We make no secret our love of the road and CX circuits. Early morning climbing into the fog or descents at 40+ mph are hard to beat, but recently the dirt has called to us. In the Pacific Northwest spring can come pretty early, and while the rain is still falling, many of our trails drain well and the canopy provided by the trees can keep a little warmth in and rain off of you. Couple that with time spent at slower speeds and wet/cold days are quite a but more comfortable on singletrack.
That's where Evil comes in. No one knows the PNW like the guy from Evil, based in Seattle. When the chance arose to grab a Following from them, I jumped. I've had a few friends nudging me toward Evil, and while bikes like Santa Cruz's Bronson and Yeti's SB5c and SB6c all spoke to me in their own ways, I let the guidance of trusted riding buddies put me on the phone with Evil. Once talking to them, I knew I was sold and I jumped in the car and made my way there.
After shooting BB guns and fondling their frame racks, I was on my way home to order parts. Being a Shimano guy, their new XT M8000 was a no-brainer. As much as I love Di2, this isn't an XTR bike for me. I plan on riding it hard, sometimes putting it away wet, but most importantly, it's probably going to find it's way onto the ground and I don't really want it laying on a $650 rear derailleur.
With a full 1x11 M8000 kit in hand, I sourced a Rock Shox Revelation 140mm fork. The Pike was certainly on the radar as well, but with the pricing of the Revelation coming in at $400-500 less online, the choice was clear. Add to that a Reverb dropper, which was stuck down on their first ride but quickly fixed with another bleed, and a Renthal cockpit, brought me to rolling stock.
Chris King provided the newly-re-released Turquoise on a set of ISO hubs laced to Easton ARC27 rims. Coming in at 1870g with tape and valves they certainly aren't the lightest 29er wheels I've ever ridden, but the added width of the rims compared to a Stan's Arch was welcome. The Maxxis High Rollers pack some crazy grip, again a nice touch for someone new to the trails of the PNW.
All in, including pedals, she's 28.8lbs. For a bike with 140mm travel in the front and 130mm rear, that's pretty stupid. I remember my first cross country FS 29er, I went pretty high end with SRAM XX and some narrow rims and no dropper post and it as about 24-25lbs with 2.1" tires. This thing, with some seriously beefy treads, tons of travel, a dropper post, and no carbon beyond the frame is only a couple pounds heavier.
I'll be posting first ride impressions soon, so for now, just enjoy the view: