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  1. #1
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    2012 Stumpy FSR Comp 29 vs. 2012 Camber Comp 29

    This post regards 29ers only.

    I own a 2012 Stumpy FSR Comp 29. I ride mostly in the phoenix desert. I love the bike. Stopped in my LBS and they let me try demo Camber Comp 29 because I was curious (Thanks SMC!). I also want to try the Stumpy EVO 29, but have not had the opportunity yet. I thought someone out there may be comparing these two bikes and thought I would contribute my thoughts.

    First off I have several hundred hours in on the stumpy (got it end of November 2011) and only a few hours on the camber. But here are my first observations…

    Note I used my pedals and seat. Set the shocks on the same pressures. Baselined the rebound settings off the stumpy. Bars are the same.

    I am biased toward the stumpy (before the ride), being that I purchased it

    I had the bike weighed at the shop. XL and just over 29 lbs. Same as the stumpy…but that was with tubes, so the camber may weight a little less.

    Did a quick check with a tape measure of the key geometry differences. Chainstay is about a half inch shorter and the wheel base is about 1.5 inches shorter on the camber. Front shock has 1 inch less travel (100 mm camber vs. 130 mm stumpy). Bottom bracket is about 3/4 inch lower on the camber.

    What I felt and observed…

    I thought the camber would be a better climber. I did not feel this. Strava shows I was 30 seconds slower on the camber for a 10 min climb.

    I thought it would not descend as well. Surprisingly, it felt on par for my decent speed on the same run with the stumpy. Strava does show that I am 15 seconds slower on a 4min decent with the camber.

    I felt more small-bump chatter. I bottomed out the shocks during the ride as evidenced by the rubber gage rings, but I did not ‘feel’ it during the ride. I do bottom out the stumpy, but not on every ride.

    What really stood out to me was cornering…to me the camber clearly wins here. Tight switchbacks took less concentration for me. Flow-ey high speed down-hills seemed very tight.

    Overall the camber is a great bike. I really liked how the reduced amount of slack (more vertical headtube angle) largely improved cornering over the stumpy. And I thought my descents would be much poorer than what actually resulted.

    I need to note that I do not like how the welds look on the camber, but this is just visual…can’t imagine it would result in a frame failure.

    Conclusion: Spend most of your times in tight turns…consider the camber first. Spend most of your time descending and on technical…consider the stumpy first. Strangely, I think either would work for the occasional race and both have to be much more ‘rounded’ or flexible to varying riding conditions than the Epic. While I think I would like to ride the Stumpy EVO on serious descents, I think the camber and stumpy are better choices for most conditions.

    Hope this is helpful.
    Last edited by bikestok; 04-12-2012 at 10:03 PM.

  2. #2
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    Nice write up, I'd agree with you on most points, but for me the Camber was a better climber. Its a toss up based on where and how you ride though, can't go wrong either way.
    Hardrock 29er, Niner EMD9, Cannondale F29, Camber Expert, 650b Nickel all gone.
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 here.

  3. #3
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    thanks for the write up. I actually am having the camber/stumpy dilemma right now. I am looking to get one of these bikes in the next month or so. I rode a stumpy comp today, and later rode a camber comp 29. I have to admit they felt very similar to me overall and I expected to feel more of a difference. I was hoping I would get off one and be able to say that one was better than the other.
    Sunday i will attend a demo day and try both on the trail. Hopefully that will produce an answer for me.

    I overall think I may go with a 26' just because I feel more at home on one. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated in helping me decide between stumpy comp or camber comp/elite possibly.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kabob King View Post
    thanks for the write up. I actually am having the camber/stumpy dilemma right now. I am looking to get one of these bikes in the next month or so. I rode a stumpy comp today, and later rode a camber comp 29. I have to admit they felt very similar to me overall and I expected to feel more of a difference. I was hoping I would get off one and be able to say that one was better than the other.
    Sunday i will attend a demo day and try both on the trail. Hopefully that will produce an answer for me.

    I overall think I may go with a 26' just because I feel more at home on one. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated in helping me decide between stumpy comp or camber comp/elite possibly.

    I would at least try a 29er. I hated them after a parking lot ride, but after actually getting one on a trail, I ended up buying one.

    Depends on what you plan on doing. For 90% of my riding a Camber would do, but a few times a year my friend and I like to got to a resort and do some lift runs, that's when the Stumpjumper will shine compared to the Camber. Since, having the extra travel isn't hurting my XC riding, it's nice to have the travel if you need it.
    13 Lenz Lunchbox punkass

  5. #5
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    Update:

    Today I went to a specialized demo day and rode both the 29r versions of the stumpjumper/camber. Both are great bikes and felt great underneath me. The biggest difference I could tell was the camber felt like it climbed a little better and the stumpy was a little better on the descents The trail was slightly damp and had a lot of roots and a few rocks here and there. After I had a great conversation with the specialized rep. He was saying that he felt I was more a camber guy based on my riding and needs and I am the type of rider its really made for. I am leaning towards the 26r since I found jumping the 29r just wasn't as much fun.
    Probably looking to pick the bike up in the next two weeks.

  6. #6
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    Kabob King, both are fantastic bikes, you will not be disappointed with either choice. I was expecting to find the camber to be a better climber and the stumpy to be a better decender, but for me that did not stand out too much – I think the bikes are much closer than I expected. The tight cornering was better on the camber. The stumpy feels a little plusher, and I think I like that (note, not talking about travel here, more the small bump feeling).

    Great to talk directly to a rep like that who can direct you in the right way.

    I agree on the 29/26 deal. It depends on where you ride and what riding style you prefer. I would agree that a 26er is much more ‘flickable’ – jumping, throwing around type stuff. I find I am about 1.5 mph faster on average for a long ride on my 29ers (I have two of them) vs. my 26, but so many factors play in there. I am also very tall, so a 29 just feels proportional to me.

  7. #7
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    Front shock has 1 inch less travel (100 mm camber vs. 130 mm stumpy). Bottom bracket is about 3/4 inch lower on the camber.
    [
    I need to note that I do not like how the welds look on the camber, but this is just visual…can’t imagine it would result in a frame failure.

    [

    The 29 Camber is 110mm front travel, not 100mm

    In regard to the frame design differences, other than the clear differences in the linkages that define the rear travel, if you compare closely the Stumpy frame is far more refined than the Camber. Fewer welds. A new an better way to connect the linkage to the back of the rear shock in tension for more longevity. What at least looks like a significantly lower stand-over height although the numbers may beg to differ (I have not checked). Also, the shock on the stumpy has the new auto-sag feature. If in 2013 they refine the frame and add auto-sag I will be looking hard at the Camber 29 for something different to ride.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stumpjumper61 View Post
    Front shock has 1 inch less travel (100 mm camber vs. 130 mm stumpy). Bottom bracket is about 3/4 inch lower on the camber.
    [
    I need to note that I do not like how the welds look on the camber, but this is just visual…can’t imagine it would result in a frame failure.

    [

    The 29 Camber is 110mm front travel, not 100mm

    In regard to the frame design differences, other than the clear differences in the linkages that define the rear travel, if you compare closely the Stumpy frame is far more refined than the Camber. Fewer welds. A new an better way to connect the linkage to the back of the rear shock in tension for more longevity. What at least looks like a significantly lower stand-over height although the numbers may beg to differ (I have not checked). Also, the shock on the stumpy has the new auto-sag feature. If in 2013 they refine the frame and add auto-sag I will be looking hard at the Camber 29 for something different to ride.

    See better for some is worse for others. That 'better' linkage creates upgrade problems. If you looking at 29ers, hope you love that Triad.
    13 Lenz Lunchbox punkass

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    See better for some is worse for others. That 'better' linkage creates upgrade problems. If you looking at 29ers, hope you love that Triad.
    Excellent point, I thought of that the second I saw that design. A downside of evolution.

  10. #10
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    26" Camber will do it all. Very happy with the bike.

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