Presenting our 2018 Specialized Enduro shred sled. While piecing together this build, the focus was on durability, reliability, speed, and fun. This bike is always ready to go (with save-a-ride supplies conveniently stowed in the frame’s SWAT pocket), all that’s needed is to fill a water bottle and head for the trails!
The two most amazing characteristics of this setup are ground-hugging feel and absolute silence. Zero noises, save tire knobs trying to tear off and wind in your ears is actually noticeable when absent. The most challenging part of writing it up was keeping the bike clean for more than a day!
For reference, a stock Enduro S-Works 29er costs $8500 with photos and description here.
- Frame: 2018 Specialized Enduro S-Works 650b, Large
- Fork: FOX 36 Float RC2, 170mm, 110x20mm Axle
- Shock: FOX Float X2 w/ Climb Switch
- Rims: Derby 27.5”x40mm (34.5mm internal), DH layup, 32h
- Hubs: Onyx, Alloy XD Driver
- Tires: Maxxis DHF 2.5 / DHR II 2.4
- Brakes: Magura MT7 Danny MacAskill
- Rotors: Magura Storm HC, 203mm front, 180mm rear
- Shifters: Shimano XTR 11spd
- Rear Derailleur: Shimano XT 11spd
- Bottom Bracket: Real World Cycling BSA 30, Angular Contact 440C Stainless Steel Bearings
- Crankset: Race Face SixC 170mm
- Chainring: absoluteBLACK Cinch Oval 30t
- Chainguide: MRP AMg v2
- Cassette: eThirteen TRSr 9-46t
- Chain: KMC X11SL Ti Nitride
- Pedals: VP Harrier
- Bars: Renthal Fatbar Carbon 35mm
- Grips: Sensus Disisdaboss
- Stem: Renthal Apex 35, 33mm
- Seatpost: KS Lev Integra, 175mm
- Saddle: Specialized Henge Expert, 155mm
Many people have asked why I started from a frame instead of purchasing a complete setup. After all, who buys a car chassis and then adds an engine, transmission, etc? A frame-level build is definitely more expensive, yet there is a tipping point where it makes sense. In this case, it was knowing I wanted different wheels, suspension, brakes, and dropper. With most builds, riders will replace the bars, stem, and saddle for proper fit, but beyond those items, parts get expensive rather quickly. At the time I acquired this frame, Specialized did not offer the Bike Configurator, allowing selection of custom colors, damping solutions, etc. Now that they do, it would be a harder decision.
Frame: Specialized SWORKS Enduro 650b
Reasoning: I’ll start with my top three. First, I like the geometry, especially with the latest round of updates, adding some reach and ramp-up. Secondly, the SWAT pocket. It’s so nice to stash all the save-a-ride parts, a tube, and even a tire pump in there. Third, I’ve had excellent customer support from Specialized and my LBS also has a close relationship with them. That’s a critical aspect of selecting a bike: who does your local bike shop support and do they treat you well? This is the second Enduro I’ve owned, the first was a 2013 29er and the LBS always received manufacturer support and got me back on the trail within days. A few people have asked who this mystery bike shop is. It is Scotts Valley Cycle Sport and Andrew and Brittany Cavaletto will treat you right and live to ride.
Some other selling points for this bike are the threaded bottom bracket, clean and efficient cable routing, aesthetically pleasing design. Did I mention a threaded bottom bracket? When riding the bike, it feels like it’s on rails, smooths out the trail and runs completely silent.
Brakes: Magura MT7 Danny MacAskill
Reasoning: Huge stopping power while allowing modulation. These brakes also include Magura’s HC3 levers which allow adjustments of both lever reach and leverage, which lets you maximize usable range of the lever based on traction available (wet/loose vs. dry). My previous setups have all ended up with Shimano Saint stoppers, these MT7’s offer similar power with better modulation.