2nd Look: Specialized Enduro FSR Expert Carbon 26

Tom Collier reviews the Specialized Enduro FSR Expert Carbon 26 for Blister Gear Review

Specialized Enduro FSR Expert Carbon 26

Specialized Enduro FSR Expert Carbon 26

Wheels: 26”

Size: Medium

Weight: 27.2 lbs with Kona Wah-Wah Pedals

Build:

  • Avid Elixir 7 brakes
  • Rockshox Pike fork
  • Fox Float CTD shock
  • SRAM S-2200 Carbon Cranks
  • Specialized Roval Traverse wheels
  • Specialized Command Post IR dropper post
  • SRAM X01 cassette and rear derailleur
  • SRAM X1 Shifter

Days Ridden: 7

Locations Ridden: Whistler, BC

The Enduro has been a very popular bike over the past few years, which means that there are a lot of used ones on the market. Recognizing that you, our readers, aren’t always looking to drop every last penny on a new bike, we wanted to let you know whether this 26″ variant of the Enduro still stacks up. This is a second look on the bike, so I’d also recommend checking out Noah Bodman’s review of the Enduro FSR for another impression.

Background

The Specialized Enduro platform is one of the longest running bike lines in the industry. Even though the name Enduro is currently trendy, this line existed long before that segment of the sport did. While it is certainly suitable for enduro races, the Enduro is also fun for long backcountry rides, short after work group rides, or a little bit of lift-accessed riding. It is a bike that balances climbing and descending for optimum fun somewhere in the middle.

For 2015, Specialized kept the 29” wheel Enduro in its lineup, but replaced the 26” Enduro with a 27.5” Enduro that features updated (read: “slacker”) geometry. This review looks at the discontinued 26” Enduro, which should become even more available on the used market as more riders move up to 27.5” wheels

Frame Detail / Tech Call-Outs

The rear suspension is Specialized’s FSR. It is a four-bar linkage with a horst link. That means that the pivot nearest the axle sits on the chainstay and is below and in front of the axle. This helps isolate suspension movement from braking forces. The front triangle of the bike is carbon while the rear end is aluminum. Most of the cable routing is external and runs down the bottom of the downtube. The dropper post housing runs inside the frame to a stealth style dropper post. The bottom bracket is a PF30 pressfit bottom bracket with ISCG05 mounts.

Component Highlights

The Specialized Enduro features Specialized Roval Traverse wheels, a Specialized stem and bar, and a Specialized Command Post IR dropper post. The cassette and rear derailleur are SRAM X01, while the shifter is SRAM X1, and the cranks are SRAM S-2200 Carbon Cranks. The brakes are Avid Elixir 7’s. The fork is a RockShox Pike and the shock is a Fox Float CTD with Specialized’s custom auto sag valve.

Thomas Collier reviews the Specialized Enduro FSR Expert Carbon 26, Blister Gear Review

Tom Collier on the Specialized Enduro FSR Expert Carbon 26, Whistler BC.

The front tire is a Specialized Butcher and the rear tire is a Specialized Purgatory. The seat is a Specialized Henge Comp 143mm saddle. I haven’t liked Specialized saddles in the past, so it was a surprise to me that I got along really well with this one. The seat is a bit wider than most and the nose is square, but fairly well padded. The width allowed it to contact my sit bones well and I really appreciated the padded nose on steep climbs when I’d scoot up to keep the front wheel down.

Geometry

The 26” wheeled Enduro has a 66.5º head angle, which was the norm a couple of years ago. For instance, the Santa Cruz Nomad Mk2 had a 67º head angle, and the Trek Slash had a 66/66.5º head angle when it had 26” wheels. Now though, 66.5º isn’t especially slack (the Nomad is now 65º and the Trek is 65/65.6º), so for next year Specialized knocks a degree off it, making it 65.5º on the 27.5” wheeled model of the Enduro.

The chainstays on the Enduro are exceptionally short at 419mm (16.50”), and they play a significant role in the ride quality of the bike, making it nimble. The bottom bracket height is pretty average, even in the low setting: 351mm (13.82”). The 431mm (16.97”) reach is pretty long for a Medium, but not too long in my opinion.

Thomas Collier reviews the Specialized Enduro FSR Expert Carbon 26, Blister Gear Review

Tom on the Specialized Enduro FSR Expert Carbon 26, Whistler BC.

The 75º effective seat tube angle falls on the steeper side of the spectrum (the Trek Slash is pretty average at 67º, the Nomad is pretty steep at 74.2º), and I find a steep seat angle to help a lot on climbs. The reason bikes went for more moderate seat angles in the past was to keep the saddle out of the way when a rider stood up. Now, with dropper posts being so common, seat angles can be steeper to optimize climbing position because the seat can be dropped out of the way when the rider stands up.

NEXT: Ride Quality

 

1 Comment

  1. Tim April 27, 2016 Reply

    Nice review. I still enjoy my 26″ Enduro Expert.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*