Long Term Test | First Look: Bionicon Edison EVO
In a world that’s changing ever more rapidly, it’s not surprising that certain people often tend to shy away from innovation, sticking to the tried, tested and proven methods. New developments (and their side effects) cause these people to worry. But a receptive and open attitude towards progress is frequently rewarded with an improvement to – rather than disruption of – the status quo, and the new Edison EVO designed by the guys from Bionicon is a true embodiment of this!
Characterised by heaps of innovation and enhancements, the Bionicon Edison EVO is kitted out with their own Bionicon System, an ingenious concept that adjusts the geometry and kinematics of the bike to render it either downhill or uphill-specific at the touch of a button.
A small and almost invisible bar-mounted remote lever is responsible for altering the geometry when riding, limiting the travel of the forks and adjusting the rear shock. These changes cause you to shift your riding position slightly forward and steepen the head angle, giving you significant gains on the climbs – but it does take some getting used to. Pedal strokes are more efficient and the front end is kept firmly on the ground given the shift in weight to the front.
Infinitely adjustable, the system can be activated and set at any time. As soon as you’ve summited, just touch the remote lever again and shift a little towards the rear. The 160mm-travel in the forks and the rear shock is once more free for you to thrash along the trails.
With distinctly downhill-orientated geometry, the Bionicon and its slack head angle of 65.5° and steep seat angle of 69.5° feels skilfully familiar, instilling confidence to push the bike hard. Bionicon opted for sleek black X-Fusion suspension on the new Edison Evo, comprised of the new X-Fusion Vector shock and the X-Fusion Metric forks, with adjustment for both rebound and high-speed and low-speed compression. The stylish suspension pairs well with the vivid pillar-box red and neon yellow frame design, creating an eye-catching model. The bike also comes with 27.5“ DT Swiss E1700 Spline TWO wheels and is now available with 160mm-travel Single Crown forks.
Elsewhere in terms of spec, the list is an interesting read as the SRAM X01 groupset takes care of the drivetrain, chain, cranks, shifters and cassette. Attached directly to the cranks is Bionicon’s own development, the B-Ring OVAL 30-tooth chainring. With its oval shape, the rider should benefit as it eliminates dead spots. According to Bionicon, the advantage is optimised power output and a more efficient pedal stroke.
The cockpit boasts a similar high spec, including Answer Pro Tape bars measuring 780mm and the Answer ATAC A ME stem. With 180mm discs on the front and back, SRAM GUIDE RSC brakes with free stroke adjust give you more than enough braking power with your hands snugly placed on the Ergon GA1 grips. The saddle come courtesy of Ergon too, opting for the SM30 with the infinitely adjustable Kindshock LEV Integra seatpost. Last but not least, the SRAM chain is kept on the straight and narrow with the Bionicon c-guide ECO chainguide.
We checked out the top of the range Spec0 version of the Bionicon Edison EVO, which retails at 3,850 €, while the Spec1 starts at 2,999 €. Then there’s the 180mm-travel model that comes with the renowned dual crown Bionicon Double Agent G2 forks as well as the so-called ‘NBS’-christened (Non Bionicon System) 27.5“ model that waves goodbye to the travel adjustment Bionicon System and says hello to 160mm of Rockshox suspension including the Rockshox Plus RC3 and Rockshox Pike RC forks.
Andreas Steinicke heads the Essen-based Tri Berg Agentur, a specialist travel agency focused on organizing and running bike trips in and outside of Germany to trail-rich destinations such as Italy, France, Portugal, Norway, Switzerland and Austria. In addition, he also runs the bike apparel company Mount Three, which creates distinctive and high quality jerseys for enduro and downhill riders.
As Andreas accompanies almost all of the trips, the Edison EVO is set to roll along some of Europe’s best trails to add up its mileage. Its destinations this year will include:
- The Rabenberg trail centre in Beeitenbrunn
- The Trail Trophy Harz
- A bike trip to Saabach-Hinterglemm with a visit to the Leogang and Serfaus bike parks.
- Competing in the Megavalanche 2015 in Alpes D’Huez
- An enduro road trip to Scotland
- Yet another trip to Nauders in South Tyrol
- A bike road trip to Andorra to the UCI Downhill World Championships
- An enduro road trip around Switzerland to Lenzerheide, Flimms/Laax, Wallis and Chatel
- An end of season camp in Finale Ligure to round off the year.
As always, follow the Bionicon Edison EVO’s progress on our interactive long-term timeline to keep in the loop with its performance, any alterations, signs of wear and tear, fine-tuning and to be regaled with stories of Andreas’s adventures. Regular visits are definitely worth it!
Words: Andreas Steinicke Pictures: Christoph Bayer