1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Spec Epic Comp vs Spec Camber Comp vs Trek Superfly 100 Al Elite

    My last mountain bike was a GF x-cal, my last road bike was a Spec Tarmac expert. An injury and illness forced me off the bike for the past 3 years but it's time to hop back on.

    in my initial research of a few local dealers with 2013 models in my size the 3 bikes that have really sparked my interest are as listed

    2013 Spec Epic Comp

    2013 Spec Camber Comp

    2013 Trek Superfly 100 AL Elite.

    All are the same Price ( $2000- $2050 )

    I have NOT ridden any of them yet, and I have zero experience on a FS bike.

    I DO want a 29er. Looking at spec, I'm not 100% in love with any one of them

    i DO have a strict budget of $2000 ( +/- 10 % )

    is the Epic to much "Race" machine? Do the Avid 3r really suck that bad on the Camber? Why the hell does the Trek have a triple crank and welds that look like they were done by a chimp on crack?

  2. #2
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    A teammate of mine ripped on an Epic.

    I'm content with my Avids and miss my granny.

    Demo the bikes. They'll have three different attitudes. I bet that becomes a lot more important to you than whether or not Trek felt like passing you the cost to grind their welds smooth.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  3. #3
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    Get the Camber, you won't be disappointed.
    Ride like you stole it!

  4. #4
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    Ride them all.
    I ride a 2013 Epic comp carbon. The Camber comp is what I started out looking for but I got a smokin deal on the epic which I hadn't tried up until then as it was out of my price range.
    It's a VERY well rounded race bike. The suspension is awesome and the 2013 has the autosag. The magura brakes work great and the clutch derailleur is a treat. (more common now on 2014 bikes I think)
    For whatever reason the rear freehubs in the newer Specis are hit or miss. Mine skips once or twice a ride. I've heard they're aware of the problem and are fixing them. I'll be taking advantage of that before my bike hits a year old.

    Can't say much about the Trek but everyone who I've met with a superfly hasn't a negative thing to say about them. I've been told the price is cheap for how well they ride.
    GTA
    Ontario

  5. #5
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    Oh man definitely ride them. Depends on where you live and what and how you ride. For me I am more of a Stumpy type of rider so I would hate the Epic, like seriously. I could get by with a Camber. But if I lived in, I dunno, Florida, maybe I'd eyeball the Epic.
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  6. #6
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    Get whichever fits you the best. Brand doesn't matter, and quite frankly, you really have to try to find a bad bike nowadays. The most important thing is to get something in your budget (because if you can't afford it, you should not be buying it), then fit (it doesn't matter how cool the paint job is are how good you've heard the brand is or how many 5-star reviews it gets. If the bike doesn't feel right, then it's not for you), and then components.
    2009 GT Sanction 2.0
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  7. #7
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    Well both the Epic and the Camber can fit him but that doesn't mean they will handle the same, because they definitely won't. But yeah you are correct about fit.
    Transition Bandit 29
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by XJaredX View Post
    Well both the Epic and the Camber can fit him but that doesn't mean they will handle the same, because they definitely won't. But yeah you are correct about fit.
    I guess this is ultimately my problem... Having no real experience on a FS bike and snow on the ground here in New England I just don't really know what I want.

    I'm not a daredevil and I have to go into work the next day so screaming fast descents and drops are not an interest. I prefer solitary riding, so keeping pace will only be within myself. I'm currently in poor shape, but when fit I preferred going uphill over down hill. I also don't plan on upgrading or buying another biker for a while so this one needs to fit the bill well... We do have lots of rocks in North central mass / Southern NH so I just don't know what to think

    the biggest interest at the moment is the Epic as I'm use to stiff carbon road bikes... I don't want to feel like I get a lot of pedal bob with the FS so the "brain" feature on the Epic is interesting

  9. #9
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Just wait until the spring if you won't ride outside over the winter.

    The only one I have saddle time on is a Camber. I can't remember the spec, I don't bother to ask at demo days. It's actually the bike that got me to take full suspension seriously as an option for me. I think part of it is the Autosag feature makes it easier for a tech at a demo day to rough in the suspension, but I liked the way that bike climbed and descended. While it's not supposed to be as racy as the Epic or Superfly, I can't say I felt like it gave up anything relative to the hardtail I was riding at the time.

    By spec alone, I'd be leaning toward the Superfly. Nice Shimano drivetrain, Fox Float shock, and while I'm too lazy to figure out what it is, looks like a Fox fork; they're very well-regarded.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Just wait until the spring if you won't ride outside over the winter.

    The only one I have saddle time on is a Camber. I can't remember the spec, I don't bother to ask at demo days. It's actually the bike that got me to take full suspension seriously as an option for me. I think part of it is the Autosag feature makes it easier for a tech at a demo day to rough in the suspension, but I liked the way that bike climbed and descended. While it's not supposed to be as racy as the Epic or Superfly, I can't say I felt like it gave up anything relative to the hardtail I was riding at the time.

    By spec alone, I'd be leaning toward the Superfly. Nice Shimano drivetrain, Fox Float shock, and while I'm too lazy to figure out what it is, looks like a Fox fork; they're very well-regarded.
    How much do you notice pedal bob with the Camber? I'm really nervous its going to feel to squishy

    Frankly I was ready to buy the trek before I looked at it, but the fit and Finnish really bothered me. I realize that might sound stupid, but I just can understand how you let a almost $3000 bike leave the factory looking like that..

    Bottom line is I can't go wrong with anything I buy, as it will better than I have right now (nothing)

  11. #11
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    It was an hour in June. I think I left it locked out on the half mile of road to the trailhead. On singletrack, I didn't notice anything. I don't remember the fire road climb - I'd done most of the climb on singletrack, so just a little linking section.

    I can't remember if I pedaled out of the saddle much. A lot of FS designs really fall apart when one does that.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikewadley View Post
    Get the Camber, you won't be disappointed.
    +1 on this!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    It was an hour in June. I think I left it locked out on the half mile of road to the trailhead. On singletrack, I didn't notice anything. I don't remember the fire road climb - I'd done most of the climb on singletrack, so just a little linking section.

    I can't remember if I pedaled out of the saddle much. A lot of FS designs really fall apart when one does that.
    Thank you kindly for the info and the Merckx quote in your signature line

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by **DRB** View Post
    How much do you notice pedal bob with the Camber? I'm really nervous its going to feel to squishy

    Frankly I was ready to buy the trek before I looked at it, but the fit and Finnish really bothered me. I realize that might sound stupid, but I just can understand how you let a almost $3000 bike leave the factory looking like that..

    Bottom line is I can't go wrong with anything I buy, as it will better than I have right now (nothing)
    I have a Spez hardtail and a Camber, and I really don't notice much difference when pedalling uphill, there is no "squishyness". I love my camber, it's an amazing all-around bike IMO.
    DaveH
    '13 Specialized Camber 29
    '11 Specialized Hardrock

  15. #15
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    And a 2013 Camber Comp ( in white ) it is! Just put down the deposit this afternoon, will pick it up in a few months

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by **DRB** View Post
    And a 2013 Camber Comp ( in white ) it is! Just put down the deposit this afternoon, will pick it up in a few months
    Are you getting a 2013 or 2014?
    Ride like you stole it!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikewadley View Post
    Are you getting a 2013 or 2014?
    2013

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by **DRB** View Post
    2013
    I love mine and the white gets lots of compliments.
    Ride like you stole it!

  19. #19
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    The Epic is more of a fast and furious XC bike. The Camber is more of an all rounder but still has that zippyness and aggression. You will have more fun on a Camber, the Epic geometry is designed for racing
    1993 Specialized Rock Hopper
    2014 S Works Camber 29er

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by postmaster-general View Post
    The Epic is more of a fast and furious XC bike. The Camber is more of an all rounder but still has that zippyness and aggression. You will have more fun on a Camber, the Epic geometry is designed for racing
    It really came down to what I "thought" I wanted and what I really should be on for what I expect from the bike. Quite frankly, Im out of shape... I havent been on my road bike for a long time and Ive been working crazy hours for work. So as much as this was a bike purchase, it was also a "me" purchase as I wanted to buy what i wanted because thats what "I" wanted. I rode the Trek, and its a really good bike. Its spec is arguably better than the camber comp for the same price, although I do like the SRAM on the Camber better.

    I wanted to like the Epic, and I did except the geometry was not really what I wanted and the "brain" was very cool for going up hill, but for where I will be riding it was really not a good fit for my experience level or what I wanted to get out of the bike ( its a better bike than I am rider)

    So, in the end it came down to the Superfly Elite, Camber comp and a Cannondale Rush 1. IMHO the Dale was a no contest 3rd place for the price and spec. Between the Trek and the Spec, I really like the "idea" of FOX but I couldnt tell the difference in real life. I did like the SRAM better than the Shimano on the Trek. I like the "idea" of the auto sag, I like the white on the Spec , I hated the ugly welds on the Trek. I have owned 4 Spec bikes in my life and put thousands of miles on them and never had an issue, I owned 1 gary fisher trek and the frame cracked at 350 miles and trek was a PITA to get my frame fixed. Biggest of all, I like the "recieved" simplicity and all around nature of the Spec with a brand I was comfortable with

    So, the dealer offered a better price on the Spec ( the dealer I like and has taken care of me on 3 other purchases ) And its a done deal.

    I need pedals, shoes, a camelback and some running shoes....

    I need the running shoes to get my asthmatic lungs ready for the abuse they are going to get once I pick up the new bike!

  21. #21
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    IMHO you've made the best choice. Enjoy and post some pics when you can.
    1993 Specialized Rock Hopper
    2014 S Works Camber 29er

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by **DRB** View Post
    So, the dealer offered a better price on the Spec ( the dealer I like and has taken care of me on 3 other purchases ) And its a done deal.

    I need pedals, shoes, a camelback and some running shoes....
    What did you pay for the Camber, if you don't mind telling.

    My exact same purchases after I got my bike, I got a set of Spank Spike pedals and some 510's. It doesn't need anything else.
    DaveH
    '13 Specialized Camber 29
    '11 Specialized Hardrock

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