I had a great time on the Ellsworth Evolve 29er a couple of years ago, so adding an inch of travel and tweaking the geometry for all-mountain fun sounds like a slam dunk to me. For 2011, Ellsworth is launching the 120mm travel Evolution 29er ($2395 frame & Fox RP23) into a market with increasing competition. I see the 120mm-travel 29er as the sweet spot for 29er trail bikes and from the looks of it, many manufacturers do too.

Sporting the all-new SST2 tubeset and a tapered head tube, the Evolution looks great and just so happens to be made in the USA. I also like that Ellsworth has opted for more standard colors throughout their line. Solid blue, silver and black in place of the funky anodized nebula colors will please a wider audience, in my opinion.

While I missed out on Interbike this year, initial reports on the Evolution have been positive with many people dishing out praise for Tony Ellsworth’s latest creation. I like the ICT suspension design and found it to offer stellar performance on both 26 and 29-inch wheeled platforms. I’m hopeful to get an opportunity to swing a leg over the Evolution this Fall or next Spring, so stay tuned. For now, second-hand ride reports will have to fill the void.

More Info: Visit EllsworthBikes.com

About Author

A Seattle native, Jason developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 --sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

7 Comments

  1. I rode the Evolution at Outerbike this past weekend. This weekend was my first experience riding 29ers and I am still not sure about them. I definitely feel more comfortable and in control on the 26ers but I rode almost all the 29ers available at Outerbike including this one. My two favorites with limited riding were the Evolution and the Turner Sultan. They really took the edge off all that not so slickrock. I rode 16 bikes and 100 miles in the basically three full days of riding at Outerbike. My two favorite bikes of the weekend were the Ellsworth Epiphany and the Ibis Mojo SL. The Ellsworth bikes really surprised me so if anybody gets a chance to ride one take it.

    • Well, you certainly found two of the best 26-er all-mountain bikes on the market and two of my personal favorites. Add the Pivot Mach 5.7 to the Mojo SL and Epiphany and you have yourself quite the trio. I’d have a hard time choosing between those three if given the choice, but the DW-Link and carbon frame of the Mojo gives it the slight edge in my book. Very slight though.

  2. I also rode the Pivot Mach 5.7. While is probably has a lot to do with setup, the setup felt a little stiff and rough to me. The other two I felt were comfortably plush over the rocks. I am also looking for a bike that I can race in Xterras and XC events so weight and a little quicker handling are important also. The 5.7 felt a little more relaxed and a little heavier then both the Mojo SL and the Epiphany. I am sure with a more dialed in suspension and no worries about racing it would be a great bike. I loved the Mach 4. It was a rocket ship. Just thinking that the slightly more travel will be nice for everyday training on the rocky AZ trails.

  3. Does any one know the weight of this 29er bike?? Specialized Epic Marathon 29 (aluminum frame) with Sram’s XX group weights 22 pounds (w/o pedals)… tough goal to beat for a 29er……

    • Comparing this bike to the Epic will send you back home crying. There is no possible way to get the Evolution anywhere near that weight if spec’d as it should be. Ellsworth does make some of the lightest production aluminum frames on the market, but still I’d guess most of these will be in the 27-28 lb range with lighter weights possible for a huge price.

  4. Indeed you are right Jason. The Ellsworth rep at Outerbike said the Evolution in size medium was a 27-30 pound bike. The Ellsworth 29er that would be comparable to the Epic would be the Evolve. I will support what Jason said about Ellsworth making light aluminum bikes though. I rode the Epiphany at Outerbike and while the rep said the bike as I tested it was probably about 24lbs +/- it felt incredibly light.

  5. ndeed you are right Jason. The Ellsworth rep at Outerbike said the Evolution in size medium was a 27-30 pound bike. The Ellsworth 29er that would be comparable to the Epic would be the Evolve. I will support what Jason said about Ellsworth making light aluminum bikes though. I rode the Epiphany at Outerbike and while the rep said the bike as I tested it was probably about 24lbs +/- it felt incredibly li

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