Considering Goblin EVO - General Questions- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    CRG
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    Considering Goblin EVO - General Questions

    I'll try to keep this short...

    I've been riding for about a year and half on a Specialized Hardrock with v-brakes and Suntour fork that I was able to pick up on CL for a good price. The bike hasn't been modified apart from the tires (I'm using WTB Velociraptors).

    I ride multiple times per week, mostly on a steep, private fire road that connects to where I work. The descent is fast, but mostly smooth. Apart from this, I sometimes ride a slightly bumpier and steeper fire road and I was able to ride some single track in Santa Cruz last weekend that I absolutely loved.

    Last weekend, while on the single track in SC, I demoed a Trek Fuel 9.8 29er and it was a blast, but the price tag is a bit steep, particularly for the carbon model, which is the one I tested. As I continue to read on this site I'm wondering if FS is even at all necessary for the type of riding I'm doing. I'm sure it might be more fun, but so might a nicer HT. At this point I really don't see myself doing any crazy technical stuff, large drops, etc.

    Anyhow, your thoughts and suggestions are appreciated. The Goblin EVO looks like a great bike and a fantastic value, but how will it suit my current terrain?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Sawyer Gnome
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    I vote hard tail. More pedaling efficiency; less things to maintain. Of course, over the past number of years, I've chalked up the majority of my miles on a fully rigid SS 29er, so take what I have to say with a grain of salt.
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    I recently went from a hardrock (but disc brakes, same crappy suntour fork) to a Goblin EVO. I can't say it's night and day. The brakes are a lot better. They stop much faster and provide great modulation/feedback. Since the tires are bigger and much fatter, they smooth out rough trails a bit more (great for descending gravel forest roads like you are talking about). The fork is much nicer, it's plush, has a lot of adjustments, and doesn't clunk when I pull the front up (like for a drop). It seems like it's a bit lighter, too, but I have never actually weighed them.

    I had my EVO tuned at the same shop that did work on my hardrock. Interestingly, the shifting on the EVO seems a lot less precise and a lot slower. There's a noticeable lag between the time I shift and the time the chain actually moves. The chain seems to drag a bit when in certain gears (and weird ones, too, not just cross-chaining -- I've seen another thread on here about the same problem but no resolution). I think this is supposed to be a significant upgrade in component quality but other than the brakes, I'm not really getting it. I was expecting faster, crisper shifts but I'm not getting that at all. Maybe after another few weeks of riding and I get another tune up it will get resolved.

    I'm not hardcore. I go out about once a week in spring and fall and a bit more than that in summer. I do trails rated from green dots to black diamonds. I don't do my own maintenance other than lube and changing tubes/tires. Just giving some background so you know I'm no expert. I did spend at least 3 years both commuting and doing trails on that hardrock so I'm sure I'm much more used to that than the EVO. The only full suspension bikes I've ridden have been downhill rentals at Whistler. I didn't consider buying one as my main bike because I'd rather keep it simple and not break the bank.

    Overall I'm happy with the upgrade and it was definitely worth it to me to switch.

  4. #4
    CRG
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    Quote Originally Posted by saberworks View Post
    I recently went from a hardrock (but disc brakes, same crappy suntour fork) to a Goblin EVO. I can't say it's night and day. The brakes are a lot better. They stop much faster and provide great modulation/feedback. Since the tires are bigger and much fatter, they smooth out rough trails a bit more (great for descending gravel forest roads like you are talking about). The fork is much nicer, it's plush, has a lot of adjustments, and doesn't clunk when I pull the front up (like for a drop). It seems like it's a bit lighter, too, but I have never actually weighed them.

    I had my EVO tuned at the same shop that did work on my hardrock. Interestingly, the shifting on the EVO seems a lot less precise and a lot slower. There's a noticeable lag between the time I shift and the time the chain actually moves. The chain seems to drag a bit when in certain gears (and weird ones, too, not just cross-chaining -- I've seen another thread on here about the same problem but no resolution). I think this is supposed to be a significant upgrade in component quality but other than the brakes, I'm not really getting it. I was expecting faster, crisper shifts but I'm not getting that at all. Maybe after another few weeks of riding and I get another tune up it will get resolved.

    I'm not hardcore. I go out about once a week in spring and fall and a bit more than that in summer. I do trails rated from green dots to black diamonds. I don't do my own maintenance other than lube and changing tubes/tires. Just giving some background so you know I'm no expert. I did spend at least 3 years both commuting and doing trails on that hardrock so I'm sure I'm much more used to that than the EVO. The only full suspension bikes I've ridden have been downhill rentals at Whistler. I didn't consider buying one as my main bike because I'd rather keep it simple and not break the bank.

    Overall I'm happy with the upgrade and it was definitely worth it to me to switch.
    @saberworks - thanks for the overview. Very helpful.

    I would have expected a substantial upgrade from the Hardrock, but I appreciate your honest comparison nonetheless. The fork on the Hardrock definitely sucks and upgrading it would be great, as would upgrading to something with larger wheels. One of things I really liked when I demoed the Trek was the 29" wheels - just fantastic.

    I felt like I was on a completely different bike on the carbon Trek FS, and for good reason. Still, I wonder if it's necessary to spend $3k+ on a bike based on the type of riding I'm doing. From most accounts, it seems like it isn't.

    One other question for you - do you have any comments on the frame geometry and overall fit vs. the Hardrock? Is the Goblin EVO comfortable to ride, even on longer distances? It's unfortunate that these bikes can't be tested before buying.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CRG View Post
    It's unfortunate that these bikes can't be tested before buying.
    Your best option is to find a bike that has similar geometry at a local LBS, so you get an idea of fit. Nothing unfortunate about skipping the middle man and saving a wad of cash - you just need to do some extra research.

  6. #6
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    One other question for you - do you have any comments on the frame geometry and overall fit vs. the Hardrock? Is the Goblin EVO comfortable to ride, even on longer distances? It's unfortunate that these bikes can't be tested before buying.
    I have a 19" (Large) hardrock and I bought an 18" EVO based on Airborne's recommendation. The size feels perfect. At first the tires felt really big and I sort of felt like I was "in" the bike instead of "on" the bike. After only a couple of rides I felt right at home, though. Obviously spend time to adjust the positions of your shifters and brake levers. I rotate mine forward so they're in a natural position and also inwards so the shifter isn't digging into my thumb as I'm riding. I don't know the numbers but the head tube angle doesn't seem much different. I know when I rode my brother's XC bike it felt super twitchy and like I was directly over the front tire. The EVO doesn't feel like that at all (nor does the hardrock).

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    Quote Originally Posted by saberworks View Post
    I had my EVO tuned at the same shop that did work on my hardrock. Interestingly, the shifting on the EVO seems a lot less precise and a lot slower. There's a noticeable lag between the time I shift and the time the chain actually moves. The chain seems to drag a bit when in certain gears (and weird ones, too, not just cross-chaining -- I've seen another thread on here about the same problem but no resolution). I think this is supposed to be a significant upgrade in component quality but other than the brakes, I'm not really getting it. I was expecting faster, crisper shifts but I'm not getting that at all. Maybe after another few weeks of riding and I get another tune up it will get resolved.
    there is something amiss... I have an original goblin with all of the original x7 components sans an upgrade to an x9 rear derailleur and the shifting action is pretty snappy, especially when freshly tuned.... might want to have a different set of eyes/hands go over the bike and see what's going on...
    I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.. Oh SH*T!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by CRG View Post
    I'll try to keep this short...

    I've been riding for about a year and half on a Specialized Hardrock with v-brakes and Suntour fork that I was able to pick up on CL for a good price. The bike hasn't been modified apart from the tires (I'm using WTB Velociraptors).

    I ride multiple times per week, mostly on a steep, private fire road that connects to where I work. The descent is fast, but mostly smooth. Apart from this, I sometimes ride a slightly bumpier and steeper fire road and I was able to ride some single track in Santa Cruz last weekend that I absolutely loved.

    Last weekend, while on the single track in SC, I demoed a Trek Fuel 9.8 29er and it was a blast, but the price tag is a bit steep, particularly for the carbon model, which is the one I tested. As I continue to read on this site I'm wondering if FS is even at all necessary for the type of riding I'm doing. I'm sure it might be more fun, but so might a nicer HT. At this point I really don't see myself doing any crazy technical stuff, large drops, etc.

    Anyhow, your thoughts and suggestions are appreciated. The Goblin EVO looks like a great bike and a fantastic value, but how will it suit my current terrain?

    Thanks!
    I had an 07 Hardrock with V-brakes too and made the jump to the evo 4 months ago. The difference is NIGHT AND DAY. Braking is much, much, much better. Tires grip great even in the nastiest of conditions. The 29 inch wheels help the bike roll faster (when you get going). The ride is much more comfortable because of 3 things: 29 inch wheels, big tires and amazing air fork. What you lose by going with a 29er is some handling (bike is not quite as nimble). To put things another way, I was a few minutes faster in the same trail on the evo versus the hardrock from 1 week to the next.

    I would recommend test riding the Trek Stache 7. They are basically the same bike. The evo has a better fork and wider tires but they feel about the same and have very similar geometry. If you like how the trek rides, get the evo. That is how I made up my mind.

    Having said all of that, If you are just riding fire roads, I think you are just wasting your money. These are TRAIL bikes... They are meant for chunkier, more technical riding. You may just need an XC oriented bike or stick with your current bike.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CRG View Post
    I'll try to keep this short...

    I've been riding for about a year and half on a Specialized Hardrock with v-brakes and Suntour fork that I was able to pick up on CL for a good price. The bike hasn't been modified apart from the tires (I'm using WTB Velociraptors).

    I ride multiple times per week, mostly on a steep, private fire road that connects to where I work. The descent is fast, but mostly smooth. Apart from this, I sometimes ride a slightly bumpier and steeper fire road and I was able to ride some single track in Santa Cruz last weekend that I absolutely loved.

    Last weekend, while on the single track in SC, I demoed a Trek Fuel 9.8 29er and it was a blast, but the price tag is a bit steep, particularly for the carbon model, which is the one I tested. As I continue to read on this site I'm wondering if FS is even at all necessary for the type of riding I'm doing. I'm sure it might be more fun, but so might a nicer HT. At this point I really don't see myself doing any crazy technical stuff, large drops, etc.

    Anyhow, your thoughts and suggestions are appreciated. The Goblin EVO looks like a great bike and a fantastic value, but how will it suit my current terrain?

    Thanks!
    I'd avoid the EVO. Im gonna get a lot of flack for that first sentence, especially since I just bought one a few weeks ago, and I have given it a pretty big thumbs up so far *(though today will be my first actual trail ride with it).

    Let me explain: First off what size bike are you looking for? Airborne is telling people they are out of the EVO and Goblin in the 16 and 18" until mid-summer at earliest. So unless you are ok with waiting till summer is half over or more, id look elsewhere.

    Second: 2 of the people I have spoken to who were not able to get an EVO in their size due to inventory, both stated that Airborne said the delay was due to redesign of the frame, or changes. That tells me they have identified problems, or at the least feel an upgrade needs to be made (otherwise they wouldnt be doing it mid the busiest time of year).

    I would never buy a bike where the manufacturer is telling people they are redesigning the frame (or making changes to it). At least not until the new frame comes out.

    Good luck on your search and let us know what you come up with. PS Have you looked into GT at all? Good specs at a reasonable price.
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  10. #10
    Squ-eti
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    Quote Originally Posted by pattongb View Post
    Second: 2 of the people I have spoken to who were not able to get an EVO in their size due to inventory, both stated that Airborne said the delay was due to redesign of the frame, or changes. That tells me they have identified problems, or at the least feel an upgrade needs to be made (otherwise they wouldnt be doing it mid the busiest time of year).

    I would never buy a bike where the manufacturer is telling people they are redesigning the frame (or making changes to it). At least not until the new frame comes out.
    see, I tend to see these things as a positive. the reason they sold out of 16 and 18 inch evo's is because it's an awesome bike at a ridiculous price, and once word got out it was going to be tough for a smaller company to keep stock of the most popular sizes.

    as for any changes...if you're not moving forward, you're falling behind right? I don't believe there's anything "wrong" with the evo frame in it's current rendition. I don't recall anyone on here stating they had to return a frame because it broke or anything dramatic like that, but if you have a chance to improve your product...why wouldn't you? and what better time than when they're not available anyway...
    "Trails? Where we're going we don't need, trails!"


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by pattongb View Post
    Airborne said the delay was due to redesign of the frame, or changes.
    Does anyone what these changes are yet?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mccartney7499 View Post
    see, I tend to see these things as a positive. the reason they sold out of 16 and 18 inch evo's is because it's an awesome bike at a ridiculous price, and once word got out it was going to be tough for a smaller company to keep stock of the most popular sizes.

    as for any changes...if you're not moving forward, you're falling behind right? I don't believe there's anything "wrong" with the evo frame in it's current rendition. I don't recall anyone on here stating they had to return a frame because it broke or anything dramatic like that, but if you have a chance to improve your product...why wouldn't you? and what better time than when they're not available anyway...
    Agreed IF: the lack of inventory is due to overwhelming response AND the redesigns are simply improvements and the company taking advantage of a new incoming inventory to tweak things.

    Im skeptical, but the above is possible. I have not heard a single, or found a single post criticizing the EVO frame, so it certainly possible they are simple "tweaking a few things". We do have to keep in mind the math though: if they ordered 10,000 EVO's and they sold out of most of them, and maybe 100 people frequent this board who own one, what are the chances we would hear about or know about a problem with the frame? Pretty low.

    All things considered im still pretty amazed at the lack of inventory. People can say what they want about being "small" and all that but they were bought by Huffy and people were all shouting from the rooftops about how that was going to give Airborne so much more buying power, and the ability to add more stock.
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    I am looking at selling my Evo 18". If you, or someone anyone knows is in FL, I know this size is out of stock. I would be happy to talk.

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    I think the current inventory situation says good things about the bike. Airborne seems to have very happy customers, me included.

    But I wouldn't be surprised if the changes are due to a shortage of a key component that is driving a redesign for a replacement. I am speculating, but it happens a lot in industry. Hopefully it means the bike will be even better.

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