Even from afar, the badass attitude of the Evil The Following is undeniable, with its long, slack frame, black finish, and aggressive aesthetic commanding attention. But seeing as it only has 120 mm of travel, will it really deliver the ultimate fun on the trails? How evil is the Evil?
Reputed to pair monster truck wheels with the velocity of a sports car, it’s evident at first glance that this bike has been designed for some serious gnar – and that’s with its minimal travel. With 130 mm of sensitive travel, the RockShox PIKE RCT3 fork teams with the progressive 120 mm rear and the MAXXIS HighRoller II tires to provide ample grip and outstanding levels of control. For downhill junkies, the rest of the spec list reads promisingly, beginning with the efficient SRAM X1 drivetrain and continuing right through to the stable Race Face wheels and well-considered 760 mm Race Face bars and 50 mm stem. In terms of ergonomics and geometry from the cockpit and the riding position, the Evil has it nailed for the flats and climbs – although don’t expect many Strava records…[emaillocker id=”139658″]
Until you point the bike downhill! This is where The Following goes hell for leather, with its super-balanced nature keeping it glued to the ground without skimping on feedback. The progressive rear end has a real snap to it, yet irons out bumps royally. Even the most brutal huck-to-flat moves won’t ruffle this Evil’s feathers. Thanks to its sagacious geometry, the bike is a treat to ride, turning both rapid switchbacks and gnarly rock gardens into your playground. For riders with an evil side, this bike is the one to push your limits on.
Specs of the Evil The Following X1
Fork: RockShox Pike RCT3
Rear shock: RockShox Monarch RT3 DebonAir
Brakes: SRAM Guide R
Drivetrain: SRAM X1
Seatpost: RockShox Reverb Stealth
Stem: Easton Haven 35
Handlebar: Easton Haven 35 750 mm
Wheels: Race Face Aeffect 29″
Tires: Maxis Minion DHF / Maxxis Minion DHR
Weight: 13.27 kg
Price: € 5,399
The Following somehow manages to deliver even more downright daredevilry than its aggressive look hints at. A real wolf in wolves’ clothing, it’s the ultimate bike for riders whose current enduro bike might be on the indirect and lumbering side for certain shreds. Its reliable spec and downhill-orientated geometry make it a bit of a slow-burner on climbs though.
- mega-balanced handling
- a force on descents
- unique look
- burly on the climbs
For more information head to the Evil Website.
For an overview of the test fleet head to the main article: 9 short-travel trail bikes in comparison
All bikes in test: Canyon Nerve AL 9.9 LTD | FOCUS Spine C Factory | MERIDA ONE-TWENTY 8000 | Norco OPTIC C7.2 | Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt BC Edition | SCOTT Genius 910 | Specialized Camber Comp Carbon 29 | Trek FUEL EX 9.8 29
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Words: Photos: Noah Haxel, Christoph Bayer