The Following X01 Eagle Complete Mountain Bike
The Following. What can we say about the bike that redefined rider's expectations of how a big-wheeled bike should perform, before the industry was even fully on board with aggressive 29er trail bikes? Well it's highly capable, to say the least. So much so that the DELTA-driven 120mm of travel could be considered a bit deceiving as an indicator of what this bike can really do. The Following likes to get rowdy, but does so without robbing your energy like a hefty enduro sled would. It'll tackle the steepest technical trails if you exercise a bit of care in line choice, then happily pedal back to the top of the mountain for round two, three, four, and well… you get the point. The 29in wheels float over obstacles almost effortlessly while preserving your momentum in a way that smaller wheel sizes can't. And with progressive geometry, a low bottom bracket height, and responsive suspension, the bike corners like it's on rails and exudes an eagerness to pop off every rock, root, roller, or drop in sight. It's this type of grin-inducing, two-wheeled fun that got many of us hooked on mountain biking in the first place, and the spirited ride quality of the Following brings us right back to that shredding Nirvana. We're happy to present The Following X01 Eagle Complete Mountain Bike, a ripping trail bike that comes to your doorstep almost ready to ride, and certainly ready to defy expectations.
While it's true that Evil recently released the updated version of this bike, the differences are slight enough that the new bike retains the same name with an added designation of "More Better'er." The Following MB gains Boost hub spacing, a slightly longer reach, and clearance for plus wheels and tires. While it's no doubt that these changes stiffen things up a bit and add a dab of versatility, the main details such as travel, angles, chainstay length, and BB height remain indentical for the most part, meaning both versions of the Following ride very similarly. So if you've heard the industry-wide praise for the Following, but have been looking for the right time to buy, we've put together this build with SRAM's revered XO1 drivetrain and a slew of sturdy components ready for many seasons of ripping trails and slapping berms, all at a price that leaves plenty of funds for epic riding trips to see just what this bike can do.
Part of The Following's success is due to its progressive geometry that's also adjustable so you can dial in the bike for your local terrain and riding style. The frame's linkage includes flip chips that alter the bottom bracket height and head tube angle. When dropped to the Low setting, the bottom bracket sits a scant 12.83in off the ground, and the head tube slacks out to as low as 66.8-degrees. These heights and angles create a bike with impressive cornering prowess, plenty of stability at speed, and a willingness to go airborne at the rider's command. In the High position, the bike has steeper angles with a higher bottom bracket. It's the setting you'd choose for big days with plenty of vertical gain, when climbing abilities matter a bit more than pure shredding capability. Overall, riding the Following is confidence inspiring and will have you going faster and unlocking lines you've never seen or thought about riding on a shorter travel 29er. The long, low stance is finished off with 17in chainstays (16.8in in the High setting) for agile handling on tight singletrack, and the ability to throw the bike around in a moment's notice to get up, over, around, and through obstacles.
All of the full-suspension frames from Evil, this Following included, rely on a suspension platform known as Dave's Extra Legitimate Travel Apparatus, which the brand abbreviates with the acronym DELTA. DELTA is the brainchild of suspension genius Dave Weagle, also of DW-Link and Split-Pivot fame, and this particular design is unique and exclusive to just Evil at the moment. It offers amazing plushness and efficiency while governing the 4.7-inches of travel from the RockShox Monarch shock. It's equally at home on multi-hour exploratory backcountry pedal fests as it is in the park or other shuttle assisted rides.
Evil's decision to use a linkage driven single pivot design stems from its ability to achieve a level of adjustability not afforded on DW-link's multi-link design. The origins of the DELTA platform began as a design for testing different suspension curves, so naturally, it affords Evil the ability to exactly manipulate the kinematics that it desired on the Following—a supple early stroke for smoothness through chattery terrain, a supportive mid-stroke for efficient pedaling, popping, and pumping, and a more progressive end-stroke to take the harshness out of bottoming during those "oh crap!" moments. The pivot location reduces the need for aggressive shock damping, which left us with the shock in open mode most of the time for better traction on technical climbs and descents, only switching to mid or firm modes for extended fire road or pavement climbs. The beefy linkages pivot on dual row angular contact bearings and the mass of carbon that is the rear triangle promotes a stiff chassis while allowing room for its built-in sag meter that lets you quickly check your air pressure settings at the trailhead before embarking on a singletrack mission. Just reset the little toggle dial, hop on the saddle, and add or remove air until your sag is in the proper range.
The DELTA platform gets a lot of credit for the way the bike rides, but its carbon construction is a big part of it too, and Evil's current crop is some of the most beautiful, and more importantly, strong and durable, one-piece molded frames in the industry. Each frame is laid-up with a targeted blend of T700 and T800 carbon, which are both high-modulus unidirectional fibers from Toray. Toray is a name that we'd expect to see associated with a lightweight climber's road frame, not a hard-charging trail bike, but that just proves Evil is after quality. Every frame's life begins with EPS and silicone molds. The carbon is laid up around these and then compacted from inside and out, resulting in uniform wall thickness and eliminating excess resin pooling and the kind of imperfections and structural weaknesses that rocks and trail furniture exploit to cause frame failures. The insistence on using this material and layup technique ensures that even though Evil the brand doesn't take itself too seriously, it absolutely insists that its frames are built to an exacting standard that meets its rigorous QC and safety checks.
This bike is a custom in-house build that gets Rockshox's top-tier Pike RCT3 fork to match the supple stroke of the frame's Monarch RT3 DebonAir rear shock. A SRAM XO1 Eagle drivetrain has a massive 500% gear range and low 50t bailout gear, helping you and the bike conquer the mountain both up and down with its precise shifting and unwavering durability. Race Face Next SL G4 cranks are among the lightest and stiffest on the market, providing efficient power transfer to the pedals while scrapping unnecessary weight to promote quick accelerations. Guide RSC brakes are capable of quickly arresting that speed with their impressive stopping power paired with modulation that lets you check your speed without immediately breaking traction, unlike other brakes that have too much bite. The cockpit consists of carbon TruVativ Descendant bars bolted to a lightweight yet burly Descendant 50mm stem for precise steering with no unwanted flex, along with a Raceface Turbine dropper and WTB Volt saddle out back. Sturdy e*thirteen wheels keep you rolling true while Michelin's grippy Force AM tires offer plenty of traction on dry terrain, be it fast hardpack trails, or something a bit more loose and sketchy.
- Evil's shorter travel 29in ripper with a prime build kit
- 4.7in of DELTA travel is playful, efficient, & can take big hits
- Progressive geometry is ready to get rowdy
- Flip chips adjust geometry to the terrain and your riding style
- Sag meter helps dial in the ride height
- Toray carbon fiber builds up a stiff, light, and durable frame
- Spec'd with our premium in-house XO1 build kit
- Evil Bikes are built for fun with no compromises