Losing my XCL, but gaining an EVO- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Losing my XCL, but gaining an EVO

    Unfortunately, I have to say good-bye to my beloved '07 XCL. I have loved it from the begining, and it was a HUGE improvement over my '05 Trek Fuel EX7. The driveside seat-stay cracked where the gusset meets the underside of the stay. What I am pleased about is that I emailed Chumba about this, and they responded within a few hours (3 hours time difference no less). Alan wanted to make things right by his customer, and we agreed that maybe I would be better off with an EVO. There may be better made bikes out there, I can't say, but there is no convincing me that one of them has better customer service. I will never buy a "big box" brand again.

    I noticed the crack after having some lateral stiffness loss. Under hard pedaling uphill, I could hear the rear tire contact the chainstay. Initially, I trued the wheels, and that helped some, but it started coming back. The other night I cleaned the whole bike, and was going to inspect the rearhub, when I noticed the crack.

    I am bittersweet about this, because I have loved riding the XCL. It is my do everything bike. I can ride 20+miles of XC with it, or I can take the rough line through technical sections without much fear. The only thing that I don't do, is jump a lot. 2-3' is about my level of cost/benefit ratio....I have to work afterall. What I do that probably stressed this frame is fly through rough stream crossings and log overs. This bike has allowed my to "jump" somethings, but I never would have done on the Trek. I am also going to miss that crazy bright orange frame. It really grew on me.

    I am concerned that the built up EVO is going to be a weight pig. My XCL was 33#, without much lightweight parts. I chose durability and fun over weight. I hope that I can do the same with this. I have seen some people running 2.1's on their EVO's I presume to save weight. I would pinch flat that within 50' of the trail, or I would have to run 45# of air. No thanks.

    Has anyone else gone from the XCL to an EVO that can offer some input? Also, is anyone running a chain guide on their EVO, and if so...which one?

  2. #2
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    Scott, I love my xcl too. I've been pounding on it for 2 years, and I want it to last a lot longer. Couple of questions: how much do you weigh? Did Alan give you the option of a new rear triangle, if so how much would that have cost?

  3. #3
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    It's funny, my weight can vary...I've been up to 204# and now am at 193# so it's tough to say. I am 6'1" and prefer a larger frame just for stability and comfort I guess.

    I am sure that I could have ordered a new rear triangle, but I assumed that this would happen again. So that's how we moved to the EVO. Here are a few shots so you can see how it fits me. RIP friend.
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  4. #4
    I'm living the dream!
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    At least you already have a great fork to pair up to the EVO. I've considered switching from my XCL to the EVO, and still may do so, but for me it would require a fork upgrade from my current Pike. I've been deployed for almost a year and off the bike since then but I plan on assessing my riding when I get home next month and deciding whether or not to upgrade in the Spring.

    If you were sold on keeping the XCL, I'd tell you the new rear triangle is better built and you shouldn't have any problems if you swapped it out. I'd still get the rear triangle to complete the frame and sell it unless it's part of a trade-in deal.

    BTW, what color EVO did you go with?

  5. #5
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    Not exactly the same transition but

    I went from a SC Heckler to an Evo which is not exactly the same situation but similar. I'd say the Heckler is in the same ballpark as the XCL weight and performance wise. I have the same year Evo as yours and I currently have it built up pretty burly but I have had the bike at 33lbs with no wimppy parts. It's really boils down to fork, shock and tire/wheel choices. You already have a perfect fork for the Evo with a reasonable weight. I had a DHX Air on the Evo originally and it is a pretty nice shock but I prefer a coil so I got a DHX 5.0. I am heavier than you at 240lbs geared up but the same height. I need to run a 700lbs spring and you would need a 600-650lbs spring. These springs in steel are pretty heavy. You can get a Ti spring and cut over a pound off the weight. In lighter build, I was running Easton Havoc Wheels with Kenda Nevegals 2.35 folding tires. Now I have a downhill setup with Mavic EX823 Tubeless rims on Hope Pro2 hubs and a Michelin 2.5 DH24 in the back and a Mich 2.5 DH16 in the front. Pretty much indestructible but super heavy. As for fork, I originally had a Fox 36 Talas and now have a Marzocchi 66 Light. So, I went from a 33lbs all-mountain bike to a 39lbs downhill/ freeride sled. I am still running the steel spring. The newer Evo's have much better geometry for all-mountain, are lighter, have better paint and double bearings. They are much more refined than mine and I'd love to have one. I love my current Evo but the new ones are much better. I think you will like it a lot!!!

  6. #6
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    Yeah, I am not oppossed to the EVO, it just seems strange that I won't be on the XCL anymore. I know of a way to fix that, but it isn't in the cards just yet. I thought that I had the perfect do-it-all bike, and now that the EVO is coming, I better step up my game to match the potential of this baby.

    I went with the Candy Red. I wanted the Kawasaki Green one, but there were none available in my size. That red one that was used for InterBike awhile back looked really sweet.

    I am just going to have to get used to the EVO's tube shapes. The XCL was perty, the EVO is a bit "off", but I'll always take function over fashion.

  7. #7
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    You can go from the XCL with a Pike to an EVO with a Pike - you've got a steeper front end, but it's still quite doable. I will do the upgrade of the fork eventually when I get the cash, (might be awhile, tho, lots of bills) - but in the meantime I will enjoy riding it with the Pike - my only advice, dont make my mistake of going with the rp23 to save weight -
    to take full advantage of the EVO's capabilities, you're better off with the DHX. I havent bottomed the rp23 yet, but its just not as plush.
    Another thing you wont miss with the EVO is the pedal strikes with technical climbing -
    much easier to clean stuff. Good luck !

  8. #8
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    Stepping it up to the Evo

    Everything the last guy said was right on the money. Don't you have a Lyrik on your XCL? I thought that is what I saw. The Lyrik is perfect for the Evo. A Pike would work but is not enough travel in my opinion. I think a Pike on a XCL would be perfect though. Don't go with a RP23. Either a DHX 5.0 Coil(my preference) or a DHX Air. You might ask Alan about the Cane Creak Double Barrels they have been testing. I believe that is going to be their main shock for 2010.

  9. #9
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    Yes, it has the Lyric and the DHX Air 5.0. I have heard good things about the Cane Creek DB, but just can't afford that yet. Ski season is coming up, and I try to head out to Utah more than once.

    My review and part's spec is about half way down on this page.....on 4/30/2008 if that helps. http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=351785

    The only difference is the wheels. I upgraded to DT-Swiss 5.1D rims with 340 hubs, huge improvement! I am also running a Nevie 2.5 soft compound with a downhill tube (thick ass rubber allows me to run 26-28# of air without worries) and I run a 2.35 Nevie rear with DTC and a self sealing tube. Much less pinch flats with that setup, but it isn't very light.

    Maybe I'll have to convert to tubeless to save some weight "where it counts" as everyone else says. I just don't want to be pedaling around a 38# sled on XC terrain. Maybe by going to tubeless, I can cut the weight difference between the XCL and EVO?
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  10. #10
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    Well, here is the EVO. I got yesterday afternoon and just started building it. It's not done yet, because something isn't working with the way the FD is mounting, and that is screwing up the BB. I'll get it right eventually.

    First impressions are that the DHX Air shock was meant for this frame over the XCL. It feels much more plush and springier on the EVO. I also have to run about 20# more air in the shock to get the proper sag. It may be different once I get the cranks on there, to get my position dialed in better.

    It also seems that the seat-tube geo won't be the problem that I hear people complain about. Just move the saddle a bit, and everything should be spot on. The HA still looks steaper than on the XCL. Just by looking, but I think that is because I had the Lyric at 150mm on the XCL vs 160 on the EVO. The other thing that I noticed is the shorter TT on the EVO. Not huge, but I may have to change the stem.
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  11. #11
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    Saaaaweeeeeeeeeet!

    Man, that is a great looking bike. I really like the red/siler combo and your Lyrik looks like it was made to match that frame. Now I really want one of the latest generation Evo's. You are really going to enjoy that bike after getting in a few rides. At least with mine it took some getting used to but mine is a 2007 with much slacker seat angle. Yours should have a more natural feel to it. Let us know your riding impressions once you hit the dirt.
    Happy Trails!

  12. #12
    BrassBalled DropbarNinja
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    nice looking ride dude... as for the head angle... could be the top tube playing tricks on your eyes making it look steeper? Yes i'm talking out of my ass right now... hahahahaah

  13. #13
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    Why not a VF2 with a 160mm fork, and Coil Shock? This is what Chumba is pimping these days.
    beaver hunt

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowdrifter
    Why not a VF2 with a 160mm fork, and Coil Shock? This is what Chumba is pimping these days.

    Uh, well, IMO that is a move in the wrong direction. They have the VF2 as a XC bike, the XCL as a Trail Bike, and the EVO as an AM/FR bike. 160mm fork on the VF2 might look like a hobit holding a holwitzer...not an ideal match for it's function.

    Well, I hope that I can save future EVO owners some frustration....when you mount the E-type FD, take off the part that goes around the BB. I originally kept it on, and it doesn't line up well with the frame BB shell. It kinked the BB and cross threaded the BB shell. My LBS was able to re-thread the BB shell, but man was I pissed. You will also need different screws as the ones that come with the FD are tapered heads, and you need flat heads to snug it up agains the FD bosses. Those two holes on the frames allow you to direct mount the FD. Who knew?

    Now that it is all built, it came in at 33.3# for the Large frame, with the Lyric, 2.5" Stick-E Nevegal with 2.7 DH tube up front, and 2.35 DTC Nevegal with a slime tube out back. I assume that I could cut some additional weight by going tubeless. Maybe I'll do that when I need fresh tires in the spring.

    I also have to run about 20# more than body weight in the DHX Air on the EVO, and I used to run 5# less than body weight when it was on the XCL. Today is the local ride from the shop. Those boys are all on SS 29er's, so I'll have my work cut out for me on the climbs, but they better move over on the technical stuff, and on the DH.

  15. #15
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    I think you will be suprised how well the EVO climbs.....the only place I have found that it doesnt excel is just stupidly steep stuff...where you have to have alot of power. Ive tried the same hill on a 30lb XCL, and couldnt make it up.

    From an EVO owners standpoint, never owned an XCL, but have rode one. I have been trying to shave some weight off mine the whole season due to an injury I suffered. I chose to try to lighten the bike instead of buying a whole new platform.

    Right now with the coil I am setting at about 35.9lbs. This is with Diety DH bars, DH/FR pedals..I run all X-9 components. 2.35 Nevagal DTC...

    With an air vs coil, bike would be in the 34's.I just cant stand how the air acts, and small bump is even worse.....

    .I think with some lighter 2.1, 2.2 combo or staggered 2.3/2.2 or 2.1 I could possibly bring it down to high 33's, low low 34 range. When you get to that point its trivial, probably sacrifice stength. You can treat an EVO like a BMX bike, only thing I have bent in close to 2 years now is dearailer hangars.

  16. #16
    BrassBalled DropbarNinja
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    Quote Originally Posted by nojoke
    I think you will be suprised how well the EVO climbs.....the only place I have found that it doesnt excel is just stupidly steep stuff...where you have to have alot of power. Ive tried the same hill on a 30lb XCL, and couldnt make it up.

    From an EVO owners standpoint, never owned an XCL, but have rode one. I have been trying to shave some weight off mine the whole season due to an injury I suffered. I chose to try to lighten the bike instead of buying a whole new platform.

    Right now with the coil I am setting at about 35.9lbs. This is with Diety DH bars, DH/FR pedals..I run all X-9 components. 2.35 Nevagal DTC...

    With an air vs coil, bike would be in the 34's.I just cant stand how the air acts, and small bump is even worse.....

    .I think with some lighter 2.1, 2.2 combo or staggered 2.3/2.2 or 2.1 I could possibly bring it down to high 33's, low low 34 range. When you get to that point its trivial, probably sacrifice stength. You can treat an EVO like a BMX bike, only thing I have bent in close to 2 years now is dearailer hangars.
    whats your current build?

  17. #17
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    Sorry if im highjacking OP's thread


    Medium 08 EVO (1 piece seattube)

    Suspension/Drivetrain---
    08 Talas 36 RC2 160mm 20mm thru axle
    DHX 5.0 Coil
    Truvativ Stylo GXP 2.2 AM Crankset (2 ring)
    Transition Stepdown Platform Pedals
    PG970 Cassette & 971 Chain
    X-9 Shifters & Rear Derailer (mid cage), XT EType up front
    Diety 31.8 Downhill/FR bars (323g)
    Transition Temple Light Stem (520g)
    ODI Lock On Grips

    Wheels/Tires---
    Sun Ringle Charger Wheelset (equalizer 27 rims)
    2.35 Nevegal DTC F/R or 2.4 Maxxis Ardent depending on conditions
    Kenda 2.3 AM Tubes
    Juicy 7's 185F 160R

    RaceFace Evolve XC SeatPost
    WTB Shadow V Seat



    Weighs right at 36.9 with the 2.4 DH Ardent up front (1112g tire), and weighs about 35.9 with the 2.35 Nevegal in its place.....depends on what terrain/consitions im ridin.


    Im very content with the tire combo. I could shave about 300g from bars, and pedals if needed, and a good pound from the coil to air swap, but I will ride the coil till it dies, It wins hands down after riding both. Maybe even some weight from smaller tire combo and tubeless, but I beat the hell out of this bike to much to go tubeless I think.

    Pic below


  18. #18
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    Cutting weight

    I've been running tubeless for about 3 years now and ride some pretty brutal trails. You will be fine running Stans and it will shave some weight. As for pedals, I have been using Wellgo MG-1's for several years and they have been bomb proof, super light and you can pick them up for around $50 shipped off ebay and a variety of colors. They have sealed cartridge bearings, chromo axle and magnesium bodies with replaceable pins. They are awesome. I am a 240lbs rider and can tell you they take the abuse and ask for more. You can also upgrade to a Ti sping and drop at least 3/4 to 1lbs depending on which spring weight you run. I run a 700lbs spring to support my weight and that is one heavy spring. I plan to switch to Ti when funds are availble. I have run them on my old Bullit and Heckler and they are definitely the way to go. Very smooth through the stroke, look bad ass, last forever and really drop the weight. Finally, I'd replace the bar. If you want aluminum get an Easton EA70 bar. They are pretty light and I have never known anyone to break or bend one. Mine with a mid-rise weighs 250gr. I picked up a new one from Jensonusa.com for $25.00 in the 25.4 size. You could get an Easton DH Carbon bar that weighs 225gr. but it will set you back over $100 more if you find a really good deal on Ebay but that is a lot of coin to save 25grams. The Ti spring is your best bang for the buck. Your cranks are also a little on the heavy side. You could go with XT's and shave off 150grams or so, SLX shaving 100grams. Both are solid cranksets. If it were me, I'd start with the spring for your single largest weight drop per item. Enjoy the bike!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. #19
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    Thanks for the pointers....

    Only looking at 65g between the XT and Style crankset I have now. Mine weighs 915. I have heard good things about those MG-1's as well.

    Ti-Spring and Bars are order for over the winter. Do recomend a supplier? I have a 650lb spring on mine....

  20. #20
    BrassBalled DropbarNinja
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    Medium 08 EVO (1 piece seattube)

    Suspension/Drivetrain---
    08 Talas 36 RC2 (2306g) - Fox Float 36 RC2 (2160g) = -0.322lbs
    DHX 5.0 Coil (You will save roughly 0.5lbs with a Ti spring)
    Truvativ Stylo GXP 2.2 AM Crankset (915g)
    Transition Stepdown (539g) - Twenty6 6Foe (373g) = -0.366lbs
    PG970 Cassette 11-32(321g) - XTR M970 11-32 (224g) = -0.183lbs
    971 Chain (297g) - KMC X9SL (260g) = -0.082lbs
    X-9 Shifters & Rear Derailer (mid cage), XT EType up front
    Diety 31.8 Downhill/FR bars (323g) - Deity Dirty30 (296g) = -0.141lbs
    Transition Temple Light Stem (220g) - PointOneRacing (144g) = -0.167lbs
    ODI Lock On Grips

    Wheels/Tires---
    Sun Ringle Charger Wheels (1800g)
    2.35 Nevegal DTC F/R or 2.4 Maxxis Ardent depending on conditions
    Kenda 2.3 AM Tubes = Ghetto Tubeless (roughly 0.5lbs)
    Juicy 7 (584g) - Elixirs (511g) = -0.161lbs


    RaceFace Evolve XC (292g) - SDG IBeam Carb (229g) = -0.154lbs
    WTB Shadow V (200g) - SDG IBeam I Fly (119g) = -0.179lbs

    Did some weight saving math for ya with durability in mind. Total so far would be a 2.755lbs shaved. I left your tyre combo alone cause those seem to work for you. Ghetto tubeless is great and so far pretty reliable. I find them to be more reliable than tubes. Even DH tubes. You could still lose more weight with different chainrings, grips and etc. Depending on your gearing, you could still shave off like 0.2lbs from the cassette. You could also go with Middleburn cranks and such and shave more there... There's also a bunch of other spots i probably missed... hahaha... Have fun with your inner weight weenie... XD

  21. #21
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    I have been on the EVO for 3 years now and it climbs really well. Not in a lightweight XC kind of climbing prowess but steady and easy climbing. You push as hard as your legs will give but the EVO will not give you a hard time.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by le_buzz
    You can go from the XCL with a Pike to an EVO with a Pike - you've got a steeper front end, but it's still quite doable. I will do the upgrade of the fork eventually when I get the cash, (might be awhile, tho, lots of bills) - but in the meantime I will enjoy riding it with the Pike - my only advice, dont make my mistake of going with the rp23 to save weight -
    to take full advantage of the EVO's capabilities, you're better off with the DHX. I havent bottomed the rp23 yet, but its just not as plush.
    Another thing you wont miss with the EVO is the pedal strikes with technical climbing -
    much easier to clean stuff. Good luck !
    ive also recently switched from the xcl to an evo after getting fed up with the never ending pivot bolt backing out/snapping issue (ftr, alan also gave me the option of replacing the chainstay with the newer one with a set screw). as the op mentioned, chumba's customer service is redonkulous! it cant really get much better than how these guys are doing it.

    so, i went from an '07 xcl to an '09 large xcl (green) in may so ive been raging the evo for the entire summer... my main feeling at this point is why didnt i just get the evo in the first place!?!? as le buzz mentioned, the evo is definitely doable with a 140 fork... i swapped my talas rlc 32 from the xcl to the evo simply b/c im not gonna throw down 800-900 on a new fork until next summer (or maybe sooner for our sedona season... hard to resist!) and, of course, i wanted to ride now.

    i really think the difference in climbing performance is negligible... with the talas 32 anyway. in fact, with the 140 upfront i think the evo has a steeper ht angle (compared to an xcl). i dont feel as though i am working any harder on the same climbs i was riding for years prior to the evo. the difference on the dh is laughable though. that said...

    cant wait to get a talas/vanilla 36, 55 or lyric up front as well as a coil in the rear and beefier wheels. (anyone got a smokin deal on one of those forks let me know!)

    not the most stylish frame around (metallic fleck green paint job is the titties though!) but rides like a dream, imo.
    Last edited by happy_ending; 09-14-2009 at 09:47 PM.

  23. #23
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    My current build is:
    * Frame Year, Size and Color: 2009 Large Candy Red EVO
    * Fork: Lyric U-Turn Coil
    * Shock: FOX DHX 5.0
    * Brakes: Formula K-18 with 8 front rotor, and 7 rear
    * Cranks: Shimano XT 770 175mm
    * Pedals: Shimano XT 770
    * Front Derailleur: Shimano XT E-type
    * Rear Derailleur: Shimano XT Shadow medium cage
    * Bottom Bracket: Shimano XT
    * Cassette: SRAM 990 11-34
    * Shifters: Shimano XT 770 Rapidfire
    * Stem: Thomson Elite X4 90mm 10 degree
    * Headset: FSA Orbit
    * Handlebar: Titec Pluto Carbon 31.8mm, 690mm width, with 2 rise
    * Grips: ODI Rogue lock-ons
    * Seatpost: Thomson Elite 31.6 410mm
    * Saddle: WTB Laser Team
    * Front Tire: Kenda Nevegal 2.5 Stick-E with 2.7" DH Tube
    * Front Rim: DT-Swiss EX 5.1D
    * Front Hub/Skewer: DT-Swiss 340
    * Rear Tire: Kenda Nevegal 2.35 DTC with Slime Tube
    * Rear Rim: DT-Swiss EX 5.1D
    * Rear Hub/Skewer: DT-Swiss 340
    * Frame Protection: 3M Body Armour
    * Bike Weight: 33.3 pounds on hanging scale at LBS
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  24. #24
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    Scottdog,

    Bike looks nice. So how do you like the EVO? How does it compare to the XCL?

  25. #25
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    Well, I like it but it is totally different. The top tube is 1/2" shorter and now I've changed to a 65mm stem, so there's another inch from the 90mm the was on the XCL.
    The rear shock...DHX Air feels much different. I need about 25# more to get the sag right.
    I have not cased anything with the cranes yet, because if the high BB. The only thing that I wish was different was the HA. This bike could use a 67HA. It doesn't feel as slack as the XCL with the Lyrik.
    The good points are that the EVO feels more "playful". Meaning that it's easier to hop over trail chatter, and lean into turns and rip. It just feels to steep up front for steep chutes. I bet a Totem upfront would be $$$!
    I haven't taken it to our PA trails yet...that will be the true test. That is where frames get punished...extremely rocky terrain.

  26. #26
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    Evo steep head angle

    Hey Scott.

    I have a 2007 Evo Freeride model which has a slacker seat tube angle but I believe the same steep head angle. I started off with a Fox 36 Talas with 160mm travel but have changed to a 2006 Marzocchi 66 RC2 at 170mm travel. I am running a DHX 5.0 Coil shock and combined with the 66 my Evo is like a mini downhill bike. Unfortunately, it is the same weight as as many downhill bikes and even heavier than some others.
    A lot of this has to do with the weight of the fork which is almost 7lbs and some heavy Michelin DH16 and DH24 tires. My bike weighs right at 40lbs. It is a ton of fun as long as you are heading downhill or even on flat trails but climbing is not where it shines.
    Last edited by 67degrees; 10-09-2009 at 09:01 AM.

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