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.
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.
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.
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.
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