Thanks to its heavy metal attitude Evil Bikes quickly fell in with the cool clique of downhillers, freeriders, and park rats. Now, Evil’s much-loved 27.5” Insurgent has been updated to shred harder than ever.
If your dream ride includes boosting lips, getting sideways, and smashing gnarly downhills, the new Insurgent is the bike for you, but it’s not perfect. Here are five things I love about the latest Insurgent, and one thing I don't.
Five things I love about the Evil Insurgent
1. 29”/27.5” Mullet option
The standard Insurgent keeps bike park riders happy with playful 27.5” wheels. But for riders like me who want an agile bike that can also race enduro or just straight-line everything on the trail, the new Insurgent MX gives you a speedy mullet option with a big 29” front wheel. I think mullets are the way forward for hard-hitting big travel bikes. Read why mullet bikes might be the future.
2. More suspension travel
The new Insurgent has even more suspension travel to soak up the hardest hits. The rear has a plush, bump-devouring 168mm of travel. Upfront you get a massive 180mm fork for 27.5” models and 170mm fork for the MX. It’s even dual-crown compatible. All this travel give you confidence to go for gnarly A-lines and send big features. Thankfully, the efficient D.E.L.T.A. suspension system provides a solid pedaling platform to pedal it all back uphill for more laps.
3. Longer reach and wheelbase
Longer is better. For the steepest and gnarliest rails, I want a longer bike for more stability and confidence. The Insurgent's cockpit has been stretched out to keep the it stable at ludicrous speeds, and I think they've hit the sweet spot in terms of length. Reach and wheelbase have grown 20-40mm (depending on the flip-chip position and fork/front wheel), putting you in the middle of the bike so you can confidently let off the brakes.
4. Slacker head angle
Thanks to the Evil Insurgent’s angle headset (courtesy of Works Components) and the bigger 170mm fork, the mulleted MX can become a mini downhill bike with an ultra-slack 63.5-degree head angle (in the X-low position) that will rival many dedicated DH bikes. Combined with long reach, slack headtubes are essential for downhill confidence. 63.5 degrees would have seemed crazy only five years ago, but with a reduced offset fork, it's amazing how good it feels. It seems impossible to go over the bars on this bike.
5. Better climbing position
Most of us still pedal up to earn our turns. The efficient D.E.L.T.A. suspension system is paired with a steeper 76.2-78.2 degree seat tube that keeps you centered over the BB so the front end stays planted and you have the traction to crawl up steep and loose climbs.
One thing I don’t like about the new Evil Insurgent
Superboost rear axle
The 12x157mm Superboost Plus axle is wider for better rear wheel stiffness, but since fewer bikes use this standard it’ll limit your options for aftermarket wheels. It not an issue unless you already have some nice wheels. To use the standard Boost carbon wheels I already own, I'll need to use adapters. Or I just need a whole new set.
The Insurgent has always been a bike built for shredders. For my riding style I picked the Insurgent MX to get the extra rollover and traction of the 29” front wheel. I think it's perfect for hitting the biggest jumps at the bike park and tackling gnarly DH trails that scare the crap out of me.