They say: “Everything you need, nothing you don’t”
Need to Know
- 120mm of travel with custom RockShox Pike fork
- 29in wheels
- FACT 9M Carbon front triangle saves 1lb over aluminium equivalent
- Innovative SWAT tool, air and water storage
- Internally routed Specialized Command seatpost
- 1×11 SRAM XO drivetrain
We’ve long been fans of Specialized’s Camber; a little bike with big ambitions. From its humble 26in wheel beginnings, to the current 29er incarnation, it has always put the emphasis on having fun. Despite modest travel and a need to keep costs down it has continually punched above its weight, completely at home on trails it should have no right to be.
Last year it got a major revamp, making it more capable than ever. The top tube was dropped – lower even than the previous 26in wheel version – and the whole frame was made significantly stiffer by sharing the seatstay pivots and link with the much copied shock yoke. Now it also gets an ultra-light S-Works full carbon frame option that improves stiffness and saves a full pound over the alloy version, as well as the carbon front/alloy rear version seen here. In making such a huge step forward Specialized unlocked the doors to a whole new level of potential and paved the way for the Evo version you see here.
Evo is basically just a short, snappy way of saying ‘how the designers set up their bikes’. In other words, wider bars, shorter stems, bigger tyres, dropper posts… and in the case of the Camber Evo, upping the ante even extends as far as increasing travel to 120mm and fitting a custom RockShox Pike. We love the fact that Specialized has the balls to spec a fork designed for much longer travel bikes – it just goes to show how much belief it has in the capability of the Camber chassis.
As much we couldn’t help drooling over the beautiful carbon Expert Evo model, it’s pleasing to see that Specialized is offering a more affordable M5 alloy-framed version; the simple Camber Evo. It gets the same geometry and 120mm of travel, and more importantly, the same attitude as the flagship model, but sacrifices much of the bling to bring it in at a more attainable £2,200.