Summer time means mountain bike season, which means it's the perfect time to share our latest full suspension project. A brand new Evil Following complete with a build kit to die for. Originally, this rider had big plans this season for epic, multi-day stages races lie the Trans-Alps. He had a killer Open gravel bike, and a bomber Evil Offering all-mountain bike. Both incredible rigs, but neither were quite the right tool for the job. He needed something in the middle, and the Following seemed to be just the answer.
The core of the build is the all new Evil Following frame which was release just a couple months back. The original Follow redefined what a short travel bike could be, with progressive geometry, razor sharp handling, and suspension performance that rivaled longer travel bikes, which sent the whole industry in a frenzy playing catch up. For 2020, the Following has been completely redesigned with a new look and improved kinematics in a lighter packaged.
Dialed suspension is key to any good mountain bike. There's no one size fits all solution, and the set up needs to meet the specifics of the rider's style and intended use. Up front is a Fox 34 Factory Series in 130mm travel. Enough travel and stiffness for long days on demanding terrain, but still light and nimble for big, epic climbs.
We know, initially a coil shock seems a little out of place for an endurance XC bike as most people are used to seeing them on full on downhill rigs, but it's here for good reason. The Push ElevenSix is hands down one of the most tunable shocks out there, and with its two completely isolated compression circuits, it's really like having access to two shocks at the flip of a switch-a serious benefit when traversing all kinds of varied terrain. Push custom builds each shock specifically for the bike, and the rider, and few other options offer that level of personalization. Coil shocks have an unrivaled small bump sensitivity, seeing as there's no seal stiction of friction found in the air shock. He'd also grown accustomed to the performance of the coil shock on his longer travel Offering, and once you've experienced the supple quality of a coil, you never go back.
The shifting and braking is handled predominantly by Shimano XTR. Legendary smoothness and rock solid reliability. Since the Evil uses Super Boost Plus spacing, we went with an XT crank as Shimano does not yet offer an XTR option in the new standard. Mounted to it is a Wolf Tooth 32t ring, matched up to a 10-51t XTR Cassette. The derailleur pulleys and bottom bracket are both upgraded to Ceramic Speed coated units. The XTR brakes provide an incredible level of power, so the lighter weight two-piston calipers made perfect sense here.
The front of the cockpit is comprised of an Enve M6 handle bar and stem. A M5 bar as a close contender for its lighter weight, but the M6 is available in a slightly taller rise, so it became the bar of choice. They're also neatly capped with a set of EE bar plugs. At the seat post we see more of the iconic Fox Kashima coat. A 150mm Factory Transfer Post keeps the saddle there when you need it on the climbs, and gone when the terrain demands more body english.
This Following rolls on a set of Enve M630 rims. We considered the M525's for lighter weight, but ultimately the wider cross section and greater durability of the 630s won out. They're laced up to a set of Industry Nine Hudra hubs, some of our favorite offerings for mountain bikes. They're light weight, have incredible engagement, and we always love a good made in America product. For tires, a set of Maxxis Ardent 2.4s made the cut. They offer plenty of grip and confidence but are still much lighter and faster rolling than the ubiquitous Maxxis Minions.
Trips for bike racing might be put on hold, but this bike is still going to be a perfect ripper for our Marin Country trails. Respectably light, yet remarkably capable, and endlessly fun—exactly what a trail mountain bike should be. Thanks for checking in, and if you've been in search of your dream full-suspension rig we're here to help you out!