"A Short Travel DH Bike That Climbs": Another Evo Review- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    nerfherder
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    Good job! "A Short Travel DH Bike That Climbs": Another Evo Review

    Chumba Racing Evo


    Chumba Racing was kind enough to lend me an Evo for a week. Several of us lucky socal riders have been given the opportunity to test ride Chumba Racing's Evo. I had one for four rides and did not want to bring that bike back. Oh, well.

    Let's start with some stats:

    Rider:
    5'8"
    30" inseam
    155lbs
    Everyday bike: 05 Turner 6Pack, DHX Coil, TALAS 36
    Skills: Intermediate

    Evo Setup:
    Frame: S/M Chumba Evo (pre production)
    Fork: Maverick DUC 32
    Shock: Fox DHX Air
    Handlebar: Truvative Team Riser
    Grips: WTB Lock Ons
    Headset: WTB Momentum
    Brakes: Juicy 7 Carbon
    Shifters: X.9
    F Der: XTR
    R Der: X.9
    Crank/BB: FSA somethingmajigger
    F Hub: Maverick
    F Rim: Bontrager Big Earl ?
    R Hub: DT 340
    R Rim: DT 5.1d
    Tires F/R: WTB Mutano Raptor 2.4 (Stans in the front, tube in the rear)
    Seatpost: SDG
    Saddle: SDG
    Sorry, a little imprecise on the parts spec. I forgot to write it all down before I gave the bike back so I wrote all this from memory.

    Bike weight: ~33lbs with pedals (on the low end of 33 - I forgot the actual #)

    First Impressions
    I know it's cliche, but I have to say it: I felt comfortable the moment I got on this bike. I can't say the same for the 6Pack or the Blur LT I owned before. I grew to love both of those bikes but of those three only the Evo's given me this kind of first ride comfort level. My first impression of the bike was that it accelerated really well. I think that's in part due to the light weight tires but also credit must be given to the efficient feeling rear suspension. This thing just takes off and loves to climb. Well, as well as a 33lb bike can be expected to climb. Dialing down the DUC32 into climbing mode really helped, too.

    How about the downhills? Ah, sublime. The DUC32 has an A-C that's 20mm shorter than my 6 inch TALAS 36. Yet, it still rolled the rocks and steeps with all confidence. And keep in mind I was running pretty darn light XC tires. I think the 517mm A-C on the Mav contributed to the nice quick steering on my Evo. Adding a couple centimeters with a 36 or Z.1 definitely would have slowed that down. I don't think it would have been bad with a longer A-C fork but it felt mighty lively with the DUC 32's geometry. For the record, I'm pretty unimpressed with the DUC32. If you're going for a quicker steering trail bike I'd recommend the Pike which has a similar A-C.

    I'm running out of writing steam so I'll leave you with some pictures and a video. I'll come back and give some more impressions and retrospective thoughts. Feel free to ask questions. I'll answer them if I can.

    Bike Pr0n






    Hideous Video
    Warning: This video really sucks. Don't get your hopes up. I had my buddy film it with the movie mode of my digicam with the hopes that it'd be pretty clear... not so much. But hopefully it's good enough to get a view of the rear suspension in action.

    <object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="https://www.youtube.com/v/22EmGWHcT8I"></param><embed src="https://www.youtube.com/v/22EmGWHcT8I" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="350"></embed></object>
    EDIT: My video seems to freeze after a couple seconds. Just click past that point in the timeline and it'll continue. Don't know what's up with youtube.

    Still to come:
    *Post demo thoughts
    *The Chumba team
    Last edited by scruffylooking; 08-07-2006 at 10:43 PM.

  2. #2
    nerfherder
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    Four Rides and My Post Demo Thoughts

    "A Short Travel DH Bike That Climbs"
    That's in quotes because that's how Dave Woronets, Chumba's production manager, described the bike when I asked him how he would describe the bike's niche. I think it's an apt description because one of the things that struck me on the rides was how much confidence I had descending on this bike despite the Maverick given the bike I'm used to is a 6Pack with a 36. I can only imagine what this bike would feel like with a better fork like a Z.1, 36, or RS's new offerings in 07.

    Oh, and yes, it climbs mighty nice.

    Lateral Stiffness
    Many people seem to think that the Evo frame is laterally flexy. And that's not just from this review (post #7). I've even heard it from people talking at the LBS. I'll be honest and say that I probably can't tell 1) because I'm not that discerning of a rider and 2) I'm pretty lightweigt at a buck fifty five. So, when I rode the Evo, the frame seemed super stiff and it tracked extremely well. Point and shoot at speed through the rough and it'll go where you want it to. So, it's uber stiff for a dude that weighs 155. Not sure about someone who's at or around 2 bills.

    Seat Tube Angle
    Some folks have complained about the excessively slack seat tube angle that results in a pretty drastic seat position change when you drop your saddle. Honestly, that didn't bother me at all. I pretty much ride with my saddle in one of two positions - up for climbing and down to get it out of the way for descents. So when I dropped it I didn't really spend much time sitting on it.

    "Whoa, that looks burly."
    That was almost always the first comment that someone made. The buff gussets and welds probably contributed to this perception. And I'm not one to disagree. It sure does look tough. But I never thought it looked burly like a DH or Big Hit bike. And it sure doesn't suffer from the downsides of a big bike. My perception of how it looked was probably colored by the fact that I rode it - and it was fun, fast, and pedaled real well.

    The Los Angeles Chumbas of Anaheim™
    Chumba's are handmade in Anaheim. Welded, machined, and assembled all within close proximity to the Mouse. I know that's a major selling point to some of you out there. I dig it. It's neat to see locals creating innovative products. I'm pretty sure they're even painted down the 55 at Olympic.

    See Dirt Dad's Chumba HQ pics here.

    Frame Updates
    *My preproduction ride didn't have bottle mounts but the production ones do. They're on the lower down tube below the kink.
    *New updated graphics
    *Metal (looking?) headbadge
    See below for pic.


    Open to feedback - And as I mentioned earlier I had some problems with the DUC32's crown. Chumba was super overly apologetic about it. They were very cool. In fact, given my feedback and the feedback from others of you on the forum, they may not offer that as a OE fork anymore. Whoa, a bike manufacturer that listens to your feedback and implements change? Now that's cool.

    Things I Didn't Like
    *Kinked/Interrupted Seat Tube - I have a short inseam so I like to drop the seat all the way down when I ride down hill. It actually wasn't a problem for me because I don't have to have a lot of seat post and so it would drop almost all the way down. But if you had longer legs than me and like to put the seat down that could be a problem.
    *Chunky graphics - I know, I'm nitpicking, especially since the new ones have new graphics.
    *The Mav DUC32 - Holy cow, I thought this thing was going to break on me. It just felt like a hollow tubes with pogo stick springs and random shrapnel thrown in to make funny noises. I thought the design was innovative and that it would be nice on a long travel XC bike (dunno, like an Epiphany or Blur LT?) but it just seemed outpaced on the Evo.

    That's all for now. More to come.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by scruffylooking; 08-08-2006 at 09:11 AM.

  3. #3
    Made in China
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    Great ride report scuff!

    I have a DUC32 on my EVO and it does not impress me either, especially for how much I paid for them. They said I need to change the oil to tune it....kinda old school but I'll have to give it a try since I dumped a lot money on it.

    BUT I had a Marzocchi AM SL on it and even that fork did not feel great compare to the rear. Here is the problem, the rear is so plush that I have not felt a fork that can match it's plushness and stiffness. I'm waiting for some 07 Marzocchi or RS offerings to bring the front up to par.

    Oh I too got on the bike and felt really comfy even though I'm not a great rider(got me to order one really quick). I felt really weird and had to adjust to every other bike I've owned before, including couple of Intense.

    Funny but I like the chunky white graphic better haha...

    Ride on!
    "Didn't your doctor tell you to stop smoking and drinking?" George Burns "Yes but they all died"

  4. #4
    nerfherder
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    Rad bikes. Rad people, too.

    Chumba has two great products to market. First, their bikes. The Evo is fantastic and their new XCL seems promising, too. Second, their people. Man, what a stand up crew! Everyone there is super friendly, helpful, and passionate about their mountain biking. I strongly believe in rewarding companies with great customer service. So far, if what I have seen on the front end of the purchase cycle is any indication, these guys will be top notch in CS. For those of you who have already purchased I'd be interested to know how your relationship with the company has been now that they've got your money. Seriously.

    So, thanks to Ted, Alan, Dave, and Oliver the intern. Chumba's way too cool.

    Now I have to figure out how to get my hands on one. =)

    If any of you who are interested in the bike but haven't been able to ride one and you have questions, I'm game.

  5. #5
    nerfherder
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    Mav - bleh

    Quote Originally Posted by duke777
    Great ride report scuff!

    I have a DUC32 on my EVO and it does not impress me either, especially for how much I paid for them. They said I need to change the oil to tune it....kinda old school but I'll have to give it a try since I dumped a lot money on it.

    BUT I had a Marzocchi AM SL on it and even that fork did not feel great compare to the rear. Here is the problem, the rear is so plush that I have not felt a fork that can match it's plushness and stiffness. I'm waiting for some 07 Marzocchi or RS offerings to bring the front up to par.

    Oh I too got on the bike and felt really comfy even though I'm not a great rider(got me to order one really quick). I felt really weird and had to adjust to every other bike I've owned before, including couple of Intense.

    Funny but I like the chunky white graphic better haha...

    Ride on!
    Yeah, the Mav is quite spendy. Not sure you're getting all that you pay for. Super light but feels like poo. I've heard that some people are able to get their DUCs feeling good but it seems that you need to spend a bit of time experimenting with oil levels. I don't have the know-how or the time to do that so I'd rather spend a grand on a fork/wheel combo that felt good out of the box.

    I like the looks of the 07 zoke AM range. They're thru-axle, too. I think. And I bet a Pike would also be sweet.

  6. #6
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    i don't have much experience with the mav...but when i was looking i wondered how they could make such a big fork so light. They must be compromising somewhere. The Pike is strong right out of the box...simple, lightweight, stiff, fairly cheap. What more could you ask for? More travel is the only thing i can think of (if thats your thing).
    Chumba has been so refreshing to deal with. In a world of corporate BS it is so nice to have the same guy answer the phone and to get personal emails returned very promptly. I haven't had any problems, but i wouldn't want my money in other company's hands. What's more is that their focus is obviously on their product. Chumba seems so much more down to earth than even many of the other small builders...and they come in at a great price (especially when you look at complete packages). Fox forks, DT wheels, Juicy brakes, etc that is all top of the line! To get that elsewhere would cost significantly more.

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