Specialized suspenson on Enduro SL?


Is [your new Enduro] the one that’s carbon and uses Specialized’s proprietary shocks and forks?? If it does, my question is how good is it, and aren’t companiess like Fox not going to like it since that’s one bike their stuff isn’t going on?? Or is that just ONE model and all the others will still get off the shelf 3rd party shocks and forks??? And lastly, if I had a Specialized fork and shock on my Enduro, do they let you put another brand of fork/shock on there if I choose??

ok ok… too many damn questions!!! 🙂

take care,


Hey Brian.

The Mighty Enduro SL with the Specialized shock, FOX 36 FLOAT fork, prototype Specialized Chunder 2.2 tires (slow but grippy) and a secret prototype dual ring guide.

Yes, I’ve been riding the new carbon Enduro SL.

It is good. I don’t have the Specialized fork; I run a 2007 FOX 36 FLOAT, which is sweet (10mm more travel and much plusher than my old 36 TALAS). The rear Specialized shock pedals VERY well, almost like a Stumpjumper. I’ve been testing pre-production shocks. I’ll do a full review when I get the bike dialed with a production shock.

Some of the key FOX and Specialized people are riding buddies, but I don’t think FOX is exactly stoked about this. This is my opinion: Knowing Specialized, they will gradually adopt their own suspension, starting with the high-end bikes. Low end bikes and really low-number bikes like the Demos will probably stick with FOX. My opinion.

I doubt a shop would swap the fork and shock for free, but you can definitely switch. I’ve been trading the Specialized shock with a FOX RP23. Both shocks work great. They’re just different. The FOX makes the 2007 Enduro SL feel like my 2005 Enduro, but stiffer and lighter; the Specialized makes the bike pedal quickly and feel even lighter/tighter/brighter.

OK OK … Too many damn answers!!! 🙂

— Lee

33 replies
  1. Josh says:

    Just cause it is fairly obvious that its a Gamut guide (Lee does their promotional material after all) doesn’t mean we should tell everyone!

  2. leelikesbikes says:

    Thanks; that frame is pretty.

    Yes! I can’t ride an Enduro full-out without a chain guide of some kind. There’s just too much violence, and I find myself worrying about the chain (sometimes for good reason). I’ve tried all sorts of things:

    – Heim 3Guide – Works well, gives you three rings plus a bashguard if you like. The most verstatile setup out there. I had trouble with the roller freezing during winter. I did their site a few years ago … http://www.montaramtb.com/

    – GAMUT single ring guide – Bombproof and reliable. I’ve been running singles on my Enduros for the past few seasons. Climbing is rough here in the Front Range, but descending is foolproof.

    – Right now I’m running a secret dual guide, and I love it. So far no lost chains, and I really appreciate the small ring!

  3. Colin says:

    How do you put a chainguide on the new enduro w/o ISCG holes?
    Does it mount w/ the external bottom bracket?

    I’d be really interested in putting one on once I get an SL in a few months

  4. Colin says:


    Just make sure ***** makes a flange-mount when their secret prototype 2-ring comes out 😀

    If you ever put the specialized fork on your bike please post and tell us how it is 🙂


  5. leelikesbikes says:

    The value is I was able to get a 36, but I can’t get a Specialized fork yet. I have no idea how they compare, but I’ll tell everyone as soon as I test the Specialized fork.

  6. alex says:

    Hi Lee,

    I understand you know how stumpi rides as well.
    Many people complain -it bobs when climbing up.
    1. Is this true with/without the brain?
    2. How do SL-Stumpi compare climbing up?

    Cheers, Alex

  7. leelikesbikes says:

    The Stumpy (and other FSR bikes) have virtually no chain/suspension bob. Any bob you feel comes from the movement of your body mass while you pedal. Remedies:

    – Pedal more smoothly. Seriously — this is a big deal.

    – Use ProPedal or some other pedal platform. This can almost eliminate the oscillation.

    – Run a Brain shock. This can totally eliminate the oscillation.

    I’ve experimented with all sorts of settings, from all the way plush to totally firm. We have a lot of rocks here in Colorado. In general I like a middle setting: the bike is solid when I spin the the saddle, it moves a bit when I sprint, and it readily absorbs the bumps.

  8. Neil Peart says:

    Hi Lee,

    Thanks for a very informative and useful site. I have had an 07 Enduro SL Pro (carbon) on order since I found out about them. You sound like a man with some answers; any idea whats going on with production? I’m usually cautious about untested product, should I be concerned about this first generation e150 fork? I’m up here in NH, still no snow, and wishing I had my new ride! Whats going on at Specialized? Thanks in advance man.

  9. leelikesbikes says:

    I don’t know any details, but I know developing suspension from scratch is a massive undertaking. Chances are they’re getting bitten by the little bugs: outsourced parts that came back out of spec, stuff like that.

  10. alex says:

    Thanks for the advise regarding pedaling.

    Last week I had the chance to ride an FS for a while. It was a swiss made Thoemus Lightrider Team (www.thoemus.ch). Great material quality and the ride was bob free mainly by bedaling continuesly and smoothly. Based on specs, the standard Stumpi should ride equally good and much better with the brain.

    Myself, long now, I ride only hardtails -FS is my next step getting older.
    As options, I see both specialized bikes -Enduro SL and the Stumpi.
    If the Stumpi, especially with the brain on the back, is so good (I love climbing) I would choose it. If not, I would go for the Enduro SL which I understand it climbs equally nice if not better than the Stumpi.

    What is your answer to this “traditional” question Enduro SL vs. Stumpi?

  11. leelikesbikes says:

    Depends on your style:

    Cover the most trail as efficiently as possible: Stumpjumper

    Climb well but really enjoy the descents: Enduro SL

    Smoother trails: Stumpy

    Rougher/steeper trails: Enduro SL

  12. Martyn says:

    So Lee, from what you say ie rough trails ensures that I still have the enduro sl on order. Say on a theoretical loop stumpie v enduro with equal technical ups and rough rocky DH sections, the two bikes should be dead level???

  13. leelikesbikes says:

    They’d be close, but you can push the Enduro harder on the descents. If you have that kind of decending kung fu (and you’re a smooth climber), the Enduro might be faster.

    Mark Weir can race any Santa Cruz he likes. He raced XC on a Blur for a while, but now he runs a Nomad. He says he can ride it harder — with more confidence — and it’s faster overall.

  14. Aaron says:

    Love your book, I’ve devoured it from cover to cover.
    Now the quandry…
    Which is better in your opinion – 04 Marz Z150 FR SL or something else newer?

    Enduro SX Trail vs. Enduro SL. In both climbing and decending. I’m pretty sure you’ll say the SL climbs better and the SX goes down better. However, how close do you think you could get the the SL to the SX by adding 2.4″ tires, 6″ single crown fork, and a Pushed Fox DHX coil shock in the rear?


  15. leelikesbikes says:

    I hated my ~2005 Z150 SL. The lockdown lever that doubled as the rebound adjuster, that made me crazy. Every time I used it, I had to fiddle to get the rebound right. Otherwise, the fork was great — I just hated that feature.

    You can do better for sure, in my opinion. Rock Shox Pike, FOX 36.

    The SL climbs well because of the Specialized suspension. If you’re gonna slap on a different fork and shock, go with the SX Trail. Or go the middle road with an Enduro.

    Let me say this too: I’ve seen Enduro SLs downhilled way faster and harder than 99.99999% of riders can even think of riding. Unless you’re some super-champ, or you’re super-abusive, an Enduro SL is probably plenty bike.

  16. Aaron says:

    Now that the SL Expert has been released, have you ridden the new fork yet? What do you think?


  17. leelikesbikes says:

    I’ve only ridden a proto, and it was great. Firm while pedaling and pumping, but plush on big impacts.

  18. Chay says:

    Hi Lee, how would you compare the Enduro SL comp with the Giant Reign 0?
    Are they in the same category, apple to apple comparison?
    If so, which one would you go for?
    The guy at my local bike shop keep saying the Enduro is by far a better bike, better design, and the Regin does even come close. But the component is better on the Reign.
    Also , have you heard of anyone have trouble with the suspension on the Enduro? I am a bit concern, as they are the first batch of production suspension made by Speciliazed. And are there likely any mods in 2008 for the Enduro?
    Thanks in advance! Chay

  19. leelikesbikes says:

    Based on specs, I’d say the Reign is a bit more XC, the Enduro SL a bit more AM.

    Both great bikes, but I like the SL’s slacker head angle — plus I’m a Specialized guy.

    I haven’t heard anything about production S suspension. My prototypes were … just prototypes.

  20. Gary says:

    Hello Lee, …just wondering…..Enduro SL vs. Santa Cruz Nomad…..any thoughts on these two bikes as a next purchase? Currently riding ’07 Stumpi FSR expert in NE Ohio (lots of rocks,roots, and short steep climbs followed by lots of really nice rollers, sweeping turns, and a few tight trees for good measure. Im about middle pack in the sport class….just trying to get some opinions on these two bikes and noone around my area seems to have any time on these bikes. Thanks alot!!!!

  21. Anthony says:

    just wondering how the top secret chain guide was on the trails. if it is still top secret are there other models that will work oin this bike?

  22. Ian says:

    I need help urgently – i have about 48 hours to choose between an 07 Enduro SL or a 07 SJ FSR – both in Pro Carbon spec. My riding style is more single track than downhill and my instinct is to go with the SJ but people keep telling me that the Enduro is just as good and has a little more if you ever need it with no down-side. My question is – is this true. Can i throw the Enduro about on some twisty track and climb root&rock just as well. Also what about Mud – i’ve heard comments that the double crown on the specialised forks is not good (very close to the tyre) – but surely it just clears the mud off the tyre !.

  23. Anthony says:

    Hi,I’ve got an 07 Enduro SL and have sent the fork back to Specialized U.K already with compression problems.
    I have considered swapping the front fork over to a Marzocchi or a Fox, however, I am unsure as to what size stem would suit the bike best?
    Any advice you can give would be much appreciated.

  24. leelikesbikes says:

    I’m told Specialized makes an upgrade to put new internals in that fork. It’s supposed to improve both reliability and performance.

    As for stems, do a search on this site. There is plenty of info on that topic …

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