Evil Bikes hail from New England in the US of A and have built themselves quite a rep in a fairly short time.
In the company's early days, a DH project bike designed for data analysis paved the way for the SRS chain guide, which later turned into a sister company.
The Imperial frame is Evil's original hardcore frame that can take any set-up from 4 to 10in travel forks, whereas the DOC is a bike for the more refined rider. Canadian street star Chris Donahue assisted in the development of this great little frame that couldn't be more perfect for UK use.
At a glance, the A-frame design of the DOC resembles a late 90s Iron Horse MT400 - a classic frame that would still cut it now. This design allows the bike to remain very stiff and have a low top tube - essential for jumping and street.
With a triple-butted Reynolds 631 tubing front triangle, the DOC definitely means business. The ring-reinforced head tube will laugh off flaring and the perfectly mitred tubes and excellent welding show that the frame is really well put together.
The 68-degree head angle is spot-on for aggressive riding and the 13in bottom bracket height is just right. Out back CNC machined, adjustable, bolt-on dropouts allow for adjustment from 15.74in (slammed) to 16.5in, which allows the frame to cater for 24 and 26in wheels, as well as being suitable for singlespeed use. Mega amounts of mud clearance will take up to a 3in tyre, should you ever want to ruin a nice frame.
UK Importers Silverfish kept things simple with a Hope wheel and brake set-up, RaceFace Diabolus components throughout and a RockShox Argyle fork.
With the simple singlespeed set-up and tough components, the DOC is ready to be thrashed, although you could easily fit a chain guide, rear mech, etc and turn it into a hardcore trail bike. Our test frame was the smaller of the two sizes, featuring an ample 23.1in top tube, while the large model has a 24.1in top tube.
Chromoly steel frames, when made well, have a lovely feel that's very unique, and the DOC has just that. Not feeling quite as nimble as it's lighter trail-orientated brother, the Sovereign, the DOC by no means feels like the tough little thrasher its features imply. It has that pedigree feel to it - the tubing is resilient, the geometry is spot-on and you generally feel like you're riding more than your money's worth. The tight back end can also be tweaked to silly short lengths if running with slender tyres, making it into not only a manual machine, but an instantly hop-able street monster.
For riding fast, big stuff, you can run the rear a little longer, improving the performance no end. It's a simple frame that's very well made and features pretty much perfect geometry. Make sure you run thread lock on the dropout bolts and keep an eye on them though. Otherwise, you'll have an expensive 'injury' on your hands.