Dave Weagle’s a busy man. Not only does his DW-Link suspension design appear on bikes by Iron Horse, Ibis, Indy Fab and other manufacturers (possibly with names not starting with ‘I’), but he’s got two companies on the go – chainguide specialist e.thirteen and cult hardtail manufacturer Evil. The UK-specific news is that distributor Silverfish has added Evil to a portfolio that alread includes e.thirteen. Inevitably, Silverfish is “totally stoked” with the deal, or “very pleased indeed” in English. But enough of this tedious scene-setting, let’s look at some frames.
The Imperial is probably Evil’s best-known frame. Versatility is the Imperial’s big thing. And strength. Versatility and strength are the Imperial’s big things. It’s got a 1.5in head tube and multi-position vertical dropouts (there’re actually three dropouts on the non-drive side) giving you a choice of 15.5in, 16.25in or 17in back ends. The head angle is listed as 69° with a 100mm travel fork, but you can run it with pretty much anything from an 80mm single crown for street or skateparks right up to 200mm travel twin-crowns for downhilling. 6.1lb of aluminium is formed into what Evil calls a “tetrahedral semi-monococque”, complete with bolt-on grind-guard mount for street lunacy.
DOC stands for “Drug of Choice”. This is the signature frame of Evil rider Chris Donahue, who helped design it. It’s built from custom Reynolds steel tubing and, unusually for a steel frame, takes a 31.6mm diameter seatpost. The asymmetric chainstay yoke lets you run a 2.3in tyre with 15.75in stays, while the HVS sliding vertical dropouts let you run the back end at whatever length you like (up to a point). Chainstay yoke, head tube and dropouts are apparently made from a “proprietary steel alloy” that’s claimed to be 135% stronger and 200% harder than 4130 chromoly. Two sizes are available (regular and long).
Also in Reynolds steel (853 and 725 this time) the Sovereign is described as “equally at home with a rigid fork and slick tires or a 5-6 inch fork and knobbies”. It’s got an asymmetric monostay back end and adjustable dropouts – you can get a 2.3in tyre in there with a 15.5in chainstay length, or push it out to 16.75in and have room for a 3in tread. Again, it can be had in Regular or Long.
Finally there’s the Imperial SL. It’s a limited-edition frame, differing from the standard Imperial in a few key ways. At the back the sliding dropouts take a 14mm bolted axle (the frame comes with an axle and adapters to convert 10mm bolt-through hubs). In the middle, the seat tube is at a more conventional angle, which apparently puts the seat in a better position for seat grabs but also makes the frame work better if you put the seat right up to ride to the jumps.
Prices and stuff to be announced, but Silverfish has lined up several dealers already, so you can find out what you need to know from them. There’s a dealer locator on the Silverfish site. Find out more about Evil at www.evilbikes.com.