Chumba XCL Review

Pro Reviews
Frame Price $1399
Fork RockShox Pike 454 U-Turn Coil, 20mm axle
Handlebar Truvativ TEAM OS 50mm rise 710mm width
Grips Lock-on with CHUMBA logo
Rear Brake Avid Juicy 5 160mm
Chain SRAM PC971
Rear Derailleur SRAM X.9 Mid-cage
Cassette SRAM PG-970 11-34
Rear Tire Maxxis Minion 2.35″
Saddle CHUMBA VL-1205 black kevlar chromoly rails
Seat Clamp CHUMBA design 38.1mm

Chumba XCL

No, not Chumba Wumba, Chumba Racing! Chumba has been known for producing high-quality, downhill rigs. But finally, they’ve created a bike for the rest of us XC riders and freeriders who want to climb as well as descend what the trail has to offer.

First impression is ‘Wow, this thing is beefy!” It looks like an XC bike but the tubes are big. The machining is precise. The gussets are supportive. The welds are generous and consistent. The pivot bearings keep the suspension action free and smooth. The shock mounts seem extra large to prevent any unwanted lateral movement. This whole frame seems to be designed to prevent any lateral motion yet deliver 5 inches of smooth vertical travel.

Chumba XCL Chumba XCL Chumba XCL Chumba XCL

The bike comes with a Fox DHX Air and a Rockshox Pike 454. This seems to be the key component combination. The Fox DHX Air is very plush yet has a very effective and adjustable stable platform. The Pike is smooth, laterally solid and has a dial-in travel adjustment feature.

Chumba XCL Chumba XCL Chumba XCL Chumba XCL

Chumba XCLChumba XCL Chumba XCL Chumba XCL

How does it Ride?

It descends like a dream! Wow, this is a confidence inspiring ride. It goes where you point it as the front and rear track exactly where you point it at. The front fork is stiff and the 20mm thru-axle ensures that is not bothered by ruts and rocks. The rear is where the magic is at. It is very laterally stiff so there is no wallowing or correcting as it hits trail obstacles. It just goes straight. As you steer and give some body english, the bike responds with no hesitation.

Maneuverability is good too. I tested a small frame and that works out for my 5’8″ size since I can actually manhandle this bike and throw it around. It is 33 lbs but an agile 33. The head angle takes no getting used to. It just feels natural. When the trail got smooth and extra twisty, I dialed in the Pike fork and shortened up the travel. This made the head angle steeper and the bike was a bit quicker through the trees.

Oh btw, the ride is very plush. The rear suspension action is very active and it is complemented well by the front shock. Rock and ruts were handled with easy. It jumps very well too. Now if I can just learn to jump higher…

Oh no, here comes the climb and I have a 33 lb. bike. Actually, it climbs amazingly well. The DHX air rear shock keeps the rear suspension stable under hard pedaling. Shortening the front shock travel got my upper body lower and enabled me to get more power to the pedals. When I hit rocks and root steps, the suspension worked well and gave me good traction. Of course this bike is heavy and the tires are very sticky. So I won’t be entering any XC races with it. But for what it is, it climbs well.

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So there you have the Chumba XCL. It’s a great bike and it’s going to give a lot of boutique dream bikes a run for their money. This would be a good frame at $2000. At $1400, it’s an incredible value.

In the fall, Chumba is sending us a 28 lb. XCL. That could be very interesting and would be a good match for our local trails. Expect a follow-on review featuring that bike.

Rating:

5 out of 5 stars

Resources:

Mtbr Reviews: http://www.mtbr.com/reviews/Allmtn_Full_Suspension/product_126464.shtml

Chumba Racing: http://www.chumbaracing.com/

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About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.



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  • luis carreter says:

    Hi, I like you review a lot , now, what do you think about the Chumba XCL versus the Intense 5.5 and the Titus Motolite , I own a 4 inches travel xc bike (the Turner Flux ) and I am go to the 5 inches , thanks for your answer and comments.

  • Tom Woods says:

    I bought a new Chumba XCL this summer and got its weight down to 28 pounds by throwing lots of money at it. I really like the bike and ride it daily on a nearby trail with lots of vertical. There are other bikes that are better climbers, but few that are as good going downhill, or that you would want to take on an epic backcountry expedition. The XCL is extremely well built and beefy, and handles anything you can throw at it. I have owned an Intense 5.5, and it is a better climber than the XCL. Overall, however, I prefer the sturdy and well-built Chumba to the Intense. It all depends on what you want. The XCL is a rare combination of good uphill and XC capabilities with outstanding downhill capabilities.

  • Mark Jones says:

    Hi Tom – Can you tell me what you used to get your’s down to 28 pounds? I’m thinking of getting one in December and am looking at a full XT 08 spec with an RP23 and Talas for springy bits and am wondering about a wheel set.

  • Jer wiz says:

    American Classic wheelset, Race Face Deus bars, stem post and cranks, Talas fork, 08 XT and a sub 600gr tire will get under 28.

  • strafer says:

    YOu gotta go with 20mm thru axle forks with XCL.
    What’s the point of having a sturdy frame if the forks flex?

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