Unleash the EVO!

My new race machine - the Specialized Camber Carbon EVO, with 120mm of rock loving suspension, a buttery pike fork, dropper post and the efficient 1x11 gearing. Sexy green and gloss black colors make the bike just look fast. I didn't get to test ride the bike, so we knew there would be some tweaks to make before the maiden pedal. We've had the bike since the end of January, but the weather precluded getting out and riding prior to our trip to Tucson. Snow, mud and ice do not make for a good quality or safe maiden ride on any bike except for a snow bike. So we got the bike all fitted and hoped for the best. We would be bringing a bike I hadn't even ridden to 24 Hours in the Old  Pueblo - breaking one of our most fundamental rules. We couldn't bring my Era since we already stripped it down and brought it to be sold. Our mistake. We usually wait until the new bike has been ridden and is all dialed before selling the old bike. I'd wanted some of the components off the Era for the Camber anyway to get it fit right. Because of the newness and lack of riding on the Camber, we also brought the Stumpy with us. If there was an issue with the camber and I still needed a spare bike, I could at least ride the Stumpy. Overkill for the 24 hour course, but as an emergency spare, it would work.

So when we got to 24 Hour Town and it was time to ride, I immediately went for the Camber. We would have another full lap on the course to get the race bikes dialed. I wanted to ride my new bike. It was a short ride - only 45 minutes - but I was grinning up a storm when we finished. I was even debating riding the Camber for the entire race because it was so much fun. The suspension soaked up all the loose rocks and brake ruts, while still allowing fast pedaling. I was running a little bigger tires then on my Fate and they held the sandy and loose corners perfectly at speed. Even though there's nothing technical on the 24 Hour course, I was still impressed by the handling, efficiency and feel of the Camber. The perfect bike for what I like riding and racing. I did end up going with the Fate as my primary bike for the race for a number of issues, but the Camber got the second number plate. Waiting just in case I needed a change from the Fate.

After five laps on the Fate, I knew I loosing the battle with the dust. I was trying to keep it clean, but the bottom bracket and chain were starting to grind. I'd get it semi smooth and free moving after a lap, but the creaking and grinding would start earlier and earlier each lap. It was only a matter of time. So I decided to swap bikes - or as Nick said "unleash the EVO!" The 1x shifting did take a little getting used to on the bitches, since I couldn't shift into my little chain ring and spin up the hills. Had to trudge up like a SS sometimes since I wasn't sure about shifting under such tension. But the reward was the backside. I knew the lines and the loose rocks littering the back of the bitches and took advantage of my new bike. I have never caught so much air on those little kickers and still landed so confidently as this year. And it didn't matter if I took the smooth line or the rocky line - I still flew. Yay! Super fun! And the rest of the course was just as fun - I was able to float the bike around all the corners and launch the rocks on the descent thru 24 Hour Town.

I'd call four laps a successful maiden ride - especially in a race. I'm looking forward to even more fun on the Camber on some rocks and technical courses. It's going to be a great summer!


  1. That is a sweet bike. Big time sleeper this year.


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