My buddy Chris Wyatt, who works for Specialized, had a carbon Enduro laying around he let me borrow. It didn’t have a shock, so if I could come up with a shock he said I could ride it a bit. Well of course I called my buddies at Cane Creek and it didn’t take much begging and a new custom Double Barrel Air showed up.
I have been on a single pivot since 2006 or so and while I love certain aspects of a single pivot, I was ready for a change. And boy the Enduro is quiet a change. First I noticed the weight. The Mbuzi, which I had been riding since 2008, was a pig by modern standards. Built I think it was in the 35lb range with light wheels.
For my large, the Mbuzi geometry was:
Top tube 610mm
Seat tube 490mm
BB height 357mm
Head Angle 65.5° (I had a 1.5° slacker headset installed)
Chainstay length 430mm
By comparison, the a large Specialized Enduro geometry is:
Top tube 620mm
Seat tube 467mm
BB height 350mm
Head Angle 66.5°
Chainstay length 419mm
A coupe things jump out at me when looking at the numbers. First, the longer top tube and shorter chainstays. I will say this has the biggest effect on the difference in feel of the bikes. I found it easier to get the “right amount” of weight on the front wheel for cornering without taking too much weight of the rear wheel. Furthermore, it has been argued that the shorter chainstays help bring the bike through the turn. Inversely the placement of the single pivot on the Mbuzi caused the chainstays to grow during suspension travel. While this helped against square edge hits it hampered cornering by causing the bike to hang in the turns. It was almost better to square off turns with the Mbuzi using the apex of the turn to squat the bike and the jump out of the exit.
Lastly, the way the suspension actions are quiet different. The Mbuzi was fairly linear. Meaning I had to us the shock to control the action through the travel. The caused some sections of the travel to feel great, while others were lacking. I could make this bike pedal great with lots of low speed compression but it had a negative effect on the low to mid stroke compliance over trail chatter. Inversely, the Enduro has a very easy time getting into the initial stroke of the suspension and squats quiet well, which really helps this bike corner. But it tends to wallow in the middle and that effects pedaling.
I’m pretty stoked to be trying something new and I will continue to play with settings on the Enduro. Since I’m just borrowing the frame from Chris, I am keeping my Mbuzi to build back up, but I may need to look for my own Enduro.