Field Test: Evil Following - Stout, Stiff, & Snappy

Oct 24, 2022 at 10:27
by Matt Beer  

PINKBIKE FIELD TEST

Evil Following



Words by Matt Beer; photography by Tom Richards


Evil Bikes are known for their roots that have been dug deep into the gravity side of mountain biking for some time, but their 120mm short-travel trail bike, the Following, shouldn't be neglected, because it punches well above its rank.

All design elements scream that this bike is clearly an Evil through and through; namely, the DELTA suspension system designed by Dave Weagle, compact rear triangle, massive headtube, and a monochromatic paint scheme. Distinguishing between the models in Evil’s lineup isn’t always straightforward, but the 130mm travel RockShox Pike fork steers the Following to the more pedaling-focused consumer.

Evil Following Details
• Travel: 120mm rear / 130mm fork
• Carbon frame
• 66.9 / 66.4º head angle
• Reach: 460mm
• 76º / 75.5º seat tube angle
• 430 / 432mm chainstays
• Sizes: S, M (tested), L, XL
• Weight: 13.04 kg / 28.75 lb
• Price: $9,050 USD
evil-bikes.com
Evil sent us the middle tier build, which isn't exactly middle of the road in terms of pricing - it's $9,050 USD, to be exact. This XO1 Hydra parts kit features SRAM X01 carbon cranks, and Evil’s own Boomstick and Loophole carbon wheels. The carbon hoops are actually made in the USA from Fusion Fiber, and Evil also states that the rims are recyclable through the manufacturer because they use a different process than traditional carbon fiber, as explained here.

There are some subtle but clever part choices that prove why this isn’t your average downcountry bike. Although we swapped all of the stock tires for a control set for all of the bikes, the Following came with Maxxis DHF EXO tires. The rear was appropriately downsized to a 2.3” width; another nod from Evil to say they want this bike to be able to carry some tempo when the pedals ask for it. There’s also a large 200mm rotor up front to slow you down when you take this bike to its limits. A high 35mm rise bar promotes a more playful approach to trail riding than a flatter option that would lower your body position towards the front wheel.


A large part of the way the Following flows through flatter terrain is the geometry. You might expect Evil to have slackened out the head angle on their trail bike to downhill bike digits, but it actually leans towards the steeper side at 66.4 in the “X-Low” setting. Combined with a reach of 460mm for the size medium frame and stubby 430mm chainstays, the numbers surrounding the Following certainly make for a snappy ride.

Despite its bold and stocky appearance, the 13kg (28.75lb) Following doesn’t ride like a heavy bike by any means. Does it have the get up and go compared to something like the Allied BC40? Definitely not. On the flip side, the Following is a bike that is capable of making appearances in a bike park or flowing through jump lines without feeling like a wet noodle underneath you.




Trailforks Regions Where We Tested

Bustling with activity, the beautifully constructed, and well-stocked, headquarters of the Sentiers du Moulins trail system was just one of the networks we explored on the Evil Following. Filled with long, exposed bedrock, a healthy dose of machine made and naturally flowing tech trails, this zone surprised us with all of the gems hidden on either side of the valley.

To go hand in hand with the flicky nature of the Following, a cruise down the blue flow track, Maelstrom, presented tons of berms and rollers to find ambitious rhythms through. On the backside of Mont Tourbillon you find close to 200m of descending down the infamous "Slab City" trail that rides primarily a sheet of granite that hides just under the mossy carpeted forest floor. There was plenty of action between the high-speed jump sections and undulating Canadian Shield for the Following.

Sentiers du Moulin mountain biking trails

Climbing

The Following has to be one of the most unique climbing bikes that I’ve ridden to date. Out of the saddle, there’s a good amount of support through the suspension when you jump on the pedals or push into the bike to lunge up a ledge. However, the seated position left me scratching my head: high bars, short chainstays, and a slack seat tube angle.

Although sitting over the rear axle provides traction, the short rear center does make it prone to front wheel lift on steep climbs or steppy uphills. 35mm rise bars didn’t help how far back you sat in the saddle, and in order to combat the upright riding yet slightly cramped position we lowered them after the first shakedown (more on those later).

Reach is the all important number to look at for the descending body position, but top tube length plays a more crucial role in how a bike climbs while seated. The 75.5 and 66.4-degree seat and head tube angles spread out the room between the saddle and the handlebars, placing weight well over the rear wheel, but barely enough weight towards the front. Typically on a bike with those angles you’d find a stem of 60mm or more to slow down the steering, but the Following came equipped with Evil’s own 45mm length, 12 Gauge unit.

Moving to a longer stem and low-rise bars would certainly slow down the steering and shift the rider weight forward, but I’d be afraid to lose some of the positive traits of the Following when it was pointed downhill. Another option would be sizing up; something that was hinted at for maximizing the gravity fed bits of trail too.



Descending

Part of the beauty that hides in this little trail weapon is that it turns even the most basic singletrack into a feature-filled lap. I’d stick my neck out and call it the freerider’s cross country bike. It’s stout, stiff, and snappy.

All Evil bikes look the same, or do they? Side by side, there are subtle differences. The tube diameters of the Following’s figure are slimmer than its enduro sibling. Combined with a healthy dose of progression in the 120mm of rear wheel travel, the frame never winced once. At the other end of the stroke, the grip through the single pivot-driven DELTA suspension provided exceptional grip across rooty off cambers and through slimy rock gardens. The Evil was pushed the hardest on jump trails because it always asked for more. There was just the right amount of everything from the frame and its kinematics; not too soggy, and not too dry - Goldilocks approved.

You’ve got to pay attention to steering at high speeds. As mentioned in the climbing portion, the handling is quick and keeps you on your toes. It’s crucial to mind how much weight is on placed the front wheel because it does feel like it could tuck and bite back.

One component that we all agreed we’d change immediately, if this was our own bike, was the handlebars. Evil states that their Boomstick carbon bars have a 9º backsweep and 5º upsweep. Whatever they may be, we could never find a comfortable balance with them.

Getting the Following off of the ground is never a chore, and the short 430mm chainstays pop on command. Paired with that 66.4-degree head tube angle, the downside of the geometry is high-speed stability. In order to combat that knife-edge handling, installing a headset to reduce the head tube angle by a degree could be one way to settle down the steering dynamics.

There isn’t a lot of forgiveness through rubbley washouts or dusty berms, but then again, none of the other bikes in the test were as much “fun” as the Following.



Pros

+ Superb suspension performance packed into 120mm of travel
+ Frame and wheels combine to create a strong yet forgiving ride feel


Cons

- Handling at high speeds might be too twitchy for some riders
- Geometry doesn't equate to the most effective climbing position







The 2022 Downcountry Field Test is presented by Québec City Mountain Bike, Sweet Protection and Specialized Ground Control Tires





256 Comments

  • 204 9
 I hate to be this guy again but the autoplay!
Like, you're still making us click the volume indicator (as audio doesn't autoplay) if we want to watch - why not make us click the video itself (and thus starting the video + audio)? Get rid of two annoyances with one swoop.
  • 19 0
 yeah that would explain why safari has taken wayyy more mobile data than it used to
  • 11 1
 I upvoted but also I'm torn as I think they may have found a way to get videos to play through my work internet.
  • 37 2
 Autoplay = extra views = extra advert income
  • 5 1
 because views
  • 7 12
flag mafflin (Nov 1, 2022 at 7:28) (Below Threshold)
 There's a setting in your browser - just turn it off
  • 29 1
 I turned it off in my profile and still doing it....
  • 2 0
 @pink505: i use safari for PB
  • 3 0
 @madmon: looks like it got it to stop on my Google phone but not laptop (chrome) by blocking 3rd party cookies. Settings, site settings, block 3rd party cookies. Did the trick on my phone but the laptop still playing them ....
  • 3 0
 @pink505: Same here. Turned off autoplay, and it still autoplays (using Firefox).
  • 12 7
 It seems like you have REAL problems in your life
  • 6 1
 @mafflin: yep,
Turned it off, still autoplays. But not all videos, but definitely the field test ones.
It’s kinda shifty if it’s something to generate more ad revenue, on the backs of people’s data. Data is pricey up here in Canuckistan, and you should be able to switch it off if you’d like.
No response from @brianpark on my couple of requests
  • 11 0
 @onawalk: He's Outside at the moment
  • 1 0
 @MtbSince84: Turning autoplay off works in the Brave browser.
  • 1 0
 NoScript will become your best friend
  • 11 0
 It's the third decade of the 21st century and some people still seem to think autoplaying videos are okay.
  • 1 9
flag in2falling (Nov 1, 2022 at 18:17) (Below Threshold)
 It take about .8 seconds to hit the pause button
  • 2 1
 @svenie: this guy gets it.
  • 3 0
 @in2falling: even faster to hit the downvote button
  • 4 0
 If I sign up for Outside+ can I turn off auto play....

Asked nobody ever in the PB comment section.
  • 2 0
 @pink505: sign.up? Outside?
Very funny
  • 90 3
 Inserting the obligatory comment about the scourge of auto play...
  • 34 1
 Ya. Autoplay is EVIL!
  • 32 1
 @vikb: I'm not following
  • 1 6
flag mcharza (Nov 1, 2022 at 7:31) (Below Threshold)
 Just install autoplaystopper extension to your browser
  • 30 0
 @mcharza: No. Pinkbike just stop the autoplay.
  • 70 2
 So it's supposed to be an aggressive short travel bike that prioritizes descending but doesn't have that good of geo for descending? Also doesn't have that good of geo for climbing?
  • 23 2
 yes
  • 21 10
 It doesn't have good geo for descending, but it had the fastest downhill time (tied with a 34 pound metal bike).
Its chainstays are too short, but they used to be too long.
Its suspension is really good, and hasn't changed in ten years.

Really get the feeling this bike is being designed by ignoring professional bike reviewers.

Evil really needs to spec this bike with an Ochain equipped crankset.
  • 26 2
 I have a teammate who races one with 27.5 wheels as a dual slalom bike. Pretty much everything mentioned about this bike makes it a slalom slayer. It's a joy to ride jumps and flow trail too, I could see it being a real quiver killer for people who ride hard in less gnarly places. Bentonville-style flow trail flayer.
  • 8 0
 Should make every mellow trail a party. The Evil for the Midwest and GNARKANSAS. Maybe not ideal for someplace like Vegas or GJ.
  • 10 0
 @ryanandrewrogers: “Bentonville bike” is such an insult lmao.
  • 10 4
 @wyorider: I live in Moab and ride a following. It does everything, did swap suspension and running a 1deg angleset.
  • 10 2
 You just have to ride one (I absolutely love mine). The numbers don’t do this bike justice, it definitely punches well above it’s weight. I also ride a stumpy Evo expert and often find myself a little overbiked. Don’t get me wrong; if you’re a mutha hucker this might not work for you, same goes for the xc obsessed, but for me the following falls into the sweet spot where 90% of my riding happens. 5 stars, highly recommend!
  • 2 0
 @ryanandrewrogers: yep exactly why ended up buying one and it's lived up to that billing. Very fun bike to ride aggressively on mellow/flow/jump trails. Great at flatter pedaly stuff even if the geo lets it down on steeper climbing. It's a good pedaling bike but not a great climbing bike. I have honestly not been let down too much on steeper faster chunkier downhills either but it's certainly not a plowing enduro bike. If you like boosting over chunk and picking your lines it's still a pretty damn capable descender because that rear end is quite good. I did add a -1 degree headset recently and it made basically everything better.
  • 1 0
 @mtskibum16: what headset did you put on?
  • 1 0
 @calibritsf: works, available directly from evil
  • 2 0
 @calibritsf: a Works headset from Evil.
  • 1 0
 @mtskibum16: for you need to make a matching change to the fork to extend it a bit?
  • 3 0
 @mtskibum16: I left mine in "low" and added a 140 airshaft to the fork, so HA is now roughly 66.4. I think it climbs fine and doesn't suffer from anymore front wheel wonder than bikes with comparable geo (like the heralded Trail 429). Not as efficient as DW, but it gets to the top and the delta system is SO good.

Interesting that they say the Allied has "great geometry" for an all around bike, and yet it's very similar to the Following's with merely 5mm longer stays and .5 degree steeper seat tube. Leads me to believe all the geo minutia is less important than overall weight. The Following is just a heavier bike with overbuilt frame and DH-oriented components/suspension.
  • 2 0
 Test it with a Push. Bike is great with the deluxe but night and day difference better with the coil.
  • 3 0
 @puercoespin: I’m running an ohlins TTX2air and also much better than the deluxe.
  • 2 0
 @Mtmw: My bike had a 140 airshaft when I bought it. Didn't like it at all because it slackens the already too-slack seat tube angle and went to a 130. This bike's climbing ability (not pedal ability because it pedals great) is its biggest weakness. The slack seat tube much worse than their listed numbers indicate) is more noticeably bad than the steepish HTA. Adding an angle headset slackens the HTA and actually steepens the STA a bit too. Win win. Going from 130 to 140 would counteract that.
  • 3 0
 @jasbluboi: I really didn't like it with a 140 shaft or in x-low. Either case made the slack STA too much for me. This bike wanders/lifts way worse than my 2018 Transition Scout which had a 65 HA. I just can't keep the front down on anything steep. Lowering the bars takes away from the downhill prowess and I'm worried a longer stem would do the same plus slow down the steering too much. I agree delta is awesome though. I don't mind the pedal efficiency at all!

Low setting (so higher setting) with -1 headset and a 130 fork is the best setup I've tried so far. I measure 76.5 effective STA, 66 HTA, 1194 WB, and 333 BB height. This is on a size medium.
  • 1 0
 @mtskibum16: I’m running 140 but went to a 44 offset along with the angleset. I run in low not x-low best all rounder I’ve had in years.
  • 1 0
 @calibritsf: Works makes one specifically for the Evil, I have one sitting in my tool box. PM me if you're interested
  • 1 0
 Also (full disclosure) I am running a 44mm offset Fox 36. The extra trail did help the front end feel a good bit more planted without sacrificing nimbleness. When I picked up the bike it had a +1 anglesey and a 150mm airshaft in the pike ultimate which took a bit away from the bikes playfulness and just made it a kind of awkward. If anyone is interested in the pike it's just sitting on a shelf next to it's 130, 150, and 160mm airshafts, PM me.
  • 2 0
 @5afety3rd: nice!!! Been wanting to try one of them
  • 1 0
 @mtskibum16: i noticed that too, climbing took a little extra effort getting body position right. I’d eventually spin the wheel out or pop front end too high. The 11.6 the helped climbing ability a lot, way more than I expected. I was clearing climbs with less effort. Haven’t popped up or spun out since and have been able do climbs I couldn’t do before.
  • 1 0
 @puercoespin: that seems very odd to me because my impression is not that the rear end is the problem. But I suppose a coil would increase rear traction and make up for some of the geometry issues.
  • 36 2
 These auto playing videos are getting really old... I'm on the verge of ignoring these articles completely and just watching the review on YouTube instead.
  • 35 5
 Kona should have never stopped making this bike
  • 57 0
 Every single downcountry bike sold should pay a royalty to Kona for pioneering with the 111 lol.
  • 11 0
 @nskerb: My hot take: The P111 wasn't a downcountry bike. I owned one and loved it, but I'd never have raced XC on it. Enduro on the other hand...
  • 5 1
 @chakaping: Yeah, it would have been terrible to race XC on. Mine was as heavy as an enduro bike and it climbed like an absolute pig with the weight and the short chainstays. Super fun bike but not practical in any sense of the word.
  • 4 0
 @WestwardHo: Pedaled like a sack of spuds as well, but felt like a runaway train descending. I'm now riding an Orange with similar travel and geometry (slacker HA), but is light and pedals really well. It might not exist if it wasn't for the P111.
  • 4 0
 The P111 might just be my favorite past bike, certainly the bike all future bikes will be compared to. Man I loved that bike!
  • 3 0
 @chakaping: This 100%. Was groundbreaking at the time but how poorly it pedaled for a 111m travel bike (and was overbuilt as F). Could ride tame trails in the same manner I'd ride my Enduro bike though, that was its magic.
  • 1 0
 @WestwardHo: very much like the Following tbh
  • 33 7
 I know we don’t care about bike weight here, but the weight/price ratio seems off.

It takes $9k and carbon wheels to get this guy down to 28.75lbs. Meanwhile, (for comparison’s sake) the Spur’s $7,200 build comes on at 25.2lbs.

I believe Matt when he says it doesn’t ride like a heavy bike, but at some point (usually about 1/3 of the way up a long uphill slog in my experience) the facts of gravitational reality will make themselves known.

Chonky short travel trail bikes can be great bikes. But if I was spending close to $10k to buy one today, I’d have a hard time feeling like weight wasn’t a serious downside of this Following.
  • 21 2
 Spur is using a 120 SID fork and much simpler rear suspension. Evil frames are heavy but but bike weight is a sum of the parts.
  • 12 4
 Oh we talk about weight here. Especially on the XC / short travel category. $9k for an almost 29lb short travel bike is a bit much.

Between the components (Sid vs Pike, brakes) you might have about 1-1.5lbs difference tops, the rest is just (unnecessary) chonk.
  • 5 4
 Price/weight ratio seems like an odd metric unless one is prioritizing Uphill. Evil definitely is not making Up the priority. Better to consider Price/Fun ratio with this brand. Or maybe Price/Hoots, or Price/WTF Did I just pull off?

I had a Spur and Following V3 simultaneously. The Spur lasted a week here... yeah, was 3 lbs lighter, but like 2/3 as fun.. maybe. 10% weight penalty means I ride 90% as far for my suffering. But I was rewarded with 50% more fun...

It's all just math
Wink
  • 3 2
 Evil's carbon wheels weigh about 250g more than the aluminum DT Swiss XR 1700 set, SID vs PIKE is about +350g, SID Luxe vs Deluxe is about +100g, DHF x2 vs Dissector/Recon is about +250g, 20mm bigger rotors front and rear plus adapters is about +100g. That's about 1.06 kg (2.3 lbs) without mentioning the Evil has 12 bearings versus 6 on the Spur. I know they have the same rear travel but it's not a fair comparison.
  • 5 5
 @Ferd: And bike weight should be based on rider weight and style. I'm 150lbs, it makes zero sense for me to ride a 35lb bike. Don't get me started on everybody riding WAY too much tire for their terrain/weight.
  • 1 3
 @OnTheRivet: It looks nearly identical to the Pivot's DW rear link.
  • 3 0
 @OnTheRivet: Sure, but... that's what we skinny folks have to deal with for now. I'm about 145 lbs... I'm with you on 35 lbs being too heavy.
  • 29 2
 My frame was Stout & Stiff now it's just Snappy
  • 7 7
 Evils may be the best looking bikes, seem to ride amazingly, but I'll never forget how badly they helped customers with the snappy DH frame (revolt?) a few years back, hence I'll more than likely never own one
  • 9 10
 @toad321: yeah that 45* seat angle is so beautiful.
  • 11 5
 @toad321: "Best looking bikes" is a stretch. Busiest linkage ever and swolen headtube detract plenty of beauty points.
  • 6 2
 @toad321: I dunno man, I owned a Wreckoning for a few seasons, eventually i cracked the rear triangle, getting it warrantied and replaced was a breeze, didn't take too long and was hassle-free. I would own one of their bikes again.
  • 14 3
 @toad321: they did seem to receive a rather black eye from that debacle, but I have a different take on it. As far as I can tell, they used the Revolt as a learning experience, changed their lineup to be 100% carbon, and (this is the part that I think people view as a negative) *eventually* replaced every broken aluminum Revolt with a carbon Undead. To me, even though it took them quite a while to make it right, they stuck to it and followed through. That must have made for quite a few tough years for them.
  • 13 1
 @toooldtodieyoung: Your comments are spot on.

Additional mitigating circumstances: that debacle happened when they were a brand new company. They've been working with a new manufacturer for a decade, and those issues are pretty clearly in the rearview. That context is important.

I was worried about this myself when I was considering purchasing an Evil a few years ago. I talked to people at a shop that sells a lot of high end bikes (Evil, Transition, Ibis, Forbidden, Revel, Specialized) about Evil's track record. They told me that they didn't have an aberrant number of warranty claims and that the company stood behind their products. I'm on my third Evil now, and haven't broken one. I don't tend to ride bikes past their intended purpose, but I do weight 230 lbs and ride often. Nothing bad to say whatsoever.
  • 6 1
 @toad321: Evil has exceptional customer and warranty service today
  • 28 1
 Can we all just agree that Matt Beer is an incredible rider?!!
  • 13 1
 Yes.
  • 23 1
 Why did this feel short and twitchy when its longer and slacker than the Ibis that you didnt say felt short or twitchy?
  • 17 2
 Because you can ride it like an enduro bike but that's a ride on a knifes edge, which is fun like hell. (Riding a The Following V1).
The other on tells you to slow down before you are out of control, since it is an XC bike with a longer fork.
  • 3 0
 @Lokomotive: This is accurate. The Following absolutely will let you ride very fast on challenging terrain but you better bring your A game. My number #1 gripe with the Following is the bad climbing geo/front wheel lift. It's fun as hell though for real.
  • 2 0
 @mtskibum16: it's true, the following is average at best at climbing. (I have one)
  • 1 0
 @deathbystereo: Sounds crazy but I'm confident that my mullet insurgent v3 climbs better than the following v3 I owned.
  • 23 4
 Fast Fwd to about 9mins. "Evil was actually the fastest timed on the decent". And probably the most fun bike on test to boot. Done. Evil wins. Honestly tho.. this isn't a XC race bike field test.. what more do you want? The rest is white noise
  • 14 6
 I feel like some of the negative comments towards this bike came from built up dislike for the brand. They refused to send PB a test bike for years and now I feel like PB takes it out on them.
  • 11 3
 Great so this trail bike was the fastest descending compared to a handful of mostly XC bikes. This feels like a nice soft pitch for Evil
  • 5 0
 @MillerReid: I think if they reviewed a Following 5 years ago it would have been better reviewed when 67 HA was still sort of slack for the category. The Following helped pioneer the whole fun, playful, slack, 29er category. But, that was like 10 years ago. It’s been slow to keep up with peoples desires on geometry. Even a basic Stumpjumper has a 65 HA now. I think it had a 69HA when the Following came out.
  • 4 0
 @whambat: that’s a good call. Back when the Process 111 and later, the Following came out, a lot of full suspension 29ers objectively sucked. They were harbingers of the great trail bikes that are almost ubiquitous now. The Following hasn’t evolved along with the rest of its class, but that doesn’t make it a less-fun bike.
  • 4 1
 @VtVolk: yeah, I think of the Following as a big BMX bike. Not as a downcountry bike. Not as a short travel enduro bike. I last demoed one back in 2019. Just fun to ride, although I’d generally prefer the Offering if it were to go in my garage.
  • 1 1
 @whambat: actually it's not a BMX bike, it's a mountain bike. HTH
  • 1 2
 you are in the wrong thread brotha... who the hell cares how it descends? XC is for climbing, this bike sucks at climbing, hence this bike sucks... the rest is white noise.
  • 1 1
 @whambat: the V3 was released in 2020 though. The geo was outdated at the time of release. (and I still bought one fwiw)
  • 1 0
 @mtskibum16: isn’t that when they mostly steepened the SA?
  • 1 0
 @whambat: Misread your comment about HA I think.
  • 16 1
 Lets face it this is a trail bike with steeper geo and less travel so that you can feel like you're going fast without actually going fast. That's not a knock, some people like to live in this realm... like buying a 125 2 stroke MX bike when the 250F is clearly the faster option, just for fun. However if you measure this bike on any other metric than pure thrills it's not going to look good on paper. Personally I think this looks like the perfect bike if you love somewhere like Marquette, Duluth, etc. and don't wear lycra.
  • 9 0
 Agree. Yes, fast is fun, but not all bikes have to have DH geometry. Also diggin the user name
  • 4 0
 @hamncheez: Exactly, right back at ya!
  • 2 0
 Pure thrills is a pretty damn good metric for a non-raced mountain bike though! It is hard to measure and put on paper though.
  • 2 0
 I live in MN and have a Calling and this is 100% correct. It feels great on all the terrain around here, and just plain puts a smile on my face the way no other bike I've ridden has. That doesn't come across well with numbers though.
  • 19 6
 Three years ago - "The chainstays are too long"

2022/2023 - "The chainstays are too short"

I never liked short chainstays. Too hard to climb. Longer stays make for a more stable bike and provide more traction on steep climbs.
  • 9 0
 I used to ride an XL Canfield Riot and it had 415mm chainstays. It pedaled really well and felt like a dirt jumper with 150mm of travel (SUPER fun), but as soon as you pointed it up hill, it lost all front end traction and wanted to wheelie. At If your bike is going to have shorter chainstays, they should at LEAST be proportional to frame size.
  • 11 0
 @jsnfschr: If you are riding a canfield, climbing is not very high on your priority list haha. I miss my old balance sometimes. really one of the most fun bikes ever.
  • 7 11
flag andrewbikeguide (Nov 1, 2022 at 7:19) (Below Threshold)
 Longer chain stays make a more centred bike for a sport that relies on balance as its core principle. Bike designers who don't meet first principles should be beaten with their own frames, at least there is solace in knowing that they have to ride the pig they designed.
  • 18 0
 I like short chainstays personally but that's probably the bmx background that I appreciate picking up the front more often than the general pop
  • 3 0
 @MI-Corey: Yeah same. It seems like it is getting harder to find them.
  • 18 0
 @MI-Corey: lots of people like the way shorter chainstays make a bike handle. Currently, the site has adopted a pretty uniform stance that they're "wrong," and a lot of people are going to ape that in the comments sections. It happens with whatever PB decides is the trend of the day.

Weird that we have someone above talking about beating people for making frames with geometry he doesn't like, but that's probably just a manifestation of some personal issues...
  • 24 1
 @andrewbikeguide: or you could just, like, ride a lot and get better at climbing...

Geometry matters, but I find it hilarious that people believe a centimeter of extra chain stay flips a magic switch from "bad climber" to "good climber." I agree that it's "a sport that relies on balance as its core principle," but it ain't the bike.
  • 6 0
 @andrewbikeguide: can't tell if this is ironic or if you are a former commander in the taliban
  • 6 0
 @TheRamma: sure and I wouldn't say long chainstays are bad either. It's just like all geometry is where it's a balance of characteristics, the type of riding you do, and personal preference for feel.
  • 5 0
 @93EXCivic: Specialized Status is a good cheap option.
  • 5 1
 @MI-Corey: absolutely! My biggest complaint about PB now is that they focus on their personal preferences about geo etc., to the detriment of talking about more objective criteria. I remember how much they loved that Deviate Claymore, but didn't even mention the firming up of the suspension under braking that other sites found. Whatever their editorial stance is ends up getting repeated in the comment section, always.

It's fine to like long chainstays, short chainstays, 27.5, 29, 26, plus tire bikes, whatever. I don't want all bike manufacturers to converge on one "perfect" geometry. I love the "stupid" geo on my Honzo ESD, with 490 reach and a 417 chainstay! It's a riot.
  • 7 0
 @TheRamma: short chainstays may not be bad automatically, but without size specific lengths they aren’t proportional. An xl bike with the same length chainstays as a medium is not going to feel the same for both of those people. I think that’s the problem. Taller people want longer chainstays because they feel better , shorter people don’t because they feel worse.
  • 3 0
 @andrewbikeguide:

“First principals” lol.

But when I had my 15.5” chainstay hardtail, I did just constantly fall over, so maybe you’re on to something.

Wait no, that didn’t happen.
  • 8 0
 It’s a trade off. Few bikes are as fun to get in the air and goof off on as an Evil.
  • 6 0
 @Solorider13: I'm 6'3” and like short chainstays. It's part rider preference, as others have said, and part what makes sense for your local trails. If you ride somewhere with a lot of tight turns, it's nice to be able to flick the rear end around easily.
  • 7 0
 @dwbaillar: Same I am 6'2" and prefer shorter chainstays (although obviously chainstays can't be looked at in isolation).
  • 5 3
 @Solorider13: I disagree. I'm 6 feet tall. For most uses, I like 430 chainstays, and around 480 mm reach. I've ridden longer chainstay bikes. They're not "bad," they just trade agility for stability. I don't have an issue weighting the front end, but I do recognize that you need to with short chainstays.

It's fine to like something different. There isn't one perfect geo for everyone, even if we're the same height.

To proportional chainstays, I don't see it as a selling point. I only own and ride one size of a given bike at a time...
  • 1 0
 @andrewbikeguide: maybe beat them off with their frames?
  • 2 0
 @TheRamma: that’s all well and good and if that’s what you like than more power to you. It still doesn’t change the fact that the sizes are physically different proportions without the entire thing being changed through the size range.

I am also 6’3 and I prefer something in the 345 range. 430 is pretty short to climb comfortably with my legs being as long as they are. Obviously seat tube angle plays a large roll in that as well.

To each their own ! I just like the way they look but I want longer chainstays!
  • 3 1
 @Solorider13: I get it! The only thing I against size specific chainstays is that I worry that nobody is going to make a 480 reach 430 CS bike then. But that's probably an unrealistic hypothetical. Like what you like, I'm glad there are lots of companies making lots of different bikes!
  • 7 0
 @Solorider13: Being 6'2" with a 37" inseam I've got to say that I like the shortest possible chainstays in any given wheel size.

I've been riding a long time, and I have observed a sea change in mountain bikes from when I started. Back then, it was aspirational to learn to be a good enough bike handler to be able to ride a machine that was so quick steering it practically had road bike geometry. Steep angles and short stays made those bikes handle like Ferraris.

Bikes now are built to roll over the worst obstacles in a straight line. Gone are the telepathic handling qualities of bikes like my custom made Ritchie.

I know people ride unbelievably difficult terrain with new geometry bikes, but I can't help but feel as if something has been lost.
  • 2 0
 @danger13: yeah, I started on a 26er that was a size too small for me by the standards of the day. While that was too small, I wonder if that's why I don't like a really long bike. My other pet theory is that I like short stays because I have short legs (6ft tall with 31 inch inseam), but that doesn't apply to you!

Nothing has been lost though, as long as there companies making all sorts of different bikes. It's why the sentiment I mostly fight against is that there is one geometry to rule them all.
  • 1 0
 @VtVolk: This 100%! I had an intense tracer that i actually thought climbed well, albeit a lot slower than my other XC bikes but under a person who can ride/climb you'll get up the hill with pretty much anything.

Example: also had a YT Jeffsy. Riding in Dupont & was climbing Cedar Rock trail (fairly steep in some sections) I kept wondering why the bike felt so bouncey and squatted down in the rear end. Get to the top, realize that there is almost no air in my rear shock. Still got to the top though!
  • 15 0
 to be clear, "Middle tier" is top spec without AXS.
  • 14 2
 Typical Evil. Well built, kinda spendy and performance is compromised……to maximize fun.

Evil bikes aren’t for everyone but they’re a riot to ride!! I’ll bet this thing is super easy to throw some big shapes on.
  • 4 0
 yeah, that's terrible, bikes that compromise performance to maximize fun, if we only used bikes to have fun.. oh wait! we do!
  • 17 3
 Looks like it'd be a great bike for someone with a BMX background
  • 4 0
 Can confirm, I have one of each.
  • 14 1
 How hard can it possibly be to turn auto play off?
  • 10 6
 None of us want autoplay, of course. Unfortunately, it's not as easy as just flipping a switch.
  • 3 0
 then maybe jw player is not the right choice?
  • 7 0
 @atourgates:
I think Levy means no one at Pinkbike wants it, but Outside are forcing it due to views/advertising revenue?
  • 4 0
 @mikelevy: Seems like the current options are: Autoplay or Paywall... I'll choose Autoplay, then hit stop, read the article and save the video for the big screen later. Thank you for providing a bit of entertainment!
  • 2 0
 @blum585: Bingo. Finally, someone thought through the issue from the stand point of the media creator themselves (outside). You are 100% correct.
  • 1 0
 install chrome extension AutoplayStopper
  • 8 0
 is it weird that I sought this bike out for the 67 degree head angle and 51 offset...? For me that is the sweet spot for a sharp handling, fast bike that is just slack enough to take some DH laps on...Could the chain stays be a bit longer? yeah, for my 6'4" frame, but overall this is a ripper of a bike that is exactly the bike described at the end: all day pedaller that I loop into my local jump trail on almost every ride...climbs fine...rips fast..jumps high...looks sick. XL weighs under 29lbs as built. Checks all the boxes for a fun ripper bike that doesn't want to be compared to some of these bikes....party bike for sure! No bike has no faults, but this one has few for me and is going into season three, which is a rarity for someone who gets antsy and starts flirting with a new frame every two seasons....
  • 10 0
 Where is the box with the summary about how fast it was against the other competitors?
  • 6 0
 They didn't want to admit how good and fast it is, so they left it out! Big Grin
  • 11 0
 So… unstable, but also the fastest descending…? So confused Wink
  • 5 0
 I mean it really needs to be compared against bike like it such as the Ibis Ripley, Guerrilla Gravity trail Pistol etc. These bikes each have their own unique spin on the 130/120mm trail bike and each do things differently than the other but who decides what is best? Evil bikes have a unique way about them and man they are fun to ride, maybe not the fastest up or down all the time, but just plain fun!
  • 7 0
 The top comment was about broken frames and appears to be gone? weird...
  • 4 2
 Yeah wtf, it wasn't offensive. Their killing the best thing about pb, the absolute randomness of the comment section. A shame.
  • 2 0
 thank you for pointing this out, something seems very fishy here.
  • 2 0
 I remember hearing that Vernon Felton took heat from Evile while at Bike Mag for pointing out Evils dubious past with regard to leaving customers hung out to dry on broken frames and even PB editors previously noting that Evil refused to send them bikes for testing because of criticisms voiced in previous reviews. Now comments made about frame breaks (both a past and current issue) are deleted, seems suspect to me for the entire string to be removed.
  • 4 4
 I have no first hand knowledge about this but it’s possible the original poster deleted his post. Full disclosure, I have an OG Wreckoning that I’ve ridden as a Xc, trail, enduro, and DH bike. My fav bike ever. I quit counting miles ridden after 3000 miles. And I bought it used here on PinkBike. Decide for yourself.
  • 6 1
 @jason3559: I had an uprising, the first bike after their famous issues. When I went to sell it, the guy I was trying to sell it to told me he reached out to evil and they had suggested he avoid buying it. It has always left a horrible taste in my mouth about a brand that I tried to support right after some pretty notable issues. I will never buy an evil in the future as a result, too many good bikes that have owners who stand behind their products and frankly, it wasn't that good of a bike.
  • 1 0
 @adrennan: did you have frame integrity or performance issues with your uprising?
  • 2 0
 @jason3559: well the biggest tire it could fit was a 2.2 which seemed like quite the design oversight for a mountain bike. It definitely could have used better frame protection but I ultimately sold it after only a year and change if I recall to get my canfield which was a better bike in every way.
  • 1 0
 @adrennan: feels like we are repeating this conversation.

www.bikemag.com/videos/2014-bible-of-bike-tests-roundtable-reels-evil-uprising

My anecdotal evidence via one frame (a used one at that) has been awesome. Others seem to have had bad experiences, so I can understand the hate. If the warranty process at Evil is trouble free and in good faith, I wouldn’t be overly concerned.

I’d buy one again, maybe even brand new. Smile
  • 1 0
 @jason3559: for me, like I said above, it just isn't worth giving them another shot. But my preferences have also changed and I try to only support north American bike manufacturers these days so Evil is out of the question in that regard for me as well.
  • 3 0
 Currently riding a tallboy. but still miss my V1 Following. Though the tallboy maybe more stable at high speed, the intuitive telepathic handling of the following is one of a kind. will be interesting to see how they will update it.
  • 1 0
 i think a v3 with a -1 angleset and 130 fork woul'd be sweet, i hope i can try one soon
  • 6 2
 Was this group test affected by limited availability still? Bit of an odd inclusion considering it's so long in the tooth and extortionately priced.
  • 8 17
flag cmb47 (Nov 1, 2022 at 7:06) (Below Threshold)
 Don't even get them started. They'll just get offended and say sorry we didn't test the bike you were hoping to see. There will be a whole article written about which taint butter is best with a poll for the people, but when it comes down to making a poll for which bikes the trades want reviewed it's crickets.
  • 1 1
 @cmb47: Orange Stage Evo please Big Grin
  • 6 0
 @chakaping, we do have an Orange review in the works... It's not the Stage Evo, but it's something.
  • 4 0
 @mikekazimer: One pivot to rule them all Smile
  • 2 0
 is it not the new version? bikerumor.com/evil-following-ls-sram-udh-updates Evil is also not too shy about making small updates that don't change a lot, and not on a model year schedule, so in their case, the age of the design is a bit less relevant, i'd say.
  • 6 1
 -2 degree Works Components headset up transforms The Following. Would recommend.
  • 1 0
 That must have been a very steep seat tube!
  • 1 0
 @deathbystereo: i used the -2 instead of changing to x-low flip chip setting. that way you get to keep / live with the already slack seat up angle of the low setting while getting a reasonable head angle. 130mm fork helps a little too.

I'm on an Following MB and I already pedal strike enough in the low setting to not want to go any lower.
  • 3 0
 One of these bikes made it to a 4th place overall finish at this year's Singletrack 6 race, ridden by a guy in the 40-50 age category. While not the be all end all, that seems a decent testimonial within this bike category.
  • 5 0
 "Snappy"

I see what you did there.
  • 5 0
 Yay a new category, Freecountry!
  • 2 1
 I ride a Wreckoning which is great for park laps and shuttles but is outgunned as a long travel trail bike by the likes of the Firebird, Rallon, Rail, etc. The bike feels extremely solid but the paint job is the worst in the biz and the geo is on the extreme side. This is not a glowing review from PB and I agree with everything, there are better options.
  • 12 0
 Paint job is the worst?! Transition says hi. My Sentinel chips if I look at it hard enough
  • 4 0
 which version Wreckoning?
and your only complaint seems to be that it doesn’t pedal as well as the others up steep singletrack, right?
  • 2 0
 @Pyres: My Scott Ransom would like to take the title of softest paint from your Sentinel.
  • 4 0
 I feel like the writeup was a lot more favorable than the video commentary.
  • 10 1
 I know right? And the timed descent... the bike was so unstable it was the fastest?
  • 7 2
 I wonder how many sales companies have lost due to Super Boost?
  • 2 1
 Mine 4 sure. 100% will not consider super boost
  • 7 0
 The two biggest gripes about superboost: too wide for big feet and forces us to buy new wheels/new “standard”. I have two bikes as superboost and am sz 13 w no issues….as for the wheels, that’s kinda a complaint for the sake of complaining, which is par for the course on PB
  • 2 0
 well it depends, to me evil was a deal breaker, best build for the $$ and i9 wheels, i had no nice wheelset to swap so superboost was really not a problem, plus, the bike rips, the most fun i've ever had ( offering v2 )
  • 1 0
 @NicolaZesty314: agreed on the fun…my Following is a blast….and I went the other way and bought a Salsa Cassidy for a bruiser so I could simply swap burly wheels to Following as it is so capable and fun that it can be ridden far above 120mm pay grade with the right wheels…
  • 1 0
 @teenwolf: pending the year (and size) of you Following.. if you want something insane - swap on 27.5's @ 2.8" to 3"... taking burly to the max. Its off the charts fun
  • 1 0
 @CDT77: oh my!!
  • 2 1
 I've owned 3 evils, The Insurgent V1, Calling, and a Wreckoning V3. All great bikes and just plain fun to ride. I also had a Spur which I built up with a Fox 36 140/Float X @ 27.5lbs which also was a blast to ride too. I like watching reviews, but i'm nowhere near as tiny as the reviewers so I ride what I like and build them all up to suit my needs and style. If I had a Following, I'd run a -1.5 degree Works angleset and the geo would shred!
  • 1 0
 So it's heavy for a short-travel bike, it sucks at climbing and the geometry sets you into an uncomfortable position for pedaling. That could be forgiven if at least it went downhill like hell. But it doesn't do that either because the short and steep geometry makes it twitchy and nervous at high speeds in rough terrain.

So what is this supposed to be then?

Just like other short travel bikes seemingly combine the best of both worlds, this sounds like the worst of both worlds tbh.
  • 1 0
 How tall are the testers?
I can't help but feel most of their issues would be resolved with a bar change and a Large frame?
I'm 5'11 and some change - the Large is perfect for me, I'm running a low rise One carbon bar and a 50mm stem
Come and ride mine Smile
  • 4 1
 Is this the first Evil bike PB has ever reviewed? I remember when the common complaint was that PB never reviews Evils.
  • 6 0
 It’s Halloween
  • 1 0
 Interesting to see that an X01 build with carbon wheels is 14.38 Kg, my Following V1 with DT Swiss M1850 wheels, GX Build and a PIke is 13.27Kg. Wondering where that extra weight is coming from.
  • 1 0
 Its a typo, mid article they say 13kg which is 28,7lbs
  • 3 0
 The text of the article keeps referring to a 66.4 degree head angle. But the Details box lists 67.9 / 67.2. Which is/are it?
  • 1 1
 Mine, in the higher setting, with a 140 Pike is at about 66.5 deg. And a 130 fork in Lower setting had it at about the same.
  • 1 0
 Looks like they've edited the Details box to match the text.
  • 3 0
 Geometry wise this and the Ripley V4 are nearly identical so what makes this a poor climber and the Ripley a good one?
  • 4 6
 I'd guess suspension platform. Evil is a single pivot linkage that reportedly bobs a lot under pedaling and Ibis has the DW Link that is known for its high anti squat and solid pedaling platform.
  • 1 0
 weight for one. The Ibis is magically light. Also the antisquat curve of the ibis is much flatter around the sag point so it is more efficient. Had both simultaneously. Ripley was better under power. Not a fun bike compared to the Following. They are not in the same category in that respect... Ibis is for uphills and not leaving the ground.
  • 1 2
 @pdxkid: Evil Delta Link is DW link. So no.
  • 1 1
 @tadabing: True but it's of course different than the Ibis DW link. I guess there are several DW links out there. Links designed by Dave Weagle
  • 2 0
 @tadabing: Evils are not “DW Link” DW designed the ststem but they use straight up single pivot swingarms
  • 3 0
 @pdxkid: completely wrong. It climbs poorly because of the geo and cockpit setup. Super short chainstays, slack seat tube (slacker than listed when at real ride heights), and a tall cockpit lead to a front end you just can't keep down if it's steep at all. Delta is actually a very good pedaling platform.
  • 2 0
 cool review, why does the "turn off autoplay of videos" button in my setting not apply to the new video player? mobile data isn't free, fix it.
  • 1 0
 Ugh - I'm currently riding a pimped out switchblade but considering a shorter travel bike for my local central NC trails.

Considering this following. A revel rascal. Or an ibis ripley.

What do i do lol?!
  • 2 0
 Oh, I'm sure it's stout and stiff, but it's definitely snappy. Snappy like the average rider's collarbone, perhaps?
  • 3 0
 Close caption? Where did it go?
  • 2 3
 I am usually not one to jump on the "make it slacker bruh" train, but come on, a shred bike with 66.5 degree HA in the low setting is just kind of pointless. I guess nothing a 1 degree angle-set couldn't fix, but why are you spending $150 to fix a $9000 bike right out the showroom?
  • 3 0
 So, the last bike Evil sends to Pinkbike? That was fast!
  • 1 1
 Does the bike come stock with specialized tyre because if so that's pretty interesting. I'm not dissing the choice if anything I love the choice because they are actually amazing!
  • 2 0
 No, they mention in the write up that it comes with Minion DHF Exos. They're putting the Specialized tires on all the bikes to control differences.
  • 1 2
 I’m just bummed ‘down stumpy’ is still a term. No, ‘hind country’. No, ‘down mulchy’ hell I just can’t bring myself to type that dumb ass bike description. Evils aren’t know for being anything remotely trail oriented so putting an Evil into a ‘brown frumpy’ category is just bizarre.

References to poor warranty always finds their way into Evil threads too. I saw the damage of one such claim from someone who evidently didn’t care about his steed much. I’ve had one warranty replacement and one crash replacement in 3 years without hassle from Evil so have zip to complain about in that dept too.
  • 6 4
 almost all of Evil bikes are better than anything on the market right now....people just hating based on past sentiment
  • 1 0
 Editor: oh the times we've spent trying to match up blown out content. haha (the worst is when I shot it myself!) iykyk
  • 2 0
 Can you just go back to putting the videos on YouTube? Thanks
  • 1 0
 Hey guys, can you please field test the Ritchey Ultra, it's a great bike. Thanks
  • 1 0
 $10k. Wowzas..few Years ago this was close to 50% of that
.we're in trouble.
  • 2 0
 I hope Kylie called me
  • 1 0
 Evil's website states 67.9/67.2 angles @mattbeer:
  • 9 0
 @iiman That would be the correct head tube angle when a 120mm fork is installed. We used a 130mm fork in this test. You can toggle between the two geo charts on the Evil website.
  • 2 0
 @mattbeer: I’m curious with the accuracy of their geo chart: usually a 10mm change in fork changes 0.5 degrees, not a full degree. Which would also line up with your reviews comments about it feeling steep. Maybe it’s closer to 67.4/ 66.9 HA. Or is there something unique about this frame that throws out that rule of thumb. Thoughts?
  • 5 8
 It seems like Evil is trying to eek out another model year on a pretty dated bike with bizarre spec choices. You can correct the head angle with a -1 angle set, but the short chain stays will give you snap oversteer. The 51mm offset fork is basically unsellable and contributes to that twitchiness at speed. If you're committed to super boost spacing, a Pivot 429 Trail would be a much better choice.
  • 1 0
 Autoplay is the headset cable-routing of the internet.
  • 1 0
 These bikes are fun. I regret selling.
  • 1 0
 What bike did you move to?
  • 1 0
 @tkrumroy: Insurgent V3. I had a wreckoning frame on order that didn't arrive after 8 months of waiting, so I was stuck with a bunch or superboost stuff. I found a used following v3 and put a 130 spring in a bomber z1. It was a pretty goofy build with FR560s! The following rode like a 29" slope bike that could handle legitimate DH terrain. It was a lot of fun when I was on my game and focused. Interestingly, I find that the insurgent climbs better than the following did.
  • 4 4
 Didn't this bike come out in 2018?
  • 5 1
 no
  • 1 1
 ...
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