Big wheels go big travel – introducing the new Specialized Enduro 29

A 29er Specialized Enduro? Are they mad?! Twenty-nine-inch wheels have definite fast-rolling speed benefits but common wisdom has it that they don't work with more than 140mm of rear bounce. The argument goes that it's impossible to squeeze rolling stock that big and that much travel into a frame without making it handle like a barge. Well, looks like no-one told Spesh!

The new Specialized Enduro 29 packs a full 155mm (6.1in) of rear travel, yet its wheelbase is barely any bigger than its super-popular 26in-wheeled stablemate – the 430mm (16.9in) chainstays are a mere 11mm longer than usual. Okay, so it's got 10mm less bounce, but that's still an impressive feat – especially when you consider there's space for up to 2.5in tyres.

How have Spesh done it? By designing a removable 'Taco Blade' front derailleur mount that gave them free rein to reshape the seat-tube and rear triangle. You can tell it was still a struggle fitting big wheels into this frame though – there's no small size, just medium, large and XL.

The Enduro 29 will be a US-only bike for 2013 – a real shame, as we reckon this bike could be the ultimate high-speed all-mountain ride. Three models will be available Stateside from March/April:

The top-end S-Works Enduro Carbon 29 SE will cost US$9,000, complete with SRAM XX1 transmission, Cane Creek DBair shock, carbon wheels and a claimed weight of 27.6lb/12.6kg

The top-end S-Works Enduro Carbon 29 SE will cost US$9,000, complete with SRAM XX1 transmission, Cane Creek DBair shock, carbon wheels and a claimed weight of 27.6lb/12.6kg

Sharing the same carbon front end and alloy rear triangle, but with a more workaday spec – though it still includes carbon cranks and Specialized's own Command Post dropper – is the cheaper Expert Carbon 29 SE

Sharing the same carbon front end and alloy rear triangle, but with a more workaday spec – though it still includes carbon cranks and Specialized's own Command Post dropper – is the cheaper Expert Carbon 29 SE


There's an all-alloy option too – the Enduro Comp 29 SE, at $3,500, with Fox dampers, mid-range SRAM kit and Specialized’s own Roval wheels

There's an all-alloy option too – the Enduro Comp 29 SE, at $3,500, with Fox dampers, mid-range SRAM kit and Specialized’s own Roval wheels

Here's a look at the R&D process:

Source: Specialized Enduro 29er–Bike Magazine's Exclusive R&D Story from Bike Magazine

And here's the S-Works bike in action:

Source: Specialized S-Works Enduro 29 Trail Battles – Let's Make It Interesting from VitalMTB

Specialized Enduro 29 geometry

More info at www.specialized.com.

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