Ellsworth Evolve 29er Full Suspension

4.71/5 (28 Reviews)


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Product Description

The all new 2013 Ellsworth Evolve Carbon - fast, fun, and beautiful. Do you wanna go fast? Do you want a no-compromise 29er that delivers the best suspension and handling at feather weight? Look no further. The Evolve Carbon offers 100 or 120mm of Instant Center Tracking suspension. A fully active suspension design that is quantifiably the world's most effecient. That's just the beginning of a laundry list of awesome features; Internal cable routing, lighter and stiffer BB30 bottom bracket, tapered head tube, and proprietary Rare Earth Carbon Fiber. -Rare Earth Carbon Fiber frame - high quality and high compaction -100 to 120mm rear travel -Tapered head tube, 71 degree head angle -BB30 bottom bracket -Internal cable routing -30.9mm seat tube diameter -142x12mm thru axle -Custom Tuned Fox Float CTD Kashima shock


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Reviews 1 - 15 (28 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Don Ticho a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: January 21, 2014

Strengths:    Solid climber, stable, very comfortable, no pedal strikes, light, no bob on open shock

Weaknesses:    noisy, no water bosses inside front triangle, derrailleur hanger breaks easily

Bottom Line:   
This is my second Evolve, the first one was an 2012 aluminum sst2, this one is cf, feels lighter and reponses better, It doesn´t feels fast but it is FAST, corners like it is on rails, climbs like a scared goat, makes you feel safer any time, time goes too fast on this bike, I always want more time! I am 43 and this one is the right one for me, I got lucky I found this baby on ebay new, maybe I have never bought it at full price.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 months

Price Paid:    $1700.00

Purchased At:   ebay

Similar Products Used:   Evolve SST2, Salsa Big Mama

Bike Setup:   Med frame, Sid XX 100mm, ztr crest, XX1 drivetrain and xx brakes

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by RANDY a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: January 10, 2014

Strengths:    This is one of the most comfortable bikes I have ever owned. It is made for all day trail rides. It is a great looking bike that gets a great deal of attention. It is very stable on fast rocky descents.

Weaknesses:    This bike has a long wheel base compared to most bikes. While it is stable at high speeds, it is like a tank in the tight single track. While most XC bikes are designed to carve around corners, this bike is best taking slower sweeping turns. I did have a warranty replacement that took 6 weeks to sort out. The Ellsworth Wheels are flexy.

Bottom Line:   
Due to the handing and maneuverability of this bike, I did not take it on rides with the fast group. Fast rides were reserved for the hard tail. It was best suited for slower paced casual rides over long distances. I ordered my bike with the Ellsworth Wheels. Those were total junk! They were flexy and did not do well tubeless. After trying 3 different tires, the Ellsworth rep stated that they had issues with tubeless in some wheels. Bad wheels and a warranty issue, not a good experience. It is comfortable! Almost like a beach cruiser for the trails. That can be good if you are into 4 hour trail rides.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Dupont

Duration Product Used:   2 years

Price Paid:    $5300.00

Purchased At:   The Great Escape

Similar Products Used:   intense, specialized, trek

Bike Setup:   Sram XO

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Marco

Date Reviewed: February 2, 2013

Strengths:    Despite it's wheight, it climbs like a goat. It descends on rocky terrain like a bullet train. On flats, it simply rides like a rolls Royce.

Weaknesses:    Incredible to say, but none. Perhaps the weight, but the ride quality is that good that it's not really an issue.

Bottom Line:   
I've been riding this steed for close to two years, racing it and throwing everything South Africa has to offer. And let me tell you that after 20 hrs plus of riding on the us east coast, it is simply bigger, rockier, rooter and faster here. I race competitively both road and mtb and have done several multi day stage races on the evolve. Simply put, it's fast, its comfortable, it's forgiving, and just keeps on going. I have used and abused it on rock gardens (climbing and descending) rode 100s of kms on rutted and dusty jeep tracks (yes, many a times surrounded by African wild animals of the hoofed variety), dropped over ledges, you name it. Yet, it still rides and looks like the very first day. I upgraded form my 26 inch steel IF hard tail, which I now turned into a SS, and it was like mtb had become a new sport. Actually my only regret is that it became easier and hence the reason I needed a SS. No kidding. I'm 6.9 and weigh 165 pounds. I honestly have a hard time thinking how someone can come up with a better xc and trail machine

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Anywhere in south Africa

Duration Product Used:   2 yrs

Price Paid:    $5500.00

Purchased At:   Germantown, md


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Bonski a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: November 7, 2012

Strengths:    Solid climber, solid descender, amazing xc rocket, incredibly balanced

Weaknesses:    None

Bottom Line:   
I bought the Evolve frame and built it up after riding a Trek Superfly 100 for a couple months- got a great deal on the Trek, but never quite fit me. The Evolve geometry simply fits my build better than the Trek. I'm a long-legged 6-footer, 160lbs. The balance on this bike inspired confidence from the very first ride. I love how it handles on everything from long steep climbs and fast descents, to flowy, fast singletrack. I've spent 4 months on this rig, set up with full xt/xtr, easton haven wheels and 2012 Fox 100s front and back. Bike weighs in at 26.5 lbs-- not bad for a quiver of one rocket ship that handles like a 26er with all the benefits of bigger wheels. Simply the most fun I've ever had on a mountain bike.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Fast XC trails USA

Duration Product Used:   4 months

Similar Products Used:   2011 Trek Superfly 100 29er, 2010 Giant Anthem 26er, Fisher Sugar


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by xl_cheese

Date Reviewed: September 6, 2012

Strengths:    Great Handling. Excellent Suspension

Weaknesses:    Bottle cage won't fit inside front triangle

Bottom Line:   
I'm on my 2nd evolve. I started with the first generation and loved it. I now ride the stt2 version and still love this bike. The suspension is very good at absorbing both small bumps and large hits. It also feels great to me while pedaling and climbs efficiently. I've never been too concerned about pedal bob. Any bike will move up and down if you bounce all over it like a crazy person.

The handling is spot on for me. Ellsworth has the geometry dialed in IMO. The steering is very neutral and goes where you point it. This is especially noticable on tight switchbacks going up or down. Bikes with slack head angles have a heavy floppy feeling to me. Why people say slack HA's are more stable, I don't know? I've ridden many bikes and the bikes with slack head angles seem like they want to go left or right, but not straight when going to rocky rooty stuff. Perhaps at higher speeds on smooth singletrack the slack HA's feel good.

This bike is also a work of art. It's great to just look at!

I've raced semi-pro/cat 1 in the past and this this bike was perfect for it. Although, it seems like race courses are being groomed so that there is less carnage- there are times when a nice light hardtail would be good to have. But being I don't earn a living from racing and log most of my miles riding for fun I choose the Evolve.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months and going

Purchased At:   Pink Gorilla Cycles

Bike Setup:   X0 2x10. Fox fork. Stan's wheelset

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by xl_cheese a Racer

Date Reviewed: September 6, 2012

Strengths:    The suspension design is excellent and the geometry yields great neutral handling.

Weaknesses:    Cannot fit a bottle cage inside the front triangle.

Bottom Line:   
I'm on my 2nd evolve. I started with the first generation and loved it. I now ride the stt2 version and still love this bike. The suspension is very good at absorbing both small bumps and large hits. It also feels great to me while pedaling and climbs efficiently. I've never been too concerned about pedal bob. Any bike will move up and down if you bounce all over it like a crazy person.

The handling is spot on for me. Ellsworth has the geometry dialed in IMO. The steering is very neutral and goes where you point it. This is especially noticable on tight switchbacks going up or down. Bikes with slack head angles have a heavy floppy feeling to me. Why people say slack HA's are more stable, I don't know? I've ridden many bikes and the bikes with slack head angles seem like they want to go left or right, but not straight when going to rocky rooty stuff. Perhaps at higher speeds on smooth singletrack the slack HA's feel good.

This bike is also a work of art. It's great to just look at!

I've raced semi-pro/cat 1 in the past and this this bike was perfect for it. Although, it seems like race courses are being groomed so that there is less carnage- there are times when a nice light hardtail would be good to have. But being I don't earn a living from racing and log most of my miles riding for fun I choose the Evolve.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   4 years

Purchased At:   Pink Gorilla Cycles

Bike Setup:   X0 build. Fox fork. Stan's Wheels

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Biker Dan a Weekend Warrior from Pinehurst, NC

Date Reviewed: October 13, 2011

Strengths:    Fast, nimble, well built, solid construction

Weaknesses:    Expensive...but worth every penny!

Bottom Line:   
This is a big boy bike, I'm 6' 4" and weigh in at a svelte 245 Lbs. and every bike I have owned up to now has always felt a little tight or I had to really baby them on the trails for fear of breaking something. This bike is fantastic!! It is nimble, quick, and so much fun to ride! I have over 1800 miles on it and it still looks brand new. The 29" wheels soak up bumps, rocks, and logs like they are not even there. I'm very confident riding any trail on this bike, from technical to single track this bike rocks! I just love it! This is one bike Tony Ellsworth and his folks got right!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Any singletrack out there

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $3500.00

Purchased At:   Ellsworth

Similar Products Used:   Ellsworth Isis, Trek, Diamondback

Bike Setup:   Fox forks, stans no tube, hope hubs

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by cmotto a Weekend Warrior from lewiburg PA

Date Reviewed: August 21, 2011

Strengths:    unbelievalbe susspension, incrediblly built, fast, very fast

Weaknesses:    none really, maybe weight a little

Bottom Line:   
yeah its worth it, this is my first 29er, I have only about 50 miles on it but now that I am getting used to the geometry I can't imagine riding anything else. I will post again in about a year for an additional review, but the early result is this is a fantastic bike/.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   geisinger trails

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $4500.00

Purchased At:   campus cycle

Similar Products Used:   cannondale scalpel

Bike Setup:   reba Ti fork, x9 stuff, elixor brakes

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by ROY Squared a Cross Country Rider from Chicago

Date Reviewed: March 12, 2011

Strengths:    Lightweight bike, beautfully crafted front triangle, ICT suspension rides as advertised.

Weaknesses:    Rear end is a noodle.

Bottom Line:   
2011 model year -

It's light, it looks great, the front triangle is outstanding, the ICT suspension works as advertised. It handles well though quickly with one caveat. The rear end on this thing is all over the place. I rode this with a 20mm fork up front, 10mm DT swiss rear skewer in the rear clamped down tight. I kept feeling like I had a low rear tire as I rode this bike. So I would check it and it was fine.

After riding it more I kept having that same feeling so I would check again, and it was fine. Retightened the rear skewer, checked for bearing issues, checked spoke tension - everything was fine. Finally took the rear wheel and rocked it back and forth - it sure seemed like the rear end was allowing it to flex back and forth.

I think it's a combination of things. First, I think the rear is just built too light. But, that is the intent of this frame. Second, there is an odd way the triangle comes together on the bearings up at the linkage, it almost comes together on an axis as opposed to being flat. You have to look at it to see it.

So for me, it meant a pass on this frame. Others mileage may vary. I would just strongly urge a test ride on this bike before buying. I can tell you that the Racer X 29er my previous bike was much stiffer in the rear end in this regard.

It's also really pricey for it not to be darn near perfect. I really think that this bike is 1/3 - 1/2 lb of more weight away from being an awfully nice bike. That extra material in the rear end might really help this bikes riding characteristics.

For reference, I am 190lbs.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Tested or demo'ed only

Price Paid:    $2150.00

Purchased At:   demo

Similar Products Used:   Racer X 29er, SC Tallboy, Niner Jet 9 and Rip 9

Bike Setup:   XT/XTR mix, Stans flows wheelset, Reba 29er tapered 20mm fork.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by hardreef a Weekend Warrior from Tampa

Date Reviewed: February 6, 2011

Strengths:    Handling, suspension, build quality.

Weaknesses:    Price (bought this frame on closeout for $1600)

Bottom Line:   
This is an all around fantastic bike. Has enough suspension that it's fun in the rough stuff yet doesn't wallow. I have the 120 in the front which relaxes the head angle a bit making it nicer for the technical stuff and downhills. Overall, the bike handles extremely well and is extremely fun to ride. I know there may be other 29ers out there that are better in one area or the other but the Evolve seems to do everything well with no big weaknesses. I absolutely love this bike and think it will be quite a while before another 29er comes along that will tempt me to upgrade.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Florida

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1600.00

Purchased At:   self-built

Similar Products Used:   Yeti 575, Ellsworth Moment

Bike Setup:   Reba Team 120mm
SRAM X9 front/rear
Shimano Deore XT crank
Avid Elixir CR
Thompson stem/seatpost
WTB Devo seat
Mavic Crossmax C29SSMAX wheels
Racing Ralph
Ragley Carnegie bars


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by disco8262 a Cross Country Rider from miami springs

Date Reviewed: September 12, 2010

Strengths:    Lightweight, climbs like a mountain goat, suspension is the best ever ridden. As nimble as any 26er that I've ridden.

Weaknesses:    Too much trail time will put a strain on your family life.

Bottom Line:   
This bike is an absolute pleasure to ride. the suspension is the best i've ever ridden. this bike handles very well. you will not miss your 26er at all, in fact you will actually sell all other bikes owned because once you ride an evolve everything else seems like a huffy. Just get it.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   alafia river

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $2200.00

Purchased At:   Ellsworth

Similar Products Used:   titus rockstar (which,btw' is an awesome bike too), salsa big mama

Bike Setup:   xx group, american classic wheels. weighs in at 24lbs.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by goatspeed a Cross Country Rider from Elk River, MN

Date Reviewed: May 19, 2010

Strengths:    Suspension. It's full of strengths, but the suspension is incredible. It rides rugged trail like a very nice motocross dirtbike...fast, total confidence inspiring.

Weaknesses:    I suppose price, but given how much better this is than any Fisher or Specialized I've ridden, it's probably worth it.

Bottom Line:   
As I noted in strengths, the suspension system on this bike is so incredible. All at the same time, it is agile, responsive, plush, and aggressive. I can hammer up hills and only feel power loss to the front shock...which is inevitable. I can blast through absurd rock gardens knowing it will dance through. It's probably inspires too much confidence. I will probably wipe it out badly soon. But in the process of inspiring that confidence, I've cleared obstacles and hit times that I've never done before.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Maah Daah Hey, ND

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $5700.00

Purchased At:   self build

Similar Products Used:   Specialized Stumpjumper FSR 29er, Gary Fisher Supercaliber 29er, Salsa Big Mama 29er.

Bike Setup:   Fox FIT RLC 120mm front fork
XT brakes, XT crankset
SRAM X9 drivetrain
Easton Haven wheelset
Maxxis Ardent 2.4" 29er tires
Salsa Pro-Moto carbon 17deg sweep bar
Bontrager RXXXL stem
FSA carbon seatpost

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by s4tom3 a Weekend Warrior from San Diego, CA, USA

Date Reviewed: April 30, 2010

Strengths:    Suspension, stiffness, standover height, endurance racing machine, climbing and descending abilities, and without a doubt Ellsworth bad ass looks.

Weaknesses:    None

Bottom Line:   
I have been riding my Orbea Alma 29 for the past 3 years and decided to build up an Evolve after owning 3 Truths for the last 15 years. All I can say is it is a real game changer. I raced the 24 Hours of Adrenaline on the Orbea and thought this was the best hands down 9er until putting some saddle time on the Evolve. This is the best climbing bike I have ever ridden. There is zero energy loss with the RP23 rear shock and the ICT design. I do prefer to switch to Pro Pedal on the climbs and open it up on the descents. Perfect combo for all out weekend assaults. The Ellsworth wheelset and amazing build make this my favortite ride to date. Still love the Orbea, but must say the Evolve has it beat. FS 29er buyers should without a doubt have the Ellsworth Evolve on the top of their list!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Elfin Forest

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Similar Products Used:   Ellsworth Truth, Orbea Alma 29, Specialized Marathon Epic 29

Bike Setup:   Full XTR, Ellsworth 29 wheelset, 15mm Fox F29, RP23, Maxxis Ignitor, Crossmax Tires

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ziegelman a Weekend Warrior from Poway, CA, USA

Date Reviewed: April 3, 2010

Strengths:    Suspension, geometry and overall ride characteristics.

Weaknesses:    Absolutely none.

Bottom Line:   
This bike is a GAME CHANGER! Incredibly nimble. Tracks so cleanly over incredibly rough terrain. As a former racer and now (an out of shape) weekend warrior, I remember why I love this sport so much. Getting out somewhere beautiful, hilly with some wicked single track. This bike is so amazing, you almost forget about the machine propelling you through space. It climbs predictably with a direct transfer of effort into the rear wheel with the front tracking well. The big ole 29rs roll over obstacles that I would brace for the impact and be surprised as I cleaned them - one after the other. The big footprint in back also grabs the terrain so effectively, I may just get in better shape to motor up those "impossible" ascents now made possible. Descents are incredible. Ellsworth geometry is so dialed. Some of the hairiest technical downhills, I can now clean and my aging back doesn't, well, feel its age. I just love this bike. The folks at Ellsworth are obviously doing their homework and their attention to detail is unparalleled. The paint (nebula blue) is actually anodized and is over-the-top beautiful. Grip collars, and seat post quick release all anodized to match. The 15 mm front skewer/fork set up is rock solid and the 4 inches of travel front and rear is so plush! At 27.6 lbs for the XL frame, it is the perfect combo of lightweight yet fully suspended bike. I've been an avid mountain biker for 20 + years (ouch I'm old!) I've ridden, tested or trialed dozens of bikes. Nothing even comes close to this rig.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Elfin Forest

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Similar Products Used:   Marin Mt Vision Pro, Trek Fuel, Gary Fisher Pro Caliber LTD

Bike Setup:   XTR, Fox front 15 mm axle, Fox rear.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by guatbike a Weekend Warrior from San Francisco, CA

Date Reviewed: November 20, 2009

Strengths:    Perfect geometry makes for a smooth but fast ride in just about all types of terrain.

Weaknesses:    Expensive

Bottom Line:   
I've had plenty of 26ers and one other 29er - Mamasita. I bought this bike because somebody stole my GT from my garage when I wasn't lookin. Now I'm glad it happened (the new bike anyway...not the $$ loss). Anyway, this bike is the all-around fast rider and fits perfect if set up correctly, which is easy.

Overall, it's a bike for exploring with confidence. Anyone that cares about XC riding in new places without having to worry about bike issues should have one. I love it and will keep it for a long time.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Marin

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   used

Similar Products Used:   Intense 29er, Salsa Mamasita (Mamasita is best hardtail 29er btw).

Bike Setup:   Tubeless 355's with kings, all XTR.

Reviews 1 - 15 (28 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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2005 Manitou Black Super Air SPV Evolve 100mm Oil Level

I am looking for the proper oil level for this shock. The 2005 fork service manual refers me to the 2005 Black service manual for the oil level which I am not able to locate. I have found the oil level for the 2004 SPV (2.9" - 3.0") and the 2006 SPV (2.7"-2.8"), but can't seem to find it for the 2 ... Read More »

Ellsworth Evolve Carbon C

Just picked this up today, I call it one of mid life crisis purchases :). Built this around the 100mm travel bike with help of my LBS (aka my crack dealer). My goal was to make a fairly light xc bike for those trails where climbing is more the norm. After i picked it up, hit a trail center right ... Read More »

Can't get XX1 156 or 168 Q on Carbon Evolve

Both Q-factors hit the swingarm where the cranks bend outward. My LBS sent me both of these pics. What are they doing wrong or will XX1 just not fit with this swingarm? Do you have to add spacers with the 168Q? SRAM doesn't recommend that, but who knows. I told them to try spacers as it sounds li ... Read More »

Raceface Evolve Crankset with Turbine inner ring? + Gear ratio question.

So I ordered a 2013 Raceface Evolve 24-32-42t to replace my stock Octalink Shimano M522. 2 Questions: 1. I noticed that the inner 24t ring is actually a Raceface Turbine ring. Is this just how they come or did I luck out due to some QC issues at Raceface? I can't find much info on this. 2. ... Read More »

Bici robada Ellworth Evolve

[ATTACH=CONFIG]798702[/ATTACH] desde el ano pasado .. empeze con la gusanito del upgrade. Y estaba decidido en conseguir un cuadro de carbono en donde colgar mis componentes. Despues de mucho leer, investigar y de probar algunas opciones. Y despues de esperar por la Ripley que por cierto salio ... Read More »

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