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