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.
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.