05 Dec 2023
Evil Insurgent Custom Build Review
Trail Pop Mixed With Downhill Prowess
Evil insurgent V2
My new f****** weapon.
Actually the first 'proper' bike i've bought new, rather than from the ol' marketplace. In all honesty it's no longer new, in fact, just a few months from being two years old. Making it the previous model, but don't worry, this will still be relevent as the new models additions are minor quality of life updates and the introduction of the UDH.
My Evil Insurgent V2, this is the Clean Slate colour and I went for a size medium, technically a down size as i'm a tad over 6ft but these bikes are big!
This Bike Rips
I'm by no means an advanced pilot, in fact pretty average so yes, I'm 'over biked' but I couldn't care less. The fact is this bike's insanley fun and capable, I know it would get down any trail competitively (with the right rider of course) and in any case this must be the most playful long travel bike out there. Having all that travel backing you up handles those squeaky bum moments when talent runs out.
Evil's Delta link is something special, based around a single pivot linkage along with the previously mentioned playfulness you get great anti-squat and ground tracking behaviour.
Speaking of anti-squat the climbing capability was the first strength of this bike I noticed, naturally. The Superdeluxe Ultimate coil shock definitely plays a big roll here but the traction while climbing steep loose tracks is insane, even in the wet I can power over sodden roots without spinning the rear wheel.
This is what Brett Rheeder the founder had to say about the brand -
"At first, Title wasn’t a brand; it was just a small idea. I needed components that could handle the abuse of freeriding at the highest level. Since I wasn’t excited about the options that were available to me, I decided to design the components myself. The idea progressed from producing a simple handlebar with minimal artwork and logos, into sketches and prototypes of more components like stems, seat posts and saddles. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to create a brand like this without drawing on the experience and knowledge of other riders. Making Title real required input from other riders who push the boundaries of what’s possible on bikes. Now, after two years of development, the brand is launching with products that we’ve designed, tested and proven at the biggest mountain bike competitions in the world. From Rampage to Crankworx, we’ve climbed to the top. Countless rounds of feedback from our team and prototyping with our factories have refined Title, and now we’re ready to share what we’ve been working on. It’s been a long road to get to this point, but short in terms of where we plan to go."
Brett Rheeder is an absolute legend in his game. Continuing his legacy via his brand of components
I've never felt bars like these, they're as stiff as a Peaky Blinders shot of whisky, in a good way. Certainly gives you the confidence they're upto the abuse they're designed for.
People hear carbon and instanty tell you it's going to snap and be the end of you, but that'd be a cool way to go as far as I'm concerned. Jokes aside the customer support from Evil is awesome, like similar manufacturers, warranty has you covered, even in the result of a crash, writing off the frame you'll only pay a few hundred and a new one will be at your door in days.
When I was buidling this bike Cykel House had just started become Ohlins dealers, so it would be rude not to spec some, eh? With lack of experience on the competition I can't compare but I can say Ohlins offer great adjustability. The twin piston three chamber air spring means you can adjust your bottom out rather than just initial stroke, infinitely. Most forks use tokens which not only make it less accurate but also still slightly stiffen the small bump sensitivity. Which is one thing you dont want.
I've already spoke about my Title bars but for those interested I run 780mm width with a neutral roll, again, being on a size medium I want all that rise. I stuck with the stock Evil 12 Gauge stem as it's 35mm lengh gives great control, Evil's Palmela Handerson grips are super soft and comftable too so no need for change there.
While I ran the stock Maxxis rubber to begin with the lack of DD or DH casing caught upto me riding Wharny' tech. After a session ending in a ripped sidewall I switched over to some Hutchinson Griffus Racing Labs and they're still going, albeit worn down after a season.
Whats the spec?
Frame - Evil Insurgent v2 - Slate Grey
Drivetrain - SRAM GX AXS Eagle with an XX1 Eagle black chain (longer lasting).
Forks - Ohlins RXF36M.2
Shock - Rockshox Superdeluxe Ultimate Coil.
Brakes - Hope Tech 4, replaced by G2 Ultimate.
Wheels - Industry Nine Hydra laced to DT Swiss EX511 rims (29/27.5)
Tyres - Maxxis DHF EXO+ 2.5, replaced by Hutchingson Griffus RL 2.5/2.4. (Slicy insert in the rear).
Handlebars - Title AH1 35x38 Silver
Stem - Evil 12 Gauge
Grips - Evil Palmela Handerson
Saddle - WTB Volt
Pedals - Burgtec Penthouse MK5
Evil Bikes have created some mint steeds, I honestly love this bike, I think it looks ace and rides even better. The only gripe I have is the pedal kickback from the Industry Nine Hydra hub can feel abit unpleasant, but at the same time I couldn't live without the engagment now i've had it. 690 points of engagement is an amazing feet for any hub maker. The closest is probably HOPE pro5 at 190.
Hands down my favourite aspect must be the mixed wheelsize, having a 29er up front to plow the chunder, followed by the agility of a smaller rear wheel, whipping around corners is a breeze.
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MEET THE AUTHOR
Some say George can recall the bearing code of every bearing invented. Possibly not, but why not test him?
Cykel House's chief mechanic, trail whippet and all round good guy. George loves a decent tech trail at warp speed. He started volunteering at Cykel House when we first opened, he then continued as an apprentice earning the highest CYTECH accredited qualification you can get. Often what he doesnt know, isnt really worth knowing.
Interesting fact - George is a member of the local knitting club and can knock out a banging cardigan
Likes - A tech trail, chicken and flat bar tricep push downs
Dislikes - Cold weather, cup and cone hubs and the meleculour structure of a baked bean