Specialized Enduro SL Expert 2008

Pro Reviews


This is Specialized’s six inch All Mountain Bike with the front travel provided by the E150 triple clamp fork and the rear provided by the Specialized AFR shock. This bike comes as a Total Suspension Integration bike where the chassis, suspension and components were designed from the beginning as part of an integrated system. This allows the Enduro to have a fork and shock with similar bump compliance providing a balanced suspension. Tagged as “Climb Higher; Descend Farther” this bike is for the person who wants a six inch travel bike that doesn’t compromise climbing for increased downhill performance.


Sweeping lines and contrasting colours makes this baby turn some heads!


The Bike

This bike was lent to me by Obsession: Bikes in North Vancouver, Canada for this review.

The patented FSR suspension separates braking and chain forces from the suspension which prevents brake jack and ensures control on steep descents. Specialized’s TSI – Total Suspension Integration – allows Specialized to design a bike from scratch integrating the chassis, suspension and components to allow all components to fit for the bikes purpose.

The slack angles and low standover provides confidence on steep rough descents.

The E-type derailleur provides smooth shifting on rough terrain when switching gears during varying trail steepness.

The E150 triple clamp fork provides more downhill performance in a stiffer fork than other six
inch travel forks. The integrated stem increases stiffness, reduces weight but limits your ability to change your stem length. Matched with the AFR shock the suspension is designed to balance stability and bump management. Lowering the fork and shock facilitates long extended climbs. Releasing these settings puts the fork and shock back into full travel mode.


Slack angles make wandering through the alpine flowers comfortable

The left leg contains the attitude adjustment which can be changed on the fly. The right leg contains the compression and rebound adjustments and can also be changed on the fly. Note that you cannot change the stem length on this bike.

Continued…The Front End and Rear End…

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About the author: Sharon Bader

I am 5’9″, weigh 154lbs. I have been riding since 1991. I started on a classic XC hard tail but have moved with technology and now ride a Pivot Mach 5.7 for XC, a Trek Session for DH and a Pivot Firebird and Knolly Endorphin for freeriding/shore/technical XC riding.

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  • Nice Article Great Photos says:

    Hi Bro
    Looks like a ride i did once in the early ninitees
    out of the butte on horseback, i have to re-read all this info
    its late but i just put together yje sickest ride bike
    from an Enduro Comp beyond the Expert like your cranks and front derailer
    upgrade mine is a bit different photos coming soon i have way better
    upgrades now if i could just part from my pacific ocean to get to your
    location otherwise i have to stick to So Cal and Central arid terrain.

  • Anonymous says:

    Different stem lengths are available from Specialized. I’m running the shortest stem length on my size large frameset. Nice review, I definately agree with a front tire change.

  • Mike says:

    Wow… I guess I’m not the only person that owns an ’08 “blue demo color” Spesh Enduro Expert. I agree w/you on the tires. The Eskars do not hold up in the rocks and they don’t hold a line very well. I switched to a set of Highrollers… problem solved. Since I ride a large Spesh Expert and weigh ~ 200 pds w/a full Camelback I REALLY appreciate the triple clamp front fork on this bike. With this fork the bike just tracks like it’s on rails in tight technical terrain and on downhills you just fly over stuff. My only complaint w/the fork is that the low speed suppleness of the fork could be better over smaller bumps. This bike is truely a do-it-all bike that can climb well and go downhill well and isn’t a pig.
    For the future Spesh could do a little more work on the fork, change out the bottom bracket to the narrower BB30 standard, and drop a little more weight off the bike and this thing would one of the best all mtn mtn bikes ever…. and I’m not kidding when I say that…

  • Bill says:

    Nice write-up and pics. One minor nit-pick; Specialized does make different length stems available for the e150 now. I have a medium, which came with an 80mm stem and I had the shop put a 60mm on it. I also went with a straight gravity-dropper seat-post (versus the setback OE). This shortened the cockpit nicely and this thing flies.

    I am as amazed with the technical climbing ability as I am with the descent capabilities. Handling is unbelievably neutral. This thing rails berms perfectly, riding from the center of the bike and handling balance is unchanged either seated or standing. It goes wherever you point the front wheel; unwaiveringly. It makes me feel like a super-hero 🙂

    I really like the Eskar control 2.3 as a rear tire (tubeless w/stans). I think it’s the best rear tire ever. On the front, I have the adrenaline 2.2, which measures 2.4-2.5. That was the best front tire ever (not for wet), but they don’t make it any more. Those tires along with the Magura Martas (07 spec) and 8″ front rotor, provide enough traction for braking and turning on loose, dusty terrain.

  • Brodiegrrl says:

    Suggested Retail of this bike is $3699.00 in Canada

  • Jeepnut22 says:

    I have to agree with the review and others. This bike is great. Climbs surprisingly well, and goes downhill like it was nothing. I have the ’07 model and my LBS replaced the shock and fork with ’08 versions for free from Specialized.

    Coming from a hard tail, I wasn’t sure about how well this bike would suit me. Tried Iron Horse, Giant and other Specialized Dual Squishies and this one seemed to feel right on with what little I was able to test ride. After 4 months, I know I got the right bike.

    My only complaints were the tires and the rear wheel. The tires suck IMHO. I threw on some WTB Weirwolf 2.55s and it’s MUCH better. Cornering at speed, digging in on climbs, great tires so far. The rear wheel specs are surprising when you look at the other components. The rear hub and cassette are akin to a boat anchor. The rear wheel will get replaced this Winter for sure.

    Stellar bike and a good price though. 4.5 out of 5 chilli peppers from me. New rear wheel (probably Hope Pro II, SRAM 990 and a Stans Arch rim) and this thing will be a 5 chilli pepper bike for me…

  • big_slacker says:

    I rode one of these recently as a rental. I was surprised at the climbing ability for what initially looked like a DH oriented ride. I had no problems, left it in the middle ring the whole ride. Its really not as heavy as it looks.

    Its a reasonable climber. I felt it was far too stiff for such a long travel bike. And yes I adjusted it trailside as plush as possible. But it hauls when you’re bombing down the hill, smoothes the ride out real nice. For someone who like DH but needs to climb to get there its no a bad compromise. For someone who likes climbing but want a little DH, not so great.

    All in all I felt it was an ok bike to rent but I would buy one, especially for that price tag. Wow.

  • Ole says:

    Great review, and looovely photos. Big up to the photog!

  • j-rad says:

    i am thinking about buying a specialized enduro for 980.12 is that a good price and is it a good bike. also could I urban bike with like jumps ect.

  • Ben says:

    I have a specialized Enduro Expert Sl 2007, My forks are not working properly, they go up and down fine when u put ALOT of force on them but they will not move if you go over a big rock or on rough trials.. They dont seem to come back up the full way when you leave the presure off either.. They fell like they are seized.. Any ideas what i need to do..

    Thanks very much…

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