The Evil The Following was one of the first short-travel bikes to blur the lines, a 120 mm big-attitude trail weapon that worked well everywhere. Now, that sector is exploding, and the market is now far more competitive. Evolving to keep up, Evil has just launched a new Following with some important, and potentially polarising updates.
Reading through the Evil Following press release, their team has clearly been sipping hard on the marketing juice. They claim “The Evil the Following inhales trails, hunts for mischief, rewards deviously rowdy behavior. It took naysayers and made slaysayers. It slashed and burned a category only thought fit for naptime. It redefined short-is-big, support-is-necessary, progression-is-key, pop-is-king.” Slick marketing lyrics aside, when we tested the Evil Following back in 2016 it was a sick bike, taking on terrain that made a mockery of its diminutive 120mm of travel. Yes, it was a little more work on the ups than the skinny XC bikes of the time, but on the descents, it opened up gaps like a can-opener. Times have now changed, and there are many fire breathing short-travel bikes that can put the hurt on long travel enduro machines. With Evil’s release of the new The Following, they have given it some updates and redesigned aesthetic, but the changes won’t please everyone.
What’s new with the new Evil Following 2020
The current Evil Following is a well-loved bike, and anyone fearing a radical redesign will be pleased as the new Following model is more of an evolution, not a revolution. The D.E.L.T.A suspension design remains, which should retain the distinctive Evil ride quality, defined by high pedalling efficiency and a suspension system that revels in fast hits. The new frame is unsurprisingly longer (reach up from 439 mm to 480 mm in the Large), with a steeper 77-degree seat tube (with 120 mm fork), for a more forward and aggressive pedalling position. A tried and tested threaded B.B. will delight home mechanics or anyone who does not like hammering bearings into delicate carbon fibre. The internally-tubed cable routing will also attract many fans, leaving a tidy finish without the swearing. The main pivot has widened, and all the hardware sizes have increased for more durability and stiffness, and the rubber moulded chainstay protection has been reworked with sound mounds, to help dampen chain slap. One thing that may deter potential customers is the move to a Super Boost+ 157 mm rear end. While this has allowed Evil to rework their pivots for short chainstays and maximum stiffness, it limits aftermarket wheelset choice.
The new frame will be available in Protein Powder and Black
Evil The Following 2020 Geometry
Looking at the geometry table, if we had to describe the Evil The Following 2020, it would be ‘middle ground’. This is a good thing, as for a 120 mm ‘shred-machine’ balance is crucial and Evil have not pushed anything into compromising territory. Evils are generously sized, and in size Large features a 480 mm reach, 432 mm chainstays, a 1205 mm wheelbase, 604 mm stack, 329 mm B.B. height, 66.4-degree head angle and 75.5-degree seat tube angle. A geometry adjustment lets you choose between LOW and X-LOW. The numbers in this table correspond to a 130 mm fork.
Evil The Following 2020 Models
The Evil The Following is available frame-only in fours sizes, with RockShox Deluxe Ultimate R.C.T. shock, for €3499.99 There are currently three full build models in the lineup with A.X.S. builds to be announced in the spring.
Evil The Following G.X. I9 Hydra €6,399.99
The Following G.X. I9 Hydra comes with a full 12 speed SRAM GX Drivetrain, SRAM G2 R.S. brakes with 180 / 180 mm rotors. A 120 or 130 mm RockShox Pike Ultimate Charger 2 RC2 fork handles the hits, backed up by a Rockshox Deluxe Ultimate R.C.T. Debonair shock. The Following rolls on Industry Nine Enduro S Hydra wheels, fitted with Maxxis Minion DHF EXO TR 2.3 tires. The bike is finished off with a RockShox Reverb Stealth dropper post with a 125, 150 or 170 mm drop for sizes S, M and L/XL respectively.
Evil The Following X.T. I9 Hydra €6,799.99
If you are more of a Shimano / FOX fan, The Following X.T. I9 Hydra comes with a full 12 speed Shimano X.T. Drivetrain, X.T. 4-piston brakes with 180 / 180 mm rotors. The build comes with a Fox 34 Factory Float Step-Cast 120mm FIT4 Kabolt 110 51mm offset fork (A 120 or 130 mm RockShox Pike Ultimate Charger 2 RC2 fork will also be an option). The Following X.T. rolls on the same Industry Nine Enduro S Hydra wheels, fitted with Maxxis Minion DHF EXO TR 2.3 tires. The bike is finished off with a Bikeyoke dropper post with a 125, 150 or 185 mm drop for sizes S, M/L and XL respectively.
Evil The Following X01 I9 Hydra €7,599.99
A full X01 build can be brought with an X01 drivetrain, carbon bar, upgraded stem, and SRAM G2 R.S.C. brakes.
Our thoughts on the new Evil The Following 2020
The 120 mm ‘trail slayer’ aggressive short travel trail bike is one of the most exciting categories at the moment. As enduro bikes push into 180 mm monsters capable of tearing the mud from the corners of any W.C. D.H. track, and trail bikes can handle a day of uplifted bike park action, a huge space is opening up for bikes that can pedal all day and not embarrass you on the descents. On paper, the new Evil The Following 2020 looks balanced and fun. However, choosing to engineer around the uncommon Super Boost+ 157mm axle standard will polarise potential customers, so we hope that it rides like Evil claim. We look forward to testing one.
For more infomation, check out the Evil website.
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Words: Photos: Evil