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  1. #1
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    Enduro SL - ride impressions

    I just picked up a leftover '07 Enduro SL Expert. I figured I'd log a few comments here as I go through the process of refining the ride - kind of a blog of my experience with this bike.

    A bit of history:
    I have been riding for 20 years or so, starting on a fully rigid bike making the "normal" transition through HTs and XC style FS bikes. My last bike was a Rocky Mountain Switch - which is a 6x6 machine - it weighs in at 36lbs or so with coil front and back. I've really enjoyed that bike and have even taken on a few all day epic rides. The thing I like about the Switch is how solid it feels rolling down the trail. It instills such confidence. The negative is the weight - especially on the longer rides I have started to realize just how much more work the heavier bike is.

    I live in the NE US, trails are rocky, rooty and hilly, though not mountainous. A typical ride might be 15-20 miles long covered over 3 hours with 2000' of elevation gain. I seek out the longest hills I can find. I like the challenge of climbing techy steeps and the thrill of flying down hill - hitting anything I can find for air time. I don't huck much at all - maybe 3'. I've ridden out west and even some internationally and I'd put our riding here in CT up against anything I've ridden - though with all the trees the views around here are somewhat limited.

    I have been on the lookout for a new, lighter bike. I wanted a 6x6 bike and a more AM type riding position. While I have never ridden one, my dream bike is the SC Nomad. I had been kind of idly looking and stumbled across this leftover sort of by accident. The Enduro SL seems to becoming a very popular bike among the people I ride with - I know 5 guys who have all bought them in the last 6 months or so - and all of them are ecstatic with them. I did a parking lot test, but given the great deal they offered, the reviews I've read and the experience of my riding friends, I went for it without a real test.

    John
    Big Strings, Big Wheels, The Jisch Blog

  2. #2
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    First ride

    I set up the suspension according to the manual for my weight etc. The Switch is a faux-bar (essentiallly a single pivot with a swing link) and apparently I am used to that feel - its more linear and pushing on the seat does exactly what the bike does when you ride it. The four bar on the Enduro (I have a Titus RX100 that has a four bar suspension) is a different animal. Pushing down on the seat does nothing - I just mention this because I was convinced I had way too much air in the shock.

    Within the first few minutes I could feel how smooth and efficient the rear suspension was. Pedaling - zero bob, it feels like 100% of my pedal stroke is going to the tire. I always thought the Switch was efficient, but I think that is some of the reason the Switch rides "heavy", a certain percentage of your pedal stroke is going into the suspension.

    The front felt amazingly stiff - again, I always thought the Switch with its Marz Z1FR1 with a through axle was stiff - not even close - the E150 is way stiffer. Amazingly the E150 is also way lighter - the front end on this bike feels like its floating.

    My riding position is a bit different on the Enduro - the top tube is a bit shorter and I have more weight on my hands. Not a bad thing, but different than what I'm used to. I swapped over to a Thomson Elite layback and I think I'm going to move the seat back a bit on the rails to lengthen the cockpit a bit. I have a Maverick Speedball and may put that on this bike, but I'm going to ride it light for now (the Speedball adds 1/2 lb over the Thomson)

    We did a 2 hour ride last night at one of the local places I know well.

    Overall first ride impressions:
    Pros:
    - rails corners faster (riding position probably helps here)
    - climbs like my lightweight bike
    - its the holy grail of "flickable" yet it has 6" of suspension - nice
    - rides extremely light
    - brakes are excellent
    - shifting - crisp and precise
    - very stable in the air
    - rear suspension feels plush and bottomless
    - big hits on the front feel amazing, nice progressive travel

    Cons:
    - front suspension is not responsive to small hits (could be set up - working on that)
    - on techy descents the chain slap is annoying - gonna have to look into that
    - not liking the tires - I spun out many times

    Overall a great first ride, I'm hitting it again today with the guys (last night I rode with my wife) so it should be a better, higher speed test.

    John
    Big Strings, Big Wheels, The Jisch Blog

  3. #3
    Wait, what!?
    Reputation: Enduroblood's Avatar
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    Nice find dude! It took me forever to track down an 07 SL wayyyy back in November! Its such an amazing bike, youre not going to want to ride anything else here in a bit. I will agree with you on the tires. I pulled them off and put WTB Mutano 2.4s on mine, front and back, and I like that a lot better. Of corse I am riding in AZ where the trails are really rocky and dry, but its a thought.

    Anyways, congratulations on the new bike! I thought I was one of the few Expert riders out there. Please tell me you didnt get the orange frame. Thats the one I wanted, but could only find brown. Haha, pics are a must!

  4. #4
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    i agree- its a sick bike!

    just got an '07 Comp on closeout and I couldn't be happier. At first, the rear shock was riding quite stiff, but as soon as it broke in and i had the right sag, I'd say its amazing. fully open its plush as can be and full compression almost feels locked out. i honestly would say it climbs just as well as my Epic- but a bit heavier of course. thanks for your review

  5. #5
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    Since you mentioned it is an 07, I am assuming it has the resolution 2.3 tires.

    I had the resolutions on for one ride and they spun up steep ascents and I lost traction a lot. I moved on to the Eskar Control 2.3 as a rear tire and it has been great.

    I found an 07 SL on clearance a couple months ago and I love it...

  6. #6
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    Second ride today - 3 hour adventure at a local place - one of my favorite places.

    My bike is aqua - I initially didn't like the color - but its grown on me. I'll get some pics up eventually here.

    I guess I don't have a lot to add to the above - it rides great - uphills its a dream. Downhill it feels good - though at this point I think I'd have to give the edge to the Switch. It will take me a little bit to get used to the lightness of this bike. Cornering is better than on my Switch. I haven't bottomed out the front yet - so I let another 10 psi out after today's ride. I am hoping that will improve the small bump performance - maybe after break in it will loosen up a little. That's probably the one thing I don't like right now - off jumps the front feels great, but on the smaller bumps, it just doesn't seem to be very compliant. I have both knobs wide open at this point (all the way counter clockwise) - if anyone has any tips I'd love to hear them. I weigh 170 without gear.

    I checked it side by side with my Switch and the wheelbase is a bit longer and the handlebars are a bit lower - at some point maybe I'll get some handlebars with more rise - there is definitely more weight on my hands than on my Switch.

    John
    Last edited by Jisch; 07-26-2008 at 03:49 PM.
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  7. #7
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    Check your IFP piston chamber also known as "Spike Valve Chamber" and set it to 50psi, this will help with small bump suppleness. This chamber is located at the bottom of the damper cartridge.

  8. #8
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    How do you get at the IFP piston chamber? Do you have to take the fork apart?

    NM I found directions to how to do it here:
    http://www.mtbr.com/channels/mtbrevi...viceManual.pdf

    Honestly its beyond what I want to do at this point. I'll have it checked during the first service.

    John
    Last edited by Jisch; 07-26-2008 at 06:59 PM.
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  9. #9
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    You don't have to do any of that to set the Spike Valve pressure. Flip the bike upsidedown so it's resting on the seat and bars. Look at the bottom of the right side fork slider (the non-brake side) and you'll see a nut at the bottom of the slider. Undo & remove this nut and you'll see a schrader valve, check that and make sure it's 50psi (reading on the shock pump), remove pump and replace nut. Took me less than a minute to check the two forks I bought used. One was at 50, the other at 70psi.

    Also, you can slightly adjust the fork legs on the axle clamp to find the sweet spot for easiest fork movement. Check my comment in this thread:
    2007 Enduro SL (stiction question)

  10. #10
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    Bingo. The Spike Valve was at 70 PSI, heading out for a ride now - but a driveway test showed improved small bump performance.

    John
    Big Strings, Big Wheels, The Jisch Blog

  11. #11
    backwoods and backwards
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    With the spike valve set, all you need is to mount up those kenda stick Es. I'm not sure the 2.5s fit on the front. Anyone know ? 2.35s do the trick good enough. K
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOJO K
    With the spike valve set, all you need is to mount up those kenda stick Es. I'm not sure the 2.5s fit on the front. Anyone know ? 2.35s do the trick good enough. K
    I have not tried 2.5 Kendas, but the 2.35 Kenda Nevegal Stick-E fits with plenty of room to spare, so I would be surprised if you have problems. I am going to be running a 2.5 weirwolf up front next week (as soon as it gets here).


    Note: this is for the front, I do not think a 2.5 would fit in the back (may rub the front derailleur in the small chain ring)

  13. #13
    Now with More Wood
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    Well, a 2.5 Minion DHR fits with room to spare in the rear - but it's probably actually more like a 2.4 Kenda, so who knows.

  14. #14
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    Kenda

    Quote Originally Posted by MOJO K
    With the spike valve set, all you need is to mount up those kenda stick Es. I'm not sure the 2.5s fit on the front. Anyone know ? 2.35s do the trick good enough. K
    I'm a cheapo - I'll probably run these tires until they either a) hurt me or b) wear out. I'll let you know which happens first. I can live with a bit of slippage here and there. Eventually I'll end up with the Kendas and hopefully tubeless, I'm sick of tubes already and its only been 3 weeks.

    John
    Big Strings, Big Wheels, The Jisch Blog

  15. #15
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    a 2.4 maxxis advantage barely fits the front. its a good thing I live in a dry climate. I wouldn't attempt around any mud.

  16. #16
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    Can you get a higher rise stem for this bike? Shame on me for not searching yet, as I'm sure someone asked this already.

    John
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jisch
    Can you get a higher rise stem for this bike? Shame on me for not searching yet, as I'm sure someone asked this already.

    John
    I don't think so. All my Spec dealer found in his computer link to Specialized parts was the optional 60mm and 100mm length stems ($63 ea) and also the same 60mm/100mm options in S-Works (black in color and lighter weight for $125 ea). I have the 100mm stem and it's the same height rise as the stock 80mm stem.

    Assuming you have the stock mid-rise Enduro bar which is 1.5" rise (38mm), you'll have to look for a new bar with 50mm or 60mm rise if you want higher bars.

  18. #18
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    Great thread guys,

    All the info is very helpful as I just picked up an Orange ano sl expert 07.

    I will have to check the fork and shock pressures too because it does feel a little stiff. I was riding the other day and noticed some fluid flowning down the front fork but I could not see exactly where it was coming from???? The rear shock does not seem to change much when turning the dial....any ideas?

    The ride reports are great thanks,

    Later,

    Justin
    Go ahead you go first, damn why do I always have to go first?

  19. #19
    backwoods and backwards
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goose Ryder
    I was riding the other day and noticed some fluid flowning down the front fork but I could not see exactly where it was coming from???? The rear shock does not seem to change much when turning the dial...

    Later,

    Justin
    Justin,
    The '07 stuff is problematic... when working correctly the rear rebound is dramaticly different from full open to fully damped. Fluid coming from the fork is also a bad sign. The good news is that almost all of us have been through this and specialized has been great about making good on the parts. The house brand suspension works great. If yours isn't working great, then bring it back. Good luck K.
    Live the life you love!

  20. #20
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    Another good ride tonight. I am beginning to get the hang of this bike - I remember when I first got my Switch it took a little while to figure out that I had to push that bike to make it perform. If you didn't attack hills (both up and down) then it kind of wallowed, only at speed did it's true nature come out. You have to use it's weight to gain and keep momentum.

    The Enduro SL is another animal entirely - in order to see it's sweet spot, you have to ride with it, you have to use its lightness to your advantage - it doesn't plow through rock gardens - its floats above them. You ride in the middle of the bike, give a little (or a big) lift here and there and it responds in a big way. I hit a few downhills at speed tonight and it was like a light went off in my head, suddenly the bike was flying, I was catching air where I wouldn't have dared with my Switch. Mid-air corrections - no problem, the bike is light enough to whip around when you need to.

    The adjustment to the Spike Valve changed the nature of the bike entirely - now it feels plush - I used up all the travel on both ends tonight - probably have to add a few PSI.

    I feel like I haven't pushed the envelope climbing yet - that will come, but all systems go so far.
    John

    (edit - after sleeping on this, I feel compelled to add a thought on the geometry - the Enduro SL is an AM bike through and through, but this is a XC/AM bike NOT at AM/FR bike. Unlike my Switch, its made to pedal up, not just to enjoy the descents. I never felt like the Switch was a 'bad' climber, but after riding this bike I can see there is a difference.)
    Last edited by Jisch; 07-29-2008 at 06:37 AM.
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  21. #21
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    With regard to the comment about chain slap I find mine (Sl comp) to be quite slappy as well. Has anyone modified the bike to reduce this or have a cunning way to avoid it ?

    Cheers

  22. #22
    Fat Skis/Fat Tires
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_b_at_home
    With regard to the comment about chain slap I find mine (Sl comp) to be quite slappy as well. Has anyone modified the bike to reduce this or have a cunning way to avoid it ?

    Cheers
    I try to shift into the big ring for decents as often as psooible, and that helps a lot. I am considering this guide:

    http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/134...hain-Guide.htm

    because I can't bear to part with any of my rings. I recall someone on this forum talking about this product in months past...any SL specific reviews?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_b_at_home
    With regard to the comment about chain slap I find mine (Sl comp) to be quite slappy as well. Has anyone modified the bike to reduce this or have a cunning way to avoid it ?

    Cheers
    ----any bike will have chain slap unless you work on a few things ,
    as with most bikes , the chain is to long stock.-----i have removed 2 links from mine ( may go three yet )

    i also duck tape up the ft derailer on the bottom and the inside , and duct tape up the seat stay right by the cassette .

    and i use a black spire stinger chain guide , ----( you do need a guide to keep the chain on when you are doing DH on nasty fast rocky terain )
    and no more chain slap at all, and i never drop a chain anymore at all

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelstr
    the chain is to long stock.-----i have removed 2 links from mine ( may go three yet )
    Its been so long since I got a new bike, I totally forgot about this. Also I'm running mine 2x9 so I can get rid of even more chain (probably).

    John
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jisch
    Its been so long since I got a new bike, I totally forgot about this. Also I'm running mine 2x9 so I can get rid of even more chain (probably).

    John
    i also run 2x9 and am going to put a small cage on the xo in the rear and i know i will be able to go 3 or 4 shorter ,---

    i am 2 links short now and with the med cage and only 2 rings in the ft i am still alittle long .

    -----but yes you always have to do little dial in things to get everything working nice !!

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