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Specialized Camber Comp Carbon alternative

sanch3z_77sanch3z_77 Posts: 2
edited June 2018 in MTB buying advice
Cube Pro LTD 2016 27.5

- Fire trails
- Swinley forrest
- Roads
- Canal paths

- Short 10miles
- Long 60+miles

My riding is a mix of MTB and Road bike, however due to the condition of the roads and stamina benefits I’ve been spending more time on my MTB however after 3hrs in the saddle I’m starting to feel fatigued, not due to lack of fitness but due to my set-up. My current bike feels quite compressed and short, a riding buddy had a Specialized s-works carbon epic that I jump on towards the end to stretch out which I find a pleasure to ride. I’m aware I can tweak my bike to make things better but I feel I need something more suited to longer stints in the saddle. I don’t ride crazy downhills but like a few fast descents. I’m planning a trip to bike park Wales later in the year but won’t be going down anything too technical.

I’m after full sus, I know I’ll lose power but the advantage of less fatigue and greater comfort over a longer distance is preferable. Going from a Hardtail to full sus means carbon is the only choice as otherwise I’ll notice a huge weight gain.

I’ve ridden a few other bikes and really see the benefit of a single, for me it seems the way to go…

I’m happy with secondhand, ex-demo or new…

- fulls sus
- Single
- 29er
- Medium (5’10”)
- Carbon
- Good for long time in the saddle
- Trails/roads/basic downhill


I have been looking at Specialized Camber Comp Carbon 29er but there’s not many out there… Would love to hear people’s thoughts and opinions on this bike and possible alternatives as it’s a minefield.

Thanks in advance



  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,438
    I'd challenge one assumption straight away, " Going from a Hardtail to full sus means carbon is the only choice as otherwise I’ll notice a huge weight gain." Not so!

    I sold an alloy FS to a friend of mine and it was the same weight as his HT, same wheelsize, but 140mm for the FS vs 100mm fore the HT. Another assumption to challenge is that a carbon-framed bike is automatically lighter than an alloy one. Another friend had a carbon framed Norco Sight 650b 140mm FS; my Norco Sight 140mm FS alloy 26er was much lighter.

    The type of carbon matters, cheap carbon frames are heavier than expensive carbon frames. Likewise different alloy composition frames weigh different amounts. In addition, the finishing kit can weigh an astonishing amount different depending upon what it is. And don't forget the wheels! Rims, hubs, tyres, tubes it all adds up.

    In summary, check the bike's actual weight, you might be surprised. Keep your options open and you could save yourself a lot of money. Another point to make is that if you want a bike that you can ride for miles and miles, take the time to get one that fits you. Test ride as many as you can, and don't limit your options by assumptions that may not stand up. Go for light wheels. A pound saved on the wheels is worth 2-3x that on the bike. When you finally get the bike you want, go tubeless. Not only will you save weight in the best place to save it, but the bike will roll better and you will suffer less downtime overall.

    Finally, something I worked out ages ago, so the numbers may be different now. Weight saving costs money, about £1 per gram! Light stuff is more expensive than heavy stuff. "Strong, light, cheap - pick two"
  • batmobatmo Posts: 277
    I've had my Camber Comp Carbon 29er for just over four years now and I've been very happy with it.

    It's got what would be regarded today as an unfashionably steep head angle, but it's never seemed flighty or twitchy to me. The only thing I've really changed was to swap out the Formula brakes for some Shimano SLX ones. If I were riding more technical trails than I do, I suspect shortcomings of the forks would begin to show up.

    I find the Camber good to ride uphill and fairly often pass my lighter, lankier riding buddy on his Anthem. I'm not sure why they're not that popular, they just seem kinda overlooked...
    Viscount Grand Touring - in bits
    Trek ZX6500 - semi-retired
    HP Velotechnik Spirit
    Brompton M6
    Specialized Camber Comp
  • billycoolbillycool Posts: 833

    Welcome to the forum.

    As Steve says, carbon doesn't always mean lighter. It can depend on the other stuff on the bike. It's me he's referring to with regard to selling his 140mm FS alloy Norco and it weighing the same as my HT Spesh Stumpjumper.

    I actually rode the Norco today 30 miles on average paths, trails and tarmac (it's what's local to me right off my doorstep). No drama and nice and comfy. The frame is a 19" `large`. My HT is an 18" `medium` with a much older (2006) upright geometry. It feels a bit smaller and more compact than the Norco. It loves paths/trails etc and climbs really well but not so good on the DH stuff - just feel too far forward and the geometry makes it front heavy. It was never meant for that anyway.

    I rode the HT on a 30 mile charity ride in the winter and again felt no issues. It can feel a bit more cramped, so I understand where you are coming from with the need to stretch out. I'm 5`10" and right on the cusp of M/L depending on the bikes geometry. Not all bike sizing is the same.

    With more modern bikes - the slacker head angles seems to be all the rage. For me, one issue is that not all people want to go hooning down DH bike parks every weekend. Some of us (me included) ride fairly average stuff with the annual trip to BPW etc. Hardly a reason to buy a full on 150+mm DH rig.

    I'd suggest to look at the reach of a bike, as one M bike could be longer than another L. Try and work out what sort of reach fugures suit you and look at bikes can offer it.

    It's all a bit of a minefield at times - lots of choice and you'll get conflicting advice from most of us!

    If I hadn't bought the Norco, I was going to get a Camber - the spec is good (not as value for money as it used to be). 130mm travel is/was plenty for what you want to do. I think a lot of people get seduced by the 150/160mm Stumpy so the Camber gets overlooked. I know 2 Stumpy riders who have downsized to 120/130mm as they said the 150mm was too much for their normal riding. More is not always better.

    If you took carbon out of the equation, you'd have far more choice. I'm not saying don't go for carbon, but look at the weight of some lighter XC/Enduro bikes and see what you think.

    Ultimately, the bike has got to be right for you. You might end up with something you weren't expecting. I did. I'd never heard of Norco but tried the bike twice and we just gelled. Try not to be too prescriptive and see what comes along.

    By the way - I've been down BPW on my "I don't like DH" HT with 90mm forks, so just about any FS can cope with it. The blues flow really well and are well suited to a HT but they are still really quick and plenty of people get unplanned ejections. It was a lot more fun on a FS though.
    "Ride, crash, replace"
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    If you like the ride of the Epic make a note of its dimensions like reach and stack , and also what you like about the ride / spec. This will help guide you when deciding which bikes to look at. I have a camber comp 29 and it is faster than my previous XC hardtail once set up for my needs when riding on natural trails. I have not taken it anywhere with very long climbs off road yet but no problems so far.
  • 02gf7402gf74 Posts: 1,168
    Consider a carbon epic 29, it is the first step up from a hardtal, light and comfortable and will handle cross country terrain easily.
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