Test riding the 2015 Specialized Camber Comp January 14 2015
Last night my steed of choice from our range of demo bikes was a 2015 Specialized Camber Comp and it certainly didn't disappoint. On another stunning Wellington evening I tackled a 10km loop I ride regularly. Being a 29er rider anyway, this bike was more in keeping with what I am used to, a Specialized Epic with longer travel fork. It is certainly a different animal to the Giant Anthem SX I test rode in the weekend.
First off, the bike felt a bit shorter/squatter than my bike, mainly due to the stem/handlebar lengths (75mm vs 90mm, 720mm vs 680mm). The difference was felt the most while climbing & just required a different sitting position on the seat to compensate. This aside, the Camber climbed very well and was nice & snappy on Mt Victoria's primo uphill singletrack. The wider bars, whilst being more in the forefront of my mind, cleared encroaching flora comfortably with a flick of the wrist or a slight weighting on the grips. All in all, a very responsive steering setup and I managed to avoid garking up my knuckles (which was my initial concern with the bar width).
Pointing this beast downhill certainly upped the the stakes somewhat and the Camber proved an extremely capable descender - my only change to the stock spec would be the addition of a dropper post. If you use a dropper post, you'll know what I mean, because when you don't have one, it's absence is palpable. I guess I've been spoilt having used a dropper post for several years now, so big ups to any of those XC whippets who don't get off their bikes to drop their seatposts.
The Camber rolled the Super D line with ease, kept it's line easily and transitioned nicely into any sharp pinches I encountered - very nice! I felt in control at all times and the bike felt comfortable in every downhill situation I encountered. Note that I'm not a big hucker at all, so I roll most stuff, and this bike seemed right at home, even on steeper, gravelly tighter corners.
If you're after a new bike that really is a do-it-all steed, and you are fringing on the XC/Trail styles of riding then the Camber is an ideal fit. Why no demo one in the near future?