs, but the payoff is that it skips over the chunder and maintains speed very well.

As usual with one ride reviews, the set up wasn’t perfect right out of the gate – I could have had both ends set up a bit softer (though not drastically so). A Specialized tech set the sag with me so I figured it would be OK, and I didn’t have much time to play around with settings.

Specialized Enduro test bike, tire clearance

The Enduro’s stretched wheelbase provides a very stable feel at high speeds and through the corners. Much like the Cannondale Jekyll I just finished testing, I like the way the longer front triangle centers your body weight dead between the wheels. The Enduro’s carbon frame, wheelset and handlebars also made for a very stiff ride that held straight through roots and rocks with ease. The rear end also provides plenty of clearance beyond the bike’s beefy 2.6” wide tires.

Specialized Enduro test bike, Wu post raised

Specialized Enduro test bike, Wu post lowered

Personally, I was not at all wooed by the Wu post on the first go around. I thought the saddle tilted too much as you lower it, and the upturned nose grabbed my shorts when I stood up after a stop…so, for my riding style, I wasn’t impressed with this feature, your opinion may differ depending on how your body moves. My post got stuck at least once at ¾ travel on my short ride, which, to be fair, could be due to over tightening of the collar (this is common on quick test rides when everyone’s adjusting saddle height and trying to rush onto the trails, particularly when adjustments are made on the trail).

One thing worth mentioning: you can adjust the air pressure inside the post (within a very small range…normally 15-20psi on most Command Post models) to adjust return speed. Specialized warns that if you exceed this range, you’ll risk damaging the brass keys inside.

2018 Specialized Enduro ride review

To sum it up, I left my test ride thinking of the Enduro as a high-performance bike that deserves a high-performance rider. If podiums are your goal this bike will carry you down the trail in a hurry, but less competitive riders might have to adjust to the bike to appreciate its stiff, racey ride.

Pricing for the 2018 Enduros is:

  • Comp – $3200
  • Elite – $4500
  • Coil 29/6Fattie – $6200
  • Pro – $6800
  • S-works – $8500
  • S-Works frameset – $3500

Specialized.com

SaveSave

7 COMMENTS

  1. That silly, silly seatpost.

    How on earth does SpecialEd get off on claiming an “effective” 150mm travel?

    Don’t get me wrong, tilting the saddle is pretty sweet.

    And proving Newton’s law of equal and opposite reactions- speccing a 115mm dropper on a 160/170mm bike is really stupid.

    • I rode one. It’s awesome.

      I remember back in 2004 when my buddy showed up with a Gravity Dropper and we all laughed at him.

      Long story short, he had the last laugh–and I can’t ride a mountain bike without a dropper post.

      As with nearly all other products, you should probably try one yourself before you get off the armchair pulpit.

  2. I’ve found people that refer to Specialized as SpecialEd tend to not know what they’re talking about.

    Thanks for continuing the trend.

    I’ve had the chance to try one and it works surprisingly well. Hopefully there will be a longer travel version available soon though.

    • Specialized has had that suspension design since 1992, 25 years. There is a reason that its still going strong and URTs, and swingarms (even with 4-bar designs) are in the dust bin of history – that’s where innovation for innovations sake will land you.

  3. Does anyone know the actual bike weight of the top two models? Sworks, and Pro? I currently ride a 2013 enduro (26″ wheels) and want to upgrade to the 29er but I ride park about 1 week a year and spend the rest of the year earning the downhills ride up A LOT of steeps here in SoCal and local mountains. The Stumpy just doesn’t fit me as well as the enduro but I don’t like how heavy the enduro has been getting over the past few years. I expect the SWORKS to be right about 30 lbs but want to know for sure. A pound here and there matters when you want to do two laps, etc.,. I ride XC a ton, have a Leadville belt buckle to prove it. The point is, I want to have fun riding with my buddies and not have to turn myself inside out just to get up the hills with them. My current 2013 enduro expert carbon with 26″ stripped to a 1×10 is just a hair under 28 lbs and it makes a difference. If the bikes are 32 lbs or more that is a deal breaker for me. None of the shops in my area have it yet to weigh it. Bummed that all these reviews won’t put the weight down ‘as tested’ to help us ball park it.

COMMENT HERE: (For best results, log in through Wordpress or your social media account. Anonymous/fake email comments may be unapproved or deleted. ALL first-time commenter's posts are held for moderation. Check our Comment Policy for full details.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.