Not quite the stone to kill two birds that I first though it would be
140mm 29er Evil the Offering addresses past issues, and also adds more reach to each frame size so you no longer need to upsize to get a good fit.
Evil The Offering need to know
- Evil’s new 29er trail bike with 140mm travel, puts it bang in between the brand’s Evil The Following and Evil The Wreckoning.
- Longer reach numbers and a steeper seat tube angle improves the seated climbing position, and the Offering’s also has increased tyre clearance.
- Available as a frame only, or two complete builds, starting at £5,500 for the GX Eagle S version.
- US-made, Push ELEVENSIX, coil shock as tested here is an eye-watering £1,000 upgrade.
- £2,850.00 (frame only)
Evil The Offering: first ride review
As a bike tester with tons of options, I’ve ended up riding Evils way more than any other brand in the last few years, as I just have so much fun on them.
That’s primarily because Evil’s low-slung Delta-Link frames handle exceptionally well, especially through corners, and I’ve ridden and raced countless happy miles on both the 120mm Following and 160mm Wreckoning, both of which are 29ers.
Outside of ripping the best bits of trail, neither bike is perfect though. There are serious niggles with tyre and chain clearance, and the seat tube is too laidback on both models to make them comfortable, efficient climbers. The 140mm Offering addresses all three issues.
With its upright 77° seat angle, the stiff UD carbon chassis still shares Evil’s distinctive swoopy lines and Dave Weagle’s Delta suspension, where a Trunnion mount shock and Boost 148mm dropouts bring it bang up-to-date. Other nice touches include a small drain hole under the lower shock mount to stop crud and water collecting. All these changes are logical and welcome; especially the more ergonomic seated climbing position.
Compared to some modern 29ers, the Offering still isn’t super long, or even super slack, but snappier steering and a more chuck-able vibe has always been a big part of Evil’s charm. This 140mm model retains that familiar, close-to-the-ground engaging ride quality, and corners like stink, with a high fun-factor.
On the stock SRAM GX Eagle build sent for test, a few components weren’t doing it for me: most significantly the 140mm RockShox Pike fork that made the bike ride too low at the front in the steeps, pitching rider weight forward. Evil agree, as all completes now ship with a 150mm fork.
In terms of outright performance, the lower-tier Guide R brakes and Pike fork weren’t my first choice either, so my ‘custom edition’ was born, with a 160mm Lyrik RC2 fork with shorter offset, SRAM Code RSC brakes, a 25mm Pacenti bar/stem combo and higher volume WT Maxxis tyres mounted to some Traverse SL carbon wheels. Also bolted on was the (whopping) £1,000 upgrade Push 11-6 coil-sprung damper. The blue machine was then looking the business, and like the bike I’d be riding for the foreseeable.
Our love affair didn’t quite pan out though. The new seat angle’s way better and the Offering’s got real trail pace, but, even with the coil shock, the rear end feels less fluid in the midstroke, and has less outright grip, tracking and stability compared with the Wreckoning I tested with a Cane Creek DB CS Coil shock. It’s hard to say if this is a consequence of having 20mm less travel, or just the slightly different progression rate of the linkage.
Compared to the Following and Wreckoning, the Offering geometry and suspension feels less well synchronised, and (especially with the stock RockShox Super Deluxe shock) there’s extra feedback and chop through the rear end and up through the frame. With less of Evil signature ‘hoverboard’ isolating effect to float across the bumps, there’s also a slightly sharper, harder feel from the shock trouncing across repeated rocks and bigger hits.
Push’s well-damped shock feels superior to the stock RockShox unit, but on demanding rough, greasy terrain, the Offering still feels less glued to the trail than bikes like the Yeti SB130. As such I was forever tweaking the £1,000 11-6 shock looking for answers, and while I found the control I craved, I never achieved the compliance I was after.
For the high ticket price, the stiff carbon chassis looks gorgeous, steers precisely and has an excellent riding position. And in the X-Low geometry setting this bike really slices through corners. There’s heaps of attitude too, so it’s easy to flick bike around on the trail or get your wheels in the air by pumping and driving the bike through your feet.
Maybe I expected too much from a bike that sounded like the dream ticket, but I’m still happier with my earlier Evil love affairs; dealing with the niggles on the grin-inducing, lightning-quick Following for trail riding, and the playful, can’t-believe-it’s-160mm, wrecking ball Wreckoning for smashing bigger terrain.
Hopefully both these bikes will get the same frame refinements and seat angle tweak as the Offering soon, as I’ll be banging on Evil’s door to hustle a test if such machines appear because the Offering wasn’t the stone to kill two birds that it first though it would be.