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Fast—it’s been the Epic’s calling card for more than a decade. And in that time, it's rocketed more World Champions, Olympians, and everyday racers to the podium than any bike in its class. Racing between the tape, however, isn’t the only way to worship at the altar of speed. Long, fast rides, marathon races over technical terrain—consider these the Epic EVO’s domain from now on.
Take a look around our office and you're going to see plenty Epics—most of them wearing dropper posts, wider tires and bars, and slightly longer forks. That's because the Epics that we're Frankensteining are not only fast off the start line, they're even better suited to masochistically long rides, multi-day stage races, and fast backcountry missions.
At some point, we looked around and said to ourselves, “We should offer this bike, right out of the box, right?” So we did.
This isn't to disparage today’s "standard" Epic, which upped the XC ante with a truly progressive geometry and a smoother, more responsive Brain shock. The Epic EVO, however, features the same efficient and lightweight chassis, albeit with some features for, well, bigger features. You're going to find a fork with 120mm of travel, a dropper post, wider bars, and meatier tires, so you'll get some much-needed control when you’re redlining it, or for when the dreaded bonk is on the horizon and nothing but steep, chunky bits of trail loom before you.
Can you race this thing? Absolutely. The EVO still tears a race course to ribbons, but it’s also perfectly equipped for high-speed, backcountry missions. Think of it as a more “epic” Epic.
Brain-equipped shocks give you more control and more speed. They do that by knowing the difference between your pedaling forces and terrain forces. In other words, the Inertia Valve inside the Brain keeps the Epic’s suspension firm when you’re pedaling over smooth terrain, and then it allows the suspension to become active the moment that things go from smooth to rough. And since last year, the Epic family has had our smartest Brain shock to date.
The reinvented Brain has been moved closer to the axle, which makes for suspension that's even more responsive. Next, we reengineered the oil porting and flow paths to provide more consistent damping and performance. And finally, we switched over to a bladder system and made the Inertia and Spike Valves mainstays on the new Brain. End result? The smoothest suspension out there is even smoother, and its firm setting is even firmer.