Ellsworth Evolution 29er Review

29er All Mountain Trail Pro Reviews

Descending is a strong suit of this bike since the rear suspension is very active. It’s quite plush and the rear maintains good traction on the roughest terrain. It really feels like it should have a little more suspension in the front since the rear can handle a lot. A 130mm or 140mm would be nice to try especially with 34 mm stanchions. But the bottom bracket height of this bike at 13.6 inches is already a bit high to start with, so raising it up more would be a compromise. As the trail gets steeper and rockier, the bike can hit its limit with its 72 degree head angle.

But all in all, this bike can handle all sorts of terrain with confidence. It is a balanced system, so going up and down harsh terrain like Sedona and Moab is right up the Ellsworth Evolution’s alley.

Specifications:

  • Price: $4,595 as tested ($2,395 frame/rear shock).
  • Weight: 28.2 lbs (without pedals)
  • Sizes Available: S, M (tested), L, XL
  • Drivetrain: Shimano XT
  • Fork: Fox Talas 29
  • Rear Shock: Fox Float RP23 w/ Boost Valve
  • Brakes: Shimano XT
  • Wheelset: Ellsworth XC

Strengths:

  • Climbing traction is impeccable
  • The rougher it is, the better it handles
  • Very balanced machine on rough, seated climbing and fast descending on technical terrain
  • Aluminum craftsmanship is top notch
  • Spec package is very attractive with Loaded Components and Ellsworth wheels
  • Travel is very plush  and linear
  • Style and shape of the bike is very striking

Weaknesses:

  • 27.2 seatpost is not compatible with most dropping posts
  • BB height is high at 13.6 and chainstay is long at 18.2 and wheelbase at 45.5
  • 72 degree head angle is on the steep side
  • A bit heavy at 28+ lbs.
  • Lines of the frame with the long swingarm can be very polarizing.
  • Not ideal for out of saddle climbing as pedal induced bob will occur if not locked out
  • Long wheelbase makes it harder to maneuver on very tight trails

 

Value Rating:


4.25 out of 5 Stars

Overall Rating:

4 out of 5 Stars

Bottom Line:
This bike is enigmatic. Some riders love the way it looks and some don’t. Folks who only look at the spec sheet may not be impressed with: Aluminum, not slack, not super short stays, 27.2 post. But then folks who ride it are really impressed. Looking at the user reviews HERE tells the story of many happy customers. Our experience with it showed us a bike that well designed and integrated. It excels on the climbs and when traction is needed on very rough all-mountain terrain, the Evolution comes ready to play.

 

PART S M L XL
Head Angle (Degrees) 71 ° 72 ° 72 ° 72 °
Seat Angle (Degrees) 73.5 ° 73.5 ° 73.5 ° 73.5 °
Bottom Bracket Height (static) 13.6 inches 13.6 inches 13.6 inches 13.6 inches
Top Tube Length 23 inches 24 inches 25 inches 26 inches
Stand Over 28.0 inches 28.1 inches 28.0 inches 30.7 inches
Chainstay Length 18.2 inches 18.2 inches 18.2 inches 18.2 inches
Seat Tube 16 inches 18 inches 20 inches 22 inches
Head Tube Length 4 inches 5 inches 5 inches 6 inches
Rear Travel 5 inches 5 inches 5 inches 5 inches
Recommended Fork Travel 5 inches 5 inches 5 inches 5 inches
Shock Length 7.875 inches 7.875 inches 7.875 inches 7.875 inches
Wheelbase 44.0 inches 44.5 inches 45.5 inches 46.5 inches
Static Fork Length 21 inches 21 inches 21 inches 21 inches



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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