“Evolution instead of revolution” is the motto of the new Specialized Enduro 29 Pro. Rather than completely throwing the frame design overboard, the Specialized team continues to rely on its proven concept and gives the bike some detailed enhancements instead. Is it enough to stand out from the competition?

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The Crème de la Crème – Nine high-end enduro bikes of 2018 in comparison

Specialized Enduro PRO 29
160/160 mm (f/r) | 13.65 kg | € 7,499

Normally, a product cycle at Specialized takes much longer. With the successful Enduro model, however, they’ve already presented us with a revised version after little over a year. Compared to its predecessor, the new Enduro has slightly longer and slacker geometry, which can now be adjusted via a flip-chip. Also new is the Command Post iRcc WU dropper seatpost, which not only lowers the saddle but also tilts the back of it downwards. Unfortunately, the adjustment range of 100 mm isn’t enough, even if the rear of the saddle moves down significantly further. The SWAT box in the downtube and the improved tool integration in the head tube is brilliant, however. For their suspension, Specialized relies solely on Öhlins. Thanks to Autosag and a reduced number of clicks, setup on the rear shock is quick and easy. With the fork, however, setup takes a little longer than competitors’ forks due to the use of two separate air chambers. We’d advise enthusiastic riders to use a slightly higher pressure in the ramp-up chamber than the ones indicated in the chart to increase the progression of the fork.

Helmet POC Tectal | Glasses POC Crave | Jersey ION Tee LS Scrub_Amp | Shorts ION Bikeshorts Scrub_Amp | ShoesION Rascal |

  The greatest strength of the Specialized Enduro 29 is its incredible versatility.

Despite the updates, the first impression of the Enduro is still typically Specialized. Once aboard, you feel right at home! You’re sat centrally on the bike in a slightly aggressive, stretched position. The bike conquers uphills without much effort. The adjustable platform damping is effective in suppressing unwanted rocking, although it firms the shock only slightly. Locking out the shock completely is neither an option, nor is it necessary.
Downhill, the Enduro is a lot of fun with very lively handling. The bike changes direction playfully, but requires a little more rider input than its predecessor. If you are willing to put in that little bit of effort, you will be rewarded with an enormous amount of agility and smiles. The rear end isn’t super-plush, but it works well over small bumps and delivers a good bit of feedback. It lets the rider know what’s going on underneath him at all times, which makes it a lot easier to play with the terrain. Surf the waves or pop off ledges? Yes, please! The Enduro is not only fun on hard-packed trails, but also on moderately rough terrain too. When things get more demanding, it will hold a line with confidence, and is progressive enough at the rear to provide sufficient reserves. Only the tires can’t quite keep up with the competition from MAXXIS.

The Specialized Enduro 29 Pro in detail

Fork Öhlins RXF 36 160 mm
Rear shock Öhlins RXF STX 160 mm
Brakes SRAM Code R 200/180 mm
Drivetrain SRAM X01 Eagle
Seatpost Specialized Command Post IRCC WU 100 mm*
Stem Specialized Trail 50 mm
Handlebar Specialized DH 800 mm
Tires Specialized Butcher 2.3″
Wheelset Roval Traverse Carbon 29
Weight 13.65 kg
Price € 7,499
* saddle rear end tilts down additional 50 mm

Clever es Feature des Specialized Enduro 29 Pro ist die Teleskopsattelstütze welche ihren Neigungswinkel verstellt.
Good idea, badly executed
The idea is ingenious: if you lower the saddle, the back of the saddle also slopes downwards. This allows you to control the bike very well with your legs. Unfortunately, the adjustment range isn’t enough, and on top of that, it rattles annoyingly.
The ingenuity of the SWAT box only becomes clear when you take the Specialized on longer rides. Safely storing a spare tube and the pump inside the downtube, well away from mud, is very practical.
Always at hand
If you turn the flap, the mini-tool jumps out at you. You’ve never been able to get to your tools more quickly. Unfortunately, you need it relatively often because of the short dropper seatpost. :)
Less is more
A correct setup is essential for the performance of a bike. Specialized makes it easier to get there using the Autosag valve and a reduced number of clicks.

The geometry of the Specialized Enduro 29

Size S M L XL
Top tube 559 mm 584 mm 611 mm 637 mm
Head tube 95 mm 95 mm 110 mm 125 mm
Head angle 66° 66° 66° 66°
Seat angle 76.7° 76.7° 76.5° 76.3°
Chainstays 433 mm 433 mm 433 mm 433 mm
BB High 354 mm 354 mm 354 mm 354 mm
Wheelbase 1165 mm 1190 mm 1218 mm 1245 mm
Reach 415 mm 440 mm 462 mm 483 mm
Stack 606 mm 606 mm 619 mm 633 mm
Das Specialized Enduro 29 Pro kann alles, hinauf klettern hinab brettern!


The Specialized Enduro 29 Pro is not the most potent or agile bike in the test, but it offers by far the best compromise of riding characteristics. Wherever you take it, you are guaranteed to have fun! On top of that, it climbs well, and thanks to the innovative SWAT integration it does away with the need to carry a backpack on most rides. Best in Test!


+ enormous fun in all terrain
+ good climbing characteristics
+ ingenious tool integration


– seatpost rattles and hasn’t got enough range
– tires offer slightly less grip and cushioning than the competition

Value for money

For more info head to: specialized.com

The test fleet

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The Crème de la Crème – Nine high-end enduro bikes of 2018 in comparison

All bikes in test: Cannondale Jekyll 1 | Canyon Strive CF 9.0 | Evil The Wreckoning X01 | Kona Process 153 CR 27,5 | Merida ONE-SIXTY 8000 | Orbea Rallon M-Team | Santa Cruz Nomad 4 CC XX1 | Trek Slash 9.8

This article is from ENDURO issue #032

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Words: Photos: Christoph Bayer, Valentin Rühl