Specialized Camber 29 29er Full Suspension

4.58/5 (33 Reviews)

Product Description

The 110mm-travel Camber 29 utilizes an M4 alloy frame, a RockShox Recon Gold fork for and custom Avid Elixir 3 R SL hydraulic disc brakes for a versatile trail package.

2013 Specialized Camber Pro Review

We had the opportunity to ride the 2013 Cambers in the heavenly trails of Bend, Oregon. This is a trail bike with 110mm travel in the rear and 110 in the front. The bikes rode like champs at Bend. The Cambers are so fast and easy to ride that they almost disappear into the ride. They climb very well and carve well. Compared to the 2012 Camber 29 that I’ve been riding, The new ones feel a hair smaller, lighter and more agile. One of the really cool revelations as I rode three models of Cambers is the new entry level Camber (under $2000) is a very capable bike. Continue reading →

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Reviews 1 - 15 (33 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by jerome a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: June 15, 2014

Strengths:    Good overall bike

Weaknesses:    Great at nothing

Bottom Line:   
A good bike but you won't get the whole Specialized experience.
A bike like you could find anywhere else or near.
There is quite a few that will provide the same performances.
That bike tries to bridge the Epic with the Stumpjumper - bridge are for dentist !

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Ste Victoire near Aix en Provence

Duration Product Used:   4 months

Price Paid:    $9500.00

Purchased At:   Specialized Concept

Similar Products Used:   Stumpjumper SW 2014 29er
Cannondale trigger Black 27.5
Seven Sola SLX (sold)
Moots Divide 29er (Sold)
Moots YBB (sold)

Bike Setup:   S-Works

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by MediumDiesel a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: October 17, 2013

Strengths:    Handles Great, Good Component Spec, Solid Wheels. Very versatile bike.

Weaknesses:    None that I've found so far.

Bottom Line:   
This is my first 29er. I did have a 2010 Enduo expert that I loved but found that it had a bit too much travel for the local stuff I ride. Some friends told me about the Camber as they all thought it was one of the best bikes specialized made. I'm happy with my decision. It was everything I needed. The 2013 camber comp is spec'd with solid suspension and for all intent and purpose I think that x7 and x9 stuff is almost as good as x0, just cheaper and heavier. I like that the bike is poppy and makes you pick a line rather than just rolling over things. Make for a fun ride and the 29er part makes for longer days in the saddle less of a beat down.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Lawndale

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $2400.00

Purchased At:   Mikes Bikes

Similar Products Used:   Tried a Stumpjumper, had an Enduro

Bike Setup:   2013 Camber Comp 29. I added a bigger s-works purgatory up front, specialized command post dropper post and a WTB saddle.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mark Mollenkopf a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: October 2, 2013

Strengths:    Very active suspension, smooth feel, agile well balanced ride and stiff rear end with great responsivness

Weaknesses:    a touch heavy, and really needs a dropper post as standard equipment, seat doesn't fit me that well.

Bottom Line:   
I've been riding and racing MTB for over 20 years, worked in the industry for most of that. Now that I'm older and the kids are old enough to let me go for rides I decided to get a new FS Rig and landed on this model. I've always been a hard tail rider (or short travel FS) and still ride a SS 29er so was a little unsure how I would like this squishy bike... IT Rocked my world!

when I bought this "entry" level (I use entry level loosely) Camber I thought I would get a few rides out of it before I start replacing everything (like Brakes, fork, post and wheels) but after about 2 months on the local trails here is Socal it shined like a diamond! Everything works perfectly, the fork has great feel, travel and the minimal adjustments I prefer (like a lock out, rebound and pre load) I prefer sprung forks over air and its going to be hard to want to waste money on a fork just to take weight off over this one!

The brakes... come on really? these big rotors feel good, stop on a dime, and minimal pump out on long descents! Again the only reason to change is if I want to save weight.

Drive train runs like a champ. shifts great and geared perfectly for socal trails, not gonna touch it till it starts to fail from abuse and miles.

The rest of the squishy design is amazing, climbs like a goat, super comfortable cockpit and of course the 29ers roll over everything... I'm even doing drops I typically wouldn't do to save my wheels and frame! the lock out on both shocks is so easy to use and quick, so no need for any more gadgets.
the bike is overall not to heavy and realistically shaving anymore weight would just be to try and keep up with the racer types... its very agile and when you lower the post (I recommend getting a dropper post!) the suspension gets real active and responsive... just what I expect from the best most reliable suspension design on the planet!

Don't believe me? let me put it in perspective for you, after two months I took it as my only rig to Moab about two weeks ago for a 4 day adventure and right out of the gate we shuttled the "whole Enchilada" which is 33 mile ride 27 of which are hardcore rocky DH starting at 11000 feet (in the the La Sal mtns) to 4000 feet with tons of step up/step downs, rock gardens and high speed rollers and tons of trail that wants to break your bike... and after almost 5 hours of riding I came off the trail tired and smiling like a camel on Wednesday (hump daayyy!) not only did I out descend my buddy on his 6" travel Giant Trance 29er! he had fork issues, dropper post issues, dropped his chain and got some scratches!
I came out with only getting a flat tire which almost every rider did as well...btw there were about 50 other riders that shuttled up at the same time we did... it was like an Enduro race for the first 2 miles!
2 more days of heavy riding and being strapped to the back of a Toyota landcruiser four wheeling on gemini Bridges during a rain day... and all that happened was some rub marks from the racks

Bottom line this is an awesome FS Design and I am a specialized fan and have been for a while (although my last employer wouldn't allow us to own Specialized) with having a 10' Epic Comp 29er before this... its a real trail bike!

Good Job guys and keep it up, I might even fork out the cash for the Carbon Roval Wheels to make up for my fat slowness! But it will be hard to talk me out of Chris King LW built so we'll see.

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Favorite Trail:   Whole Enchilada, Moab UT

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1550.00

Purchased At:   Rock n Road Irvine C

Similar Products Used:   Specialized Epic Comp

Bike Setup:   28psi tire pressure, 205 lbs rider weight, size large for 5'9 rider

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by mbogosia a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: September 23, 2013

Strengths:    Great components, wheels are tubliss ready, nice fork and shock, 2x10 gearing, auto sag, fun to ride, and very cool looking.

Weaknesses:    Feels heavy, not great at making tight switchbacks, fork recommended pressures are way off if you want full use of travel, and tires seem just okay.

Bottom Line:   
My review is for a 2013 camber comp model. I am 5'11 and the large fit great. The bike is a blast to ride and truly seems like a do it all trail bike. I had the shop remove the tubes and make it tubeless and it looked super simple for them to do. I am 195 and I am only riding with 100psi instead of the 135 or so that rockshox recommends. It is now soaking up bumps with ease. The autosag rear shock worked perfect. Overall this is a great bike. It looks like the component spec gets worse for the 2014 model. Mine is x7 and x9.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Chickasaw Trace

Duration Product Used:   1 month

Price Paid:    $2400.00

Purchased At:   Moab

Similar Products Used:   Trek fuel ex

Bike Setup:   Stock

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Rueben

Date Reviewed: August 14, 2013

Strengths:    Fox fork and shox. Avid 7 brakes, components.
Can go over almost any terrain. This bike is like 100 times better than my trek 6000. I is very nimble and i is quiet a very good overall bike for xc to all mountain. I have been using the camber for almost 6 months.

Weaknesses:    The stock pedals need to be changed. The weight of the bike can be a problem. It is a little bit too heavy. They should have given the bike a little bit of a longer travel maybe 120mm. The wheelset has to be changed.

Bottom Line:   
This is overall a very good. I is value for money. I have had the bike for 6 months and recently change the groupset to xtr brakes to sram xx fork to fox 34 float 120mm and the seatpost to the fox doss.If you have the extra cash you should upgrade the bike to take it to it's full potential.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by jman29 a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: March 24, 2013

Strengths:    Great on downhills, good climbing, little bobbing when you pedal

Weaknesses:    Rear shock

Bottom Line:   
I have owned this great bike for about 1 year now and I love it. This bike will tackle pretty much anything you throw at it, and will definitely better your riding. This bike is exceptional at climbing, and descending allowing you to take it everywhere.

First, descending this bike is good at this due to a good fork, great brakes, and the large wheels allowing you to ride over anything. The recon fork moves through its travel in a very smooth way, and this fork also has a lockout function which is very useful. The breaks on this bike are pretty good, but they take a while to be worn in to get rid of noise. The 29 inch wheels allow you to ride over a lot more than a 26er. The only problem with descending on this bike is the rear shock. I weigh about 190 pounds and I broke some internal part of the shock on a 4 foot drop. I have also blown 2 seals on this shock, and I will be replacing it shortly.

This bike performs well on climbs because of the suspension lockout, and the 29 inch wheels. The lockout function allows you to maximize your climbs, by increasing your pedalling efficiency. Also this bike has superb traction allowing you to climb anything.

Thank you for reading,

Best wishes

Expand full review >>

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   Sporting Life

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Jeff Smith a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: February 16, 2013

Strengths:    Climbs like a cat and desecends very well at the price point. Platform is excellent, especially with upgrades.

Weaknesses:    Stock crankset and cassette are heavy. Front fork is good for price point.

Bottom Line:   
I bought Camber Elite used on Craigslist from someone who had ridden it less then 10 miles (so as good as new). Purchase price was very good at $1k. After riding stock for a short while, I decided quickly on upgrading the cranks and rear cassette, but since this was 9-speed stock and Shimano is no longer making 9-speed in the high end, I decided to do entire drivetrain in XT 3x10. After shopping around, I bought xt shifters, Front and rear DR's, Crank, Chain and Cassette for less then $400 total. Total price in with installs about $1500 for a SMOKING bike. The XT crankset and BB make all the difference in the world. Never expected to feel this different and now I'm in love with the bike. I will continue to play with dialing in the suspension and will probably upgrade the fork in the future, but the platform for me is amazing. Ride the Camber if you're test driving bikes! Climbs like a cat and descends with the best of them. This is my first 29er, and for me - I won't look back!

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Favorite Trail:   Seminary Trail, Timonium MD

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   Craigslist

Bike Setup:   Stock with upgraded Drivetrain (shifters, crankset, cassette, Front and rear DR, Chain) to XT 3x10

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by 305MTB29er

Date Reviewed: February 5, 2013

Strengths:    Overall value for the $$. FSR makes a comfortable ride. Plenty of suspension for the South Florida Slop they throw at us on these trails.

Weaknesses:    Could drop a few lbs but so could I. (weighing in at 190) The tires are bit slick down here in Miami with the dry, dusty trails. Often getting sniped! 1111

Bottom Line:   
I love this bike. I have owned many hard tail 26 inch bikes and one hard tail 29er. Now that I hit 40 I though I should think about saving my back on these, "throw as much $h@t in front of you"south Florida trails. After doing my research with in my price range, the Camber 29er Elite was the winner. I have been so happy with it after a year if riding, I thought it was time to post a review. Best part is, my fellow riders ride more expensive bikes, yet I'm always on their rear wheel. Upgrade the tires and as parts need replacing upgrade them. This frame is going to be with me for many of miles.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by kyle242gt a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: December 21, 2012

Strengths:    Fox Shox, good components

Weaknesses:    Weight I suppose, as all entry level FS 29ers. Stock pedals suck, toe clips too shallow... used the pedals and clips from my old MTB.

Bottom Line:   
Went to five local shops the week before Black Friday. Settled on Specialized due to willingness to deal on end of year closeouts. Took a demo ride on a '13 Camber Comp, and was amazed to see how much better spec'd the '12s were.

I think any FS 29er is a great buy, and this thing was a 100% slam dunk price wise. I have a second buddy looking at this, as well as the '13 Stumpy.... Great bikes no matter how you slice it.

As I get used to its capabilities, I'm more and more amazed at what it will let me do. The biggest obstacle now is my brain saying "whoa dude, look out below".

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Annadel SP

Duration Product Used:   6 weeks

Price Paid:    $1800.00

Purchased At:   Bike Peddler Santa R

Similar Products Used:   '13 Camber Comp, '12 Camber, '12 Giant/Trek/Cannondale

Bike Setup:   Stock, still playing with shock pressures.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Alanhebert a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: December 14, 2012

Strengths:    Buttery smooth ride, climbs like a goat, once rolling will keep rolling, creates a smile every time I ride and is the color - moto-ski orange

Weaknesses:    Stock tires, tad heavy,

Bottom Line:   
This is a follow up after a full season of riding this steed. Still love it. It has been abused, put away dirty, run through mud, snow over ledge and still riding fantastic. It is bomb proof and can handle more than my mind and body can handle. Sure you could get a better bike, better shock, lighter parts and what not but this ride is great to start at a decent price point. Upgrade the tires at the shop and then upgrade when things wear out. Parts to install this winter just arrived for me. Cassette (upgrade to xt and saving over a third of a pound), chain, pedals (due to a bent spindle) and a new set on mavic crossmax st when they come in. This will be my ride for several years, smiling the whole time.

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Favorite Trail:   Tap n' die

Duration Product Used:   17 months

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   Ski rack but all ser

Similar Products Used:   Kona explosive, motobecane cx bike,

Bike Setup:   Stock except tires

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Dave

Date Reviewed: October 13, 2012

Strengths:    Very impressed with the whole package. It eats up rough terrain. I have a blast riding this bike. I came off a carbon trek super fly hard tail. I cracked my frame and my Lbs hooked me up with the camber till we got my my bike figured out. Trek did not stand behind their frame. Will never buy a trek product again... I thought i was a hard core hard tail guy till I spent a few rides on the camber. The camber never made it back to the bike shop and I have found a great bike at a great price.

Weaknesses:    I only have a few rides on it but I can't really find any weakness at this point

Bottom Line:   
Love the bike. Looks good works even better. Good by hard tail

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Favorite Trail:   Clinton lake

Duration Product Used:   3 rides

Purchased At:   Capps bike shop

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Billy C

Date Reviewed: August 28, 2012

Strengths:    Fast, awesome on climbs and descents! this thing tracks well on tech rocky climbs. Open the rear suspension and take advantage of the rubber staying glued to the ground! love it. Got a great deal!

Weaknesses:    Little heavy would love it to be around the 26lbs range even with the added stans flow wheels it weighs 30lbs but getting stronger so this is becoming more manageable with time!

Bottom Line:   
Won't be disappointed!

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Brandon Devroede a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: August 8, 2012

Strengths:    CLIMBIMG ! Rolls over EVERYTHING! Plush, Great geometry, strong brakes, excellent suspension for the $$!

Weaknesses:    Tires lack Grip for experienced riders, upshift not as smooth as downshifting, a little on the heavy side.

Bottom Line:   
Highly Recommend this bike if considering a 29'er for the price and overall setup. Rides Fast, can easily be upgraded to be faster and smoother. Climbs LIKE A CHAMP, Decends gracefully ! Best Bike I've owned thusfar !

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Favorite Trail:   Los Penasquitos Canyon

Duration Product Used:   Daily

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   Black Mtn Bicycle

Similar Products Used:   Haro Hardtail XC, Specialized XC Comp full susp, Specialized Stumpjumper 26" Comp, Specialized Epic Stumpjumper, Specialized Big Hit.

Bike Setup:   Stock.....so far

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Kevin

Date Reviewed: July 17, 2012

Strengths:    Rolls and climbs amazingly, suspension is awesome, I was surpised at how little pedal Bob there was when climbing, I had to look to see if I was locked out. 2x10 drive train is great, eliminates the extra chainring yet provides you with all the gears you really need. Feels lighter than it's actual weight

Weaknesses:    Weight may be a factor, although I haven't gone on any long uphill rides where I think you then start to feel the weight. I noticed the front wheel was light on steep seated climbs

Bottom Line:   
Overall awesome bike. This is my first 29er. I'm coming from riding a 26" wheel Titanium hardtail xc racer and I'm surprised how good this bike feels. My number one concern was going from an efficent climbing maching to a slug, and to my surprise this bike is amazing. Those 29" wheels are awesome, and that rear suspension in pro-pedal almost made it feel as good of a climber, if not better (It could very well have been the exctitement clouding my judgement of the new bike but I doubt it). I was contemplating getting a stumpy comp 29er, and I'm glad I didn't the camber provides me with more than enough travel and climbs like a goat at the same time ( I need more help going up than down). Overall I'm very pleased with this bike. I bought the lower(ish) end comp model to make sure that I liked it before dropping big bucks on the carbon or expert models. At this point with the bike I don't see the benefit in dropping an extra $1000 to save 2 lbs, but I could be convinced if they come out with a sweeter model in the next couple years.

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Bike Setup:   Camber Comp XL, everything stock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Richard a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: July 13, 2012

Strengths:    Price point, available frame sizes, FSR suspension

Weaknesses:    Specialized spec components keep the cost down and the weight up, but everybody upgrades bars/stems/saddles/wheels anyway.

Bottom Line:   
I'm 6'9" and 240 before breakfast. You don't see too many riders out there like me, and for good reason. A couple years ago the only way to get a proper-fitting mountain bike frame was to have a guy like Leonard Zinn build you a custom frame that would run you nearly twice as much as this complete bike. I used to get by riding 19" and 20" freeride and downhill frames since you typically want a smaller frame for that kind of riding anyway. However, I don't live in Salt Lake City anymore and downhill tracks are not as plentiful in San Diego. Plus, I've grown older and learned that riding up a hill can be almost as fun as riding down a hill. Imagine that. But I digress.

These days, Specialized, Santa Cruz, and a couple of the other big brands have started offering XXL versions of some of their hardtails and full-suspension bikes. You can walk into your LBS and buy a 23" or 24" frame off a rack (or at least have a Specialized dealer order it for you since a lot of them don't regularly stock bikes that are sized for the upper 1% of the population, height-wise). God bless you Specialized, God bless you.

I won't extol the virtues of 29-inch wheels, plenty of others with more knowledge than I have already done so. However, I will say that for tall riders this new trend is fantastic. Matter of fact, the XXL Camber 29er frame is so big that the 29 inch wheels don't appear oversized. As an added bonus, watching the midgets at the LBS trying to pedal this monster around can provide some high-quality entertainment.

For the money, there is no better trail bike out there. I paid less than $2,000 with sales tax for a 2011 Camber Elite 29er in February of 2012, but I would have happily paid the full price without complaint. As for the component list, Specialized keeps the price down by using their own aluminum bar, seatpost, and wheels. These components are pretty strong but pretty heavy. While I've spent about a grand replacing all of these peripheral components and the wheelset, I should point out that these upgrades were all preferential upgrades and none of them were strictly necessary. I'd echo some of the other reviewers and recommend that you replace the stock cassette before you leave the shop, but an XT cassette will only set you back $100 or so so this isn't a deal-breaker. If you pick up last years' model at the right time, you can get a completely ride-able trail bike with reliable air-sprung suspension and a good rear derailleur for under $2,000 out-the-door. For a full-suspension trail bike, that's incredible. The take-away is that the quality of the Camber's frame and suspension are high enough to justify upgrading the peripheral components, but none of those upgrades are essential and you can ride this bike the instant you walk out of the shop.

As for weight, if memory serves correctly then the XXL frame weighed about 32 lbs as spec'd. Keep in mind that the XXL frame weighs 2-3 lbs more than the small frame, so if you are not the size of an NBA forward you can knock off those extra lbs just from the difference in frame size. My bike is down to 27 lbs, which is not race-weight but is frankly amazing given its size. A lot of the super-lightweight gear out there is not recommended for riders above 200 lbs anyway, so that's probably about as good as it's going to get unless I drop some serious dough for some carbon wheels and a new fork. That being said, my 6'8" 300lb dad has ridden this bike on plenty of Northern California trails without any problems, the suspension and components have held up to some rigorous riding by very heavy riders without complaint.

In conclusion, if you are looking to try a full-suspension cross country bike but don't want to take out a third mortgage on your home to do it, then this is the bike for you. If you have been biking for a while then you probably have a parts bin that you can use to replace the peripherals you don't like. If you are new, then buy this bike and ride it for 100 miles or so before you start to think about replacing parts. If you are an experienced rider who likes to dial in and fine-tune your air suspension until it suits your fancy, then I could not recommend the Elite 29er as the suspension set up is very straightforward and doesn't leave a lot of options. Of course, if you are that type of rider then you probably wouldn't be looking at bikes in this price range anyway so the point is moot.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Iron Mountain, San Diego

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1800.00

Purchased At:   Wheelworld

Similar Products Used:   KHS FR2000, Specialized Stumpjumper FSR, Spec Stumpjumper, Spec Rockhopper, Trek 8900, GT Avalanche

Bike Setup:   Recon Gold SL TK w/Poploc, 9mm QR
Easton EA70XC wheelset
Kenda Small Black 8 DTC 29x2.1
Easton Haven Carbon bar
Easton EA90 Stem
SRAM Attack shifters
XT 9-speed RD
Shimano XT crankset
Shimano XT cassette
Shimano XTR 9-speed chain
Shimano XTR trail pedals
Thomson elite seatpost
WTB Rocket V SLT saddle

Reviews 1 - 15 (33 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

need help with Camber 29 stem concern

Hey guys, I'm new to the forum. Just bought a 2014 Camber 29 Comp, xl frame. 3 days ago I'm 6'4 200lbs. my issue. handlebars are to low for me, feels like I'm leaning to far downward. My Hard Rock has a 22 degree stem with 1/2 riser bar. perfect fit. has anyone installed a 20 degree stem and bar on ... Read More »

Increasing travel to 120mm on Camber 29 With Fox 110mm

I just found out today by calling FOX that the 2012 110mm fork is actually a 120 and can easily be converted by removing the 10mm spacer on the air shaft assembly (left leg). Took me about half an hour and now I have a 120mm fork! [url=http://service.foxracingshox.com/consumers/Content/Service/Q ... Read More »

Getting a Specialized Camber Comp 29

Hello all, I am new to the forum and wanted to say hello to everyone. I have been riding mtb for about 2 years strong now. I am looking for some guidance and assistance on the size bike I should get. I am looking at the Specialized Camber Comp 29. I am between a M and L on size and can't mak ... Read More »

2012 Trek RumbleFish Elite or 2013 Specialized Camber 29?

Hey guys, I'm new to biking and I'm moving out to the mountains in the Fall (Kelowna, BC). My price range is around $2000, and I've narrowed it down to two. One bike shop has last year's Trek Rumblefish Elite on for $2599. The other has a base line Camber 29, and I can upgrade to the next-model-u ... Read More »

Specialized Camber Comp 29 vs. Kona Hei Hei DL

So I've had a bunch of life events recently that leave me with a bit more money to play with and a bit less of a priority on race performance of a bike. I'm looking for something more fun than my little 26" hardtail, but without pissing me off on singletrack climbs. I bumped into a Specialized dem ... Read More »

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