Chumba choice...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Chumba choice...

    Ok, here's the picture. I do 3 kinds of riding:

    1. Trails on weekends. Steep rough climbs, technical singletrack, roots and rocks, steep rough descents.

    2. Everyday rides... I do usually 2-5 hrs a day on rocky fire roads, up and down. Don't do trails on weekdays because I ride alone, and stuff can happen.

    3. Epics. A few times a year I'll take off with a few like minded loonies and go a few days self-supported on rough back roads, 8-10 hrs a day.

    I had 2 bikes til recently: my AM-built Evo was the trail bile, and my old light Truth was the "road bike" (roads where I live would be considered trails in a lot of places).

    About a month ago I cracked the Truth frame. No complaints, I'd got it second hand and beat up, and used it for years, pushed it way past what it was built to do. RIP.

    So now I'm gonna be a one bike guy, will use the kit from the Truth to build up a lighter bike for my son, who really needs two bikes, since he does everything from big-drop freeride to multi day epics. I should be able to get by on one.

    In the last month I've put a whole lot of miles on the Evo, and a lot of them are sort of "XC" miles, basically fire road stuff. No doubt I can ride the bike all day, done it many times. My benchmark climb is a 600m in 7.5 km continuous upgrade on rough surface, I can do it as fast on the Evo as I could on the Truth. The long travel and the plush back actually help on the rough climbs, I think.

    What I love most about the Evo is the long descents on rough rocky fire roads... all the bikes I've had before just seem to get skittery at a certain speed, the Evo/36 combination just screams "go faster". I love the plushness, and for long rides the extra comfort seems to compensate for the extra weight. The angles, especially in front, are really comfortable for the singletrack DH stuff that we do so much of.

    But...

    No doubt that in some ways the Evo is more bike than I really need. It's made to jump and drop, and I don't do that. For sure I'm carrying a bit of a weight penalty for that, and for sure that will be a liability on the multiday rides.

    So the choice...

    1. Just keep the Evo. I really like the bike, it's tons of fun on the trails, and on the stuff I do every day I don't feel it's a liability at all... only real issue is for the epic rides, which I don't do that often anyway... and I can always just get a little stronger. The best bike is one that works and leaves you smiling at the end of the day, and the Evo does that every time.

    2. Switch to XCL. I got a killer barely used deal on the Evo frame, and I know Tonycan will cut me an excellent deal on an EXL (right Tony? ). Would cost something but in theory the XCL is probably a "better" all round bike for what I do.

    I've never ridden an XCL. So, for people who have ridden both...

    How much of that rock solid plush downhill stability would I give up by going to an XCL?

    How much climbing capacity and all-day comfort would I gain by going XCL?

    Again, in theory the XCL is for sure "better" for my riding profile. But theory ain't practice, and there would be hassle and expense involved. I'm kind of inclined to just go with what I have, and let people think I'm nuts for riding a 32.5 pound beef bike on multiday epics. But... yeah, there's always that nagging voice that says "go buy something".

    What do y'all think?
    About buying a bike:
    Quote Originally Posted by No MSG
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quarashi
    I'm kind of inclined to just go with what I have, and let people think I'm nuts for riding a 32.5 pound beef bike on multiday epics.
    Thinking like that isn't going to help stimulate the economy. Go buy something new!

    Actually, I've never ridden the EVO (other than a spin around a parking lot) but I love my XCL and your riding description sounds like what it's made for. I don't think you'll lose much weight from one to the other if you're using the same build from your EVO though. So, if that's your primary reason to switch, you may as well stay with the EVO.

  3. #3
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    Oops....

    Sorry, that came out under my son's log-in details. His computer has some issues, guess he was logged in on mine!

  4. #4
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    Not entirely the weight... I have the older Evo with the very slack seat angle, and I have the feeling that a steeper angle placing the weight a little closer to over the crank might be just a wee bit more efficient on really long stuff.

    But there's a bit of hair splitting going on there!

  5. #5
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    My riding is very similar to yours. I don't do any big air or freeride sort of stuff. The XCL is an ideal do-it-all bike for me. I rode a Titus motolite for 3 years before the Chumba. No time on the EVO. The XCL is more comfortable in the rough stuff than my ML, and it handles better in tight singletrack. Mine weighs about 31lbs so no real difference from your EVO.

  6. #6
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    I took my XCL out tonight for the first time...only had to watch out for a couple of ice and snow patches....and it was awesome! awesome! Awesome!...buy the xcl.

  7. #7
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    I've had a chance to ride both very recently. I have a fairly nice XCL built up, it sits right around 25-26lbs (mainly depending on tires I slap on) its got lots of blingy parts and is an extremely fun bike to ride.

    Your riding seems to be spot on with what I do, but I also race xc / endurance races. I didnt want to have two bikes for trail riding and xc racing. Besides the wife wouldnt let me get ANOTHER bike, I have my SS and now my chumba.

    Both bikes pedal great, very nimble, overall you really can't go wrong with either.

    What I like on the XCL over the Evo. Seems to be a better peddler, less power loss into the suspension while pedaling. Now this can be easily fixed by using more propedal if needed. It seemed to me that the BB height was a noticable difference I think that there is about 3/4" difference between the two, so the XCL is probably a little bit more nimble in the twisties. Also going for the XCL is that the angles of the bike are a bit more "trail bike" and a little less "AM" than the EVO. Very easy to build up light.

    What I like on the EVO. Can you say SOLID? Its not like the XCL is noodley by any means, but dayyyum the EVO is built! The bike goes downhill like a screamin demon, it really carves up everything in its path. Overall a very solid bike and looks stunning. Also having a bit more travel NEVER hurts anything.

    For my type of riding, and for my tastes I'd like the XCL, I don't think you can go wrong with either, and once my budget allows I'm buying an EVO as well actually. I just need to find a place I can hide it from the wife!

    For me the ultimate trail bike would be the EVO built up with fairly light parts. If I can build my EVO in the 27-28lbs (which should be very possible with out sacrificing strength) it will be my dream bike. But you are also looking at a fairly hefty investment.

  8. #8
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    What Monty said..ditto!

    Quote Originally Posted by monty797
    I've had a chance to ride both very recently. I have a fairly nice XCL built up, it sits right around 25-26lbs (mainly depending on tires I slap on) its got lots of blingy parts and is an extremely fun bike to ride.

    Your riding seems to be spot on with what I do, but I also race xc / endurance races. I didnt want to have two bikes for trail riding and xc racing. Besides the wife wouldnt let me get ANOTHER bike, I have my SS and now my chumba.

    Both bikes pedal great, very nimble, overall you really can't go wrong with either.

    What I like on the XCL over the Evo. Seems to be a better peddler, less power loss into the suspension while pedaling. Now this can be easily fixed by using more propedal if needed. It seemed to me that the BB height was a noticable difference I think that there is about 3/4" difference between the two, so the XCL is probably a little bit more nimble in the twisties. Also going for the XCL is that the angles of the bike are a bit more "trail bike" and a little less "AM" than the EVO. Very easy to build up light.

    What I like on the EVO. Can you say SOLID? Its not like the XCL is noodley by any means, but dayyyum the EVO is built! The bike goes downhill like a screamin demon, it really carves up everything in its path. Overall a very solid bike and looks stunning. Also having a bit more travel NEVER hurts anything.

    For my type of riding, and for my tastes I'd like the XCL, I don't think you can go wrong with either, and once my budget allows I'm buying an EVO as well actually. I just need to find a place I can hide it from the wife!

    For me the ultimate trail bike would be the EVO built up with fairly light parts. If I can build my EVO in the 27-28lbs (which should be very possible with out sacrificing strength) it will be my dream bike. But you are also looking at a fairly hefty investment.
    Damn dude, you sound just like me from the type of riding to the wife freaking over another bike! Too funny!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaMtnBkr
    Damn dude, you sound just like me from the type of riding to the wife freaking over another bike! Too funny!
    Great minds think alike

  10. #10
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    I have both a XCL and EVO. XCL has a Talas 32, and the EVO has a Talas 36. To me, the EVO is definitely the better descender. Very stable. The rear end is more linear vs. the XCL's more progressive feel. Although I think a XCL with 36 might be quite fun as well.

    One thing to consider is switching to perhaps a RP23 or one of the newer DHX's on your EVO - the ones where you can turn ProPedal on and off with a switch. That way, you can set it up for a nice firm platform on those fireroad climbs. That should help with the efficiency.

  11. #11
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    Pro pedal=excellent climbing!

    Quote Originally Posted by dubjay
    I have both a XCL and EVO. XCL has a Talas 32, and the EVO has a Talas 36. To me, the EVO is definitely the better descender. Very stable. The rear end is more linear vs. the XCL's more progressive feel. Although I think a XCL with 36 might be quite fun as well.

    One thing to consider is switching to perhaps a RP23 or one of the newer DHX's on your EVO - the ones where you can turn ProPedal on and off with a switch. That way, you can set it up for a nice firm platform on those fireroad climbs. That should help with the efficiency.
    Good point on the RP23. I have one on my XCL and I could not believe the difference in climbing with it on or off. It is night and day.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaMtnBkr
    Good point on the RP23. I have one on my XCL and I could not believe the difference in climbing with it on or off. It is night and day.
    I agree, I actually wasnt all that impressed with the XCL climbing with out propedal. I use setting 2 and its amazing the difference.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by monty797
    I agree, I actually wasnt all that impressed with the XCL climbing with out propedal. I use setting 2 and its amazing the difference.
    Hmmm, Maybe it's the difference in the shocks but I have the DHX-A and don't use any Propedal and I do quite a bit of climbing. I don't like dealing with turning the knob anyway, but even if I had the newer shock with the lever, I still don't think I'd use it.

  14. #14
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    Hey Quarashi...

    ...(or is it Quarashi's dad?), I was intrigued by your mentioning of multi-day unsupported trips. I'm into that kind of thing too and want to outfit my FS rig with bags. You got any pics of your old bikepacking setup?
    Hey man, wanna go for a klunk?

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    It's Quarashi's dad... bit of confusion there.

    We tend to go really light on those trips, and the rig isn't anything proper. Last time out (last ride with the Truth) it looked like this:



    Simple rack clamps onto seat post, I put a dry bag on it with a few bits of clothing. Small bag on the front with tools, camera, tubes, a few spares. Small pack with a bladder full of water and a few things to eat. We basically end up going out in the back country, mountains in the northern Philippines, and sleeping where we end up. So far it's always worked out.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by monty797
    What I like on the EVO. Can you say SOLID? Its not like the XCL is noodley by any means, but dayyyum the EVO is built! The bike goes downhill like a screamin demon, it really carves up everything in its path...

    For me the ultimate trail bike would be the EVO built up with fairly light parts. If I can build my EVO in the 27-28lbs (which should be very possible with out sacrificing strength) it will be my dream bike. But you are also looking at a fairly hefty investment.
    Agree on the screaming solid aspect, not sure I'm willing to sacrifice that. It's a big part of what makes it fun.

    I'm really curious, though... has anyone built up an Evo under 30 lbs without compromising solidity? If so, how? Mine isn't exactly built for freeride, and it comes in at 32.5. Thinking of blowing cash on an I9 wheelset, that would drop a bit (currently using XT/DT Champion/Mavic 719), but not that much. I don't see any point at all in going to light tires, a bike like the Evo needs some serious rubber on it (though I could see putting lighter tires on for an epic ride).

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by dayuhan
    Agree on the screaming solid aspect, not sure I'm willing to sacrifice that. It's a big part of what makes it fun.

    I'm really curious, though... has anyone built up an Evo under 30 lbs without compromising solidity? If so, how? Mine isn't exactly built for freeride, and it comes in at 32.5. Thinking of blowing cash on an I9 wheelset, that would drop a bit (currently using XT/DT Champion/Mavic 719), but not that much. I don't see any point at all in going to light tires, a bike like the Evo needs some serious rubber on it (though I could see putting lighter tires on for an epic ride).

    I've yet to see one built up that light, I'm sure they are out there though.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by dayuhan
    It's Quarashi's dad... bit of confusion there.

    We tend to go really light on those trips, and the rig isn't anything proper. Last time out (last ride with the Truth) it looked like this:



    Simple rack clamps onto seat post, I put a dry bag on it with a few bits of clothing. Small bag on the front with tools, camera, tubes, a few spares. Small pack with a bladder full of water and a few things to eat. We basically end up going out in the back country, mountains in the northern Philippines, and sleeping where we end up. So far it's always worked out.
    That's a nice light setup. No tent or sleeping bag? I guess there are enough sari-sari stores there for re-supply too .I miss the Philippines (born and raised in Cavite) but I lived in the lowlands. It's cool to know that mt biking is thriving up in the mountain provinces. I was gonna try to get up there last December to check out the mt biking in Sagada but didn't have enough time.

    Thanks for the picture.
    Hey man, wanna go for a klunk?

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