By Mike Cushionbury
S-Works Enduro 29
Look for our long-term review of the $3,500 Enduro Comp 29 SE in Issue #172. In it, test rider Justin Steiner writes: “Specialized singlehandedly breathed new life into the long-travel 29er category by proving these bikes can be as fun and maneuverable as they are fast and stable.”
This beautiful 155mm travel S-Works model has a FACT IS-X 11m carbon front triangle, 29er geometry, an M5 rear triangle, tapered headtube, PF30 bottom bracket, ISCG-05 mounts and a new internal cable routed Command Post IR. Front suspension is handled by a 160mm travel RockShox Pike RCT3 29 with Solo Air spring and the drivetrain is SRAM XX1 with a 32t ring installed and a 30t ring included. The frame is also SWAT compatible. Retail price is set at $9,250
Cane Creek Double Barrel Air
Cane Creek developed this all-new custom Double Barrel shock for the S-Works Enduro. It uses an air spring with adjustable high and low speed compression and has adjustable platform damping via a climb/descend switch.
One of he worst kept secrets among fat bike followers was that Specialized was in the process of making one. It was spotted earlier this year and now its existence is official. The aluminum Fatboy features a tapered headtube, PF30 bottom bracket and carbon fiber fork. There’s 5-inches of tire clearance, a 135mm front hub and a 190mm rear hub. You’ll also find SRAM twist shifters, an X0 rear derailleur and disc brakes. Specialized is claiming weight is near 30.5lbs for a size small. Price is not yet been announced
Specialized’s own Roval engineers came up with the 90mm rim design. The cutouts shave weight (just 795 grams per rim) without compromising strength, and like the Carbon Roval wheels, they use a hookless rim bead design. The 26×4.8 tires have Specialized’s famous Ground Control tread pattern and will be available aftermarket.
The new internal cable routed Command Post IR now has an air adjustment valve located near the head for easy accessibility. This latest iteration performs much smoother than previous models.
S-Works Trail Shoes
The main design goals for the new Trail show include all day fit, traction, protection and power transfer. As a result the new Trail replaces the EVO, which was introduced two years ago. The S-Works Trail with a full carbon FACT sole is more protective with a redesigned last and more forefoot volume. Besides a better fit, increasing overall protection was achieved from a full rubber tread for off-the bike traction in dry as well as wet—real rubber is used so it will stick to wet and nasty roots and rocks. Also, clever offset toe studs won’t interfere with toe push off while walking. Toe protection comes from an injection molded toe box while ankle protection comes from a medial ankle guard that deflect impacts and “outer armor” with more material to fend off rock strikes. Amazingly with all these added features the S-Works Trail is the same weight as the S-Works EVO at 370 grams each.
Gravity riders on a budget will be happy to see the addition of the new $160 Dissident Comp full-face helmet. It has carbon helmet styling albeit with a fiberglass shell that only adds 200 grams compared to the full carbon Dissident.
Not much has changed in regards to frame structure for the Demo 8 downhill bike but big news is a new partnership with Swedish motorsports shock maker Öhlins.
Öhlins Twin Tube
Öhlins is heavily involved with motorsport racing and is considered a leader in high-end suspension performance. The new shock was developed to have consistent damping and simple adjustments. It has a Twin Tube design, which has separate compression and rebound. It’s a low-pressure system that keeps the shock cooler and is less prone to changes in performance due to increasing temperatures.
A wide selection of springs are offered in 23-pound increments and low speed compression has 16 clicks of adjustment, high-speed compression three clicks and low speed rebound seven clicks. Additionally, the shock pivots on a spherical front bearing mount so when bike chassis flexs there is no strain on the shock or frame mount. The shock was made for the $8,500 ($3,500 frame only) S-Works Demo 8 FSR and $5,800 S-Works Enduro Expert EVO but will be available as an upgrade for the 2012 and 2013 S-Works Demo 8’s.
The fast rolling Trigger cyclocross tire is becoming a top choice for gravel road racing as well. This year at the Dirty Kanza 200 the 2-Bliss (tubeless) prototypes were used by overall winner Dan Hughes and women’s class winner Rebecca Rusch. The 33mm width option conforms to UCI cyclocross tire regulations.
I Ride For Burry
Specialized had a special section of the hall set-aside for the late Burry Stander.