Review: Specialized Enduro Elite

Review: Specialized Enduro Elite

Right. So where to start… Probably somewhere near the beginning I suppose… First the video…

Then some words…

I have to say… I would totally buy this bike in this colour scheme. Hands down.

It was a pretty cold day in the onset of winter when this test bike arrived at Radhaus Kastner… My LBS hook-up set about letting me know I could take it out for a smash, to which I declined. Not because I didn’t want to review this bike. But because I wanted a good ride on it, and the cold and wet weather of early winter wasn’t going to ruin it for me. So… Some months later… I picked it up from the LBS. Good weather forcast. Sun on the horizon. Happiness in my heart. Let’s GO!

Up at the Friedrichs Turm… Long Climb. Worth IT!

Day one was a short smash ofter work. A bot of a gas down a couple short sprint trails to check where everything was and how my little parking lot setup test went. and HOLY HELL BALLS… Did this little bike ever blow my hair back. Straight out the gate… Absolutely amazing…

Running a different linnkage to the new Stumpjumper. And able to take 29″ and 27.5″ wheels straight out the gate…

 

SWAT: Storage for Weed And Tik. If you don’t know what Tik it… You’re lucky.

 

Rafe Face Aeffect cranks and 28 teeth up front…

 

SRAM GX and an 11-42 cassette at the back.

The bike is running the Öhlins RXF 36 up front and it was my first time on this fork. I was a little scheptical of how well my innitial guesstimates on preasure and rebound would work out, and I seemed to have them pretty close from the onset. The fork has you set the negative air chamber preasure “manually” as well, which adds an extra step to the process, but does allow you to fine tune the amount of “play” you get of the innitial part of the stroke. Unfortuanately, I didn’t have enough time to test a few different preasures here as a massive rain storm trashed the last two days of riding… But running the recommended preasures got the fork into a pretty happy place. And a little more tweaking and playing I recon the fork yould have been tops. For the second day I dialled in a bit of compression (for the first day I left it wide open) but soon regretted that and started to wind it back again throughout the ride. I’m a pretty skinny bloke, and the compression seemed to hamper the way the fork accessed it’s end stroke travel. Which sucked…

Öhlins RXF 26… a sweet fork to be sure!

 

I would have liked a bit more time to play with the fork. But it is a good fork!

Everything else on the bike was to be expected. The only other items in this build that I hadn’t ridden before were the SRAM Code R brakes. Which, to be honest, were the nicest brakes I’ve ridden so far. Their range of lever motion before nut-against-stem-smashing power was a little less than I was expecting, but once I’d committed this to memory, the amount of stopping power the brakes delivered was impressive to say the least.

SRAM Code R lever action!

 

Four pot calipers: Making skinny blokes smash their nuts agains the stem since 1842

The bike itself… Well… Specialized absolutely NAILED this enduro. It climbs with a sense of “pep” to it, making you feel like your efforts are being rewarded with forward motion. This is something pretty important to me as pretty much every ride starts with somewhere between a one and two hour long climb, and if you feel like the bike is dragging, rides aren’t exactly something you look forward to.

It is a sexeh bike…

The bike corners fantastically, accelerates almost shockingly well… Which caught me off guard once or twice when I let if off the chain… Trail features tend to get to you a lot faster than you thought they would… Which I whole heartedly love… once I realised that was going to happen. The first once or twice not so much.

I would have cut these 800mm bars down a bit… But I like the fact that it comes with big bars… More options are better that fewer.

The old Enduro (2015/2015 era) burns through its end-stroke rear travel pretty quickly. I own this model as my regular ride, and am used to the feel of it. I use up all the 155mm of back end squish on near enough every ride as makes no difference. Specialized have altered the leverage ratio’s on this new enduro and added a lot more end-stroke support. So this bike is a lot more conservative in the way it gives out its rear travel. I would have liked a bit more time to play with the sag on the back end to allow me to use more the the squich back there. I set it up at pretty much the 30% mark, and didn’t max out the back end once. Having said that, I wasn’t excactly riding trails with high speed big hits during the test… But a little more time to experiment would have been nice.

Rock Shox Monarch Plus in the back. Works great. Has the auto sag feature, Climb/Trail/Desend switch. Bases covered!

Besides all that. This bike is mind alteringly good. I absolutely fell in love with it immediately. It’s a big smash bike that is as agile and a mountain goat. feels good and happy to climb for ages and gets loose fast. By loose… I mean fast!

Lacking the new ittle chain silencer tabs of the new Stumpjumper…

10/10 would buy twice!

Laters! And remember… We love you all equally.

Philthy

 

2 Replies to “Review: Specialized Enduro Elite”

  1. Hi,

    I own the new stumpy and would like to know how it compares to it. Is it as playful? Does it climb better? Thank you! You can reply in German if you want; -)

    1. Hi… Sorry about the late (super late) response… I, to be honest, prefer the Enduro over the new Stumpy. It just seems to be a more complete bike. The Spesh tried to make the new Stumpy more single purpose (fast) and that killed a bit of it’s versatility. Where as this version of the enduro retained versatility and gained speed. If that makes sense…

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