Big wheels, short travel, slack angles for Evil’s brand new bike
While it looks like the entire mountain bike industry has decided 650b wheels are the future, along comes Evil Bikes with its brand new The Following. It has 29in wheels. The new bike made its debut in the UK this week where to turned more than a few heads.
You’d think that Evil would have gone with 650b wheels for its new bike, following on from its 26in-wheeled Uprising, given the huge popularity and rapid uptake of the new middle wheel size. No, instead it has produced a carbon fibre 29er with 120mm of rear wheel travel via the DELTA suspension system, with a geometry that is long and slack. And it looks really good as a result of that determination not to be swayed by trends and hype.
“We really wanted to create a fun, versatile, yet aggressive short travel, big wheel trail bike with progressive geometry that could be at home on all day adventures, slashing trails or riding jump lines,” says Evil.
There are some very good and very capable short travel 29ers, and The Following joins some good company. There’s the excellent Specialized Camber and Kona Process for instance, both proving you don’t need buckets of travel to rip up the trail. With the sort of numbers The Following is packing, I expect it to be a highly capable bike. Just don’t let the short travel fool you into thinking it’s a cross-country bike.
Designed by Dave Weagle, the DELTA suspension system is essentially a single pivot with a linkage assembly driving the shock, which allows the leverage curve to be tuned to provide good small bump sensitivity in the early stroke, a linear action in the middle and ramping up to prevent bottoming out.
The pivots all feature 15mm thru-axles to beef up the stiffness, and the position of the shock low in the frame will provide a low centre of gravity. The frame is nicely finished with internal cable routing and 12×142 rear axle. There’s also a down tube protector to ward off rocks from smashing the carbon fibre.
The Following has been designed around a 120-130mm suspension fork, and with the shorter travel fork installed you’re looking at a 67.2˚ in its slacker setting – a flip chip lets you adjust the geometry. It’s more laidback than many other 29ers of the same travel (they’re typically 68-69). It’s short out back, with 432mm chainstays.
The Following is available in four frames sizes and costs £2,399 for the frame, and complete bikes starting from £4,799. It’s available from the Silverfish website.