2020 specialized s-works enduro
14 Aug 2019

Make no mistake - this ain’t no long-legged trail bike. With big geometry, big travel, and big rubber, the 2020 Specialized Enduro is an absolute behemoth.

Taking inspiration from the latest Demo downhill race bike, the 2020 Specialized Enduro has been completely redesigned from tip to tail. Aside from the name, this bike is otherwise unrecognisable to the old one. There’s a brand new carbon fibre chassis, a new suspension design, and refreshed geometry that takes a contemporary approach to frame sizing. With a keen eye on the steepest, roughest, and most demanding EWS race courses, the latest Enduro is most certainly bigger and badder than ever before.

2020 specialized s-works enduro
The Enduro is back for 2020, and it is nothing like the previous version.

Supersized Enduro

Having successfully launched the Stumpjumper last year, Specialized had a job on its hands to redefine the Enduro and maintain its relevance within the full suspension lineup. With the long-travel Stumpy having become vastly more capable, and the Stumpy EVO pushing out the geometry envelope, the Enduro really only had one way to go. Boom-town.

For 2020, the new Enduro goes supersized. Gone are the wheelsize options – the Enduro is now a dedicated 29er-only platform, and there’s clearance to run chunky 2.6in rubber. Suspension travel has been lifted to 170mm front and rear, which sees it straddling the gap between the Stumpy trail bike and the Demo downhill racer.

2020 specialized s-works enduro
Carbon fibre only for the new Enduro. Specialized is pitching this one high.

Carbon-Only Club

Specialized is aiming to position the Enduro as a premium full-blown race bike, so it’s only available in carbon fibre. At this point in time there are no plans to introduce an aluminum version.

To keep things simple though, all models rely on a FACT 11m carbon fibre frameset, with both the swingarm and mainframe crafted from the magic-plastic. The only difference in the frames is on the S-Works model, which upgrades to carbon fibre linkages, which help to save a healthy 250g over the metal links used on the cheaper models.

2020 specialized s-works enduro float x2 fox
Look familiar? The Enduro’s suspension design carries similar elements to the new Demo downhill race bike.

What’s That Shock Doing Down There?

Just like the latest Demo, the Enduro drops the shock down into the belly of the frame to help lower the bike’s centre of gravity. With a shape that’s not dissimilar to the Santa Cruz Megatower, the Enduro’s shock now passes through a tunnel at the base of the seat tube, before anchoring to a sturdy platform on the downtube.

There are lots of pivots and links swinging around back there, but it’s still fundamentally an FSR platform. The key difference is the main pivot, which moves dramatically further forward relative to the old bike. Specialized has done this to give the back wheel a more rearward trajectory for improved momentum over the rough stuff. It also increases anti-squat by 40% to help improve pedalling efficiency.

The other key difference are the two control links, which drive the shock throughout the 170mm of travel. While more complex than the previous Enduro’s suspension design, the control links have allowed Specialized’s engineers to decouple the shock rate from the axle path. According to the boffins, the new Enduro’s leverage ratio is more progressive throughout, which supposedly offers improved small-bump sensitivity with better big-hit control too.

2020 specialized s-works enduro fox x2
The rear shock pierces through a tunnel at the base of the seat tube.
2020 specialized s-works enduro fox float x2
Carbon fibre links on the S-Works model save 250g.

S-Sizing

Of course the geometry gets slacker and considerably longer than last year. And just like the latest Demo and Stumpjumper EVO, Specialized has also moved the Enduro over to its S-Sizing concept.

Instead of your traditional Small/Medium/Large sizes, you’ve now got S2, S3, S4 and S5, with S2 being the smallest and S5 being the largest. Reach measurements have grown considerably, with the S5 offering an enormous 511mm reach for the ape-iest of riders.

Seat tubes have gotten a lot shorter, both to facilitate the use of longer-stroke dropper posts, and to allow riders to more easily upsize if they’re chasing a longer reach measurement.

The head angle has been kicked out to 63.9 degrees, while the seat angle has steepened to 76 degrees. You’ve got adjustable geometry via a flip chip in the lower shock mount, which offers High and Low geometry positions. The High position will steepen the angles by 0.4 degrees, and lift the bottom bracket by 7mm.

2020 specialized enduro geometry
Geometry for the 2020 Specialized Enduro moves to the ‘S-Sizing Concept’.

All The Mod-Cons, Less Annoying Stuff

In a welcome move by Specialized, the Enduro continues the brand’s about-turn on annoying proprietary standards.

The big 205x60mm stroke shock is a standard metric variety, and Specialized says the frame is compatible with pretty much every shock on the market – coil or air, inline or piggyback.

The Enduro gets a standard threaded bottom bracket, which is accompanied by ISCG 05 chainguide tabs. Out back you’ll find regular Boost 148x12mm hub spacing, and even the derailleur hanger is a standardised shape that’s used across the entire Specialized mountain bike line.

2020 specialized s-works enduro
The main pivot sits well forward of the BB, which gives the bike a more rearward axle path.
2020 specialized s-works enduro
Geometry gets significantly slacker and longer over the old Enduro.

Inspired by the Stumpy, there’s a thick rubber chainstay protector to minimise chain-slap, and we’re also happy to see the frame equipped with moulded-in guide tubes for the internal cable and hose routing. The excellent SWAT box also carries over from the previous Enduro, though it’s now more cavenous with a larger opening to stuff in more crap.

The 34.9mm seat tube diameter might be less common, but more dropper posts are becoming available in this size, including options from RockShox, X-Fusion, and BikeYoke. To fit a smaller diameter seatpost, Specialized offers a neat alloy shim for the Enduro frame.

2020 specialized s-works enduro
Time to brawl! The Enduro is built to eat rocks like these for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

What Models Are Coming To Australia?

There are four new Enduro models for 2020, and all of them will be available in Oz. The range kicks off with the Enduro Comp ($6,800), and tops out with the S-Works Enduro ($15,000). No, that’s not a typo. And yes, that’s Australian dollars.

Whatever the price point, all models come with a 170mm travel reduced-offset fork, a piggyback rear shock, and a wide-range 1x drivetrain. The Enduro’s cockpit feature an 800mm wide riserbar paired to a stubby 35-50mm long stem, and underneath the saddle you’ll find a 150-170mm stroke dropper.

Roval wheels are also spec’d throughout, which come wrapped with the new Butcher GRID Trail tyres – a 2.6in up front and a 2.3in out back. The GRID Trail casing is new for 2020, and is heavier and more robust than the regular GRID casing, while being lighter and more supple than the BLK DMND casing.

2020 specialized enduro s-works
Specialized has seriously pushed the ceiling with the 2020 S-Works Enduro, which clocks in at a cool $15,000. Wowsers.

2020 Specialized S-Works Enduro

  • Frame | FACT 11M Carbon Fibre, Carbon Fibre Linkage, 170mm Travel
  • Fork | Fox 36 Float Factory Series, GRIP 2 Damper, 170mm Travel
  • Shock | Fox Float DHX2 Factory Series, 205x60mm
  • Wheels | Roval Traverse SL, Hookless Carbon Rims, 30mm Inner Width
  • Drivetrain | Shimano XTR 1×12 w/Race Face Next R Carbon Cranks
  • Brakes | Shimano XTR 4-Piston, 200mm Fr & 180mm Rr
  • Seatpost | RockShox Reverb AXS, 30.9mm, Travel: 150mm (S2/S3), 170mm (S4/S5)
  • RRP | $15,000
2020 specialized enduro expert carbon
The Enduro Expert skips the XTR and wireless dropper in favour of a more ‘restrained’ parts selection to bring the price below the $10k mark.

2020 Specialized Enduro Expert

  • Frame | FACT 11M Carbon Fibre, Alloy Linkage, 170mm Travel
  • Fork | Fox 36 Float Performance Series, GRIP Damper, 170mm Travel
  • Shock | Fox Float DPX2 Performance Series, 205x60mm
  • Wheels | Roval Traverse Carbon 29, Hookless Carbon Rims, 30mm Inner Width
  • Drivetrain | SRAM GX/X01 Eagle 1×12 w/Descendent Alloy Cranks
  • Brakes | SRAM Code RSC, 200mm Fr & Rr
  • Seatpost | X-Fusion Manic, SRL LE Lever, Travel: 150mm (S2/S3), 170mm (S4/S5)
  • RRP | $9,800
2020 specialized enduro elite
With alloy hoops and RockShox suspension front and rear, the Enduro Elite brings the high-performance FACT 11m carbon frame down to a more attainable price point.

2020 Specialized Enduro Expert

  • Frame | FACT 11M Carbon Fibre, Alloy Linkage, 170mm Travel
  • Fork | RockShox Lyrik Select Plus, Charger 2 Damper, 170mm Travel
  • Shock | RockShox Super Deluxe Select, 205x60mm
  • Wheels | Roval Traverse 29, Hookless Alloy Rims, 30mm Inner Width
  • Drivetrain | SRAM NX/GX Eagle 1×12 w/Descendent Alloy Cranks
  • Brakes | SRAM Code R, 200mm Fr & 180mm Rr
  • Seatpost | X-Fusion Manic, SRL LE Lever, Travel: 150mm (S2/S3), 170mm (S4/S5)
  • RRP | $8,000
2020 specialized enduro comp
And here’s your entry point into Endurolandia for 2020; the Enduro Comp.

2020 Specialized Enduro Comp

  • Frame | FACT 11M Carbon Fibre, Alloy Linkage, 170mm Travel
  • Fork | RockShox Lyrik Select, Charger RC Damper, 170mm Travel
  • Shock | RockShox Super Deluxe Select, 205x60mm
  • Wheels | Roval Traverse 29, Hookless Alloy Rims, 30mm Inner Width
  • Drivetrain | SRAM NX Eagle 1×12 w/NX Eagle Alloy Cranks
  • Brakes | SRAM Code R, 200mm Fr & 180mm Rr
  • Seatpost | X-Fusion Manic, SRL LE Lever, Travel: 150mm (S2/S3), 170mm (S4/S5)
  • RRP | $6,800
2020 specialized s-works enduro
With 29in wheels and 170mm of travel at both ends, this bike is made for the roughest and steepest of EWS race courses.

Nice, But Is It Too Big?

That’s the lingering question for us. The new Enduro is certainly an impressive looking rig, but there’s no denying that it’s one big ol’ bike. And here in Van Diemen’s land, we’re not exactly blessed with an abundance of the alpine terrain that the Enduro has been designed to thrive on. For many Aussie racers, the Enduro might just be too much bike.

Then again, you might see it as more of a mini-DH or park bike. The fact that the frame will take up to a 180mm travel fork and is rated for dual-crown use can certainly justify that designation. And given that dedicated downhill bikes aren’t exactly getting more popular, a bike like the new Enduro (or the Pivot Firebird 29 and Scott Ransom) is a tempting option for those after an all-round gravity smasher.

We’ll just have to wait to see how popular the new Enduro is with the race crowd. In the meantime, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the this new long travel brawler. Are you into the new frame design? Or do you prefer the old Enduro? Let us know what you think in the comments section!

2020 specialized s-works enduro
Specialized has pumped this one up to Super-Enduro proportions. It’s definitely a big bike for Aussie soil