2014 Specialized Camber EVO 29 – Reviews, Comparisons, Specs – Mountain…

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Moto Guzzi 650 GT

2014 Specialized Camber EVO 29

Test Sessions: Specialized EVO 29”

Reviewed by Jess and John Hauer // Photos by Spomer and Lear Miller

In a when bikes with of travel or more seem to get all the Specialized ’s 110-120mm Camber up a short-travel option that is capable than the numbers indicate. The model has been for a while, but for 2014 it gets a of upgrades and refinements. New for this Specialized has also introduced a new carbon and an EVO version. We had the opportunity to try out the reasonably priced Camber EVO 29 the 2014 Vital MTB Test .

Camber EVO 29 Highlights

M5 hydroformed frame

29-inch wheels

(120mm) rear wheel

Tapered head tube

head angle

73.3-degree tube angle (size

13-inch (330mm) bottom

17.8-inch (451mm) chainstay

PF30 bottom bracket

rear hub spacing with thru-axle

Measured weight Large, no pedals): 29-pounds (13.27kg)

$3,000 MSRP

If familiar with the Camber 29 2013, then you will notice that Specialized on their design. The tube are noticeably slimmer, and the package is smoother than the previous A new concentric seatstay/shock pivot a considerable amount of stiffness to the end.

The geometry has also tweaked to yield a more and snappy feel.

The bike is in two model types — the Camber and the Camber EVO. like the Stumpjumper FSR EVO, the designation indicates that the has been tweaked and tuned for who ride more aggressively. to the standard Camber, the Camber EVO 5mm of bottom bracket height to 330mm), gets 1.2-degrees (70 to 68.8-degree head angle), and 10mm of travel (110 to

Beyond the geo adjustments, Specialized specs the EVO editions with wider handlebars (720 to and a wider rear tire to 2.3-inches).

All Camber models feature an FOX CTD rear shock, which and quickly sets the proper sag and air Setup is easy to do — pump the shock up to a psi higher needed, then push the red transfer port valve sitting on the saddle to release air pressure. This equalizes the and negative chambers and achieves the sag.

The bike uses the and true FSR suspension system. known as a Horst Link FSR suspension is a four-bar linkage to effectively isolate chain and brake loads. Full-cartridge pivots throughout keep running smoothly.

Shock is great, allowing easy to the adjustment levers while out of harms way and leaving room for a bottle cage. We’re not fans of the proprietary link to mount the shock, though, as it your ability to quickly shocks. [Note: Specialized that the use of the shock extension their bikes to have an seat tube, makes for a linkage/chassis due to the square rear (as opposed to round), short and concentric pivots. The AUTOSAG are also only available in configuration.]

Another point we’re not particularly fond of is the routing. Cables follow the of the downtube and bottom bracket on the models, presenting an opportunity for from stray rocks. routing is available for a dropper if you choose to add one.

Carbon now have internal routing

Other frame details a tapered head tube, bottom bracket, and a little chain guide which is light and effective. The rear end a 142+ hub said to provide wheel stiffness over a 142mm hub design. If you’d it’s still possible run a 142mm rear hub. Mud is adequate with

1cm of room with the stock Specialized tire.

The Camber EVO 29 at just $3,000 for the base with a M5 alloy frame. also a $6,000 Camber Carbon EVO 29 with a carbon internal routing, upgraded spec and Specialized’s integrated Water, Air, Tools system.

On The Trail

To put the Camber EVO 29 its paces we headed out to the Black Trail about an hour of Sedona, Arizona. We rode two of the 78-mile trail that had a variety of technical rocky high-speed corners, dozens of punchy climbs, and a few very aggressive descents.

With the 65mm stem and 750mm handlebar installed, the 617mm top and 432mm reach was slightly for us at 6-feet tall. Shortening the to 50mm would have our body position slightly and given the steering characteristics accustomed to, but we decided to keep the stem to get a true feeling of customers will experience buying this bike off the floor. We felt right at pretty quickly.

The one change we did was to install a dropper seatpost.

For a aggressive 29-inch trail the Camber EVO’s geometry close to spot on. It wasn’t as low and as we normally prefer, but it still the steep and high speed quite well. For everything (climbing, cornering, and getting obstacles) the geometry was great. the 451mm chain stays are longer than the Enduro 29, a shorter travel bike nice to have some stability built into the when the speeds get high.

being longer than the 29 they are still reasonably within the 29-inch trail spectrum. The bike is very in all but the tightest of turns and it’s to pick the front end up when On tight switchbacks, just a little wide to avoid the wheel pushing.

Although we ride the steepest trails were still quite and technical in spots. We never any hesitation while riding unknown terrain and had faith in the abilities. The bike is playful, and precise yet stable at the same It changed lines on command hesitation.

We wouldn’t recommend doing park laps on the Camber, but for trail riding it would be for us to find many sections of that completely overwhelm it. The is surprisingly capable. Having that, if the trails you ride on a basis are very steep and but you still prefer a shorter bike, consider the Stumpjumper EVO a few extra millimeters of travel inspire even more

The Camber’s suspension performance is with bikes costing more. FOX’s CTD Evolution featuring Specialized’s proprietary technology had a light and lively off the top that helped keep and handle the small bumps The suspension is very smooth and free. We were also with the progressiveness of the spring and mid-… compression support.

For just 120mm to work it could handle bigger smoothly and maintained its composure This helped the bike on track and kept the shock from the bottom of its travel waiting for the next trail Square edges and chatter the only bump types seemed average.

More of a to us was the performance of the RockShox Reba RL 29 Being a budget model, we initially concerned that it lack the damping and stiffness we in our forks, but we’re glad to put concern to rest. It was supple off the didn’t blow through its and had a nice progressive ramp as it got to bottom.

If we really wanted to this bike aggressively we opt for the 120mm RockShox Pike comes standard on the Camber Carbon EVO, but the Reba had no keeping up on the rocky Arizona

We’d be lying if we called the all bike “light,” but you would be pressed to find another bike that’s close to its at the same price point. The pedaled well and never sluggish when climbing. with some pretty rolling tires, it has a lighter than the scale registers.

uses a custom bottom setup from SRAM a PF30 spindle. Jamming rock gardens or stomping on the out of corners you definitely notice the stiffness in the center of the bike. EVO owners are not going to be afraid to up next to their buddies for a

The power you put down goes into the trail, and the bike very well with to no noticeable bob.

Moto Guzzi 650 GT

Compared to the Camber, the EVO’s climbing is a hair more relaxed as the seat angle sits from 74.5 to 73.3-degrees. so, body position is still for ascents and is plenty comfortable for days in the saddle. The bike is and the 2.3-inch tires help to traction when things get or loose.

Some riders may to swap out the rear tire for that rolls a bit faster, but the has no struggles climbing and the extra is nice for more fun on the way back

Build Kit

We’d argue spec’ing a bike costing is harder than one costing simply because this is real value and performance into play. With in mind, let’s see what came up with.

Things off nicely with a dialed set of which are key to the overall handling of the The 2.3-inch 2Bliss ready Butcher Control in the front and Control in the rear are worthy of about anything you can throw at Our trail conditions were and had a ton of sketchy marble sized but the bike felt stable and up the entire ride.

Specialized was wise to put some knobs up front and the faster tire in the rear, a combo traction where it is needed keeping the overall rolling reasonable.

Wheels are something you really only notice if is something negative happening, and they didn’t have any On a budget-minded bike they are not to be the lightest, but the Roval wheels stiff enough, the tires well on them, and the engagement of the hub was good. Both hubs use cartridge bearings to improve

Formula’s C1 brakes had issues the start, and were our main about the build. The lever are quite wide, dictating lever spacing in a way that may not be for everyone. On the trail they struggle on long descents, and the brake made very vibration noises.

Combined a 203mm front and 180mm rotor they offered stopping power when you pulled the lever, but they modulation.

SRAM’s 2X drivetrain well. It was not overly noisy and we drop any chains, likely by the Dangler guide and the Type 2 mechanism. The 36/22 chainring offers plenty of range for any of mountain biker and most appreciate the granny ring the trail gets steep.

The upgrade we’d recommend any EVO makes is a dropper post. A swap is also recommended for aggressive riders preferring short cockpit feel.

Term Durability

Beyond the nothing stood out to us as something could develop into issues. This bike be in it for the long haul. Specialized the main frame with a warranty, the chain/seat stays a five year warranty, and suspension related for one year.

The Bottom Line?

The Specialized Camber EVO 29 absolutely This do-it-all 29er bike excels on fast, jumpy terrain but doesn’t down when things get The efficiency of the bike makes it a quick ride, and the range of types it can cover is about as as it gets for a short-travel trail The aluminum Camber EVO 29 is a great performer, and when you add the $3,000 into the equation the bike’s really shows through.

though it was the most affordable of all 25 in our 2014 Test Sessions the overall performance outclassed of the more expensive options.

www.specialized.com for more details.

Gallery: 30 photos of the 2014 Camber EVO 29 up close and in action

The Reviewers

Jess Pedersen Jess is one of those guys can hop on a bike after a snowy and instantly kill it. He’s quick, smooth, and always has style. He’s also to tinker with bikes they’re perfect, creating additions and fixes along the

Maybe it’s that background.

John Hauer In 13 years of riding, John has it all and done it well. Downhill, 4X, XC, cyclocross. you name it. He spent 7 as the head test rider for a suspension company, averages hours of saddle time per and is extremely picky when it to a bike’s performance.

And yeah, he loves Strava.

Moto Guzzi 650 GT
Moto Guzzi 650 GT
Moto Guzzi 650 GT
Moto Guzzi 650 GT


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