Evil Insurgent X01 Ltd Ed first ride review£6,499.00

Boutique carbon enduro shredder

We’ve nothing but love for Evil’s big-wheeled, short-travel The Following, so couldn’t wait to get a ride on the longer travel, smaller wheeled Insurgent, which Evil refers to as “the two-wheeled death machine”.

Evil Insurgent X01 Ltd Ed spec overview

  • Frame: Carbon fibre, 151mm (5.9in) travel
  • Fork: RockShox Pike RCT Solo Air 160mm (6.3in) travel
  • Shock: RockShox Monarch Plus RC3
  • Drivetrain: SRAM X01 with e*thirteen TRSr carbon cranks (1x11)
  • Wheelset: e*thirteen TRSr carbon wheels, e*thirteen TRSr 27.5x2.35in tyres
  • Brakes: SRAM Guide RSC
  • Bar/stem: Race Face Atlas 35, 800mm / Race Face Atlas 35, 50mm
  • Seatpost/saddle: RockShox Reverb Stealth dropper / WTB Silverado Team
  • Weight: 12.76kg (28.15lb), medium size without pedals

The DELTA linkage adds enough progression for the really big hits
The DELTA linkage adds enough progression for the really big hits

Evil Insurgent X01 Ltd Ed frame and equipment

While the Insurgent delivers 151mm of rear wheel travel via Dave Weagle’s DELTA System, Evil is keen to point out that it can be paired with a 150mm, 160mm or 170mm fork to suit your riding and trails. With a 160mm fork and the frame in its lowest and slackest ‘X-Low’ setting, our test bike had a 64.6-degree head angle and the bottom bracket (BB) was a corner-railing 334mm off the ground. Switching to the ‘Low’ setting steepens the head and seat angles by close to a degree and lifts the BB by 12mm.

There’s no shortage of details, with the most notable being the slick, fully integrated upper chain guide, rubber protectors at critical areas on the full-carbon frame and a neat little sag indicator to help with suspension set-up.

That eye-watering price does mean you get some of the best kit out there, and there’s certainly no shortage of carbon on this limited edition build. E*thirteen supplies its TRSr carbon wheels and carbon cranks, along with grippy 2.35in TRSr tyres. SRAM’s impressively powerful Guide RSC brakes and X01 transmission deal with stop and go duties.

Evil Insurgent X01 Ltd Ed ride impression

With a 160mm fork up front and a low BB, the Insurgent is ready to attack the trail
With a 160mm fork up front and a low BB, the Insurgent is ready to attack the trail

From the moment you set off, the stiff chassis, low-slung geometry and low weight help to give the Insurgent a really lively, confident feel that makes you want to launch into every section of trail as fast as you dare.

The low BB, taut-feeling frame and stiff wheels up the corner-carving ante no end. Drive your weight down through the well-supported suspension as you dive into a turn and the pop and speed generated into the next corner is really quite impressive. Truck on down through the steep stuff and the low, slack frame and dependably grippy tyres give you the stability and confidence to push hard and brake nice and late into the turns.

Winching back up the climbs isn’t exactly a chore either thanks to the low 12.76kg weight, though with a 160mm fork in place and in the X-Low setting, the Insurgent’s 73.4-degree seat angle isn’t the steepest. Still, we only really noticed that on the steepest rocky climbs, and with this build, the Evil’s real strength and primary focus was always going to be going downhill fast.

It holds speed well too, which is impressive considering that the e*thirteen tyres aren’t exactly fast-rolling. We found ourselves overshooting jumps and squashing, rather than popping, some of the lengthier gaps that one of our regular downhill trails is littered with. If you’re after a flat-out fun corner ripper, the Insurgent is certainly worth taking a look at.

The Evil Insurgent X01 Ltd Ed
The Evil Insurgent X01 Ltd Ed

Evil Insurgent X01 Ltd Ed early verdict

Expensive, but the lively ride, great spec and sheer amount of fun on offer are hard to ignore.

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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