The Specialized Enduro is probably one of the most ‘tried, tested and true’ bikes on the market. The company has spent many years refining this bike into a top trail performer, so it’s not surprising that there won’t be major overhauls on either the 27.5” or 29” models for 2018.
To keep things current though, Specialized has made a few key changes. They’ve stretched the top tubes on all the Enduros, and added a geometry-adjustment chip to their rear shock extension. The build specs have been stepped up on a few models, and there are some tricky new components appearing on the 2018 bikes.
During Crankworx I got to preview the new Enduros and take the S-Works version out for a short demo ride. Read on to find out what’s new on next year’s models…
The new 27.5” Enduros now have longer top tubes and taller head tubes, creating a considerable increase in length over 2017 models. Depending on frame size, the reach has increased by 13-19mm.
The rear shock’s top pivot has also been repositioned to increase the bike’s bottom-out resistance via a more progressive curve. A new shock extension now includes a flip-chip that allows for High or Low geometry settings – this changes the BB height by 8mm and the head tube angle by half a degree, giving you the choice of 65.5° or 65°. Travel stays at 160mm front and rear.
The Enduro 29ers have also grown in top tube length, resulting in reach increases between 5-13mm. While lengthening the top tubes, Specialized has made the reach consistent between the two wheel sizes, so a Medium niner should now fit the same as the 27.5” version.
The 29ers also get the flip-chip, which raises/lowers the BB’s by 8mm and provides head tube angles of 66° or 65.5°. On the 29” models the rocker link was redesigned to accommodate the new adjustable shock extension. If you bought an Enduro last year but like the sound of these flip-chip adjustments, the new shock extension for the 27.5” and extension/link combo for the 29ers can be retrofitted to 2017 frames.
Now let’s talk components. In either wheel size, S-Works models now come with Ohlins’ TTX Boost forks, and Pro/Elite models are equipped with the STX Boost fork. The Pro model Enduros get Roval Traverse carbon rims.
The Specialized Wu Dropper Post uses a dual cylinder system that tilts the seat’s nose upwards by 14° as it drops through 150mm of effective travel (shaft travel is actually 125mm, the larger number includes the saddle tilt).
The idea is to get the tail of the saddle out of the way, making it easier to get off the back of the bike on steeper descents. The unmentioned bonus is that you could now run a saddle with more of a kick up on the tail, which aids in climbing power. The Wu post will come stock on the S-Works, Pro and Coil models.
Handlebars have grown to 800mm’s wide on all models, and Specialized has switched to SRAM Code RSC or R brakes (except on the Comp which runs Guide R’s). All 27.5” bikes will come with 2.6” wide tires, while the 29ers run 2.3″s.
Finally, a new SWAT head tube tool and bottle cage/frame storage kit comes with all but the Comp models. The new head tube tool (not yet available aftermarket) hides a multi-tool in the top cap, which cleverly pops up when the lid is twisted to the side (you’ll find that on the new Turbo Levo, too), and a chain tool at the bottom of the steerer tube. The SWAT bottle cage no longer has an allen key tool since that’s been moved to the top cap.
Stay tuned for first ride impressions and pricing.