UK bike manufacturer Empire Cycles has launched the MX6-EVO, a new 150mm trail bike that comes in at a very impressive price.
As the name suggests, the MX6-EVO is an evolution of the company's original MX6 trail bike. The original MX6 separated itself from the norm with its cast aluminium construction which it shared with Empire's original baby - the AP-1 downhill bike.
To cut a long story short, the original MX6 was simply too expensive to be taken seriously among its competition - and that meant it was back to the drawing board for Empire Cycles' MD, Chris Williams.
Step in the MX6-EVO. The bike's DNA remains and it's still made in Empire's Bolton facility but the cast construction has gone, meaning the big difference now is the price.
for £2,499 you can buy a complete MX6-EVO, and we think it's a remarkably good build for the cash. The base build includes a RockShox Revelation RLT fork and Monarch RT3 rear shock, SRAM X9 2x10 transmission, Hope/Stan's wheelset and Hope's E4 brakes. Even the finishing kit is branded and proven stuff. We've yet to get one on the scales but we're told that even the basic build tips the scales at a little over 30lbs (13.6kg).
The bike is available in either 26in or 650b form. Should you choose to take advantage of the larger hoops then you needn't sell off your old 26in kit because, for around £20, MX6-EVO customers will be able to buy a hardware kit to convert the bike to and from each wheel size. More versatility comes in the form of an adaptable rear end that can be converted - cheaply - to accept either a 135mm or 142mm rear hub.
The website allows you to upgrade the bike as you order. For example, an upgrade to a Pike fork is £150, while a Cane Creek Double Barrel coil or air shock is a £162 upgrade. The upgrade list is also full of UK-built parts from the likes of Hope and Renthal and there;s even a £7 upgrade option to a custom Bender Fender mudguard from UK firm MuckyNutz.
The bottom bracket has tabs are designed to take both ISCG 03 and ISCG 05 standards and the frame will accept a Reverb Stealth dropper post (a £192 upgrade). Should you decide not to build a complete MX6-EVO via the website, then framesets will start at just £999.99.
Worried about support from the small UK manufacturer? Empire is offering a six-year warranty on all frames along with a crash replacement scheme. Each component of the frameset will also be available to buy seperately. There are currently three frame sizes and two colour options on offer.
We are looking forward to getting one in to test. Stay tuned to BikeRadar for more info!