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The Devil is in the details.
Evil Bikes certainly turned the mountain bike world on its head when it released the original Following in 2015. In those days bikes that wore 29in wheels mostly had steep angles and were designed for riders that were more concerned about staying in a target heartrate zone than having an absolute riot on the trail. Evil knew they could craft a 29er that took all the great attributes of 29in wheels while being just as playful and hard-charging as the 140-170mm 27.5in bikes that ruled the roost, and old opinions of 29ers were thrown out the window after taking the bike for a spin. The Following MB GX Eagle Complete Mountain Bike, dubbed More Better'er, is improved in ways that make the bike even more versatile and ensures it remains the trail bike that everyone wants to ride. Adding SRAM's excellent GX group spawns a bike that is ready to take on any trail at a price that saves money for trips and shuttles.
Big wheels rollover rough terrain much easier and carry more speed with added traction. The larger wheels smooth out the trail allowing for a slight reduction in suspension travel making the ride efficient and snappy without having to lumber around and extra 2-3in of travel. Riders who wanted a fun bike up and down the mountain found their match. The low, slack, and aggressive Following won over many journalist and bike reviews and is perhaps one of the most universally loved trail bikes of all time. Two years can be an eternity in mountain bike development, and while other manufactures are still playing catch up, Evil only needed subtle changes to make this great frame even better.
Updating to Boost 12x148mm dropout spacing came as no surprise and allows the extra clearance needed for the plus tires while increasing frame and wheel stiffness. Other changes include the move to a threaded 73mm BB shell—which we welcome for ease of installation and maintenance—an excellent integrated upper chainguide, a trunnion-mounted metric rear shock configuration with piggyback clearance, and longer reach across all sizes. For all those changes, the hallmark of the Following remains the 4.7in of DELTA governed travel. The suspension kinematics allow for an incredibly playful and fun bike to ride. The reduction in travel relative to other trail bikes is refreshing as lines have to be picked a little more carefully and rider finesse is needed. Make no mistake, the Following wants to haul ass and draw you in to its evil intentions, but it also won't do the work for you. If you still need a bruiser of a bike and fancy DELTA suspension with big wheels, take a look at the Wreckoning.
The Calling gave us proper foreshadowing that Evil was making the move to metric shock sizing and trunnion upper mounting. We're happy to see it here on the new Following and are very impressed with the set-up and ride quality of the Rock Shox Super Deluxe RC3 rear shock. We feel the frame clearance for this new shock—which also includes piggybacks and coils—might be the single greatest reason to trade in your older Following for a new one. The Super Deluxe handles trail chatter better than the old Monarch and feels much smoother in initiating its travel off the top thanks to the bearing mounted upper trunnion. The Super Deluxe stays more composed in rougher terrain and on longer descents, and it better matches the conditions Following riders are likely to subject the bike. Hell, even the Super Deluxe name is more appropriate for an Evil, pairing neatly with the tongue-in-cheek hyperbole of More Better'r.
Evil's decision to offer two-wheel size options with the new Following will be welcome to some riders. With 29in wheels, you can go up to 2.4in tires, and with 27.5+ wheels, 2.8in tires will now clear the frame. Most folks will probably stick to the 29in wheels, which is how we're equipping this GX Eagle build, but in the right conditions, 27.5+ tires offer great benefits. If you do plan to try 27.5+, you're best off with the longer axle-to-crown distance on a 130 or 140mm fork and keeping the frame in the higher flip-chip setting or you will end up with a bike with a very low bottom bracket.
Evil felt confident enough to leave the geometry mostly unchanged with the exception of adding roughly 20mm of reach across all sizes. If you are coming off an OG version, you are most likely looking to go for the same size and maybe shorten the stem 10-20mm. This will increase wheelbase slightly but the net effect is a bike that rallies through hub-high rock gardens and mobs down rotor searing descents without flinching. It's not like many riders had much to complain about with the geometry on the first version, so Evil didn't want to deviate too much from a good thing. The well-balanced—albeit evil—soul is very alive (or is it undead?) and well.
If we had to nitpick about the first version of the Following, it feels like it's given up a little to the other bikes in its category in regards to lateral stiffness. Much like what engineers seek in a MotoGP race bike, Evil claims that they built a little flex into the old Following to increase traction and cornering compliance. Most riders didn't have issues with it and for most, that flex was perhaps key to why the Following has such amazing ride qualities. As harder charging riders started enjoying the taste of the 29er Kool-Aid, the bike was getting ridden more aggressively. Boost spacing on both ends helps stiffen things up and brings back the snap that riders coming off of 27.5in wheels will enjoy.
If you are already a Following owner or are in the market for a new ride, the new Following won't disappoint. The original Following provides a great foundation and subtle changes create a frame that is one of the most versatile and fun bikes we have come across in ages. The GX Eagle provides all the gear you need for all-day epics and brings the bike in at a price point so you can take the bike on multiple trips to faraway places and see just how evil you can get.
- Evil's most versatile, playful trail bike updated
- 5in of efficient and plush DELTA suspension
- Longer reach keeps bike stable at speed
- Flip chips adjust the geometry to your riding style
- Sag meter helps dial in ride height
- Toray carbon frame is lightweight and durable
- Spec'd with our in-house build of SRAM GX Eagle
- Evil Bikes brings the party and you're invited
- Item #EVB000B
- Q & A
It's A Ripper
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
The Following MB was the first Evil bike I've ever ridden, and it lived up the expectations. I was pretty surprised at how well the it climbed. I am awful at climbing, but the MB felt supportive and just powered up climbs. Being an Evil, though, this bike is in its element going down. It feels like it has a lot more than just 120mm of travel at the back as it just eats up chunky rock gardens and square edge hits. Also, the suspension is super lively. With the slight in put of preload, this thing pops off of anything. The Following MB is one of, if the most playful bike I've ridden. If your go to trails consist of anything short of an EWS stage (although it could probably get down those fine as well), then the Following MB will be the perfect bike.
Aggressive 29" Shred Rig
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
The Following is back! I'm 5'11" and have a 32" inseam - the demo I rode was a medium, but made me realize that even with the MB (more better)'s increased reach, I would absolutely go to the large. I'm currently riding a SB5.5 as my daily driver bike so much of this review is having it compared to that (I know its not a direct apples to apples comparison, but also a 29'er, just a bit more travel than the Evil Following). I rode this on a XC style ride putting some serious miles, in some full on shuttle DH laps, and a few rides of between the two.
What I liked About the Bike:
- I will say that Evil Bike's DELTA suspension takes a bit of getting used to. I'm coming off Yeti's Switch Infinity & DW Link bikes that are a touch more lively feeling. This is feels more like a DH bike and I'd imagine what a downhiller's trail bike would want to look like. It grows on you though, by the end I wanted more and more and was sad to return the demo back after the greater part of a week of riding.
- The climbing of the Following is decent. I wouldn't say its the most efficient bike out there, but I will say that the climbing is good enough for the downhill capability that this has.
- Going back into the DH capability - for 120mm of travel in the rear, this rig rides fantastic. While its definitely not going to ride as well as well as a full on downhill bike, it certainly can keep up as the runt of the litter. It'll eat up bumps and rock gardens (I was thankful for the 29" wheels on this) and rips on mid size jumps.
- I like the integrated chain guide, slick to have on the bike.
- The components were on point - this is how I'd like my own bike to be spec'd. GX Eagle really is one of the best bang for your buck drivetrains out there right now - just felt crisp and on point. The Reverb felt great, especially with the 1x lever on it. Sram Roam 50 Carbon wheels were solid - no flex as can happen with aluminum 29'er wheels and seemed burly enough for getting rowdy. I rode this with a 130mm fork and think that's what I'd do if I were to build up a Following MB from the frame up myself. I have never been a fan of Schwalbes due to slashing sidewalls & puncturing tires and lo and behold I managed to puncture both the front and tire - at least Schwalbe is consistent, right? I'd say throw on some Maxxis Minions and have no fears.
What I didn't like:
- It does take a bit of getting used to. I didn't hop on and immediately love it, which I feel like a lot of Evil Bike owners do.. I grew to love it for sure, but takes a bit of a learning curve I suppose.
- I don't think the suspension sag set tool works as well as it should. I had to fiddle with the air pressure a few times to get it actually dialed.
- Emphasizing my dislike for the the Schwalbe tires - the Nobby Nic is a trail tire (and I was excited to try out the new Addix tire compound) and it did not live up to my expectation. Luckily, I'd be happy to help out swap out the tires for you before we even ship the bike out to you!
If you are wondering if this is the bike for you, are looking to swap any components out, or interested in placing an order, don't hesitate giving a shout and I'd be stoked to get you on an Evil of your own! My direct line is 801.204.4547 or you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
More Better'er? Yes Please!
I was fortunate enough to log some demo miles on this bike, 53.4 Miles, 8057 Feet of climbing and descending over the course of a couple of rides on very familiar terrain. This bike absolutely rips! EVIL has geometry numbers dialed when it comes to making fun, playful, confident bikes and the Following MB is no different. The GX eagle felt exactly like the XO1 eagle on my personal bike. In a blind test, I am confident I could not tell a difference. The suspension components are excellent performers and the new SRAM wheels spin up nice and quick and can take a beating. The following pedals and descends quite nicely, making this a well-rounded performer. Handling is at the top of the game. My only quibble is with the way it handles consecutive square edge bumps. Only certain areas will even have them and in my entire time on this bike, only one short section really magnified the performance, but things felt a little harsh at one point. Nothing that would deter me from the bike, but just a thought if your regular trails are littered with nasty consecutive square edge hits.
Are the Roam 50 wheels carbon?
Yes they are
I am really interested in this new following MB. I have nowhere around me where I can even sit on one. What size frame would you reccomend for me? 5'10 33in inseem
Medium, all the way!