09 June, 2019
No more than a couple years ago, you would have been laughed out of the state if you purchased a bike with more than 160mm of travel for use in the midwest. However as time has gone on, more and more trail networks have been built, the midwest mountain biking community has grown, and there is now a justifiable reason to buy such a bike. In walks the Specialized Enduro, available in a 170mm 27.5” bike, or a 160mm 29er, the Enduro was created to shred, and shred it does. I was able to spend some time on the 27.5” Enduro Comp in a size large, which clocks in with a 65 degree head angle.
The Enduro Comp is the most entry level bike in the range, but the ethos behind the bike is the same from this alloy version all the way to the S-Works, and that ethos is “Point bike down trail, bike go fast.” … or at least that should be the tagline they go with. But honestly, this thing descends like an absolute beast. Many people will say that long travel bikes don’t belong in the midwest, and that concept is just silly. With tons of great riding spots, including literally anywhere in the Keweenaw Peninsula, it’s hard to say that there isn’t a place to ride this bike. Hell, Copper Harbor is around 5hrs north of us, you get up early and that’s a day trip. Anyways, let’s get to the bike.
My first ride on the bike was at lift serviced Little Switz. It’s a relatively small park, but it’s more than enough to keep you entertained for the 6hrs they’re open. The terrain varies from trail to trail, but most of the riding consists of small, medium, and large jump lines. As far as how the bike handled the terrain? The ground disappears beneath you. Every rock garden, every nasty root section, every sharp and bumpy small rock section, it all just just goes away. Oh, that includes casing jumps too. This was my first real ride of the year, and my first couple laps consisted of me casing literally every single double I hit. The 170mm rear soaked up everything with travel to spare. The frame geo also encourages you to push a little bit harder than you’re used to, I won’t go as far to say that bike bike is “confidence inspiring” like every manufacturer puts in the literature, because it isn’t a flat out replacement for skill. However, the bike does want you to go fast, and it wants you to have fun while going fast, and those two things together = a very good time.
So in short, it’s an Enduro in the most authentic sense of the word. It’s long, it’s slack, it wants to do whips and be featured in a video with punk music. As the season progresses and I log more hours on the bike, I’ll be back with more updates!