Specialized Enduro SL Expert 2008

Pro Reviews



The bike is equipped with Specialized components – seatpost, saddle, handlebar, stem, tires. The saddle was very comfortable and easily adjusted. Specialized uses their own components as part of their philosophy of an integrated system and so that they do not rely on other manufacturers for supplies. The integrated stem-fork system reduces weight and increases the stiffness of the front end. The disadvantage is you cannot change the stem length with this setup.

The high end SRAM X-0 and XTR components keeps this bike light and gucci.

The Juicy Ultimates at 333g modulated well, providing great one finger braking power throughout the descent. With a 203cm front rotor you don’t notice the smaller 185mm rear rotor during braking. This is an interesting match that works. Whether to save weight or to have a stonger front brake over the rear there was no compromise in braking with this combination. Also, you didn’t have to worry about bending the rear rotor on rough terrain if you use the smallest rotor you need.

The Eskar tires were the greatest hindrance on this bike. While they performed well during braking, they did not hook up well in corners and did not provide confidence to go faster.

The DT Swiss rims on this demo bike stood up well to the constant straight line pounding that the fork would allow.

Specifications are as follows:

Frame Set- Enduro M5 alloy, fully manipulated frame w/ ORE TT and DT, forged HT, sealed cartridge bearing pivots, ISCG mount adj. geometry, replaceable derailleur hanger, 150mm travel
Fork – Specialized Future Shock e150SL, dual crown w/ integrated stem, 150mm travel, rebound, compresion and travel adjust, 25mm thru axle, alloy steerer
Shock – Specialized AFR Shock w/ Spike valve, air spring, adjustable rebound and low speed compression, 7.875×2.25″
Sizes – 15.5in / 17.5in / 18.5in / 19.5in / 21.5in
Warrantee – Specialized stands behind the materials and workmanship of any Specialized branded fork or rear shock for a full 5 years.
Wheelset – DT Swiss custom for Specialized X420, 24mm w/ eyelets, 32h
Tires- S-Works Eskar, 26×2.3″, 120 TPI, aramid tubeless ready bead, dual compound
Stem- S-Works, Future Shock, CNC’d, 31.8mm clamp integrated w/ fork
Bar – Specialized Enduro mid rise bar, 2014 alloy, 31.8mm, 6 degree up, 9 degree backsweep, 660mm wide
Post – 2014 butted alloy, single bolt setback, 30.9 x 350/400mm
Saddle>- Specialized Enduro, titanium rails, SL foam
Headset – 1 1/8″ threadless, Campy spec integrated sealed cartridge bearing
BrakeSet – Avid Juicy Ultimate, hydraulic disc, 203mm rotor (front), 185mm rotor (rear)
Crankset – Shimano M-970 XTR
Front Derailleur – Shimano M970 XTR, DMD top swing
Rear Derailleur – SRAM X-0, 9-speed, mid cage
Shifters – SRAM X-0, carbon/aluminum 9-speed trigger

Geometry for a Specialized Medium frame is as follows:

Standover – 748mm/29.4in
Head Tube Angle – 67(low setting) / 67.9 (high setting)
Seat Tube Angle – 71.9 ( low setting) / 72.8 (high setting)
Effective Top Tube Length – 591mm/23.3in
Wheel Base – 1147mm/45.1in
Bottom Bracket Height – 356mm/14in – 367mm/14.4
Chainstay – 421mm/16.5in
Weight – 31lbs


Fire road approaches were not a chore on this bike.

When I wanted the bike to make me stop climbing it wouldn’t and I had to keep going.ugh.


About the reviewer:

I am 5’9″, weigh 150lbs. I have been riding for 17 years. I come from an XC hardtail background but have moved with technology and ride a Titus RacerX for XC, a Turner 6 pack for DH and Shore riding, a Norco Atomic for the Whistler Bike Park and a Norco Team Ti set up for more freeriding/shore/technical XC riding.

My Bikes!

The Ride:

When first sitting on this bike you notice the tall front, slack angles, low standover and lowering into the suspension. This gives you the impression that the bike will be a great descender and slow climber. Playing with the fork and shock adjustments really alters the geometry of the bike to lower and stiffen the rear and front to provide a firmer climbing platform.

Setting the shock rebound dampening to slow and compression to firm with the fork set to ‘climb’ made this bike into a firm solid climber. Adjusting the fork rebound and compression did not make as much difference on the climbing platform. Technical climbing was possible on this bike as it moved slowly and precisely over roots and rocks. While this bike was not an active climber i.e.; it wouldn’t propel forward over the terrain like a more agile climbing bike, it would climb like a Toyota Land cruiser in 4-low.

The tires did well climbing over roots and rocks but didn’t offer a lot of traction on off-camber surfaces where the bike would slip off. I did have to play with the seat post clamp to ensure it was really tight so the post wouldn’t slip down during climbs.

I did find that if you rode in a rooty section of trail with the suspension set on firm the bike was very stiff and reacted unpredictably on the rougher terrain.

Once at the top of the climb it was easy to set the bike into descend mode. This instantly made the rear plush and the front end higher. Descending rough terrain was a snap on this bike. The front fork would gobble up the terrain features making route adjustments a thing for lesser forks. Initially the sag was set at 30%, this resulted in the rear to bounce more then expected for a bike of this type. Reducing the sag created a plusher platform that still did not bottom out on the larger hits. Reducing the fork sag to >30% also created a plusher platform and still the fork did not bottom out. I did find the fork quite firm at lower speeds, getting plusher as you rode faster.

The Eskar tires did not inspire confidence. During one high speed turn on dry loose dirt the tires slid out causing me to crash. Replacing the front tire with one with beefier side knobs helped in corners and allowed for greater speeds which is where this bike wanted to be.

Continued…Summary, Rating, More Action Shots…

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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Wordpress Comments:

  • 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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