Camber vs. Older 29er 100mm Stumpy???
This is a follow up to my post about the 29 inch Epic for use as a trail bike.
Several people recommended the Camber to me as a better alternative to my current bike which is a bit slower handling than I would prefer .
I currently have a 2010 Stumpy 100mm travel 29er. It geometry is fairly similar to the newer Camber. I can't imagine that the Camber would handle significantly different, would you (geometry listed below).
Another question I guess woudl be about the shock placement/linkage on the bike. My 2010 has a pivot such that the shock sits vertically just above the bottom bracket, unlike the current shock placement on the camber. Is there an advantage / disadvantage to one design versus the other? I imagine the newer design is an improvement but not sure if there is a trade-off.
Here is the geometry of the one bike versus the other...they look pretty similar to me:
My 29 stumpy
Seat : 74.5
Seat effective: 74
I guess that I also have to point out that I am / was a bit confused about the Camber I think. I had read on the specialized site that it was a 100mm travel bike which I would consider not sufficiently different from a 100mm bike.
But then when I looked more closely I see it is listed as 100mm in the rear and a 120mm fork....which I guess averages to 110 but does make it different from a bike with 100mm travel front and rear.
The bike I was looking at was a used 2011 one and when I look in the archive on the Spec site I see it has 120mm front and rear...??? Now that is certainly different from my 100mm bike.
Is that an error in the listing or did Specialized really DECREASE the suspension travel on the bike's shock? that woudl be a first for Specialized I think. And if so I wonder why they did that.
It's the 26" Camber that has 120mm rear and fork travel. The 29er Camber has 100mm rear travel for both 2011 and 2012 according to the Specialized website. The fork on the 2011 Camber 29er has 100mm travel and it's 110mm on the 2012 (Elite) and 100mm on the Pro.
yeah...I guess you're right. I was mistakenly looking at the 26 inch version. So I would rate 110mm travel as being pretty much indistinguishable from 100mm.
Now I wonder how much differntly it will handle than my my current bike......
The 100mm travel stumpy FSR were 2008 and 2009 models, with straight headtubes, the 2010 model was 130mm rear with a 120mm fork with a tapered headtube.
So I am guessing you have the 2009. Check the fork offset on that bike. When I had mine it still had the old Fox with short offset(45mm I believe). All the current bikes have the new bigger offset(48mm I think), which will liven up the steering by decreasing trail if the head angle stays the same.
Also the new frames and forks are much stiffer, which again will result in a different ride feeling.
Ooops.....yes you are correct....it is a 2008 model. Good point on the fork offset. I did not consider that
Not sure I understand how the newer frames / forks are stiffer. does the new frame shock mount give inherintly more pedaling stiffness?
That's a difficult one. Looking at the geometry charts there isn't much in it.
2008 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR 29 (Size Medium)
Specialized Bicycle Components : Stumpjumper FSR 29
2011 Specialized Camber 29 (Size Medium)
Specialized Bicycle Components : Camber Pro 29er
If you didn't like the 2008 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR 29 handling then I'd be a bit wary of moving to a 2011 Camber 29 as it looks like it would be more of the same. From the charts both bikes appear similar. I'd guess a 2011 Camber 29 would only offer marginal gains at best. The 2011 Camber 29 has a 0.5° steeper head angle and an 11mm shorter wheelbase, which could help speed up the handling and make the bike more responsive. You'd have to test ride a 2011 Camber 29 first to be sure if that was enough to be worth buying one though.
The 2011 Camber 29 doesn't have the 142x12mm rear thru axle so only has the changed rear shock placement, although that's going to do very little (if anything) for speeding up the handling. The 2012 Camber 29 has a 142x12mm rear thru axle to additionally stiffen the rear end. A 2011 Camber 29 might track a little better in high speed corners than the 2008 Stumpjumper FSR 29 but it's only going to be a small difference and won't do much at lower speeds in tight turns. Without a brain shock the 2011 Camber 29 isn't going to pedal any better than your 2008 Stumpjumper FSR 29.
The 2012 Specialized Epic 29er has a steeper 70.5° head angle which you'd probably prefer. If you're used to a brain rear shock on the 2008 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR 29 then the 2012 Epic's brain rear shock will feel familiar. The 2012 Epic brain shock tune is quite soft when you adjust it away from full firm, resulting in a softer rear suspension that's fine for all day riding.
2012 Specialized Epic 29er (size Medium)
Specialized Bicycle Components : Epic Comp Carbon 29
My 2012 Specialized Epic 29er handles quite well at low speeds. It isn't as responsive as a 26" Specialized Epic but the low speed handling is still good enough that I can ride everything I rode on the 26" Specialized Epic without any issues.
Last edited by WR304; 04-07-2012 at 04:05 PM.
Stiffer for the 2012 Camber
Sorry, stiffer comment was for the models with tapered headtube and through-axle, which indeed didn't come to the Camber till 2012. It came to Epic's and Stumpies earlier. I forgot you were talking about the 2011 Camber.
The 08/09 Stumpies were notoriously flexy, I know, I had one.
0.5 degree steeper HA plus more offset is VERY noticeable in feel, since they both reduce trail giving you a double whammy effect of less trail('lighter steering'). Then if you add reduced wheelbase it will make for fair bit quicker turning bike at low speeds ('less stable steering'), but indeed the Epic will have even less trail....
Does your Stumpy have a Reba? If so, the cheapest option would be to put on a 100 Fox, they have slightly lower axle to crown than those old Reba's and that combined with the extra offset would reduce trail. Even more if you could get a G2 Fox from a Gary Fisher as they have 51mm offset, so bigger change.
If you're not looking specifically at Specialized bikes then I'd consider a Giant Anthem X 29 as well.
2012 Giant Anthem X 29 (size Medium)
Anthem X 29'er 1 (2012) - Bikes | Giant Bicycles | UK / Ireland
The Giant Anthem X 29 (size Medium) has a 71° degree head angle and relatively short 1105mm wheelbase. The 100mm travel Giant Maestro rear suspension is quite plush too, making it a comfortable bike to ride. You do get some pedal bob from its rear suspension but it isn't bad.
Yeah, mine is the 2008 Stumpy, 100mm travel, the older style shock mounting set up, and it does have a Fox F29 fork on it. I also have the shock swapped out with a Pushed Rock Shox Monarch RT3.
The bike is growing on me, but the handling is not the best. I find it does not take tight turns well. Maybe a function of the larger wheels and the geometry, maybe a little due to flex. I don't know.
I do find that the bike does have noticeable pedal bob when riding on the road. I am goign to try riding it in the firmer shock setting.
I also find that the suspension is not as plush as I would have expected when compared to my 26 inch travel bike. Maybe some of that is due to the different shock placement. I notice that Specialized only stuck with that design for a couple of years.
I do think I would like the Camber better....or maybe I should hold out for a Tallboy, or a SC Superlight 29er
Devil Dog for Life
Bowler 1 -- I'm facing a similar choice. Camber, Superlight 29er, or a Tallboy. I have to stick to a $2000 ish budget. A LBS is offering a bit of a deal on a Camber. The others I could get through a different LBS, but they are not SC dealers. I really want to see some real reviews on the Superlight.
I'd 2nd not limiting your looking to only Specialized, Giant, Trek/GF, Kona and many others also have some nice FS bikes over 120mm out that are worth a look.