Video: Luke Strobel Launches The Following

Jan 6, 2015 at 12:56
by Evil Bicycles  

Views: 62,920    Faves: 222    Comments: 5


Evil The Following
Evil The Following

Evil the Following
Evil the Following

It is with much regret that I write this formal apology to Dave Weagle and Ryan Palmer of Bike Mag. This is likely the first bike launch that began with an apology, but considering the marketing blitz and sales potential surrounding 27.5, I thought it was crazy to launch a 29” bike. I had ridden other 29” bikes and they just didn’t seem to fit our brand. At this point Dave confidently assured me we could build an aggressive short travel 29” trail bike that would rival the 26” Uprising’s fun factor. I was nervous and skeptical, on one hand you can’t deny the rolling speed and traction these monster truck wheels offer, but would we lose stiffness, agility and most importantly the FUN factor that is synonymous with our bikes.

Despite the excitement of holding 18 months worth of design and engineering work in my hands, I found myself trying to hate this bike, I thought I would ride it just long enough to sort out the shock tune then hand it off to someone more appreciative of the bigger wheels. To my surprise, after one lap on our local trails I had to deal with more than a few “I Told You So’s”. The bike was everything Dave promised and more, so I found myself confused and replaying past conversations in which I may have prematurely written off these bigger wheels. After finishing up my apologies, Luke Strobel and I took to the trails to find the limits of this unfamiliar machine. Over the coming year we mistreated this oversized outcast of the Evil family. If we were to truly adopt and accept this bike it needed to leave a smile on our faces. I can safely say, whether it was an epic XC adventure, slashing technical trails or the occasional jump line we have ended every ride with a smile.

Evil the Following

With that said, The Following was designed with FUN in mind and uses 120mm of progressive Delta System suspension in conjunction with 120-130mm forks to change its personality from aggressive XC to all-mountain styles of riding. I suppose you could call The Following a trail bike, but the lines between categories have become so blurred that we like to think this bike can handle all day epics to all-mountain shredding. For The Following project we moved to a well known carbon manufacturer that produces some of the best frames on the market and adjusted our suspension kinematics to allow the shock to move forward in the frame, eliminating the need for a shock tunnel. This cleared the path for state of the art carbon construction, which simplifies our manufacturing process while maintaining better control over weight, stiffness and durability. This also allowed us to simplify assembly by placing 15x24x7 Dual Row Angular Contact bearings in the swing arm and use a 15mm thru axle to connect the front triangle.

Evil the Following

The Delta System linkage was also completely redesigned with a focus on simplicity, weight reduction and strength. We increased lateral frame stiffness with simplified forged dog bone links that use integrated bosses to connect the linkage and are secured with M8 bolts. The hardware has been completely rethought and simplified, so the frame can be easily disassembled and reassembled for routine maintenance in moments, which is something we are particularly proud of. Six 11x19x7 Dual Row Angular Contact bearings keep things stiff and running smoothly on the linkage while the 15x24x7 Dual Row Angular Contact bearings and a 15mm thru axle provide a stiff and durable main pivot. FlipChips are now mirrored for easy adjustment and are held in place with simple bolts that thread directly through the frame into the FlipChip.

We added internal routing for stealth dropper posts and front derailleurs. Rear derailleur and brake line are cleanly routed under the TT and the rear derailleur cable is routed internally through the swingarm. Plenty of clearance for 2.4” Monster Truck tires. The Delta System delivers the party in the back with a progressive spring curve that keeps you higher in the travel and maintains a playful feel through the entire stroke. Undoubtedly due to some Weagle black magic and complex number crunching, the Following feels like it has much more than 120mm of travel, which makes for a truly versatile bike that's shred ready out of the box. - Kevin Walsh, owner, Evil Bikes

Evil the Following

Luke Strobel aboard The Following.



www.evil-bikes.com
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111 Comments

  • + 67
 That bike is absolutely beautiful! If it rides as well as it looks then it must be the best bike out there. Thank you for bringing something original, some fresh air when everything seems to look like a session. The current level of uniformity under the banner of optimization numbs me. Brilliant job, it looks that you went all the way, very daring, proportions, shapes, curves mmmm...

All the best of luck with this project guys! I will be following you, I'd love to try one! Big Grin
  • + 5
 agreed on the fresh look, vertical shock/horst bikes are popping up everywhere! they just need to start making small versions with smaller wheels and (as a less than average height person) i'm sold on these hardcore geo short travel bikes.
  • + 5
 Is that 36 spaced down EvilBikes, or is it a stock 140mm?
That could be my next ride
  • - 5
flag dcm6861 (Jan 7, 2015 at 23:08) (Below Threshold)
 Looks like a sweet ride. I have no doubt its fun. But how does it feel on steeper and tighter trails?
I can see myself getting a 27.5 in the near future comparing how the nomad feels vs my covert and noticing the difference bigger wheels make and I don't feel like I would be sacrificing much playfulness by going from 26 to 27.5 for more aggressive trails.
The Process 111 felt pretty good to me and I'm sure 29inch suspension and geometry is catching up but I'm still not sold. If I can't cut inside lines and really get the rally going I can't say I'm impressed.
  • + 11
 Playfullness is not that much a matter of wheel size. 26" is overrated in that respect. If we were to consider bike alone, which is the smaller part of equation, it lies mostly in geometry. It is also worth menitoning that someone coming from 26 must give 29er a month to get used to handling, particularly steering. New breed of 29ers is worlds apart in "playfullness" and overal feel than bikes from less than 4 years ago. Fork, shock, tyre, wheel choice will also play a role. People who are not trained and skilled pros may want to opt for light wheels and tyres even at slight cost of stiffness and puncture resistance. IF one considers carbonation but does not want to spend 5k+, he/she may want to stay wit halu frame and get decent rims, carbon ones are something to think about, while on 26er they are nothing more but a luxury with questionable performance gains since you get alu rims like WTB KOM, ZTR FlowEX or Superstar Tactic.

In the greater picture it's mainly a matter of skill if you can play with the bike. Whenever someone says, that 26er can bunnyhop, manual or whip better, then I want to see that person do a whip, manual or show me how high he can bunnyhop - it's a rider than can things, not the bike. On steep, I rode 45 deg steeps on a 29er, but I also had the rear tyre hit my bum on 26" Nomad on less steep terrain, because I was being too far back which is a very common mistake, so... in a way 29er can promote better stance on steep descents. Half arsed theory but still, something to think about Wink
  • + 1
 the geo argument is great with regards to playfulness, unfortunately it isn't the bikes geo that limits me, it's my legs geo :p for me to be able to pop quick manuals or rear wheel steer on a 29er the stays would have to be frighteningly short (i mean like, unicycle short) or I need to raise the bars enough to impact on normal pedalling position. If you're 5'5" or below I think the smaller wheels make far more sense with regards to fun factor! (however a lot of that is probably down to BB drop, as my charge cooker 29er xc bike is plenty playful enough, but has a really quite high bb)
  • + 2
 and it a 29er, F(*^&Yeah
  • + 2
 Mmm, higher the BB in relation to rear wheel axle the easier it is to move riders center of mass rearward, thus manual, bunny hop. Chainstays on 29ers get to 26" lenghts these days. The "problem" with popping wheelies on a 29er lies in big BB drop in relation to axles. Then from details we could add reach and stack as determining factors and 29er looks favorably in it, to go even further you could say that weight and COM of the bike plays some role, but mhm Big Grin As to wheelieng which I am focused on lately, 29er gives wider float zone, but requires more delicacy in side to side balance as the effect of turning bars is greater, yet! you still steer your side to side tilt by twisting your torso and putting knees out... body is underrated, to paraphrase James Wilson - we are our own doctors prescribing ourselves too much bike gear drugs Big Grin But still, Stumpy Evo29 looks like a truck on geo chart, but it is an awesome bike!
  • + 2
 @dcm6861
"If I can't cut inside lines and really get the rally going I can't say I'm impressed."

Walsh and Strobel love the thing. It hits doubles, climbs, rides and descends like a monster truck, you haven't ridden one, let alone seen it in the flesh, and you're already doubting it's any good. Haters gonna hate.
  • + 1
 Maybe 29's aren't so bad after seeing how that thing jumped.
  • - 4
flag dcm6861 (Jan 8, 2015 at 14:35) (Below Threshold)
 I'm not really saying I don't think its capable. Geometry has always been the main reason for 29ers not being aggressive monsters in the past. But I am saying if it struggles on more technical sections as compared to something built like a nomad or a covert then I think it isn't nearly as good as it could be in a 27.5 format. My basis for this claim is the fact the trail on this film isn't very technical. It's a flowy jump trail and while it clearly shows it is a very capable jumper and that may hint towards better aggressive and technical capabilities it is still just a flow trail.
And since I'm a hater let me give you a clear example of my references to steeper and tighter stuff and "the rally".
www.pinkbike.com/video/343900
Show me someone destroying corners even remotely like that on a 29er, ANY 29er and tell me its more about skill. 29ers will always excel at rolling over harsher hits etc but they will never corner like a 26.
  • + 4
 corners better than a 26 hands down
  • + 3
 dcn6861 - you must try a modern 29er for a few rides, as simple as that.
  • + 1
 @dcm6861 both of those bikes have the wheelbases of trucks... the following with the same riders would be able to smash those loamy turns just as well?! not the rocky rooty shit, but a 120-140mm is never going to do that as well as a gambler.
  • - 2
 I agree blitz, but an enduro setup on a 27.5 or 26 can crush those turns nearly as well. Not foreseeing that snappy of movements out of a 29er. People just like 29 because they ride faster and rougher trails become much easier. You don't have to be as clean on your line choices to keep you momentum up. This is why 27.5 is such a great alternative and improvement over 26. We would have seen 29 inch downhill rigs a long time ago if 29ers could keep up on the tight, steeper stuff. A very small amount of pro's ever ride 29 or talk them up, there's a reason for it.
  • + 1
 I ride 26er because it makes sense to me where I live and they come at better prices than 29ers, but If I lived in proper mountains, I would not hesitate for a moment to buy a 29er. I am 180cm and I would personally just not bother with 27.5, those I tried steered closer to 26er but I perceived the negatives like increased innertia and decreased acceleration to be closer to 29". I'd just go all the way if I was upping the wheel size. And yes 29ers are not as snappy as most 26er however, this is a matter of many things as I said before. It is hard to talk about snappyness, easyness of changing directions when some 26er has 65deg head angle and 1200ish wheelbase, and this is kind of what "internet" wants. When I changed fork on my Blur TR from F32 140 to F36 160, bought wide rims and fat tyres, fited longer stem (70mm is a mile when considering cool geometry), the bike feels much bigger. When I sit n m HT after some time on Blur I feel like on a BMX.
  • + 2
 Dcm6861, the reason there are fewer long travel 29" is because people's incorrect understanding of what effects bike handling. You are a prime example of this. What manufacturer would take the risk with such an ill informed consumer?

Have you ridden an E29?
  • + 31
 29ers suck, this one sucks a little less-- Kevin Walsh
  • + 1
 ermmmm........bikes do not suck. What component makes it suck, a little more or a little less.... I think the bike looks great and I could prolly use 50 percent of its capability.
  • + 7
 Why the hate? It's just a bike man, and you'd be lucky to own one of these. You probably don't deserve to have your mind expanded in that way. Stick with whatever thing has kept you going, if it's worked in the past, there must not be anything better.
  • + 5
 Y'all do know that Kevin Walsh owns evil right?
  • + 2
 Cute, but completely false, of course: "Ironically it has been my go to bike for over a year, despite all the weird looks I got from friends on every ride." --Kevin Walsh
  • + 30
 it's humiliating to see what he can do with only 120mm
  • + 64
 Pretty sure that's not what she said!
  • + 8
 It's not the length of the shaft, it's what you do with it. I guess he has it reall stiff so he doesn't dive too deep on the smaller hits
  • + 0
 Lol
  • - 2
 That's why these videos still don't make me buy into 29ers, for me. I'm short, man, and I just can't feel comfortable on one, certainly not playful.
  • + 5
 Luke isn't exactly what I would call "tall"
  • + 16
 this is nice and all but - Evil, give us Uprising 650b! I need a new bike and don't want to wait a year for you to realize you really have to make it, ok?
ok...
  • + 5
 This. But, perhaps even better....and hopefully easier....make a retrofit 650b rear triangle so it's a simple matter of swapping the rear to however you want to build/sell the bike. This would make future and existing owners happy for the options.
  • + 1
 viable option, I agree - for people that want to convert. if new design, maybe give us 160-165 mm rear travel (150 mm is ok, no problem, but why not update)? I know Uprising has Flip Chip option, but does it have Flip Cup, like Undead? It would be great option to go to 65° HA, let's say.
  • + 9
 But... Why? The 26" Uprising is absolutely incredible, I don't see a slightly larger wheel size improving upon it too much. Especially because the rear triangle is such a tight fit, it would be reasonable to think that Evil would have to considerably lengthen the chainstays to fit bigger wheels.
  • + 2
 Well, my suggestion wasn't to imply that there is anything wrong with 26" at all. Rather, the reality is there is much interest in 650b. So it would seem "easier" to develop a modified rear triangle to cater to both markets with the same frame. More sales for Evil = more stable company = win for all of us.
  • + 2
 word has is it some sort of 27.5" machine is in the pipes
  • + 2
 yeah supposed to be the insurgent!
  • + 2
 someone negative propped me? geeze man, what the hell! so it's like that i guess...
  • + 14
 I would do evil things with this bike
  • + 13
 Orange is the new black?
  • + 10
 If Luke Strobel can't sell a 29er then who can?? Looks like a bloody ripper! Want!
  • + 2
 I could watch dude corner all day. Dialed.
  • + 10
 Little wheels for racing...wagon wheels for having fun! Wait...that can't be right...
  • + 10
 26+4-1, funny!
  • + 4
 I wonder what the eye-to-eye and stroke are. An Inline seems a pretty obvious option for this bike, but something tells me more than a few of these frames will be ridden in such a way that might benefit from a piggyback, as crazy that might sound for 120mm of travel. If only Marzocchi's 350 chassis came in 29 and 120mm... looks like only RockShox is open-minded enough at the moment, but I bet that famous Italian plushness might come in handy under 5 inches. Not to mention Espresso would look the business in contrast with the murdered-out frame option.
  • + 1
 unfortunately, no piggyback option for a 184mm shock...
  • + 1
 *sigh*... Well, it isn't quite a piggyback, but that upcoming BOS XC prototype might be another thing to look at when it comes out. Another commenter just mentioned Inlines won't fit, ostensibly because the adjuster assembly makes the end of the shaft too wide. Not that there's anything wrong with Monarchs, of course.
  • + 1
 it looks so small and light and XC-ish... not my cup of tea honestly... I would like a 184mm Vip'r better.
  • + 1
 On photo is prototype from april 2014. I read it just smallest kirk, it should be even better than Vipr'r.
  • + 5
 love the design of that bike, looks clearly capable. seems that 29er plus 120-130mm of travel looks perfect for agressive trail shredding
  • + 3
 evils are known for there traction so a 29er evil must be incredible
  • + 3
 Ok, this guy can probably one-foot tabletop a supermarket trolley. However, I do own a specialized enduro comp 29er and i can tell you it can jump pretty well.
  • + 4
 This bike looks fantastic. It's good to see some companies focusing on making properly versatile bikes.
  • + 3
 Makes me realize my fork lives a charmed, lazy-ass, easy-living existence. Luke's fork gets flogged like gimp every ride. Sweet ride.
  • + 4
 Luke, Jasper, great edit. Love watching Luke ride and Jasper you capture it well.
  • + 5
 Get Luke back on the World Cup!
  • + 2
 It's a 184x44mm shock. I've been told that a DB Inline won't fit the frame clearance wise. Supposedly Evil went through various shock options and decided the Monarch RT3 Debonair was the best fit the the suspension design.
  • + 1
 Darn it! I guess we'll just have to trust Evil's choice on this one, then, though based on the Bike Mag review there isn't much to be improved. I believe you, but I also can't figure out for myself why an Inline wouldn't fit; the Inline is smaller than a Fox CTD, and the Debonair Monarch has to be bigger than a CTD, and it fits. And the Inline definitely comes in 184x44. Maybe it's the CS lever.
  • + 1
 I'm going to see for myself once I get mine.
  • + 1
 .....Well, the CTD and Monarch are both a lot narrower at the shaft end than the can, while the Inline has the whole adjuster assembly AND the Climb Switch lever at the shaft end. The flip chip assembly obviously makes that area above the BB pretty tight, so I guess it makes sense that only a more conventional shock would fit. Doesn't make me any happier, though.
  • + 3
 Do I need to sell my Uprising now? (currently, the best bike I've ever had...) Evil, that is a successful "want"... looks sooooo sick!
  • - 1
 Wait for 27.5?
  • - 7
flag Hbay (Jan 7, 2015 at 21:06) (Below Threshold)
 As in you own and ride an Evil that isn't broken? Very rare!
  • + 1
 @Hbay I had an Evil Revolt for 4 years - no issues whatsoever. while there were issues with some, mine certainly was not one of them and I had one from pretty early on. I've had my Evil Uprising from May 2014 and it is bloody amazing. no issues at all.....
  • + 0
 Not gonna lie I envy you mate! My Uprising lasted 2 rides and everyone else I know thats had one has had similar experiences..
  • + 1
 My Uprising broke but evil replaced the swing arm under warranty within the month so I cant complain too much.
  • + 2
 Looks incredible. Interested to see which I like better: The Following or the upcoming SB95 Switch Infinity. Too many awesome bikes!
  • + 3
 Got an Uprising myself. Waiting for the rumoured 27.5" bike to arrive then I may be interested.
  • + 4
 Undead + Uprising + Following = the trio in my dream garage
  • + 3
 If I was ever going to get a 9'er, this would be on my short-list.

Keyword: "if"
  • + 1
 I watched this a hundred times and its unreal. People questioning this bike confuses me. You just saw Strobel easily maneuver the bike brilliantly with fluidity. There is the proof.
  • + 1
 Killer frame... Looks like lots of fun. Yeah, wonder why Strobel is not still racing WC's. He was top 25 in 2012 or at least a threat. WTF?
  • + 3
 Sick bike for sure! Strobel has such a smooth style!
  • + 2
 looks like EVIL made ninner not specific for enduro and useable for slopestyle
  • + 2
 Childhood pals. Luke and his brother Neil grew up down the street from me. He still owns the local Issaquah trails.
  • + 2
 12.83" bottom bracket height? A person would be wise to use a bash guard with this bike!
  • + 4
 WANT.
  • + 1
 Those jumps look so much bigger in person. Dude makes every bike look good.
  • + 1
 Sexiest 29er. Usually this statement should not be in the same sentence, but this is that one exception.
  • + 2
 Looks beautiful, but 29" rims bend to easy. So no!
  • + 2
 Sometimes it's good to have a little evil around!
  • + 2
 Freeride on moster truck tires. Almost necessary.
  • + 1
 Love out Wa backyard trails!
  • + 0
 Nice bike like all Evil-Bikes, but I would not buy one because of all those quality issues and broken frames you read about.
  • + 1
 such a sick vid. yeeeeeeeeeah luke!!!
  • + 1
 Thanks Evil - looks awesome!
  • + 1
 the only 29'er ive ever liked, take my money!!!
  • + 1
 Luke Strobel makes me want to ride my bike faster, so steezy....
  • + 1
 what trail was that? looked mighty fun!
  • + 1
 The big jump line was cannonball run at summit ridge.
  • + 1
 it's a hodge-podge of western-central Washington stuff. First part is Kachess Ridge (near Easton). I actually stumbled on them filming one of the days they were up there. The other stuff (with the jumps) is likely Duthie Hill, Black Diamond or some other spot near Issaquah or possibly a combination of some of these....at least that's what I think. Someone correct me if I'm wrong....
  • + 2
 Jump line is Gannonball in Black Diamond, WA @ Summit Ridge (Black Diamond Freeride Park on The FB)
  • + 1
 This bike looks like loads of fun! I wish I had the cash to blow on one Frown
  • + 1
 Another thing to take my money
  • + 2
 Fucking nice
  • + 1
 Sick....
  • - 1
 They made the commencal hip hop with the same purpose , one year later, on closeout.
  • - 1
 This video needs more slow motion shots. That is the only way to judge whether or not a bike is worth buying.
  • - 3
 EVIL used to be cool
  • - 2
 What's the point in this bike?
  • + 2
 Luke Strobel would make a unicycle look cool.
  • + 3
 luke strobel wouldn't comment on his own post.
  • - 3
 Useless bike.
  • + 2
 The point? Fun maybe?
  • + 1
 @friendlyfoe just getting a bit of buzz started around the post.
  • - 1
 It makes 29
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