The days are getting longer. Maybe not any warmer (yet), but as the mornings start a little earlier and darkness falls later and later each day, it's getting pretty tough to not think about the season to come. We're all starting to consider the many ways we can improve our rides once it's a little less bitter out, and I think it's safe to say that Charlie has set the bar for most significant upgrade for the season with this brand-new, never before available S-Works Camber 29! Now, the Camber itself isn't new, but in past years the highest zoot version you could get into was the Pro level bike, which is definitely nothing to shrug about. Charlie was on one himself, and he's a guy that appreciates performance goods and doesn't waste time with inferior product. Every ride like it's your last & every component choice thoroughly thought through, right? Well, for the 2014 model year, we are happy to be able to offer (and ride) an S-Works level Camber. There are a few obviously huge upgrades made in the transition from Pro to S-Works, the biggest of which being the full FACT carbon rear triangle, as opposed to the aluminum of the Pro frame. The shock is a Fox Float CTD with Autosag, and the FACT 11m carbon is significantly lighter & stiffer than the Pro's FACT 9m. That's like, two full m's worth of weight savings! The new internal cable & hydraulic line routing is also a pretty huge aesthetic step forward, giving the bike a ridiculously clean & unencumbered look. So, regarding the build, I could more or less copy & paste the entry for our build of Charlie's old Niner, but it seems to have been lost in our website switchover of the last year, so here's the rough run-down: XTR! All the way through, really. We adapted out the BB30 frame so that we could run the super-stiff & feathery XTR cranks, which shift in a zip when paired with the direct mount XTR front derailleur. The XTR brakes are absolutely industry-leading, and let this be a testament to their quality: of the hundreds of brakes I've had to bleed, I would say under 1% have been XTR. XTR shifters of course, cabled to an XTR rear derailleur to keep the chain slap at bay. Matt & I were successful in pushing Charlie to installing a Thomson stem & seatpost, which, according to Chuck, haven't been on a bike of his in years. Our reasoning was that they are just as light as their carbon peers, but will hold up for ages against the rigors of the trail. We connected the stem to an Easton EC70 carbon bar with 1" of rise. For wheels, we went with the tried & true Industry 9 hubs - which offer a ridiculous amount of freehub engagement - laced to Stan's ZTR Flow EX rims. Finishing it off, Charlie loves the Specialized Ground Control tires, which makes sense because they are as fast as they are stable. Pretty solid choice for 'round these parts. Want one? You know what to do...!
- Tags: Bike