We're in love with a 29er. Yeah, you read that right.
The Specialized S-Works Enduro Carbon 29 SE won us over. How on earth did Specialized pull it off? We checked in with Specialized's Sam Benedict to find out.
Finding room for 155mm of rear wheel travel without creating a super long bike was no easy task.
Thanks to SRAM's XX1 drivetrain, there's no longer a need for a front derailleur which frees up some valuable space. But wait...
A small tweak to the seat stays played a key part in the equation.
Now for the kicker - the Taco Blade. This new mounting system made in conjunction with SRAM is thin enough to allow the use of a front derailleur, even with the short chainstays.
It all comes together to create a rear end that measures just 430mm. That's shorter than some 26-inch all-mountain bikes (!), and an inch or more less than other long travel 29ers. The overall impact this has on the bike's behavior is HUGE.
Not many 29ers can pull off this look.
SRAM's XX1 highlights the S-Works build nicely with its 10-42 tooth cassette and massive range.
The Expert Carbon and Comp (shown here) take advantage of the Taco Blade system and come setup 2X with ISCG-05 mounted chain guides.
The Comp frame is made with Specialized's M5 aluminum, front and rear. It has a slightly higher standover height, but all other measurements are the same as the carbon versions.
Each of the bikes feature a tapered headtube and a slack (for a 29er) 67.5-degree head angle.
The entire line of Enduro 29ers feature snazzy 2014 graphics.
New Roval Traverse SL 29 wheels with a wider profile will accept tires up to 2.5-inches, perfect for rallying rougher enduro courses.
While the S-Works model is spec'd with a Cane Creek DBair, the Expert Carbon and Comp models get the FOX Float CTD treatment with Autosag.
It's about time the Command Post went internal! The new IR model also has an external pressure valve for easy adjustments.
These boys will agree. The bike just flat out flies.
Whether an adventure rider or racer, they built the bike with you in mind.
We're willing to bet that you'll see the Enduro 29 on top of the podium several times this year.
Coming full circle, we've got to admit how good a job Specialized has done with the new Enduro 29. It's an unlikely love story, but they successfully turned this group of die-hard 26-inch riders into big fans of the big wheel...