For 2015 Specialized is making their flagship Enduro bike available in the 27.5 wheel size. And unlike their Stumpjumper 27.5 effort, this seems to be a more serious entry in this very competitive arena.
The Cane Creek DB Inline feels right at home with the Enduro allowing room for a full sized water bottle and SWAT bottle/tool cage.
They still haven’t fully embraced the whole 27.5 movement though as they still insist on calling it 650b. That battle has been won and the industry is clearly calling the middle wheel size 27.5 since it is a thousand times clearer and more consistent for the whole bike industry. So for the purposes of this story, we’ll just call their bike the Enduro 27.5 sized wheel.
The Enduro only comes in 1×11 drivetrain so Specialized optimized the controls by making a dropper post lever that looks and feels like the shifter lever of SRAM.
The Specialized crew is definitely warming up to 27.5, starting with the sales team who is losing the battle on the showroom floor as some buyers clearly prefer 27.5 for their new all mountain steed. But the Specialized starting to participate in the category as they’ve evolved from: “We want nothing to do with it.” to “Ok, it is the 26er replacement.”
But this is a serious bike and worthy of consideration and much more attention. The key is the buyer now has options and the rider looking for a high travel bike can now choose between an Enduro 29er or 27.5. The colors will be the same as well as the spec. Many of the qualities like bar height and controls, will be made consistent across the two wheel sizes whenever possible.
Specialized Enduro S-Works with Avid Guide brake levers.
Worth noting is the 27.5 bike is now available in size Small when it was never available on the Enduro 29er. Conversely, the XL size will only be available on the 29er and not the 27.5. So there is a suggestion that the 27.5 is for shorter folks and the 29er is for taller ones. This is a notion that we wholeheartedly agree with.
Specialized Enduro S-Works with Specialized chain guide.
Some specifics on the new bike are that it will have a new rear triangle, but makes use of the existing 26-inch front triangle mold. Specialized says they were able to achieve the geometry they were after using this configuration without compromise, and the geometry numbers are correct without the need for any external spacers. With 165mm of rear travel mated to 160mm in the front, a 65.5-degree headtube angle, 422mm chainstays, and 352mm/13.85 inch bottom bracket height, the new bike is ready to take on all comers. Now 13.85 inches may seem high, but consider that this has 165mm of rear travel and when properly sagged, the BB height will be much lower.
Specialized Enduro S-Works weight is 27.4 lbs with Spank Spike pedals. The pedals weigh .9 lbs so weight without pedals is 26.5 lbs
The great news is, we’ve had this bike for a weekend now and took it to the fabled Soquel Demo Forest of Santa Cruz. It railed the corners and soared the jumps right out of the box. This bike felt absolutely dialed and we will be updating this story as we continue to ride this bike.
Wheels felt absolutely stiff and the bike bike was easy to rail and throw around. Mind you, it is a big bike. But it is playful bike on the ground and in the air. The Cane Creek DB Inline is a delight as it is quiet and controlled. We haven’t even started to play with with damping adjustment knobs and we’re already floored. The fact that there’s room for a full-sized water bottle and is lighter than a Double Barrel makes us love this rear shock even more.
BB Height at 13.8 inches, head angle at 65.5 and seat angle at 74 all check out well and feel right on the trail. We only hope that we can put as much time as possible on this steed in the coming month.