Preview: 2013 Specialized Enduro Expert

A quick glance at what the UPS man just delivered

The Enduro Expert just arrived. I will not be returning emails for awhile. I am out riding.

By Vernon Felton

The Enduro has long been a staff favorite at Bike, and with good reason. When it comes to descending, few bikes in the lightweight, six-inch travel market (what everyone calls “all mountain”) can keep up with this thing. Small bumps, big wrist slammers and everything in between, the Enduro just gobbles up the hits.

On the climbs, however, the bike’s descending bias proved itself known–or to put that in less flowery terms, other all mountain bikes climbed a whole lot better than the Enduro. The Enduro was no boat anchor, but it did tend to wallow a bit and and you absolutely had to take advantage of the compression damping to combat squat. On long grinders, a number of other all mountrain rigs had the Enduro beat.

But that was then and this 2013 model is now.

The Enduro is a looker. The front triangle on the two upper tier models is made of carbon. The seat and chainstays are aluminum. The carbon frame sheds a quarter pound this year.

Specialized reworked the Enduro this year with an eye towards improving its ascending abilities. To that end
Specialized tweaked the kinematics to reduce squat. The 28.15-pound bike (size Large) also gets a new rear shock; a Fox Float CTD model that should be more intuitive to operate than the unit it replaces. The air-sprung Fox is also equipped with Specialized's AUTOSAG feature, which makes dialing your sag brain-dead simple.

The new Enduro gets a Fox Float CTD rear shock, equipped with AUTOSAG.

If you’re thinking that AUTOSAG is the least necessary innovation to hit the market since Biopace, we understand where you are coming from, but after having used the thing on several test bikes, I’m blow away by how much simpler it makes dialing in your suspension. Give it a try–you’ll go from thinking that AUTOSAG is ridiculous to wishing your shock would sprout one of the doohickies.

This new rig just arrived on my doorstep, so I’ll hold off on saying much about how it rides. I spent an afternoon on one while at On Dirt Demo. You can check out that write up here. As for me, I’m going riding…for a good long while. Telephone calls and emails will not be returned this week.