As we move into the final stretch of summer, there's no better time to take to the trails and explore Mother Nature across ribbons of single track. This week we share our latest full-squish machine. An all black Evil Following, built up with a balanced cross country trail approach to keep things light and capable for Marin's steepest climbs.
The Dark Stallion
The Following V3 has proven to be one of the most versatile MTB platforms we've ridden. This particular build was decidedly more XC focused, ready to hammer out the climbs the highest peaks, while still being able to pick its way through any possible route back down. It looks down right mean in the matte black finish, which really allows the updated industrial design to really shine.
This rider has been riding eTap on his road bike since it first came out. It's flawless performance on that bike made the unquestionable choice here. With the exception of the X01 Super Boost+ cranks (they've yet to release a SB+ XX1 cranks and 0 offset rings are incredibly hard to find), this bike is XX1 through and through. A 32t ring with the 10-52t cassette make easy work of even the steepest of grades, and the rainbow finish provide the perfect amount of pop on this otherwise blacked out ride.
A Light Touch
The core of the control system is the Enve M5 bar. Super light, super durable, but most importantly it's got the perfect level of flex built, providing an incredibly smooth ride. at 760mm wide, they're strike a great balance between down hill stability with nimbleness for twisty tight single track. Keeping them clamped to the fork is a 50mm Syntace Megaforce 2 stem.
We might have built this bike for XC, but don't think that means it's not meant to play. At the other end, a 150mm Rock Shox AXS Reverb dropper post moves a Fizik Tundra saddle in and out of the way. It might seem insignificant, but the light action and speed at which the AXS remote responds in really something else.
Bring it to a Halt
Keeping with the XC theme, the brakes of choice for this build are Sram's featherweight Level Ultimates. Despite their small size, they've proven to still make plenty of power, especially when paired with 180mm centerline rotors.
The SID Story
Dialed suspension is the key to any great mountain bike (unless of course you're one of those rigid riders) and for here a pairing of Rock Shox units do the job. Up front is the brand new Rock Shox Sid, set up at 120mm with a 44mm offset. We'd considered going full weight weenie with the Ultimate model with the Race Day damper, but in the end the increased tun-ability of the Charge damper in the select model won out.
Controlling the Evil's DELTA linkage is a Rock Shox Deluxe Ultimate. The DELTA is a pretty progressive design, so the higher volume design of the Deluxe compliments it well for XC riding. It's incredibly tunable for an inline shock and we've been really impressed with it's performance on these bikes.
Rolling on M6
You've probably noticed, but the Enve M630 to Industry Nine Hydra combo have become a bit of a staple for us. For lightweight trail bikes, we've just had a hard time finding a better performing set up. They simply just ride and feel so good and are nearly indestructible. For rubber, a pair of Maxxis Rekon 2.40" WT tires get the job done. Fast rolling with excellent cornering grip, and have been great for drier summer riding. The EXO casing provides ample durability while still being light and supple for a buttery smooth ride.
Clean, mean, and ready for throttle twisting speed, regardless if the trail is pointing down or up. It's hard to imagine a more perfect set up for a cross country "plus" rig. Regardless of how you intend to ride, these Evil Following are proving they're ready to step to the plate. Ready to step up your flat bar game? Get in touch, we'll get ready to play.
To see even more photos of this build, head to the gallery here!