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So, after hearing so much "buzz" around the 29er mountain bike, when Chris asked me to ride a bike this summer and write a review on it, I encouraged him to find me a 29er. I have been listening to people say that the future of mountain bikes is the 29er. I really didn't think that the 29er would work for myself, a 5 foot 5 and ½ inch girl. But, then I read that Willow Koerber was riding one and that spurred me on to try one. So, Chris brought me the Specialized Camber Pro 29er.

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Specialized Camber Pro 29.

Now, I see what everyone is raving about. The 29er has incredible rolling speed. I love speed on a bike, and speed is what you generate. I couldn't believe how well it rode up and over short steep climbs. I took it up yummy numby and it climbs great in the technical!! It has so much speed on the downhill that I had trouble at times making the corners. It freaked me out at first, but, with adjustments, I wasn't going into the trees as much! I don't know if the cornering was difficult because of the 29 inch wheels or the handle bar width. The first thing that I would do if I owned this Camber would be to cut the handle bar width down. It has the Specialized XC flat bar, and they are 680mm wide. I found these too wide for me and they may have contributed to the difficulty I had with turning it in tight corners.

I was surprised how well the 29er handled technical terrain. I thought it was going to be too clunky with such big wheels, but, I was wrong. It rolls over so much, especially going up technical climbs or technical straight terrain. I found myself making it up steep punchy technical climbs that I am unable to make with my Giant Anthem. When I was going out for a fun ride with friends, I found myself grabbing this bike off the rack in the garage instead of my Anthem!

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Specialized Camber Pro 29.

I come from a mountain bike racing background and usually ride a giant anthem which is a light race bike with only 4 inches of travel. So, I actually found the Camber Pro too heavy for racing especially for long sustained climbs. The bike is approximately 29-30 pounds. But, that may have to do with being a light 128 pound girl. They have tried to find ways to lighten the bike up. The SRAM carbon cranks are a sweet addition.

The Camber has a 10 x 2 drive train which was the first 10x2 I have tried. I found it very difficult to find the perfect gear for long sustained climbs, but, that may just be me. I discussed it with other racers. I found that other woman racers agreed with me and didn't like the 10 x 2 but, I did find lots of guys who love it. I guess that is one of those things, you just have to try and see if it works for you. It was one way to save on weight, but, I found it frustrating.

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Specialized Camber Pro 29.

Descending down technical terrain was also really fun and definitely fast! The 100 mm of travel on front and back of the Camber Pro helped smooth out the ride. The rear shock had custom on-the-fly 3-position switch 1) lock out 2) Open 3) ProPedal, rebound adj. So, you could adjust it to your liking. In Whistler, we can get into some very technical descents and I found that this bike could handle everything that I took it into. Descending was probably my favourite thing about this bike and I will definitely miss flying downhill on the Camber!

Opinion:
If you want a bike with fast rolling speed and a super smooth ride, but, you don't mind a little heavier a bike then, the Specialized Camber Pro 29er is for you!

Plus:
Great rolling speed.
Rides well on technical climbs.

Minus:
Bars too wide for a smaller rider.
Quick corners hard to navigate at first.

Website:

www.specialized.com