Enduro Reviews and News


2018 Specialized Enduro dream build


Ground-hugging performance, enough squish for a magic carpet-like ride and total silence. Meet our custom Specialized Enduro.

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  • Sean Duckworth says:

    Any impressions on how the Enduro rides with the Fox suspension, possibly in contrast to the Ohlins setup the factory builds come with?

    • jb says:

      Hi Sean – this originally had the Ohlins rear, which I rode for a while – but I’ve not ridden it with their fork. My issues were blowing through all of the travel with the STX22, wanting a bit more ramp-up, even at max air pressure. It was a choice of small bump versus not bottoming out vs. The X2 offers increased tunability, so covers a wider range of riding styles and rider weights, plus lets you increase the spring rate for deep travel via the volume reducers. My stock stx22 cavitated (air in the damper) within about 10 hours, which they did cover under warranty, but I swapped it out at that point. Also, I definitely like having the climb switch on this bike. I’ve heard of a few people having Ohlins tweak their stx22’s at the factory to get some more ramp-up (basically, reduce the air volume a bit to increase the spring rate for deeper travel). Unsure about any revalving possibilities though. Cheers!

      • Sean Duckworth says:

        Thanks for the response JB. That’s actually almost exactly what I was worried by with the STX22. I have an X2 on my current bike and love it, especially with how tune-able it is, especially being over 200 lbs my self. Looks like I know what to stick with. Much appreciated.

  • Justin says:

    210 lbs is not that heavy

    • jb says:

      Haha – true, yet it is heavy relative to many designers and pro riders, the ones creating the tunes and doing the development & testing.

  • tony says:

    Awesome build! I would only consider changing the dropper to a Bikeyoke Revive at 185mm drop. But only for reliability. The Revive I’m running now has been flawless, and any air that mixes with oil gets fixed by doing a Reset, which takes about 5 seconds..

    I did not know that you could change the KS dropper’s cartridge.

    • jb says:

      Thanks Tony. I’ve not tried the Revive myself but know others that have and they all recommend them. My only concern is I store the bike vertically to keep the wipers lubricated, so the dropper would be inverted and read that could require frequent bleeds. That said, I cannot speak from personal experience.

      On the KS cartridge – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4Y_pnisXfc
      Online prices are between 70 and 90.

  • LB says:

    Nice build and write up JB! I was thinking a lot of the same things you were thinking during my HTLT PUSH custom build up. Grip, reliability, stopping power due to 205 to 210lbs without gear, and fun factor!

    I went with my Thomson dropper and Wolftooth lever, but it’s only a 125mm…I could definitely used a 150mm though…but why 175mm? Seems like a lot of post! LOL

    And then on the bars…I’ve never tried 35mm bars…still on 31.8 enve dhr’s. What’s the hype on the 35mm?

    I debated long and hard on tires but just couldn’t pull the trigger on the maxxis…ended up with e13’s new single-ply setup and the DH LG-1 for a spare.

    At 210lbs did you consider a coil setup front and rear, or was the added weight not worth it to you?

  • LB says:

    P.S. great choice of BB and wheels too!

  • Vincent Edson says:

    JB,
    Curious as to why you run a 170mm crankset. Is it only to prevent rockstrikes? We are similar heights, and even my 175s feel a bit short sometimes ( think circus clown on mini trike). Infact, Ive been tempted to try some 180s just so I can put down some more power down on those pedally enduro segments.
    BTW, great seeing your contributions on MTBR!

  • Benny says:

    John,
    Are you able to slam your seat post all the way into the seat tube or is your post too long? I ride a 2017 Large Sworks Enduro and would love to run a longer post.

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Marin Wolf Ridge 9 review


The Wolf Ridge is Marin’s answer to the ultra-competitive long travel 29er segment. It also serves as the debut for a remarkable new suspension system.

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  • peper says:

    This bike with REACT suspension needs for reviews. I’ll save judgment for the trail. I like the idea of something outside the box in design as better than another new hub, bar or BB standard. I’m interested to see if this design will transfer well to the short travel platforms and get under 25#. I just don’t enjoy pedaling bikes off-road that are heavier than that.

  • Jeff says:

    I’d be interested in learning more about how efficient the R3ACT-2Play suspension is compared to dw-link or Yeti Switch designs. I haven’t found the other bikes mentioned (Evil Wreckoning, Trek Slash, Intense Carbine, Santa Cruz Hightower LT) to be particularly efficient.

  • Jeff Bodnar says:

    I own a size Large Marin Wolfridge Pro.

    Marin’s website for the Wolfridge lists a 120 mm dropper only for the size small…it lists 150 mm for the other sizes.

    You must have only tested a size small…my KS with offset dropper is 150 mm and can be fully inserted into the seat tube (not sure if it is the same with a medium).

    With my seat all the way down…there is NO tire rubbing the seat when the shock is fully compressed.

    I will be posting pictures to the Marin forum tomorrow…

    Note: originally most long travel 29er’s were not available in size small…I’m surprised they can make a size small.

    I asked the owner of a size medium Wolfridge Pro to check his bike in terms of dropper insertion and tire clearance/rubbing.

    I suspect that your post was supposed to be 120 mm instead of 125 mm to prevent rubbing on the size small.

    I just want to be accurate and fair…I suspect that rubbing problem only occurs on the size small.

    I do not work for Marin bikes…

    Thanks…I really like your reviews…keep them coming.

    I would love a pay option to support mtbr if I could get less ads so the pages display faster.

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Ibis Cycles 2018 enduro team revealed


Fresh off winning the Enduro World Series overall team title, the Ibis Cycles squad returns for 2018 with some new faces but still determined to hold onto their crown.

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Cannondale Jekyll 2 review


Cannondale has always appealed to a niche audience thanks to use of unique technology. On this bike though, they’ve delivered exactly what enduro-minded riders want.

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  • Kevin Hill says:

    Can anyone speak to the Editors Note about the running change from Float X EVOL to DPX2?

    Cannondale website (as of 4/27/18) still shows Float X EVOL as spec. I read this review a while ago, but assumed it was just a mistake since no other reviews spoke of it and neither did any Cannondale info. However, today I was listening to an older MTBPodcast (Episode #46 from 2/22/18), and at 1:05:57 in the episode they say the same thing – that Cannondale “just switched over; they had a rolling change in production over to the new DPX2…” What gives?

  • Kevin Hill says:

    I got the official word from Cannondale on the Float X – DPX2 question I posted above. It is true. Cannondale is making a rolling change; however, the only way to guarantee a DPX2 is what arrives for you, is to wait for Model Year 2019 bikes.

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On Track with Curtis Keene: The final chapter


The conclusion of another Enduro World Series season brings victory for only a select few. Sometimes the race doesn’t go as hoped, but it’s all about a love of riding. Watch as Curtis Keene presents a recap.

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Video: Richie Rude is the Silent Shredder


Armed with a wry smile and cunning skill on the bike, he is a man of few words. He prefers to let his riding do the talking. Richie Rude is the silent shredder.

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Curtis Keene and the Rules of Enduro


Press play to find out about Curtis Keene’s comeback, the amazing Sam Hill, and suspension choice in this fascinating look inside the world of enduro racing at the highest level.

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Ibis Mojo HD4 review (updated)


The much-loved enduro-slaying Ibis Mojo HD3 has gotten a makeover for 2017. Now appropriately dubbed the Mojo HD4, the just released rig is even slacker — and more capable — than before.

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  • mikerotch says:

    money does buy happiness. now where do i get $8k?

  • b0bg says:

    I’ve been on this bike for about a month now and am definitely in love. This bike climbs as well as my 4yr old Tracer275, weighs less, and is substantially more composed in rocky, rowdy descents. Supremely happy with this bike in the rocky dusty norcal summer trails.

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Curtis Keene’s Specialized Enduro 29er race bike


Curtis Keene has ridden some of the best looking bikes on the EWS this year. For the final race of the season, Specialized built him this showstopper.

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Santa Cruz Aluminum Nomad Review


Always dreamed of owning a Nomad but couldn’t afford the price of admission? Santa Cruz recently dropped an alloy version and complete builds start at just $3,600. Here’s how it stacks up against its carbon counterpart.

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  • loll says:

    For the aluminum model, it should be available in raw aluminum color. Reference what Intense Tracer aluminum did. This is the easiest way to fix the aethestic problem on the aluminum model and make it appealing look wise compared to the carbon model.

  • Dickachu says:

    Does it come with made in china sticker?

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Pivot Mach 6 Carbon and Aluminum released


With its new, slacker, 65.75 degree head angle, steep 74 degree seat angle, and Pivot’s long travel, downhill-influenced linkage, the 155mm travel Mach 6 Carbon is specifically designed for enduro racers.

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Cody Kelley’s Yeti SB5.5 enduro bike


Cody Kelley is fast becoming a popular name in enduro due to his killer style, flowing locks, and infectious good humor. Here’s a close look at this race bike of choice.

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  • Suns_PSD says:

    I suspect both riders are on the 31.8mm Fatbar Lites because they have more give than the 35mm bars.

    If these guys don’t need the extra rigidity offered by 35mm bars, then I certainly don’t.

    I enjoy the bike checks with the air pressures and all, lots to take note of.

  • Saris Mercanti says:

    @Suns_PSD Renthal claims they worked hard to match the flex and ride characteristics of their 35mm bars to their 31.8mm bars….But I have a sneaking suspicion you might be right.

    Glad you’re digging the bike checks! I have a few more I need to publish.

  • gg says:

    Yeah great article, shortish yet detailed and on topic.
    Nice pics and great looking rig.
    More please !

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Robin Wallner’s Ibis Mojo HD4 enduro bike


Robin Wallner is a former World Cup DH pro who recently made the jump to enduro. In his second season, he’s been consistently pushing into the top 10. Here’s a look at his Ibis Mojo HD4.

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DT Swiss Interbike 2017


With three main MTB wheel families (XC, all-mountain, enduro) and multiple price points within each family, DT Swiss has all your riding bases covered.

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  • Larsv says:

    The guy looks a bit confused.. So many names/numbers and wheelsets!

    I wonder why DT still uses the 1200/1501/1700 numbers. Wouldn’t it just be easier to ditch those numers and rename them to their classic hubs number? 180/240/350. They would save money on decall plastic too. 🙂

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Pivot Cycles Interbike 2017


Straight from Interbike in Las Vegas, here’s Pivot front man and lead designer Chris Cocalis running through the company’s hottest bikes, starting with a very special 10-year Anniversary Edition Mach 5.5.

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  • Scotch Hennesy says:

    I’ve been riding and racing mountain bikes non-stop since 1990. The years of turning pedals in the hills have put me on top of the very first Manitou fork, ATAC stems, Anza bar ends, Cannondale HeadShocks, Triple rings down to single rings..etc. Of all my bikes throughout these ever changing years, my Pivot Trail 429 is by far my fave. I sold my Cannondale Scalpel team model in order to buy this amazing ride. I gained some weight for sure; but inherited a work of art that is so much fun to climb and descend on. I’m a loyal Pivot guy for many years to come.

  • Marty Arnwine says:

    I may have to sell a kidney for it, but damn that 10 year anniversary 5.5 is a sweet ride!

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Bolle Trackdown enduro helmet


Bolle is primarily associated with eyewear, but they’ve recently made a push into cycling helmets. Their newest is aimed at the enduro segment and has some unique features.

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Whyte Bikes Interbike 2017


The Whyte Enduro team will have a secret weapon in 2018 – the S-150 Works is their “out of the box” race bike for all-round events. Find out about that bike and much more.

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Yeti SB5 Lunch Ride and SB6 Team Replica roll out


Two new special edition bikes join family of highly capable trail tamers. Plus a look back at one of the sport’s most famous downhill bikes.

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Privateer versus factory life on the EWS


What’s the difference between privateer and factory life on the EWS? Find out in this episode of On Track with Curtis Keene.

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2018 Specialized Enduro: longer, adjustable geo, new spec


For 2018, the Specialized Enduro doesn’t look that different, but the Big Red S has lengthened the reach, integrated a hidden flip chip, and added some clever new spec features.

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  • Chris says:

    Why don’t these companies just license the technology from Bionicon and get actual meaningful geometry adjustment on the fly. This flip chip seems like a poor substitute akin to a quick release seat post.

    • GuyOnMTB says:

      BIONICON-System is used by BIONICON exclusively for their bikes and do not license their technology out to other manufacturers. This is how BIONICON has stayed in its own bracket; “on the fly adjustable geometry fs”.

      The last review of the Edison EVO was back in July 2015.

  • Kevin says:

    “Housed inside the shock extension is a flip chip, which can be rotated to adjust the bottom bracket height”
    You guys didn’t actually look at an ’18 Enduro for this ‘article’, did you?
    If you had, you would’ve seen straight away that there is no ‘flip chip’ that gets ‘rotated’ ala Trek.
    It’s simply a thick washer(spacer) that you install between the shock and extension for the ‘high’ position, or REMOVE the washer for the ‘low’ position.
    Anybody with a ’17 can simply go to their local hardware store and pick up a roughly 5mm thick(I haven’t measured mine, so this is just a guess) washer for 29-cents(+/-), and save themselves $19.71.
    It should also be notated that, to remove/install said spacer(or as you call it, a ‘chip’) you have to remove the shock and extension(yoke) to get at the thing

    • Mike says:

      @Kevin its not as simple as buying washers from the hardware store. The 2018 shock yoke is shorter than the 2017. The spacer installed makes the new yoke the same (or close) length as the old one.

      Also, Specialized calls it a flip chip too. Although it seems silly because as it was stated, you do have to entirely remove the rear shock to do so.

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Richie Rude’s Yeti SB6


We caught up with Richie Rude before the Whistler EWS and took a look at his gorgeous Yeti SB6.

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Kona Process carbon spy shots


Kona has a new carbon Process in the works. It features a new suspension layout, lower standover, and a water bottle mount inside the front triangle.

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Ibis Mojo HD3 vs HD4


Struggling to decide between the Ibis HD3 and new HD4? Click the link for Jeff Kendall-Weed’s hot take on these two very capable trail bikes.

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Santa Cruz Hightower LT first ride review


Launched last year, the original Hightower was the epitome of versatility. The new 150mm LT 29er is more focused and has no plus tire option.

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  • Dtimms says:

    Why is it risky to not have plus size compatibility on an Enduro bike? Only plus bikes I have seen on the trail (or test rode) were all hardtails. You don’t see plus bikes in enduro races. I don’t think plus bikes are the future like the industry is trying to tell us.

    • Francis Cebedo says:

      >>Dtimms

      Plus bikes are not the future and no one is claiming that. But they are a good option for folks in sandy, loose conditions and some folks overwhelmingly prefer them. Some want to purchase the Hightower Plus with 150mm and this LT will not meet their needs.

      Not the end of world as there’s something to be said about narrowing the focus of a bikes sometimes.

  • PaulN says:

    438mm would be a nice high BB capable of any log rollover….

  • Marshall says:

    Hi Francis, Thank you for cool the review. I’m in the market for a 29er and was wondering how the Santa Cruz High Tower and/or High Tower LT compare to the Ibis Ripley LS? Which one would you buy if you mostly ride in Marin and Lake Tahoe? Other spots I charge are Skeggs, Demo Forest, Annadel and Downieville.

    • boogie says:

      seems a bit overkill for anything in Marin – but would be right at home in your other destinations. This is way overkill for China Camp, Tamarancho, etc.

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Enduro World Series heads home to France


The Enduro World Series heads to its spiritual home of France this week for round No. 5, the Natural Games Millau EWS driven by URGE bp.

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