Review: 2013 Specialized Camber

29er All Mountain Trail Pro Reviews

Cable routing is something you don’t think about but with most other bike brands until they cause trouble They start making noise, causing binding, rubbing the frame, etc.  But with the Camber,  the cables are just down there, working smoothly out of the way under the downtube.  In fact,  they’re actually doing a secondary job of protecting the downtube against sharp, flying rocks on big downhills. This system is like having internal cable routing without the installation/maintenance nightmares.

Gearing is well-conceived too. The front is 22-36 and the rear is 11-36.  This is a modern 2×10 gearing specific to this kind of 29er trail bike.  There really is no better combination for the vast majority of riders.  If one is very powerful with an ultralight Camber, maybe a switch to 24-38 front is appropriate.

No bike is perfect right? So let’s talk about some things folks might not like about the Camber.

  • Front fork/wheel is skewer type. Specialized solves the stiffness equation with their big skewer and extra large cup flanges but compatibility with other forks and wheels in the stable can become an issue as most modern trail bikes have switched over to 15 mm thru axle. The thru axle is much easier to install and remove too. 
  • Suspension design has no stable platform. The Camber can bob when the shock is wide open and the rider is mashing the pedals or out of saddle. The rear shock has been finely tuned now for the frame but flicking the lever once in a while will be required for optimum climbing
  • Specialized, saddle, tires, grips. Some folks see this as a downside as they go single brand for the whole bike. The good news is every single component can hold its own and are worthy of putting on other dream bikes of different brands.
  • No 26er models. Specialized has pushed the limits of fit for full suspension 29ers. But if you’re close to 5 feet tall, it is a stretch.

Bottom Line:
So that’s really the Camber in a nutshell as it’s the right amount of bike for most applications.

Models and Pricing

About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.

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    very cool

  • pimpbot says:

    You keep riding like that, you’ll get bugs in your mouth.

  • wwp220 says:

    No through axle up front? No sale.

  • madsedan says:

    I have loved the 2011 Camber expert I’ve been on since last Summer, I am sad to see they aren’t offering the bike in 26″ anymore. The bike is so perfect for where and how I ride though that I’ll have to test ride one of the new 29er models to see if its worth selling the current bike for.

  • Pringle says:

    So even the high-end models don’t have 15mm thru-axle up front? or just the low-budget alloy version? I could see that for a 110mm travel 26′er but it’s surprising on a 29′er. Then again, people rode 29er’s for years before 15mm TA existed…

  • Francis says:

    Pringle, Specialized has a beefed up front skewer that has big flat axle cups that sit against the fork. Also, they use a bigger skewer that is turned to tighten for extra torque and clamping force.

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