2018 Specialized Enduro 29 and 27.5
The Update to the Update
Just one year after releasing an updated Enduro, Specialized took the feedback received and quickly turned that into an even more refined platform for 2018. Visually the bikes look nearly identical to their 2017 predecessors, however Specialized has made several key changes to the geometry of both bikes to better suit the demands of modern trail riders. Specialized also updated some of the SWAT features and spec on multiple models.
Along with key geometry changes to make the 27.5 frame feel almost identical to the 29er, Specialized also redesigned the shock extension (yoke) and link. The new extension is compatible with their new Flip Chip that alters the head tube angle and BB height in a matter of minutes. Specialized also moved the shock mount location on the 27.5 frame for a slightly more progressive wheel rate. Specialized will be selling the revised link and shock extension for 2017 Enduro models so that customers will have the ability to update their ride. Check with your local dealer on part availability.
Here is a graph to help you crunch numbers between Model Year 2017 and 2018.
Spec and SWAT Changes
You may have guessed that one of the easiest ways to modernize a bike would be to widen the bars and shorten the stem. Well, give yourself a pat on the back, because the new Enduros come with knuckle busting 800mm bars and shorter stems to compliment the revised geo.
One of the more unique changes to the Enduro is the Wu seat post. Specialized’s own dropper post sees a major design change that optimizes the angle of the saddle as it drops. Travel on the shaft is only 115mm but Specialized claims that the effective drop is closer to 150mm since the area of the saddle we sit on actually drops another 35mm as it tilts back. We’re a bit skeptical and couldn’t help but think more is better, but the stack height of the Wu design is a limiting factor. We look forward to trying the post out and applaud the ingenuity as it seems like a great idea.
The big S also debuted their new SWAT CC tool. The tool slots into the steerer tube and replaces your star nut thanks to a design that locks and compresses the headset from both sides of the headtube. This feature will come spec’d on S-Works, Pro and Coil models.
Specialized is expanding their partnership with Öhlins suspension as both the Pro and Elite models will now feature Öhlins dampers. Slightly simplified (non-twin tube design) STX suspension will come on the Pro and Elite models. Pro bikes will also come with carbon wheels and all Enduro models will now run the updated 2.6 Butcher Grid tires.
During the brand’s presentation we asked for rough percentages on sales between the Enduro 29 and 27.5 models. We were surprised to learn, as was Specialized, sales are nearly 50/50 between the two wheel sizes.