Evil The Following review

Rewriting the rules on hardcore trail bike speed

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £4,799.00 RRP | USD $4,999.00

Our review

Super-efficient pedalling, adjustable geometry and ultra controlled, speed-breeding sus make The Following a hardcore game changer – and we don't use that term lightly
Buy if, You want a truly radical, benchmark-resetting 29er
Pros: Superb speed-boosting suspension, super stif, razor-sharp handling
Cons: When we find some, we'll let you know
Skip to view product specifications

Gravity bike specialist Evil freely admits it never thought it would make a short travel 29er. But then, this is no ordinary 120mm travel wagon wheeler.

Advertisement

With its slabs of carbon swingarm, Monarch shock buried in the belly of its low, long front, short rear stance and a 30 percent recommendation on the built-in sag meter, the Following looks like a totally gravity focused machine. The Dave Weagle designed DELTA linkage doesn’t just let you adjust ride height (the super sized headset allows an adjustable angle headset option too), it also creates carefully calculated shock velocity and spring rate changes through the mid and end stroke.

Short, feels long

The result is a rock-solid, race-tuned rear end that’s certainly not configured for comfort but converts 121mm of travel into an implausible amount of impact-ignorant speed. Crucially, wherever you are in the travel, feedback is razor sharp and control and ground connection absolute, so you can snap sprint towards the next corner or take off wherever you’ve got crank clearance.

1447862625588-t1r0hurwx64u-1000-90-0fdeb1e
The weagle-designed delta linkage wrings far more than it should out of 121mm travel:

The Weagle-designed DELTA linkage wrings far more than it should out of 121mm travel

The frame is also extremely stiff and teamed with the 35mm diameter bar and stem, and high traction Maxxis tyres you’ll discover you’re able to hook ridiculously aggressive lines and slingshot out of berms in a way that’ll have you recalibrating what’s possible after every bar-end-scraping corner.

Jaw-dropping punch

Given the outrageous amounts of ground-hugging grip we had ripping round a corner into the bottom of our first climb we thought it would die on its arse within a few soggy pedal strokes. What actually happened was genuinely hardtail levels of power application and punch that dropped our jaws as far as it dropped the riders behind us.

Even when grunting up crux moves, straining as hard on the bars as the pedals, we could leave the shock fully open, and the traction and momentum it carried up random slab climbs or loose babyheads was outrageous.

1447862625624-1ed1xrwrayzzg-1000-90-7c69d26
Grip levels are borderline outrageous

Traction levels are borderline outrageous

Despite the bulky frame sections and chunky kit choices it’s also relatively light so it accelerates as well as most 27.5in bikes and, with a short back end, it flicks and flares like a smaller wheeled bike too. Keep it on the ground though and it carves and carries speed like only a super-stiff, super-low 29er can – just even more so.

Evil has done something amazing with The Following. It’s harnessed all the stability, grip and momentum-multiplying effect of 29er wheels in a rock-solid frame, then added speed-amplifying suspension and radical, riot-inciting geometry to create one of the most ferociously fast and outrageously fun bikes we’ve ever ridden.

Advertisement

BikeRadar‘s Josh Patterson currently has another of these on long-term test and is battering it all over Colorado. We will update and expand this review once he’s done.

Product Specifications

Product

Name The Following
Brand Evil Bikes

Available Sizes S M L XL
Rear Tyre Maxxis Ardent 29 x 2.25 Tubeless ready EXO
Wheelbase (in) 45.63
Top Tube (in) 24.68
Standover Height (in) 27.98
Seat Tube (in) 18.5
Chainstays (in) 16.93
Bottom Bracket Height (in) 13.14
Spoke Type RaceFace
Stem RaceFace Turbine Basic 35, 50mm
Shifters Sram X1 trigger 11 speed
Seatpost Rock Shock Reverb Stealth Connect dropper post
Seat Angle 73.2
Saddle WTB Silverado Team W165-2398
Rims RaceFace
Rear Shock Rock Shox Monarch RT3 Debonair High Volume
Bottom Bracket Press Fit BB92, included with crankset
Rear Hub RaceFace
Rear Derailleur Sram X1 11 speed
Headset Type FSA Orbit
Head Angle 68.7
Handlebar RaceFace Turbine 35, 20 mm rise, black, 760 mm width
Grips/Tape Evil lock-on
Front Tyre Maxxis High Roller II 29 x 2.30 Tubeless ready EXO
Front Hub RaceFace
Frame Material EVIL FOLLOWING
Fork Rock Shox Pike RCT3 29"
Cranks Race Face Turbine Cinch Single, 30T narrow wide, 10/11 speed, 175 mm
Chain Sram PC-X1 11 speed
Cassette Sram XG-1180 10-42T 11 speed
Brakes Avid Guide R hydraulic brake
Frame size tested L