FRAME AND FEATURES
The Evil Epocalypse is an enduro eMTB, designed to carry the Evil DNA into the electric world with an element of play-friendliness to its enduro capabilities. The Epocalypse has a Unidirectional (UD) carbon fiber frame with 166mm travel through the DELTA suspension platform, which is paired to a 170mm fork and a pair of 29-inch wheels. Power is delivered from a 630Wh removable integrated battery to the common Shimano EP8 drive system.
Evil’s Epocalypse features full internal cable routing, with their vascular system to guide the housings through the frame. Protection is provided by a custom skid plate on the motor; shuttle shield on the downtube, and “sound mound” chainstay and seatstay protectors. The main pivot of the DELTA suspension uses oversized bearings to handle the high loads, and there’s a SRAM UDH for the derailleur to mount to. The rear end uses the SuperBoost+ 157mm rear end to afford impressive 29×2.6” tire clearance and add strength and stiffness to the rear wheel. The frame features a flip chip to give options of Low or X-Low geometry settings, which doesn’t affect the suspension characteristics. Evil offers an impressive lifetime warranty for the frame and bearings.
DRIVE UNIT AND ELECTRONICS
The Epocalypse is powered by the Shimano STEPS EP8 motor with a 630Wh removable integrated battery. This battery can be switched out in under 10 seconds according to Evil, letting you swap out a charged spare in quick time to extend your ride. The 85Nm Shimano EP8 motor is one of the most common on the market and featured on seven of our 13 bikes in this year’s shootout. The Shimano motor has proved to be a solid offering, which when combined with the widely available support network makes it a reasonable choice. The EM800 display and EM-800L assist switch show and control the different modes: ECO, TRAIL and BOOST, which have two profiles that can be adjusted using the Shimano E-TUBE PROJECT app.
Geometry on the Epocalypse is largely shared with the Evil Wreckoning analogue enduro bike, aside from the slightly longer chainstay length at 442mm across the size range. This size range goes from Small to Extra Large, catering for riders from 5’3” to 6’4”+. We opted to test the size large, which has a 475mm reach and 647mm stack and 1263mm wheelbase in the Low geometry setting. All sizes share a 64.5-degree head tube angle, 75.6-degree effective seat tube angle and 18mm bottom bracket drop in this Low setting. The flip chip offers 0.5-degree slackening to the head tube and seat tube angles, and an 8mm drop in the bottom bracket height.
The geometry of the Evil Epocalypse is fairly typical for the aggressive enduro segment, aside from the relatively high bottom bracket with only 18mm drop. The sum of the numbers led to a fairly well-rounded performance on the descents, with a playful nature but without losing confidence due to instability.
Evil Bikes are currently offering a single “XT” build spec for their Epocalypse, with the choice of either an Industry Nine Enduro alloy wheelset for $9,999 or the Evil Loopholes carbon wheelset for $10,999. This is spec’d with a RockShox ZEB Ultimate 170mm fork and Super Deluxe Ultimate coil rear shock. Shifting and braking duties are handled by Shimano’s XT offerings, with the 4-piston XT M8120 brake set with 203mm center lock rotors and XT HypergGlide+ 12spd drivetrain. This includes the XT M8150 cranks in 170mm length to drive the EP8 motor. The cockpit is all-Evil, with their 12 Gauge 45mm long stem and 35mm rise Energy Carbon bar with internal cable routing. There’s a BikeYoke Revive dropper with size-specific lengths, on top of which sits a WTB Volt saddle.
The wheelset on the build tested was the Industry Nine Enduro S Hydra, which is wrapped in a Maxxis Minion DHF EXO 29×2.5” tire combo as standard. However, thanks to Schwalbe, for the 5th year running we fitted the Magic Mary Soft Super Gravity in the front and Big Betty Soft Super Gravity in the rear on all bikes in this year’s group test. This made for consistent and dependable performance across the test fleet and made for a more fair comparison bike-to-bike. Other than the stock tire spec, the Epocalypse XT is certainly a purposeful build spec that highlights the aggressive intentions of the Evil e-Mountain bike.