Fantastic ride quality and suspension performance

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 8
Weight:
Weight:

Pros:

  • A day at BikePark Wales really showed this bike at its best.
  • Pedalling efficiency of a 170mm travel bike.
  • Boost axle and fitting 2.6in tyres, really transforming the ride.

Cons:

  • Sizing. XL size was new for this year so I was really disappointed when I swung my leg over for the first time and it didn’t feel right.
  • Despite Specialized’s ‘size specific’ philosophy they still fit a 125mm dropper.
  • Alloy frame means no SWAT box storage like its carbon framed syblings.

Product:

Specialized Enduro Comp 650 (2017) longterm verdict

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£2,600.00
This product is featured in: The best enduro mountain bikes.

Our longterm test verdict on the Specialized Enduro Comp 650b; Specialized’s enduro machine sucks up big hits without compromising sensitivity.

>>> Specialized mountain bikes: which model is right for you? 

Jason Hardy’s verdict after 10 months of testing.

Specialized Enduro Comp 650b need to know

  • Ground-up redesign with revised geometry for 2017
  • 170mm-travel with Yari fork and RockShox Monarch Plus shock
  • ‘Base’ model in the range with alloy frame
  • Slacker front end, longer top tube, shorter chainstays, lower BB

specialized enduro comp 650b

What attracted you to the Specialized Enduro Comp 650b?

Since Specialized created the Enduro it’s consistently been at the top of its game, and with the revised version for 2017 I was keen to see how this entry point machine would fare. I also wanted to see how feasible a 170mm travel bike would be as a regular ride.

Did you change anything straightaway?

Just the dropper post. It comes fitted with a 125mm model which didn’t seem right on an XL bike, so I put a 150mm in. Later on I fitted 2.6in tyres which really transformed the ride in a positive way, giving more grip and comfort.

Was the bike easy to set up?

Very, the shock and fork were a cinch to set up. Due to sizing issues I slammed the stem as low as possible and put the saddle as far back on the rails as seemed sensible to get as much reach as possible.

specialized enduro comp 650b

Jason’s dogged pursuit of the perfect ride

How did it ride?

For me it was a mixed bag. I’m 6ft 2in (1.88m), and I never felt entirely comfortable on this XL sized bike, which surprised me as I don’t think I’m freakishly tall. It felt too short with not enough reach, and our Product Editor said he’d felt other bikes in the range also felt short. But then out on the trails the bike was really amazing. For 170mm of travel it had a great pedalling efficiency, and when flat out down the trails it felt super competent and assured. I’m recently back from an uplift day at BikePark Wales and I have to say the bike gave me more and more confidence on the big drops and jumps.

Did anything break or wear out?

Whilst at BikePark Wales the rear wheel started to lose tension, so the lunch break was spent with a spoke key in hand. The wheel hadn’t gone out of true but some of the spokes had the tension of overcooked spaghetti. Also the chain guide on the front ring kept rubbing despite all my efforts to adjust it. But these are minor gripes considering the lack of TLC I’ve shown it during my tenure.

If you could change one thing about you’re longtermer what would it be?

I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, but another 10-15mm in the reach would work wonders for me.

Would you buy this bike and why?

The answer is obviously a no, but that doesn’t mean this is a bad bike, far from it. And it doesn’t mean this isn’t the right bike for you. The ride quality and suspension performance was fantastic, giving a sensitive low speed ride whilst taking the big hits in its stride at the other end of the spectrum, and the Boost axle standard gives the bike great flexibility. But I never felt truly comfortable on it, always feeling a little too upright when sat in the saddle. I would say if you’re looking for a bike like this to definitely give it a test ride, and to maybe try a size up from what you would normally ride, maybe riding two different sizes.

The only other issue for this bike is down to price rises. At an original launch price of £2,600 this seemed about right for an entry level bike of this quality. But then Specialized upped the price to £2,900 which puts it at a big disadvantage compared to other brands.

specialized enduro comp 650b

Details

Frame:M5 Alloy, 170mm travel
Shock:RockShox Monarch Plus
Fork:RockShox Yari RC Solo Air, 170mm
Wheels:Specialzied hubs, Roval Traverse 650b rims, Specialzied Butcher Grid/Slaughter Grid 27.5x2.3in tyres
Drivetrain:RaceFace Aeffect 30t chainset, SRAM GX 11-speed r-mech, NX shifter
Brakes:SRAM Guide R, 200/180mm
Components:Specialized DH 780mm bar, Specialized Trail 60mm stem, Command Post IRcc 125mm, Body Geometry Henge Comp saddle
Sizes:S, M, L, XL
Size tested:XL
Head angle:65.6°
Seat angle:75°
BB height:345mm
Chainstay:425mm
Front centre:801mm
Wheelbase:1,225mm
Down tube:725mm
Top tube:632mm
Reach:470mm
Weight:15.2kg (33.5lb)
Contact:specialized.com
  • Dr_Zeek

    nice review, thanks. good to see a review of a Spez bike that’s not a fully kitted out S-Works.