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Loser
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5,536 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought an '08 EnduroSL Expert demo bike just about a year ago, since its raining and I can't ride I figured I'd put up a review after the year of use.

This bike replaced my '05 Rocky Mountain Switch, which is a nice machine, but at 37lbs you paid with that thing going up hills. As much as I hate the term, I guess I'd call myself an "all mountain" rider. More than XC, but not quite FR. I go fast up and down, get air, but not much in the way of true hucking. This bike does it all for me, it really fits my riding style perfectly. I don't think it is "too little" bike - a feeling I started having about my Titus RX100 or "too much" bike a feeling I was getting about my RM Switch.

Bike as it looks today (a bit dirty from yesterday's ride):


Changes from original:
- changed Spec'd grips to Oury's - slightly thicker and more to my liking
- swapped to Maverick Speedball (anyone who has an SL should have an adjustable post on it)
- put a bashring on - first one was plastic, destroyed that and am now sporting a RaceFace aluminum one:


Maintenance in the last year
- New chain and middle ring
- new brake pads
- regular maintenance on fork, shock and seatpost (cleaning, greasing etc)
- swapped the BB to a sealed cartridge, chasing a squeak that ended up being a loose QR (doh!)
- loosened crown bolt to allow Attitude knob to turn
- bled brakes (how do brakes get shipped with almost no fluid in them?)
- swapped Spec'd tires to ghetto tubeless Nevegal/Blue Groove - I cut the sidewalls on the original front and rear tires within 6 weeks - weak sauce if you ask me. I love these Kenda tires - they are definitely the most popular tire around here, but they suffer from quality control issues. About 50% of them lose knobs. I hate it, but after sending a few back I'm resigned to the fact this is going to happen and I just hope I don't hit a sharp rock where the knob used to be until the tread wears out...


The ugly:
While I haven't had any really serious crashes, I've had plenty of unplanned dismounts. Unfortunately a few of these have resulted in hits to the frame. The paint has held up pretty well for the most part, but I do have three spots where the top color is chipped off, none of these have serious denting:

Non-drive side, downtube:


Non-drive side, chainstay:


And bottom of the downtube:


So in summary - the best bike I've ever owned, it does exactly what I want it to with no fuss, no muss, no issues. Perhaps the only thing I'd want different on the bike would be the ability to easily swap stems. I think what I have on there works ok, but I'd sure like to try a longer one (local Spec'd dealer is weak).

One thing I have noticed, if I let an XC type rider try the bike, they love it. If I let a FR type rider try it they don't. It definitely leans more towards XC than DH/FR.

John
 

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Loser
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5,536 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It is a Large. I'm 5' 11", but I have long legs. All of my bikes have had long seatposts. Perhaps an XL would fit better, but... I really like the way this rides.

John
 

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Dual Squishy...
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650 Posts
I bought my '07 new about a year ago. I pretty much agree with everything you said. It's a great bike. Best I have ever owned...

Things I changed include:
- Front WTB Weirwolf 2.5
- Rear Conti MK 2.4
- Salsa Seat Post Clamp
- Straight Line brake levers
- Some Purely Customs bits
- Bash Guard from Purely Customs
- Serfas Grips
- Swapped X-9 shifters with X-0 Twist Shifters
- New 971 Chain
- New 990 Cassette
- Monkey Lite Carbon Bar

50 hr. Maintenance, about to go in for the annual... LOVE THIS BIKE!!

 

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Fat Skis/Fat Tires
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1,959 Posts
Jisch said:
So in summary - the best bike I've ever owned, it does exactly what I want it to with no fuss, no muss, no issues.
Couldn't agree more! I was just telling my friend today how completely dialed this thing feels...

Here's what she looked like today out on a muddy ride at Skeggs Point in the Bay Area, changes to my silver 2007 Comp as follows:

*Head tube was ovalized from the factory, could never quite get the fork to clamp right, frame replaced with 2009 Expert in "Brown Ano" under warranty (thank's Specialized!)

*Replaced stock 100mm stem with 60mm: perfect balance of free-ridey-ness and AM/XC. I really feel like I'm "in" this bike, rather than on it.

*Had new rear wheel built with 5.1d rim and XT hub after I destroyed the stock one at Northstar, front still going strong.

*Replaced stock aluminum bar with Easton Monkey-lite DH composite for wider fit and better bump handling: love it, but sometimes a bit terrifying through tight trees.

*Stock grips replaced with ODI Rogue lock ons.

*Stock crankset replaced with '09 XT, and e-13 DRS guide/bash: probably the best upgrade to date. I was dropping the chain a lot and getting tons of chain noise, now the chain is always ready when I need to apply a little power, and it's nearly silent. Stoked.

*Stock Juicy 5's swapped out with Juicy 7's just because I had them, same with the XO derailler.

*e150 cartridges sent in for "The Mick Mod", feels more plush, yet more lively at the same time. Magic.

*I swear by the 2.5 WTB Weirwolf in the front, but have been through half a dozen rears so far...currently looking for a 2.3 Small Block 8.

**My next major upgrade will be a Command Post, then some lights.

***Jisch: my friend's SL is a teal test bike too, and his is experiencing the same chipping...haven't seen that with any other color, FWIW.
 

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Loser
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Based on the rock hits that have caused that chipping I would have a hard time saying its a warranty issue, but I'll keep an eye on it. That said, none of the chips are down to metal, they are all to the white primer. As if it weren't obvious, I am not that concerned about what my bike looks like, but I do everything I can to make sure it operates properly.

Two things I forgot

- I broke the X0 derailler off by sucking stick into the drivetrain. The hanger broke, but the X0 was toast as well. I replaced it with an X9, no way I'm putting $230 into eye candy when the X9 works just as well (maybe I'm trying to forget this one)

- swapped the original rear wheel to a Hope/Mavic wheel. The 420SL rims are weak and dent easily, I should take a picture of that rim - amazing it still holds air as a tubeless wheel. I also broke a few spokes, the Hope wheel was on my now back up bike, I figured I'd rather ride that. Honestly I didn't notice much difference by putting the new wheel on.

(e-bo-b - you need to manage those bumpers - if you crashed and your handlebars twisted I think you'd dent the top tube with them that far up on the stanchions)
 

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Fat Skis/Fat Tires
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Jisch said:
(e-bo-b - you need to manage those bumpers - if you crashed and your handlebars twisted I think you'd dent the top tube with them that far up on the stanchions)
They actually hit perfectly on the top ridge of the top tube in that position, in fact, they're hair sprayed there. I had a dent in my down tube on my old frame from not paying attention to them, so now they're taken care of.
 

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Heres my 08 Enduro SL Expert, I bought it as a frameset and went from there. Beefed it up for mild downhill and freeride, this bike is way to heavy for XC lol.

Bicycle tire Bicycle wheel rim Bicycle wheel Bicycle fork Bicycle frame
 

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Loser
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Should have figured you had it figured out.

e-bo-b said:
They actually hit perfectly on the top ridge of the top tube in that position, in fact, they're hair sprayed there. I had a dent in my down tube on my old frame from not paying attention to them, so now they're taken care of.
 

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Here is my 08 Expert....
Things I've changed:
Mavic 819 laced to I9 Hub
Demo 8 White Bar
XO Carbon Triggers
Race Face Bash Ring
Sram 990 Cassette
XT Front Der
and a Command Post on its way!
 

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Now with More Wood
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2,964 Posts
andrewnielson said:
Here is my 08 Expert....
Things I've changed:
Mavic 819 laced to I9 Hub
Demo 8 White Bar
XO Carbon Triggers
Race Face Bash Ring
Sram 990 Cassette
XT Front Der
and a Command Post on its way!
Hey Andrew I have the exact same seatstay as you! :D

Lots'o'mods on mine, link in sig for details. Love this bike! :thumbsup:
 

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Loser
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
After looking at it more closely I moved my bumpers up to the top - e-bo-b is correct (as are many others I see in the pictures here) that they hit the ridge on the top tube the same as when I had them positioned. Its pretty easy to see if they are in the right position.

John
 

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Jisch said:
After looking at it more closely I moved my bumpers up to the top - e-bo-b is correct (as are many others I see in the pictures here) that they hit the ridge on the top tube the same as when I had them positioned. Its pretty easy to see if they are in the right position.

John
Hold on - I'm a bit confused. What's the argument here? Are we saying that by having the bumpers ALL the way up, they do less damage on the ridge of the top tube as opposed to denting the mid-section of the down tube? Has anyone else had experience with this?
 

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Loser
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Honestly, I'd like a "ruling" from Specialized on where the bumpers should be positioned.

My assumption (and based on pictures the assumption of others) is that the bumpers hitting the ridge of the top tube is the correct place
for them to hit. Ideally the top tube would be flat on the side so the impact area would be larger, but its not. I had mine positioned so the middle of the
bumper would hit the ridge. I now have them positioned so the bottom of the bumper will hit that ridge. I don't see any difference and its a
lot easier to see at a glance if your bumpers are in the correct position.

I initially thought the downtube would be a better impact spot (and I see some pictures with the bumpers positioned that way), but I
didn't like the way the bumpers hit down there.

John
(Hey Andrew - wanna downsize that pic a bit? hard to read when the text all floats over there ==>)
 

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Now with More Wood
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Yeah, I've had experience with the bumpers both ways. I learned the hard way that
while the downtube looks like a nice big flat area to spread the impact force over,
in reality it is also very thin - I've got a nice indentation there after a fall to show for it.
The ridge of the top tube is a MUCH better place for the bumber to strike - because of
its ridgeform it is in fact much better suited to absorbing and resisting the impact.

PS. the "ENTER" key helped make this message readable even with Andrew's huge-a$$
pic in the middle of the thread... :D
 

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well mannered lout
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3,175 Posts
A quick check of the Specialized catalog picture (08) shows the bumpers
hitting the downtube. I keep mine up high anyway.
 
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