Specialized Enduro Comp 29
While the new Enduro’s ‘X-wing’ frame layout and Boost-width back end look almost identical to that of its 2017 counterpart, Specialized have made some significant changes. These include stretching the reach out further (it’s jumped from 430mm to 440mm on the medium) and adding a geometry chip at the base of the shock, which lets you drop the BB by 8mm and slacken the head angle by 0.5 degrees. In the lowest setting, this sat our test bike 344mm off the floor and gave a 65.1-degree head angle.
On the trail, speed comes easily to the Enduro. Its shape and balance make it easy to acclimatise to, while its forgiving ride means you can speed head-on into boulder fields without wincing. It helps that set-up is a rapid, faff-free affair. You can tackle steep, roughed-up sections of trail with relative precision and when the hits do start to come thick and fast, the supple rear suspension doesn’t get overwhelmed easily, with enough progression and support to handle big impacts in a composed manner.
There’s an element of comfort built into the Specialized, which we appreciated on arduous descents where other bikes left us feeling beaten-up. As a result, though, things never felt quite as taut or urgent as we’d have liked when making splitsecond direction changes or slamming from turn to turn. We’d also argue the BB could be dropped lower. While the Enduro isn’t a ‘point and plough’ machine, it still lacks some of the zip required to give it more of the pinpoint accurate edge that other bikes here have in abundance. It’s a sprightlier climber than its weight might have you expect, thanks in part to the steep 76.7-degree seat angle.
As for the components, while we rate the Rockshox Yari highly, it can’t match the composure of the Lyrik found on some similarly-priced bikes. Specialized’s own-brand Butcher tyres are great all-rounders, though, and we’re fans of their super-comfy Henge Comp saddle too. Overall, while the Enduro doesn’t feel quite as reactive or energetic as some of its competitors, there’s a balance and comfort here that’s really appealing.