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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now that I have had my 06 Enduro Expert for a couple of months I thought I would write up a review between it and my 04 Enduro S-Works in case some others were wondering if the change is worth it. I am a big guy at 6'2 225lbs so I tend to be hard on my bikes.

First since I was able to get a great deal on the Enduro Expert, it was a demo bike that really never was demoed I was able to do some changes.

• Full XT drivetrain with Dual control
• CrossMax XL Wheels
• Kenda Nevegal 2.35 DTC tires
• Thomson Stem and Seat post
• Easton Monkeylite low rise carbon bars

Here are my reasons for the changes.

I went a full XT drivetrain as I like to keep my bikes standard so there is little difference in getting used to how one operates vs the other and I really like dual control plus the X-7 thumb shifters just were not very comfortable to use. The XT cranks I picked up where a killer deal at $160 and I sold the Truative for $100 and was able to get my gearing to be the same as my S-Works.

I tacoed my front wheel in a crash and getting a new through-axel front wheel was limited with the time I had so I went the CrossMax XL knowing the my SL's had held up great so it was almost a no brainer. The stock front wheel was pretty light at only 950 grams but the back was 1150 grams so I also saved a good amount of weight by making the switch and the stiffness is also a major selling point.

The stem and seat post were swag I won at local events and after doing a Thomson factory tour it would be hard not to put them on. I switched out the bars as I just prefer the feel of the carbon and stiffness it offers.

Ok now onto the review of the two. My 04 S-Works is pretty much stock except for the tires which are Nevegal Tubless and a 06 Talas RLC the whole bike weights in at 28.10 lbs. The 06 Expert after the changes weights in at 32.20 lbs.

Climbing -

The weight, tires, and brain rear shock of course make the 04 the faster and lighter climber. It just accelerates up the hill much faster and lighter. Where the 06 makes up the difference is when it gets really rough with more movement in the rear shock it finds traction a bit better and has helped me clean sections I have problems with on the 04.

So on a fire road type climbs the 04 is the better climber as well in normal maintained single track. When getting into some rough climbs with a lot of rocks, roots, and brake bumps the 06 cleans it easier with much less body english needed.

Cornering -

The 06 is better in the corners when pushing hard as the more active rear sticks to the ground better and the stiffer rear end does not move or sway like the 04 does. Both bikes can rail a corner but the 06 seems to plain just love going in fast and hard and instills confidence that you can go as fast as you like.

Descending -

Here is where being lighter is not always better. Both bikes do great going downhill but if given a choice I will be on my 06 every time. The extra travel 150 vs 130 sure does smooth out the trail more. The 36 Talas tracks better with very little deflection off objects and the added stiffness in the frame helps me feel more secure and like a tank rolling through and over objects vs riding around them. Bigger brakes help slow me down faster and with less fading. In the air the 06 is more neutral and takes the hard landings better

Brain Vs DHX -

As expected the DHX is very active compared to Brain shock and you can feel this on smooth trails and accelerating. The Brain moves through it's travel well after the first hit and absorbs big hits well. The DHX is always moving a bit when pedaling and you can feel it squat a bit when you accelerate so it tends to feel slow. Plush is the best way to describe it as it socks up everything on the trail including square edge hits where the Brain just tends to buck you up a bit vs rolling over it that the DHX does. Having bottom out control is also a really nice feature when you’re a guy my size and like to do drops and jumps. Pro-pedal is nowhere as good as the trail tuned Brain no matter how much pro-pedal I use it feels nowhere near as firm as the brain does and to be honest I can hardly tell a difference between full pro-pedal and low. Pre-loading the shocks is very different as the DHX does a great job in springing you up vs the muted feel of the brain.

Overall -

I feel like I have the best of both worlds, when it's time for an all day epic type ride with as much if not more climbing then descending the 04 will be under me. When I am just going out to have a good time and play as much as ride the 06 will be my bike of choice.

If I had to give up one bike it would be the 04 as the 06 is a bike I just plain have more fun on and can ride it anywhere and do well. Sure I won't be the first one to the top of the climbs but I will make it up them and have a blast coming back down. Also the 06 is a lot stiffer and just feels more solid no matter what I am doing with it. I find myself doing lines and stunts I just would not do on the 04 as my skills just or not there for it but the 06 makes up for them.

I did a good test run this week between the two. I took the 06 out one day and did a 4 mile loop in 23:15. I did the same loop yesterday on the 04 and did a 22:00. Conditions where pretty much the same and I did find myself pushing harder on the 04 to do a better time and I really thought I was much faster then the times reflected. After I compared the times I figured out the 06 could be pushed just as hard and come out with about the same time even though during the lap it wouldn't feel as fast as I wouldn't be out on the edge of control like I was on the 04.

I hope this little review is helpfull to someone if not sorry for the torture of reading my bad grammar :)
 

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The Other Dude
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nice job!

very nice review! I feel the same way, i think in alot of ways my 06 stumpy with the brain compares to the 04 enduro in what you write, there is one hill in our loop that we call the "bastard" the name just says it all! I can climb right up with without stoping on my 33 pound enduro with the dhx shock on, slowly but surely, i RARELY make it all the way up without having to stop due to slip, slide, or deflection from some root, rock, rut or one of the other number obstacles on my stumpy. I love my stumpy for fast xc stuff, but the enduro is overall a MUCH more fun bike to ride, and if i had to give one up, i would keep the enduro and let the stumpy go. Even though i am much faster on the stumpy, nothing can match the fun factor of riding the Enduro!!!:D Especially that look it leaves on you face when point her downhill!:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
To be honest I would have to say maybe as I am not 100% sure I can feel the difference. It would have not been worth the cost of a retail upgrade but I was able to get the cranks brand new in the box for $160 and then sold the Truative for $100 so the upgrade was only $60 and seemed like a good deal for a little lighter cranks and stiffness. I prefer the way the XT cranks are installed and removed and I also like being able to use the same bearings on both bikes. The chain rings do shift a bit faster and I stuck with the 2 rings and a bash guard.
 

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Binge Rider
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Hey Murchman,

Been a while since I've been lurking around the Big S forum. I'll have to confess that I've been tempted by a fruit of another over in the Santa Cruz forums with the Nomad. But, I am picking up a Enduro tomorrow for a test ride. Your write up was awesome. I wondered what you were on now and wondered what the difference would be compared to the S-WORKS. Now I know. Real quick 3 questions
1. What is the weight of the newer Enduro (maybe I missed it?)
2. Do you wish you had the 36 RC2 or happy with the plain ol' 36R? I ask because having high and low speed compression tuning sounds nice but is it worth it... needed?
3. How does that 36 TALAS stack up to our TALAS with the 32mm stantions? Same only bigger or different. How so?
Thanks and enjoy the bikes.... I may do the same thing keeping both! SpineShank
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The Stock Large Expert came in at 33.8 lbs.

I don't know on the RC2 of course I want to adjust as much as I can but I have not ridden and RC2 so I don't know if I am missing something or not.

Its stiffer just like the rest of the bike, it takes much bigger hits of course. Otherwise it's about the same although a lock out would have been nice for the longer fire road type climbs.
 

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I've got a '04 Enduro and i am finding it a little cramped (5'10" long body and short lil' legs) and feel a little to far forward (though i guess this in some part due th my shocking fork (Manitou Blacks) and have noticed the slightley slacker head and longer toptube on the new model enduros. Have you noticed much of a difference in the geomety setup?...
 

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Ridin in UT
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Hey great write up. My wife has and 04 Enduro and you made a lot of valid comparisons. (though she doesn't have the S-works)

Do you have any idea what the total weight savings was over the stock Enduro Wheels? I'm no weight weenie, but those CrossMax's look friggin sweet on that thing!

Look familiar? :D I can maybe see some XL's in her future if they are really worth it. I wasn't super impressed with the stock rims and the rear went out of true pretty quickly.

Oh yeah, and where'd you get the little fender for the rear?? My wife's broke and I'd like to find a replacement. LBS?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hey nice looking bike love the color. I am going off of memory as I have the numbers written down at home but I think it was only a savings of 265 grams or .65 lbs. The big thing is the ride quality I noticed a stiffer feel in the wheels. I also can now go tubeless which I love.

The rear mub flap you can either pickup at the LBS or order directly from the big S website or I think $15.

The geometry in the steep steep setting feels the same as the slack setting on the 04 which is why I don't run it that since if I wanted that I will just take the 04 out with it's lighter weight. Now the slack setting at least for me is perfect for the way I ride. It goes downhill great and I really have no problems climbing it and actually find it climbs better then the 04 in really rough stuff.

I can choose either bike to ride everyday and I am finding that out of a month I only take the 04 out maybe 3 times (Actually my wife rides it more then I do now).
 

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Bike Breaker.
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Nice

Nice write up, I aslo used to have a 04 s-works enduro, but went through a gemini, 575, to find a 06 s-works enduro. I also have XL's and although recently upgraded my PIKEs to 07Vanilla R's. Was tempted by by 07 floats etc, but I have to budget somewhere.
That Red is a real stunning color and you were very lucky to get an unused demo.:thumbsup:
I have been running the steeper shock shuttle and next I'm going to experiment with the slacker one to match the vanilla's.
 

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The Other Dude
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What do you guys think of the stinger chainguide? I do light all mountain riding on my 05 expert and drop/bounce the chain off everything now and again, would you guys recommend the stinger that comes on the 06, or should i get something like the Blackspire Dewlite or E13 DRS? Thanks!
 

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Murchman said:
Oh I thought I would mention the shop still has a medium unused demo up for sale in the same color. www.outspokinbikes.com Not sure if they sale over the internet or not but if your in the Atlanta area it's worth the drive.
Thanks, I'm interested but didn't see the bike posted. Do you mind sending me a PM with the price? Thanks.
 

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Just taken a 06 enduro test bike out this weekend, i really like the feel of it , but damn it's heavy and i really struggled up hills. I weighed it so that i could see how heavy it was and how (resonably) light i could bring it down to. It came in at about 36 lb! not sure how i can shave of that much weight to bring it nearer my '04 enduro, with out making it a wimp, but the weight was really noticable compared to my '04 (not just a 'bit' heavier), and i am no weight weenie,it's a bit pointless when i weigh about 214lb.

does any one know how much the '06 enduro s-works frame weighs? and the normal frame? because if i get a enduro i can get a good price on the s-works, i was hoping that would save a load of mass...
 

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The ordinary Enduro 06 frame is about 3600 g. S-works will be a bit less, I'd say around 100 g max. Will have exact weight in a week or two. Btw... the only difference regarding material are the TT and DT - they're from M5 on S-works 06, the rest is the same tubing.

About the weight, stock Enduro Expert 06, medium, is about 15 kg (33 lbs) with pedals...
 
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