Before we could ever take the first run at Northstar on the new Enduro, we had to climb. Instead of hopping on the perfectly functional chair lift, we pedaled right past it from mid-mountain, and continued upwards until we reached the top. Fortunately, we were reunited with the chair lift on the next run, but the forced suffering worked as intended – the new Enduro can certainly climb.
That’s important to consider when talking about a bike like it’s a mini-DH bike. Fitted with a 170mm single crown fork and a matching 170mm of travel out back, the new Specialized Enduro is certainly tailored towards descending. But none of that matters if it’s a dog on the climbs, especially if intended to be used as an actual enduro race bike. Likely due to the increased anti-squat number, the Enduro climbs quite well even with big 29″ wheels and tires and a weight over 31lbs..
Probably more importantly though, the Enduro descends well too. Really well. While our time on the Enduro was short, one day in the park at Northstar at Tahoe proved that a “pedal-able DH bike” is a worthy descriptor.
In spite of the notoriously loose and dusty conditions at Northstar, the Enduro felt surprisingly planted. At the same time though, it also felt like a big bike which may lead you to consider sizing down compared to your usual size if you prefer something a little more playful.
One thing is for sure though – the Enduro will make you more confident. The ability of this bike to make up for your shortcomings in skill is impressive. But then again, it has 170mm of pedal-able travel which should always help to level the playing field.
Honestly, if I was in the market for a park bike, I would buy something like this. The new Enduro is so capable when the trail points down that I would have no need for a full on DH bike. This thing is certainly more capable than the DH bikes I started out on, and at the same time you can pedal it just about anywhere. Add in the ability to carry most of your essentials with SWAT and the option to carry a water bottle in the frame and you’re set for laps on laps on laps. Specialized says that with the introduction of the new Stumpjumper EVO, the new Enduro needed to step up its game to offer something different. That seems to be exactly what the Enduro offers – a bigger, faster bike that still can climb, yet is probably more capable than you.