First released back in 1999 before enduro was popularised into the hot lapping, berm shredding, big air spectacle it is today, Specialized has pulled the curtains back on the ninth generation of its Enduro err… enduro mountain bike. Featuring more travel, an all-new frame shape, revised geometry, revised suspension and a host of other upgrades, join us as we take you through eight things to know about the all-new Enduro.
1. Revolution not Evolution
Rather than evolving the Enduro to suit modern needs, Specialized has revolutionised its long-travel trail shredder for 2020. Updating, tweaking, refining and altering just about every component on the bike to make what Specialized says is the “Fastest, smoothest, and most responsive” Enduro yet.
2. Smoother Suspension
For 2020, Specialized has wholly redesigned the suspension layout compared to its predecessor. Taking inspiration from the Demo [downhill] mountain bike, the all-new Enduro now features a much lower rear shock linkage assembly. This is said to provide a lower centre of gravity and lower standover height, claimed to increase rider confidence.
The suspension tune has also been altered, with Specialized claiming its more sensitive to small bumps, and also less prone to bottoming out on big hits, increasing ride feel and control.
3. Redefined Chassis
With an all-new linkage assembly, the “chassis” as Specialized calls it, is both aesthetically and geometrically different than it’s predecessor. The seat tube is arguably the most significant departure from the norm following the new linkage setup. The redesign is said to reduce the bikes “anti-squat” properties by over 40% when compared to the already impressive previous generation Enduro. What this means for punters is less bobbing and increased pedalling efficiency, in short, an enduro bike that climbs and pedals much better than an enduro bike should.
4. It’s “Faster”
To make the Enduro what it is, the design team at Specialized had several goals to achieve. These included improving initial stroke (small-bump) sensitivity; bottom-out resistance (big-hit performance); pedalling efficiency; ride characteristics under braking; chassis stiffness traits; and its ability to maintain momentum over truly technical terrain. The result is a bike that the big S claim is not just faster, but “Faster in every situation”.
Much of this is thanks to a revised rear-axle path. The new path is designed to be much more linear than the outgoing model. What this means is that the rear axle is designed to travel around 5mm less forward as the rear suspension compresses. Ultimately what this means is that as the rear axle has less horizontal movement, it allows a rider to carry more momentum on gnarlier descents and more technical trail features such as rock gardens.
5. Carbon Only
In the name of lateral stiffness, weight and ride feel, Specialized have opted to make the new Enduro carbon frame specific. The move to carbon only is off the back of in-house testing where they claim carbon-framed iterations tracked better through corners and found a sweet spot of stiffness and front-end feel. While Specialized is tight-lipped on overall weight figures, the flagship S-Works chassis is said to tip the scales 250 grams lighter than the rest of the range thanks to a revised layup and more liberal use of hi-modulus carbon fibre.
6. 29er Specific
In addition to carbon only, Specialized has also opted to outfit the entire range with 29” wheels as standard. The reasoning here is that bigger wheels maintain speed more efficiently, requiring less rider input to maintain momentum. Specialized says that the bigger wheels combined with 170mm of travel front and rear results in an enduro bike that’s crazy fast, no matter how technical the terrain.
7. Style Specific Sizing
Another key departure from the norm for 2020, Specialized has thrown out the rule book on bike sizing and opted for what it called “Style Specific Sizing”. With the all-new frame carrying a consistent standover height throughout the size range, the critical difference between the different “sizes” are the reach and wheelbase. Want more nimble handling, size down, want to crush technical downhill trails or increased stability? Size up.
The geometry for the Enduro has also been tweaked for 2020, with Specialized rolling out the same “longer, lower, slacker” mantra. The geometry charts support this, showing a steeper top tube, an increase in reach and a more relaxed headtube angle.
8. Pricing and Availability
The 2020 Enduro range is available in selected models right now! Check with your nearest bike shop for local availability.
The Australian Enduro range includes;
- Enduro S-Works Carbon 29: AU$15,000
Shimano XTR 12-speed drivetrain, Shimano XTR 4-piston brakes, FOX FLOAT FACTORY 36 170mm travel fork, FOX FLOAT FACTORY DHX2 trunnion mount rear shock, RockShox Reverb AXS dropper post, Roval Traverse Carbon SL 29 tubeless-ready wheelset w/ DT Swiss hubs, Butcher GRID TRAIL 2.6” (front) 2.3” (rear) 2Bliss ready tyres.
- Enduro Expert Carbon 29: AU$9,800
SRAM X01 Eagle 12-speed drivetrain, SRAM Code RSC 4-piston brakes, FOX Float Performance 36 170mm travel fork, FOX Float DPX2 Performance trunnion mount rear shock, X-Fusion Manic dropper post, Roval Traverse 29 Carbon tubeless-ready wheelset w/ DT Swiss hubs, Butcher GRID TRAIL 2.6” (front) 2.3” (rear) 2Bliss ready tyres.
- Enduro Elite Carbon 29: AU$8,000
SRAM GX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain, SRAM Code R 4-piston brakes, RockShox Lyrik Select Plus 170mm travel fork, RockShox Super Deluxe Trunnion Mount rear shock, X-Fusion Manic dropper post, Roval Traverse 29 tubeless-ready wheelset w/ DT Swiss hubs, Butcher GRID TRAIL 2.6” (front) 2.3” (rear) 2Bliss ready tyres.
- Enduro Comp Carbon 29: AU$6,800
SRAM NX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain, SRAM Code R 4-piston brakes, RockShox Lyrik Select 170mm travel fork, RockShox Super Deluxe Trunnion Mount rear shock, X-Fusion Manic dropper post, Roval Traverse 29 tubeless-ready wheelset w/ Specialized sealed bearing hubs, Butcher GRID TRAIL 2.6” (front) 2.3” (rear) 2Bliss ready tyres.
With the 2020 Enduro set to hit showrooms in the coming weeks, right now is a great time to grab a bargain on outgoing Specialized Enduro models right here, at BikeExchange.