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Specialized uncovers its other updates

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The Enduro SL platform receives mostly minor updates for 2008…but retains its sleek lines.

The Enduro SL platform receives mostly minor updates for 2008…but retains its sleek lines. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Specialized adds a 29" version of the new Stumpjumper

Specialized adds a 29" version of the new Stumpjumper (Image credit: James Huang)
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The Demo continues to steamroll for 2008.

The Demo continues to steamroll for 2008. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Chainguides come courtesy of a local brand

Chainguides come courtesy of a local brand (Image credit: James Huang)
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Specialized adds a 29" version of the new Stumpjumper to the stable for 2008 which also incorporates all the updates of the 26" version.

Specialized adds a 29" version of the new Stumpjumper to the stable for 2008 which also incorporates all the updates of the 26" version. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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The 29" version boasts the same swoopy frame styling as its smaller-wheeled sibling.

The 29" version boasts the same swoopy frame styling as its smaller-wheeled sibling. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Naturally, the Stumpjumper 29 retains Specialized's ubiquitous FSR four-bar rear suspension design.

Naturally, the Stumpjumper 29 retains Specialized's ubiquitous FSR four-bar rear suspension design. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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The dropped top tube adds much-needed standover clearance.

The dropped top tube adds much-needed standover clearance. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Just in case you forget what size wheels you're riding…

Just in case you forget what size wheels you're riding… (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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An AFR shock also graces the Stumpjumper 29.

An AFR shock also graces the Stumpjumper 29. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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The Stumpjumper 29 receives 'Expert' level spec, including Avid Juicy 7 brakes (with custom anodized lever blades) and SRAM X-9 trigger shifters.

The Stumpjumper 29 receives 'Expert' level spec, including Avid Juicy 7 brakes (with custom anodized lever blades) and SRAM X-9 trigger shifters. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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A flat handlebar helps maintain a normal cockpit height.

A flat handlebar helps maintain a normal cockpit height. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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SRAM also provides the fork in the form of a Rock Shox Reba 29.

SRAM also provides the fork in the form of a Rock Shox Reba 29. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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The Enduro SL platform receives mostly minor updates for 2008…

The Enduro SL platform receives mostly minor updates for 2008… (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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…but retains its sleek lines.

…but retains its sleek lines. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Rear suspension layout remains the same as last year.

Rear suspension layout remains the same as last year. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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A revised air can provides more air volume at the end of the stroke for a more linear spring curve.

A revised air can provides more air volume at the end of the stroke for a more linear spring curve. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Huh? Last year's forged magnesium link has apparently been replaced with a forged aluminum one.

Huh? Last year's forged magnesium link has apparently been replaced with a forged aluminum one. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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The new E150SL fork shaves 90g from what was already an impressively light package.

The new E150SL fork shaves 90g from what was already an impressively light package. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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The E150SL still uses the same 25mm thru-axle standard that was introduced last year.

The E150SL still uses the same 25mm thru-axle standard that was introduced last year. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Most of the weight savings were achieved with new upper and lower crowns, a reshaped integrated stem, and a lighter steerer tube.

Most of the weight savings were achieved with new upper and lower crowns, a reshaped integrated stem, and a lighter steerer tube. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Lots of different colors of anodization here!

Lots of different colors of anodization here! (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Brown is clearly the new black…

Brown is clearly the new black… (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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…and (nearly) matching grips add a bit of retro flair to what is otherwise a hyper-modern package.

…and (nearly) matching grips add a bit of retro flair to what is otherwise a hyper-modern package. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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The newly-introduced Pitch is designed to be a more affordable version of the Enduro SL.

The newly-introduced Pitch is designed to be a more affordable version of the Enduro SL. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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The Pitch frame bears similar lines to the more expensive Enduro SL.

The Pitch frame bears similar lines to the more expensive Enduro SL. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Rear end linkage geometry is nearly identical to that of the Enduro SL.

Rear end linkage geometry is nearly identical to that of the Enduro SL. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Fox Racing Shox and X-Fusion rear shocks are used on the Pitch instead of Specialized's AFR unit.

Fox Racing Shox and X-Fusion rear shocks are used on the Pitch instead of Specialized's AFR unit. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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The Demo continues to steamroll for 2008.

The Demo continues to steamroll for 2008. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Can you say 'stiff'?

Can you say 'stiff'? (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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It looks complicated but it's still a fairly standard four-bar FSR rear end.

It looks complicated but it's still a fairly standard four-bar FSR rear end. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Chainguides come courtesy of a local brand in southern California.

Chainguides come courtesy of a local brand in southern California. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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The alloy boomerang provides plenty of adjustment.

The alloy boomerang provides plenty of adjustment. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)

Tech feature: Specialized 2008 MTB lineup Part II, July 4, 2007

Yesterday we showed you Specialized's all-new, and dramatically revamped, S-Works Stumpjumper FSR Carbon for 2008. Today Cyclingnews Tech Editor James Huang takes a look at the other gems in the new Specialized lineup, and takes a quick spin on the range.

Super-sized Stumpjumper

In addition to the 29" hardtail we showed you at Sea Otter, Specialized will now offer a full-suspension Stumpjumper version that offers nearly all of the benefits of the updated 26" aluminum version but adapted for the bigger wheel size. Rear travel is slightly reduced to 105mm but the Stumpjumper 29 will still be equipped with an AFR shock and remote Brain unit.

Specialized's DMD front derailleur mount allowed designers to shorten up the chain stays and head tube angles are increased by 1° to yield better handling with the standard-offset 100mm-travel Rock Shox Reba 29. All of the Stumpy 29 versions will also be equipped with shorter head tubes and flat handlebars to maintain standard cockpit heights.

Other developments

Last year's Enduro introduction has not gone untouched for '08, either. The rear shock has been fitted with a new air can that provides a more linear stroke towards the end of the travel along with updates to the damping circuits and seals. Also new is an S-Works level E150SL dual-crown fork which sheds 90g from the standard E150 courtesy of a new upper and lower clamp, reduced profile stem, and new steerer tube.

Enduro also gains a baby brother for '08 in the form of the new Pitch platform. Pitch does without the Specialized-branded suspension bits in favor of custom-tuned rear shocks from X-Fusion and Fox along with specially-configured 140mm-travel Pike forks from Rock Shox. Rear travel remains at 150mm and frame geometry is fixed in the 'slack' position of the Enduro SL.

The Epic is most carryover for 2008 with most of the changes isolated to the rear shock and components. The Brain unit has been retuned for improved small-bump sensitivity and seals have been revised for better reliability. Adjuster knobs have also been revised for easier operation, while a switch to a Campy-standard integrated headset sheds about 40g.

Last but certainly not least, the ground-swallowing Demo gains a new forged magnesium rocker to shed a few grams.

On the trail

We sampled nearly all of Specialized's top 2008 offerings at one point or another and the area north of Madrid clearly has plenty to offer in terms of terrain and scenery. While the Epic, Enduro, and new Stumpy 29 each hold their own merits (the Stumpy 29 is particularly 'normal' handling, which in this case is a good thing), the real eye-opener was certainly the revised S-Works Stumpjumper.

Undoubtedly, the first thing you notice while riding the revamped bike is its fantastically light weight, particularly in the front end. A ready-to-go weight of sub-11kg (you can't go very far without pedals) reaches well into XC race bike territory, and it takes a bit of mental adjustment to accept that a trail bike this light can still hold up without exploding into bits of carbon fiber and resin.

Naturally, climbing traits are top-notch, particularly with the aid of the FlowControl Brain unit out back. As promised, the front end's behavior matched well with the rear, resulting in a pleasantly balanced and efficient feel that was eminently predictable. Handling was perhaps the biggest surprise, however. The light weight allowed for especially nimble and flickable handling, but the oversized front end still lent confidence when conditions got rough.

With performance this good and with such a light weight, we can't help but wonder what the long-term future holds for the Epic as the new Stumpjumper easily encroaches on its turf (and likely somewhat uncomfortably at that). We certainly have our ideas, but will have to wait and see what the crew has in store for next season. In the meantime, we'll do our best to secure a long-term test bike and see how the bike holds up to some real abuse…

Next up: women's-specific bikes

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