2015 Chumba Stella Hardtail (2)

Chumba is a brand with deep roots in mountain bike history. It got its starts as a small boutique brand hand fabricated in Southern California, and eventually grew so popular with donwhill oriented models like the Zulu and Wumba, that they had to outsource production overseas.

Yet despite sponsoring riders like NORBA champ Duncan Riffle in its heyday, the brand has seemingly been dormant in recent times. That has all changed now, due to new ownership. Recently purchased by Aaron Foreman, the company has relocated to Austin, Texas, and renewed it’s focus on fabricating frames here in the United States. The emphases has also changed from hard charging full suspension bikes, to beautifully crafted steel frames with an emphasis on adventure.

The new range consists of three models, with a fourth on it’s way. First up is the new 29er Stella hardtail (pictured above), which is designed with a more XC oriented geometry.

2015 Chumba Stella Hardtail (3)

Like all of Chumba’s new models, it’s entirely fabricated in the United States. The company’s new owner Aaron has a background in riding and racing BMX and Moto, but has switched his focus to racing events like Leadville and the Breckenridge Epic. The Stella was built with this kind of riding in mind.

2015 Chumba Stella Hardtail (1)

Whatever frame components are not made in house, are sourced from US builders like Paragon Machine Works. The Paragon sourced dropouts found on the Stella allow it to easily convert between the 142×12, 135×10, and QR axle standards – or be setup as a single speed.

2015 Chumba Rastro (2)

The Rastro is a 27.5″ hardtail built around a 140mm fork and a versatile geometry.

2015 Chumba Rastro (1)

All the tubing is oversized, which gives them more miter for better welds, and improved strength. The slightly curved down tube is done for aesthetics, and is found on all the models, but it also provides better clearance (particularly on the smaller sizes).

Since the frame was designed to get rowdy, Chumba felt the bike needed a burly fork, and worked with Fox to build a custom tuned 140mm travel fork with 34mm stanchions.

2015 Chumba Stella Ursa (2)

The Ursa is a midfat/29+ bike that Chumba describes as being “designed for trail riding, backcountry touring, fat bike racing, sand, and snow.”

2015 Chumba Stella Ursa (3)

Built around 3″ 29er tires, this production model was running prototype Maxxis Chronicle Tires.

2015 Chumba Stella Ursa (4)

While many companies produce midfats with a 73mm BB and 142mm rear end, Chumba found that standard didn’t yield enough chain clearance. So they’ve utilized an 83mm BB, 150mm rear axle, and heavily sculpted the drive side chainstay.2015 Chumba Stella Ursa (5)

Another look at that chainstay and BB interface.

2015 Chumba Stella Ursa (6)

Lone Star State represent! 

2015 Chumba Stella Ursa (1)

All three frames incorporate great little details, like this laser cut brace on the Ursa.

Chumba is interested in developing a dealer network, but is currently selling direct to customers. Frames retail for $1,095-$1,195, and completes start at $3,095, which is reasonable considering US fabrication.

Chumba USA

 

17 COMMENTS

  1. Why buy a Name and abandon all its known for? The only thing it has is common is made in the USA. Bring back the heritage, that why we know the name.

  2. I think the bike industry needs to adopt the same rules and regulations that govern the auto industry: A sticker on every bike that details the nationality of its sourced parts.

    This “MADE IN USA” crap means squat when most of the components on an “American” bike are made in Taiwan.

    I’m as patriotic as the next hipster, but to say it’s an American built bike intimates that most, if not all, of its components are made in the USA. At the very least, a sticker that says “ASSEMBLED IN AUSTIN WITH AN AMERICAN FRAME AND FOREIGN EVERYTHING ELSE.”

  3. @ Equine Master: For all intents and purposes the frame IS the bike. Components come and go, but it’s the fame that the soul of bike. The frame determines how a bike behaves and performs. It is the frame material and geometry that determines the overall ride characteristics and personality. And much of this comes down to small nuances that are overlooked in mass production. I could really care less what widgets are moving my chain back and forth as long as they do it reliably. Wheels and breakes make a considerable difference, good thing we have plenty to choose from. But when it comes to the frame details matter… A lot.

  4. I guess everyone isn’t like me and doesn’t understand that when a frame maker says their product is made in the US, they mean their bike is made in the US. The comparison to the auto industry doesn’t fit in the slightest. The first clue should have been that bike components have different manufacturer names on them. Still, all that obvious and common sense observation and logic stuff shouldn’t keep people from getting upset.

  5. How do they plan on servicing all the bikes that the former chumba owners turned away with terrible service? I also don’t see this as a solid move, these bikes are nothing like the original chumba bikes and the name is rather tarnished.

    As for the made in the USA stuff, drop it man. If you want made in the usa then stop shopping at any store other than a farmers market and only get there by walking or horse. Everything in the bike industry, including most of the materials, is made in asia. Everything is distributed in asia. Bike brands cannot buy large quantities from usa distribution. It will never make sense to make frames in the usa unless you only sell in the usa. And your argument that usa is higher quality is false. Unless you are arguing that a builder that builds maybe 300 frames a year is more skilled than most factories that have been in business for more than 30 years and make thousands of frames a year. And they are all “hand made”.

  6. Give them a freaking break. Rather than outsourcing their frames to China, they pay more to make them here. That creates jobs, and keeps $$ here. So what, if no one else in the US make parts here they can use, at least they are trying.

  7. @Equine Master: If an item is labeled “Made in the USA”, all or almost all of the parts that it is assembled from are from the USA. Made in the USA is legally defined.

  8. It’s great that Chumba and other Bike frame and component manufacturers are starting to make products in the USA. With any luck it snowballs and we have all the components to build a bike in the USA.

    As it stands now you can Build a complete bike without resorting to using parts made in China,Taiwan or other Asian Countries with sub human working conditions.

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