In the post Two rides on a Specialized Fuse Expert 6Fattie Ramses asked “Camber Comp or Fuse Expert?”
Numbers for 2016 models:
I loved my 2014 Camber Expert. It was super dialed with carbon frame, FOX 34 fork and a full XTR groupset including 2×11 drivetrain, brakes and wheels (those wheels are fantastically light, and they are stiff in ways you can’t appreciate until you try them). My “Camber DH” was my go-to trail bike. It was enough for crazy trails and not too much for mellow trails.
Rocking the Camber on a SoCal DH trail.
In this video I’m on my Camber DH. Awesome bike for trail and bike park.
That said, I believe in plus tires. I believe so much I sold my dialed Camber, Stumpjumper and Enduro 29s and consolidated them into a Fuse Pro and an S-Works Stumpy 6Fattie. Those two bikes cover the range of the other three very well. Heck, on Saturday I did back-to-back mellow DH runs on a 2012 Demo 8 and the Stumpy … and the Stumpy was faster (for me).
This choice comes down to riding style. There are myriad variables, but here’s one approach to making the decision.
If you ride slowly and tentatively, you’ll probably prefer the Fuse. Why? The tires have so much traction, and they are the ideal suspension for small impacts. This increases safety and confidence. When my wife rides, I put her on the Fuse. As soon as I can, I’m putting my 6-year-old girls on pink Riprocks with 20×2.8″ tires.
If you’re a kung fu master who rides precisely, you might have more fun on the Fuse. Why? The tires have so much traction, and they are the ideal suspension for small bumps. At this level, you can leverage the micro-float of the big tires while taking advantage of the macro-pump of the hardtail. It’s an extremely fun way to Ride a bike on all but the nastiest trails.
If you’re somewhere in the middle, you might prefer the Camber. It has plenty of traction, and the suspension takes the edge off imprecision. If you expect to bash into things at speed, rear suspension is a better solution than a big, bouncy tire.
These are both great bikes! You can’t go wrong. We are fortunate to worry about such things.
You save about $500 with the Fuse. Spend some of the money on Shimano brakes. With the leftover cash, you can treat yourself to nice pedals and shoes, some gloves or maybe something nice for your wife (wait, that’s what you need to do!). If you decide you want even more traction in exchange for a bit more weight, upgrade from the stock Control tires to the new GRID tires. I rode a pair last week and … wow … next level.
My Fuse has been upgraded with a FOX 34 fork, Shimano XT brakes and Roval carbon wheels. These make the bike lighter and more controllable. I’ve also installed a Spank Spike Race 35mm stem and a Spank Oozy Trail 760 Vibrocore handlebar with 5mm rise, cut to 750mm and mounted upside down. These make the bike fit my body perfectly. (Make your bike fit you perfectly, and learn how to Ride it.)
The Fuse with a vigorous power wheelie on Slickrock Trail in Moab, UT.
Airing the Fuse on Slickrock Trail.
At this moment, the Fuse is my go-to, day-today bike for shredding and coaching. It is quick like a hardtail with carbon wheels, but it handles chatter like a bike with four inches of suspension. As much as I loved my Camber, I never miss it.
I hope this helps you,
Know more. Have more fun!
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