Epic + Stumpjumper = Camber?

Hey Lee,

I am going to be getting a new mountain bike in the next month or so and I am in need of some sage advice before pulling the trigger. I can only afford one bike. I compete in a few xc races each yr, but want to race a few super Ds. I am looking for a bike that I can race xc, super D, and trail ride on. Since I can’t have an epic for xc racing and a stumpjumper for super Ds and trail riding, I figured a camber 29 carbon would do decent job at these varying styles of riding. I was thinking of purchasing the carbon pro 29 frame with the command post and putting a 120mm (110mm stock) 15qr fox up front with a 1×10 drivetrain. Will I be reaching too far with this bike?

Thanks Lee!

Hey Ian,

I don’t know about sage advice, but I can offer you this:

You are right on target with the intended use of the Camber 29. It’s Specialized’s “general trail bike” that sits between the razor-sharp Epic 29 and Enduro-killing Stumpjumper 29. With the Epic focused on XC efficiency, and the Stumpy getting more and more DH, the Camber serves that middle ground.

Specialized Camber Pro Carbon 29

Are you reaching too far?



Exhibit 1: During my last annual Santa Cruz rip session with the Specialized crew, product manager Joe Buckley was riding a Camber. The rest of the riders (other product managers, racers, Curtis Keene, Chris Herndon, me) were on various flavors of Stumpjumpers and Enduros. The pace was INSANELY fast down some real-deal gnar — and Buck and his Camber were leading the charge. If you can push harder than Buck, you’re probably not asking me for advice. (Buck riding a pump track)

Exhibit 2: Last summer I rode a Camber 29 for a coaching weekend in Austin, TX. I was rallying tech descents with a local pro DHer on his Enduro, and I was inexplicably hanging on the tech climbs with elite XC racers. That bike was handling all the braaap I have, and it promoted my climbing to a new level.

The Camber 29 opened my eyes to the whole 29er thing. I’m building a Stumpy 29 because I’m not an XC racer, and I still fancy myself more of a DH guy.

If you’re doing one bike that will cover XC racing, Super D and trail, the Camber would be a great choice.



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6 replies
  1. ian says:

    Thanks for the great response Lee! I respect your experience and judgement in this area and have learned quite a bit from your books and following your website over the years.

    I’ll definitely be going with the Camber Carbon 29 frame and building it up, its a nice relief to settle on something.

    What are your thoughts regarding a fork? I’m thinking either fox float 29 120 15mm or the new 34.

    Once I get it built I’d like to schedule a couple lessons to work on my DH skills. I’ve been riding for quite awhile, but have never had any instruction on technique. Do you have any weekends open in April?

  2. leelikesbikes says:

    My new Stumpy 29 Carbon will have a FOX 34, which I will review as soon as I can. That fork can be adjusted down in 10mm increments, but it’s 12mm taller than a 32 at the same travel. So, at the same travel, it will slacken your front end about 1/2 degree. I’m rocking the 34 so I have the option of 140mm travel, and because the extra burl will help my confidence.

    April is booked with Sea Otter build/race and Utah high school coach training. March and May have openings.

  3. ian says:

    If I’m figuring this correctly, running a FOX 34 at 120 would raise my front end by nearly an inch (22mm) over the stock FOX 32 at 110mm. Would this likely make my front end wander on steep climbs and feel like my front end is too high?

  4. Slim says:

    Or a Fox 32 Talas 29 , set it in the longer travel for slacker angles for trail/AM riding and drop it into 95 to get the steep head angle back for easier oxygen deprived climbing in an XC race. You will need to adjust your saddle tilt and cockpit to make the bike feel normal in each position.

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