Ellsworth Evolve – Project Pink

Pro Reviews

Project Pink

Post by Robb Sutton
Mountain Biking by 198

Ellsworth Evolve – In for Review – Project Pink

On Friday, I received my package from out west. The content of this large box contained everything needed to build the Ellsworth Evolve (Ellsworth’s 4″ full suspension 29er frame) for a long term review. To my surprise, I opened the box at T2 Bikes and inside was a bright pink Evolve! The bike looks great and I am more than happy to promote breast cancer awareness. You can instantly see the ribbon on the top tube that tells you that this color is special.

For those of you that don’t already know, here is the story.

Project Pink

Starting in 2007, Ellsworth started offering their entire line in a no-upcharge pink as a part of their Project Pink program. Through this program, Ellsworth donates $50.00 per pink frame purchase to breast and ovarian cancer research and clinical trials. Dave Wisenteiner’s, the Vice President of Ellsworth, has had is life drastically affected by these two cancers and he had this to say about Project Pink (taken from this MTBR.com article):

“While Pink marketing projects seem to be everywhere right now, this one started for me five years ago as I watched my wife’s mom die over what was the worst year of our lives. She had ovarian cancer which is the deadliest of the women’s cancers because it is usually detected so late. This was followed with her ’Grandmothers death only six months later from the very same thing. In that same time period I had two very close friends somehow pull out of stage 3+ breast cancer, mostly thanks to clinical trials. The two things I wanted to accomplish with this project were to specifically fund research and clinical trials rather than awareness, and second, I wanted the contribution to be substantial. So many companies in the US have jumped on “cause marketing” and their contribution is almost an afterthought. We are a small company so our direct impact is small but the ripple effect is becoming huge.”

The pink frame is beautiful and the ano is perfect. Once I built the complete bike up, I knew it was unlike any other bike I had ridden. This pink really set it off.

Pretty and Strong

As a part of the build package (listed below), there was a Chris King pink headset. Like Ellsworth, Chris King also donates a proportion of the proceeds from every pink headset or hub sale to breast cancer research. The special edition top cap reads “Pretty and Strong 2008”.

From ChrisKing.com:

In 2004, Chris King Precision Components launched a limited edition series of pink headsets and hubs in an effort to raise awareness for breast cancer research and to raise funds for the local Susan G. Komen Foundation affiliate here in Portland. That first limited edition series of Pretty and Strong was a success and led to the return of the program in 2005 with an expanded line-up of products while still limited to just 4 months availability. Based on the success and positive feedback we received, we are pleased to announce that the Pretty and Strong program has been extended to a Special Edition Series available year-round. As of September 1, 2006, Chris King has added Pretty and Strong pink to its standard list of available colors.

We will continue to donate a portion of the sale of any Pretty and Strong item to the Oregon and SW Washington Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. On behalf of all of our customers and supporters, we are proud to make known our honor of receiving a 2006 award for Outstanding Support from the Foundation. For 2007 and beyond, we have expanded the Pretty and Strong line-up along with new partners.”

The Build

From the Ellsworth website:

“With a higher axle center and larger bottom bracket drop, the Evolve maintains Ellsworth’s legendary suspension dynamic and overall handling. All geometry and suspension function have been designed from the ground up to garnish the fast rolling, high stability of the 29 inch wheel, without the ill handling commonly associated with the 29 inch wheel bikes.”

  • Frame – Ellsworth Evolve: Large Project Pink
  • Rear Shock – Fox RP3
  • Fork – Fox F29 RLC 100mm
  • Cranks – Truvativ Stylo 3.3 GXP 175mm
  • RD – SRAM X.0 Long Cage
  • FD – SRAM X.7 Dual Pull Hi Clamp
  • Cassette – SRAM PG980 11-34
  • Chain – SRAM PC971
  • Brakes – Avid Juicy 5 160mm F and R
  • Shifters – SRAM X.9 Trigger
  • Wheelset – WTB LaserDisc Trail 29er
  • Headset – Chris King Pretty and Strong Pink
  • Seatpost – Thomson 27.2 x 410mm Black
  • Bars – Easton Monkey Lite SL Lowrise 31.8
  • Grips – Ergon GP1 Small
  • Stem – Easton EA70 110mm 31.8
  • Tires – Kenda Nevegal 29 x 2.2
  • Saddle – Ellsworth

First Impressions

The bike is very well built. The pink ano came out beautifully and there are small touches throughout the frame that scream boutique. From the machining of the rocker arms to the headbadge, you can tell that each part is carefully planned. Overall, the build kit was better than expected with parts that I use on a regular basis. There is no better shifting in mountain biking than SRAM. The X.9 groupo is the quiet killer with performance that is on par with X.0 at a fraction of the cost. The X.0 rear derailleur received some changes for ’08 that greatly increased the reliability of the cage. Everything else is pretty much middle to top of the line. I will be interested to see how the wheels hold up under my riding style.

Stay tuned for more updates on this review as it gets going. As of right now, I am tuning in the fitment and feel. I will be updating this review regularly. For updates, subscribe to my full feed RSS. You can also subscribe by Email and have new posts sent directly to your inbox. You can also follow me on Twitter.

For instant updates from MTBR.com on this in depth review and other news, follow their RSS feed.

Have any of you guys had any experience with the Evolve or 29er FS rigs? I want to hear your thoughts…respond in the comments section below.

Ellsworth Evolve Built

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  • Anonymous says:

    Nice ride! I just built up a black one that came in @ 26lbs fully built. I am looking forward to getting her out on the trails for the first time, and hearing your experiences as well. Ride on!. Lane

  • Anonymous says:


    Impressive build weight. With the current parts list, this build is coming in right under the 30 lbs range. It does have some room to move though…


  • Anonymous says:

    It’s not that much of a bike. Great looking, love the pink color, love the rear suspension design. Only thing I don’t like is that it’s too tall, awkward machine. I have 29er hardtail and it’s great but still tall and awkward. I wouldn’t want to use it for singetrack. I actually demo’ed the Ellsworth. I think it’s due the width of the handlebars, too narrow and too high. If you’re to build one, maybe should stick to flat bars and a 0 degree stem and that surely will alleviate the tallness problem. It’s also my next plan to do the same on my own 29 hardtail. Anyway, the rear shock really works! Like it a lot! Not heavy at all, whoa! Pink rocks!

  • Anonymous says:

    Only a $50 donation?? give me a break,a carbon Ellswoth wheelset costs $2000,most frames they sell are $3000,and only a $50 donation?,sorry to say,that`s nothing to be proud of,it should be at least $500.

  • Anonymous says:

    Howdy Rob
    We met out on the downhill course over at big creek in Roswell. You let me climb that hill on your beautiful ride there. I absolutely loved the way that bike sprung up the mountain. While i was standing on the pedals it felt like a 1 inch softail. But when I started to hit the bumps then it soaked them up and gave a buttery smooth ride. Thanks again.


    P.S. 801 most of the frames that they are selling are wholesaling for around a thousand to two thousand. That means they are donating 2%-4% of their wholesale gross sales, cut it down to profits and they are probably donating more like 5%-10%. Cut them some slack, they are not Giant or Trek, they are a small independent manufacturer donating their own hard earned money, to a good charity. How much of your hard earned money have YOU donated this year to any charity or non-profit organization?

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