Long,slack, and radical. POLE Bicycles are taking the MTB media by storm – infiltrating social media streams with their supersized geometry. During the Tweedlove International enduro race in the Scottish Borders, we caught up with Leo Kokkonen, the main man behind POLE Bicycles, to find out how he sets up his personal EVOLINK 140.
The POLE EVOLINK 140
The EVOLINK 140 is POLE’s hard hitting 29er Enduro machine. With a 64.5-degree head angle and a monstrous 1314mm wheelbase in size large, the EVOLINK is truly a “radical” bike. It features 140mm of rear wheel travel and is designed around a 150/160mm fork. The EVOLINK 140 is the result of Leo’s quest to design the fastest and most stable all-rounder in the world.
Leo Kokkonen’s personal bike setup
Leo’s POLE EVOLINK 140 Suspension Setup
Upfront Leo is running a FOX Factory 36, with 80psi and stock number (1 x 7.6cc) of tokens for his 76kg body weight, however, he has added an additional blue (7.6cc) token for the steeper valley trails. The shock is a FOX X2, tuned specifically for his bike and running 160psi with minimal low-speed compression. Leo will change the low and high-speed compression settings on his shock by a couple clicks depending on the trails he is riding.
POLE EVOLINK 140 Tyre Pressure and Choice
On the front Leo chooses to run a WTB Vigilante, set at 1.5 Bar (21.7 Psi), but surprisingly he has opted to run a fast rolling Maxxis Minion SS set at 1.7 Bar (24.5 Psi) in the muddy Scottish conditions. However, Leo says he is not picky about tyres because the POLE geometry lets you make the most of any tyre choice/combination, and finishing 11th in his category he was certainly not struggling. Leo is rolling on DRC rims with a 30mm internal width laced to SRAM hubs by 32 bladed spokes and is running Huck Norris puncture prevention system in both wheels.
POLE EVOLINK 140 Cockpit setup
Leo is running an Easton Havoc bar cut down to 780 mm, blending powerful steering leverage and the ability to keep it pinned through tight trees without worrying about bar strikes. He changes his stack height by 5mm depending on the steepness of the trails he is riding. Leo is running SRAM’s Guide RSC with 200 mm rotors front and back.
To make the most of the super low standover of the EVOLINK 140, Leo is running a 150 mm travel FOX Transfer post with an external actuator, for ultimate maneuverability when the trails get steep.
Leo runs his saddle as far forward as possible, and with the nose pointed down. He says this helps him weight the front wheel on steep climbs and helps to improve his pedaling position. Leo has a Speed Sleev storage pouch under his saddle, which allows him to carry a tube, CO2, a mech hanger, and spoke wrench on the bike. Shifting is taken care of by SRAM, Leo uses an 11-speed SRAM XX shifter and cassette, preferring the sharper shifting and adjustable shifter angle of the XX shifer, while using a XO1 derallieur for longevity.
We will have a full interview with Leo very soon; if you want to know more about what it’s like to live with a radical geometry bike, you should read part 1 of the #thegeometryaffair where one of our editors has ‘gone long’ for the season.
PS: Readers' Survey 2017 - Give feedback, win awesome prizes: We're giving away an exclusive Trek Slash 2018 in top spec! Click here to take part now!
Words: Finlay Anderson, Trev Worsey Photos: Trev Worsey