Favorite Trail: Duthie Hill, Bellingham, and Tiger Mountain
Purchased At: chainreactioncycles.
a Weekend Warrior
from Seattle, WA, USA
Date Reviewed: March 19, 2010
Strengths: Awesome fit and feel. Geometry is spot-on for the intended usees. Sliding drops are a huge bonus for that singlespeed itch and for adjusting wheelbase.
Weaknesses: Price. It's spendy.
I am loving this frame/bike. Built it up as a burly trail and light freeride rig. The cockpit (as I have it) is a tiny bit ctramped for what I would like on super long xc rides, but I can live with that. Feels natural in the air and on the trail. Have a feeling I'll have this frame for quite some time. The guys at EVIL answered all my questions very quickly and were super friendly. If you have the extra $$$, and you're in the market for the Sovereign, TransAm, etc...go with the EVIL. You won't regret it!
Cortez the Killer
a Cross Country Rider
from Seattle, WA
Date Reviewed: July 10, 2008
Strengths: This bike is great. Wheelies are exceptionally easy. Jumps are effortless. Evil's customer service is amazing. Some of the nicest people I've met in the bike business.
Weaknesses: Tension screws on the dropouts lack clearance and they just seem cumbersome.
Evil is operating on the DL. But they'll be back someday soon. My Sovereign is an uniquely amazing bike that tests my skills. Like one reviewer said 'its hard to live up to its potential'. Save your dough and wait for Evil to introduce their product line.
Bike Setup: Marzocchi AM1, Chris King Headset, Race Face cranks, Paul single speed hubs, etc.
a Weekend Warrior
from Brussels, Belgium
Date Reviewed: May 22, 2008
Strengths: strength, flexibility, comfort
Superb (SUPERB) handling
Weaknesses: A little on the heavy side. Sliding dropouts are nice to have but once I dialled them in I haven't moved them European price
This is a follow up on my previous review. Opinion remains largely unchanged, this is an outstanding heavy duty (or "hardcore" for the kewl kids) trail bike. It'll go anywhere and do anything. My only problem is living up to the potential this bike has.
I would definitely recommend a gravity dropper / maverick speedball or similar seatpost. I find I really need the seat all the way up for climbing. One oddity (call it a weakness if you will) is that the bike doesn't climb too well out of the saddle. A combination of the short top tube and possibly a bit of a slack seat angle may be the issue, I'm not too sure. With the seat up and full leg extension it's all good and you can save that final blast for the top. Drop the saddle 3" and you have SOOOO much room on top of the bike that you'll feel yourself doing things you never thought you had the balls / skill for. I find myself changing the saddle 5-10 times a ride so the gravity dropper is well worth the (stupidly high) price for the functionality
I love the pike fork, the 100-140 adjustability is perfect for this frame. I would be unhappy with the handling if I was stuck with a 140 or 150 mm fork. If I were to be forced to choose a fixed length fork I'd either go 100 or 120, 140 is too big for everyday trail use, slow speed handling is a mare. If I could have one wish about the fork it would be MUCH lighter than it is. 2.5kg is very lardy. That said I have been unable to find a similar functionality at a lighter weight so perhaps that's just what it needs.
The RF Atlas crank was sourced 2nd hand and has dropped >1/2 kg from the overall weight. The change in tyres from conti slashers -> n nics has shed some aswell. Currently running just over 30 lbs, will be safely under when I get the cash together for a new wheelset.
I can't reccommend this bike highly enough. It is not an XC whippet but it can do so many things that your XC mates will never be able to even consider. A reall grin bringer.
Strengths: Beautiful, strong, all the benefits of steel (ride etc) Fantastic flexible geometry, suits an adjustable travel fork; 70 deg @100mm, 68 deg @ 140mm
Weaknesses: I haven't found one yet. Not light, but then you're not buying a steel freeride hardtail frame for lightness.
Oh, European price. Fly to the US and buy one there, you'll save enough to pay for the flight (no, really)
This bike is a singletrack bomber. With the Pikes dialed down (95mm) it turns faster than an italian who's just realised he's on the wrong side. I use this set up for trail riding or falling off at jump parks. Dial them up (140) and you can point it down a DH race track with confidence, which I did at Blue Mountain and it was superb. At 120mm, you have a well behaved bike (but who wants one of those :P )
If I had the budget, I would have set it up with Fox Talas (110-130-160) and an AM (sub 2kg) wheelset and cranks, say Easton Havocs or DT Swiss 1750s and Race Face Atlas. That would bring the build weight under 30lbs (currently about 33-34) and make a big difference for trail riding (what I do most of)while still having the strength to bomb down hill
Also worth considering is that they only do 2 sizes, long and regular. I got the regular, for fear that the long would be too, err long. Probably I should have got the long, especially as most of my riding is trails. nvm, slide the seat back on the rails a bit and it's all good.
One thing (which happened to me) the downtube is oversized and they use a shim to size it for a 31.2 seatpost. I assume they do this partly because the wall thicknesses mean they get some overweld inside the down tube, at teh junction with the toptube. In my case, this overweld has a couple of blobs that need filing off to allow the seatpost to go down fully. This should have been done at the factory, but I guess tehy missed it (no big). The shop who put it together unfortunately misinterpreted this as a tapered tube (at least that's what they told me, I'm dubious) and cut the seatpost short (really short). Now I need to get a file and a new seatpost as teh one I have is a good 2" too short to be comfortable. Meh, it's still ace
I would heartily recommend this bike to anyone who is looking for a steel hardtail flexible enough to ride anywhere, down the alps or down the shops, and is not too sensitive about weight. Believe me though, the weight is well spent and the bike as I have it set up rides considerably lighter than its 33 or so lbs
a Weekend Warrior
from Manchester, England
Date Reviewed: April 24, 2007
Strengths: Finish, attention to detail. Feels like your sat 'in' the bike rather than on.
Weaknesses: UK price? Ridiculous. Customer contact with Evil/E13. Evils email address doesnt work anymore and E13 dont comeback to you via email. Maybe concentrating on servicing Distributors hey?
Off road apart from local tracks/woods I've only ridden the bike around Llandegla so far to set up properly after building up. The Z1 FRs (150) were too long in my opinion and the front washed out (fell off three times)/too steep a head angle for trails. I think a 130/140 max would suit the medium perfectly for trail centres/XC work.
Bike Setup: King h/set, king rear hub, hope front. X321 rims, Michelin AM tyres, Thomson post and stem, Hayes brakes and Pike 426 forks.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: July 21, 2006
Strengths: This is a great frame with a beautiful finish...I ride this every day and only use my 6.6 for the big DH stuff at the weekends now, but I'm sure this would be capable and good fun down at Innerliethen! :-)
Weaknesses: None yet
This bike excels at scary, steep, twisty, rocky, rooty technical trails and manoverures amazingly...this is a bike that wants to be ridden hard and rewards the rider with a huge smile! Buy one ...well worth the money!
Purchased At: Frame only at Craig MacMartin Cycles
Similar Products Used: Hardtails: Cove Stiffee, SC Lizard, Orange Sub Zero (cracked)
Bike Setup: Fox Vanilla 130 (will replace with Van 36 next week, Maxxis Minnions, Thomson, Hope Brakes, Mavic 729 & 721 rims etc
a Cross Country Rider
from Stowe, VT
Date Reviewed: May 5, 2006
Strengths: Lightish, super quality steel, full seatpost extension, great drop-out system, rides perfectly when you're on your game
Weaknesses: No water-bottle cage mount. That's it.
Perfection at a price. I can't imagine a hardtail that rides trail, jumps, and flows better than this one. Evil did their homework and it paid off big time. I'll have this bike for years and still be loving it. Throw down. Buy one. You will NOT be dissapointed.