Tested : Pete’s Specialized Enduro Expert Review.

How has the big Specialized Enduro handled the usual Scottish nonsense and a week tackling the Stone King Rally route?

Since last checking in, there’s been a fair amount of big hill action, including six days tackling the Stone King Rally route, with little to grumble about. Find out why in the full review below.

Photos by Pete Scullion.

Key features:

  • Fox 38 Performance Elite 170mm fork
  • Fox X2 Performance shock
  • SRAM XO1 Eagle 12-speed drive
  • SRAM Code RS brakes
  • Roval Traverse rims on DT 370/Roval hubs
  • OneUp dropper
  • £6,500.00 RRP
  • Specialized.com

Geometry

The Enduro is available in six sizes S2 through S5. The Enduro tested here is an S2.

The S2 has a reach of 437mm with a seat tube of 400mm. Head angle is 63.9 degrees with a seat tube angle of 76 degrees. Chainstays are the same across the sizes at 442mm, with the S2 having a wheelbase of 1217mm.

Having had no real issues with the Kenevo SL of the same spec bar the Grid casing Specialized tyres, I expected much the same from the Enduro. Beyond a considerable quantity more anti-squat, I was hopeful that the Enduro would offer up the same ability to inhale mountains in its stride, whilst generally not falling to pieces and allowing me to crack on as best I could.

It took me a while to get my brain ahead of the Enduro, as I found it came into corners far faster than any bike I’d ridden in a fair old while. The trails behind my house became not so familiar as more than a few times I ended up shooting off the outside of turns as I tried to process the information coming at me.

With some tweaks to the dampers and the addition of some downhill casing Continental Argotals, a measure of order when approaching corners was restored and the speed jumped again. The Enduro would have few foibles and beyond some noisy brakes, especially in the wet, mostly caused by some sticky pistons, it was simply a case of the rider holding the bike back.

That said, the Enduro allowed me to up the ante of my own riding, being a balanced platform that allowed me to crack on with the task of going as fast as I dared, knowing fine well the dinner plate-sized rotors and the venerable SRAM Code brakes would haul me to a stop without fail.

With the usual Scottish mountains and gallops around the woods dispatched with a complete lack of fuss, the Enduro was my bike of choice to take on the 6-day Stone King Rally route, from Arvieux in the Queyras National Park to Bordighera on the Italian coast. We would average 45km a day with over 1300m of climbing and over 3500m descending for six days.

While the Enduro is no featherweight on the climbs, especially with downhill tyres fitted, it never let me down, the SRAM XO1 Eagle drivetrain was flawless and the S2 size gave me enough room to move myself about when things got techy on the ups.Climbing grip was sensational and only limited by the power available in my legs.

My choice of the Enduro over a lighter bike was the ‘get out of jail free’ travel, the balanced feel, massive brakes and, on the downhills, the heft of the tyres. I wanted a bike that would not bat an eyelid all week, and just need dismantled to fit in the box to get it home.

Simply put, the Enduro didn’t miss a beat. The only maintenance required beyond a lubed chain was the pad retention bolt on the rear caliper came loose on the final day. On some of the slower Euro switchbacks, the front brake was a little potent when my brain was flagging but that’s a small complaint in the grand scheme of things.

What do we think?

While I wanted to test and Enduro to compare it to the Kenevo SL, I found the bike stood strongly on its own as a bike that will go the full twelve rounds and come out swinging.

A bike that can take 270km ridden, almost 8 vertical kilometeres of climbing and 21 vertical kilometres of descending in six days with next to no complaints, whilst also performing well enough to crack on when the ground tipped down, is a winner in my book.

We love:

  • Well balanced chassis
  • Confidence inspiring ride
  • Reliable and durable

Could do better:

  • Stock tyres are no good

You can check out the Specialized Enduro Expert on their website here.