Specialized Camber Review
Mountain bikers seem to be on the quest for the perfect bike all the time; at ERIK’S we’re excited to offer best all-around mountain bikes for the Midwest rider in the Specialized men’s Camber and women’s Rumor models. Over the next two posts, we’ll detail what makes these bikes ideal for mountain biking not only in the Midwest, but many of your favorite local trails.
The Specialized Camber can handle whatever you throw at it and it looks good while doing it. A far cry from the straight framed cro-moly mountain bikes of our youth, this curvy bike is sure to draw some envious stares. With both alloy and carbon fiber frame options there are many ways to get on a Camber and have a blast. Whichever frame material you choose the Camber is a bike that you can ride as hard as you want – find your edge and the Camber will roll right up to it.
With the Camber, Specialized has engineered a full suspension bike that is easy to setup and a blast to ride. 110 mm of travel in the fork ensures control on contact and lets riders blast down trails with confidence. A lot of full suspension bikes seem to require advanced degrees to set the shock pressures and adjust the sag on rear shocks, which factors your weight into the amount of recoil; not the Camber. Specialized teamed up with Fox Shocks to create a proprietary system to set auto-sag and dial in the correct pressure. Just pump up the rear shock, sit on the bike, open the bleed valve, close the bleed valve when the air stops coming out and go ride.
Everything old is new again, and for 2016 Specialized is reintroducing a smaller wheel to the Camber family; this time as the wider, gnarlier 650b option. Whether you choose the 29er or the 650b it is clear that the Camber is beautifully engineered and refined. Specialized’s continued integration of tools and storage into their bikes has quickly moved past gimmicky to ingenious. If the devil is in the details, than the Camber is truly devilish; from the SWAT integrated multitool and bottle cage to the top cap made of a chain breaker and replacement master links. These spare parts and storage options means you can venture further out with less weight, freeing up space for sustenance or fluids.
New for 2016 is the SWAT downtube storage, getting more gear off you and putting it to use lowering the center of gravity. The Command Post IR (a mouthful of a name for a dropper seat post)is spec’ed on key models including the Comp Carbon and Expert is a great addition, solving the age old mountain biking dilemma of choosing a seat height that is comfortable climbing or descending but never both. The Command Post gives you the best of both worlds, letting you drop the post to bomb a hill and then pop it up to rest on a climb.
My experience. After a quick and easy transition to tubeless, as simple as pulling out the tube, replacing the presta valve with the included adapter and adding some Stan’s No Tubes, the range of rideable pressures has made this bike even more versatile. The Camber is a shred-machine.