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.
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.
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.
The Rastro is a 27.5″ hardtail built around a 140mm fork and a versatile geometry.
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.
The Ursa is a midfat/29+ bike that Chumba describes as being “designed for trail riding, backcountry touring, fat bike racing, sand, and snow.”
Built around 3″ 29er tires, this production model was running prototype Maxxis Chronicle Tires.
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.
Another look at that chainstay and BB interface.
Lone Star State represent!
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.