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Verdict: 
Beautiful riding fast endurance bike with disc brakes and wide tyres
Weight: 
9,000g
Enigma Evoke Disc
8 10

Enigma's Evoke is a classy endurance bike that will suit anyone wanting to ride in luxurious comfort on long rides with all the benefits that disc brakes offer. There's space for up to 32mm tyres and nice practical considerations like an external bottom bracket.

Enigma Evoke.jpg

Enigma Evoke.jpg

For 2018 the Evoke has been updated with 12mm thru-axles and flat mount disc brakes, requiring a new carbon fork and an all-new chainstay and dropout design.

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Ride and handling

The Evoke is billed as a 'fast endurance' bike by the titanium specialists, and that accurately sums up how it behaved on my local Cotswolds roads. There is the reassuring stability and relaxed handling that you expect from an endurance bike that makes it a delight when riding at a sociable pace, steady enough to hold a conversation and put the world to rights.

Enigma Evoke - riding 4.jpg

Enigma Evoke - riding 4.jpg

The geometry provides a neutral balance. The stack is 582mm and the reach is 382mm on the 56cm test bike, which is a little lower and shorter than a Cannondale Synapse of the same size, to provide a comparison. It's what we would expect for an endurance bike, and those numbers ensure a position is easily attainable that provides a bit less aggressiveness than a race bike.

Engima offers six stock sizes and four semi-custom sizes, and there's a bike sizing form on its website to help you choose the right size if you can't get to a nearby Enigma dealer to swing a leg over a bike.

Enigma Evoke - riding 3.jpg

Enigma Evoke - riding 3.jpg

There's no shortage of comfort for those steady rides, and it shrugs off all but the coarsest road surfaces I pointed it along. The ability to fit up to 32mm tyres is a bonus for anyone that wants the biggest volume between themselves and the rough road. I swapped to a set of 28mm slick tyres and there was no serious dent in the smoothness of the ride quality, but the extra clearance between rubber and frame/fork was useful on gritty roads.

So smooth is the Evoke, in fact, you might find yourself wondering why anybody bothers with carbon fibre.

Enigma Evoke - fork detail 2.jpg

Enigma Evoke - fork detail 2.jpg

Turn the wick up and the Evoke frameset has the stiffness to respond, but this is probably where you might wish you were on a carbon bike if riding hard and fast is high on your agenda. However, the Evoke is no slouch. The large profile downtube and 44mm headtube endow the bike with a very responsive character when opening up the taps. It's direct of steering with a lovely neutral stance when banking it into a turn, and there's no sense the frame isn't doing anything but transferring your input into forward motion. Flex, what there is of it, is difficult to detect unless you really, really, really look for it.

Read more: 14 of the best titanium bikes 

While the Evoke is sublime and fast of pace on flat and rolling terrain, the 9kg weight does make its presence felt on the steeper gradients. To put that weight into context, a similarly specced carbon endurance bike is typically in the 8.5kg region, so it's giving away a bit of an advantage to the carbon rivals but not as much as you might think.

Enigma Evoke - seat stays.jpg

Enigma Evoke - seat stays.jpg

Fortunately, Enigma thought to spec an 11-34t cassette and compact chainset with this Ultegra mechanical groupset so you at least have a fighting chance when the gradient ramps up. Out of the saddle, climbing finds the front-end stiffness to be a blessing and you can really lean on the bars as you wrestle it up steep ramps.

Frame and build

The Evoke is made from 3Al/2.5V double butted titanium, pretty much the same grade as most titanium frames on the market, but the way in which the Enigma is built shows real quality. The welds are extremely neat and the new decal finish gives this bike a real flourish. I like its appearance a lot, though I'm not really here to judge the aesthetic.

Enigma Evoke - rear disc brake.jpg

Enigma Evoke - rear disc brake.jpg

The tubing is classic round profile stuff which lends the Evoke a pleasingly traditional appearance in a world of fancy sculpted frames, and that's a large part of the appeal of titanium. Though the J.Ack I tested shows there's potential for adding curves to titanium if so desired. Engima has kept it simple, but oversized the frame in key places, such as the 44mm head tube and large downtube to deliver a high level of stiffness.

Enigma Evoke - top tube.jpg

Enigma Evoke - top tube.jpg

Enigma prefers external cable routing for structural reasons and that's fine with me, I don't mind the appearance of cables running outside the frame if it means servicing is an easier task. The cable routing is neat and there are barrel adjusters on the downtube stops, themselves elegant little stubs.

Enigma Evoke - head tube badge.jpg

Enigma Evoke - head tube badge.jpg

In accommodating disc brakes Engima has developed a new dropout and chainstay that not only looks pleasing to the easy, manages to do the tricky job of providing ample tyre, disc and heel clearance. It's a crowded area down there. The disc brakes are held in place with the now common flat mount standard and there's a 12mm thru-axle.

Enigma Evoke - fork.jpg

Enigma Evoke - fork.jpg

The counterpoint to all this lovely titanium workmanship is a full carbon fibre fork of the company's own design. Satisfyingly, for fans of clean lines, the brake hose pops into the top of the fork blade only to reemerge at the brake caliper.

Enigma Evoke - cable route.jpg

Enigma Evoke - cable route.jpg

Enigma will sell you an Evoke as a frame (£1,750) or frameset (£2,136.99) or as the complete bike you see here for £4,199. For that, you get a full Shimano Ultegra mechanical groupset with the aforementioned compact chainset and wide range 11-34t cassette and RS685 hydraulic brakes. It's a solid workhorse of a groupset and puts in a stellar performance; really it's hard to fault at all.

Enigma Evoke - bottom bracket.jpg

Enigma Evoke - bottom bracket.jpg

Mavic's Ksyrium Elite Disc is a new wheelset for 2017 and is loosely based on the regular Ksyrium Elite with a disc-compatible hub using Shimano's Centre Lock mounting system for attaching disc rotors. Weight is a respectable 1,670g and with 24 spokes per wheel they're a solidly dependable choice, tough enough to cope with off-road excursions and tackling potholed roads, which round my way amounts to the same thing sometimes.

Enigma Evoke - rear drop out.jpg

Enigma Evoke - rear drop out.jpg

The Enigma website lists the 25mm wide Mavic Yksion GripLink and PowerLink tyres that these wheels are sold with, but in order to see just how wide a tyre they could fit the test bike was supplied with 32mm wide Maxxis Re-Fuse tyres. Clearance was tight, but the tyres proved very tough and opened up dirt and gravel tracks, provided they were dry, but they seemed to deaden the ride a little. I swapped to a set of 28mm Zipp tyres and the ride improved, with more zip (sorry) injected into the ride and a nicer feeling on a majority or road surfaces.

For the handlebar, stem, saddle, seatpost and bar tape, it's all Enigma branded kit. And it's all decent and sensibly designed stuff, of a pleasing shape (especially the new saddle; it's very comfy) and understated looks that match the frame well. Only brand snobs might find a reason to complain but from a functional and comfort point of view, I can find no reason to criticise.

Enigma Evoke - riding 2.jpg

Enigma Evoke - riding 2.jpg

Conclusion

The Enigma Evoke is full of character, a wonderful blend of smoothness and crisp handling that rewards the rider that likes to mix it up with long rides and short punchy blasts. It's not cheap, but few titanium frames are, but you are getting a UK designed and finished frame packed full of attention and with great service, and I think it might just be one of the nicest looking bikes we've had through the office this year.

Verdict

Beautiful riding fast endurance bike with disc brakes and wide tyres

road.cc test report

Make and model: Enigma Evoke Disc

Size tested: 56cm

About the bike

State the frame and fork material and method of construction. List the components used to build up the bike.

Sharing the same front triangle as our Evade the Enigma Evoke 3AL 2.5V titanium road disc bike is designed as a fast endurance machine. Sporting a machined 44mm head tube that joins flawlessly to a 44mm down tube to enhance performance, the Evoke is further improved for 2018 with new 12mm thru-axle dropouts and flat-mounts disc brake mounting. Beautifully handcrafted and finished to an exceptional level the Evoke provides a super-smooth ride quality with real verve and vitality. Designed for wider rims and 28mm tyres the Evoke is a very modern machine that still manages to retain the classic Enigma lines.

Tell us what the bike is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?

Frame : 3al 2.5v Evoke

Frame finish : Hand Brushed

Logos : Glass Bead

Seat Collar : Alloy

Fork : C-Six RD-DSC Tapered Disc Fork - Bolt Thru

Headset : Enigma TK036a Tapered

Stem : Enigma Forged 3d

Handlebar : Enigma 6061 Compact

Saddle : Enigma Ellipse

Seatpost : Enigma Carbon 31.6

Rims : Mavic Kysrium Elite Disc - Thru Axle

Tyres and tubes : Tyres included above

Chainset : Shimano Ultegra FC-R8000 172.5mm 34/50t

BB : Shimano Ultegra BB-R60

STI : Shimano ST-RS685 Hydraulic

Brake levers : N/A

Rear mech : Shimano Ultegra RD-R8000GS

Brake calipers : Shimano BR-RS805 Flat Mount

Brake Rotors if applicable : Shimano SM-RT99 Ice Tech Freeza Centre-Lock 160 & 140

Cassette : Shimano Ultegra CS-HG800 11-34t

F Mech : Shimano Ultegra FD-R8000BL

Chain : Shimano CN-HG601

Tape : Enigma Embossed

Frame and fork

Overall rating for frame and fork
 
9/10

Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?

We've tested a few Enigma bikes and been impressed with the built quality and the Evoke is no different. Flawless

Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?

3Al/2.5V double butted titanium with a 44mm head tube and carbon fork

Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?

Classic endurance bike stuff, providing a shorter reach with a higher stack than a race bike for a more relaxed fit

How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?

The 56cm test bike fitted really well with just a change of stem length to suit my fit

Riding the bike

Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.

Pleasingly comfortable with 28 and 32mm tyres fitted

Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?

The oversized headtube and downtube gift the Evoke a high level of stiffness for more spirited riding

How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?

Very well indeed. Okay it's no snappy carbon race bike but it's not soft and flexy at all

Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so, was it a problem?

None

How would you describe the steering? Was it lively, neutral or unresponsive? Neutral and stable

Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?

I found it stable and balanced and there were no quirks to its handling

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?

I found a pair of 28mm tyres suited the bike better than the 32mm Maxxis Refuse tyres for mainly road-based riding

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?

I found all the components gelled together well

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's efficiency? would you recommend any changes?

None

Rate the bike for efficiency of power transfer:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for acceleration:
 
7/10
Rate the bike for sprinting:
 
7/10
Rate the bike for high speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for cruising speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for flat cornering:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for cornering on descents:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for climbing:
 
6/10

The drivetrain

Rate the drivetrain for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for value:
 
8/10

Wheels and tyres

Rate the wheels for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels for value:
 
8/10
Rate the tyres for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the tyres for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the tyres for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the tyres for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the tyres for value:
 
8/10

Controls

Rate the controls for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the controls for comfort:
 
9/10
Rate the controls for value:
 
8/10

Your summary

Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes

Would you consider buying the bike? Yes

Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes

Rate the bike overall for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the bike overall for value:
 
7/10

Use this box to explain your score

While the choice for disc-equipped titanium bikes is growing, it's still a small market, and Enigma has for over 10 years been producing beautifully designed and finished bikes. If you want a fast endurance bike the Evoke really lives up to its billing and is a cracking alternative to a carbon endurance bike.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 180cm  Weight: 67kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

11 comments

Avatar
dreamy [22 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes

Next competition prize on road.cc?

Avatar
Gasman Jim [217 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes

If only it had eyelets...

Avatar
iso2000 [88 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes

TIL, Shimano make a 11 - 34 cassette.

Avatar
seve88 [11 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes
Gasman Jim wrote:

If only it had eyelets...

The reviewer says it does have mudguard mounts.

Can the reviewer clarify this?

Avatar
TypeVertigo [427 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes

I was wondering about the fender/mudguard mounts myself.

No way that chainstay bridge is going to yield enough space to thread a bolt and nut for securing a rear fender's front edge to. It sits way too close to the rear tire.

Avatar
David Arthur @d... [859 posts] 9 months ago
1 like

seve88 wrote:
Gasman Jim wrote:

If only it had eyelets...

The reviewer says it does have mudguard mounts. Can the reviewer clarify this?

 

That was my mistake and shouldn't have made it through to the final copy. The Evoke doesn't have mudguard mounts. 

However, if you want mudguards, the brand new Evolve does have them. You can learn more about that model here http://www.enigmabikes.com/bikes/evolve/

Avatar
alan sherman [12 posts] 9 months ago
1 like

Enigma can weld on mudguard eyelets as an optional extra.  £70.

http://www.enigmabikes.com/repair-refurb/

he fork could be swapped for another too.  Possibly be limited to 25c tyres though to allow space.

Avatar
2trax [13 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes
alan sherman wrote:

Enigma can weld on mudguard eyelets as an optional extra.  £70.

http://www.enigmabikes.com/repair-refurb/

he fork could be swapped for another too.  Possibly be limited to 25c tyres though to allow space.

 

I ordered my evoke with a mudgard eyelet on the seat stay bridge, intending to attach a PDW full metal fender to the rear (they use a band round the seat tube to secure at the bottom).  But as others have noted, the rear triangle is pretty compact, and runing a mudguard which extends from the seat stays to the chain stays does limit tyre choice somewhat. In the end, I prefer having the clearance and so just use SKS raceguards instead...  

Avatar
torquerulesok [27 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes

9kg??

I suppose that's the price of progress: my 2012 Echo weighs 7.1kg with two bottle cages, two sets of bar tape (left over from a trip to the Koppenberg), pedals and a Garmin out front mount.

Avatar
Butty [262 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes

"So smooth is the Evoke, in fact, you might find yourself wondering why anybody bothers with carbon fibre."

Well Evoke do, as the forks are carbon for the very reason that they lead to a compliant ride.

Avatar
RW [19 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

Can anyone comment on how this rides compared with the Enigma Echo? I rode one of those a couple of years ago and loved it. Living in Brisbane I can't readily test an Evoke before dropping $4000 on the frameset.

I'm also curious about how the handling and acceleration compare with those of the Strael. Similar geometry - same angles, fork rake, CS length, BB drop and even the reach is within about 1mm at my required stem height.