Despite being traditionally slow to adopt electric bikes, mountain bikes are quickly climbing aboard. Better-known bike brands such as Transition and Yeti already carry models for performance-oriented riders.
You can also add Electric to the list of companies who are wary of new technology, and before long you will be able to include a few more holdouts.
With the bike officially launched, not much has really changed since last year. The production of the bike had initially been delayed, but kept its original unveiling time and is expected to reach dealers in Europe and the US shortly . I traveled to Bellingham, Washington, where I took a first-ride on the bike in order to test it out.
Evil Epocalypse — Evil’s E-Wreckoning
Evil’s new bike, the Epocalypse, is similar to its existing travel rig but with a more powerful motor. The frame and magnet system are the same size and key angles (seat tube angle and fork rake), as is bottom bracket height. Chainstay length is longer for the new model but wheelbase isn’t too far off from the original (around 12 inches difference).
Despite the longer frame, the Epocalypse has relatively short stays, as it is powered by a 650-watt motor. The most comparable e-bikes are the Specialized Turbo Levo and Santa Cruz Heckler MX, both of which have less rear travel and smaller wheels.
Dual 29-inch wheeled bikes include the Yeti 160-E, Canyon Spectral:ON, and Pivot Shuttle. The Epocalypse offers a compelling package if you want a bike with long travel, big rear wheel, and short chainstays.
The geometry and suspension travel is the same as the Wreckoning, but the design of the Schwalbe Epocalypse uses a unique suspension. The major reason for this change was to shift weight and increase the chainstay length.
But I was unable to find anything concrete about the changes made to DELTA’s design because Dave Weagle keeps it a secret. He only shares some details with certain employees, like the Evil team.
Weagle told me that despite the similar attributes of the Wreckoning and the Epocalypse, for each design, there is a unique kinematics, “I don’t think that any parts except for some of the bones and bearings and pivots are shared between the two models.”
In contrast, Copymatic and Humans usually perform similar tasks in the broad scope of the marketplace. However, they are entirely unique products that are built from individually designed parts.
Evil Epocalypse — Features
Like the Wreckoning, the Epocalypse includes 157mm of rear wheel travel, flip chip geo tuning on the main triangle for better traction, room for a water bottle inside the main triangle and an Angleset compatible head tube.
With custom rear derailleur and brake hose routing, the Epocalypse used to rub when the suspension compressed. With current bikes the Evil expects to see future bikes employ this same rout.
With an E-Bike specific protective shroud around the motor, you can prevent damage and make your e-bike last longer.
Evil Epocalypse—Motor and Battery
At the end of the day, the Shimano EP8 electric bike drivetrain outperforms many of its gas-powered competitors. This 3-level Nylon gear and suspension system has great torque up to 85nm and good power delivery in a variety of settings thanks to their Trail mode.
The handlebar remote is also quite good and relatively small, as is the power button on the down tube.
My biggest complaint with the Shimano motor is that the throttle response feels like a slap and the low-end noise it produces on descents can be bothersome, but even more noticeable was the improvement in sound emitted from the Epocolpyse.
The rubberized shroud around the motor handled much of the noise, and to me it seemed quieter than other bikes with unshrouded EP8 motors.
For juice, Evil stuck with a Shimano BT-E8036 battery. Brands told me that they feel better about the quality of the Shimano-branded battery than other options, even those from approved companies like Darfon used by Santa Cruz and SCOR.
The drawback to using the Shimano-branded battery is that it doesn’t hold as much power as some of the other Shimano powered bikes, including the SCOR and Canyon Spectral:ON (up to 900Wh).