Evil launched its Revolt DH bike with huge fanfare in 2009 and while it was a promising performer, the aluminum framed racer had reliability issues from the outset. Kevin Walsh and the Evil crew faced a two-sided battle as they fought with the factory to address faulty construction, and tried in vain to fulfill customer warranty issues with replacement parts that simply didn't exist. That which doesn't kill you, certainly makes you stronger and to their credit, Evil rebounded with a new factory and a ground-up redesign - a mind-blowing carbon fiber frame aptly named: "the Undead." We caught up with Kevin and got the exclusive story on Evil's carbon reincarnation.
Kevin, it's been 2 years since the Revolt. Tell us about Evil's turnaround and the development of this new rig?
| Nigel Quarless and Kevin Walsh collab for the MS/Evil 2011 World Cup graphics|
Well it's been 18 long shitty months, battling a factory, misalignments, crap welding, delivery problems, warranties, personnel changes, insomnia, ulcers, rumours and a few catastrophes. We thought this day would never come, it almost didn't, but we wrestled Fedex into submission and Luke Strobel and I picked it up at the airport and ripped it out of the box like kids on Christmas morning. It may not have been the Millenium Falcon, but it was certainly a space ship of sorts. The Fedex staff was laughing at us, we must have looked crazy shredding this box to pieces, but they could tell by the look on all of our faces that it was something special, even though they had no idea what this carbon fiber space ship looking thing was. We packed up into Luke's truck and headed back to the office to measure things up and assemble it with the help of our good friend Zeb from Big Tree Bikes so we could inaugurate it at the TMC trails over the next few days. It was hard to believe it was here and we would be riding it in just a few hours. Excitement got the best of us. The inauguration began prematurely on the staircase at the office and was followed with some late-night cutty's on the streets of downtown Seattle. It must have felt like some sort of baptism by fire - to be riding an all-new carbon design after suffering in aluminum factory hell?
All of us were freaking out, as it had been a long time since we had seen an Evil frame, not to mention a carbon one that was straight and actually assembled with little to no effort. This really marked the start of Evil 2.0 and We are proud to finally show you a small glimpse of the future with our full-carbon Undead DH frame. This will be the first of many full suspension carbon offerings over the coming months, it replaces the recent Revolt and has been renamed the Undead for obvious reasons...
Did you take the opportunity to make any significant changes in the suspension or geometry?
| Moulded under intense pressure, raw unidirectional composite fibers can look a bit weird when not covered. A thick clear coat ensures you see a ton of lay-up detail.|
We decided to go back to our original non-floating shock design and lower the center of mass by flipping the shock orientation. We also upgraded the Delta System linkage to a double-shear arrangement with a high-load spherical bearing developed by Enduro, which replaces the composite bushing system found on the Revolt. We spent the last year working closely with Hodaka's engineering team to develop this frame. This is the first of many prototypes that we will be testing in preparation for the 2011 Worldcup season. Why carbon vs aluminum, especially in light of past aluminum build history? How long has this been in development?
In 2008 we had originally planned to start with a carbon Revolt, but it seemed too far out of reach and we didn't have a relationship with a reputable carbon vendor at the time. When we began working with Hodaka last summer, it made perfect sense - and the timing was right, as we had been working on the design since early 2010.
For us carbon makes a lot of sense, the nature of of the Delta System puts the shock with an offset to the non drive side presenting some interesting clearance challenges, as the linkage is quite compact and in close proximity to the down tube and shock. We really liked the control and consistency that you can achieve with carbon, and it allows us to fine tune flex and stiffness in specific areas of our frames to get the perfect ride. The other reasons are obvious, weight, strength, and you can make really cool shapes. What is the expected production?
Hodaka mfg will be handling our production and we couldn't be in better hands. During our first visit to the factory I was reassured that we could truly continue the Evil business. After touring several of their facilities I was amazed at their attention to detail and the quality they consistantly produce. I knew we had aligned ourselves with the best possible partner to produce these frames. Pricing and frame weight?
Pricing will be similar to what the Revolt was. With regard to weight, the first test bikes have been almost too light, we will release formal weights in the next installment when we have done further testing and have a clear picture of what the production weight will be. You will just have to speculate until then... Can we get some details about the warranty that comes with the Undead?
It comes with our standard 2-year warranty, unlike the past this will include actually being able to get a warranty frame in the event you might need one. Current Evil customers with pending Revolt warranty cases will be issued Undead frames as warranties for their Revolts when production is ready. Aluminum for Carbon? Very big move. When should customers expect to be able to take advantage?
We're hoping to start with replacements come summer 2011. And all warranty issues can go through the LBS or Evil directly. Who can we expect to see on the Undead this year?
Cam Zink and the MS/Evil Worldcup team Brook Macdonald, Luke Strobel, Filip Polc, Wyn Masters and Markus Pekol, in addition Markus Stockl will be attempting to break his speed record again. Info about geometry adjustments?
Geometry adjustments are made simple via our Flipchip and adjustable head tube systems. A redesigned Delta linkage makes for quick and easy geometry adjustments as well as simple maintenance. Additional linkage kits will be available changing the travel from 205mm to 216mm with an extra progressive suspension curve.
Steep F/Steep R - HA-64.5 BB- 14.1/358.5mm WB -45.71/1161.2 mm CS - 438mm/17.2" 440mm/17.3" SA 63.5/62.9 HT height - 125mm
Steep F/Slack R - HA-64.0 BB-13.83/351.5mm WB- 45.81/1163.7mm CS - 438mm/17.2" 440mm/17.3" SA 63.5/62.9 HT height - 125mm
Slack F/Steep R - HA-63.5 BB- 13.9/ 355.2mm WB- 46.31/1176.3mm CS - 438mm/17.2" 440mm/17.3" SA 63.5/62.9 HT height - 125mm
Slack F/Slack R - HA-62.9 BB- 13.7/348.2mm WB- 46.40/1178.7mm CS - 438mm/17.2" 440mm/17.3" SA 63.5/62.9 HT height - 125mm
SM: Reach: 363mm Stack: 600mm TT 22.63"/22.75"/575/578mm FC 27.70"/703.73mm
MD: Reach: 383mm Stack: 600mm TT 23.42"/23.54"/595/598mm FC 28.49"/723.72mm
LG: Reach: 403mm Stack: 600mm TT 24.01"/24.13"/610/613mm FC 29.08"/738.72mm
XL: Reach: 418mm Stack: 600mm TT 24.80"/24.92"/630/633mm FC 29.87"/758.71mm Feature breakdown?
• Full carbon front/rear triangle
• Redesigned 7075 double shear Delta linkage with Enduro Spherical bearings
• Integrated fork bumper and cable guide
• IS brake standard
• Removable ISCG05 tab
• Integrated headset ( no headset tools here, just drop the bearings in and go! )
• Internal headset adjustment via eccentric cups
• Integrated removable carbon fender
• Integrated removable Downtube protector
• Integrated removable Downtube shuttle guard
• Rubber chainstay protector not shown
| Luke Strobel taking the Undead's virginity|
Look for the full exclusive Pinkbike story on Evil's return from hell.
All photos by Colin Meagher - check him out here
.NOTE: Pinkbike will be getting their hands on the first Evil Undead, and rest assured that we will put it through our hellish testing. Stay Tuned. What are your thoughts on this beast?