Specialized Camber vs Camber Comp- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Specialized Camber vs Camber Comp

    First off, I'll admit I don't know much about mountain biking. I've been riding for a couple months on a specialized Hardrock Sport Disc.

    I'm not 100% satisfied with the bike. I've bottomed out the front shock going down hill. The trail I ride often has a rooted down hill section and the roots kind of form steps. This seems to be too much for the Hardrock.

    Also, the bike seems loose going down faster, rough, downhill sections....chain slapping around, wearing off paint.

    I'm also not happy with the ground clearance. I'm constantly whacking the pedals on roots and rocks when pedaling.

    Another thing I'm not totally satisfied with is the shifting. I don't know how to explain it, it just doesn't seem smooth.

    That being said, I recently tried out a friends new Stumpjumper. It was an XL and I usually ride a L, but it gave me an idea of what a full suspension bike feels like.

    I really liked the way the stumpjumper shifted. This really stood out to me.

    At $3k, the stumpjumper is out of my price range so I started to look towards the Camber. What I'm toying with now is which version, the base model or the Comp. What are the major differences and is the Comp worth the additional $600-$800?

    Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    First of all, before you go throw down a couple grand on a new bike, there are a few things you can do to remedy some of the issues you're having with your Hardrock.

    1. Bottoming out: What's your weight? If you're over ~180lbs, look into getting a heavier spring put into your fork. Or just get a new fork with a more adjustable air spring system (Rock Shox Recon or Reba, Manitou Tower/Minute). Also try to keep your weight back when going downhill.

    2. Going downhill: get out of the saddle, try to put as much weight over your rear wheel, and maintain your speed. The slower you go, the rougher it will feel, as counterintuitive as that sounds.

    3. Bike feels loose/chain slapping: to help with the looseness, keep your weight heavy on the pedals as you descend. Drop your heels to aid traction and stability. Chain slap can't really be eliminated without upgrading to a 10 speed drivetrain and a clutch derailleur, but a chainstay protector (you can make one out of an old inner tube, some zip ties, and electrical tape) will quiet it down and protect your paint.

    4. Ground clearance: can't help you there. The Camber will give you about 3cm more clearance over the Hardrock (assuming you have the Hardrock 29)

    5. Shifting performance: a drivetrain upgrade would help, but just replacing the shift cables might give you a bit better performance.

    With that said, if you'd still like an upgrade, I'd strongly recommend giving the Camber a miss unless you can get a 2013 Comp. The 2014 models are horribly specced for the price. Instead, take a look at the Giant Trance 29er 2. It's specced slightly better than the Camber Comp for close to the price of the base Camber. Trek's Fuel EX 5 (or EX 6 if you don't mind a 26er) is another good option.

  3. #3
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    I would second the above point on looking towards other brands. But if you feel like sticking with specialized, I would go for the comp and not the base model. The base model has a terrible fork, brakes, and drive train. IMO if you are going to shell out your precious dollars, you might as well be sure you're getting your moneys worth. Don't drop that much on the camber base model... The comp level has better components... But at $2600, it really is crap on the spec... X5 everywhere, tektro brakes... I would look at the Trance X.... The Fuel EX 7 29 from trek has Fox suspension and Deore on spec at least....

    I would not drop $$$ into your current bike if you are looking for a substantial upgrade however... Esp a fork... too much $$$ for being left with much of the same bike

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the info. I would like to avoid dumping too much money into my $600 Hardrock. The main reason I'm looking at specialized is only because the lbs I deal with mainly carries them and they offer 0% financing I've already been approved for. They are offering the 2013 Comp model at a reduced price of $2200. So that's something for me to keep in mind.

    Another shop I spoke to yesterday also mentioned the Trek Fuel EX 7 29 and gave me a prices of $2500. Are the Deore components much better than those on the Camber Comp? It seems the shocks on the fuel are nicer as both front and rear offer the CDT settings, although I'm not sure I'd use them now, perhaps they'd be nice to have as my skill set improves.

    I guess I'm just looking for something a little more robust with some room to grow.

    Thanks again for the info.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by moopey View Post
    Thanks for the info. I would like to avoid dumping too much money into my $600 Hardrock. The main reason I'm looking at specialized is only because the lbs I deal with mainly carries them and they offer 0% financing I've already been approved for. They are offering the 2013 Comp model at a reduced price of $2200. So that's something for me to keep in mind.

    Another shop I spoke to yesterday also mentioned the Trek Fuel EX 7 29 and gave me a prices of $2500. Are the Deore components much better than those on the Camber Comp? It seems the shocks on the fuel are nicer as both front and rear offer the CDT settings, although I'm not sure I'd use them now, perhaps they'd be nice to have as my skill set improves.

    I guess I'm just looking for something a little more robust with some room to grow.

    Thanks again for the info.
    They need to get their pencils sharper! You can get a Fuel EX 8 29er for $2500 if you look hard enough. That Ex7 should be in the $2200 neighborhood, IMO. That camber comp 2013 at $2200 for a leftover bike? Thats just not good enough.
    For me Id rather have the Fox , shimano setup over Rockshox and Sram. Also I like the Suspension design of the fuel over Camber. Different strokes for different folks
    Last edited by Raven7; 10-16-2013 at 08:00 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by moopey View Post
    Thanks for the info. I would like to avoid dumping too much money into my $600 Hardrock.
    Fair enough. Most of what I mentioned was technique though. A new spring for your fork should run you around $20 plus labor (unless you do it yourself), and a shift cable kit is around $20-$30 as well. Both of those would possibly help you with some of your issues, especially combined with some improved technique.

    They are offering the 2013 Comp model at a reduced price of $2200. So that's something for me to keep in mind.
    The 2013 Comp was one of the best-specced bikes at its MSRP last year. The 2014, on the other hand, is terrible. I'd expect a bit more of a discount on an old model though. MSRP was $2600, and I think my LBS was selling them for around $2400 last year.

    Another shop I spoke to yesterday also mentioned the Trek Fuel EX 7 29 and gave me a prices of $2500. Are the Deore components much better than those on the Camber Comp? It seems the shocks on the fuel are nicer as both front and rear offer the CDT settings, although I'm not sure I'd use them now, perhaps they'd be nice to have as my skill set improves.
    The Fuel is a massive improvement over the 2014 Camber Comp, but sits pretty much on the same level as the 2013. The drivetrain on the 2013 Comp is a step up, but the suspension on the Fuel is arguably better. Your shops seem to be pretty stingy with discounts though - that's only 5% off MSRP for the Fuel. Most shops I deal with try to do around 10%.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raven7 View Post
    They need to get their pencils sharper! You can get a Fuel EX 8 29er for $2500 if you look hard enough. That Ex7 should be in the $2200 neighborhood, IMO. That camber comp 2013 at $2200 for a leftover bike? Thats just not good enough.
    For me Id rather have the Fox , shimano setup over Rockshox and Sram. Also I like the Suspension design of the fuel over Camber. Different strokes for different folks
    They indicated they didnít have any in stock, but they could still order the 2013 model from Specialized. Should I try to negotiate the price? Iím not familiar with what the actual cost to the bike shop is. Iíve called a couple places further from home and the lowest price has been $2100 for the 2013 Camber Comp.



    Quote Originally Posted by coleam View Post
    Fair enough. Most of what I mentioned was technique though. A new spring for your fork should run you around $20 plus labor (unless you do it yourself), and a shift cable kit is around $20-$30 as well. Both of those would possibly help you with some of your issues, especially combined with some improved technique.


    The 2013 Comp was one of the best-specced bikes at its MSRP last year. The 2014, on the other hand, is terrible. I'd expect a bit more of a discount on an old model though. MSRP was $2600, and I think my LBS was selling them for around $2400 last year.


    The Fuel is a massive improvement over the 2014 Camber Comp, but sits pretty much on the same level as the 2013. The drivetrain on the 2013 Comp is a step up, but the suspension on the Fuel is arguably better. Your shops seem to be pretty stingy with discounts though - that's only 5% off MSRP for the Fuel. Most shops I deal with try to do around 10%.
    Iíll look into these modifications. I do want to keep the Hardrock for recreational riding. My wife and I go camping and itíd be nice to have a trail bike to bring that doesnít cost thousands of dollars. As for my technique, it definitely needs work. Haha. Like I said Iím new.

    Iíll keep doing my research. Iím leaning more towards the Trek fuel right now. Seems more bang for my buck.

  8. #8
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    Pm sent to you Moopey!

  9. #9
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    I ended up purchasing the 2013 Specialized Camber Comp. I did like the features of the Fuel, but it was hair above my price range and would of required applying for financing which I already had at the shop that sells specialized.

    I liked the drivetrain of the camber but liked the suspension of the fuel. I think I'll be happier with the better drivetrain. I do however wish the Camber had the thru axle design on front and rear wheels, for some reason it's only only the rear wheel.

    I was able to get the 2013 for $2100 and they ordered it from Specialized. I'm hoping to have it by this weekend but who knows.

  10. #10
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    I cross shopped the Camber, Trance and the Fuel as well when I was looking for a 29er trail bike. Rode them all and decided upon the Fuel EX 7.....$3400 cdn with the Reverb seat post (yes, I know....damn distributors in Canada make a killing). I have to say that the Camber and Trance rode very nice as well, but I wound up with the Fuel as it simply fit me better (plus I'm a fan of the black and neon green
    Either way, I'm sure you'll enjoy the Camber....post some pics!

    2007 Rocky Mountain Slayer
    2013 Trek Fuel EX7
    2012 Devinci Wilson RC

  11. #11
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    Picked up my Camber Comp today. It's a beautiful bike. Almost didn't want to get it dirty.....almost. haha.

    The shop helped me set up the suspension and I tossed on some pedals and immediately hit the trails. It's going to take some time to get used to the shifting and gearing compared to my previous Hardrock, but I had fun. I didn't realize that you can downshift 2 gears at once. That through me off for a while. haha. I liked the suspension and the bike felt lighter than I thought it would.

    All in all I'm pleased. I'm looking forward to progressing with this bike.

    Here is a pic after my ride. I had to use my old red pedals because I was waiting for a set of Canfield Crampons....which were sitting in the mailbox all day. haha.
    Specialized Camber vs Camber Comp-2013-camber.jpg

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