Pete has spent the last few weeks aboard the Specialized Enduro Pro 29 – a big money, big travel carbon monster.

Time for a first look!

Photos by Innes Graham, words by Pete Scullion.

Key Features:

  • £6,500 RRP (yep, you read that right!)
  • 29″ wheels with carbon rims
  • Clearance for 27″+ wheels
  • 160mm FSR travel
  • SRAM XO1 Eagle
  • Ohlins STX fork and shock
  • SWAT and SWAT CC integrated storage and tools
  • Command Post IRcc with Wu reclines 14 degrees
  • Available at Specializedconceptstore.co.uk

What kind of bike do you get for £6,500?

A quick look at the spec list of the Enduro Pro 29, sitting one below the pricier S-Works model, shows little room for improvement.

A full FACT 11mm (Specialized’s highest quality carbon weave) frame sports the SWAT downtube storage, bolstered by the new SWAT CC headset-located multi-tool and chain tool with split links.

Drivetrain is all SRAM group, with XO1 Eagle mated to a Truvativ Descendant carbon crank and the new SRAM Code R 4-pots keeping the reins on this beast.

Ohlins provides the damping front and rear on this year’s Enduro Pro, with the RXF 36 single tube fork providing 160mm of travel out front, and an STX rear shock singing in tune with the Horst Link out the back.

Wheels are a slightly mixed affair, with the rims being a slightly wider, burlier, OE-only version of the Roval Traverse rim fitted to the shorter travel, higher end bikes elsewhere in the range. A DT Swiss 350 rear should keep things running smooth and taught, with the front hub being a Specialized sealed unit.

Gripping the ground are 2.3″ Butchers front and rear with the new Gripton compound and GRID casing. All tubeless-ready, naturally.

The dropper is Specialized’s Command Post, all internally routed, with Wu reclining the seat tail by 14 degrees to allow you to get the weight off the back easier when necessary.

Photo by Innes Graham.

Numbers.

I opted for the size medium Enduro (440mm reach) as the reach on the small seems a little short even for me at 5′ 3″. Many other medium bikes like the Enduro sport the same reach (482mm) as the large on the Big S.

Head angle sits at 66 degrees, with the option to drop half a degree from that to 65.5 with the flip chip at the shock. This in turn drops the bottom bracket height from 354mm to 347mm. 66d isn’t slack by today’s standards but seems to be a good number of mellower single track, trail centres and anything that’s not big, rough and fast.

Chainstays are fairly long as you’d expect from a bike of this travel and wheel size, at 432mm, with the chainstays being the same size throughout the sizes. That said, the front wheel does seem happy to come off the ground, so it certainly isn’t having any negative effects.

Stans Flow EX3Stans flow EX3

As mentioned below, stack is fairly high, but that’s to be expected from a 29er of this kind of travel. That will be remedied with some flat bars and dropping the stem flush with the top cap.

Opening moves.

First rides tell a lot about a bike, and from the off, the Enduro is light and ready to go anywhere.

The massive cassette and low overall weight means this thing just wants to go forwards. The Butchers are fast rolling adding to the easy speed in all directions.

Climbing, unsurprisingly, is easy until the going gets very steep. A 160mm 29er is always going to have issues with front end height, and you can feel the front going light earlier than, say, my outgoing Vitus Escarpe. Some flatter, narrower bars and dropping the stem flush with the headset might help cure the problem. Watch this space.

The Ohlins dampers take more time than Fox or RockShox units partly due to unfamiliarity and not quite having the same level of adjustment, but also, it’s fair to say, the rear shock tune seems far too fast on the rebound side. Even with the rebound on full, the back end is rebounding slightly faster than I’d like.

The forks are starting to come into their own after fettling the main air and ramp up chambers, so it’s a case of pointing the front wheel in the right direction and keeping the back wheel in check until I can get the rear damper tuned.

That said, even before I started to get the bike dialled in, the raw speed was there. The faster you go, the louder this bike sings. Thankfully, the SRAM Code R brakes are worthy adversaries to a bike that doesn’t really want to slow down, with plenty of power and modulation on tap.

On my recent Highland mission, the SWAT downtube storage held my Alpkit sleeping mat, proving that making use of a hollow tube is more than just a gimmick. Sadly, the SWAT CC fell short, with the top cap losing its detent springs and bearings within a week or two, making it hard to get at the multitool.

All resolvable issues, though, so we’ll get those sorted ASAP so we can concentrate on just how fast this bike can go.

You find full specs and details on the 2018 Specialized Enduro Pro 29 here on the Specialized Concept Store site.

For UK dealer listings, head to the Specialized UK dealer locator here.

Keep your eyes peeled for a full review soon.

Photo by Innes Graham.


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