By bolting a triple-clamp fork and a coil shock onto its 151mm-travel, 650b-wheeled enduro frame, Evil has built the park rat’s dream ride. The LB Park is a fusion of trail bike playfulness and downhill rig confidence.
Evil Insurgent LB Park frame
The Insurgent follows the instantly recognisable Evil Bikes silhouette, with a one-piece moulded carbon front end that swoops down from a massively oversized head tube into the low-slung belly of the bike, where Dave Weagle’s DELTA System suspension sits.
A single large pivot connects the solid rear triangle to the mainframe, and the shock is driven by dog-bone links and a rocker.
The Push Elevensix shock is very tunable, with masses of external adjustment. Andy Lloyd
Remove the dog bones and flip over the forged bosses connecting these to the swingarm, and you can drop the bottom bracket from 354mm to an extra-low 340mm. In combination with the dual-crown fork, this rakes the head angle out to a stable 63.6 degrees.
Prioritising playful ‘flickability’, Evil has kept the chainstays fairly short, at 432mm, and the reach isn’t long either, at 449mm on my large test bike (the XL size only adds 17mm to this).
At 6ft tall, Evil’s size chart recommended me a medium or large, but I’d have preferred the extra length of the XL – although then, the rather tall 495mm seat tube could have become an issue.
Evil Insurgent LB Park kit
A 180mm fork may seem like a disproportionate match to the rear travel, but Evil has made it work, and the suppleness of RockShox’ air-sprung and Charger 2-damped BoXXer can’t be faulted.
The Push Elevensix shock is impressive too, with two fully-independent compression circuits, which can be used to give a tunable pedal platform, but here let you change the bike’s descending characteristics with the flick of a lever. I had to run a 25lb-lighter spring than advised to achieve the recommended 30 per cent sag.
The main issue I have with the Insurgent’s spec is that, while all the parts are great, they limit the bike’s versatility. Unless you’ve got access to uplifts every weekend, you’ll wish it had a bigger gear range and a dropper post because, at 14.75kg, it’s plenty light enough to be pedalled uphill.
Evil Insurgent LB Park ride impressions
The Evil Insurgent LB Park is about jibbing and dancing your way down hill, eking out maximum fun along the way. Andy Lloyd
Pedalling isn’t really what this park rat is all about though. It’s about jibbing and dancing your way back down the hill, eking out maximum fun along the way. And in that respect, this bike is incredible.
The suspension, while still managing to hug the ground through rock gardens, gives loads of pop off jumps and plenty of bottom-out resistance in case you get too excited. Factor in the compact, easy-to-manoeuvre geometry, and it’s hard to resist chucking whips off everything in sight.
This does come at the cost of high-speed control, though, and I found myself getting pitched forward on steeper, rougher terrain, without the stability of a longer wheelbase to back me up.
Evil has got the stiffness of the rear-end bang on too. Neither rigidly harsh nor wishy-washy, it just eggs you on to slap the bike between the turns and send it flying.
I’d love to be able to justify owning a bike like this, but can’t help feeling that, in the UK at least, its niche is rather small and its price tag rather large.
Evil Insurgent LB Park geometry
Based on ‘Extra low’ setting:
Seat angle: 70.7 degrees
Head angle: 63.9 degrees
Chainstay: 43cm / 16.93in
Seat tube: 46cm / 18.11in
Top tube: 64cm / 25.18in
Head tube: 12.7cm / 5in
Fork offset: 4.6cm / 1.81in
Bottom bracket height: 34cm / 13.39in
Wheelbase: 1,205cm / 47.44in
Stack: 58.2cm / 22.91in
Reach: 44.9cm / 17.68in