Everyone is saying enduro is dead, but I'm betting we'll see new bikes from Forbidden, Scott, Specialized, Orbea, and Privateer this year.
Most bike brands operate on a three year model cycle, so you don’t need a crystal ball to predict which models are due an update. It’s not a hard and fast rule that you get a new model every 36 months though. Dwindling sales, or a switch in suspension design, can accelerate the launch process. Conversely, a shift in focus can mean that a model runs for longer than expected. Also, given how unpredictable the last three years have been, you should not take my predictions as gospel. Still, I’m pretty confident we’ll be seeing these examples of the best enduro bikes on the market updated in the next 12 months.
1. Forbidden Dreadnought
Given that the Druid V2 and Forbidden’s new Supernougth DH bike are both now running inverted 4-bar suspension designs, it’s only a matter of time before the Dreadnought enduro bike gets the same treatment. The next generation Dreadnought is also likely to get some, if not all, of the adjustability that was ushered in with the new DH bike. So at the very least, expect to see adjustable chain stay lengths for tweaking the weight bias of the new Dreadnought.
2. Scott Ransom
Since Scott acquired Bold Cycles in 2019, it has slowly been transitioning its suspension bikes to the internal shock design. First to get the “where’s the shock” treatment was the Scott Spark, quickly followed by the latest generation Genius. So you don’t need to be a genius to see the pattern here. Hopefully Scott will also offer an ST version of the new Ransom, just like the Genius ST 900 Tuned we rode at the launch in 2022, where only the rear shock is hooked up to the three position TracLoc remote.
3. Specialized Enduro
Launched in 2019, the Specialized Enduro was a great race bike but it’s clearly getting long in the tooth. And while there’s been much speculation about the arrival of the new Enduro, no one really knows what form it will take. Will it have the UBB suspension of the prototype DH bike, or even an idler design that was outlined in a recent patent application? That all remains to be seen. What we can say with some confidence though is that it should get the fully adjustable geometry that currently features on the Stumpjumper Evo and Turbo Levo. We’ve also seen Specialized favour MX wheels on the latest Turbo Levo SL, so will the new Enduro also move away from the full 29in format?
4. Orbea Rallon
Orbea has gradually increased the travel, tweaked the geometry and boosted the sizing of the Rallon since it was first introduced in 2018. That makes it one of the longest running platforms on the race circuit. We tested the bike in 2018, and more recently the Rallon M-Team in 2022, and while it’s still a great option for enduro racing, we can’t help but feel that the Rallon gets lost in all the noise. What’s needed here then, is a fresh new design to grab everyone’s attention – perhaps a new frame design with a vertical shock layout just like the excellent Orbea Wild e-bike that we’ve just tested?
5. Privateer 161
This is less of a prediction and more of a heads up. Privateer has made no secret of the fact that the 161 is getting a major refresh for 2024. Building on the progressive geometry of the original 161, the latest version has revised suspension kinematics, bridge-less seat stays and seriously oversized pivots. The goal here was to improve suspension performance and reliability and Privateer looks to have delivered on both counts. The new 161 should launch this spring, so keep checking back to the Privateer website for updates.