American heavy metal band Manowar might be the self-declared “Kings of Metal,” but we’d argue that the team at Öhlins have a right to this title. With a long history in motorsports, over recent years they’ve built up their mountain bike suspension range, and Specialized have been in on the act since the start. Coming in a limited run of 200 bikes, the Specialized Enduro Coil Carbon is where carbon meets metal.
First impressions of the Specialized Enduro Coil are as raucous as many of Manowar’s tracks. At first glance the smooth black lines look understated… that is, until your gaze lands on the striking yellow coil damper, a true statement of intent. Like any good punk jacket emblazoned with patches, this one says don’t mess with us.
The Specialized Enduro Coil 29 build spec
The Specialized Enduro Coil channels more metalhead genes by forsaking any superfluous style elements. The spec is wholly unassuming, promising to deliver functionality and affordability – although the price tag obviously hasn’t read the memo. A SRAM GX drivetrain and price-point SRAM Guide R brakes are like shelling out an hour’s wage for a slimey hot dog at a gig; it might fill you up, but where’s the satisfaction? The same applies to the Enduro Coil’s pretty steep price tag of € 5,999.
Fork Öhlins RXF 36 160 mm
Shock Öhlins TTX Custom 165 mm
Brakes SRAM GUIDE R
Drivetrain SRAM GX
Seatpost Specialized Command Post IRCC
Stem Specialized Trail
Handlebar Specialized DH 780 mm
Tires Specialized Butcher Grid / Specialized Slaughter Grid
Wheels Roval Traverse 29″
The Specialized Enduro Coil 29 in Detail
Given the bike’s outspoken ambition, the long 60 mm stem is about as poorly chosen as new white Converses at a British festival. If you really want to weasel out the bike’s potential, you should definitely get a shorter stem. The integrated SWAT box has space for the most essential riding items like a tube and a mini-pump.
The geometry of the Specialized Enduro Coil
|Seat Tube||396 mm||430 mm||468 mm||523 mm|
|Top Tube [A]||555 mm||575 mm||600 mm||625 mm|
|Head Tube||95 mm||95 mm||110 mm||125 mm|
|Head Angle [D]||66.0°||66.0°||66.0°||66.0°|
|Seat Angle [B]||76.5°||76.5°||76.5°||76.5°|
|Chainstays [C]||432mm||432 mm||432 mm||432 mm|
|Wheelbase [E]||1159 mm||1179 mm||1205 mm||1231 mm|
|Reach [G]||410 mm||430 mm||450 mm||470 mm|
|Stack [H]||609 mm||609 mm||622 mm||636 mm|
|BB Drop [J]||19 mm||19 mm||19 mm||19 mm|
The Specialized Coil on the Trail
The Specialized Enduro Coil grinds it way up the climbs without excessive pedal-bob, even with the plush steel spring damper. If it does bother you, it’s easy to select an efficient climbing platform with a quick twist of the low speed compression adjuster. The riding position is comfortable and lends itself to all-day epics. It’s probably worth upgrading the Command Post IRcc because it only has limited adjustment and we weren’t keen on the saddle layback.
Prepare yourself for one of those goose-pimple moments as you reach your first trailhead and drop in with the Specialized Enduro Coil. Traction is astonishing – genuinely more than we’ve ever experienced – and the bike keeps super-planted to the terrain. This must be the stomping ground of the steel coil shock. Thanks to the confidence-inspiring vibe, this is a bike to really get loose on, blasting down the track quicker than Keith Moon on his drums.
On downhills we were staggered by just how unruffled the coil-sprung suspension is by any burl, and how much it seems to scream for more. Even on really long downhill runs, it delivers the ultimate performance with unbeatable consistency. The Enduro Coil Carbon has classic 29er geometry, so it’s not surprising that the handling is really familiar. And despite its brutal exterior, the Enduro Coil has a softer side that comes out while cornering, showing a satisfying submissiveness to the rider’s input.
The Specialized Enduro Coil Carbon gives any rider a free pass to a heavy metal gig. The bike is reliant on the Öhlins coil suspension for its attitude, but that’s definitely not a bad thing. Built around a great carbon frame, this is a bike to dominate any trail. But as with any private showing from a great band, full live immersion comes at a heavy premium – and the Enduro Coil Carbon is pretty damn exclusive.
- Beautifully sensitive suspension
- Superb handling
- Strong look
- Heavy, not so playful
- Too much bike for mellow terrain
For more info head to: specialized.com
Words & Photos: Christoph Bayer Translation: Emmie Collinge