Specialized will offer nine 29ers in 2012, and it hasn’t just catered for the top-end offerings with a range that appeals to all price points, right down to the Hardrock Disc 29 at the entry-level.
29er range expands with Camber 29er
Of interest is the Camber, a 110mm cross-country/trail bike that sits right between the Epic and Stumpjumper FSR. The range grows to accommodate a new 29er and three carbon models.
At the top of the 29er tree is the Camber Pro Carbon 29, a bike billed as a “super light XC trail bike with top-of-the-line spec and just the right amount of suspension for the majority of riders and terrain.”
Geometry is designed around the bigger wheels with a steep 70˚ head angle, while the standard 26in Camber’s feature a slacker 68.5˚.
For 29in wheel fans, the Camber Comp Carbon uses a 2×10 drivetrain and 142+ rear hub for a weekend-ready trail slayer. On this frame, which is combined with an M5 aluminium rear triangle, there’s internal routing for the company’s own Command Post Blacklite dropper seatpost.
This adjustable height seatpost is remotely adjustable with a bar-mounted lever and has three positions. It’s available with 100mm or 125mm of adjustment.
A highlight of the Camber Pro Carbon 29 model is the fitting of the Roval Control SL 29 rims which use carbon fibre rims to save a little weight.
The Epic: Race-proven 29er success
The Epic, a bike first introduced way back in 1996, has had an incredible year on the World Cup cross-country circuit, with Jaroslav Kulhavy racing his 29er version to a world first victory at Dalby Forest, and following that up with a succession of wins.
While the frame essentially remains unchanged from last year, the componentry Specialized has chosen to adorn this flagship bike has been upgraded. There’s Kashima FutureShock and, as we spotted at Dalby earlier this year, the RockShox SID 29er fork gets Brain internals, so suspension should be nicely balanced from front to rear.
Gearing is a subject of debate on 29ers, and here Specialized has given the Epic and Stumpjumper Hardtail a 38/24 2×10 chainset and the Camber and Stumpjumper FSR get 36/22 chainrings.
Carve 29er makes 29er ownership more affordable
Making 29er ownership more affordable is Specialized’s offering of the new Carve, which takes the essence of the Stumpjumper and boils it down into an affordable package.
At its heart is an M4 aluminium frame, available at three price points, and Specialized still manage to offer tapered head tubes and a bridgeless seat stay for ride comfort. Geometry remains the same as the Stumpjumper, specific to 29ers, so it offers the same sorted handling with an 80mm fork and tapered steerer tube.
The Carve looks the ideal bike for somebody either getting into mountain biking and wanting an affordable bike for weekend trail riding but will handle the occasional cross-country race or marathon event, or equally somebody who wants to dabble a small toe in the 29er world.
Women better catered for
Women mountain bikers have been treated to the all-new Fate, a carbon fibre performance focused 29er that Specialized reckon is a market first.
The geometry for the women’s bikes have been designed by women for women to give the best experience possible, but even more interesting than that is the fact Specialized go to the effort of tailoring the carbon fibre layup on each frame size.
Each tubes diameter, thickness and profile is individually designed per size for the best weight and stiffness. Frame weight is claimed to be just 1.2kg.
Specialized has been offering the Myka 29er hardtail for a while, but the Fate is different in that it’s offered for women who want a higher performance bike, and a carbon frame. As such it features race-orientated geometry with a full carbon frame and high level of componentry.
Other standout details on the Fate, aside from the custom layup, is the tapered head tube and internal cable routing. Size wise Specialized will offer the Fate in three sizes, including a 15in frame. Expect the Fate to be built from Specailized’s own women-specific Body Geometry parts bin, including saddles, bars, stems and more.
Growing range of 29er components
Showing Specialized’s commitment to 29in wheel bikes, it has produced a range of components including a line of 29er XC trail-specific wheels.
At the top-end the Roval Control Trail SL 29 wheelset uses 28mm wide rims, so it’ll take tyres up to 2.5in wide, and there’s 32 spokes front and rear.
It’s got a new tyre in the shape of the al-new Fast Trak, a typically general purpose style of tread, while for racing applications there’s a new Renegade, the same tyre the World Cup contenders have been campaigning aboard.
Lastly, they’ve developed a new handlebar for its 29er range. The Mini Riser is 720mm wide and has just 10mm of rise and is found on the Camber and Stumpjumper FSR. On the Stumpjumper HT and Epic a narrower 680mm handlebar is fitted.
Tune in tomorrow for a preview of the latest accessories from Specialized…