Racing for the official Specialized Racing team, Killian Callaghan’s factory-prepped 2020 Specialized S-Works Enduro is a bike on many a rider’s wish list.
Specialized broke cover this summer with their all-new S-Works Enduro and naturally, as a factory team rider, Killian was one of the first to throw a leg over the new steed many sought after.
A bike that grabbed the headlines, the S-Works Enduro saw a redesign for 2020 over its predecessor.
Only available in a carbon frame set and with 29” wheels, its new suspension layout and increase to 170mm of travel front and rear brings it closer to Specialized’s Demo 29 downhill bike than ever before.
In production trim the Enduro S-Works Carbon is equipped with Shimano brakes, Fox suspension, Rockshox seat posts but as Killian explains a lot of this is changed or upgraded to the teams’ sponsors.
Barely rested after the final round of the 2019 Gravity Enduro in Carrick, we grabbed a few minutes with Killian and his new weapon to get the lowdown on his factory setup…
For reference, Killian weighs in at 88kg and is a tad over the 6ft marker.
“I’m on the S4, which is the large size S-Works Enduro, but over the previous model it does feel noticeably longer – especially at the rear end. The new linkage has changed the overall feel and characteristic of bike. The suspension curve now ramps up a lot more as it goes through the travel. It also sits down more on the rear during the stroke. It’s easier to feel grip and gives you more confidence in what you’re doing be it cornering, jumping or technical riding.
“The head angle is stretched out to 63 degrees and while it eats up the steep stuff, it still feels similar to the previous model on the flatter parts of a stage.
“With it now moving to 170mm suspension front and rear, the new linkage and the new engineering has definitely put it another step ahead of the previous model. It feels more like a mini downhill bike now.
“I’m still finding my feet with it and what it can do. I only got it in August, so there’s more dialling in to do, but the biggest difference is the ability to just plough through stuff and not worry. Where before you had to be precise on line choices, now it irons out the bumps and kickers and you don’t feel the chatter bumps on corner entry. I’m trying to adapt to that because so often I find myself carry too much speed in places I’m not expecting too.”
“I’ve gone for the S4 sized frame, which is the equivalent of a large to most people. Specialized name their frames differently, so S2 is Small, S3 Medium and so on.”
“The team run Öhlins suspension. I’ve got the 170mm TTX Coil fork in the front, with the red/black hardest spring. There is a 502 spring in the rear, with the 170mm shock tuned differently so that it sits down into the travel more but ramp ups tiny bit more towards the end of the stroke.”
“The braking system is by Magura MT7 front and rear, on 203mm Magura rotors. It’s a 4-piston calliper with four pads in each. They’re held in place to each piston with magnets. Stopping power is pretty phenomenal, but the life of the pads is impressive too. I did nearly six months on a set during last winter. You can also fine tune the bite and position of the lever for a more custom feel. They have also different bends to dial it in even more.”
“We run stock SRAM gearing. I’ve got a 36 front ring mated with a 12-speed cassette, complete with full chain guide. I like the range it gives me, however I did spin out in Northstar EWS on the fastest part of the stage, but otherwise it’s been good.”
“I’m running a 29er. We’ve got the CushCore PRO tyre insert inside the Specialized Butcher tyre to reduce flats. The tyres are pre-production BLCK DMND and we’ve had a say in the development of them, which is cool. There is a wider-spaced knob on top, with beefier side knobs to reduce flex in cornering. Overall it makes it more stable and predictable. From wet Irish roots to dry, rocky trails in Finale Ligure, they’re working really good.”
“It’s a 180mm dropper post from a German brand called Bike Yoke. They also have a 210mm dropper that I might try out during the winter to see if that suits me better.”
“I set my handlebars up to give a longer span. I’m running 780mm wide Rental bars, including the end caps makes it 786mm. I run 40mm risers, with five spacers under the stem. It’s roomy!”
“The SWAT storage box in the down tube is a bit of a god send! You can stuff so much in there. I’ve got a spare tube, tyre levers, gear cable, alan key set, C02 canister and medical kit. I’ll also jam a few energy bars in too.”
Big thanks to Killian for hanging back after the Gravity Enduro at Carrick for the insight.
(And his 2020 Cheltenham exploits!)