The Ellsworth Evolve 29er was one of the hardest bikes to get my hands on while at the Outdoor Demo. I wasn't even sure it existed yet as I never saw one while passing the Ellsworth booth. Turns out they only brought one and there was a waiting list.
I finally got my hands on it and let me tell you this is one hot looking bike. Really all of Ellsworth's bikes look hot. All of their frames are completely manufactured in their factory in Vancouver, Washington giving them complete control over the entire process.
Ok...back to the bike. Did I mention that this bike is comfortable? Yet it is aggressive at the same time. If I have to pick another full suspension 29er for comparison it would be the Niner R.I.P. 9. The Evolve's Instant Center Tracking (ICT) suspension design works exactly as advertised. With four inches of travel the suspension was active on climbs, but never made a move when I pedaled. Very impressive and much like the Niner.
The front end steers somewhere between what's become expected of a 29er and that of a cross country 26er. Set up with Kenda tires, the bike really held it's line. This made the bike extremely fast on the downhills and I found myself riding more aggressively than normal.
Take a look at these rear swing-arms. They are huge. Clearly another contributing factor to the torsional stiffness that makes this bike work so well. You do feel them on your inner leg, however, when you rest your legs while coasting or make an awkward pedaling move (of which I cannot describe at the moment).
Apparently the Evolve is modeled after the Truth. And let me tell you the truth, this may just be the most perfect endurance or all-day riding bike I have ever ridden.