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  1. #1
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    Need bike advice! Upgrade/repair, or buy new - and if new, what?!?!

    Hey all!

    I currently have a 2011 Specialized Camber Expert, which is in need of some maintenance. It seems technology (and fads) have changed a bit since I bought this bike - so I'm not sure what to do. I'm a very similar rider to the person asking a similar question in the post just below mine - 6'1", 225 lbs, intermediate/expert (used to race NORBA in the 90's, first race bike was an Answer Manitou HT and a Univega M7.3), mixed XC and all-mountain use. My options, as I see it, are one of the two below...

    Option 1: Maintenance on the Camber.
    This would mean a new wheels as I popped a spoke and knocked the rear wheel badly out of true...new chain and chainrings, possibly cranks and BB at the same time if it makes sense. Uncertain on the condition of the forks and rear shock; they work, but I'm sure they aren't as supple as a new bike. I also need new rotors and pads (upgraded to M785 XT's but I've toasted the OE pads and rotors are warped). Frame feels solid, but I haven't checked the condition of the bushings/pivots. What scares me about this is buying compatible parts...3x10 cranksets seem to have gone the way of the Dodo, for example. And 26" wheels are hard to come by. 2011 Camber specs are here: https://www.specialized.com/us/en/camber-expert/p/33546


    Option 2: Buy a new bike.
    I would be looking in the $1500 price range, with a hard ceiling of $2k. have NO IDEA what decent XC/all mountain/freeride bikes are out in that price range, and haven't been current on MTB happenings since...oh...2005. lol. I could swap my XT brakes over to the new bike if they are compatible (and assuming a $1500 bike has cheap-ish brakes).

    So...what would you recommend? Please let me know what you think. Thank you in advance!
    2016 Diamondback Catch 2
    2011 Specialized Camber Expert

  2. #2
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    If it's a labor of love and you'd enjoy doing the work on the Camber (all of it), do it. IMO, paying to have it done would make no sense. If you want a new bike, get a new bike. Shopping around and getting a good deal, $2k might do it, but $2.5k would give you more options. Personally, I've never regretted splurging, only cheaping out.
    Do the math.

  3. #3
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    $1500-$2k for a HT? You can work with that.

    $1500-$2k for a new FS? I could make it happen for $2k, barely, but that involves patience for deals and building the wheels.

  4. #4
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    Yeah, I'm realizing the selection is slim. Holy crap, bikes have gotten so expensive! I paid $1k for my very lightly used Camber, and it's really been a great bike.

    I'm looking at the Diamond Back Catch 2, @ about $2500. I'm not sure where to find the best deals on bikes these days, and I'm not up to building anything - I would need to buy an entire set of tools, and I've got a project car in the garage with the engine torn apart that requires my attention right now.

    The 27.5+ looks appealing as I'm 225 lbs and fairly hard on my bikes - so the wider rim and more tire volume seems like a good idea for handling more weight/abuse.

    Thank you so far - keep the advice coming!
    2016 Diamondback Catch 2
    2011 Specialized Camber Expert

  5. #5
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    https://m.vitalmtb.com/product/guide...t-reviews/3222

    Obviously not a xc bike but....
    If your not racing you can (IMO) substantially increase your fun factor for around your price point.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    https://m.vitalmtb.com/product/guide...t-reviews/3222

    Obviously not a xc bike but....
    If your not racing you can (IMO) substantially increase your fun factor for around your price point.
    That does look like a nice bike! Just not sure I'll be able to find one to demo in my area (WA).
    2016 Diamondback Catch 2
    2011 Specialized Camber Expert

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by L8 APEKS View Post
    That does look like a nice bike! Just not sure I'll be able to find one to demo in my area (WA).
    Your not, they're consumer direct. If it came down between that or the DB there's no contest IMO.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

  8. #8
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    ...I managed to find a new clearance model DB Catch 2 for $1800. This seems like a *fantastic* deal. Should I jump on it??
    2016 Diamondback Catch 2
    2011 Specialized Camber Expert

  9. #9
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    Welp...I did it. It has great spec for the price, and it was the least expensive option - this was crucial as I really shouldn't be buying a bike right now. But, it was either put $400-$700 my 2011 26" bike, or this...for $1799. Clearance on a 2016 model.

    DB Catch 2:



    I'm stoked! I'll slowly tune up the Camber to have as a backup bike.
    2016 Diamondback Catch 2
    2011 Specialized Camber Expert

  10. #10
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    Looks like a solid choice.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by L8 APEKS View Post
    Welp...I did it. It has great spec for the price, and it was the least expensive option - this was crucial as I really shouldn't be buying a bike right now. But, it was either put $400-$700 my 2011 26" bike, or this...for $1799. Clearance on a 2016 model.

    DB Catch 2:



    I'm stoked! I'll slowly tune up the Camber to have as a backup bike.
    I'm kinda jealous. I'm always skeptical of a FS bike under $2500, but you managed to buy a $2500 mountain bike for $1800, so you probably got a whole lot of bike for the money. The 2017 model has a Pike fork, which is nearly $900 by itself.

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