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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everybody,

This is my first post and since I've not found an introduction sub-forum, I will use this section to introduce myself as well. My name is Daniel and I am a very new rider from Los Angeles. I stopped riding bikes 17 yrs ago and to keep things short right now I am very undecided about which bike to get.
Both of them will be in the same price range ~$1700 OTD.

The same LBS has also a 2011 Trek Fuel EX5 for the same price, but he dropped Trek recently and if something happens to the bike he would not be able to assist me with post-purchase support, which is free if I purchase either of the other two bikes.

KONA BIKES | 2014 BIKES | TRAIL DS | PRECEPT DL

Specialized Bicycle Components

As for what kind of riding I do, well I have no clue. For now this would be for me my only bike and as I said I am very new to mountain biking in general. I don't know what type of trails are around here, but based to my readings it seems that they come in any flavors and they are not even very far from where I am.

P.S.
I forgot to mention that I test rode both (on pavement), and I found out that with the camber I was not able to keep a straight line while climbing (this could be me since I am very inexperienced) while I loved the Kona smaller wheels, which made the bike agile, but also very predictable. The camber seemed lighter and also the braking and components in general seemed more solid.

Which one would you choose?
 

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Based on those bikes the Spec Camber has the better parts on it, but it is a 29'er so there are pro's/con's in regards to the Kona 27.5. The Camber has a nicer fork which is a plus in my mind, but I personally hate the Avid brakes and had nothing but issues with mine that 3 different mechanics could not fix.

Took replacing them with Shimano XT to get rid of the problem and that was even after Avid sent me Elixir 9's which I sold to recoup the money for the XT's.
 

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Glad to hear that you have test rode both bikes.

I dont know much about the Kona, and I have not heard much about it either. There are things I like about it, and things that I dont, but unless you build the bike yourself you will most likely not get everything you like. I like that it is a 27.5. I dont like that it is 3X10 drivetrain.

The Camber on the other hand has had some great reviews from all over. It was voted as one of the top bikes in this years Bible of bike test, as a top pick for a do it all bike. I dont know why you had a hard time keeping it strait while climbing, but would guess that the bike was not set up properly for you, or maybe you just need a couple of rides on the bigger tires to get more used to it. Again there are things I like about this bike and dont like. I like the 2x10 drivetrain. I dont like the Avid brakes, but swapping them out to Shimano brakes is cheap and easy. It seams to be about 50/50 when it comes to Avid brakes. They always stop you really good, but half the reviews on them say that they can be very noisey. The Shimano brakes stop you and are quiet. The Camber also comes with the Roval wheels which are awesome and easy to setup as tubeless.

I would say that it is your money and you have to chose the bike that you like the most. and are most comfortable riding. Take your time, and read the reviews.

Good luck and let as all know what you choose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for your responses. I really appreciate them.

I am also more inclined in buying the Camber. It seems that I will get more bike for the money as well. I will go back to the shop later today and test ride them again. I put a small deposit yesterday for the Camber, but that can be applied to any bike of course. I will make sure that both fork and shock are set up properly and try to decipher the differences between the two bikes. For sure tonight I will come back home with a bike on the back of my car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi guys I just wanted to give you a (unasked for ;-) update.

So I went today after work to the LBS to pick up the Camber. Once I saw it, I couldn't believe my eyes. That thing went litterarly through hell. I guess they thought it was ok to have someone take the bike to the trails and have some fun with it, even if I had put a deposit on it the day before. The funny thing is that they said that the bike was in the condition that I left it yesterday (the guy that I talked to and gave my deposit yesterday was not there today) and told me that they do not give people bikes to take it to the trail. But when then I asked how was it possible that the bike was so dirty in the first place (if nobody is allowed to take it to the trail) there was just silence from their part.
Now I know what mountain bikes are meant for, but if I hold the bike giving you money and I leave it in a like new condition, I expect to find it the same way the day after when I return. Pissed off I asked for a refund and left the place.

Now I am back to square one...
 

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That sucks, maybe ask for a discount on it? Bikes do get demo'd and I doubt it did anything more to the bike that you will. Great way to save some money on the bike if you are interested in it.
 

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I agree with TJay74, see if you can get a discount on it. It most likely just needs a wash after a demo ride. Speacilized does a real good job with there paint, I have wrecked on mine several times and have no visible marks in the paint yet. Do they only have that one? When I baught my stumpjumper fsr from my LBS last year they had a demo bike to test ride, but when I pulled out the cash out they grabbed a brand new bike that has never been riden from the back for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My problem is not with the bike at all. I know that it will serve me well for years to come. The problem that I have is with the shop. Given their business practices, I will never bring any bike to get serviced there, which I question the point of buying through them in the first place.
 

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You should not have to deal with that crap at all. How hard is it to write it down somewhere, tell someone else in the store or stick a note to the bike so the next rep knows.
I no longer let anyone work on my bike. I have baught all the tools needed and now do all my own maintance and repairs.
The LBS where I got my bike was happy to sell me the bike, but the next day I was back in with shifting problems and they said that I was over picky about my bike, and that there was nothing wrong. I took it home and started looking at it myself, and I found the rear derailleur was cross threaded and was not seated all the way up against the hanger. Then two days later I had a really bad noise everytime I peddaled. I told them that I thaught it was comming from the crank or bottom bracket. They told me it was a loose bolt on the frame and that next time I should check to make sure things are tight before wasting there time (after just buying the bike 3 days earier). Well I still had the problem so I took the crank apart and found no grease anywhere, so i greased everything up. 1 year later the bike still shifts great and no noise at all.
 
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