I have been trying to select the right all mountain bike and think the new Enduro SL might do the trick. I was originally planning on building up an Intense 6.6, but the Enduro seems better price/perf. A few concerns though:
Did you ever give feedback on the final fork? Also with the custom 25mm hub will I be stuck with limited wheel selections (i.e. no Crossmax)?
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I rode the Specialized fork (and shock) last time I was in Norcal, and I really liked them. They had a nice, firm pedaling/pumping platform (which rips on buffed Santa Cruz singletrack). When I landed hard or rat-tat-tatted through the braking bumps, some sort of blowoff let loose, and the fork and shock got quite plush. The geometry and riding position on Brandon’s bike were spot-on. I could tell this bike was made for extended, technical climbing and bomber descents.
Caveat: The fork I rode was not production. It’s a prototype, I assume for the next generation. (The blowoff on that fork was a bit too abrupt for my taste, but that’s one of the things they were experimenting with.) I’m supposed to receive the S fork and shock, and when I do I’ll wring ’em out and tell you guys everything.
Hub. You’ll have to build your wheels with the Specialized 25mm hub, at least for now. I don’t think that’s the end of the world — how about that hub with a Mavic 823? God’s own rim.
I hope that helps. I’m gonna ride my Enduro SL today …