Editor’s Note: We’re excited to welcome longtime forum member Kent Robertson to the front page of the website. Kent (or KRob) has been riding — and evaluating — bikes for almost two decades, and his insightful analysis is a welcome addition to the Mtbr editorial team. You can read more of Kent’s bike reviews here.
The Following has created quite a stir in the bike industry. Evil Bikes carved out a whole new niche in the bike world with this short travel, aggressive geometry 29er trail shredder.
“Monster truck wheels with a sports car feel…. A FUN, versatile, yet aggressive short travel, big wheel trail bike with progressive geometry that could be at home on all day adventures, slashing trails or riding jump lines.” is how Evil Bikes describes the Following. We’d have to agree they hit that target.
Evil was not officially at Interbike’s Dirt Demo, but as I was sitting eating my lunch a guy rode up on an Insurgent, Evil’s just-released 27.5″ enduro rig. I quickly dropped what I was eating and asked him where he got it. Turns out Vittoria has a new mountain bike tire line they were wanting to showcase and could not have picked a better bike to get attention drawn to their tent.
Long Effective Top Tube
I’d read with interest the long sizing discussions on the Mtbr.com Evil Bikes forum and wondered, with The Following’s long effective top tube and reach if I’d be more comfortable on a medium or large. I’m still a little undecided which I’d order if I were ordering one today, but I will say the medium I test rode fit quite well.
It may have been a bit cramped for long smoother climbs, but for standing and hammering the medium felt great. The Following really encourages a stand up and shred attitude with its rally racer low, long, and slack geometry. The short chainstays make you want to pump and manual everything in site. All the while the big wheels and well-controlled but short suspension travel are just gobbling up some pretty nasty trail conditions that have flummoxed many much more DH-specific bikes I’ve ridden.
I was unaware of the bigger wagon wheels doing anything that compromised the ride in any way, even though when looking out over the bars the front wheel sticks out there quite prominently.
Going Up — and Down!
Climbing was exceptional on the short steep, sometimes loose and often rocky ascents on the way down our usual run. The rear tire stuck to the ground and did not spin out or bounce you around when putting down the power. We didn’t have an opportunity to test it on any long, sustained climbs but it pedaled very efficiently both seated and standing and the seated position seemed to put the rider in a good position for long climbs…..although I must admit, I didn’t sit much on the Following. It was all about the BMX style pumping, gapping, and railing.