Five years have passed since Evil first launched the Following, a time period that's seen a dramatic shift in mountain bike geometry, along with the widespread acceptance of 29” wheels. That wasn't the case when this 120mm trail bike first came out – when it debuted the seemingly slack head angle and the fact that Evil was making a 29er caused heads to turn.
For 2020, the Following has received several updates, including a longer reach, steeper seat tube angle, internal cable routing, and 12 x 157mm SuperBoost spacing. Even with all those changes, the Following's intended use remains the same – it's a trail bike through and through, although there's room to alter its personality, whether that's by installing a Push ElevenSix coil shock, or going down the lighter, more XC-oriented route.
Evil Following Details
• Wheelsize: 29"
• Carbon frame
• Travel: 120mm (r) / 120 or 130mm fork
• 66.9 or 66.4-degree head angle (130mm fork) / 67.9 or 67.2-degrees (120mm fork)
• 430 or 432mm chainstays
• 12 x 157mm SuperBoost spacing
• Colors: protein powder, black
• Price: $5,799 - $7,399 USD
• Frame only: $3,099 USD
The frame with shock is priced at $3,099, with complete build kits beginning at $5,799 and going up to $7,399 USD. All models roll on Industry Nine's Enduro S wheels with Hydra hubs. Additional complete model options will be added later this spring, including a version with SRAM's wireless AXS components. Evil's online bike configuration tool allows riders to pick and choose various components to create their ideal spec. What's New?
The Following's frame shape has been given a nip here and a tuck there, and it has a cleaner, more angular look than before. The housing is all routed inside the frame, where internal guides help facilitate installation and prevent rattling. There's even an internal routing option for riders who want to run a remote lockout, along with housing entry ports for riders who run their brakes moto style
The first Following had 12 x 142mm rear spacing, the Following MB had 12x148mm spacing, and now version 3.0 has, you guessed it, 12 x 157mm spacing. Evil's reasoning for the change? “Go ahead, roll your eyes, it’s warranted—but we tested prototypes thoroughly. It is stiffer, it allowed us to rework our pivots, and it kept our chainstays at 430mm.” The dual-row, angular contact main pivot bearings are the same size as before, but the pivot hardware size has been increased to bump up the frame stiffness even further. There's enough clearance for 29 x 2.5" tires, and some 29 x 2.6" options will work as well, depending on their actual measurements.
Other details include a chainslap protector with three raised portions to help dissipate noise, a downtube protector, an updated version of the integrated chain guide, and a threaded bottom bracket. Oh, and there's plenty of room for mounting a water bottle inside the front triangle.Geometry
It wouldn't be a new bike launch without the words longer and slacker showing up somewhere, but while the latest Following is
longer and slacker than before, Evil didn't copy and paste the numbers from a downhill bike and call it good. In fact, some might even call that 67.2-degree head angle conservative; it's steeper than the head angle found on their Chamois Hagar gravel bike
Slacker doesn't always mean better, and in this case Evil wanted to preserve the poppy, jibby nature that put the Following on the map in the first place, rather than turning it into an enduro bike without enough travel. That's the same reason a fork with 51mm of offset is the stock configuration rather than the increasingly common 44mm option. Both will work, but Evil's test riders preferred the quicker feel that the 51mm offset fork delivered, especially at slower speeds.
Other numbers to note include the steeper seat angle, which sits at either 75.5 or 76-degrees with a 130mm fork, and 76.5 or 77-degrees with a 120mmm fork, depending on which geometry position is selected. The reach has bumped up to 480mm on a size large; it previously was 452mm. At 430mm, the chainstays still remain on the shorter side in order to preserve that snappy handling.
When the Following first emerged, there weren't a whole lot of bikes in that aggressive, short travel 29er category. That's no longer the case, and now nearly every brand has a bike that's vying for a spot at the table. How does the Following stack up against other contenders like the Santa Cruz Tallboy, Norco Optic, or the Guerrilla Gravity Trail Pistol? That's still to be determined - we're working on getting one in to find out.