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If Evil Bikes' The Wreckoning prides itself as a versatile all-mountain monster that's happiest running big lines and revels gleefully in days filled with lift laps and bomber descents, then 2017's The Calling Mountain Bike frame is best described as its sassy, irreverent, trail-leaning little brother.
Scampering off on its snappy 27.5-inch hoops towards whatever terrain currently suits its fancy, The Calling is ready to seek out adventure with a cheeky aggression that'll have you cackling joyously out of every berm and opportunity for air. With 131mm of travel (compared to The Wreckoning's massive 161mm) and ever so slightly steeper angles, the Calling is perhaps better equipped to manage varied terrain and get you to the top of climbs without the spiral of self-defeated pouting sometimes associated with slacked-out, big travel rigs. As a rule, Evil Bikes prides itself on making bikes fun, and The Calling is set to meet that mark in spades.
Evil's approach to geometry is one of the key elements to The Calling's versatility. The frame's linkage includes flip chips that alter the bottom bracket height and head tube angle. In Low setting, the bottom bracket sits at just 13.3in off the ground with a head tube angle of 66.4 degrees. When dropped to the X-Low setting, the bottom bracket drops to 13in off the ground, and the head tube slacks out to as low as 65.8 degrees. The Calling is definitely down for a party, and its long, low countenance is finished with 16.9in chainstays (17.0 in the X-Low setting) that dice techy lines like a cat on carpet.
Where most full suspension machines have hearts, The Calling instead has a dark void in the shape of Dave's Extra Legitimate Travel Apparatus, which Evil abbreviates with the acronym DELTA. To be clear, this isn't a DW-link suspension. Evil stuck to a linkage driven single pivot with a specific aim to achieve a level of adjustability not allowed by DW-link's four-bar design. DELTA was originally designed as a platform to test different suspension curves, so it's most basic, defining property is virtually limitless mutability. Given that fact, shock tune may be more important on a DELTA bike than on any other suspension design, and Evil builds in a sag measurement system to make tuning a quick, painless affair. Just reset the little toggle, hop in the saddle, and air up.
The Calling's DELTA pivot location reduces the need for shock damping, so you can ride the included RockShox Debonair fully open—even while ascending root-latticed treescapes and rocky switchbacks. Since it doesn't have to fight bob with heavy handed damping, DELTA strikes an apparently contradictory balance between a supple, light-off-the-top early stroke and a mid-stroke that keeps the tires glued to the trail. As it approaches the triple digit end of its 131mm, the travel arc ramps up to maintain a bottomless feel that belies Evil's gravity roots. It takes a lot to find DELTA's limits, and its spirited compression arc provides the perfect alibi for when you need a timely bail-out.
If DELTA is The Calling's darkly mischievous intent, then the carbon frame is the vessel via which those intentions manifest. Evil has had some issues with carbon manufacturing in the past, but it recently invested in building new molds in a new factory that also happens to service most of the high-end manufacturers on the market. Given the logistics of carbon construction, this wasn't a simple process; however, anyone familiar with Evil's history will agree that it was necessary, and the frames we've put our hands on definitely occupy the sharp end of the industry's quality curve.
All things said and done, Evil really is as lightheartedly goofy as it makes itself out to be. But the brand's ethos of fun at play requires uncompromisingly capable toys, so it takes everything from the lay-up pattern to the carbon compaction deadly seriously. Every frame's life begins with EPS and silicone molds. The black stuff is laid up around these and then compacted from inside and out, resulting in uniform wall thickness and eliminating excess resin pooling and the kind of imperfections and structural weaknesses that impertinent trail gremlins exploit to cause frame failures. We wouldn't quite call the result perfect, but we're hard pressed to think of any manufacturer whose frames come closer to perfection.
- Evil's sprightly trail machine is down to party
- A responsive pedaling platform with 5.2in of DELTA travel
- Long, slack geometry attacks fast lines
- Revamped carbon construction process for lightweight reliability
- Evil Bikes brings fun to the trail with uncompromisingly capable bikes
- Item #EVB0008
- Q & A
I bought this bike last October. Iâve absolutely loved it. This bike corners amazingly well. Almost like itâs on rails. It handles air time very well and soaks up the landings great. It pedals up hill pretty good. Itâs not the best trail bike on the market for climbing, but leta face it it doesnât matter. Youâll have a giant grin plastered on your face whenever you throw a leg over this bike. By far m
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
If you are looking for a feathery XC machine, you are looking in the wrong place.
Lets just get it out of the way. Is this the most efficient bike out there? No. Is it the best pedaler? No. This bike was never intended to be those things. It was build to have a real good time.
Iv'e had this bike everywhere from swoopy Park City Single track, to trails as tech and difficult as Captain Ahab and The Whole Enchilada in Moab. And let me tell you, this bike is fun. Like, really fun. I felt like I could push it harder into corners than any other bike I've ridden, and it felt at home sending it off of a vert lip. It is the best jumping full suspension bike I have ever ridden. I didn't notice any extra pedal strikes over my Bronson or Hightower, but I have gotten used to lower Bottom Brackets over the years, and it may just have been body memory.
This bike is for the aggressive rider who wants the most smiles per mile possible. Its fast, its fun, and its calling you.
Email me or give me call if you have questions about this bike or any other mountain bikes or gear.
Just Out For A Rip, Are Ya Bud?
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I'm 5'11" and generally in between a medium and large, though tend to run larger frames, especially when paired with a shorter stem. I was fortunate enough to get a demo bike (EVB0009 is the build spec I rode) for a weekend and put it to good use - rode ~70 miles in Moab; Whole Enchilada from Kokapelli down, Mag 7 (Photo is mid way through Portal), Captain Ahab and more. I rode the medium, though if I were to buy one for myself, I would likely go with the large size frame.
I'm coming off an Ibis Mojo 3 so pretty cool to see a relatively similar travel bike that rides very differently. I rode this in the "low" setting.
What I liked about the bike:
- Mid travel, uber capable bike. For the amount of travel it does have, it pedals well and feels quick.
- It climbed surprisingly well. I cleaned technical climbs and sustained, stout uphill bits.
- The suspension design did take a little getting used to. I didn't feel that the rear wheel felt as lively when popping off stuff, but tracks to the ground really well. You learn how to pop, but does seem to have a different feel than some other bikes. By the end of the weekend, I was thoroughly impressed how it ate up chunder and could send it off ledges and doubles.
What I didn't like about this bike:
- Pedal strikes galore. I would love to see what this looks like in the X-LOW setting as I was scraping left and right even in the LOW setting. Granted, I was riding in technical terrain that is the land of pedal strikes, but one thing that would worry me about this bike.
- If compared to other bikes with similar travel, probably going to be heavier than them. But lets be real, if thats a concern, this bike isn't for you as its a trail smashing mid-travel monster.
Overall, if you're looking for a mid travel, aggressive trail bike, this is going to be right up your alley. This can handle pedaling up to your favorite DH trail and just rail on down! If you have any questions on the bike or would like help building out a custom build, feel free to reach me at my direct line 801.204.4547 or my email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Wow. Just wow. I've always wanted an Evil, and when they announced they were doing a 5 inch travel 27.5 wheeled bike, I didn't even need to wait for reviews, I was in.
I've taken this bike on a variety different trails, from local stuff up here in Salt Lake City and down in south Utah riding the Bar M and Mag 7 trail systems. The bike ate it all up and asked for more. It really demands to be pushed harder, and rides really like a downhill bike with less travel, a combination of the super slack head angle and low bottom bracket. I felt like I didn't have to be as careful as I needed to be about line choice, since it was so easy to move the bike if my sub par handling skills picked the wrong line.
It also wants to jump, wants to get airborne. The rear end is a good balance of lively and stable, and it's incredibly easy to get the rear end of the bike unweighted transferring corner to corner or setting up for a double or drop.
Climbing is as good as I expected it to be. I think other bikes in this category climb just a bit better, but this guy is no slouch. At 28.8 pounds with pedals, it is a bit on the portly side with the build I have done, but it really doesn't feel like it out on the trail. The steep seat angle puts you at a good position over the front end of the bike, and I didn't find the front end lifting or wandering at all. Efficiency was good, but I did find myself switching the (extremely good) Super Deluxe rear shock into the climb mode for longer fire road slogs.
Bottom line is, this bike is for the person who is not chasing seconds. It is the bike for someone who loves riding, and is out there to have fun, get rowdy, and find playful side elements that would otherwise be overlooked. I love it and look forward to riding it every day.