Visions require a belief in the future. In a little village at the foot of the Alps, there’s a company with big plans and visions — we are talking about Bionicon.

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The terrain in front of the door in upper Bavaria is extreme in many ways. The steep gradients present riders and their equipment with big challenges when finding a balance between climbing and descending performance.

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The team at Bionicon had their original idea of a new type of geometry adjustment twelve years ago. It aims to allow riders to climb and descend in a more relaxed way. This system, based on air-exchange between the fork and shock, is what still distinguishes the company today and is what Bionicon means to continue developing in the future. In spite of many difficulties in the past, the whole team believes in this vision, which has formed the look and ride of the bikes since day one.

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After a tour of the factory and a look at the production of the suspension forks, which takes place completely in house, an after-lunch ride of the brand-new Bionicon Edison EVO was on the agenda. The first Bionicon full-suss bike with a single-crown fork should present the next big step in the company’s history. The completely new design, modern geometry, and already familiar and proven geometry adjustment of the suspension chassis should set new standards.

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But before we even started, we stood before a fundamental decision — the heavens had opened and the continual downpour wasn’t likely to change. After a quick check of the weather radar, it was clear that no improvement was on the horizon. What to do? Pack up and head home, or rain gear on and onto the bike? We all agreed on the answer, saddled up, and set off for the mountain refuge at Neureuth where a hearty snack awaited us.

“Hardly a soul finds their way into the woods when it’s foggy and wet, yet this is when the atmosphere is so special."
“Hardly a soul finds their way into the woods when it’s foggy and wet, yet this is when the atmosphere is so special.”

“Phew, it’s really steep in Tegernsee,“ were my first thoughts after just a few metres aboard the new large Edison EVO, which I had chosen for my 180cm height.

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While I began climbing, my thumb already wandered towards the geometry adjust button right at the start of the ride. Pressing it adjusts the geometry and suspension to suit the uphill gradient. The X-Fusion fork is infinitely adjustable; at the same time, a small piston extends at the rear, preventing the bottom bracket height from dropping and moving the rocker arm to a flatter position. The changed pivot point of the rear end creates a much firmer action for an almost bob-free rear suspension. For my personal taste, the completely dropped fork was clearly too much and I had the feeling of riding into the gradient rather than riding up it. The guys at Bionicon re-assured me that I would get used to this feeling quickly.

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I still opted to use the system in a mid-position, and even so the bike climbed efficiently and willingly without drivetrain-induced suspension action. With a weight of 14.2kg, you definitely won’t win the climbing category, but you will reach the top comfortably. After warming up with a hot chocolate and re-fuelling with some hearty local sausage, we ventured back out into the rain to start the muddy, extremely slippery descent.
Holding down the handlebar button whilst shifting weight back, the extra piston retracts and the fork returns to full travel. The bike then has a slacker 65.5° head angle and the rear suspension is much plusher, filtering out even the smallest of bumps.

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Even after just a few metres, the 160mm travel bike gives plenty of confidence — the linear rear end with the Magura-TS-RC shock gives full travel, and the bike feels remarkably solid on the trail. The X-Fusion Metric fork with the Bionicon-designed air spring, which allows the spring progression to be adjusted, is also convincing. It sensitively absorbs every impact from the wet roots and still remains pleasantly high in the travel. Only during light braking did we wish for a bit more low-speed compression, as it gave away too much.

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Hairpin corner, short straight, hairpin corner — the mid-part of the trail weaves down towards the valley before opening up with multiple high-speed sections, leaving a big grin on our faces underneath the mud. Even less-than-perfectly white teeth are glowing among the dirt.

Whatever the terrain throws your way, with the Edison EVO you can master any situation with composure. The handling can be described as stable yet agile, but to use the term ‘playful’ would be out of place. Still, you can tackle tight trail sections without too much rider effort.

We can’t say too much to the specification, as our test bike didn’t have the final production parts. But for a price of € 3,500 it is beyond any doubts: powerful SRAM Guide brakes, precise SRAM X01 1×11 drivetrain, and high quality DT Swiss won’t just be good on paper.

When ordering the customer is spoilt for choice: 160mm or 180mm of travel, and 26″ or 27.5″ wheels are all on offer. Our tip: the 27.5″ version with 160mm of travel and the X-Fusion Metric fork.

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Visions can become reality — Bionicon is back! After the frame designs and suspension parts had gotten a little long in the tooth, the new Edison EVO convinced us across the board after one descent. Its good-natured handling and comfortable position will make it a trusty companion for all Alpine adventures.

Weight: 14,2 kg | Price: 3.699,- Euro


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Good Looker: The new Edison EVO got a new tube set from Bionicon and has a much sleeker design. Whilst the engineering is naturally done in Upper Bavaria, the frames are made in Taiwan as is common in the bike industry.

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Re-worked: The geometry adjustment button has been re-worked and is now much slimmer and smaller. With a 1×11 drivetrain it can be fitted on the left side of the bars with the dropper post remote lever.

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Customized: In order to make 80mm of travel adjustment possible, the X-Fusion fork has been fitted with a Bionicon air cartridge. This has two air chambers which allow the rider to adjust the fork progression to their preferences.

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The Heart: At the centre of the Bionicon Systems is the adapter, which is mounted in-line with the rear shock. It allows the geometry and the responsiveness of the rear suspension to be adjusted on the fly.

Words & Photos: Christoph Bayer

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