Chumba XCL - the good and the not so good, a running thread on my experience- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    rider on the storm
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! Chumba XCL - the good and the not so good, a running thread on my experience

    Picked up my Chumba XCL on Tuesday after ordering it last week. Wish I could say I was all smiles from the start, but it has not been a "truly excellent" experience. Maybe it will be when it's all over, but for now, I'm withholding final judgment until the initial head-aches are resolved (for better or worse). I'm definitely NOT a satisfied customer (yet).

    Below are my thoughts on my experience with my Chumba XCL thus far.


    Bike Specs
    Here's the skinny on the bike build-up. Basically, a stock Chumba build up, w/ upgrades on the front shock, headset, crank set / bottom bracket, and brakes. (Pics will come later.)

    Chumba XCL
    Medium
    Raspberry metallic
    Frame Shock --- Fox DHX 5.0 Air
    Fork ---------- Float 32 RLC
    Headset ------- Chris King
    Handlebar ----- Truvativ TEAM OS 50mm rise 710mm width
    Stem ---------- Truvativ TEAM 3D OS 100mm
    Grips --------- Lock-on with CHUMBA logo
    Front Brake --- Avid Juicy 7 185mm
    Rear Brake ---- Avid Juicy 7 185mm
    Crankset ------ Shimano XT crankset and bottom bracket
    Chain --------- SRAM PC971
    Fr Derailleur - Shimano XT E-Type FD-M760A-E
    Rr Derailleur - SRAM X.9 Mid-cage
    Shifter ------- SRAM X.9 Trigger
    Cassette ------ SRAM PG-970 11-34
    Front Tire ---- Maxxis Minion 2.35"
    Rear Tire ----- Maxxis Minion 2.35"
    Wheels -------- CHUMBA 10mm front axle, 10mm rear axle
    Saddle -------- CHUMBA VL-1205 black kevlar chromoly rails
    Seat Post ----- Truvativ XR 31.6mm 350mm
    Seat Clamp ---- CHUMBA design 38.1mm
    Pedals -------- Crank Bros mallets (magnesium)


    Initial impressions
    As stated earlier, picked up my Chumba XCL on Tuesday after ordering it through last week. I thought it would take longer since it seems that some fellow mtbr.com members have had to wait a while to get theirs. Needless to say, I was pretty pleased when it only took a week to get the bike in. (I ordered the bike through Pro Cycling Warehouse, a local high-end shop in Colorado Springs, CO. This shop is top notch, and it comes with my strong recommendation to any locals.)

    The frame came with a small scratch on top of the non-drive side chain stay. I was told by the shop the packaging was great and intact on the frame, so the scratch most likely came from somewhere in Chumba's warehouse. The shop touched it up as best they could. Yes, it doesn't affect the structural integrity of the bike and it's not that noticeable, but still, when I drop $3,000+ on a bike, I expect it to be perfect! Maybe it was just a portent of the other things to come <sigh>.

    The bike actually came in on Friday of last week, but Chumba neglected to send the correct parts (as ordered) to build the front wheel hub as a 10mm QR style hub. So the shop called in on Friday and set the ball in motion to get me the right parts.

    Additionally, I was told by the shop that the black aluminum end caps for the front hub were all scratched up, as if someone had been kicking the wheel across a concrete floor. They sent them back along with the incorrect front hub parts to get replaced. Hopefully, if all goes as planned, the parts for the front wheel will come in tomorrow (fingers crossed, but not holding my breath).

    I asked the shop if there was anything they could do so I could go out and ride while we waited for Chumba to send us the right parts. They hooked me up w/ a loaner front wheel, something they didn't have to do, and sped me on my way. (Did I mention Pro Cycling is top notch?)

    I inspected the frame, and it really is beautiful. The raspberry metallic paint is deep and dark. The paint looks dull under indoor lighting, but outside in the sun, it is stunning. The weld quality is good with nice fat, even beads at all the joints. I asked the shop if it had any burrs to deal with on the build-up, but they said the frame machining was great and everything fit smoothly with no hitches.

    The frame is burly w/ little to no lateral play in the rear triangle, but there is some flex where the bottom front triangle tube (forget what this is called; it's the tube w/ the water bottle cage bolt holes) meets the bottom bracket. From tapping on the seat tube vs tapping on the bottom front triangle tube, the bottom front triangle tube sounds like it's thinner gauge aluminum.


    Why I bought a Chumba XCL...
    This is a quick summary of a bazillion hours of research on my part. I was all set to pull a trigger on a Yeti 575, but saw the MBA review on the 2006 XCL and decided to some more quick digging and I really liked what I saw. Here's a quick run down on why I went w/ a Chumba:

    • Company reputation on MTBR was good
    • Horst link rear suspension
    • Uninterrupted seat tube
    • 5 inches travel front / rear
    • Burly frame
    • Cost - best deal on a non-Specialized Horst link suspension I could find
    • Looks - The XCL is a work of art, no?
    • Weight - Not the lightest frame in the world, but not the heaviest either. I'm not a weight weenie so an extra pound or two doesn't bother me. I look at it as an opportunity to build more muscle.
    • It's not a Specialized (Nothing against Specialized; they make great bikes, but many people I know already have Stumpjumpers and I am definitely not a follow-the-crowd type of guy. )
    • I wanted a bike that would grow with me, and be forgiving along the way, as I push my limits over the next couple years with bigger drops and harder technical terrain.


    The Ride
    (As you read this, keep in mind, I was previously riding a Raleigh M80 hard tail which I have ridden HARD, and it keeps on ticking. Hopefully the Chumba will do the same.).

    A little about me: I weigh 160 (around 170 w/ all my gear) and I ride all mountain / aggressive cross country.

    Took the Chumba out yesterday evening for its inaugural ride. A quick spin around a local open space (Ute Park for those who know CS) and some little hop testing to get everything dialed in. Both shocks were set by the shop to around 20% sag (I think, can't remember for sure though.). I went over every bump, root, and little hop that I could get my wheels over. The suspension is plush to say the least. It absorbed everything w/ aplomb and asked for more. I picked the worst lines and pedaled through them with ease, exactly as I would have expected a full "skwishy" to do. It was a real pleasure to pedal around compared to my hardtail. However, the squish factor was probably set a little too low as I bottomed out the rear shock on a 1.5 foot ledge drop (that's a small ledge for me).

    The wide handle bars (28.25 inches) take a little getting used to, but they help the ride feel super stable and in control. Got to say, I really like that. No, I love that! Didn't try any super techy downhill as the ground was pretty muddy from all the rain / hail that had come down 30 minutes earlier.

    Took the Chumba out again tonight to Ute Park for some more testing. Added 15 psi to the front shock and 20 psi to the rear shock to stiffen things up again. Took it back up to the same 1.5 footer ledge and did a bunch of drops / jumps off it. This time, no bottoming out. The trade off was that the ride was a bit stiffer and bumps / roots / baby head rocks were much more noticeable during the ride, but not to the point of discomfort or anything. Took it off some 2.5 and 3 footers and the suspension was plush! Didn't even bottom out the rear shock on those either, although it was close.

    Did some techy downhill sections much faster than I normally do on my hardtail and cleaned them easily and even launched off some rocks where the landing zone was anything but clear, and the XCL landed amidst the scree and kept right on going - unphased. I was impressed; the Chumba was living up to my expectations of what a full suspension should be capable of.

    Other thoughts: Going uphill requires more work than my hardtail, due to what feels like rider position I'm guessing. I feel like I'm a bit more behind the pedals, which requires more quad work to the bike going. Not a big deal, just something to get used to; my legs felt worked more than they usually do, and the Chumba is only a few more pounds heavier than my ancient hard tail. On the other hand, the rider position makes this bike awesome for wheelies, and getting into the right position for ledges, drops, and the like. It was a cinch to take this bike off ledges; stable, easy to control, and it is very forgiving on the on poor landings.

    I stood up on the pedals and really hammered away going uphill and didn't feel penalized by the rear suspension; the rear shock did an excellent job of minimizing bob, almost to the point of non-existence. Didn't notice any rear brake loading of the suspension, most likely due to the Horst link.

    However, on both rides I discovered one MAJOR annoyance - the front derailleur does NOT down shift from high gear (large outer ring) to medium gear (medium middle ring) in a consistent, reliable fashion. I, and the shop, tried numerous different things (details are here: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=316087) but have had no luck in remedying the issue yet. This is a deal-breaker for me as I use the large front outer ring to get to and from rides all the time.


    Summary
    Overall, the Chumba XCL is an OK bike. I would love to say it's a "great bike", but the majorly annoying front derailleur down-shifting issue is keeping me from saying that. If Chumba and the shop can fix this issue, I will be satisfied. If I get a new, scratch-free, no-shifting-problem-or-other-problems frame, I will be an one enthusiastic, loyal, pump-Chumba-to-everyone-I-meet type of customer despite all the other minor annoyances.

    Since I know Chumba reps read these forums, I know they care about their company, its products, and most importantly its reputation. I hope that they will stand behind their products and help me, and the shop I'm working with (Pro Cycling in Colorado Springs, CO), get to the bottom of these issues ASAP, even if it means sending out a replacement frame (one of the remedies the shop is suggesting to deal with the annoying front down-shift issue since it appears to be related to bad chain-line; read the link above for more details).

    If any of the Chumba reps would like to PM me, I'd be happy to send you my phone # so we could talk about this.

    Definitely NOT a satisfied customer (yet).

    Mike

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: dubjay's Avatar
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    I've put together two XCLs for buddies of mine, and they did not have any issues with the front shifting. Do you recall what spacers may have been used on the bottom bracket and/or the front derailleur?

    On both of the ones I built up - I did not end up using any spacers at all.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
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    ..

    Hello there,

    Sorry to hear about your issues. We've had some packaging issues with our wheels, but we quickly remedied that with new boxes. I have no problem replacing the wheel for you.

    About the downshifting, I haven't seen that problem before, yea, PM your phone number and we'll work out the issues.

    -A.

    Quote Originally Posted by mmatador22
    Picked up my Chumba XCL on Tuesday after ordering it last week. Wish I could say I was all smiles from the start, but it has not been a "truly excellent" experience. Maybe it will be when it's all over, but for now, I'm withholding final judgment until the initial head-aches are resolved (for better or worse). I'm definitely NOT a satisfied customer (yet).

    Below are my thoughts on my experience with my Chumba XCL thus far.


    Bike Specs
    Here's the skinny on the bike build-up. Basically, a stock Chumba build up, w/ upgrades on the front shock, headset, crank set / bottom bracket, and brakes. (Pics will come later.)

    Chumba XCL
    Medium
    Raspberry metallic
    Frame Shock --- Fox DHX 5.0 Air
    Fork ---------- Float 32 RLC
    Headset ------- Chris King
    Handlebar ----- Truvativ TEAM OS 50mm rise 710mm width
    Stem ---------- Truvativ TEAM 3D OS 100mm
    Grips --------- Lock-on with CHUMBA logo
    Front Brake --- Avid Juicy 7 185mm
    Rear Brake ---- Avid Juicy 7 185mm
    Crankset ------ Shimano XT crankset and bottom bracket
    Chain --------- SRAM PC971
    Fr Derailleur - Shimano XT E-Type FD-M760A-E
    Rr Derailleur - SRAM X.9 Mid-cage
    Shifter ------- SRAM X.9 Trigger
    Cassette ------ SRAM PG-970 11-34
    Front Tire ---- Maxxis Minion 2.35"
    Rear Tire ----- Maxxis Minion 2.35"
    Wheels -------- CHUMBA 10mm front axle, 10mm rear axle
    Saddle -------- CHUMBA VL-1205 black kevlar chromoly rails
    Seat Post ----- Truvativ XR 31.6mm 350mm
    Seat Clamp ---- CHUMBA design 38.1mm
    Pedals -------- Crank Bros mallets (magnesium)


    Initial impressions
    As stated earlier, picked up my Chumba XCL on Tuesday after ordering it through last week. I thought it would take longer since it seems that some fellow mtbr.com members have had to wait a while to get theirs. Needless to say, I was pretty pleased when it only took a week to get the bike in. (I ordered the bike through Pro Cycling Warehouse, a local high-end shop in Colorado Springs, CO. This shop is top notch, and it comes with my strong recommendation to any locals.)

    The frame came with a small scratch on top of the non-drive side chain stay. I was told by the shop the packaging was great and intact on the frame, so the scratch most likely came from somewhere in Chumba's warehouse. The shop touched it up as best they could. Yes, it doesn't affect the structural integrity of the bike and it's not that noticeable, but still, when I drop $3,000+ on a bike, I expect it to be perfect! Maybe it was just a portent of the other things to come <sigh>.

    The bike actually came in on Friday of last week, but Chumba neglected to send the correct parts (as ordered) to build the front wheel hub as a 10mm QR style hub. So the shop called in on Friday and set the ball in motion to get me the right parts.

    Additionally, I was told by the shop that the black aluminum end caps for the front hub were all scratched up, as if someone had been kicking the wheel across a concrete floor. They sent them back along with the incorrect front hub parts to get replaced. Hopefully, if all goes as planned, the parts for the front wheel will come in tomorrow (fingers crossed, but not holding my breath).

    I asked the shop if there was anything they could do so I could go out and ride while we waited for Chumba to send us the right parts. They hooked me up w/ a loaner front wheel, something they didn't have to do, and sped me on my way. (Did I mention Pro Cycling is top notch?)

    I inspected the frame, and it really is beautiful. The raspberry metallic paint is deep and dark. The paint looks dull under indoor lighting, but outside in the sun, it is stunning. The weld quality is good with nice fat, even beads at all the joints. I asked the shop if it had any burrs to deal with on the build-up, but they said the frame machining was great and everything fit smoothly with no hitches.

    The frame is burly w/ little to no lateral play in the rear triangle, but there is some flex where the bottom front triangle tube (forget what this is called; it's the tube w/ the water bottle cage bolt holes) meets the bottom bracket. From tapping on the seat tube vs tapping on the bottom front triangle tube, the bottom front triangle tube sounds like it's thinner gauge aluminum.


    Why I bought a Chumba XCL...
    This is a quick summary of a bazillion hours of research on my part. I was all set to pull a trigger on a Yeti 575, but saw the MBA review on the 2006 XCL and decided to some more quick digging and I really liked what I saw. Here's a quick run down on why I went w/ a Chumba:

    • Company reputation on MTBR was good
    • Horst link rear suspension
    • Uninterrupted seat tube
    • 5 inches travel front / rear
    • Burly frame
    • Cost - best deal on a non-Specialized Horst link suspension I could find
    • Looks - The XCL is a work of art, no?
    • Weight - Not the lightest frame in the world, but not the heaviest either. I'm not a weight weenie so an extra pound or two doesn't bother me. I look at it as an opportunity to build more muscle.
    • It's not a Specialized (Nothing against Specialized; they make great bikes, but many people I know already have Stumpjumpers and I am definitely not a follow-the-crowd type of guy. )
    • I wanted a bike that would grow with me, and be forgiving along the way, as I push my limits over the next couple years with bigger drops and harder technical terrain.


    The Ride
    (As you read this, keep in mind, I was previously riding a Raleigh M80 hard tail which I have ridden HARD, and it keeps on ticking. Hopefully the Chumba will do the same.).

    A little about me: I weigh 160 (around 170 w/ all my gear) and I ride all mountain / aggressive cross country.

    Took the Chumba out yesterday evening for its inaugural ride. A quick spin around a local open space (Ute Park for those who know CS) and some little hop testing to get everything dialed in. Both shocks were set by the shop to around 20% sag (I think, can't remember for sure though.). I went over every bump, root, and little hop that I could get my wheels over. The suspension is plush to say the least. It absorbed everything w/ aplomb and asked for more. I picked the worst lines and pedaled through them with ease, exactly as I would have expected a full "skwishy" to do. It was a real pleasure to pedal around compared to my hardtail. However, the squish factor was probably set a little too low as I bottomed out the rear shock on a 1.5 foot ledge drop (that's a small ledge for me).

    The wide handle bars (28.25 inches) take a little getting used to, but they help the ride feel super stable and in control. Got to say, I really like that. No, I love that! Didn't try any super techy downhill as the ground was pretty muddy from all the rain / hail that had come down 30 minutes earlier.

    Took the Chumba out again tonight to Ute Park for some more testing. Added 15 psi to the front shock and 20 psi to the rear shock to stiffen things up again. Took it back up to the same 1.5 footer ledge and did a bunch of drops / jumps off it. This time, no bottoming out. The trade off was that the ride was a bit stiffer and bumps / roots / baby head rocks were much more noticeable during the ride, but not to the point of discomfort or anything. Took it off some 2.5 and 3 footers and the suspension was plush! Didn't even bottom out the rear shock on those either, although it was close.

    Did some techy downhill sections much faster than I normally do on my hardtail and cleaned them easily and even launched off some rocks where the landing zone was anything but clear, and the XCL landed amidst the scree and kept right on going - unphased. I was impressed; the Chumba was living up to my expectations of what a full suspension should be capable of.

    Other thoughts: Going uphill requires more work than my hardtail, due to what feels like rider position I'm guessing. I feel like I'm a bit more behind the pedals, which requires more quad work to the bike going. Not a big deal, just something to get used to; my legs felt worked more than they usually do, and the Chumba is only a few more pounds heavier than my ancient hard tail. On the other hand, the rider position makes this bike awesome for wheelies, and getting into the right position for ledges, drops, and the like. It was a cinch to take this bike off ledges; stable, easy to control, and it is very forgiving on the on poor landings.

    I stood up on the pedals and really hammered away going uphill and didn't feel penalized by the rear suspension; the rear shock did an excellent job of minimizing bob, almost to the point of non-existence. Didn't notice any rear brake loading of the suspension, most likely due to the Horst link.

    However, on both rides I discovered one MAJOR annoyance - the front derailleur does NOT down shift from high gear (large outer ring) to medium gear (medium middle ring) in a consistent, reliable fashion. I, and the shop, tried numerous different things (details are here: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=316087) but have had no luck in remedying the issue yet. This is a deal-breaker for me as I use the large front outer ring to get to and from rides all the time.


    Summary
    Overall, the Chumba XCL is an OK bike. I would love to say it's a "great bike", but the majorly annoying front derailleur down-shifting issue is keeping me from saying that. If Chumba and the shop can fix this issue, I will be satisfied. If I get a new, scratch-free, no-shifting-problem-or-other-problems frame, I will be an one enthusiastic, loyal, pump-Chumba-to-everyone-I-meet type of customer despite all the other minor annoyances.

    Since I know Chumba reps read these forums, I know they care about their company, its products, and most importantly its reputation. I hope that they will stand behind their products and help me, and the shop I'm working with (Pro Cycling in Colorado Springs, CO), get to the bottom of these issues ASAP, even if it means sending out a replacement frame (one of the remedies the shop is suggesting to deal with the annoying front down-shift issue since it appears to be related to bad chain-line; read the link above for more details).

    If any of the Chumba reps would like to PM me, I'd be happy to send you my phone # so we could talk about this.

    Definitely NOT a satisfied customer (yet).

    Mike
    Simple | Proven | Reliable

    http://chumbaracing.blogspot.com/

  4. #4
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    FD downshifting issues

    I think the experience of downshifting problems on the XCL is just a matter of proper E-Type FD set-up. The E-Type FD takes the place of the spacer for the BB and as long as the FD is parallel to the crank action then the FD adjsutment should be a cinch leading to flawless downshifting.

  5. #5
    nerfherder
    Reputation: scruffylooking's Avatar
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    Good detailed review. For $3K, you do deserve everything to be just right before you go and destroy it yourself.

    That said, it does, however, seem inconsistent to give the bike high praise in the review and then call it "OK" in the summary due to a problem that you haven't given a chance to resolve yet.

    And why are people so afraid to pick up the phone these days? I dare say Chumba customers are getting spoiled by the attentiveness of Chumba employees here on the boards. Just my opinion.

  6. #6
    rider on the storm
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    scruffylooking,

    I will change the praise to be consistent w/ the rest of the review, once the shifting issue is resolved. Hopefully that will be sooner than later. The scratches and sending of the wrong parts I can live with. But having a basic ride-ability / use-ability issue like shifting that right out of the box is pretty frustrating.

    Not afraid to pick up the phone. In fact, will be doing that later today. Just haven't had time. I wrote this review up late, late last night, but couldn't post it till this morning since mtbr.com was down for maintenance. I was trying to give Chumba and the shop a chance to work things out first, but thought it would be better to let others know that everything is not rah-rah in Chumba-land.

    As for being spoiled, well, to be honest, just wanted to see if Chumba was still reading these boards, and see how they responded.

    Anyways, you can be sure I will share the rest of the honest details w/ the mtbr community as the issue progresses.

    PS. Don't be such a nerf-herder! (In reference to your Han Solo avatar)

    ============

    tonycan,

    Yup, I'm aware of the E-type derailleur setup / spacer issue. So is the shop. The up shifting throw of the derailleur works great. Unfortunately, the down-shifting retraction is where the problems start. The shop staff is extremely knowledgeable and we've checked everything to make sure it's all parallel and lined up. Unsure what the problem is. Will keep you posted.

    ============

    chumbaevo,

    PM on the way. I'm also calling the 800 # in a few.

  7. #7
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    ..

    Quote Originally Posted by mmatador22
    scruffylooking,

    I will change the praise to be consistent w/ the rest of the review, once the shifting issue is resolved. Hopefully that will be sooner than later. The scratches and sending of the wrong parts I can live with. But having a basic ride-ability / use-ability issue like shifting that right out of the box is pretty frustrating.

    Not afraid to pick up the phone. In fact, will be doing that later today. Just haven't had time. I wrote this review up late, late last night, but couldn't post it till this morning since mtbr.com was down for maintenance. I was trying to give Chumba and the shop a chance to work things out first, but thought it would be better to let others know that everything is not rah-rah in Chumba-land.

    As for being spoiled, well, to be honest, just wanted to see if Chumba was still reading these boards, and see how they responded.

    Anyways, you can be sure I will share the rest of the honest details w/ the mtbr community as the issue progresses.

    PS. Don't be such a nerf-herder! (In reference to your Han Solo avatar)

    ============

    tonycan,

    Yup, I'm aware of the E-type derailleur setup / spacer issue. So is the shop. The up shifting throw of the derailleur works great. Unfortunately, the down-shifting retraction is where the problems start. The shop staff is extremely knowledgeable and we've checked everything to make sure it's all parallel and lined up. Unsure what the problem is. Will keep you posted.

    ============

    chumbaevo,

    PM on the way. I'm also calling the 800 # in a few.
    Yes, just call us, we'll get it resolved.
    Simple | Proven | Reliable

    http://chumbaracing.blogspot.com/

  8. #8
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    Fd

    Hey Mm, yes please keep us posted. I've built 5 XCLs here in the Philippines and have not experienced the downshifting problems. The info should come in handy for future builds. Thanks.

  9. #9
    nerfherder
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmatador22

    PS. Don't be such a nerf-herder! (In reference to your Han Solo avatar)


  10. #10
    eci
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    i've had my xcl for 3 weeks now, orange metallic with a dhx. I highly suggest turning your pro pedal almost all the way in. Mine pedals much much better that way. Your fd setup is off or your fd is toast. Mine worked perfect out of the box with 0 adjustments.

    So far i have ridden mine on 3 sisters, evergreen mtn, green mountain, matthew winters and LOTB up here in denver. I personally feel its the best bike for colorado and the best bike for your money. Its hard to find a good horst link, with a low leverage ratio and respectable weight. This bike is everything i have asked for + some.

    Mine came with a nick on the drive side from shipping also, it is on the seat stay. i was upset at first but Knowing im going to abuse the bike over the next few years made me not care anymore.

    Good luck with your bike your gonna love it!

  11. #11

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    When you get the bike set up im sure you will love it. Most of the XCLs go together easy .
    Some shops are thrown off by the e type D . Some have not had any experience with them at all and thats ok. The E type D is one of the easiest to set up It normally only bolts up one way and that is the right way. I like them a lot because you can never have a your chain derail onto the frame . It is like a DH chain guide in a way . I have had to set them up differently with Race face cranks and XT cranks And FSA cranks . Its not hard it just takes time to set the chain line. I can not give you the magic combo With out knowing what crank's you have on your bike. I have also seen the cranks installed with out the little rubber spacer that sometimes changes things. The inner hub of each brand of cranks have different offsets and that is why the chain line can fluctuate a little from crank to crank. I think the guys at the shop that you went to have experience tuning bikes and should know how to set it up . A common problem I see with the E type is the when you add spacers to the BB and the FD is pulled away you mist also space the top mount accordingly. If the top bold it fulling the FD over it will then add twist tot he cage and cause the bike to shift abnormal. This is common practice in setting up FD's so I'm sure that this was already take into consideration. The frames are very precision and have been the most consistent I have seen in the industry. If the drive train had s scratch on it I would like some more info because I think maybe something in the way we package them might be wrong. We look over the frames before sending them. I don't like scratches and I wouldn't want to have scratches on out customers bikes. It's out goal to have you on the coolest bike on the trail . And yes scratches come with MTN biking but I would rather them be from you. If you could send me a picture of it to my e mail I will locate the cause of the scratch problem . My E mail is [email protected]

    Thank you for you patients

    Jason
    Last edited by RacinJason; 07-06-2007 at 06:36 PM.

  12. #12
    Surfing trails
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    Love that picture Scruffy!!

  13. #13
    Older than I feel
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    My XCL came with the FSA Afterburner MegaExo crank/BB combo and Shimano XT E-type derailleur. No spacers are needed on a 73 mm BB shell w/ E-type FD. It shifts like a dream.

    My wheels had some minor cosmetic shipping damage too, but only on the front hub surface. It's invisible on the completed bike. My frame was unblemished.

    Most of the parts in the standard build kit are good quality and well worth the money. There are a couple of things I'm swapping out, but that's mostly due to personal preference in bike fit. I'm notorious for trying different stems and bars on my bikes.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by chucko58
    My XCL came with the FSA Afterburner MegaExo crank/BB combo and Shimano XT E-type derailleur. No spacers are needed on a 73 mm BB shell w/ E-type FD. It shifts like a dream.

    My wheels had some minor cosmetic shipping damage too, but only on the front hub surface. It's invisible on the completed bike. My frame was unblemished.

    Most of the parts in the standard build kit are good quality and well worth the money. There are a couple of things I'm swapping out, but that's mostly due to personal preference in bike fit. I'm notorious for trying different stems and bars on my bikes.
    When guys comment on stuff that really that really doesnt have anything to do with the
    frame, but just quirks with the setup or components, I think you need to try to iron
    those out first rather than lump the bike together with whatever issues they are having
    that arent really specific to this bike.

    For me, there wasnt much dialing in I had to do. I set the rear shock up to the
    recommended pressure for my weight, and havent messed with it since day one.
    I havent done any fiddling with the propedal since my first ride either.
    I found it doesnt have that much affect on the suspension. There's not a lot of
    shock movement even on out of the saddle climbs, the system seems to work
    very well without propedal adjusting.
    I'm still getting used to the extra weight on the real tough climbs, but coupled with
    the stiffness of the Pike, I find the bike to be very confidence inspiring both going
    up/down technical rocky sections that I would have probaly walked around on my
    previous bike.

  15. #15
    rider on the storm
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChumbaJason
    When you get the bike set up im sure you will love it. Most of the XCLs go together easy .

    *** MM *** I do love the bike, except for this danged front shifting issue. I'm curious what you mean by "most XCLs". So, have some other XCLs had setup issues like this in the past? Maybe I get one of the more cantankerous ones to set up?

    Talking w/ Allan (sp?) aka ChumbaEvo on Friday, it sounds like the front derailleur is a known issue in building up some XCLs, and bending of a derailleur cage may be required. From everything I've read and heard, this should not have to be done on a high-end bike like the XCL. Can you fill in the knowledge gap for me (and the rest of the mtbr Chumba owner community)?

    On the other thread, someone asked if the shop had tried facing the bottom bracket shell. Has Chumba ever had to do this on any of the bikes they've built up?


    Some shops are thrown off by the e type D . Some have not had any experience with them at all and thats ok. The E type D is one of the easiest to set up It normally only bolts up one way and that is the right way. I like them a lot because you can never have a your chain derail onto the frame . It is like a DH chain guide in a way . I have had to set them up differently with Race face cranks and XT cranks And FSA cranks . Its not hard it just takes time to set the chain line. I can not give you the magic combo With out knowing what crank's you have on your bike.

    *** MM *** Cranks I"m running - Shimano XT, FC-M760, 175 mm, 44-32-22. If there's a magic combo to this setup, I'd love to hear it. Seems kind of odd that there would though, especially since it's a Shimano XT front derailleur.

    As far as the shop goes, they are very competent and familiar w/ E-type derailleurs. They carry and have built up many boutiques: Yeti, Ellsworth, Knolly; all in addition to their regular line-up of Gary Fisher, Treks, etc.


    I have also seen the cranks installed with out the little rubber spacer that sometimes changes things. The inner hub of each brand of cranks have different offsets and that is why the chain line can fluctuate a little from crank to crank. I think the guys at the shop that you went to have experience tuning bikes and should know how to set it up . A common problem I see with the E type is the when you add spacers to the BB and the FD is pulled away you mist also space the top mount accordingly. If the top bold it fulling the FD over it will then add twist tot he cage and cause the bike to shift abnormal. This is common practice in setting up FD's so I'm sure that this was already take into consideration.

    *** MM *** The problem only exists w/ downshifting. The spacers were installed to get the cranks farther out, so that when the front derailleur swung back in towards the bike during down-shifting, it would make sufficient contact w/ the chain to get it to down-shift the large outer ring to the medium middle ring. This was done only after all the easy remedies had been exhausted (cable tension adjust, limit screw adjustments, all related pivots lubed, etc.)

    The frames are very precision and have been the most consistent I have seen in the industry. If the drive train had s scratch on it I would like some more info because I think maybe something in the way we package them might be wrong. We look over the frames before sending them. I don't like scratches and I wouldn't want to have scratches on out customers bikes. It's out goal to have you on the coolest bike on the trail . And yes scratches come with MTN biking but I would rather them be from you. If you could send me a picture of it to my e mail I will locate the cause of the scratch problem . My E mail is [email protected]

    *** MM *** Pics of the scratch on the way. BTW - the scratch was on top of the non-drive chain-stay.

    Thank you for you patients

    ***MM *** Thanks for your help and standing behind your product.
    Jason
    Jason - Comments inline, marked w/ a ***MM ***.

  16. #16
    rider on the storm
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    le buzz,

    Unsure if this comment was directed at me or not. If it was, read on. If not, please ignore.

    The issue may or may not be the component; it is the interaction of the component with the frame and other components on the frame. Since all these things make up a "bike", it is very relevant, IMO.

    Mike

  17. #17
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    ..

    Quote Originally Posted by mmatador22
    le buzz,

    Unsure if this comment was directed at me or not. If it was, read on. If not, please ignore.

    The issue may or may not be the component; it is the interaction of the component with the frame and other components on the frame. Since all these things make up a "bike", it is very relevant, IMO.

    Mike
    This really does sound like a set up issue. I would recommend adjusting the high limit screw to bring the derailleur closer to the chain, loosening the cable tension, and slightly and carefully bending the front derailleur never hurts. If that doesn't work, the next step would be to try a new front derailleur.

    And please, get a second opinion from the most experienced mechanic you know, and it always helps to talk to someone who has built many XCLs. The front derailleur is the one component that takes a bit of fiddling to get to work right, and it might take a little bit longer and some experimenting, but we've never had a shifting issue with the E-types we weren't able to solve. Hope this helps.
    Last edited by CHUMBAevo; 07-08-2007 at 10:15 PM.
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  18. #18
    rider on the storm
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    Quick update

    So here's the scoop on what's been happening.

    Spoke w/ Chumba on Friday. Very personable, professional, and willing to stand behind their product 100%. They took my issue seriously and were willing to work w/ me on it, after clearing up some initial miscommunications. (If you're a Chumba owner and have an issue, or thinking about buying, give them a call - they're very easy to talk to, even when dealing w/ a headache like this.)

    Was told over the phone by Chumba that they've built up dozens and dozens of XCLs at their shop; and the front derailleur was one of the things that gives them the most trouble during setup and fine tuning. Was told that even they had to bend front derailleur cages on some of their build ups to get them to work right!

    Chumba had some requests for the shop to try a few things out to save everyone time, money, and more headaches. Most of the requests seemed reasonable (try new derailleur, try bending the front derailleur cage), so I said sure.

    Here's a list of what was tried.

    Attempts 1 - 3 happened on Wed - Fri of last week. The shop and I both tested these solutions.

    1) Re-adjust cable tension and limit screws on front derailleur.
    Result: No change; down-shifting front gear does not work from large to medium. Only way to get to medium while riding was to shift front down twice (to low gear), then back up to medium. The front derailleur cage and chain would make contact, but not sufficient contact to get the bike to shift. Only way to get the bike to shift on the stand was to press on the front derailleur cage after shifting from high to medium. This behavior happened in all rear gears (1 thru 9).

    2) Added spacer(s) ranging from 1 to 2.5mm to move crank gears out a bit to help front derailleur engage chain better during down-shifting.
    Result: Front down-shifting from high to medium was unreliable at best, impossible at worst. The only way to get the front to downshift with this solution in place was to lightly weight the pedals during forward movement. If any sort of realistic load was applied to the pedals ie just pedaling nonchalantly around the parking lot, no shifting occurred, just lots of cable rub against the outside edge of the front derailleur cage.

    3) Slight inward bend of front derailleur outside cage w/ spacers in place.
    Result: Front down-shifting from high to medium improved only slightly. Could shift 1 out of 10 times when under parking-lot-pedaling load, but the rest of the time, the only way to get the front to down shift from high to medium was to unweight the pedals and pedal as lightly as possible until shifting occurred.

    Attempts 4,5 happened yesterday (Saturday). The shop tested these solutions, not me.
    Attempt 6 was done and tested by the shop on Saturday. I picked up the bike Sunday (today) and have only tested in the parking lot.

    4) Replace current Shimano XT front derailleur w/ a brand new Shimano XT e-type front derailleur, no extra spacers.
    Result: Front down-shifting issue still exists. This eliminated a potential faulty front derailleur.

    5) Replace entire drive system w/ Chumba supplied stock components. Used FSA cranks, FSA bottom bracket, brand new Shimano HG93 chain, different cassette (unknown if brand new cassette was used, or simply a used cassette that was known to be good).
    Result: Front down-shifting issue STILL exists. This eliminated potential faulty Shimano / SRAM drive train components.

    6) Reset bike back up the way it was prior to last test w/ exception of chain: Shimano XT cranks & bottom bracket, SRAM rear cassette, Shimano HG93 chain, new Shimano XT e-Type front derailleur. Shop then bent the "living daylights" out of the FD cage until it worked correctly wrt the down-shift issue.
    Result: I tested the "bent cage" solution around the parking lot today and it is the best solution out of all those tried, but it was not bullet proof. It seemed to work 80-90% of the time, but there were several instances where the shifting did not occur crisply and cleanly. I will take it out and put the solution through it's paces over the next 2 days try and fine tune it to see if it we can get it dialed in and bullet proof.


    Parting thoughts for today...
    Well, after dealing w/ all this, I have to say my patience is starting to wear a little thin. Honestly, I don't think I should have had to deal with any of this.

    Given the fact that there are many other satisfied Chumba XCL owners out there who have not had this issue, AND the fact Chumba has said they have had to bend cages on some of their XCL build-ups, AND the results of all the tests that I've done, lends credibility to the theory that there is probably some minor variance w/ each XCL frame; just enough to cause this front down-shifting issue. I just happen to be on of the "lucky" ones. Maybe it's a tolerance issue, maybe it's a design issue, maybe it's a manufacturer issue, maybe it's a quality control issue; I don't know. It'll probably get sorted out in the next generation build, but that doesn't really help me in the here & now.

    If the shop and I can not get this "bent cage" solution dialed in so that front up & down shifting is 100% clean and crisp every time, I'm going to request a replacement frame. One that has been quality-control checked before leaving the warehouse to make sure there are no issues present (shifting or otherwise).

    I have nothing but great things to say about Pro Cycling, the local shop I'm working with on all this. Between a loaner front wheel, free new parts at their expense to test out Chumba's ideas, and many unplanned extra hours of labor, they've gone above and beyond anything I ever expected when I entered into this transaction. When this is all said and done, I will be writing them a great review.

    Signing off for tonight...
    Mike

  19. #19
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    Did Pro Cycling mention what they think is possibly "out of spec" on the frame? As far as the parts involved in shifting goes up front, it's usually quite simple. It's basically your front derailleur and crankset.

    Since the XCL uses an E-type, the placement of the derailleur should be fixed in relationship with the crank. In fact, you almost couldn't mount the derailleur if things weren't lined up without bending something.

    So if things are lined up correctly and something isn't downshifting, then it sounds like an indexing issue - which then might be a shifter or cable run problem.

    Is there any way you can take a shot of how the cable is run through the front derailleur?

    It could possibly be a faulty shifter as well. It doesn't sound like that has been replaced yet.

  20. #20

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    I have assembled many XCL frames I have never had any real issues with them. If you have the cable set up correctly and the the FD spaced correctly the whole assembly works independent of the the frame. What I mean by this is I can take a BB shell Thread the cup on with the correct spacing and the correct spindle with the correct Cranks, Then bolt it to a normal chain stay and put a rear wheel on it without even having a frame attached to the BB or drive chain. It should work independantly this is one of the reasons why E type FD's are great they have little or nothing to do with the fame when set up properly . They have everything to to do with your crank set spacing.
    Every e type set up on the last 100 frames have been flawless, The only issues I have run into are when people go to after market cranks and are unfamiliar with spindle spacing and chain lines. The XCL frames are some of the most consistent I have worked with.
    I would like to maybe walk through the set up with your local shop. I will even Rack a frame and work in parallel with them to see what they might be doing wrong.
    If you think about it the E type FD only really has to make contact with the frame at the BB face. With this fact you will also notice that if your chain rings are not in the correct location in regards to the e type left plate you might have your cranks set up wrong.
    I just checked the spacing where my FD works best on my personal bike right now and it is at 6.57 MM. I measured from the tip of the Granny gear tooth to the closest part of the guide plate on the FD. That is with FSA cranks with a stock Granny gear.
    I will get you sorted out for you. It shouldn't be this difficult. I only had this much trouble once before and it was because the the cable was routed incorrectly in the shifter and it was binding up. You might check that also. It was the X.9 They can be tricky to lace. Check that if you feel any bind in the shift cable action.

  21. #21

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    Looks like someone was reading my thoughts.


    Dubjay are you reading my thoughts?

  22. #22

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    Notice

    What Dubjay means by In fact, You almost couldn't mount the derailleur if things weren't lined up without bending something. When the BB outboard bearing cup is installed with the e type FD installed as a natural spacer and the correct support spacer on the top bolt . If you do it correctly the mounting back plate will have no load /stress on it. It will sit flush on the BB face. The rest is cable adjustment, indexing and end point adjustment.





    Quote Originally Posted by dubjay
    Did Pro Cycling mention what they think is possibly "out of spec" on the frame? As far as the parts involved in shifting goes up front, it's usually quite simple. It's basically your front derailleur and crankset.

    Since the XCL uses an E-type, the placement of the derailleur should be fixed in relationship with the crank. In fact, you almost couldn't mount the derailleur if things weren't lined up without bending something.

    So if things are lined up correctly and something isn't downshifting, then it sounds like an indexing issue - which then might be a shifter or cable run problem.

    Is there any way you can take a shot of how the cable is run through the front derailleur?

    It could possibly be a faulty shifter as well. It doesn't sound like that has been replaced yet.

  23. #23
    rider on the storm
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    Check your PM / email

    ChumbaJason, CHUMBAevo,

    Please check your email / PMs.

    Thanks,
    Mike

  24. #24
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    The rest

    All,

    Thanks for the input provided thus far. Unfortunately, all of these ideas have been tried already.

    I've got an update, but I'm too tired right now to type it all up.

    I will update when I get a chance. Feel free to check out the specific thread on the derailleur / shifting topic here: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=316087

    Mike

  25. #25
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    Just caught this discussion and can say ived put two XCL bikes together now and had no issues what so ever.In fact i love the front d set up as it seems idiot proof 2 me.U may have some other issues going on im picking

  26. #26
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    ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Coasting
    Just caught this discussion and can say ived put two XCL bikes together now and had no issues what so ever.In fact i love the front d set up as it seems idiot proof 2 me.U may have some other issues going on im picking
    E-type should be easier to set up than a conventional der. We actually received this frame back and it was in perfect working condition.
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  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coasting
    Just caught this discussion and can say ived put two XCL bikes together now and had no issues what so ever.In fact i love the front d set up as it seems idiot proof 2 me.U may have some other issues going on im picking
    Holy year and a half old thread resurrection!

    I'm sure the OP fixed the issue by now, one way or another.

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