Thank you for the write up. I'm not sure why I can't decide. I have heard so many good things about the Enduro that I started looking at it and just can't think that having the extra suspension is bad. I'm in Bakersfield, CA and we pretty much have anything and everything on our trails here and am looking for a true AM bike.I have ridden both and own a SJ Evo 29. They are both fun and can be used on the same types of trails in my opinion. I purchased my Evo before I had a chance to try the Enduro. At that time I thought that the stumpy would be a better pedaling bike and that the Enduro would be a little piggish when climbing.
Pedaling - I was very surprised at how well the Enduro climbed and pedaled. It was not piggish like I thought it would be. However I was on an S-Works model so it was not as heavy as a comp. In the end I think that the Evo is a better pedaler and climber but the difference is not as big as you might think.
Descending - Both bikes are very fun downhill. Once again they are fairly close. The Enduro is probably better depending on the trail. The shorter chain stay is noticeable when bunny hoping and mannualing. However, the Evo is still really good and fun and feels pretty dang capable. There is a difference in feel between the two which I attributed to the 20mm more of suspension on the Enduro... it feels deeper...because it is.
The biggest difference that stood out to me between the 2 was the head angle. The Enduro is slacker and I noticed this right off the bat. My previous bike was a 26 inch Nomad which has a 67 degree head angle. This is the same angle as the Enduro 29, but with the bigger wheels it felt like more. I preferred the head angle on the SJ Evo 29 for all around use. Going from 26 to 29 takes a little getting use to and a slightly steeper head angle made that transition a little easier for me.
As said before both are great. Im happy with my Evo. I don't feel like I want more travel, the only thing that the Enduro has that I would want is the short rear end. I ride in Las Vegas for reference.