First Look: Specialized Enduro 650b S-Works 27.5 bike

27.5 Enduro

Specialized Enduro S-Works Rear Quarter

For 2015 Specialized is making their flagship Enduro bike available in the 27.5 wheel size. And unlike their Stumpjumper 27.5 effort, this seems to be a more serious entry in this very competitive arena.

Specialized Enduro S-Works with Cane Creek DB Inline

The Cane Creek DB Inline feels right at home with the Enduro allowing room for a full sized water bottle and SWAT bottle/tool cage.

They still haven’t fully embraced the whole 27.5 movement though as they still insist on calling it 650b. That battle has been won and the industry is clearly calling the middle wheel size 27.5 since it is a thousand times clearer and more consistent for the whole bike industry. So for the purposes of this story, we’ll just call their bike the Enduro 27.5 sized wheel.

Specialized Enduro S-Works with Symmetrical Dropper Post Lever

The Enduro only comes in 1×11 drivetrain so Specialized optimized the controls by making a dropper post lever that looks and feels like the shifter lever of SRAM.

The Specialized crew is definitely warming up to 27.5, starting with the sales team who is losing the battle on the showroom floor as some buyers clearly prefer 27.5 for their new all mountain steed. But the Specialized starting to participate in the category as they’ve evolved from: “We want nothing to do with it.” to “Ok, it is the 26er replacement.”

But this is a serious bike and worthy of consideration and much more attention. The key is the buyer now has options and the rider looking for a high travel bike can now choose between an Enduro 29er or 27.5. The colors will be the same as well as the spec. Many of the qualities like bar height and controls, will be made consistent across the two wheel sizes whenever possible.

Specialized Enduro S-Works with Avid Guide Brake Levers

Specialized Enduro S-Works with Avid Guide brake levers.

Worth noting is the 27.5 bike is now available in size Small when it was never available on the Enduro 29er. Conversely, the XL size will only be available on the 29er and not the 27.5. So there is a suggestion that the 27.5 is for shorter folks and the 29er is for taller ones. This is a notion that we wholeheartedly agree with.

Specialized Enduro S-Works with Specialized Chain Guide

Specialized Enduro S-Works with Specialized chain guide.

Some specifics on the new bike are that it will have a new rear triangle, but makes use of the existing 26-inch front triangle mold. Specialized says they were able to achieve the geometry they were after using this configuration without compromise, and the geometry numbers are correct without the need for any external spacers. With 165mm of rear travel mated to 160mm in the front, a 65.5-degree headtube angle, 422mm chainstays, and 352mm/13.85 inch bottom bracket height, the new bike is ready to take on all comers. Now 13.85 inches may seem high, but consider that this has 165mm of rear travel and when properly sagged, the BB height will be much lower.

Specialized Enduro S-Works Weight

Specialized Enduro S-Works weight is 27.4 lbs with Spank Spike pedals. The pedals weigh .9 lbs so weight without pedals is 26.5 lbs

The great news is, we’ve had this bike for a weekend now and took it to the fabled Soquel Demo Forest of Santa Cruz. It railed the corners and soared the jumps right out of the box. This bike felt absolutely dialed and we will be updating this story as we continue to ride this bike.

Wheels felt absolutely stiff and the bike bike was easy to rail and throw around. Mind you, it is a big bike. But it is playful bike on the ground and in the air. The Cane Creek DB Inline is a delight as it is quiet and controlled. We haven’t even started to play with with damping adjustment knobs and we’re already floored. The fact that there’s room for a full-sized water bottle and is lighter than a Double Barrel makes us love this rear shock even more.

BB Height at 13.8 inches, head angle at 65.5 and seat angle at 74 all check out well and feel right on the trail. We only hope that we can put as much time as possible on this steed in the coming month.

Continue to Page 2 for more on the Specialized Enduro 650b S-Works and full photo gallery »

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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  • Josh says:

    “Worth noting is the 27.5 bike is now available in size Small when it was never available on the Enduro 29er. Conversely, the XL size will only be available on the 29er and not the 27.5. So there is a suggestion that the 27.5 is for shorter folks and the 29er is for taller ones. This is a notion that we wholeheartedly agree with.”

    I wholeheartedly disagree with this. Sounds great in marketing speak but in my experience two bikes that are the “same” except for wheel size have vastly different handling characteristics.

  • PatreekO says:

    Looks like the comp and elite have the same spec but different price. Could be a misprint.

    • Anthony says:

      Patreek, it’s a misprint. The comp doesn’t have a dropper, the wheels, saddle, and bars/stem appear to be different, there’s definitely a different shock and brakes.
      Also, did anyone notice the picture caption describing Avid brakes? They are now branded Sram.

  • Dale Burton says:

    $9,300 for a bike. Come on, this is ridiculous. I see the people out on the trail with these really high end bikes where the do not use them to the bike’s ability, but have them as more of a status symbol – “look what I can a ford”. That said, I have spent a lot on my bike, but no where near nine grand.

  • Spokes574 BayArea CA says:

    A big change is the dropper lever is integrated into the brake lever from SRAM. So i can not get the new lever unless i get the new brake cylinder from SRAM. No one is mentioning that. makes the controls look clean! I have the 2014 S-works 29nr enduro and can tell you the post is ok but is very heavy and very long compare to the competition. Action feel is fine. it works as intended. no major complaints.

  • raul says:

    incredible bike maybe but very Ugly paint Job.
    Scott Genius LT tuned 2015, amazing bike and beautiful

    • Chris says:

      “incredible bike maybe but very Ugly paint Job.
      Scott Genius LT tuned 2015, amazing bike and beautiful”

      I rode the specialized and the Scott back to back on demo. Both are awesome, but I preferred the Scott. Probably because I’m coming from more of cross country background.

  • Stirling Senior says:

    Specialized call it a 650 because it is a 650 and not a 27.5…the latter description is inaccurate by around half an inch! Besides 650 sounds a lot cooler. Maybe the USA needs to wake up to the metric system – it is somewhat more accurate. Wow, the paint job is classy and the ride is sweet – rode it at Leogang, Austria.

  • Ted Ecker says:

    Have an enduro comp on order. Chose it over a deeply discounted 2014 29er with higher level components. Function over bling. Will review it after spending some time on it. Ted/Moab.

  • Adam Waqil says:

    Morning riders
    well i just purchased a Large Enduro S Works frame & rear shock but customized built up with my set up & honestly in love of what it can do
    fast on turns & downhill
    great control & it climbs really good
    Awesome 27.5/650B first generation

  • chris says:

    No XL for you! (soup Nazi) Lame that they are still making the wheel size choice for you if you are short or tall. (wasn’t the whole point of relenting and making 27.5 bikes because you were loosing sales by not giving the customer what they wanted?) I quite enjoy my 26″ Enduro, but I guess I’ll have to look at one of the other dozen’s of companies that can now sell Horst links in the U.S. (bad time for Specialized to be messing with their customer base by thowing out half arse built Stumpjumper Evo’s and still trying to control what wheel size they buy) Lame…

  • Bob n Knob says:

    I wonder if the Enduro will have the SWAT. So that Jared Graves can stash his cash that he’s guaranteed even when he looses.

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