2018 Specialized Enduro Coil 29/6Fattie

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Review - 2018 Specialized Enduro Coil 29 from Vital MTB Test Sessions

A burly build kit, dual coil suspension, excellent attention to detail, and convenient features make the updated Enduro Coil 29 a surefire bet for experienced riders looking to let it rip.

Rating: Vital Review

During the 2018 Vital MTB Long-Travel 29er Test Sessions, the Specialized Enduro Coil 29 went head-to-head with four other leading bikes. What follows are our thoughts specific to the Enduro. Be sure to check out the main feature for an in-depth comparison video, timed testing results, and more.

Highlights

  • FACT IS-X 11m carbon frame
  • 29-inch wheels
  • 160mm (6.3-inches) of front and rear wheel travel
  • FSR suspension
  • Custom shock size and mount
  • Flip chip adjustable geometry
  • Roval Traverse Carbon wheels
  • SWAT down tube storage and hidden SWAT CC tool
  • Fully enclosed internal cable routing
  • Compatible with 27.5+ wheels/tires
  • Threaded bottom bracket with front two ISCG05 mounts
  • 180mm rear brake post mount
  • Boost 148mm rear spacing with 12mm through axle
  • 1X-specific drivetrain
  • Measured weight (size

During the 2018 Vital MTB Long-Travel 29er Test Sessions, the Specialized Enduro Coil 29 went head-to-head with four other leading bikes. What follows are our thoughts specific to the Enduro. Be sure to check out the main feature for an in-depth comparison video, timed testing results, and more.

Highlights

  • FACT IS-X 11m carbon frame
  • 29-inch wheels
  • 160mm (6.3-inches) of front and rear wheel travel
  • FSR suspension
  • Custom shock size and mount
  • Flip chip adjustable geometry
  • Roval Traverse Carbon wheels
  • SWAT down tube storage and hidden SWAT CC tool
  • Fully enclosed internal cable routing
  • Compatible with 27.5+ wheels/tires
  • Threaded bottom bracket with front two ISCG05 mounts
  • 180mm rear brake post mount
  • Boost 148mm rear spacing with 12mm through axle
  • 1X-specific drivetrain
  • Measured weight (size medium, no pedals): 32.9-pounds (14.9kg)
  • One year warranty
  • MSRP $5,200 USD

Strengths

The Specialized Enduro Coil 29 is a purpose-built trail shredder that's seen several updates for 2018. Few bikes are as race-ready for elite level enduro as this one. The bike's geometry works well with the components to give the rider a high level of confidence going into sections, and we trusted it to keep us on track in every situation. Aided by Öhlins coil suspension front and back, the Enduro was among the best of the bunch when it came to taking big hits. The Öhlins RXF 36 coil fork was a standout performer with a supple off-the-top feel and excellent bottom-out resistance, balancing well with the rear end. Pointed downhill, it strikes a balance between plough and pump-ability.

Given how capable the rest of the bike is, Specialized chose some sensible tires with their updated Butcher design and tough 2.3-inch GRID casing. This choice of rubber provided an exceptional amount of grip, and combined with a great fork we were encouraged to take alternate lines and really explore the limits of our cornering. Other good component choices built to withstand punishment are the SRAM Code R brakes, wide rims on the Roval Traverse Carbon wheels, and a nice cockpit that makes no claims to anything other than pointing the bike downhill.

The frame has Specialized's now famous SWAT downtube compartment with lots of storage room and a clever tool housed inside the top of the fork's steerer tube. We used the little tool often throughout our test and grew to appreciate the easy access and how refined the entire SWAT system is.

Weaknesses

Specialized really went off the deep end when it comes to prioritizing downhill performance. It has tough tires, very firm stock rear suspension, and a stiff frame that are all tailor made for no apologies and no hesitation. The tradeoff for that was one of the most taxing rides in the whole Test Sessions fleet. We could never coax a supple feeling out of the rear end, and it took some muscle to move it around. It wasn't the most nimble, but it didn't necessarily have to be. When on flat ground or mellower terrain, the bike seemed to be overkill and wasn't the easiest to live with. It didn't waste energy, but it did take a lot to get going.

As far as the parts go, what you gain with the carbon wheels, a carbon frame, stout tires, and quality suspension is offset elsewhere, and the Specialized lacked some of the nicer cockpit/drivetrain setups that other bikes seemed to have around a similar price point. The lack of an equivalent gearing range to the other bikes made it feel a bit heavier than its already portly waistline indicated.

The Enduro also comes equipped with the new Command Post IRcc WU dropper post that tilts rearward as it goes down. We measured the actual drop of the 'post' at around 115mm of travel in the center and 150mm at the rear of the saddle. Unfortunately, we still felt the front of the seat from time to time when moving around the bike and dancing to save ourselves during the rowdier parts of the trail. The lack of actual drop, extra weight, and complexity lead us to believe this post just isn't necessary, especially when it quickly developed a noticeable rattle in the tilt mechanism when going down the trail.

Suggested upgrades for a few hundred dollars: Add some inner seatstay protection to keep the chain quiet, a wider range 9-46 tooth e*thirteen cassette to help get it up those hills, and swap the stock 36-tooth DT Swiss star ratchet in the rear hub for a 54-tooth with faster engagement.

Geometry

Suspension Analysis

Using the bike industry's leading linkage analysis software, André Santos was able to determine a close approximation of the Enduro Coil 29's kinematics for the purpose of this review. Though they don't always tell the full story, these charts provide great insight into several key factors that impact how it rides.

André's Observations:

  • The Enduro 29 is a slightly progressive bike at 13%, meaning that it may be relatively easy to use full travel and to experience some harsh bottom-outs on heavier impacts.
  • It has relatively good pedaling efficiency with 80-90% anti-squat values on most rear cogs for a 30-tooth chainring.
  • The amount of chain growth and pedal kickback is slightly lower than most enduro bikes due to the slightly lower anti-squat values.
  • Anti-rise of 55%, meaning that there is a good balance between geometry preservation and traction under rear braking.
  • Overall, the Enduro 29 is a slightly progressive bike with relatively good pedaling efficiency.

Vital's preferred suspension settings for a 175-pound rider on stock components: 434# spring // HSC - 16 clicks out (full open) // LSC - Full open

What's The Bottom Line?

Specialized's latest Enduro 29 is close to the outer limits of how far you'd want to push a pedal bike toward the downhill end of the spectrum. It is built to take a beating, and the weight reflects that despite a carbon frame and wheels. The Enduro wears that weight and toughness like a badge of honor though, mowing over the trail like few can. It is stable, confidence inspiring, and surefooted.

It is also one of the few bikes we would not recommend to a beginner or someone looking to simply try out a little more travel than their current bike. While the suspension is well balanced and the terrain feel is excellent, it can be a bit taxing. This bike needs a rider that will take charge and is willing to let the bike do what it does best, which is take the toughest lines and keep on trucking. If we were buying a bike that we had to race at an Enduro World Series event with no spare parts and no part swaps, it is hard to argue against the Enduro.

Visit www.specialized.com and the 2018 Vital MTB Long-Travel 29er Test Sessions feature for more details.

Vital MTB Rating


About The Testers

Steve Wentz - Age: 33 // Years Riding: 21 // Height: 5'8" (1.73m) // Weight: 174-pounds (78.9kg)

"Despite what it looks like, I'm really precise and calculated, which I'm trying to get away from. I'm trying to drop my heels more and just let it go." Steve is able to set up a bike close to perfectly within minutes, ride at close to 100% on new trails and replicate what he did that first time over and over. He's been racing Pro DH for 15+ years including World Cups, routinely tests out prototype products, and can squish a bike harder than anyone else we know. Today he builds some of the best trails in the world.

Brandon Turman - Age: 31 // Years Riding: 16 // Height: 5'10" (1.78m) // Weight: 175-pounds (79.4kg)

"I like to have fun, pop off the bonus lines on the sides of the trail, get aggressive when I feel in tune with a bike, and really mash on the pedals and open it up when pointed downhill." Formerly a Mechanical Engineer and Pro downhill racer, Brandon brings a unique perspective to the testing game as Vital MTB's resident product guy. He has on-trail familiarity with nearly every new innovation in our sport from the past several years and a really good feel for what's what.

Photos by Luca Cometti // Video by gordo with assistance from Suspended Productions

Specifications

Product Specialized Enduro Coil 29/6Fattie
Model Year 2018
Riding Type Trail
Rider Unisex
Sizes and Geometry
S (high, low), M (high, low), L (high, low), XL (high, low) View Geometry
Size S (high, low) M (high, low) L (high, low) XL (high, low)
Top Tube Length 559mm 584mm 611mm 637mm
Head Tube Angle 66°, 65.5° 66°, 65.5° 66°, 65.5° 66°, 65.5°
Head Tube Length 95mm 95mm 110mm 125mm
Seat Tube Angle 76.7° 76.7° 76.5° 76.3°
Seat Tube Length 396mm 430mm 467mm 521mm
Bottom Bracket Height 354mm, 346mm 354mm, 346mm 354mm, 346mm 354mm, 346mm
Chainstay Length 433mm 433mm 433mm 433mm
Wheelbase 1165mm 1190mm 1218mm 1245mm
Standover 763mm 769mm 781mm 799mm
Reach 415mm 440mm 462mm 483mm
Stack 606mm 606mm 619mm 633mm
* Additional Info Geometry adjustable via flip chip.
Wheel Size 29"
Frame Material Carbon Fiber
Frame Material Details FACT IS-X 11m carbon construction, alloy ManFu link and shock extension
Rear Travel 160mm
Rear Shock Custom Ohlins TTX, twin-tube design, high- and low-speed compression adjust, rebound adjust
Fork Ohlins RXF 36, twin-tube design, coil spring, adjustable high & low-speed compression, adjustable rebound, 110x15mm thru-axle, 51mm offset
Fork Travel 160mm
Head Tube Diameter Tapered, 1.125" top, 1.5" bottom
Headset
Handlebar Specialized DH, 7050 alloy, 6° upsweep, 8° backsweep, 27mm rise, 800mm width, 31.8mm clamp
Stem Specialized Trail, 3D forged alloy, 6° rise, 31.8mm clamp, 4-bolt, 45mm length (S-L), 60mm length (XL)
Grips Specialized Sip Grip, half-waffle, S/M: regular thickness, L/XL: XL thickness
Brakes SRAM Code R, 4-piston caliper, hydraulic disc, metallic pads, 200mm front rotor, 180mm rear rotor
Brake Levers SRAM Code R
Drivetrain 1x
Shifters SRAM GX, trigger, 11-speed
Front Derailleur N/A
Rear Derailleur SRAM GX, long cage, 11-speed
ISCG Tabs Two front tabs
Chainguide Upper guide
Cranks Race Face Aeffect alloy, 24mm spindle, 6000 series alloy, 170mm length
Chainrings Race Face Aeffect, 28 tooth, direct mount, steel
Bottom Bracket Race Face
Pedals N/A
Chain KMC X11, 11-speed, with Missing Link
Cassette SRAM XG 1150, 11-speed, 10-42 tooth
Rims Roval Traverse Carbon 29, hookless carbon, 30mm inner width, 24 hole front, 28 hole rear, tubeless ready, hand-built
Hubs Front: Specialized, sealed cartridge bearings, 110x15mm thru-axle, 24 hole
Rear: DT Swiss 350, Star ratchet, 36 tooth engagement, SRAM XD driver body, 148x12mm thru-axle, 28 hole
Spokes DT Swiss Revolution
Tires Specialized Butcher, GRID casing, Gripton compound, 2Bliss ready, 29" x 2.3"
Saddle Specialized Body Geometry Henge Comp, hollow Cr-Mo rails, 143mm width
Seatpost Specialized Command Post IRcc WU, 12-position micro-height adjustable, alien head design, bottom mount cable routing, remote adjust SRL lever, 150mm travel
Seatpost Diameter 34.9mm
Seatpost Clamp Standard single bolt
Rear Dropout / Hub Dimensions 148x12mm Boost
Max. Tire Size
Bottle Cage Mounts Yes (single)
Colors Tar Black/Gold
Warranty 1 year
Weight 32 lb 14.6 oz (14,930 g)
Miscellaneous FSR suspension
SWAT down tube storage
Internal cable routing
Internal dropper post routing
Compatible with 27.5+ wheels/tires
Price $5,800
More Info

www.specialized.com