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Specialized Enduro Review: Best Enduro Bike of 2021

Best Enduro Bike of 2021

  • Climbing Ability 80% 80%
  • Downhill Ability 100% 100%
  • Overall Fun 90% 90%
Travel: 170mm rear and fork

Head Tube Angle: 63.9/ 64.3

Seat Tube Angle: 76

Reach: 487mm (S4 frame)

Weight: starting at 32.5 lbs

Price: $4,499

What We Like: DH Bike That Can Climb

What We Don’t: Needs Steeper Seat Tube, Price

Built for the descent but will also get you uphill with your own power is a tough combination to find. Specialized has come pretty close to nailing it with their new Enduro bikes. The combination of long travel and modern geo has given this downhill rocket the legs to get back up the mountain. The seat tube could be a bike steeper to really help the pedaling efficiency, but it is a small price to pay for the wild downhill skills this bike comes with. It is controlled and composed but also poppy and playful, it has amazing traction when you need it and really just wants to go fast. Add the cool SWAT downtube storage, and it’s hard to find any flaws in this beast, making it our Best Enduro Bike of 2021.

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See Our The Best Long Travel Mountain Bikes of 2021

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  • Climbing Ability 90% 90%
  • Downhill Ability 90% 90%
  • Overall Fun 90% 90%

Pros

All-around Ability in a Variety of Terrain

Cons

Weight of Some of the Build Options

Travel: 145mm rear/ 150mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 65.2

Seat Tube Angle: 76.3

Reach: 470mm (large frame)

Weight: Starting at 29 lbs

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Pros

Maestro Suspension Platform, Price

Cons

Could Use Some Better Brakes

Travel: 146mm rear/ 170mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 64.6

Seat Tube Angle: 76.4

Reach: 488mm (large frame)

Weight: Varies With Frame Material

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  • Climbing Ability 80% 80%
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Pros

Really Playful Bike

Cons

Expensive Build Options

Travel: 150mm rear/ 170mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 64.5

Seat Tube Angle: 76.9

Reach: 480mm (large frame)

Weight: Starting at 31 lbs

Best Long Travel Mountain Bikes: Specialized Enduro - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Specialized.com

  • Climbing Ability 80% 80%
  • Downhill Ability 100% 100%
  • Overall Fun 90% 90%

Pros

DH Bike That Can Climb

Cons

Needs Steeper Seat Tube, Price

Travel: 170mm rear and fork

Head Tube Angle: 63.9/ 64.3

Seat Tube Angle: 76

Reach: 487mm (S4 frame)

Weight: Starting at 32.5 lbs

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Pros

Climbing Ability, Ripmo AF Option

Cons

Stock Shock Not Being Fox Float

Travel: 147mm rear/ 160mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 64.9

Seat Tube Angle: 76

Reach: 475mm (large frame)

Weight: Starting at 28.9 lbs

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Pros

All-around Performance

Cons

Price

Travel: 142mm rear/ 160mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66

Seat Tube Angle: 75.5

Reach: 470mm (large frame)

Weight: 30.2 lbs

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The Shapeshifter

Cons

Also The Shapeshifter

Travel: 150mm rear/ 160mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66 - 67.5

Seat Tube Angle: 73.5 - 75

Reach: 470mm (large frame))

Weight: Starting at 31.2 lbs

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Pros

Amazing Climber, Custom Paint Job Option

Cons

Short Reach and Cost

Travel: 160mm rear/ 170mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 65

Seat Tube Angle: 75.5/ 76

Reach: 455mm (large frame)

Weight: Starting at 30.95 lbs

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Cons

Sluggish At Slow Speeds, Super Long

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Seat Tube Angle: 78

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Weight: 32.8lbs (large frame)

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  • Climbing Ability 90% 90%
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Pros

Strong Climber, Stable Descents

Cons

Not As Playful As Older Versions

Travel: 150mm rear/ 160mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 63.5

Seat Tube Angle: 77.7

Reach: 480mm (large frame)

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  • Climbing Ability 80% 80%
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  • Overall Fun 70% 70%

Pros

Made For The Downhills

Cons

TWINLOC System Needs Some Work

Travel: 170mm

Head Tube Angle: 64.5

Seat Tube Angle: 75

Reach: 466.5mm (large frame)

Weight: Starting Around 30.20 lbs

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  • Climbing Ability 80% 80%
  • Downhill Ability 90% 90%
  • Overall Fun 90% 90%

Pros

Now Comes With A Water Bottle Mount, Sportier Geometry

Cons

Climbing Could Be More Efficient

Travel: 160mm rear/ 170mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 64

Seat Tube Angle: 78

Reach: 480mm (large frame)

Weight: Heaviest Build 34.2 lbs

This bike wants to go downhill, and it wants to do it fast. I feel like the review could be done at this point, but I’ll continue. Specialized has improved the anti-squat in this version of the Enduro to make it a decent climber as well. For these reasons, plus some others, it has been named our Best Enduro Bike of 2021. So what else has Specialized brought to the table with the Enduro?

Best Long Travel Mountain Bikes: Specialized Enduro - Gear Hacker

The Bike

Specialized has not changed too much with the Enduro but the changes they have made have helped to improve the anti-squat and turned it into a fairly good climber. It won’t ever come close to some of the short travel bikes of the world but it wasn’t built for that. The bike can be set up in a low or high setting, the low setting can cause some pedal strikes while climbing rocky areas, so that is something to consider depending on your local trails.

Specialized has gone to a different style of bike sizing as well. Instead of the Small to Large scale, which can pinhole some riders to certain bike sizes, Specialized is now using their own scale the S1-S5, with S4 being the closest to a large. Really the scale is set to give riders the chance to pick the bike more for their riding style than their size. If you want a more stable ride, go for a higher value on the S scale, if you want a playful and poppier bike, then a frame with a shorter reach and wheelbase will be what you are looking for.

The Enduro also comes with the SWAT system, a storage compartment behind the water bottle cage in the down tube, where you can store an extra tube, snacks, you name it. The stem also has a multitool and chain tool stored in it for ultimate convenience. It will make you wish every bike had the feature—no more backpacks or hip packs.

Best Long Travel Mountain Bikes: Specialized Enduro - Gear Hacker

Climbing

Surprisingly, this bike is a solid climber. The reduced anti-squat provided by a lower main pivot has helped to improve the pedaling efficiency without hitting the lockout switch. Depending on the trails, the bike can be a bit low in the low setting, which may bring about some pedal strikes on bottom bracket dabs, so keep that in mind.
The seat tube could also be a bit steeper. This would help counter the longer reach (depending on the model you buy) and put you in the perfect position to become the local king of the hill. You won’t want to replace your short-travel XC if you live somewhere with long and rolling hills, but if you climb a lot and then descend even more, this bike is worth the once over.
Best Long Travel Mountain Bikes: Specialized Enduro - Gear Hacker

Downhill

This beast has risen from the ashes to smash the downhills. If you ride hard and want to go fast, then look no further and head to your local bike shop with a credit card in hand. This Enduro is so close to a DH bike, all you’d need to do would be to add a dual crown fork and away you’d go. With 170 travel on both ends of the bike, this bike is ready to party. Stability is the name of the game with the Enduro—on the trail and in the air if that’s where you like to hang out.

With 4-piston brakes, there is plenty of control and traction for when things get a bit spicy. The anti-rise has been improved thanks to the new chainstay pivot and main pivot location change. The Butcher wheels are burly enough to handle some serious impact and hold corners well. Even with a longer chainstay, the back end is playful and helps to keep everything composed at high speeds. We could go on, but it would get boring. This bike was built to shred the downs, and it seems to have been built to handle… well, anything.
Best Long Travel Mountain Bikes: Specialized Enduro - Gear Hacker

Build Options

Specialized has done this cool thing where they slightly change the wording on the frame of the bike and are able to add about $5,000 to the price tag. When Specialized becomes S-Works, look out wallet, things are about to get pricey. I mean the new name does come with all the bells and whistles and the fixen’s or whatever you want to call them, but ouch!

As of right now, the Enduro frameset costs $2,699 for full carbon with the SWAT downtube storage and with rear suspension included. There are two Specialized Enduro bikes, the Comp ($4,499) and the Expert ($5,999). The Expert comes with the Fox suspension system, while the Comp comes with a Rock Shox set up.

The 2021 model of the S-Works Enduro will only set you back a paltry $9,999. Now, it does have a SRAM XX1 Eagle drivetrain, SRAM Code RSC 4-piston brakes, and upper and lower carbon linkages—saving an extra 210 grams from the frame. Plus, the FOX FLOAT suspension is set up with a rebound and compression adjustment, so I mean it’s legit fully loaded.

Best Long Travel Mountain Bikes: Specialized Enduro - Gear Hacker

The Bottom Line

If your local trails include big climbs with even bigger and burlier descents, this bike is worth a look. Super capable and controlled at high speeds on the downs, while being poppy and playful when you ask it to be. The Enduro is essentially a DH bike while still being able to pedal it to the top of the mountain in the first place.

Sure, it is a bit pricey, but all models of the bike come with the SWAT storage, something that all bikes wish they had. You will also never be the last one to the bottom, ever, again… ever. So if you ride hard and don’t have a chair lift anywhere near you, this bike will get you to the top in style and get you to the bottom with a new PR. There isn’t much else to ask for from our Best Enduro Bike of 2021.

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We participate in affiliate programs to help us fund Gear Hacker. Some of the links in this website are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product using our link, we will earn a small commission. Don’t worry! This comes at no additional cost to you, and we will never base our reviews on whether or not we earn a commission off of a product. With that said, if you find our review helpful and decide to purchase an item we review, we would be very appreciative if you use our links to do so. It will help us bring you more awesome content in the future!