First Look: S-Works Enduro 29 Weighs in at 27 lbs with 155mm of Travel

29er Enduro
Review: 2013.5 Specialized S-Works Enduro 29er Tested

The Enduro 29er boldly goes where no 29er has gone before.

Specialized S-Works Enduro 29er Rear Side View

The Czar of FSR, Jason Chamberlain called and said I could have an Enduro 29er for a week. Here was a bike with 155mm of rear travel and 150mm of front travel. “Enduro 29er…not interested. Too much travel for a 29er. How can that be any good for my riding style and 5’8″ stature?” I thought.

But given all the interest about this bike since the launch, I felt it was my duty to check it out and give it a fair shake. So I headed out there, talked to Jason for a bit and then went straight to Demo Forest in Santa Cruz. What ensued was a week of riding every day with a whole lot of hootin’ and hollerin’. Human behavior is interesting as we seem to spend our time more efficiently the less time we have. After the first day of discovery, I felt compelled to ride this bike every single day, since I only had seven days to ride it.

YouTube Preview Image Video: Our test rider Ron Aclan explores if a high travel 29er can be ‘fun’. Fast forward to 2:30 of the video and ride along his Braille Trail, Santa Cruz, CA downhill run.

The Breakthrough

The Enduro 29 is the most exciting product to come around in the last year because it breaks the mold. People did not expect a 29er with 155mm of travel to be good, but this one definitely is. The chain stay is so short at 16.9 inches that one can say that this bike handles quicker then many 27.5 bikes and even 26er bikes. The stays are shorter than most bikes with shorter travel and it’s even shorter than the Specialized Camber or Specialized Epic. In fact, the 16.9 stays are shorter than the stays of most 29er hardtails. The result is a bike that handles so quick and is so playful.

Continue reading for ride impressions, more information and full photo gallery.

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About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.


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  • Mr. P says:

    Sounds awesome. Low BB = railing goodness.

    How does it pedal?

    P

    • Francis Cebedo says:

      >>How does it pedal?

      It pedals much like a Stumpy or a Camber. There is a bit of pedal bob under power so a platform shock is necessary if this bike will see a lot of climbing duty. The Enduro Comp and Expert will be simple to put in platform mode with their Fox CTD shocks. The S-Works with the Cane Creek DB Air is a little more complicated. we had to ramp up the low speed compression damping to give it a pedal platform. With that setup, it pedaled great. Traction and bump compliance under power are excellent.

  • Davey says:

    Man, I’m glad you guys stopped reviewing 26er’s. who rides those obsolete things anymore?

  • Wish I Were Riding says:

    I would probably buy a Camber with short stays tomorrow if they made one. 150mm of travel is just more than I need for my regular trails.

  • entrylevel says:

    No offence, but if there is only TWELVE of the things hitting the US this year .. could you maybe talk about how you think the design will work for the entry level specs of the 29 enduro.. you know – something the bulk of us might be able to afford and our local shops can actually supply?

    Thanks man.

    • Francis Cebedo says:

      Yes, the S-Works is always the hard to get flagship. There were hundreds of Enduro Comps and Experts released this year and that’s what folks have been riding.

      There’s a huge thread here about the Enduro Comp 29er. I imagine it will be awesome with a CTD shock that’s not as plush but much easier to configure.

      Wheels whould be great to upgrade to $1200 Control Carbons.

      http://forums.mtbr.com/specialized/2014-enduro-29-comp-se-841039.html

  • Francis Cebedo says:

    Lots people are riding 26ers. Just not a lot of are buying them.

  • Tad McMichael says:

    Specialized didn’t spend all the money on development and advertising to sell 12 bikes. This was about getting the bike out there as a very late 2013 so that they can create a buzz and sell a boat load of 2014 models. The Enduro is too much bike for me, but I hope the Stumpy 2014 sports the super short chain stays. That paired with 1×11 would be the perfect bike for me.

  • Mike says:

    What’s the weight? Not a huge Specialized fan but looks promising.

  • Krusch says:

    This is a long travel trail bike. A mountain bike needs higher bb. I would wreck the chainring on first ride… I`m looking for a higher bb technical terrain (all mountain that is full of rock bolders and logs all over the place) full suspension 29er. I know Lenz lunchbox is higher bb. But are there any other bikes that fits my needs? Since i find the lunchbox to expensive.

    • Skidad says:

      Agreed, the BB is just to low IMO but I live in New England where there is more rocks than dirt. The new Remedy 29′er I believe has a decent BB height.

  • Joel says:

    The strategy backfired in my case. I might have seriously considered buying the Expert if I could have found one. Without even a chance, I just bought a TBLTc. Love it and won’t be buying a new bike for a long while. Loss Specialized.

    • Sylvain says:

      It’s an underdog, underrated bike, the Tallboy LTc that is… Wouldn’t trade my LTc. Just got Derby Rims on mine now… Burly rocket!!!

  • H says:

    Awesome bike. I’m guessing they played wait and see since sales are just starting to eek forward again, why go into crazy production until you get a look at who is REALLY willing to fork over the dollars for a top ride and not just drool over it…

  • Tom says:

    Agree with the guys above on BB height. Deal killer, for me. At 150 mm of travel, the bike BEGS to be ridden on the rockiest, rootiest trails available. Good luck pedaling on them!

  • AC says:

    I wanted to get the enduro 29er as soon as it was announced to replace my 07 S works enduro sl. Went to LBS to order and I was told an indefinite delivery date. Tried a yeti SB95 that was on showroom floor. Liked it. Bought it. I’ve always liked Specialized but it seems like there was a lack of foresight in projected sales and demand for the enduro 29er….:(

  • sweetness says:

    Interesting article although I’m still skeptical about larger wheel size – I’d like to see a 26er do the same thing… might be better at demo (based on trail time alone, it looks that my ’06 enduro could hang w/this bike no problem). Either way, thanks for the vid although screaming gets kind of annoying…

  • gee says:

    Amazed you could review this bike and not touch on the insanely high front end and how it affects climbing

    As for not bottoming it out – if the travel is there. it’s there to be used. It’s not a “good point” from Specialized, it’s just daft. Of course people will bottom out bike like this – it’s made for agressive riding.

  • Troy says:

    “Sean Estes from Specialized makes a good point by saying, you’re never going to bottom out this travel on this kind of bike.”

    Wait, did he really say that? That’s ridiculous. If you’re never going to bottom out, then why does it have that much to start with? Sounds like the kind of BS that salesmen spew out to dumb buyers.

  • Globallines says:

    Seems like they are trying to play catch up with the Devinci Atlas…..same head tube angle, bb height and chainstay length. And probably the same weight. but about 3k more expensive.

  • fasterman says:

    dhf 2.5 fits in my 429c

  • John Smith says:

    With bikes like this……do we go out and get junk cars and park them in the middle of the trail to give some sort of challenge?

  • Sylvain says:

    I’m surprise Francis that a Med Tallboy LTc doesn’t fit you well at 5’8″. I am 5’5″ and have no problem fitting a medium. Tried briefly the alu version and it felt like a tank. Apples and oranges to my Tallboy LTc. I guess I would have to try an $8000 carbon to compare. So far, I’ll take my LTc any time over this…

  • Jim Renaldo says:

    U guys are sound like cheap skates and complain like women. Probably because it’s too much travel. Put on those tights and climb some hills!!!

  • Kabong Man says:

    Who would pay 10k for any bike..I am alover of all cool high tech MTBS but lets get real. You bike snobs (yes you) create an image that only Hollywood elite can emulate.. You needa bike at 2 K that does this.. Then i can buy 2 and take my GF in the woods.

  • Mtbmike says:

    I’ve owned a few Specialized FS bikes in my day. Good bike for the value, but that’s when there was still a value to be had. 10K? Who are they kidding? And what justifies the change from mid 3000′s base model to 10,000.00? Three times the bike? The aftermarket shock, fork, wheel, etc world does not have anywhere near that cost range, nor justifies the difference! So it has carbon rims. Big whoop! I can build almost 3 kick-ass Ellsworths, Foes, Etc. for the same dough, and have just as good a bike as the spit-it-out made in Taiwan production frame this rig is based on….. (you know, the land of manufacturing/environmental disaster and crappy labor regulations).. and still keep jobs in the U.S.!

    Remember what started mtn biking?

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