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  1. #1
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    Tell me about your Camber comp 29

    I am looking at moving to a 29er trail bike. The guys I ride with are killing me with their 29ers! I have been looking at Trek Superfly AL 100 Elite, Trek Rumblefish, Spec Stumpjumper. I have concerns the RF and SJ may be more bike than needed. The Superfly maybe too XC oriented. It seems the Camber has a sweet spot as a built XC/trail 29er. How is the fork for stiffness? I have some concerns with the stiffness and not having a 15qr. Brakes are below what I want but that can easily be corrected. What does the bike weigh in a size medium in stock form (with or without pedals)? How has the rear shock been holding up? I remember the Reba being a decent fork. I am 5'9 and weigh about 170 with gear.
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  2. #2
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    Can the crank arms be upgraded to the specialized carbon arms?
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  3. #3
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    I have only had my 13 Comp (aluminum) since December, but it has been great. I am a big guy... BIG at 310 and 6'4". I may not be the best measure, but I have no complaints about the Reba thus far. I would have LOVED to have a Fox 34 with the 15mm, but that has to wait. The rear shock is good too. No complaints. The brakes are below what I wanted too, but they have actually been pretty good (I broke them in carefully), but they will be swapped for some XTs in the future.

    I am not sure about the cranks (I have no plans on swapping them), but you can use X0 cranks (carbon) from SRAM, just not sure about the S Works cranks.

    If I were your weight, I would have likely ended up on a Rumblefish..... that said, I do REALLY love my Camber though.
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  4. #4
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    Why would you go witht the rumblefish if you were my size? I did see somewhere that Trek limits their weight on their bikes to 300lbs or so. I am a Trek fan but will demo other bikes. I wonder why Specialized pushes carbon frames so much. I would rather have better suspension and components than save one pound on a frame. I hear good things about X7/X9 shifters and like the 2x10. I rode a trek with a reba and it felt good but it did have a 15QR. Doesnt the camber have some OS28 front quick release thing?
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  5. #5
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    I would have gone with the Rumblefish because I was a Trek fanboy, no other reason... now, I would be more open minded. At my size, none of the Trek FS bikes were worth a damn. The DRCV shock may be great, but it doesn't handle a larger clyde at all. The Rumblefish Elite also came with (what I felt at the time) a better trim level.

    I have since changed my mind about the trim level. The X7/X9 on my Camber is great. The Type 2 rear derailleur is amazing, and I never realized how quiet a bike could really be. If I am pedaling (no hub noise), the bike is large silent on descents. I replaced the shifters because I have carpel that makes my thumbs hurt if I use them too much. After a longer ride, I would almost not be able to even pick up my car keys to drive home with the old XTR shifters I had on the last bike. I went back to gripshift on that bike and it was a game changer for me, so I didn't fool around with thumb shifters on my new bike.

    I debated on the Carbon Comp vs the aluminum model. Maybe prior to 2013, I could have justified the carbon because it was 1-2 pounds lighter, but the new M5 frame narrowed that to ~0.5 pounds in 2013. I felt like the $1200 difference was too much just to say I had a carbon bike (and I love sexy carbon).

    The new suspension design of the aluminum frames also just feels better to me. My observations (of course you will be different because of the weight difference) went like this:

    1. Stumpjumper FSR Comp - Freaking pogo stick of a rear end. Most would call it very plush, but I was coming from lifelong hard tails, so the Stumpy felt like an old Buick with blown rear shocks. Just too bouncy for me.

    2. Camber Carbon Comp - Much nicer than the FSR. The rear end felt more solid with no pogo action. The bike was crisp but it still kind of felt awkward because the initial jolt from a bump reminded me of my soft tail (Trek STP200) a bit. Prior to my LBS getting a 2013 aluminum comp, this was going to be THE bike I would purchase.

    3. 2013 Camber Comp Al - The rear end is much more active than the carbon model IMHO. The bike is stiff, accelerates well and I have never been freaked out by it flexing under my weight. I forget it is a full suspension bike because it works well, pedals great and with the auto-sag (even at my size) setting it up is stupid easy. Everything I liked about the carbon model was here plus the rear end is a touch more plush/active.

    Specialized does have the OS28. My last fork was an ancient Rock Shox Judy Race with 28mm legs, so I can't tell you how the OS28 compares to a 15mm axle. I can tell you that I have no complaints about the fork thus far. The ONLY problem I foresee is that the OS28 end caps mean I need a fork that is compatible with OS28 end caps if I replaced the fork.... or I can build a new wheel to go with the fork. I think the stock wheels are fine although heavy, but the OS28 does limit my upgrade path without replacing the fork.

    My planned path for the bike goes like this in upgrade steps:

    1. Gripshift X0 shifters (done)
    2a. Stronger rear wheel (Hope Pro 2 Evo hubs and Flow EX rims later this year)
    2b. Replace brakes (Shimano XT with the euro spec XT trekking levers to clear the shifters I run; later this year)
    3. Stronger front wheel and maybe replace the fork for a thru axle (same hub and rim, fork is undecided)

    I would love to have the Fox 34mm TALAS fork, but I am not sure I want the weight penalty. Step 3 is VERY sketchy right now as I have no reason to replace the fork so long as the hub doesn't grenade itself since now one makes a better OS28 compatible hub. Much of the upgrade path is based on my current weight and expected weaknesses of the bike as a result. The nice thing about riding, I will continue to lose weight and these problems may change. I don't want to replace anything for a while so I can figure out better what the real weaknesses will be... the only thing I want to replace for no other reason are the brakes. The Elixer 3s have been good, but they do get noisy (even after breaking them in right) if they get dirty... it is off road biking, they get dirty. I have to clean them every ride with alcohol to keep them clean of dirt and grime.
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  6. #6
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    Hopefully that all makes sense.... it is early and I need more caffeine.
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  7. #7
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    Hi Knight511, nice review!

    What size are u riding? XL? XXL? How do you feel for it?

  8. #8
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    Good write up. I am going to the southeast bike expo this weekend. The spec demo team is supposed to have a camber pro there. I will test it. Too bad they dont have something more in line to my price point. The camber pro is $8k! I wonder how the rock shox rear shock compares to FOX float RP2? The Trek demo team has a Rumblefish pro and a Superfly 100 AL elite on the trailer. The fork QR kind of bothers me on the Camber comp. I know they will do away with it in 2014. It will go 15qr. I will talk to the specialized guy and maybe he can make for sense of it for me. Honestly I dont want all the gimic suspension stuff. I just want rebound and compression adjustment in a reliable package. It also needs to be smooth compression which I remember the reba being a touch smoother than a fox float. My first upgrades would be brakes and tubeless. Maybe SLX or XT before it even hits the trail. Maybe tires also....but I would have to see them in person. Can someone shed some light on X7/X9 vs shimano? What is the type 2 and what do you mean by quiet? Chain slap?
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  9. #9
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    I also wonder how the camber will be compared to the Superfly 100 AL elite? 110mm travel in the back and 100mm in the front. There I get fox shocks with CTD, 15QR front but no 142x12 rear (frame is capable though), SLX brakes, no 2x10 gearing, for just over $100 more. I have read the Superfly makes a better trail bike than it is given credit for.
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  10. #10
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    Type 2 is the clutch that kills chain slap. As far as Shimano v SRAM, I feel like it comes down to which shifter you like. The rest of the drivetrain functions very similar.

    I ride an XL Camber. My STP200 was a tad small for me, so this felt like a monster when I first got it. Now it feels like home. An XXL would have been way too big for me.

  11. #11
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    I am far from a stud in the bike, but the 2x10 has been great. 36/22 works really well on the 29er IMHO. Fwiw, I spend all my time in the 36 tooth gear up front.

  12. #12
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    I don't know why I haven't thought of this before, but if the Reba keeps me happy, I can also just replace the lowers to get a maxle front axle. That would only be ~$200 instead of $700+...

  13. #13
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    I am a Trek fanboy coming from a ex8 26er. I believe I have decided on a 2013 camber comp. I have done my research and believe it fits my riding style. Seems like everyone i ride with is now killing me and they all have 29ers so this seams like a good path forward for me. I did a demo ride on the camber comp and believe it will be prefect once i do a few upgrades ztr wheelset, xt brakes, carbon bar etc.

    My buddy i ride with has 3 bikes and he perfers the camber to them all. He has a 2012 carbon stumpjumper, 2012 carbon epic and carbon camber 2012. Afer the demo the only thing that i thought that was a negative was the brakes and already had my mind made up even before the test ride that i would want to swap out the brakes. I will give them a chance with proper breakin to really give them a fair chance.

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