The Chumba EVO-lution!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    The Chumba EVO-lution!

    OK, sorry about the cheesy title but I felt like it was appropriate after having the opportunity to ride Chumba's EVO bike for about a week. I also felt compelled to drop a line in here considering I've done so with the last couple of bikes I've done long-term tests on/owned (Stumpy, Flux, MotoLite).

    In a nutshell, this bike floored me! As you can tell by the previous three bikes that I've been on for long periods of time in the past year, I pretty much lean towards the XC side of things so, when I got the opportunity to ride a 6+ inch travel "all mountain" (AM) machine that looked like it was built to take hits instead of climb hills I was expecting some really fun experiences on the descents and some haneous, pain filled climbing efforts going uphill; I was half right.

    On the DH's, this bike more than lived up to my expectations and, in fact, actually inspired enough confidence in me that I was willing to ride in ways that I've never ridden before. While I was already pretty good going DH, I was now gapping guys who I'd previously followed and launching hits that were previously to frightening for me to consider. Without droning on with too much detail, the suspension setup (Fox 36 TALUS fork & DHX Air shock) coupled with some incredibly strong bearings create a bike that's so laterally stiff that it just begs you to push your limits (I have a broken helmet to prove how far I pushed! ).

    Where the real surprise with this bike came in was in the climbs. As I said before, I expected this thing to be a tank going uphill and, on my first ride, I told my buddies (who are pretty fast climbers) that I'd probably be lagging that day because of the bike. Instead, after hammering up a couple of climbs I got this comment from my out of breath buddy: "I thought you said you were going to be slow today."

    Instead of the tank I thought it was going to be, the EVO was actually a superb climber. While it's not as efficient as my MotoLite or my Stumpy, it blew the Flux away! With the shock dialed in, this thing had very little - if any - pedal feedback while seated and could even withstand some out of the saddle hammering (although the fork would squish quite a bit here) without an exhorbitant amount of rear shock movement.

    All in all, this is one of the best bikes I've EVER ridden! While I don't own one yet, it is now at the top of my list for my "big bike" purchase I'm planning later this year (the Nomad and 6.6 were the previous front-runners).

  2. #2

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    Wish I could afford one of these. I love the way they look and everyone never has anything bad to say

  3. #3
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    Did you say the Evo blew the Flux away, for climbing? As in Turner Flux? I am sure the Evo is efficient, but that is a bold statement. With a coil shock, the Evo frame is at least two pounds heavier than the Flux.

    I just ordered an Evo and I will post a short and long term review once I get everything together. I am anxious to see if this frame lives up to the hype. With that said, I will be quick to point out any short comings I find with the Evo.

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    The EVO I was riding didn't have a coil over shock it had the DHX Air and was built up at right around 32 pounds and the Flux that I rode was built with lightweight FSA components so it was probably around the 26 pound mark. Despite that, I really felt like the Flux was one of the worst climbing bikes I'd ever experienced.

    When I ran the recommended amount of air pressure in the RP3 shock, I got so much pedal feedback that I wondered if something was wrong...there wasn't. I added more air pressure and reduced some of the pedal bob but still got enough to where it was noticable and, with the added air pressure, my descents suffered.

    The EVO didn't outclimb either my Moto Lite or my Stumpy (if it did, I'd be selling my Moto Lite today) but it was better than the Flux.

    Just my opinion.

  5. #5
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    It is good to hear that you like how it climbs. The Evo seems to be a capable climber.

  6. #6
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    Hey Cranx did you lower the front fork(not sure if you could with the 36 on the test bike) the EVO climbs better than most XC bike's I've ridden. The rear is so stiff and track so well I can climb rock and ruts where I would spin out before. I have a maverick duc32 on my EVO which has a lower axle to crown height and lighter by 1 lb. That's a pretty good combo for climbing....and fly down of course!


    I did the cooks corner to luge in 1 hour with pretty casual pace(I'm not a great climber). I could not have done that with any of my intense bikes I had before.

    Did you ride down from old camp to luge? that's 6 SUPER FUN miles of DH single track on the EVO!

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    PICS PICS PICS!!!!!!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by duke777
    Hey Cranx did you lower the front fork(not sure if you could with the 36 on the test bike) the EVO climbs better than most XC bike's I've ridden. The rear is so stiff and track so well I can climb rock and ruts where I would spin out before. I have a maverick duc32 on my EVO which has a lower axle to crown height and lighter by 1 lb. That's a pretty good combo for climbing....and fly down of course!


    I did the cooks corner to luge in 1 hour with pretty casual pace(I'm not a great climber). I could not have done that with any of my intense bikes I had before.

    Did you ride down from old camp to luge? that's 6 SUPER FUN miles of DH single track on the EVO!
    I did have the 36 on the front and, since I'm a consumate bike adjuster anyway, I just rolled right into changing the fork length and messing with the ProPedal knob whenever the trail would make a significant turn either up or down.

    As for Old Camp, I was headed up there on a Whiting Ranch to Old Camp ride last Saturday but I was solo and it started getting really hot so I only went to the clearing past the switchback above "The Flag." The thing was amazing while bombing down The Luge.

    I also rode the thing up Trabuco Creek Road then to the top of Holy Jim and back, all over Aliso (except on Stair Steps...couldn't find anyone to cruise with me) and through Santiago Oaks. I wanted to do more but it's just been to stinkin' hot to ride as much as I want.

    I did manage to get in about 9,000ft of ascent and about 50 miles on the thing during the week that I had it so I'd say I got a pretty good test.

    As for pics, I'm an idiot and didn't take any...Sorry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CranxOC
    As for Old Camp, I was headed up there on a Whiting Ranch to Old Camp ride last Saturday but I was solo and it started getting really hot so I only went to the clearing past the switchback above "The Flag." The thing was amazing while bombing down The Luge.

    I also rode the thing up Trabuco Creek Road then to the top of Holy Jim and back, all over Aliso (except on Stair Steps...couldn't find anyone to cruise with me) and through Santiago Oaks. I wanted to do more but it's just been to stinkin' hot to ride as much as I want.

    I did manage to get in about 9,000ft of ascent and about 50 miles on the thing during the week that I had it so I'd say I got a pretty good test.

    As for pics, I'm an idiot and didn't take any...Sorry.

    Dang! Cranx you did do a pretty good test, 9000ft and 50 miles in one week? WOW....where do you get the time? LOL.....wish I could ride my EVO that much.

    As for pix I have my evo pix at http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=193525

    There is a good chance Cranx rode the one on Chumba's website(they are a small company still). www.chumbaracing.com\evo.shtml

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    Quote Originally Posted by duke777
    Dang! Cranx you did do a pretty good test, 9000ft and 50 miles in one week? WOW....where do you get the time? LOL.....wish I could ride my EVO that much.

    As for pix I have my evo pix at http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=193525

    There is a good chance Cranx rode the one on Chumba's website(they are a small company still). www.chumbaracing.com\evo.shtml
    LOL! That's actually a light week for me. I generally average about 75 miles per week but, because of the heat and some other obligations, I was limited to just under 50.

    BTW, very nice looking bike. One of these days we'll have to hook up for a ride so I can see it in person (I'll usually post one or two rides per week on geoladders.com).

    Also, the bike I was riding was green...kind olive drab (Army) green with metal flecks in it...very cool.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by CranxOC
    LOL! That's actually a light week for me. I generally average about 75 miles per week but, because of the heat and some other obligations, I was limited to just under 50.

    BTW, very nice looking bike. One of these days we'll have to hook up for a ride so I can see it in person (I'll usually post one or two rides per week on geoladders.com).

    Also, the bike I was riding was green...kind olive drab (Army) green with metal flecks in it...very cool.

    Sweet I'll keep an eye out for your rides on geoladders. I'm slow so you'll have to wait up for me

    My buddy got the green one too, it's really nice looking.

  12. #12
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    Should I give in to the EVO's temptations?

    Iíve got a í97 F1000 Cannondale hardtail and the reason I got it was Ďcause I liked the color and the killer V frame. Iím sure that there were a lot of other bikes that could perform more efficiently than the one I chose but in all honesty I didnít even consider any other bikes. I never even heard of Cannondale but the way the bike looked already had me sold. (ignorance is bliss!) Itís the only serious mtbk Iíve ever owned (everything is still stock except for the handlebars, stem, tires and shifters) and Iíve been completely happy with it; until this year, where my riding has become more and more aggressive. (thanks to socal trails like chumash, hummingbird, el prieto, lynx and rock-it) and Iím demanding more from my bike.

    Iíve been wanting an AMFS bike and after checking whatís out in the market Iím almost totally confused but not quite (thanks to the FS article in dirtrag issue #122) and put off by all the marketing and hype surrounding all the different bike manufacturers. They all say the same bloody thing! Anyways, the list of bikes Iíve been considering have been (RFX, remedy, el saltamontes, x-5, Awl and a few others) and now the EVO. This bike is sick!

    I feel the same way about this bike as I did when I first saw my cannondale and now Iím only considering the EVO or the RFX with the EVO way ahead. Iím thinking that these are the only two worth demo-ing. Iíve read nothing but good things about the EVO from other posters here with whom I seem to share a similar riding style.

    Am I nut to only limit my consideration to these two or should I really ďwaste my timeĒ demo-ing other bikes. I know it would be wise to do the latter considering the amount of money involved. Damn you Chumba! Anyone else feel/felt this way?

    Oh yeah, How did they come up with the name and why did they drop the Wumba?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tkbiker
    Iíve got a í97 F1000 Cannondale hardtail and the reason I got it was Ďcause I liked the color and the killer V frame. Iím sure that there were a lot of other bikes that could perform more efficiently than the one I chose but in all honesty I didnít even consider any other bikes. I never even heard of Cannondale but the way the bike looked already had me sold. (ignorance is bliss!) Itís the only serious mtbk Iíve ever owned (everything is still stock except for the handlebars, stem, tires and shifters) and Iíve been completely happy with it; until this year, where my riding has become more and more aggressive. (thanks to socal trails like chumash, hummingbird, el prieto, lynx and rock-it) and Iím demanding more from my bike.

    Iíve been wanting an AMFS bike and after checking whatís out in the market Iím almost totally confused but not quite (thanks to the FS article in dirtrag issue #122) and put off by all the marketing and hype surrounding all the different bike manufacturers. They all say the same bloody thing! Anyways, the list of bikes Iíve been considering have been (RFX, remedy, el saltamontes, x-5, Awl and a few others) and now the EVO. This bike is sick!

    I feel the same way about this bike as I did when I first saw my cannondale and now Iím only considering the EVO or the RFX with the EVO way ahead. Iím thinking that these are the only two worth demo-ing. Iíve read nothing but good things about the EVO from other posters here with whom I seem to share a similar riding style.

    Am I nut to only limit my consideration to these two or should I really ďwaste my timeĒ demo-ing other bikes. I know it would be wise to do the latter considering the amount of money involved. Damn you Chumba! Anyone else feel/felt this way?

    Oh yeah, How did they come up with the name and why did they drop the Wumba?
    Hey TKBiker,

    To answer your questions, several of us who now own EVOs came off an RFX/Six Pack. There are several advantages to the EVO from the RFX imo. The EVO is undoubtedly a better pedaler, almost everyone who's spent some serious time on both bikes liked the forward momentum of the EVO, which also helps in climbing. Also, something to consider, is that with the RFX you are getting a decades old walking beam design, whereas the EVO's new FC2 suspension technology is new and innovative - in other words, you'll have something a bit more cutting edge - if you're into that sort of thing. For me, being around mtbs for so long, I was tired of seeing the same design over and over in Turners, Treks, Ellsworths, etc. Finally, I thought something different came out. And when I got on it, I can honestly say it wasn't hype - the bike outperformed the six pack.

    Also, Chumba is a great company, you can literally call them up and talk to the people who've designed and assembled your frame. They really stand behind their product and believe in it. All things considered, I would highly recommend the Evo!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by spicymaguros
    Hey TKBiker,

    To answer your questions, several of us who now own EVOs came off an RFX/Six Pack. There are several advantages to the EVO from the RFX imo. The EVO is undoubtedly a better pedaler, almost everyone who's spent some serious time on both bikes liked the forward momentum of the EVO, which also helps in climbing. Also, something to consider, is that with the RFX you are getting a decades old walking beam design, whereas the EVO's new FC2 suspension technology is new and innovative - in other words, you'll have something a bit more cutting edge - if you're into that sort of thing. For me, being around mtbs for so long, I was tired of seeing the same design over and over in Turners, Treks, Ellsworths, etc. Finally, I thought something different came out. And when I got on it, I can honestly say it wasn't hype - the bike outperformed the six pack.

    Also, Chumba is a great company, you can literally call them up and talk to the people who've designed and assembled your frame. They really stand behind their product and believe in it. All things considered, I would highly recommend the Evo!


    Thanks Spicymag for the insight. Aside from the uniqueness of the frame and suspension technology, the more good news I hear about it, the more i'm convinced to just outright buy the damn thing without even consideration of other makes. Again, I know it's not a smart thing to do but i'm in this situation of "follow your heart or follow your brain" kinda thing. Oh yeah other bike considering was the RM slayer. Do you have any comparison info between these two?

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    RM Slayer - although I've never personally rode one - just from looking at it, I must say I do like the construction and design of the EVO far more. I think one of the things that makes the EVO really stand out is the quality of the CNC machined parts that make up the rear suspension, this contributes to a super stiff and strong rear end, in combination with the use of dual bearings at the main pivot point. I don't think any other manufacturer in-houses so much of their CNC work, and uses as much, because its a very expensive process.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tkbiker
    Thanks Spicymag for the insight. Aside from the uniqueness of the frame and suspension technology, the more good news I hear about it, the more i'm convinced to just outright buy the damn thing without even consideration of other makes. Again, I know it's not a smart thing to do but i'm in this situation of "follow your heart or follow your brain" kinda thing. Oh yeah other bike considering was the RM slayer. Do you have any comparison info between these two?
    I did demo a RM slayer in the PARKING LOT so it may not be so accurate. The Slayer does seem to have very good pedaling efficiency(it's a swing link), pretty good handling and fairly plush. And here is the BUT it's bit flexy(I'm 210lbs) does not feel like I'm using all 6 inches of travel, feels like the bike only has 5 inches. I think it's the combination of swing link and RP3, it's still a XC desgin, ramps up too fast for me. It could be shock tuning issue but it only comes with a RP3 so there isn't much tuning to speak of.

    Here is some of my evaluation results(keep in mind RM was in the parking lot):

    Pedaling they are both in the same ball park

    handling Chumba feels more stable and natural

    Flex RM is way more flexy

    Plushness Chumba is way ahead

    Tuning Chumba's dhx5 is amazing tunable

    construction Chumba is way ahead and made here in the US!!!!!!

    Material Chumba's 6061 T6 will out last RM 3 times over and with better bearings too.

    Honestly the Slayer is a great value for your money but Chumba is in another class, hard to compare. Think the slayer as a Honda accord, does it’s job right with out complains. The Chumba is like a Mercedes S600, both will get you there but the Chumba is……..you get the idea.

    I'd even take the RFX over the slayer because I like more plushness, slayer is a "6 inch" XC bike like the yeti 575, those two are very similar to me.

    Hope that helps
    Last edited by duke777; 08-07-2006 at 12:11 AM.
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