Project Chumba EVO Part II The Ride- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Project Chumba EVO Part II The Ride

    Old big threads get hard to find new posts in, so I thought I would do this and just point back to the first one:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=211508

    I finally got the EVO out on the trail today for a serious ride after a few easy shakedown rides. I took it out for a hot lap at Whiting Ranch, which includes a little of everything: stream crossings, rocks, sand, long fire road climbs, twisty tight singletrack descents, etc. My recent bikes have been Ellsworth Id, Cannondale Prophet, Specialized FSR 120.

    There is so much to say about this bike. Today I learned that big travel is only half of what makes a bike fun to ride - the other half is a flex free frame to go with it. This is one frame that just goes where you point it even in the rough stuff. It was not deflected or bucked around by hits like other bikes I have ridden on the same route. So much so that I started seeking out the BAD line of off camber rocks just to feel the sensation of a bike holding its line so well.

    Pedaling/climbing? It pedaled efficiently and even responded to subtle inputs. Some long travel bikes feel like you use the first half pedal stroke to load the suspension before power goes down - or at least they feel that way. On the Evo, your power goes the tires, no delay, and with good feedback. Spinning delivered immediate results in sandy sections, and the rear of the bike repsonded instantly by floating instead of sinking in. Very nice. Climbing was virtually bob free, and you can even get good results if you need to stand for a few pedal strokes. Lots of this is just Horst link goodness, I think. Also helping is your position on the bike - you can get into a good aggressive climbing position if you like. In that regard it reminds me of the Id, which was also an excellent climber for a long travel bike. I hate hype, though, so don't get me wrong: it climbs great for a 33 lb rock solid 6" bike. There is still room in your stable for the 21 lb titanium softail race bike. If you like that kind of thing.

    The suspension team of Talas 36 RLC and Evo was great. Settle into your sag and neither the frame nor fork are stingy with suspension action. And both felt bottomless for my riding style. There are a vast array of adjustments on the RLC/DHX 5.0 combo, I just set myself up with 25% sag set every adjustment in middle click. I tweeked Propedal and rebound a bit and I was pretty happy for my first ride. I kept the RLC at 160mm travel unless I was on a long or steep climb. The bike handled well under most conditions like that even though it puts the head angle at about 67 degrees. It loved to be leaned over and I like leaning the bike in turns, so we got along well. It handled the twistys fine if a little slow. The bike responds well when you let it flow, it does not respond well to jerky steering input. The slack angles took much of the drama out of many technical sections. In fact, I had the feeling of descending slowly, but my split times told me otherwise.

    I dropped the fork to 100 for climbs, which is a HUGE drop. If you drop from 160 to 100 on the flats you feel like you will go over the bars. But the 100 setting really helped the Evo climb agressively. I am not sure that using the full 60mm spread will be useful on all bikes, but it is a nice feature on the EVO.

    What did I not like? Well, the front could still get a little light on the climbs even at 100 mm travel. I will have to tidy up cable runs because I did hit the rear derailleur cable routing around the seat post on a few strokes. But not the rocker arm, which surprised me. You must also be careful about fiting the bike, the slack seat angle makes it tricky, but it can be worked out for most riders I think.

    Overall it is clear that Chumba has not made a "me too" bike. They really have something unique to contribute to the all mountain category, and it is not trying to be all things to all people, which is also refreshing.

    Who will like it? People who are looking for an all mountain bike that pushes deep into freeride territory without actually being freeride. People who like to take big hits AND climb. People who hate flex. The more you hate flex, the more you will like this bike.

    Who won't like it? Weight weenies. People who point out that XC races are won on the climbs (I hate it when people point that out). People who like razor sharp steering and steep angles. People who don't like bikes.

    As I said in the original post, this is a professional eval for our shop. Given the crowded field of big frame makers out there and the similarities in their offerings, it is nice to see some new ideas come from a small frame maker again. We have decided we like Chumba as a bike and as a company - Ted, David, Alan and the gang really took care of us, we are convinced they will help us take care of customers as well. And the Norba championship sure looks nice in their lobby. We will be picking them up at our shop. Welcome aboard, Chumba!
    Disclaimer: ComCycle USA

  2. #2

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    awesome review...you are right, the EVO is probably the stiffest bike I've ever rode. It holds its line like nothing I've seen before..you point and go..welcome to the club. wheres the pics?

  3. #3

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    the evo can climb like a goat
    Last edited by carnetorta; 08-03-2006 at 12:35 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtDad
    What did I not like? Well, the front could still get a little light on the climbs even at 100 mm travel. I will have to tidy up cable runs because I did hit the rear derailleur cable routing around the seat post on a few strokes. But not the rocker arm, which surprised me. You must also be careful about fiting the bike, the slack seat angle makes it tricky, but it can be worked out for most riders I think.
    I have a couple of suggestions that would remedy these two issues.

    I noticed on one of your complete bike pictures, you have the seat set all the way back. You may want to move the seat forward a bit. I ended up doing that to get a more "over the pedals" feeling and that kept the front tire planted a little better on the steeps.

    As for the rear derailleur cable, you'll want to somehow secure it to the rear brake cable. The guys at Chumba use a little tubing (about 3" long) with two zip ties that secure the two cables together. This keeps the RD cable from bowing out under compression.

    Hope that helps! Enjoy the ride!

  5. #5
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    So how do I get one at EP price? I can't afford retail. Someone want to trade me their Evo for my VP-Free w/ Roco perhaps?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by erikkellison
    So how do I get one at EP price? I can't afford retail. Someone want to trade me their Evo for my VP-Free w/ Roco perhaps?
    Please contact us. Are you eligible for EP?
    Disclaimer: ComCycle USA

  7. #7
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    Nope, not eligible. I work in a pharmacy. But I'm still poor. Pharmacists make all the money. E-mailed you back.

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