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The Falath EVO is a newly introduced high-performance aero road bike frameset from Elves.
I have a pretty good grasp of Chinese carbon frames. After all, I ride one myself. So I want to share my thoughts on it.
After looking at the Falath EVO, I immediately thought this frame could become quite popular.
So in this article, I will try to evaluate it based on the information we know so far.
I will also put it in context with Chinese and Western carbon frames.
Let’s get into it.
Let’s take a look at EVO’s key features.
UCI Approval, ISO, and EN Safety Requirements
Many are still skeptical of Chinese frames because they are unsure of their quality. And I admit that you can still come across poor-quality frames.
However, this is not the case with Elves. All their frames meet the safety requirements of ISO 4210-6:2023 and EN 14766.
Earlier, I also interviewed the Elves Vanyar and Falath Pro owners, who are happy with them.
Additionally, Falath EVO is UCI approved. It meets the UCI technical requirements so you can use it in official UCI events.
The main point of discussion of this frame is certainly its aerodynamics. At first glance, it looks fast.
I want to highlight a few features. The first is the integrated cockpit, which seamlessly connects to the top tube.
You can use the handlebars with spacers to increase the stack. However, your riding position will be higher and probably less aero.
But the important thing is to have the position adjusted so that it is comfortable for you and you can stay in it for longer periods.
Next is the relatively small gap between the front wheel and the down tube. But the truth is that bikes like the Cannondale SystemSix or Cervélo S5 have it better addressed. See the following photos.
Of course, more elongated tubes (including fork, frame, and seat tube) are also simulating an aerofoil-like shape to reduce the coefficient of drag (CdA) or a reinforced bottom bracket area.
Finally, the rear-end and dropped seat stays are similar to, for example, the one we know from the Canyon Aeroad.
But all these features must affect weight because more material is used, right? Yes. The frame weighs 1105g in size 54 (XL).
For comparison, Canyon Aeroad CF SLX weighs 990g.
Elves Falath EVO has a massive tire clearance of up to 32mm tire clearance*, offering you greater versatility and a smoother ride.
*Cervelo S5 has up to 34mm tire clearance, Canyon Aeroad 30mm, Trek Madone SLR 28mm
But you shouldn’t forget that the frontal area increases with wider tires, and depending on the rim width, you get a worse tire-rim transition. These will probably result in the aerodynamic drag coefficient (CdA). You can watch this video for more information
Some aero bikes even use a combination of 25mm tires in the front and 28mm in the rear. Many of them still use only 25mm tires.
On the other hand, you will have much better riding comfort, as the larger tire volume helps absorb road vibrations.
So, the benefits of increased comfort and improved grip on challenging roads may outweigh any minor reductions in aerodynamics for some riders.
At first glance, the geometry of the Falath EVO seems aggressive, especially thanks to the slammed handlebar.
However, after comparing it to a few aero bikes, you can see that it’s not that aggressive. This should mean a more comfortable riding position that even less flexible and experienced riders can endure.
For geometry comparisons, I recommend using the bikeinsights.com tool.
Available Colors and Customizations
Although the range of colors is rich and Elves is known for its high-quality paint job, you can order a custom design for an extra cost.
As for integrated handlebars, I recommend combining the Falath EVO with the Falath EVO handlebars. Elves offer widths of 36, 38, 40, and 42 cm and stem lengths of 90, 100, 110, 120, and 130mm.
Elves Falath EVO vs. Chinese Alternatives
The three main branded Chinese alternatives to Falath EVO are Winspace T1500, ICAN A22, and YOELEO R12.
Falath EVO looks the fastest, but again, we don’t have any comparable data.
Price-wise, the EVO is the golden mean. The T1500 and R12 are more expensive alternatives, with the R12 not even being a pure aero frame. Although marketed as such, realistically, it’s more of an all-rounder.
The ICAN A22 is the most affordable, costing 2/3 of the Falath EVO while offering decent quality (source). However, it doesn’t look as aero optimized, and you get the narrower color offer.
I don’t consider non-branded frames for the reasons described in my article about the worth of Chinese carbon frames.
Elves Falath EVO Technical Specifications
- Frame: Aero (Toray T800+T1000), EPS molding technology
- Frame weight: 1005-1205g (depending on frame size)
- BB: Press fit PF30
- Tire clearance: 32mm
- Seatpost weight: 250g
- Fork weight: 415g
- UCI approved, meets EN 14766 and ISO 4210-6:2023
- Fully integrated cable routing
- Warranty: 5 years
Elves Falath EVO FAQ
The Elves Falath EVO looks promising. Except for the high-quality paint jobs Elves is known for, it also looks fast.
Unfortunately, Elves has not published any whitepaper providing detailed aero data. So we’ll have to wait for a comparison with competing frames.
But if you’re not exactly a marginal gains hunter, the EVO seems like an interesting alternative to western aero frames.
What do you think of the EVO? Would you consider buying one? If so, you can take advantage of an exclusive cyclistshub.com discount.