This year marks the return of Specialized’s Enduro to its once-dominant position in the long-travel 29″ market. With the Stumpjumper EVO merging the trail and “light enduro” territories, Specialized freed the Enduro to set a laser focus on being a no-compromise gravity race bike.
It’s a purpose the Enduro pursues relentlessly, and to great effect. A completely redesigned chassis borrows heavily from Specialized’s Demo downhill bike, giving the Enduro 170 mm of trail-eating travel.
As with the Demo, the Enduro’s suspension is slung low in the frame. Combined with aggressive slack-and-low geometry, the Enduro stays stable at speed and grips ferociously through corners. The design’s DH-pedigree shines brighter the rougher the trail gets. It’s hard to find the bike’s limits.
The new suspension design offers better pedalling and acceleration, too. These features pay off when you sprint out of corners. They also make the bike an impressively capable climber considering all its travel. The Enduro is surprisingly balanced for a bike that shares so much DNA with the DH Demo. Some movement in the suspension lends traction over rocks and roots, while an efficient pedalling platform helps you to power over larger features. The Enduro won’t beat your cross country race bike up a hill, but it is composed and efficient enough when pedalling that you won’t be complaining. With its long reach, the bike could benefit from a steeper seat tube, but that’s far from a deal-breaker.
The Enduro borrows its suspension design from Specialized's DH bike, the Demo
Downsized, slightly, for the Enduro, the complex-looking linkage is surprisingly efficient pedalling.
There's a nice mini-fender integrated into the rear suspension, keeping the shock safe
If you're looking for a firmer pedalling platform, there's always the lockout switch. On any kind of technical trail, the active suspension is very capable.
Specialized's house brand bar and stem do an excellent job of holding onto SRAM Code brakes and Eagle GX components
X-Fusion's dropper post lever is comfortable and easy to use.
A flip chip in the rear shock linkage lets you raise the bottom bracket and steepen the Enduro’s angles. Both options are decidedly gravity-oriented, but the chip does offer a choice between the ultra-aggressive low setting and a more reasonable high setting. Specialized uses its S sizing system on the Enduro, in which the seat- tube lengths and the stack heights see smaller changes between sizes. With the progression more in length than in height, riders have more choice for how they want the Enduro to handle by moving between sizes.
Specialized nails the frame’s details, from super-clean cable routing and moulded rubber protection that also keeps the chain quiet to integrated SwaT storage compartments. There’s even a mini-fender to keep muck out of the rear linkage area. The only missing element is some form of shuttle pad on the downtube, since this bike will surely see the back of a truck.
Specialized’s Stumpjumper, with its broad appeal, will remain the Morgan Hill, Calif.-brand’s flagship model. That frees the Enduro to be much more, well, Specialized. The bike pushes the limits of what a dedicated race bike can do. And for those seeking pure gravity capabilities, the 2020 Enduro sets a high bar.
Specialized Enduro Elite
12-speed SRAM GX Eagle derailleur, 10-50 tooth XG-1275 Eagle cassette, four-piston caliper SRAM Code R brakes
X-Fusion Manic dropper post ( S2/S3 150mm, S4/S5 170mm of travel)
RockShox Lyrik Select Plus fork, RockShox Super Deluxe Select Plus shock, both with 170 mm of travel
Roval Traverse 29, Specialized Butcher (2.3″ rear, 2.6″ front)
S2, S3, S4, S5