Let’s see – it rolled, it didn’t break, we had fun. If only all bikes were as easy to review as hardtails… The beauty of low tech toys like hardtail frames is that they’re so easy to judge. If the build and geometry are on point, there’s not much else that can mess up the ride.
There’s no denying the Clockwork Evo is a purpose built machine. It’s not your spandex-wearing neighbor’s hardtail. The Evo is stiff and stout, and it needs to be to hold up to the abuse a rider is going to put it through thanks to it’s slack, downhill-biased geometry.
Needless to say the bike got bucked around as any hardtail is going to do. However, when it came time to rail the rut track, shred the flow trails or make people on dual suspension bikes feel bad for not being able to keep up with a hardtail, the Clockwork Evo rewarded our grit in spades. The 12-inch bottom bracket height, Maxxis tires and long wheelbase mean this bike is ready to bob and weave.
The Clockwork Evo excels on trails like the famous Whoops trail in Bend, OR. Groomed singletrack with jumps, berms and rollers were no match for the snappy and stiff frame. We dropped anyone and everyone on full squish bikes as we pumped away from the crowd, accelerating on each downside. When I strapped on the ankle braces to my old-ass legs, the Clockwork Evo was more than ready to skip down steep loamers. Ruts were no match for the bike’s low center of gravity and snappy handling.
The Wolf’s Last Word
If you’ve got the terrain and/or joints to enjoy a hardtail, then the Evo is a killer bike! Our personal opinion is that for a Deore SLX-built specialty bike like this, the price is a few hundred bucks higher than we’d like to see. We love riding hardtails on occasion but the reality is this will be a “toy” bike for most and dropping almost 2,500 bucks on a second, third or even fourth bike is a tough justification. If you’re a dedicated hardtailer however, this is a killer bike for your aggressive bone shaking needs. If we were in the market, we’d probably take advantage of the $650 frame option and pilfer through our parts bin to see if we could get this thing built for under 2k. Ultimately, the shredability, cornering confidence and smiles you earn by smoking dual suspension bikes make the Clockwork Evo a pretty damn fun bike.
Sizes: S, M, L, XL
Weight: 27.60 lbs
For more info visit orangebikes.co.uk. US distributor for Orange: aventuron.com