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  1. #1
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    cant decide stumpjumper 29 or camber

    Not sure which way to go. Should I get the sj to have more room to grow?

  2. #2
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    The short answer is it depends on where and what you ride. The Stumpy is overkill for buff, flowy singletrack, but does really well on gnarlier stuff where the Camber might leave you wishing for more bike.

    A year ago, facing this exact question, I went Stumpy 29er Comp and couldn't be happier. But I live in New England and have aspirations of riding rocky, rooted trails at moderate speed and doing the occasional 3-4 foot drop. I don't mind the extra weight for the riding I'm doing, but that's me.

    Both are great bikes. Can you demo both on the trails you ride? That's the only way to know for sure which one is best for you. Good luck with whichever you choose.

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    I think it mostly depends on the people you ride with and the type of terrain you most often find yourself on. If you ride with a bunch of racers on smooth singletrack, get the lightest, most efficient bike you can. If you spend most of your time on freeride type trails, go more aggressive.

    Specialized dealers normally have demo bikes you can ride on your own trails. That will provide a better answer than anyone can give you....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairbanks007 View Post
    The short answer is it depends on where and what you ride. The Stumpy is overkill for buff, flowy singletrack, but does really well on gnarlier stuff where the Camber might leave you wishing for more bike.

    A year ago, facing this exact question, I went Stumpy 29er Comp and couldn't be happier. But I live in New England and have aspirations of riding rocky, rooted trails at moderate speed and doing the occasional 3-4 foot drop. I don't mind the extra weight for the riding I'm doing, but that's me.

    Both are great bikes. Can you demo both on the trails you ride? That's the only way to know for sure which one is best for you. Good luck with whichever you choose.
    this is what i am thinking. i am going to start back up slow, but do have the same aspirations you do into working into bigger stuff to ride. i live in south east pa so i have a whole mix of terrain. i did a little quick spin around the lbs today with both and the camber feels a bit tighter and quicker but the sj feels more fun and i feel more upright and comfortable with the sj. also with camber my right heel was hitting rear of frame when i peddled. these were both 2012 bikes
    Last edited by sdm74; 02-11-2013 at 04:06 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdm74 View Post
    this is what i am thinking. i am going to start back up slow, but do have the same aspirations you do into working into bigger stuff to ride. i live in south east pa so i have a whole mix of terrain. i did a little quick spin around the lbs today with both and the camber feels a bit tighter and quicker but the sj feels more fun and i feel more upright and comfortable with the sj. also with camber my right heel was hitting fear of frame when i peddled. these were both 2012 bikes
    I run out of courage before I run out of bike with the Stumpy. Less so with the Camber.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdm74 View Post
    i did a little quick spin around the lbs today with both and the camber feels a bit tighter and quicker but the sj feels more fun and i feel more upright and comfortable with the sj. also with camber my right heel was hitting rear of frame when i peddled.
    So one bike was more comfortable, more fun, and fit better? Sounds like the decision is made.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregon2wheels View Post
    So one bike was more comfortable, more fun, and fit better? Sounds like the decision is made.
    Ha..good point. Just wanted to be sure I wasn't over doing it. Fs bikes have improved quite a bit I was impressed at the lack of pedal Bob even being a 250 lb rider. I was worried about hills with the sj but it seems it could hold its own

  8. #8
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    Same dilema

    I had exactly the same problem when buying a new bike in december the camber or the stumpy. I also went for the 2013 stumpy being a heavier rider and looking to throw it through some rough stuff it should stand up alot better than the camber. I love it, I'm doing my usual trails in around half the time I did before and I'm actually catching air for the first time in a decade

    I'm not sure which varient of the stumpy your going for but I went for the carbon comp changing the headset, handlebars and seat stem for carbon ones. The tires I swopped for continental xtrail 2.4's and I changed out the brakes for full XTR's and ice rotors. I put the new specialized flat peddles on too for a shed load of grip.

    I get very little vibration through the seat post and handle bars now so no sore hands after riding for a while and the brakes are an absolute triumph which is good as stopping by big behind going down hill at speed coould have been a real problem Ooo and they don't squeek or squeel like the stock avids.

    The tires have a heavier rolling resistance than some but they are very sturdy and the grip is just incredible especially over wet roots, rocks and mud. I do notice just how much you have to lean a 29er over to get the same sort of cornering lines you do with a 26er so good tires are a must I think.

    Sorry for such a long post but I hope it helps.

  9. #9
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    If it were me, I would go camper all the way..
    Last edited by Max24; 03-09-2015 at 12:05 AM.

  10. #10
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    Same issue here. I was looking at the 2013 Camber Comp in white vs the 2013 SJ FSR Comp 29er in black. Both were more than enough bike for me at this time, but I decided on the SJ so no matter what trails I may encounter, I will have the extra travel I may need. Also, I got a great buy on the SJ, and I really dig the black/charcoal paint scheme.

    But really, I don't think you can go wrong either way. Both are very nice bikes.

  11. #11
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    It comes down to the trails you are riding. I went back and forth between the SJ 29er and Camber 29er test riding both. There was always the thought in the back of my mind that the Camber wasn't going to be enough bike if I wanted to get into stuff rougher than what I usually ride. I then went back and looked at all the rides I did last year. 90% of what I rode, the Camber would be the bike I would choose. It didn't make since to buy the bike best suited for only 10% of my riding. Bought a Camber Carbon Comp 29er and couldn't be happier. Good Luck

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdm74 View Post
    Not sure which way to go. Should I get the sj to have more room to grow?
    It is always worth having the extra suspension. I went with the 2013 SJ and I ride in a group/club where we do monthly rides of 25 ro 35 miles of mostly XC terrain. The SJ is extremely comfortable on these kinds of rides.

    Bottom line is the SJ is the more versatile bike, it will do more than the camber. I have the carbon comp, if you have the budget go carbon.

  13. #13
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    Well, you could always buy a camber comp and should u decide to ride the rougher stuff, buy a 120mm fork,,,,,which, BTW, will not void the warranty. Yes, you would have the expense, but it could be purchased later when funds are available.
    I love 'Murica!

  14. #14
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    And now to make matters worse, I see good deals on 12 horse thief. How do they compare to the stumpy?

  15. #15
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    I haven't ridden the Stumpy (tried a Camber and liked it), but I bought the 2012 Horsethief and couldn't be happier. I went through the same questions you did with Salsa bikes. I was trying to decide between the Spearfish and the Horsethief. The 'Thief is more bike than I need for most of the trails near me (Northern VA), but I love the security it gives me on descents when I go to Gambrill or NC and get into some rocks. My wife and I also ride in CO and UT in the summers, so it will be great out there. I can say that the Spearfish would have been fine for 85% of my riding, but I decided that I wanted one bike that could do it all well since this was to be my only FS bike. The only area where I find the 'Thief lacking in comparison to the Spearfish is climbing, but it's still a good climber, and one can't really expect a slack-angled trail bike to climb like an XC rig. The long wheelbase gives it a really solid feel on rocky, technical climbs. Also, the component spec on the 2012 model is a great value.
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  16. #16
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    I just spent 2 days on a Stumpy 29er EVO. Wow - it was a great bike. I normally ride a Tallboy Carbon. However, I was renting so I figured I would try a bigger bike. Not only did the bike rail the downhill, it didn't lose traction on some super steep uphill climbs. I have never been a big Spesh fan, preferring snobbier brands. But wow - that bike was amazing. I was absolutely faster on the gnarly stuff on the SJ than I was on my Tallboy. I also noticed a few times where I was going so fast that I had to hit the breaks to stay inside the berms on some trails - probably something I would not have needed to on my Tallboy.

    Whatever you choose be sure to swap the Specialized Command Post with anything else. The command post is the biggest POS I have ever used. I would rather have stick up my backside than use that post.

    Other things I really liked about the SJ: the chain retention system was awesome - never dropped a chain and my co-riders did. The gearing was terrific.

    I have never ridden a Camber, but based on the 110MM fork I would say pass. Unless your trails are pavement smooth you are going to want a fork with more travel. On my Tallboy I run 120 and I am always wishing for more. And don't think about upgrading the fork later - it is the most expensive component on your bike and you will never get around to buying another fork.

    My two cents. Happy to share more of my Stumpy Experience if you need.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by onobed View Post
    I just spent 2 days on a Stumpy 29er EVO. Wow - it was a great bike. I normally ride a Tallboy Carbon. However, I was renting so I figured I would try a bigger bike. Not only did the bike rail the downhill, it didn't lose traction on some super steep uphill climbs. I have never been a big Spesh fan, preferring snobbier brands. But wow - that bike was amazing. I was absolutely faster on the gnarly stuff on the SJ than I was on my Tallboy. I also noticed a few times where I was going so fast that I had to hit the breaks to stay inside the berms on some trails - probably something I would not have needed to on my Tallboy.

    Whatever you choose be sure to swap the Specialized Command Post with anything else. The command post is the biggest POS I have ever used. I would rather have stick up my backside than use that post.

    Other things I really liked about the SJ: the chain retention system was awesome - never dropped a chain and my co-riders did. The gearing was terrific.

    I have never ridden a Camber, but based on the 110MM fork I would say pass. Unless your trails are pavement smooth you are going to want a fork with more travel. On my Tallboy I run 120 and I am always wishing for more. And don't think about upgrading the fork later - it is the most expensive component on your bike and you will never get around to buying another fork.

    My two cents. Happy to share more of my Stumpy Experience if you need.
    Thanks for all the info. Is the command post that bad? Was going to get one thrown on when I buy the bike.

  18. #18
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    cant decide stumpjumper 29 or camber

    I have to say this: I can't believe Specialized ever released that Post. It is terrible. The actuating lever is so poorly designed that when you position it to be activated when riding it interferes with trigger shifters. So you have two options: either not be able to shift or not be able use the command post unless you consciously choose to.

    It is so bad that I will sell you mine for $50 - and that is after a Speah factory rebuild - basically the post is in new condition.

    Spend the money on a Reverb or KS Lev.

    The only reason the Command Post sells is because it has the Specialized name on it. If any other company tried to market that POC they would never get placement.

    Trust me on this: a dropper post is amazing. I have a Reverb and a KS Lev And a Command Post. The Command Post can't hold a candle to the other two. In fact, I think the command post hurts more than it helps because you have to put so much effort into using it.

    PM me and I will share more details.

  19. #19
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    Dig my stumpjumper fsr 29 comp. Had them throw on the command post when I bought it a year ago. Ride 30-40 miles a week. The bike is fantastic, the seat is great. The lever is poorly made, but no problems yet after a year of steady abuse. Beware of the stock hubs on the comp. There are all types of threads to read how bad they are. Warranty got me 50% off new Roval control trails with DT swiss hubs which was a great upgrade from stock for sure.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by The-Ox View Post
    Dig my stumpjumper fsr 29 comp. Had them throw on the command post when I bought it a year ago. Ride 30-40 miles a week. The bike is fantastic, the seat is great. The lever is poorly made, but no problems yet after a year of steady abuse. Beware of the stock hubs on the comp. There are all types of threads to read how bad they are. Warranty got me 50% off new Roval control trails with DT swiss hubs which was a great upgrade from stock for sure.
    How does that work with warranty?

  21. #21
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    The shoddy hub on the 2012 comps is a well-known problem. Makes a grinding sound after some use since the bearings are sealed and can't regrease. Was told its a $20 hub from Taiwan. Warranty gave me choice of same junky hub (new) or 50% off the way better wheelset.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdm74 View Post
    Thanks for all the info. Is the command post that bad? Was going to get one thrown on when I buy the bike.
    NO it is not, he full of ****. Amazing how everyone else seems to be able to use the lever fine.
    When it comes down to a dropper you need to decide what you like better set positions or infinite travel. I personally like to have mine drop to the same place every time, so that leaves GD or Specialized.
    Reverb and KS have their fair share of problems, search it.
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  23. #23
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    Second thing, make sure you ride a bunch of different bike before you decide. It's all personal preference and you don't want to make an expensive mistake.
    I bought a SJ Comp 29 based on having loved my older 2000 SWorks without a test ride. After about 6 months I decided to demo a TallboyLT for the hell of it. After the first ride I ordered my TBc.
    For me the TBLT pedaled /climbed better in full open then the SJ did in propedal. I decide I didn't need all the travel and that's why I went with the TBc.

    You may find you like VPP better than FSR, or DWLink or Maestro. I seriously advise you to demo as many as you can.

    Also, when I bought the SJ I ignored the proprietary shock on the SJ. Once I wasn't that happy with the performance of that POS triad shock and wanted to upgrade, well you can't, because of that stupid yoke on it. They even did that to half of the Camber line. Really stupid.
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  24. #24
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    I'm at the top of what I want to spend on a bike with the fsr.
    Sc looks like a nice bike but at least a grand more it should be, also no dealers in my area carry them

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdm74 View Post
    I'm at the top of what I want to spend on a bike with the fsr.
    Sc looks like a nice bike but at least a grand more it should be, also no dealers in my area carry them
    Depends on what you're looking at the SJ is 3k the SC TBLT with R AM kit is $3k

    Not telling you what to do, but 3k is a lot of money, I'd look around and see what other dealers are in your area and test ride before buying. I wish I had, would have saved from me losing a bunch selling a 6 month old SJ.

    And don't go by MRSP. My LBS which sold me both bikes and there'd room to move on both bikes and he moved more on the SC then the Specialized.
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  26. #26
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    Do it!

  27. #27
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    This question seems to be a common problem. I had the same dilemna back in early 2012...Stumpjumper or Camber. I had decided to add a 29er and thought that a hardtail would be fine. I bought a Trek/Gary Fisher Cobia and initially liked it, but eventually decided that I really didn't like that riding style at all. I traded it in and thought long and hard between the SJ and the C. I have, and will continue to have a fast, light 26er, so it was important to me that this bike do most anything well. I bought my 2011 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp and I could not be happier with it.
    As was stated before, the hubs/wheels are probably the weakest link to the Comp's. My rear hub started squealing and moaning after awhile, but I was able to have the LBS do a wheel/hub hand build with substantially better components for less price that most wheels alone would cost because of the warranty. I am about to do the front as well and am getting some discounts because I've finally taken that plunge and have gone tubeless. Need to get the Stumpy up to date!

    The Stumpy at Rocky Hill Ranch outside of Austin, Texas...





  28. #28
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    I have a SJ comp.i wanted a true trail bike in my stable. I've got a ss rigid, a ss with a fox fork and wanted the other end of the spectrum. I really need something like a spearfish to round out the fleet. I had a Niner Jet RDO..sold it..i just really enjoy the ss. When i just want fun with gears and suspension i want travel as big travel = fun with thre SJ Fsr. If just one bike? I dont know, not sure how much difference between the two. GOOD LUCK, either way great bikes.
    I live in Utah use the SJ for desert riding.

  29. #29
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    Got a horse thief coming, couldn't pass it up for the deal I got on the 2012.

  30. #30
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    I got the camber comp today. XL. I was going thru the same debate. The $350 off sale sealed it for me. Bike sport shop in Austin thru Sunday has that deal. I had a 2009 fsr 29 prior and had sold it stupidly. Geometry wise, travel wise, the camber is closer to the 2009, I only had 100mm travel on that one.. so the 110 is better, the shock is in a better location. I plan to race it in a few xterras and norba races this year, so I didn't see the value in the longer travel.. plus, I can always buy another fork down the line if I want more.
    The other thing I initially hesitated on with the camber with the fact it has a QR in front. well, its not an old school 5mm QR.. its a solid 9mm thru QR. Which means I don't have to get a new rack. The 9mm is plenty beefy, 15mm blah blah.. there is probably a thread debating the stiffness of the solid 9mm thru vs the 15.. but I'm coming from a 5mm old style qr, so the 9mm thru / ratchet style deal also sold me. The rear is also 12 or 14mm.. can't remember which.. its beefy.
    I immediately ordered a riser, a drop post (Rockshox), and a niner beer cap top cap to get rid of the hideous neon yellow spider cap they have.
    The tires and rims are tubeless ready on the camber (haven't swapped it out yet).. comes with the stems, all you need is the juice/sealant, install the stems, and remove the tubes. I'm going to try the slime pro in lieu of stans and see how it goes..
    Stumpjumper wise.. if I could have afforded the elite, I would have gotten that instead.. brain, and the talas with the different travel settings.. but comparing hte camber comp vs stumpy comp.. I liked the camber better (and cheaper)

  31. #31
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    I bought a 2013 Carbon EVO Camber mainly based off reviews I had read. It is the only Camber I have seen in this area. Plenty of Epics and SJ's. That is part of why i got it, something different. Right after I got the bike the Spec guy came to town with the demo bikes, damn! I loved the SJ I rode but it was $10k S-works !!
    The camber works fine for me and this model came without a drop post which was fine with me. My friends who bought Specs with dropper posts ended up taking them off.
    If the path ahead looks dangerous ------- it probably is!

  32. #32
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    I have the SJ FSR 29 carbon comp. Very comfortable on 50+km rides. I reckon having more suspension is a plus. I posted a review on this bike on this site if that helps. 2013 model though.

    re hills, I ride in a club and am consistently in the top 3 if not the first to get up any climbs. The Fox CTD suspension is a real bonus not sure if you have that feature on the 2012 bike, don't want to throw you off but the CTD feature is well worth any extra $ for a 2013 model in the long run.

  33. #33
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    Thinking of upgrading from 2008 stumpy. Initially though about the carbon comp. But now tempted to go the al and get a good set of light wheels and some better shifter and brakes. Hopefully end up same weight and cost.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by coastermtb View Post
    Thinking of upgrading from 2008 stumpy. Initially though about the carbon comp. But now tempted to go the al and get a good set of light wheels and some better shifter and brakes. Hopefully end up same weight and cost.
    Either way (alu or carbon) it is an excellent frame. Ultimately you will get a lighter bike with carbon frame which comes stock with an excellent set of wheels anyways. As for the brakes, you can go lighter with upgrades but I am not sure that there will be much difference in performance. The stock Avid 5's on the carbon comp work really well, plenty of feel. in the meantime I am looking to upgrade my shifters to XT as I don't like the SLX (the body is too fat), and change the saddle which will happen first!

    Good Luck. BTW my size XL 2013 SJ FSR carbon comp weighs in at 12.7kg without pedals - however - I swapped the cranks and cassette for XO versions, part of the original purchase deal I made with the shop.

  35. #35
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    i've got a camber 26er and like it. its very maneuverable with a pretty short wheel base, 120mm travel. I didn't get a chance to demo the camber 29er but did ride the stumpy 29. i ride a lot of tight twisty tech stuff in the south and the stumpy with a longer wheelbase was a little more challenging than the other 29ers i rode. It was nice and in most cases you don't give up much of anything for the extra travel. to be fair though, i had trouble on this same new trail with my 26er. just as the stumpy has a little extra up front, the moments where you wouldn't mind having a little more are so brief you are down the trail before you're done thinking about it. i'm sure you'd be happy with either.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by coastermtb View Post
    Thinking of upgrading from 2008 stumpy. Initially though about the carbon comp. But now tempted to go the al and get a good set of light wheels and some better shifter and brakes. Hopefully end up same weight and cost.
    Quote Originally Posted by stepitup_onenotch View Post
    Either way (alu or carbon) it is an excellent frame. Ultimately you will get a lighter bike with carbon frame which comes stock with an excellent set of wheels anyways. As for the brakes, you can go lighter with upgrades but I am not sure that there will be much difference in performance. The stock Avid 5's on the carbon comp work really well, plenty of feel. in the meantime I am looking to upgrade my shifters to XT as I don't like the SLX (the body is too fat), and change the saddle which will happen first!

    Good Luck. BTW my size XL 2013 SJ FSR carbon comp weighs in at 12.7kg without pedals - however - I swapped the cranks and cassette for XO versions, part of the original purchase deal I made with the shop.
    He has the right idea, the carbon isn't full carbon frame. Taking the $1100 difference and buying the carbon wheelset is a much better ROI for the bike. Best place to lose weight is in the wheels.
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  37. #37
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    I owned both bikes. Both are great. I got the Camber and enjoyed the speed of it, but I eventually traded it for an SJ since I like to ride techier trails (I got a hardtail for speed). I think the SJ is a more conformtable bike for those long epic rides. I did a full review of both bikes on you my YouTube page. My channel is "Thejoncic". You can find my reviews there for a 2013 Camber and a 2013 SJ. Enjoy!

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