Building a bike from scratch – Specialized Enduro S-Works 2004

Anyone that’s been reading for the past couple of weeks will know that I recently got rid of my old Specialized Epic – half due to mechanical problems and half due to a slightly bad fit. Well, I’ve had a few thoughts about about attempting a bike build after watching one of my friends go through the same process last year. I saw how much satisfaction he now gets out of riding his own hand-built machine and, to be honest, it just looked damn fun messing around with the mechanicals and figuring it all out for yourself.

I’ve also found a few good bike maintenance tutorials that I reckon will get me through the worst, and I got a recommendation for this course which has load of maintenance videos: DIY Bike Maintenance. I might give that a shot.

Anywayl, with the departure of my Epic I thought now’s the time, and I’m going to be logging the trials and tribulations of the whole process here so other may learn from my (many) mistakes.

So, step 1 – The Frame.

Specialized Enduro S-Works 2004

Firstly, I’m a pretty pragmatic and not very rich man, so right away I was looking at second hand frames. I’ve bought a few second hand bikes in the past as I don’t see the point in paying full price for top end machines. A good frame will last years, so as long as it’s in good nick when you get it then you’re laughing as you’ll easily save 50% of the price – even on a mint condition 1 year old frame.

So, the options. I do a lot of different types of riding, but one of the more important aspects is that I want to be able to go uphill. I love the smoothness and control that comes with a full suspension bike, bike I couldn’t ride one that bounced so much, or weighed so much that I couldn’t happily ride it cross country all day. I’ve got friends far fitter than I that I like to go on cross country runs with, and I don’t need more reasons to be lagging behind them than my straining lungs! Add to this, though, the fact that I love crashing down the red at Glentress at full speed and I don’t want an ultra-light cross country race machine rattling to pieces between my legs. As much as I admit that’s not entirely likely (I’m no pro downhiller…) I’d still like the confidence boost of having something a little sturdier beneath me (stop sniggering at the back please…). So, I’m looking at the cop-out category, not quite cross country but not quite Freeride – All Mountain’s where it’s at.

I was looking initially at Santa Cruz actually – firstly the Superlight, but nope, that’s too super light. Then the Heckler and that seemed to fit the bill as a sturdy but climbable machine. Yeti actually cropped up in my search too as a really good make, but I admit I don’t know much about them so that never really took off. Then, my Specialized bias took hold again (my previous 2 bikes have been Specialized…) and I was looking at the Stumpjumper and the Enduro.

In the end, fate decided for me. I came across an ad offering a 2004 Specialized Enduro S-Works frame for just over £400 and I snapped it up as the bargain it was. The S-Works models are the top of the Specialized product range and the S-Works Enduro differs from the others in that it incorporates the Specialized Brain technology for bob-free pedalling. As someone who hoped to keep up with his hardtail friends this sounded pretty good to me. Added to that the fact that a brand new Enduro S-Works frame retails at about £2500 including a fork and I was sold.

Even better, the 2004 model was the last to feature the old frame design before changing to the standard top-tube, bottom-tube style, and the more unique the better! As one of my friends pointed out, it looks like some kind of crazy space gun, and that’s got to be a good thing, yea?

So, that’s the frame bought. Next step, components…

[tags]Enduro, S-Works, specialized, bike build, frame[/tags]


Colin started mountain biking in the early 2000s and has haphazardly, and with barely increasing skill, dragged his bike around the majority of Scotland's trail centres since then. Colin has oodles of hard earned experience in how NOT to do things - listen, be warned and don't repeat his mistakes...   More about Colin... Google+ Colin

6 Responses

  1. dcrxawunv czhw chdnxvkqf wqelfjm ufjsgwxhp asoe kdmuayn

  2. Ooooh a brain! Are you going to be keeping it? It looks like the shock is mounted using standard eyelets as opposed to the annoying proprietary link/eyelets Specialized use on modern Stumpys.

  3. Colin says:

    Yea, the brain’s awesome – make’s things so much easier on the uphill. It was actually a bit on the loose side when I got it, but a bit of fiddling and some new bolts sorted it out.

    As for the shock, I’ve never worked on a new Stumpjumper, so not sure if this is any different. It looks like pretty standard bolts to me!


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