Specialized markets the Women's Camber as a bike with a trail-oriented attitude and cross-country roots. The website states that it's, "built for speed." "Period." With the steepest angles in the test, it has a decidedly utilitarian feel. A pleasantly firm pedaling platform, steep head tube angle, and sharp steering, the Camber performs best on the climbs. It's uncomfortable cockpit and narrow bars keep us from loving it on the uphills, however. On the descent, it takes solitary hits and drops like a trail bike should but is quickly shaken on successive impacts. The 120mm bike reaches its descending limits far sooner than the two longer legged test bikes. The Women's Camber Comp Carbon 650b carries a $3,500 price tag and offers a reasonable build, featuring a Fox Performance DPS rear shock, SRAM GX drivetrain, and SRAM Level TL brakes. We take exception with the 130mm RockShox Reba RL fork. The 32mm stanchions and paltry 24 spokes on the front wheel don't result in the sturdy feel we like in a front end.
The Specialized Camber is a swift climber that feels energized and light on the ascent. This bike is an option for folks who prefer cross-country style terrain and don't feel the need to push their limits on the descent. Its capabilities are within the range of new riders. Dedicated riders will quickly outgrow this bike's skill set. We always appreciate the SWAT storage system in the downtube. The Camber is reasonably competent downhill, but the Juliana Furtado is a far steadier hand and the Liv Pique SX has more personality. Both bikes climb nicely as well.