I bought a 2012 run out model about 6 months ago as a means of getting back into MTBing. I was unsure exactly what to get, all mountain or XC, but I was pointed in the direction of the Camber as a mid-point between the two. I'm so glad I did!
It climbs well (even though the engine is a little worse for wear), descends fast and true. There's minimal clatter and crash from components as you navigate rubble, etc.
The handle-bars could possible do with being 20-30 mm narrower to navigate more enclosed trails (came with 720mm wide), but this would make the bike slightly twitchier.
The cockpit is really comfortable for me. I can spend hours on the bike without a sore back, neck, hands, etc.
My biggest upset with this bike is the Avid Elixcer 5.5 brakes. They started off well, but travel in the rear lever has always been too much for good modulation and power; despite sending back to the shop for draining and fluid refill/bleeding twice. On a 4.5 hr ride recently (3 ascents, 4 descents), I completely "lost" the rear brake. Lever had no "restriction" in it indicating it wasn't working well at all. And it didn't. I had my new LBS check it out and they said I could try for another bleed/refill, but it's likely the piston and/or master cylinder is/are shot. So I've ordered some 2013 Shimano Deore XTs to go on. This upgrade should have my Camber back to full operability ;-)
I have ridden with people with 150mm travel and it's only ever been my ability that stops me keeping up on descents. I've also ridden with people on XC bikes on XC tracks and never been left wanting.
This bike is so much fun to ride on almost any terrain
The Rock Shox Reba fork and Fox RP23 shock work well in tandem; rarely do I use the fork lockout, but often will switch to Pro-Pedal or 'Lockout' settings on the shock to make climbing easier. The three shock settings (Open, Pro-pedla and 'Lockout') work very well, although I wish the 'Lock-out' position was a positive click like the other two, not just having the lever/switch in the general area to lockout. Other than this, works really well!
This bike provides the perfect middle ground in Specialized's line up between the XC Epic and the "tougher" Stumpjumper FSR, and the Camber should definitely be considered if you're looking at either of these two
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: July 24, 2012
Strengths: This bike rocks for the value. The Shimano gear set XT, braking and smooth suspension with the rear Fox shock
Weaknesses: Cannot find one yet....brakes may be too good
I picked this bike up after looking at Stumpjumper and couldn't refuse how much bike you get for a lot less than a Stumpjumper. I have been riding this bike through hard trails all mountain and don't think I will reach its limits...great for all around and if you want to fly on the flats the pro-pedal Fox setting is awesome and if you really want versatility, lock front and back out and motor. I ride in pro-pedal almost full time and effortlessly fly over rocks roots and small drops while all the while maintaining pedalling efficiency. I like to ride as fast as possible and this bike serves it up. The shifters are awesome and the brakes can launch you as they are incredible. I am a good size guy at 6' and 200lbs and now the fastest guy in my gang against Norcos and Devincis and everybody is getting out of my way, uphill climbs, downhill, whatever and trying to figure out how to keep up. Highly recommend this bike....I grabbed a 2011 on a deal and couldn't be happier.
a Cross Country Rider
from Alicante, Spain
Date Reviewed: February 13, 2012
Strengths: Great new-generation full suspension bike with good value.
Specialized guarantee (wich is quite good here in Spain). you are not restricted to anything with this bike. I do sunday XC races on it and I even do some (light) downhill routes with it. Good quality wheels aswell, not the lightest, but they stay true through a LOT of abuse (by abuse I mean hard riding, not bad maintenance). For me the perfect bike for the price. Off course there are better bikes, but this one has been giving me problemless, great FUN this year. Good rear shock (Fox), important to get the air pressure/rebound right.
Weaknesses: non-tapered headtube.
Needed to change cranck bearings after a year, but my mechanic said it was not exceptional for the abuse it 's been trough :-))
Bike Setup: Tires: F= Spesh Ground Control 2.1, R= Maxxis Larssen TT 2.0
Command Post seat dropper (BEST upgrade)
I will be upgrading the wheels this year for (probably) some mavic's tubeless. But only to be able to mount tubeless ...
a Cross Country Rider
from winchester, california, usa
Date Reviewed: December 24, 2011
Strengths: the drivetrain, the suspension, the brakes, the wheels (still true like the day I bought it).
Weaknesses: ground clearance from the bottom bracket, i've scraped up my cranks alot and I bash my large cog often (but who uses the large cog anyways).
Both tires are 2.0". The tires grip and corner great, but I believe at least with a 2.1 in the front, it could be even better.
After entering into the lovely world of mtb early this summer with my $600 full suspension diamondback, I decided that I loved mtb so much that I'm willing to drop some serious cash. The price I paid is beyond fair considering the msrp was 2200.
This specialized camber expert takes me up much faster, I go downhill with confidence. The suspension is butter. Braking is easily managed with 1 finger (after they break in). The shimano drivetrain is my favorite park of the bike, the 10 speed really makes a difference, and I love how you can thumb push or index pull to shift.
I ride 3-4 times a week consisting of mostly single track and technical fire roads/double track. I prefer a softer suspension and went about 20 psi lower than the recommended pressure. I weigh 145 and am 5'11'. I do small 1-2 ft. jumps.
I was looking for the best "bang for your buck" bike that I could find in the $1500 range and I couldn't find anything that came close to the specs of this camber expert.
Wow! I loved riding that HR Pro Disc for 6 months, but usher in the full suspension. I was surprised that my Camber weighs about 30 pounds with my clipless pedals, but I haven't started racing, and I believe that heft helps me FLY down the hills. The bike is quick through the tight spots, and makes me laugh every time I go fast. The first time I rode the technical stuff, I went over the bars 3 times; man, those brakes take their work seriously. The bike needs to review me, as I haven't caught up with its features yet. Oh yes, the guy that I used to chase? He's moving over to let me go now!
Similar Products Used: Cannondale Super V, Specialized Hard Rock Pro Disc
Bike Setup: Stock
a Weekend Warrior
from Rockwall, TX
Date Reviewed: June 21, 2011
Strengths: Weight, components, suspension, value
Weaknesses: none yet
This bike rips, in my year since starting I have only ridden 29er hardtails, my brother made me ride our 15 mile loop on the Camber Expert and flew. It was the fastest I've ever been through that trail and I had a blast on the bike, most fun I've had on a bike yet.
Very nimble, tossable around the trail, does everything well, etc. I love, love, love this bike. Its worth the full MSRP price but I got a hook-up as I really wanted the test bike paint scheme so the shop finally conceded to sell it to me.
Hi guys, need some advice here. I'm looking for my first 29er and been to few LBS's. Managed to get some good deals on the following bikes roundbout the same price range:
i. 2012 Camber Expert Carbon Evo R 29 - AUS$3,500
ii. 2013 Stumpjumber FSR -AUS$3,099
iii. 2013 Stumpjumper FSR Carbon - AUS$3,8 ... Read More »
Ok just picked up a 2012 Camber carbon Expert 29er and love it. I have a few questions first is there any other options other than using zipties for the cable routing? Do you know the size to buy other than small ones? Next how do I remove the crank to clean it etc.. Does Specialized sale new fr ... Read More »
I'm going to contact Specialized about this on Monday, but thought I would see if anyone else with one of these bikes has experienced this. Not sure what would have caused it, I definitely haven't over-clamped the seat post, and I've never over-extended it either, no crashes, etc. Bike has been we ... Read More »