We sent one of our Evil Insurgent Demo Bikes out with Roger Murphy from
The Singletracklife – here’s his take on the 27.5″ ripper:
I was given the privilege to ride and review the Evil Insurgent on some local enduro race courses and some non-race but super-fun trails. I come from a DH racing and enduro background, so I found myself looking for any and all little trail gaps, roots to jump, how can I hold that inside line, and steep chunder…
With a progressive to linear leverage curve and anti-squat above 100% for the initial travel, this bike is ready for everything. The DELTA linkage system really concentrates the progressiveness in the initial stages of travel. This means the bike will be very active to small bumps in the trail. So when you are climbing anything other than a fire road, you can feel the suspension easily move up and over obstacles and dig in under power, thanks to the anti-squat. So as would be stated in most reviews, the Insurgent climbs like a goat.
Geometry in the low settings is pretty comparable to most bikes in its class. I started out in this geometry setting. Honestly, it felt like most other trail bikes in its class, pretty ho- hum. Handled just fine with some compromises, as it sits somewhere between a DH bike and a trail bike. I could sense the limits of how hard to push the bike fairly quickly. I did a lap on Thrillium and then climbed up and did a lap on Cold Creek in the low setting.
Adjustable Geometry: Get Low
Then, I decided to see what this x-low setting is all about. 10min later the flip chips were flipped and the bike in the back of a truck. In this position, the headtube angle slacks out by a degree, the chainstays gain 2more mm of length and the bb goes low, real low. 334mm! Hot damn, this is why I wanted to demo this bike.
I went and shuttled a lap on Thrillium and then climbed back up for another cold creek lap. Limits in x-low? Haven’t found them yet. I tried everything to find something about the bike’s limits in this mode – shorting gaps, over-shooting, picking stupid lines, and inside tight lines at full speed. So much damn fun. The bike just eggs you on to go faster, and faster. I found one consequence of the low bb with stock 175mm cranks – I knuckled a rootball gap and tagged the bb and crank arm on a few roots sending my brain into an “oh this is going to suck” moment, but somehow I rode it out to the hoots of my buddy behind me.
I think a set of 170 cranks would be the best option on this bike for two reasons. X-low and the slack seat angle. I have to jam the saddle forward on the rails to get a comfortable knee position for climbing. The shorter cranks would help just that extra little bit. No bottle mounts on the frame is a little bit of a bummer as I am really digging the pack free life.
Insurgent vs. The Following
How does this bike compare to The Following? A 120mm travel 29er with adjustable geometry, the bike is billed to be the game changer of 29er trail bikes. I still think the Following is a fun bike, but similar to the Insurgent in low, I found the limits of the bike very quickly. The Following makes places like sandy, rt44 trails, and post a boat load of fun. The following gets in over its head when it gets steep, sketchy and fast approaching DH speeds. It can still handle them but you may have some more moments on the following than the insurgent. I regularly bottom out my Following at 265psi with 4 bands in the shock. The following is billed as a trail bike and it fits that bill exceptionally well, whereas the Insurgent is tagged as a shred sled that likes to party.
Demo The Insurgent at Cyclepath
Curious about The Insurgent? If you want to take it on the trail and experience it for yourself, Cyclepath currently has a demo bike in both Medium and Large ready to hit the trail. To reserve, contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 503-281-0485 during regular business hours.