A bike this light shouldn't be this capable, or a bike this capable shouldn't be this light. But, the S-Works Enduro is.
FACT IS-X 10m carbon FSR frame with M5 alloy rear triangle is crazy light and strong, complementing this do-anything 160mm- travel design with sealed cartridge bearing pivots, removable ISCG mount, and replaceable derailleur hanger
Custom Fox RP23-S shock features position-sensitive Boost Valve damping, low-speed compression damping with 3-way adjustable “open” setting and “climbing” settings - meaning, great bump performance and solid climbing efficiency
Specialized E160TA Future Shock fork with tapered carbon steerer/crown assembly and 20mm Maxle Lite thru-axle delivers 160-135mm adjustable travel with external rebound/compression to devour singletrack with surgical accuracy
Newly revamped for increased stiffness, the Roval Traverse EL all-mountain wheelset with DT Swiss internals and 20mm thru-axle offers mountain-leveling durability and light weight
Custom Avid XX R hydraulic disc brakes and carbon levers offer tool-free reach and pad contact adjustment with magnesium calipers and titanium hardware for powerful and modulated braking power
Specialized Command Post is a 3-position adjustable-height seatpost with remote lever for on-the-fly changes to riding position; 125mm travel
Strengths: My first impression about the s-works enduro always was that it was a middle-monster-heavy bike. But i admit i was terribly wrong !!!. Roading it is a sweet pancake that flows over the dust, the rocks, the mood; The trail up-down and down-up however the possibilities can be mixed. It´s a nice balanced machine that demands the best of you all the time.
Weaknesses: The command seat post it´s a brick you are carrying on. I take it off and gain another nice pounds translated on the climbing balance. The tech behind the command posts are not mature right now in my opinion.
I´m a 38 years old and 18 years mountain bike rider, believe me, I´ve drive near a 100 different bikes in this years, all kind. I do race several years XC, all mountain is what i do now, and the bikes who extract the best of me are always from this brand. Now i use an epic, an FRS Stumpy and now the Enduro, all s-works. If you think you are a good and demanding rider use this bike that is gonna get you out the best from you. You wont be disappointed. The price is high yes, but you deserve it.
Strengths: 04 S-Works Enduro Fantastic all rounder. Climbs like a hardtail, descends like a freeride rig, handles technical sections with confidence and is light enough for all day epic rides.
As with the other review of the 04 S-Works Enduro, this bike is still the daddy when it comes to all round XC / trail riding. I have been itching to buy a new bike for some time, but even at a price tag of over £4,000 ($6,000), can’t find any bike that can match it for performance.
I bought this as a Frame only and have been continually updating the components over the last 5 year. I believe it now weights in at about 25 LBS, which I think is fantastic for a 130 mm travel bike.
If you can find a good example, I would highly recommend you buy it. I would also recommend investing in a Fox RP23, it’s half the weight of the original Brain system and delivers a better ride.
Similar Products Used: Ellsworth, GT, Marin, Trek & new Specialized
Bike Setup: Replaced the Brain with Fox RP23 (Reduced weight & improved performance), Fox RLC up front, Magura SL, XT/XTR, Carbon bars etc. High spec, hens the price
a Weekend Warrior
from Syracuse, NY, USA
Date Reviewed: February 7, 2009
Strengths: Great performance, great looks, great durability.
Weaknesses: Everybody thinks the bike is better than me!(They're right)
This review is for the 2004 with the brain shock. I know No one has reviewed this specific model for awhile, but I have recently seen two of these for sale in the Mtbr classifieds in excellent condition, so I just wanted to say that if your looking for a trail bike that is top notch in every respect but without the new bike price, buy one if you can find it. All the raving you can read in the older reviews below is not exagerated. This bike delivers! I constantly am tempted by newer bikes as they come out but, after test riding, can never bring myself to part with my Enduro.
By the way; I put $0 in for the price because I traded for it. That's why my value rating is a 5.
Similar Products Used: Pro-flex(back in the day), GT LTS, GT I-Drive, Intense Spyder
Bike Setup: XTR/XT drivetrain, Crossmax wheels, Chris King headset, Thompson post.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: September 8, 2007
Strengths: excellent stability and responsiveness
Weaknesses: none in two years
this bike is exactly what specialized intended - the go everywhere, do everything (within reason) bike. i have taken it to moab twice, whistler once and ridden lots of stuff in the northwest without any complaints. it is a little heavy but still climbs well and the weight penalty is forgotten when descending as it has excellent stability
Bike Setup: 05 s-works frame built with enduro expert components and dhx air rear shock
a Weekend Warrior
from Bangkok, Thailand
Date Reviewed: February 4, 2007
Strengths: Super strong frame, awesome suspension set-up, and the superior ride that comes with Specialized geometry.
I wanted to wait a while before I posted a review so that the new bike zen had a chance to wear off and I could post an honest review with some ride time collected in the saddle. This is the most versatile bike I have ever ridden. It is noticeably heavier than my XC bike but it still climbs really well and is perfect for those all day in the saddle rides. It's a great balance of weight and capability. This bike can handle just about any downhill work you can throw at it. Unlike most DH rigs the Enduro is light enough to be ridden uphill and is super flickable on jumps and freeride stunts. It's superb ride gives you more confidence to take on and tackle the bigger stuff. This is not a huck or big air bike although 4' to 6' drops with a transition landing can be done with ease. I would definately recommend this bike to anyone looking for the perfect do-it-all mountain bike. Think of this bike like a cross between a Porshe and a Hummer. 5 chili's for this one folks.
Bike Setup: 2006 S-Works Enduro. Fox 36RC2 forks, Fox DHX-5 air shock, Truvativ dual ring crank set with bash ring. SRAM X.0 derailer, 8" Shimano XTR hydraulic disc brakes, Hope stem, Chris King headset, Thompson seat post, SDG Bel Air seat, Ouri lock-on grips, Shimano 50/50 pedals, DT Swiss rims, Kenda Nevegal tires front & rear.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: September 15, 2005
Strengths: Unique, smooth, flickable.
Weaknesses: Frame from Taiwan, cheap headset, seat to soft.
I really thought I wanted a Titus RacerX 100, until I ran across this bike wasting away at a Hayward Wisconsin bike shop. The owner of the shop liked the bike so much at the 2004 Specialized demo that he snaped up a left over 2004 in early spring 2005. It seems he really wanted to keep it for himself if it did not sell (not a lot of call for mid travel trail bikes in the midwest), but I fell in love with the bike after one ride in the parking lot.
I thought I wanted a racing\trail bike, but after half a dozen long trail rides on this bike, I can't emagine why. It is too bad that it was only made for one season, but I guess the brain shock setup on this bike will be on next year's Stumpjumper FSR.
I have not had this bike long, so I cannot speak to durablility, but as for ride, this thing is soooooo smooth and flickable it is hard to believe. I cannot wait to try it out next spring in Moab. Bye-bye hardtail, hello heaven.
I am giving this bike a four chili value rating as I only paid 3500.00 for it. Let's face it, no bike is value at anything over a 1000.00 bucks, but we have to pay to play.
a Cross Country Rider
from Chandler, AZ
Date Reviewed: May 30, 2005
Strengths: Design, no pedal-bob, sweet looks, top-end components, Brain technology. The list goes on and on... I can't say enough about how awesome this bike is.
Weaknesses: Caused my job to become something to do between rides. :) The seat sucks... replace it immediatly.
This is the best "do everything" bike you can get! I do lots of climbing and downhill as well as cross-country and the Enduro has improved my riding abilities incredibly on all terains. The brain rear shock allows only about 1 inch of rear travel under smooth and uphill conditions, but as soon as you hit a bump the full 5 inches engages immediatly. I'm climbing sections I only dreamed of because of the smooth drivetrain and rear shock brain technology.
Downhill is a more fun than ever because my confidence is off the charts. The wider tires, geometry, and smooth front fork rebound and travel adjustments make downhill riding 10 times more fun than on my Stumpjumper. I'm able to navigate through technical sections where I repeatedly had to walk down.
If you are looking for one bike to take you all over the mountain, go buy this bike... If you can find one!
Bike Setup: Stock with Shimano 959 pedals and Aireon race seat. There's nothing else to upgrade because its TOP of the LINE.
a Weekend Warrior
from Bay Area, CA USA
Date Reviewed: April 20, 2005
Strengths: Fully Reliable
Weaknesses: None at all
I bought the frame for about $500 and built the bike from scratch. With the components listed above, this bike cost me a total of $2200 as oppose to the $4500 price tag if bought stock. I bought all my components new, but from clearances on online bike shops, Ebay, and Craigslist. Believe me... this is a good way to build your bike! All the components cost about 1/2 the price and were all NEW.
This bike is fully versitile for all types of riding in my area (Bay Area,CA.). I'm glad I took this frame instead of the 04 model that lasted only 1 year. I have my bike rigged with xCountry/Freeride components and it still weighs less than 30lbs (27 to be exact).
If your riding consist of nothing more than 5 inches of travel... this is definately the frame to get! The only upgrade that I'll be making is to switch to a 5th Element Air rear shock or Romic.
Bike Setup: 03 S-Works Frame. Chris King hubs/headset. Easton stem/seatpost/bars. Hope mono mini disc. Shimano M952 derailleurs/shifters/cranks. x519 Freeride rims. MRP LRP dual chainring. Fox rear shock modified by Push Industries.
a Cross Country Rider
from Seattle, WA
Date Reviewed: April 3, 2005
Strengths: This frame is astounding! It stays nearly-locked out (a small amount of give- maybe 3/4") through all sprinting and pedal-input. Hit a bump, though, and all 5" of active travel are there for you. Truly active suspension- not like a VPP bike. The ultimate trail bike!
Weaknesses: The cable routing stinks. Because I'm in the mud all the time, I run full-length cables with problem solver cable guides. The biggest problem, though, is that they only make this one for a year- 2004. It's now a different bike entirely.
This bike hauls on the trails, sprints like a king, and has the travel to take very nasty stuff. It has transformed my riding and I'm now riding stuff I've never done before (3-5' drops, good size jumps, etc.) The bike is golden- I am extremely happy.
So sad they didn't continue with this- it was a brilliant application of the Brain shock. If you can find one, GET IT!
Similar Products Used: Dagger B-3, AMP Research B-5 (you can tell I like the active Horst-link design). I've also spent a bit of time on an Intense Tracer (similar again).
Bike Setup: Rock Shox Psylo Race Air, Crossland wheels, Magura Marta disks, Thomson stem and post, Easton Monkeylite bar
a Cross Country Rider
from Ridgecrest, Ca USA
Date Reviewed: April 3, 2005
Strengths: The only true "DO IT ALL" bike I could find! The brain with long travel is the best of both worlds.
XTR, disks, Fox Fork, Crossmax wheels, Thomson post and stem - This is the spec I would call out if I could have ANYTHING.
Weaknesses: Cable routing of front derailer under BB. Dirt can and does cause the cable to jam...so this area needs to be looked after.
The stock tires are grippy but the side walls cut easy.
I've put 150 miles of hard core XC on this bike in the 3 weeks I've had it. I'm not disappointed!
The Brain and rear suspension work WONDERFULLY. I've hit stuff at speed that scared me and it just sucks it up. This bike will cause you to want to explore you limits. My riding buddy’s are wondering where my new climbing ability came from...two of them are on Hecklers. I just watch them bob up climbs and think how right I was to pick a bike with the brain. I can REALLY see the difference anytime we all stand to climb, I gain ground with every pedal stroke.
The Fox Talis fork is working really well. I've started to tune it and it responds well to adjustment. We do a weekly ride that has a 4.5 mile climb at the start, I dial the fork travel down for the climb and enjoy a very planted front wheel...dial it back up just as we crest and have full travel for the descent! I've used the lock out a few times but it's not really needed.
I like the stock tires but they are a bit fragile, I cut one on a rock going about 4 MPH toping out on a tough climb. Maybe just bad luck but it put a 1.5-inch cut in the sidewall. I've got a set of Spider UST tires on the way to see if they are better.
Bottom Line - I was looking for an ALL DAY, ALL MOUNTAIN bike sub 30 pounds with 5 inches of travel, a good climber that could handle some 24 hour and Clydesdale XC racing. A bunch of bikes (Turner 5 spot, SC Blur & Heckler, SJ120....) are close in all the other aspects - but the brain makes this the best climber of any of the 5" bikes I rode.
With them being an '04 you can get a 5K bike in the 3.5K range - Buy one while you can!
Similar Products Used: M2 Team, FSR XC PRO, SC Heckler
Bike Setup: STOCK Factory build - but new tubeless tires shortly.
a Weekend Warrior
from Pasig City, Philippines
Date Reviewed: February 19, 2005
Strengths: handling, looks, quality build
Weaknesses: can't think of any
Killer performance & killer looks, this bike gave me the extra suspension and all-around handling I was seeking. So after reading the reviews on the bike, i bought me the frame and put most of my old parts on it from the NRS...and never regretted it! It upped my climbing ability (my weakness about 4 notches, and payback time on the downhills has never been as awesome as it is on this bike....
I don't race and get to trail usually once a week. I wanted a full-suspension bike that would allow me to enjoy those long rides with my friends without breaking my back, yet allow me to deal with the climbs in or out of the saddle -- without wallowing in 5 inches of travel. This was it...the brain does its job very, very well! and it cuts through single-track like my Stumpjumper hardtail...AWESOME!
Can't figure out why Specialized stopped producing this baby..would think its definitely a collectors item now that they have
Bike Setup: '03 XT gruppo except for '04 crankset, Dura Ace chain & xtr cogset, '04 Fox Talas, Thomson stem & seatpost, Easton EA70 low riser, Chris King headset, Mavic 517 rims, DT Revolution spokes, Specialized Enduro Enduro 2.0, Ruffian grips, Avid BB7 disc brakes, Selle saddle
from Austin, TX, USA
Date Reviewed: December 22, 2004
Strengths: Forgiving, fun and comfortable ride with quiet, confident execution when it gets intense.
Weaknesses: XTR Shifting – I liked SRAM better. XTR brake calipers drag! I had one replaced under warranty (went without the bike for 3 weeks) and the other is starting to act up a bit.
How much can a bike change your life? My traditionally diverse outdoor activities have narrowed into an insatiable appetite for challenging this bike. My local riding buds purchased boutique trail bikes (Ventana’s El Saltamontes, and a Hammerhead) during the same time period. We are ALL getting more and more comfortable with sicker and sicker trails.
Bikes of this caliber and expense allow you to ride terrain that scares the inner child. The head games rival overhanging rock climbing and in fact this bike will enable a rock climbing-like trail experience.
The 28 pound Extra Large is such a long, almost lanky bike that one would expect a high center of gravity. Instead, it slices and dices 25% better than my Stumpjumper FSR. The handling is aided by the fact that with the top shelf components, I will not be jacking with aftermarket parts and throwing off the balance of the bike.
And hold on a minute…. How did they get this thing out the door without gaudy marketing graphics? The subdued black and laser etched writing give it a cool “Darth Vader Bike” look.
With the discontinuation of this bike in 05, I started to panic and even contemplated the ebay purchase of a backup… but my friends' boutique bikes make me realize that the revolution is widespread and has only just begun.
Similar Products Used: 2003 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR with Marzocchi Marathon SL.
Bike Setup: Mostly stock. Went tubeless and now believe in the revolution.
a Cross Country Rider
from san diego, ca
Date Reviewed: November 11, 2004
Strengths: component mix, frame stiffness
Weaknesses: seems to me that the brain functionality could be incorporated into the shock without the external resevoir (and weight)? had to send shock in for warranty service (see below)
my previous bike was a '02 fsr xc pro. this was a great bike but i found myself replacing just about everything that came on the bike. in addition, i cracked the shock mount and caused linkage eyelets to become elliptical from repeated abuse. so, when it came time to get another bike, this seemed like the logical choice. it had top of the line components and was stout. my first ride on the bike and i was able to go all the way up fortuna for the first time in my life. i've probably been on that climb a few hundred times. i guess this is due to a couple of factors... 1. the brain shock -it was stiff, but still tracked the terrain when needed. 2. the tires. i love these tires! so much that i replaced the stock set with another set and ended up going back to my (warn) stock tires. 3. a bit of mental determination. -for 4k, i better be able to make it up this hill! I am truly amazed witht this bike. it does absolutely everything p-e-r-f-e-c-t. now the negative... occassionally after a real gnarly ride where the shock would get really worked (and thus heated), the next ride following the shock would not be (semi) locked out as it should. this was very intermittent. it would start working correctly after several minutes of riding or anytime it came within 100 yards of a bicycle shop (hehe). finally i was riding on my favorite trail and took a good nick out of the shock shaft somehow and it no longer held air (most likely due to seals being torn on rough edge of nick). i sent the shock in through my lbs and received it just the other day and it looks like it is good with a new shaft, no charge! i'll have to put some miles on it to see if the lockout issue is resolved. if you got the cash money, i don't think i can think of a better "all around" mountainbike!
Weaknesses: Nothing signifigant. I guess weight, but that does not concern me. I do wish I could run a coil shock on it, but none fit that wouldn't void the warrantee. I also with the BRAIN cable routing was a bit more elegant.
Just an excellent ride. The BRAIN is a great compliment to the Enduro design and does exactly what it should: keeps the suspension firmer in the smoother sections and opens up in the rougher stuff. The bike is a solid climber and just rips on the descents. I am somewhere between a x-country rider and a freerider, so I get the chance to see what it can do on the rocky technical terrain (and there is a lot of it near my home). I do not race, so strength and performance are much more important to me than weight (my setup comes in at 31 lbs. with a coil fork).
I rode an Ellsworth Id before this and this Enduro S-Works is a better ride.