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
Strengths: The suspension design is excellent and the geometry yields great neutral handling.
Weaknesses: Cannot fit a bottle cage inside the front triangle.
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.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: March 12, 2011
Strengths: Lightweight bike, beautfully crafted front triangle, ICT suspension rides as advertised.
Weaknesses: Rear end is a noodle.
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.
from Twin Falls, ID
Date Reviewed: May 24, 2009
Strengths: Nice finish and weld appearance. Rocker is nicely polished cnc work.
Weaknesses: top tube cable guides are a little ambiguous and confusing. the rear der crosses adjacent to the tire.
very plush ride, feels a little whippier than the titus but has better ride quality. 3 inch titus vs 4 inch ellsworth. feels very confident on rough stuff and descents. not too bad a climber either, the light wheels help a lot. total wt is 6.9 # for frame and 27.5 for bike. Titus (with similar build) is 25.5# total and 5.5 #, but is titanium and more $. I am concerned over all the posts about breakage since I weigh 185#. Another friend used to ride and love them, but had a frame break and was unable to get warranty coverage so I feel like I am taking a chance. I have read about Tony E. and his company and philosophy and want to support a green and responsible company. I hope to repost in a year and give glowing reviews and praise the reliability.
Similar Products Used: titus, intense, gary fisher
Bike Setup: SRAM and magura martas, am classic wheels, fox fork
from San Rafael, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: August 11, 2008
Strengths: Very smooth, and very agile. Not too heavy, either. Really quick around singletrack. Could also handle tight switchbacks...hopping around on it was very easy to do. For was great, uphill and downhill. Rear shock was great for downhill...and anything but climbing. XT BRAKES RULE!! I am going to buy a pair sooner or later because they are some of the best I have ever used. The XT derailleur is about the same as my Sram X9...maybe a little better because my bike is currently due for a tuneup.
Weaknesses: CLIMBING. The evolve that I demoed had a fox float R on the rear. That means NO PROPEDAL OR LOCKOUT. If you are going to get this bike, make SURE that you get a shock with one or both of those features, or youll regret it more through each pedal bob you get when you climb with it. The bike is also not the lightest...average build will be about 28 lbs. Dont get the bontrager tires if you want to be in control of where the bike goes when youre flying down a fire road and have to turn...they will not have enough traction and you will start to silde....then again the XT brakes are always there to slow you down.
I wouldnt recommend the Evolve as a racing bike but it could CONQUER anything. Being that I am a downhiller as well, and have ridden northstar, theres nothing, (if youre an adequate rider) that this bike couldn't handle on the trails such as live wire or karpiel. Dogbone and Boondocks would probably be a little difficult.
This bike is EXPENSIVE!! If youre on a budget you might as well forget about it cause this will put a very big hole in your wallet. If your some rich guy with a lot of cash, or work in a bike shop and can get good deals on such things, then go for it!
Just remember, Ellsworth is ALWAYS expensive so if you cant afford one of these, perhaps you should check out the Gary Fisher Hi-Fi 29ers, they cost about half the price and Fishers are GREAT bikes. I currently own one and love it.