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Thread: 29er Decision

  1. #1
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    29er Decision

    I'm trying to decide between the Evolve or Evolution. From the specs on the Ells site, I can't imagine the difference in frame weight being much unless they are using heavier tubing on the Evolution. I am 6'4", 222 lbs, and will be using the bike for xc and light trail (1-3 foot jumps). I live in Eastern Virginia, so not a lot of rocks, mostly roots. I had pretty much settled on a 4" Evolve but the idea of having a bit more travel with very little weigh penalty is tempting. Any loss of pedaling efficiancy with the extra inch do you think? Other considerations? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I am very happy with my Evolve...

    I live in Westchester County, NY and ride lots of roots and rocks on our local trails and kind of think that extra inch of travel is not necessary on a 29er.

    Jusy my two cents.

    SPP

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    Bob...

    Your original decision for the 4" Evolve is perfect for the type of riding you described.

    Although, the Evolution will have more travel, it will have to be ridden to be sure it can rail corners the same way the Evolve can. Hopefully, Ellsworth has created the best 120mm 29er so far. Time will tell. The other 120mm 29ers I have owned (SULTAN and RUMBLEFISH 110mm) were good, but my local trails aren't that burly and the Evolve just eats it up so much faster

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    Thanks for both the inputs. I did have it set in my mind that 4" was what I needed before I saw the Evolution. I bought a Specialized Epic 29er Comp (90mm rear, 100mm front) in Feb of this year and it was my first and only 29er. I'm sold on the big wheels, loved the bike and actually had my dealer checking on an 11 Epic Expert Carbon when I discovered that I had cracked the rear shock eye after 6 months of riding. Same trails as described above and I had been riding a Giant Trance 4" travel bike on the same for two years with no problems. Spec rep said the Epic was XC and not meant to be jumped. My dealer agreed and is giving me a generous trade on an Ells. Donald from Ells said that I wouldn't have any problems with the Evolve on my trails. I thought the extra 20mm might be some insurance but I don't want to sacrifice any cornering, as our trails our pretty twisty. But there are also some larger jumps that I wouldn't mind hitting. Nothing larger than 4-5 feet though. I am also going to call Ells and discuss with them. I have to admit I was a bit skeptical about the steep head angle and long chain stays on the Evolve. But with Ellsworths reputation, all the positive reviews here, and the fact that everyone from our area that have bought Ellsworths have said they are the best riding bikes they've ever owned (two were Evolves) I am trusting that Ells knows what they are doing. Thanks again for your feedback.

  5. #5
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    I have a 2010 Evolve with a 120/95 Fox Talas, works perfectly. I leave it at 120 most of the time to slacken the h/a and have more travel. Flip the lever to 95 to climb, or if i am on a tight twisty trail.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BiknBob
    . I have to admit I was a bit skeptical about the steep head angle and long chain stays on the Evolve.
    Speaking of head angle; why so steep? Is there something I'm missing here? The new T29 from Intense is quite a bit slacker.
    Calvin

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    It does keep the wheelbase short. I noticed when I got my epic 29er that I had to use more body english to corner. Since this was my only 29er experience, I thought it was a general 29er trait. Maybe the Ells corners faster.

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    A simple answer..maybe..depends on your intended use.
    Want a full suspension 29" xc/endurance race bike ? Get the 2011 Evolve. Trail Bike? Get the 2011 Evolution
    we adjusted the geo slightly on the two bikes (Evolve & Evolution) So the 2011 Evolve is slightly steeper giving it more of an XC race feel. The 2011 Evolution rides just like the 2010 Evolve only with another 20mm travel.
    I hope this helps
    David
    Last edited by Bike Zen; 09-27-2010 at 02:04 PM.
    Zen Bicycle Fabrication, Portland, Or.

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    10mm?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BiknBob
    10mm?
    fixed in org post now, thanks
    Zen Bicycle Fabrication, Portland, Or.

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    Thanks. One thing I'm wondering about is that the bottom bracket height is the same for the new Evolve and the Evolution. With 20 mm more travel I'm worried about pedal strikes.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by BiknBob
    Thanks. One thing I'm wondering about is that the bottom bracket height is the same for the new Evolve and the Evolution. With 20 mm more travel I'm worried about pedal strikes.
    There are a lot of 160mm frames that use a 14.0 BB height, so 13.4 isn't going to drag on full compression.
    Also, I have been riding the Evolution here in the rocky-PNW without noticing more pedal strikes than usual.
    Zen Bicycle Fabrication, Portland, Or.

  13. #13
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    David,

    Thanks for all the info. Do you feel like the extra 20mm makes tight cornering and acceleration any slower?

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    As I said in a previous thread, I took my Evolve down some pretty rough stuff at Bent Creek, Dupont, and Pisgah NC a few weekends ago. Normally I wouldn't have chosen the Evolve, I would have rather been on my Epi. But a buddy of mine found his frame was broken on the trip up from Fl, so I let him use my Epi. A couple of trails had some stepdowns in the 2ft range, and I never felt it was beyond what the bike could handle with ease. It does take a little more upper-body strength though, keeping the bigger wheels on track seemed to require a bit more effort at times. If you are going to go bigger than that I would look at something with more travel, I guess the question is would it still handle like the current Evolve, because this bike is dialed for most riding.
    AKA: Slowfatguy

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    Well the Evolution HT and ST angles are the same as the 10 Evolve. I spoke with Brian at Ells today and he said the weight difference was less than a lb between them. I can't imagine 20mm making a huge difference in overall feel and, being a Clyde, I am definitely bottoming my Epic 29er when I jump. I know what you mean about using more upper body. I think the inertia of the wheels takes more input to overcome but also makes it more stable. I'm 6'4" and the big wheels feel like home to me. I rode a Fuel EX 9.9 at a Trek demo a couple of weeks ago and it was a great bike but felt twitchy after my Epic 29.

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    Well, I'm a clyde also. I'm only 5'11, but around 225 with gear. I don't go for huge air, but get up pretty good (especially as I got more comfortable with the bike in the mountains, not many places for air in FL). I can't imagine them making the 100mm bike handle much quicker without sacrificing the all around ability of the bike. If they can make the 120 bike handle just like the '10 100mm bike then it seems like a clear winner to me. But I would have to ride both back to back. That is the beauty of the '10 Evolve, it is a very fast bike but can still do some of the bigger stuff that most XC bikes wouldn't want.
    AKA: Slowfatguy

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    OK, my bike shop called Ells, I am in the queue for an Evolution. I am trusting Ells to meet their design goal of '10 Evolve handling and I also want the ability to hit some bigger jumps at my local trail. There was a '10 Evolve in the shop today getting some new wheels installed. It had the Loaded wheels and handlebar, Racing Ralph 2.25s, SRAM XX, size small, with pedals, water bottle cage and computer mount, weighed 26.11 lbs on a new Park Digital scale. Wow, lighter than I figured! I'm getting SRAM XO on mine and Ells wheels. I'm thinking I should have a 5" travel 29er in XL size around 27 lbs.

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    Is the frame on the Evolution beefier than the the Evolve, or does it just have more travel? I love my Evolve and have never felt hindered by the travel, but I do adjust my lines a bit because I worry about breaking the frame. I would be very interested in the Evolution if the frame strenght compared to, say, a Moment.

    I have alwasy been told the the Evolve frame compares more with a Truth in terms of strength that to a Moment...but don't know for a fact if that is the case.

  19. #19
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    I don't think it's a beefier frame. I spoke with Donald at Ells again and he said the difference in frame weights between and Evolve and an Evolution was around less than 1/2lb.

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