Could the Evil Uprising be the bike that gets everyone to re-evaluate their original love affairs with 26-inch-wheeled bikes? If you think 29ers and 27.5-inch-wheeled bikes are the only way forward, you need to watch this video.
Price: $2,650 (frame and Fox Float-X)
Direct Link: www.silverfish-uk.com/ProductDetail/0/14074/Uprising-Frame
Final Take: A holy terror on descents, mind-blowingly good on the climbs—Evil's carbon all-mountain rig was worth the wait.
The Evil Uprising is the "Chinese Democracy" of the mountain bike world. Like the Guns ‘n Roses album that Axl Rose obsessively fiddled with for decades, the Uprising has spent an eternity in the prototype stage. Turns out, it might have been worth the wait.
Each rider came back from his time aboard the bike shaking his head—it's amazing. Traction on technical climbs is unreal. Pedaling efficiency and acceleration are cross-country quick. This thing owns technical descents with 6 inches of suspension that smothers hits while feeling poppy and playful.
In the geometry's slack setting, the bottom bracket is 13 inches off the ground and has 66.5- and 71.7-degree head- and seat tube angles, respectively. Much of the carbon frame's 7.2 pounds is centered low. The Uprising has been called a mini downhill bike, and that's an apt description. Do we care that it rolls on 26-inch wheels instead of 27.5? No.
This bike really is that good, but it does have downsides. For one, the rear tire clearance sucks. There's barely room for a 2.25 Schwalbe Nobby Nic. This didn't bother us on Sedona's dry singletrack, but if we were riding muddy trails, we'd be banging our heads against the handlebars. Evil's owner, Kevin Walsh, says that 2014 versions will fit a 2.35 Hans Dampf. Another slight annoyance is the fact that the rear shock is ensconced behind the DELTA linkage, which made fiddling with the Fox Float-X a fairly tedious undertaking.
Evil says it will eventually offer five build kits priced between $3,800 and $6,600. The Uprising is backed by a two-year warranty and a lifetime crash-replacement warranty. That's good, because if there was ever a bike that justified taking a leap of faith, this would have to be it. –VERNON FELTON