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  1. #1
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    Evil Bikes: The Following Ė User Review

    I havenít seen any user reviews posted other than the oft-cited bike publications, and many forum users have been asking about this bike, so I thought Iíd share some of my own thoughts on the new Evil Following.

    Background

    I grabbed one of the few frames that were made available after the initial release and got around to building up my medium in time for the long weekend. Iíve since spent two and a half, very thorough days flogging the thing--enough to glean some good insight. It certainly gathered some crowds and I was surprised how many other riders recognized it and rode over to chat with me about it.

    I was looking for an aggressive trail bike; so take note that I am judging the bike from this perspective. I regularly race XC and endurance events and have purpose-built short-travel FS and hardtail bikes already for those. So this bike is for trashing around technical trails, popping off ledges, getting airÖyou get the idea.

    Iím also not one to have new-purchase-justification-syndrome, where those afflicted overly praise a product to make themselves feel better about its purchase ☺ Iíve been testing and trying out multiple mid-travel trail bikes (all wheel sizes) looking for the perfect one. Two favorites remain with me to this day since I havenít been able to get myself to part with either of them: An Ibis Ripley and a Specialized Camber Expert Carbon Evo. Iíll use these two great bikes for comparison.

    The Build

    I built up the Following with a Pike, XX1, an Enve AM wheelset with Purgatory and Slaughter tires, Specialized Command Post, XTR Trail brakes and pedals, 780mm carbon bars and a 70mm stem. Weight is 27 pounds even.

    Fork Travel

    I rode a full day on the Pike at 140mm, rebuilt it later that day with a 130mm airshaft and rode it the next day at 130mm. Iím contemplating a return to 140mm despite the bikeís recommended travel of 120 or 130. At 140, there was noticeably more wheel flop on slow turns and there was more finesse needed while cornering but the bike just ate everything up and the 140 matched that magic, seemingly bottomless rear end well.

    Suspension

    Iíve read a bit on the technical details of the DELTA linkage and how works in theory, by changing the shock characteristics depending on where in the stroke the swingarm is positioned, but the effect is not at all perceptible. In fact I mentioned to my buddy that it was amazing how I didnít think about the bike suspension at all. It just worked in all the different scenarios I threw at it. Standing and jamming up a steep climb, braking over stutter bumps, landing a jump to flat. All scenarios had the suspension working so well it never announced itself.

    In contrast, the Ripley (paired with a 140mm Pike), an amazing climber and acceleration machine, complains to me often when blasting downhill, like on the awesome, gnarly, steep Santa Cruz trails that have large clusters of successive bumps. The rear end would go from supple to hardtail-like and no amount of tweaking the Fox, XFusion or DBInline rear shocks I had for it would tame that characteristic. The Camber Evoís rear on the other hand would remain active through the same sections, but I could never get the bike set-up to use most of the rear travel without making it too wallowy. When setup with proper sag, the Camber likes to ride high on top of the stroke. The Following went through the same trails with no issues, using most of its rear travel yet never leaving me with the feeling like it ever bottomed out.

    Climbing was equally impressive. When pointed upward, that super active rear end seen on the downhill sections transforms into an efficient pedaling platform. Like the Ripley, I rarely if ever switched out the rear shock from the fully open position, only doing so on long climb-outs on fireroad, and mostly because I was curious and not because it needed it.

    I never felt the rear suspension locking out when braking, which I heard was a negative trait of single pivot designs. In fact I canít find anything at the moment to complain about regarding the rear suspension action. Well except for the placement of the Monarchís three position switch. While on the move, itís a tight fit when putting your hand in between the rear shock and the moving linkages to flip it. Luckily flipping the switch is not needed often, if at all.

    The Frame

    First thing youíll notice when pulling the frame out of the box is its heft and size. The thing is built like a tank. Large tubes, wide expanses of carbon, massive junctions. The large seatstays bow out quite a bit toward the rear and I got some heel strike on occasion since I ride somewhat duck footed. On my second day I was able to avoid it altogether.

    Cable routing is simple and straightforward. Internal for the dropper post. Under the top tube for the rear brake and rear shifter, which drop neatly into the seat stays. Much cleaner and frustration-free compared to the Ripley but not as stealthy as the all-internal routing of the Camber Evo.

    Cleaning the Monarch rear shock will be interesting though as its hidden inside a cage of linkages and carbon fiber.

    This is no weight weenie frame. 6.2 pounds on my digital scale. More than a pound and a quarter more than the Ripley (Edit: with X-Fusion rear). But as I discovered, this bike is built to demolish trails, not climb like a bat out of hell only to descend gingerly down the other side.

    Geometry is what originally sold me. The Ripley has downright miniscule reach numbers. Same with many Santa Cruz and Intense offerings. My size large Ripley has nearly all the same size dimensions as the medium Following and medium Specialized Camber Evo. The Following has a head angle thatís much slacker than all of these. It has a longer reach, but much shorter chainstays. Shorter than a Blur TRc 26er, shorter than an Enduro 29er. Coupled with a 51 offset fork, the effect is great handing. Great stability at speed yet a very playful nature in the twisties.

    Conclusion

    I think I found what is as close to my perfect trail bike as Iíll ever find from what is available today. Iíve never gone faster downhill, carved tighter on the berms, or flown higher on the jumps than on this bike. And that includes my 650b bikes sporting 160mm front and rear. Time will tell on durability issues. There are quite a few moving parts on the Delta linkage so Iím hoping everything remains quiet after a season of muddy fall riding. For now, consider me amazed at its capabilities. Canít wait to take it out again!


    More details to come...


    -following1.jpg
    Last edited by ducrider; 01-26-2015 at 02:32 PM.

  2. #2
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    Thanks so much for the review. I'm coming directly from a Ripley so your thoughts are very relevant to me. I loved the climbing prowess and acceleration of the Ripley and I'm hoping the Following is similar.

    Can you elaborate on the climbing and acceleration of Following compared to the Ripley?

  3. #3
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    OP: Great review. How tall are you and inseam if you know it? Thanks.

  4. #4
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    great initial review - thanks for taking the time to write this.

    if you don't mind me asking, how tall are you?

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    Sweet!!! Nice build and summary!!! 27lbs - wow! What geo setting do you have it in? Interesting about the 140mm fork statement.

    Also what trails do you typically ride in Santa Cruz? That's where I ride as well, I own an Uprising.

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    Nice review, Ducrider--thanks! I guess I shouldn't be surprised that the Following sounds a lot like the Uprising. After spending a bit of time on my Nimble 9 (w/ 140mm fork), I've been looking for my ideal trailbike: a short-chainstay/slack-head-angle 29er w/ an active rear end equal to the Nimble's front end. Although I've been waiting patiently for Canfield to bring their FS 29er to market, Evil's Following ticks all my boxes. Now I just need to find the coin to put one in my garage.

  7. #7
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    Re: First Rider Review of The Evil Following

    Quote Originally Posted by ducrider View Post
    I havenít seen any user reviews posted other than the oft-cited bike publications, and many forum users have been asking about this bike, so I thought Iíd share some of my own thoughts on the new Evil Following.
    Maybe cross-post on the 29er forum? Lots of buzz there over the Following...

    So this bike is for trashing around technical trails, popping off ledges, getting airÖyou get the idea.
    As you'd expect with that geo... the question being, is this a bike you would also do long epics at elevation, all-day in the saddle, climbing 4-6k feet? I'm guessing not but wd be interested in your opinion.



    In contrast, the Ripley (paired with a 140mm Pike), an amazing climber and acceleration machine, complains to me often when blasting downhill, like on the awesome, gnarly, steep Santa Cruz trails that have large clusters of successive bumps...
    Climbing was equally impressive. When pointed upward, that super active rear end seen on the downhill sections transforms into an efficient pedaling platform. Like the Ripley, I rarely if ever switched out the rear shock from the fully open position, only doing so on long climb-outs on fireroad, and mostly because I was curious and not because it needed it.
    Not sure if I'm reading right, but it sounds like you're saying this climbs as well as the Ripley? That'd be something!




    The large seatstays bow out quite a bit toward the rear and I got some heel strike on occasion since I ride somewhat duck footed. On my second day I was able to avoid it altogether...
    You adjusted your stroke in other words? I find that works temporarily but when you get fatigued or need to add body english you go back to scraping... maybe something you could report back on later?


    This is no weight weenie frame. 6.2 pounds on my digital scale. More than a pound and a quarter more than the Ripley. But as I discovered, this bike is built to demolish trails, not climb like a bat out of hell only to descend gingerly down the other side.
    Thanks, great detail.

    I think I found what is as close to my perfect trail bike as Iíll ever find from what is available today. Iíve never gone faster downhill, carved tighter on the berms, or flown higher on the jumps than on this bike. And that includes my 650b bikes sporting 160mm front and rear.
    Wow. This is truly hard to believe for a 29er compared to, say, an HD3 or T275, even a Nomad. Makes me stoked to try this thing!


    More details to come...
    Yes please! You're the only one of us so far who's had the privilege of riding and posting. I'm sure we'll all appreciate your updates while we wait for the chance to throw a leg over the Following. Thanks again for your generosity sharing.
    All bike, all the time

  8. #8
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    I assume you went with the standard headset.

    6 pounds. Ugh. I have to say I'm a bit ashamed to be looking at a bike with bashguard tabs if I'm trying to find something similar to the Ripley. It's apples and oranges, or is it. It sounds even better. But...

    I'm 130 pounds. Every ounce I remove is a big deal.

    Can anyone convince me that 1+ pounds isn't a deal breaker? I grew up XC. Then again, I ride an original Mojo, and really enjoy it.

    Or, it that extra weight desirable in the sense that the bike is stiff and solid?

    Thanks for review!
    Note to self: 85% of FTP for 20 min.

  9. #9
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    From what I've heard the weight is centered low and isn't noticeable. The Following is lighter than the Uprising by almost .75-1 pounds.

    I personally don't mind a little extra weight if it makes a better performing bike in terms of stiffness and handling.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin+M View Post
    From what I've heard the weight is centered low and isn't noticeable. The Following is lighter than the Uprising by almost .75-1 pounds.

    I personally don't mind a little extra weight if it makes a better performing bike in terms of stiffness and handling.

    I'm getting a support group vibe. Haha.

    But yeah, like Merckx says, just get stronger. I have at least 15,000 miles on the Mojo, and it's flopping loose from wear.

    Also, totally OT, I want to know more about this seemingly secret company of 1-10 employees. I know the guy who owns Sotto group, maybe I can ask him. But this company that has produced this bike seems to be coming from obscurity. There isn't even an Evil forum here.
    Note to self: 85% of FTP for 20 min.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregg K View Post
    Also, totally OT, I want to know more about this seemingly secret company of 1-10 employees. I know the guy who owns Sotto group, maybe I can ask him. But this company that has produced this bike seems to be coming from obscurity. There isn't even an Evil forum here.
    Not that obscure, they've been around a while. Just small scale and boutique.

    Maybe start your reading here.... The Writer Knows Nothing: EVIL |

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    I actually stopped by Evil World Headquarters, (my name, not theirs ;-) yesterday in Seattle and Keith, the owner, graciously let me take his personal bike out for a spin then talked with me for an hour about The Following. Awesome owner, really nice team of guys, beautiful bikes, passionate about what the sell and ride. What more could you ask for? The Following looks like the real deal. I can say its the first 29'er I've thrown a leg over and been excited about. Their prices reflect that fact that they understand that bike have gotten crazy-expensive so they are choosing to do more direct marketing to try and make these gorgeous bikes affordable to more people. My next bike may very well be The Following.

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    'And it just looks so damn good !

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tenacious Doug View Post
    Not that obscure, they've been around a while. Just small scale and boutique.

    Maybe start your reading here.... The Writer Knows Nothing: EVIL |

    That's so amazing. It's kind of an Ibis-esque story with more suffering. Building bikes has gone from Tom Ritchey in his garage, to cnc machinists on another continent, cranking out bikes like a monster. Their nightmare is why I didn't send injection molds offshore. I love these dedicated, small groups who yearn for expressing their creative concepts. I wish I could have an opportunity like that again. But I've avoided it for the very reasons they had troubles. But then I do have a friend in Taiwan who goes between manufacturers and designers. But they're still alive! Amazing.

    These guys have been through hell. Given the quality of their design, and their attitude on the subject, it makes me want to buy their bike even all that much more. .

    Once again I'm inspired.
    Note to self: 85% of FTP for 20 min.

  15. #15
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    Couldn't agree more. It is a gorgeous frame.

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    Evil Bikes: The Following Ė User Review

    Quote Originally Posted by ducrider View Post

    Cleaning the Monarch rear shock will be interesting though as its hidden inside a cage of linkages and carbon fiber.

    Great write up!
    This gives me a bit of a concern. Do you mean keeping it clean on the trail, or just general cleanliness? I know the Evil guys are not averse to a bit of mud being from the PNW, but nothing compares to our Scottish mud season, which tends to last 12 months a year. Last thing I want is something that clogs up.

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    Some replies to questions;

    OP: Great review. How tall are you and inseam if you know it? Thanks.
    I'm about 5 9 with 32 inseam. I was contemplating a large since I ride with my saddle far forward and didn't want to use too long a stem. In the end the medium worked out great.

    A great data point for those who have a size dilemma: the medium and large actually have the same stack height and head tube length so essentially your position on the bike relative to the bottom bracket is the same on either size (same chainstay lengths), your bar height will also be the same, but the large will be a couple of CM longer in front of you in terms of reach and the wheelbase will correspondingly lengthen in front of you. Since the head tube is already slack, I didn't want the front wheel even further away from me with a large, so I chose medium with a 70mm stem and chose a shorter wheelbase as the priority.

    Can you elaborate on the climbing and acceleration of Following compared to the Ripley?
    It feels very Ripley-like when stomping on the pedals. I will get on my Ripley later today to do a back-to-back and explore this more

    Dude! Sweet!!! Nice build and summary!!! 27lbs - wow! What geo setting do you have it in? Interesting about the 140mm fork statement. Also what trails do you typically ride in Santa Cruz? That's where I ride as well, I own an Uprising.
    I have it on the 'High' setting and am using the stock headset (not the angleset). I'll spend more time on the 130 then try the 140 again to make up my mind. Point is I thought I would hate the 140 and only rode it that way because I didn't get to finish my bike build the night before and the only Pikes I had that I could use were set at 140mm and 120mm. I was pleasantly surprised at how it worked at 140.

    I ride UCSC, Demo...For those of you not familiar, basically if you watch any Santa Cruz or Ibis promo video, those would be the trails.

    As you'd expect with that geo... the question being, is this a bike you would also do long epics at elevation, all-day in the saddle, climbing 4-6k feet?
    Well, obviously not ideal for that but we regularly put out that kind of elevation gain just riding all day around the aggressive trails around Santa Cruz. The best trails have very long descents so the climbs are super long singletrack or bumpy fireroad grinds. So it helps to have an efficient climbing machine. I had no issues climbing this bike. I would have issues on a long travel squishy bike with minimal platform.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregg K View Post
    ...6 pounds. Ugh. I have to say I'm a bit ashamed to be looking at a bike with bashguard tabs if I'm trying to find something similar to the Ripley. It's apples and oranges, or is it. It sounds even better. But...

    I'm 130 pounds. Every ounce I remove is a big deal.

    Can anyone convince me that 1+ pounds isn't a deal breaker? I grew up XC. Then again, I ride an original Mojo, and really enjoy it.

    Or, it that extra weight desirable in the sense that the bike is stiff and solid?

    Thanks for review!
    It's horses for courses, having the right tool for the job, etc., blah blah. There are plenty of 29er short-travel FS bikes optimized for Strava KOM bragging rights uphill, and pedaling efficiency on rolling terrain or buff single track. But there are far fewer 29er short-travel FS bikes optimized for ripping downhill on rowdier terrain, and thankfully that market segment is growing. And in that select group, how many have the combo of ~67 deg HA, 17" chainstays, weigh less than 7lbs, and are carbon?

    For bikes like this, a 6.2 lb frame weight (including air shock) is light--most of the direct competition are alloy and weigh 1-1.5lbs heavier. If any of those bikes tried to suck weight to grapple in a lower weight class, you'd likely to feel the undesirable effects of a flexy frame when pushing the bike hard.

    Also, 1+ lbs of frame weight is not much since it's static weight--ie, you're more likely to notice a 1+ lb increase or decrease in rotational tire/wheel mass than if you simply increase or decrease the same mass from your frame.

    If you want to look at it from another angle, 1 lb is about how much 15 fluid ounces of water weighs--so if your 20 oz water bottle is 3/4 full vs empty (or your hydration bladder has 15 ounces more water), does that make or break your ability to ascend over 4000 ft of climbing on a long morning ride? Maybe if you run out of water, but otherwise that extra weight is probably negligible, especially if you consider the work you do when climbing is a function of total weight and includes your weight fully kitted in addition to total bike weight. So if you weigh 130lbs, wear 5 lbs of riding gear, and pedal a 27 lb trail bike, your total weight is 162 lbs, and a ~1 lb difference is therefore less than 1% overall--ie pedal a bike with a frame that's 1lb lighter and you've cut less than 1% of your total weight.

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    Why a medium with a 70mm stem? Did you not consider the large so you can run a shorter stem?

    Good review...like your writing style.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by slo_rider View Post
    It's horses for courses,



    I think you kind of nailed it. I tend to be a purist without thinking the whole thing through. And I'm a climber. I used to ride over Madonna for my school commute rather than get on the roads. Not much of a climb really, but I think one reason I've hesitated on the Ripley is a 70 degree HA. There are rock gardens off Cuesta ridge that we rode before shocks, but would still probably be pretty tough on a steep HA with suspension. I've heard Ibis say that the bigger wheel ends up out in front enough that it's not an issue. But I'm riding super tight singletrack that isn't very forgiving.

    This bike keeps growing on me.
    Note to self: 85% of FTP for 20 min.

  21. #21
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    @ducrider....Thanks for the review. I am looking for an upgrade from my RIP-9.

    I'm 5'10", with short torso and arms, and very long legs, and my medium rip with 75mm stem fits really well, and is a good balance between climbing and descending. A medium Following with a 70 stem would be almost identical in fit to my RIP-9.

    My question is have you gotten a chance to ride it up any really technical climbs yet? I love cleaning technical, rocky climbs. I don't care about speed, but don't want the bike to wear me out when climbing long sections of chunk. I love chunky, ledge ridden, rocky climbs. The RIP-9 climbs this stuff well but is not the best coming down those same chunky sections. How is the Following at keeping traction, and keeping the nose down up super steep, out on the nose of the saddle, fight for every foot of trail, kinds of climbs?

  22. #22
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    twowheelsdown2002:
    My question is have you gotten a chance to ride it up any really technical climbs yet?
    I've motored up some rocky ascents and the rear remained very active over the uneven terrain but I got no perception of pedal-induced bob even while standing and mashing. What I haven't tried is climbing it on super chunk, like large rock steps and basketball size boulder fields. We have a couple of those trails in the Bay Area and I will try that next. Those are the trails where my Ripley with a 140 Pike shined.

    Greg K:
    I think one reason I've hesitated on the Ripley is a 70 degree HA
    Yes, the Ripley never felt good to me as an aggressive trail bike when on a 120mm fork, two of which I tried with both offset types. The bike felt twitchy at speed. At 140mm, 51 offset, the Ripley became a much better trail bike to me and I was able to ride it harder. Not just because of the additional 20mm of travel, but due to the head angle slackening further and the wheelbase increasing. The thing about the Ripley, I know Ibis designed it to mimic a 26er in its handling characteristics. Hence the steep HA, short wheelbase, super short reach, and 51 offset fork to minimize trail values. The result is a very playful handling bike but one that can be a bit nervous in high-speed handling. As a 120mm forked XC bike, it definitely carves the twisties with ease though.

    The Following seems like a bike that was designed to properly leverage the strengths of a 29er for total trail domination rather than mimic how a 26 or 650b wheeled bike would do it.

    Loamranger:
    Why a medium with a 70mm stem? Did you not consider the large so you can run a shorter stem?
    I was contemplating a large since I ride with my saddle far forward and didn't want to use too long a stem. In the end the medium worked out great.

    A great data point for those who have a size dilemma: the medium and large actually have the same stack height and head tube length so essentially your position on the bike relative to the bottom bracket is the same on either size (same chainstay lengths), your bar height will also be the same, but the large will be a couple of CM longer in front of you in terms of reach and the wheelbase will correspondingly lengthen in front of you. Since the head angle is already slack, I didn't want the front wheel even further away from me with a large, so I chose medium with a 70mm stem and chose a shorter wheelbase as the priority.

    Tenacious Doug:
    This gives me a bit of a concern. Do you mean keeping it clean on the trail, or just general cleanliness? I know the Evil guys are not averse to a bit of mud being from the PNW, but nothing compares to our Scottish mud season, which tends to last 12 months a year. Last thing I want is something that clogs up.
    Well at least the seat tube obstructs the rear shock from rear tire mud. But the shock does lie deep in a crevasse of linkages. I think I'll have to jam a giant pipe cleaner in there to wipe down the seals.

    ----------------------------------------

    Some replies to questions;

    OP: Great review. How tall are you and inseam if you know it? Thanks.
    I'm about 5 9 with 32 inseam.

    Can you elaborate on the climbing and acceleration of Following compared to the Ripley?
    It feels very Ripley-like when stomping on the pedals. I will get on my Ripley later today to do a back-to-back and explore this more

    Dude! Sweet!!! Nice build and summary!!! 27lbs - wow! What geo setting do you have it in? Interesting about the 140mm fork statement. Also what trails do you typically ride in Santa Cruz? That's where I ride as well, I own an Uprising.
    I have it on the 'High' setting and am using the stock headset (not the angleset). I'll spend more time on the 130 then try the 140 again to make up my mind. Point is I thought I would hate the 140 and only rode it that way because I didn't get to finish my bike build the night before and the only Pikes I had that I could use were set at 140mm and 120mm. I was pleasantly surprised at how it worked at 140.

    I ride UCSC, Demo...For those of you not familiar, basically if you watch any Santa Cruz or Ibis promo video, those would be the trails.

    As you'd expect with that geo... the question being, is this a bike you would also do long epics at elevation, all-day in the saddle, climbing 4-6k feet?
    Well, obviously not ideal for that but we regularly put out that kind of elevation gain just riding all day around the aggressive trails around Santa Cruz. The best trails have very long descents so the climbs are super long singletrack or bumpy fireroad grinds. So it helps to have an efficient climbing machine. I had no issues climbing this bike. I would have issues on a long travel squishy bike with minimal platform.

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    [QUOTE=ducrider;11715437]I've motored up some rocky ascents and the rear remained very active over the uneven terrain but I got no perception of pedal-induced bob even while standing and mashing. What I haven't tried is climbing it on super chunk, like large rock steps and basketball size boulder fields. We have a couple of those trails in the Bay Area and I will try that next. Those are the trails where my Ripley with a 140 Pike shined.

    I'm also looking forward to hearing this report on climbing tougher and chunkier uphills. Thanks for taking the time to really answer so many questions and enlighten us all on The Following!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregg K View Post
    ...I think one reason I've hesitated on the Ripley is a 70 degree HA...
    Quote Originally Posted by ducrider View Post
    ...Yes, the Ripley never felt good to me as an aggressive trail bike when on a 120mm fork, two of which I tried with both offset types. The bike felt twitchy at speed. At 140mm, 51 offset, the Ripley became a much better trail bike to me and I was able to ride it harder. Not just because of the additional 20mm of travel, but due to the head angle slackening further and the wheelbase increasing...
    ducrider said it well, and that echoes my experience with the RIP9 I owned--it's ~70+ degree HA with 120mm fork really limited is capability on aggressive trails. Replacing the RIP with a hardtail having 67 deg HA and sub 17" stays was an eye-opening experience and really emphasized how well 29ers can ride aggressive trails with this kind of geometry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kegelhoff View Post
    I'm also looking forward to hearing this report on climbing tougher and chunkier uphills. Thanks for taking the time to really answer so many questions and enlighten us all on The Following!
    Firstly, I'm happy to share all the details of this great bike. I've used mtbr forum reviews extensively for bike-purchase research in the past so am happy to contribute especially seeing that there is quite a shortage of user reports on the Following at the present.

    On Climbing the Following

    I spent this past weekend with one goal in mind. Climb. Climb. Climb.

    I was already sold on its descending capabilities, having taken it down many runs on crazy gnarly terrain the prior week.

    But could the Following get up the tough stuff where only my Ripley had succeeded before?

    I crave technical climbs as much as I do fun descents. So it was important to get this test out of the way. My original plan was to have a buddy take my Ripley so I could do true back-to-back comparisons but that fell through. Instead, I took the Following to some familiar big chunk climbs. Many of these were only doable for me on the Ripley.

    Testing for pedal bob, I could not get any noticeable movement on the linkages when standing or sitting through smooth steep climbs. This despite the shock fully open. This was great because I dislike having to do any more lever flipping other than to shift gears or activate the dropper.

    While rock crawling, I was surprised at the traction I had while motoring up and over large baby heads and rocky ledges. It didn't feel like I was at a disadvantage to the Ripley, which is universally praised for its climbing prowess. I made it up and over everything I could on the Ibis. And I definitely sensed I was keeping my balance better during those track-stand moments while picking my way through chainring-height boulders. Amazing!

    But. And there's a but. I suspect the better balance and climbing stability had to do with a couple of things. One, the lower center mass that the Following has due to the bottom placement of its shock and suspension bits, and second, the fact that the bike likes to ride low on steep climbs. It was the latter trait that presented some problems as I had pedal strikes on sections I cleared cleanly on the Ripley. While bottom bracket height is exactly identical on both bikes (with the Ripley on a 140mm fork and the Following on a 130mm), the Ripley's recommended sag only covers 13mm of the DBInline rear shock while the Following takes up 30% of its Monarch RT3. So in practice, while seated, and especially on a steep climb, the Following ends up lower in its travel. I did not attempt any of the climbs on the Trail setting. That may have helped keep the bike riding higher on its travel, but I will have to test that out later. I will experiment with additional air pressure as well, and also try the same climbs with the fork at 140mm instead of 130mm.

    Also, a note about keeping the front of the bike planted in super steep climbs. I was riding a 60mm stem and I still could easily get wheel lift on climbs over 15% if I wasn't paying attention. Not unmanageable at all, but noticeable to me since I like setting up my bikes to climb as efficiently as possible. Maybe its the price to pay for the fun and playful, super-short chainstays and the slack head tube angle (It makes me wonder about the sensibility of choosing to size-up a bike frame to be able to utilize a shorter stem, which is becoming common. This effectively extends the wheelbase further forward while keeping the rider's body position in the same place, biasing the main mass further behind).

    Lastly, I did put over 6K feet of fireroad and gravel double-track climbing in as well, and I had no issues with pedaling efficiency or bike position aches and pains.

    In total, I did not find that the issues I found were big enough to detract in any major way from my enjoyment of the bike. I will gladly suffer a couple of pedal strikes for the right to climb like a Ripley only to descend like a Spesh Enduro on ePO!

    As far as I'm concerned this bike is the REAL DEAL. Only one last major test for me: durability. If that turns out to be a non-issue, I think this company will definitely be here to stay and perhaps even begin to dominate some markets.

  26. #26
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    can you confirm that a CCDBInline would NOT fit in the frame? thanks

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    Thanks for taking the time to give us a nice analysis on how it climbs! Of course now you pointed out potentially using the 140mm of travel in the fork and if you do ... please post on the differences as well. Size large frames won't be in for a while now so I have some more time to figure out what exact path to take on other components.

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    Keep it coming, was all set to get the Uprising or Canfield Balance this spring. Now the Following is starting to look like a prime candidate instead. Thanks for the excellent review.

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    Evil Bikes: The Following Ė User Review

    Quote Originally Posted by savo View Post
    can you confirm that a CCDBInline would NOT fit in the frame? thanks
    It won't, not enough space down at the lower mount.

    This is one of the more intricately molded/shaped frames I've seen. The chainstay is a thing of beauty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ducrider View Post
    While rock crawling, I was surprised at the traction I had while motoring up and over large baby heads and rocky ledges. It didn't feel like I was at a disadvantage to the Ripley, which is universally praised for its climbing prowess. I made it up and over everything I could on the Ibis
    That's amazing! Thanks so much for this review, which, I think, addresses the concern about climbing ability many of us potential buyers have (had!).

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeB-66 View Post
    That's amazing! Thanks so much for this review, which, I think, addresses the concern about climbing ability many of us potential buyers have (had!).
    Yeah, thanks ducrider for your additional comments about climbing! Antonio from the Linkage Design blog posted suspension info here.

    -image.jpg

    Since the Following appears to have more chain growth as the suspension moves deeper in its travel compared to other designs, can you comment on pedal kick back--ie when climbing up tall ledges on steep pitches, was there significant pedal "stall" as the wheel hit the ledge?

  32. #32
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    Building a Following now and doing a heavier trail bike build: Medium with 2015 Fox 36/140mm and Novatec Diablo wheelset, Hope Tech brakes 203/180, XTR/Raceface Atlas drivetrain and cockpit.

    Was waiting for Uprising V2 to build as a AM/beerduro rig but needed to replace my trusty140mm trail bike ASAP. This should expand the user review envelope a little as Im shooting for the big end of the Following build to suite my gravity orienred riding style. Waiting on fork and wheelset at the moment, so hopefully I will throw some user review comments and riding pics on after the weekend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SunDog View Post
    Building a Following now and doing a heavier trail bike build: Medium with 2015 Fox 36/140mm and Novatec Diablo wheelset, Hope Tech brakes 203/180, XTR/Raceface Atlas drivetrain and cockpit.

    Was waiting for Uprising V2 to build as a AM/beerduro rig but needed to replace my trusty140mm trail bike ASAP. This should expand the user review envelope a little as Im shooting for the big end of the Following build to suite my gravity orienred riding style. Waiting on fork and wheelset at the moment, so hopefully I will throw some user review comments and riding pics on after the weekend.
    Very interested ;-)

  34. #34
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    Bike build is now complete and has two test rides on it.

    I have no issues running the Fox 36 at 140. Initially I experienced some drift/rise in the apex of high fast and tight turns but after some compression tweeking that went away. Keep in mind my riding priority is down but I am a capable climber, so the slack head angle is not a major issue and I can generally handle some rise/drift while climbing as a result of a slack and tall fork as I have been doing it for years.

    Overall the bike handles very much like a very stiff and nimble 26 inch trail bike and climbs and sprints like a peppy carbon framed bike should and rolls up and over trail chunder and features like only a 29er can. The DELTA system is very smooth and active but not sloppy when sprinting and climbing akin to the way the CCDBA-CS feels.

    I did bottom out the suspension on a small drop, but it was into a sandy crossing and wasnt too harsh. My biggest worry is the darn PF90 BB getting cattywhumpas and creaking all ride long. Thats about my only complaint so far.

    Lets hear it for quality travel and smart geometry.

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    Good review

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    Quote Originally Posted by SunDog View Post
    Bike build is now complete and has two test rides on it...

    Keep in mind my riding priority is down but I am a capable climber, so the slack head angle is not a major issue and I can generally handle some rise/drift while climbing as a result of a slack and tall fork as I have been doing it for years.

    Overall the bike handles very much like a very stiff and nimble 26 inch trail bike and climbs and sprints like a peppy carbon framed bike should and rolls up and over trail chunder and features like only a 29er can. The DELTA system is very smooth and active but not sloppy when sprinting and climbing akin to the way the CCDBA-CS feels.

    I did bottom out the suspension on a small drop, but it was into a sandy crossing and wasnt too harsh...

    Lets hear it for quality travel and smart geometry.
    Nice review. Your last sentence sums it up well and shouldn't be overlooked.

  37. #37
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    3rd ride, not really the berm challenge I had planned but the ride had enough speedy turns to make apparent that the 29er wheels CG and centrifugal forces are higher than a 26er and no geometry can change that. It took the turns well enough but that feeling was noticeable for some reason today. I may shorten the stem from 65mm to 50mm. Running 780mm bars.

    Running at 140mm upfront with the geo set low, guessing 65.7ish HA with measured. BB height of 13.25".

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    Sundog, did you spend any significant time on the "high" setting before going low? I haven't tried flipping the geo chip yet and may try this when I go back to a 140mm fork config. At 130mm, I am guessing the low setting would get my BB too close to the earth though.

    Am interested in how the overall handling characteristics changed.

    Quote Originally Posted by SunDog View Post
    3rd ride, not really the berm challenge I had planned but the ride had enough speedy turns to make apparent that the 29er wheels CG and centrifugal forces are higher than a 26er and no geometry can change that. It took the turns well enough but that feeling was noticeable for some reason today. I may shorten the stem from 65mm to 50mm. Running 780mm bars.

    Running at 140mm upfront with the geo set low, guessing 65.7ish HA with measured. BB height of 13.25".

  39. #39
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    Has anyone ridden both a Banshee Prime and The Following? I really like my Prime a lot but am keeping my eyes open for a carbon frame that is comparable. I just found out about The Following today and am starting initial research.

  40. #40
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    I have. I owned a Proto Prime, size large Prime then a size Medium Prime(Paradox andPhantom too) so you could say I've got some experience with Banshee's 29er offerings

    The Following is just as capable in the rough stuff that I rode with my Prime, but the Following is lighter and pedals better (although I never thought the Prime was a bad pedaling bike for it's purposes and weight). I do feel like the Following is more supple overall, yet firmer platform when getting on the gas(both seated and standing). The shorter chainstays make it a tad more easier to manual as well. Stiffness wise, I can't perceive that one exceeds the other in that category.

  41. #41
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    Thanks for the reply.

    I've got pretty much zero complaints with my Prime. Pedals great, descends fantastic and I've got mine built to right at 30lbs with lots of high end alloys and carbon. I think if/when I find a deal on The Following I'll probably jump on it simply because my Prime is "old news" and has a few thousand miles on it. I'm a confessed bike whore... I'm also from Seattle and dig the "hometown" aspect of the Evil.

  42. #42
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    Sounds like a plan.

  43. #43
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    How is the pedal kickback on this bike?

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by ducrider View Post
    Sundog, did you spend any significant time on the "high" setting before going low? I haven't tried flipping the geo chip yet and may try this when I go back to a 140mm fork config. At 130mm, I am guessing the low setting would get my BB too close to the earth though.

    Am interested in how the overall handling characteristics changed.
    Set it up LOW during the mock up phase with the thought that I would running a 140mm fork. I ride in Tucson Arizona where our trails tend to be rocky and the terrain chunky. I have a rigid 29er with a 12.5" BB and the pedal strikes were a constant worry, so I would personally shy away from the LOW setting if I ran a 130mm, at least Initially. I think going with the HIGH setting would really impact the turning geometry/performance.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzanova View Post
    How is the pedal kickback on this bike?
    Quote Originally Posted by slo_rider View Post
    Since the Following appears to have more chain growth as the suspension moves deeper in its travel compared to other designs, can you comment on pedal kick back--ie when climbing up tall ledges on steep pitches, was there significant pedal "stall" as the wheel hit the ledge?
    I've just taken a Ripley and the Following out back along with an Epic 29er (to represent a non-DW suspension) and crawled them up the side of a square edged, tall section of a sidewalk a few times. Then I rode them up a flight of stairs for good measure. I could not detect anything that I could describe as pedal kickback. Hope that helps.

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    Ducrider - Thanks for the awesome write up and info. I'm on a Ripley right now with a 130mm fork. Was looking at The Following as a 'next bike' for something more capable in the rough/big stuff. Question though regarding the statement you made about frame weights.
    You said:
    "This is no weight weenie frame. 6.2 pounds on my digital scale. More than a pound and a quarter more than the Ripley (Edit: with X-Fusion rear)."

    That would mean your Ripley frame, with shock weighed in at less than 4.95lbs. Is this really true/possible? I know the Ibis site states "5.0lbs for frame with X-Fusion shock and 5.2lbs with Fox" but I weighed my medium sized (blue) frame with Fox Shock and it was 5.6lbs without the thru axle. I was pretty pissed off to be honest because that is my XC racing bike and I'm a bit of a weight weenie (especially at 140lbs). Doing the math, my frame would still be about 5.4lbs with X-Fusion shock. Almost half a pound over stated weight. A lot when you're spending nearly $3k on a frame. I don't mean to derail this thread, but can you please confirm the weight you came up with on your Ripley frame? I feel like I may have got a fat 'lemon' of a frame.
    Thanks!

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    btjenki, thanks for bringing that up. I just checked my records and indeed erred on the figures I reported. Looks like I used the Ripley bare-frame weight that I recorded (without a rear shock) vs. Following frame weight with no collar, rear axle, and headset, but with a rear shock. Here are the direct comparison weights along with photos I recorded. Yes, I am a bike nerd and photograph every single bike part I get while it is being weighed :-)

    This brings the weight gap closer between these two frames (to within 1 pound) and is even more encouraging for the Following.

    Frame Weights with shock, seatpost collar and headset, no rear axle:

    Ripley (Large) with X-Fusion Rear Shock = 5.4 lbs
    Following (Medium) with Monarch RT3 Rear Shock = 6.3 lbs

    -ripleyweight.jpg-followingweight.jpg

    Quote Originally Posted by btjenki View Post
    Ducrider - Thanks for the awesome write up and info. I'm on a Ripley right now with a 130mm fork. Was looking at The Following as a 'next bike' for something more capable in the rough/big stuff. Question though regarding the statement you made about frame weights.
    You said:
    "This is no weight weenie frame. 6.2 pounds on my digital scale. More than a pound and a quarter more than the Ripley (Edit: with X-Fusion rear)."

    That would mean your Ripley frame, with shock weighed in at less than 4.95lbs. Is this really true/possible? I know the Ibis site states "5.0lbs for frame with X-Fusion shock and 5.2lbs with Fox" but I weighed my medium sized (blue) frame with Fox Shock and it was 5.6lbs without the thru axle. I was pretty pissed off to be honest because that is my XC racing bike and I'm a bit of a weight weenie (especially at 140lbs). Doing the math, my frame would still be about 5.4lbs with X-Fusion shock. Almost half a pound over stated weight. A lot when you're spending nearly $3k on a frame. I don't mean to derail this thread, but can you please confirm the weight you came up with on your Ripley frame? I feel like I may have got a fat 'lemon' of a frame.
    Thanks!

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    Ahhh! Yes, that makes more sense. I think Ibis needs to update their site! That's great you take pics of all that. Good documentation

    Yea, I mean ~1lb difference between those frames, if you're not a racer, it's a no-brainer as to which to go with. In a perfect world, I'd like to have my '13 BMC Fourstroke 29er with a 4.5lb (total weight with shock) carbon frame for a race/epic XC bike, and "The Following" for my fun/everyday bike.

    Thanks again.

  49. #49
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    4th ride, did the same stuff as yesterday but felt far more in control but still feel the bike rides wider than my 26ers that I typically rail on the same trail. Wondering if dropping down to 130 up front might alleviate some of the wider turning arc. At high with a 10 mm my body position and weighting feel good. Should be giving it a big mountain flow trail extravaganza this weekend. So with that and some more local riding on the agenda it will probably a month before I try to drop to 130mm.

    Very curious about tire selection. Running 2.4 and 2.25 Ardents and in hard turns they break traction too often for my liking. Getting g ready to order Minions but am open to thoughts, maybe something lighter than the 2.5 Minions.. Mostly ride hard pack, slick rock, and loam for DHing. I like piloting my bike rather than being along for the ride.

  50. #50
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    I've never gotten along well with Ardents . Far too unpredictable upfront in terms of breaking loose and washing out. For all out grip you can't beat the DHF/DHR2 combo, both in 2.3, in my experience. You might try a 2.35 Ikon in the rear if you want a fast rolling tire with decent cornering grip. I'm currently running those front and back since our trails are pretty dry and tacky right now. Hero dirt.

  51. #51
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    -sam_0867.jpg-sam_0870.jpg-sam_0871.jpg
    Quote Originally Posted by SunDog View Post
    4th ride, did the same stuff as yesterday but felt far more in control but still feel the bike rides wider than my 26ers that I typically rail on the same trail. Wondering if dropping down to 130 up front might alleviate some of the wider turning arc. At high with a 10 mm my body position and weighting feel good. Should be giving it a big mountain flow trail extravaganza this weekend. So with that and some more local riding on the agenda it will probably a month before I try to drop to 130mm.

    Very curious about tire selection. Running 2.4 and 2.25 Ardents and in hard turns they break traction too often for my liking. Getting g ready to order Minions but am open to thoughts, maybe something lighter than the 2.5 Minions.. Mostly ride hard pack, slick rock, and loam for DHing. I like piloting my bike rather than being along for the ride.
    Give the Geax Goma a look. They roll as fast as the Ardent. They climb and brake much better, and the knobs don't fold over like the Ardent. About the same thickness of sidewall as well. I also live in Tucson, and they work very well here.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by SunDog View Post
    Very curious about tire selection. Running 2.4 and 2.25 Ardents and in hard turns they break traction too often for my liking. Getting g ready to order Minions but am open to thoughts, maybe something lighter than the 2.5 Minions.. Mostly ride hard pack, slick rock, and loam for DHing. I like piloting my bike rather than being along for the ride.
    Here is a link to a write up I did on the Geax Goma vs the Ardent. First post is a preview, and further down the page is a ride review. Geax Goma 2.4 vs Maxxis Ardent 2.4 (first impressions/pics) - Tucson MTB

  53. #53
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    +1 re Ikons altho I run RaRas for same reason/result. The mondo knobbies are fine when you need 'em but so much of the time you don't and they're overkill.
    Quote Originally Posted by Colin+M View Post
    I've never gotten along well with Ardents . Far too unpredictable upfront in terms of breaking loose and washing out. For all out grip you can't beat the DHF/DHR2 combo, both in 2.3, in my experience. You might try a 2.35 Ikon in the rear if you want a fast rolling tire with decent cornering grip. I'm currently running those front and back since our trails are pretty dry and tacky right now. Hero dirt.
    All bike, all the time

  54. #54
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    Really appreciate your blow by blow on Following. Please keep it going, you're about the only bro source we have! But am trying to catch your drift on handling. With any 29er and moreso with a long travel 29er you're going to get a stronger momentum effect, and if you're doing any air, flicking the bike, etc., those wheels will drag, act as gyroscopes that don't want to move out of their forward path. Think about spinning a wheel in your hands holding the axle. If the wheel isn't spinning, you can move it with minimal resistance any way you want. Start that baby spinning and it gets harder to move in any direction. Spin a 29er wheel instead of a 26 and the resistance is even greater. Is this getting at what you mean when you say the Following "rides wider" than your 26er? I'm curious because this may be the crucial factor in LT 29er dynamics. Watch the Luke Strobel Following video and you can see ever so slightly how the "trail" of the bigger wheels influences his handling...
    Quote Originally Posted by SunDog View Post
    4th ride, did the same stuff as yesterday but felt far more in control but still feel the bike rides wider than my 26ers that I typically rail on the same trail. Wondering if dropping down to 130 up front might alleviate some of the wider turning arc. At high with a 10 mm my body position and weighting feel good. Should be giving it a big mountain flow trail extravaganza this weekend. So with that and some more local riding on the agenda it will probably a month before I try to drop to 130mm.

    Very curious about tire selection. Running 2.4 and 2.25 Ardents and in hard turns they break traction too often for my liking. Getting g ready to order Minions but am open to thoughts, maybe something lighter than the 2.5 Minions.. Mostly ride hard pack, slick rock, and loam for DHing. I like piloting my bike rather than being along for the ride.
    All bike, all the time

  55. #55
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    Personal opinion here... Comparing the Ripley and Following is silly. They're both carbon 29ers with Super Dave designed suspension. Other than that, apples and oranges!

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeIntelligencer View Post
    Really appreciate your blow by blow on Following. Please keep it going, you're about the only bro source we have! But am trying to catch your drift on handling. With any 29er and moreso with a long travel 29er you're going to get a stronger momentum effect, and if you're doing any air, flicking the bike, etc., those wheels will drag, act as gyroscopes that don't want to move out of their forward path. Think about spinning a wheel in your hands holding the axle. If the wheel isn't spinning, you can move it with minimal resistance any way you want. Start that baby spinning and it gets harder to move in any direction. Spin a 29er wheel instead of a 26 and the resistance is even greater. Is this getting at what you mean when you say the Following "rides wider" than your 26er? I'm curious because this may be the crucial factor in LT 29er dynamics. Watch the Luke Strobel Following video and you can see ever so slightly how the "trail" of the bigger wheels influences his handling...
    Right, I was just accenting an earlier comment, its a 29er and has different inate physical properties that induces some different handling properties. As to dropping to 130mm next month I should have some good experience on the 140mm to make some sound comparisons to see how that affects the tight handling envelope.

    I have the big mountain flow berm fest lined up for tomorrow and still desperately seeking a Minion or something of that ilk, but not avaiable locally so Im just gonna do it on the Ardents.

  57. #57
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    Thanks 2WD Goma tire looks legit.

    LMK if you wanna demo my rig.

  58. #58
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    I don't suppose anyone can compare the uprising with the following yet can they?

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    Given the extremely low shock position a remote would be a nice add on this frame.
    Anybody familiar with the comparison of the RS XX shock vs the RT3? Do they or can they have similar damping setups but utilize the XX remote?
    The sweet setup looks like it would be a X-loc full remote setup on a XX shock and RS-1 fork if they would increase the travel on the RS-1 to 130/140mm.
    A single push and you could ramp up front and rear for long FR climbs and a single push to release it all.
    This bike seems to check all my frame design needs.

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    Hi,
    There is a friendly and dedicated individual who can help me in choosing d ela taile the framework?
    I measure 1.85m (6'1), 92cm (36 ") crotch and 1m91 (6'4) arm span.
    I take an L, with a 50 / 60mm stem. Or XL with a short stem (35mm)?
    Some models roll L, XL arrive ... therefore not all returns!
    Thank you to help me
    G.

  61. #61
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    Head over to the 29er forum and read the Following thread over there. TONS of sizing questions and answers in there.

    I'm an inch shorter than you with gangly limbs. My research led me to order a L and I'll be running a 50mm stem based on my current bike's measurements. Everyone's feel and likes are different but I think a L would suit you, and so does Evil. Stem length and bar width is a personal variable that only you can decide on but I think your initial idea is in the ballpark.

  62. #62
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    Ride 5: Big Mountain Flow Trail Berm Shootout

    Before heading out I made two adjustments. I procured a Geax Goma 2.4 to beef things up front in the steering and traction department. I moved the Maxxis Ardent 2.4 to the rear. To alieviate blowing through my 140mm of fork travel I added a second air volume spacer. 2015 Fox 36 Float is remarkably plush and active.

    My first run was down a 2 mile 1800 foot descent flow trail geared for big agressive 26" AM and DH bikes. I have to say I went into this thinking that the trail would route the wagon wheeled 29er Following of the mountain like it did the the previous 29er pilot and rig with its daunting selection of steep high energy berms, hippers, gaps and drops. I also must admit that I thought the Evil Following could handle the trail, just not at race speed and not on a frequent basis given the long sexy skinny carbon frame work. In both assumptions I believe I was proved wrong.

    The Evil flowed through berms with aplomb, after the first few tight turns and berms I was on auto pilot with the trail flowing familiar, kind of like my Delerium. Drops ang gaps were second nature, hipping was responsive, precision steering, though a tad wider than usual, was readily apparent and drove my confidence higher.

    I experienced the vaunted big wheel acceleration and had speed in portions of the trail that I had never attained on my myriad of burly 26ers. This also led to over speeding some features and required braking where I never had to brake on a 26er.

    I also experienced the extra stability of big wheels and their chunder reduction properties. Through two chunky section that really challenge single crown 26ers stability, the Following rolled through with what felt like the precision and stability of a dual crowned fork.

    I also experienced the negative of the big 29er wheel coupled with the Following's low slung geometry and a seat post dropped for DH riding. Sack whacking and ass crack grinding await for those who bias their weight reward when descending or dropping. I went through a series of drops early on and about lost my scroat. Later in a G-out I nearly turned my ass into a bike rack. I did quickly adjust lest
    I walk down or loosy my manhood. It was like having your own method learning Kung Fu Master along in side car whacking me upside the head when I broke the optimum weight forward position.

    Next run was on a tighter flow trail with some park like features. Following pinned it all with only one ass splitting incident. Thing really flowed the trail to my liking. Definately a different ride than on 26ers, but the result is the same...fun, fun, fun!

    Anyhow, in short, the Evil Following is legit for aggressive all mountain recration and can play with the big boys of the 26" AM/Enduro world.

  63. #63
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    Initially i had trouble keeping my weight forward with the front seemingly damn high. I was pondering dropping to 130 the before the DH ride. But I adapted and was spurred on my Kung Fu Master. So the travel drop is still on hold.

    One other note, the can end of the shock retaing came loose and was found not to be lock-tited. It showed up post ride maintenance as slight vertical play.
    Last edited by SunDog; 02-10-2015 at 01:37 PM.

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    I noticed this after about 3 rides and went over all the bolts with a torque wrench. All of them needed a snug.

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    Great review!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SunDog View Post
    Initially i had trouble keeping my weight forward with the front seemingly damn high. I was pondering dropping to 130 the before the DH ride. But I adapted and was spurred on my Kung Fu Master. So the travel drop is still on hold.

    One other note, the can end shoch retaing came loose and was found not to be lock-tited. It showed up post ride maintenance as slight vertical play.
    Awesome review Sundog thanks.

    Was wanting to know whether or not you think if you keep hitting the seat is too much of a drawback?

    Also is this bike suitable for epic xc days and big climbs? I've already got a heavy all mountain bike so i'm looking for something fast. Thanks heaps!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DFYFZX View Post
    Head over to the 29er forum and read the Following thread over there. TONS of sizing questions and answers in there.

    I'm an inch shorter than you with gangly limbs. My research led me to order a L and I'll be running a 50mm stem based on my current bike's measurements. Everyone's feel and likes are different but I think a L would suit you, and so does Evil. Stem length and bar width is a personal variable that only you can decide on but I think your initial idea is in the ballpark.
    Hi,
    I started there and not help me!
    To say, "compared with your current bike ..." I like attendai better answers! Given my measurements and those that are part of the "small". There are gray areas. And considering the price of the frame, I want to be wrong!
    I seem to have understood the need to charge forward for how to use it. So L, right?
    Thx

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    I would say when the seat is set low for aggressive descending that sack/butt to tire clearance is definately something that merits consideration. My Following is sitting next to my Delerium and the clearance issue is very very noticeable. It is going to come down to riding style and adaptability of the pilot if the sack/butt to tire clearance is a deal breaker.

    I am an avid descender that thrives on pinning the the front end down on the trail so that part does not really bother me, however dropping and hucking will require some new found discipline though. Even this issue had a negliglbe affect on my ride once I figured out why I was grinding my private parts. When I get around to posting pictures I will be highlighting this issue.
    Last edited by SunDog; 02-10-2015 at 06:09 PM.

  69. #69
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    Evil Bikes: The Following – User Review

    Quote Originally Posted by SunDog View Post
    When I get around to posting pictures I will be highlighting this issue.
    Can't wait to see some photos of your butt and sack.....

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    Ditto ^

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    PM me and I'll sign you up to my sack cam distribution list.

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    Re: Evil Bikes: The Following Ė User Review

    Quote Originally Posted by SunDog View Post
    PM me and I'll sign you up to my sack cam distribution list.
    It makes me wonder if a dedicated 650b rear / 29" front design wouldn't be a good compromise?
    Better butt clearance for drops and better tire clearance with even shorter CS.
    But 650+ is here as well. Does anyone plan to fit 650+ tires in this frame?

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom34 View Post
    Also is this bike suitable for epic xc days and big climbs? I've already got a heavy all mountain bike so i'm looking for something fast. Thanks heaps!
    That question is heavily dependant on the build. My Following is built as a heavy all mountain trail bike at the moment. It does pedal very well as previously stated and does get tremendous traction when climbing. I also have my lighter trail bike build waiting in the wings, lighter trail wheels and 120mm fork, for if I plan on longer rides. In my opinion, its a enough of a versatile platform to be a one bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SunDog View Post
    Definately a different ride than on 26ers, but the result is the same...fun, fun, fun!
    Thanks so much for your reviews. Really encouraging. I was hoping to hear some positive experiences from a more gravity-oriented perspective.

  75. #75
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    Having ridden a enough odd sized wheel combos I would say that is crazy talk. IMO the handling goes to poo when mixing wheel sizes, though drifting through turns at high speed on a DH 6509er sounds exciting. Heck who knows you might be onto something.

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    It sounds like more & more people are trying 650+

    Quote Originally Posted by SunDog View Post
    Having ridden a enough odd sized wheel combos I would say that is crazy talk. IMO the handling goes to poo when mixing wheel sizes, though drifting through turns at high speed on a DH 6509er sounds exciting. Heck who knows you might be onto something.
    I have a 6 Berth & 2 Berth Motorhomes that I rent out . They are based in Tauranga, New Zealand

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    To the Op, how would this bike fare as a Xc racer? If I was doing mostly trail riding and a few races a year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SunDog View Post
    Ride 5: Big Mountain Flow Trail Berm Shootout

    Before heading out I made two adjustments. I procured a Geax Goma 2.4 to beef things up front in the steering and traction department. I moved the Maxxis Ardent 2.4 to the rear. To alieviate blowing through my 140mm of fork travel I added a second air volume spacer. 2015 Fox 36 Float is remarkably plush and active.
    What were the 2 trails that you rode the bike on? Bugs perhaps?

    Also, how did you get along with the Goma tire? I do find that like a 2.4 Ardent, it likes low pressure. I run 18-20 front, and 20-22 rear on Flow EX rims. But I also like lots of uphill traction, and don't do big drops. But I do love technical climbs like going up the Torts, or Aqua Caliente, and even Milagrosa. I live near TMP, so I ride there a lot and like Cat Mountain and Hooligan.

    I am not a weight weenie, and love bikes that climb well (I don't mean fast). I like cleaning uphill obstacles, and then I tend to not be a super agressive descender, so I like a bike that makes the sketchy downhills easier, but is great at cleaning stair steppy uphills.

    I'm hoping this will make a good replacement for my RIP-9, which is my do everything bike. I like having one bike that can do it all, from a 5 hour pedal fest on the Arizona trail, to rocky downhills like Milagrosa. And I like earning my downs.

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by VERT1 View Post
    To the Op, how would this bike fare as a Xc racer? If I was doing mostly trail riding and a few races a year.
    Vert, while I don't doubt that one can fit a 120mm Sid or Fox 32 on the Following along with some lightweight wheels, then ride it to some success at XC races, I think the bike is definitely more suited to the aggro side of things and that is probably what most buyers of this bike will be thinking. If I were to have one bike only but leaned toward XC for the majority of my riding, I would stay on a Ripley/Rip9/Camber type of short-travel 29er.
    Having said that, if you really only do a couple of XC races a year and prefer aggressive trail riding for most of the season, by all means, switch your tires to low-knobs, flip the rear shock into platform mode, firm up your fork, and hammer away. The Delta suspension of the Following is very efficient and you won't find yourself losing energy on a bobbing rear. You will only have to contend with a couple of pounds of extra weight but that's a given. Who knows, you may even gain on a few folks on the descents :-)

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by twowheelsdown2002 View Post
    What were the 2 trails that you rode the bike on? Bugs perhaps?

    Also, how did you get along with the Goma tire? I do find that like a 2.4 Ardent, it likes low pressure. I run 18-20 front, and 20-22 rear on Flow EX rims. But I also like lots of uphill traction, and don't do big drops. But I do love technical climbs like going up the Torts, or Aqua Caliente, and even Milagrosa. I live near TMP, so I ride there a lot and like Cat Mountain and Hooligan.

    I am not a weight weenie, and love bikes that climb well (I don't mean fast). I like cleaning uphill obstacles, and then I tend to not be a super agressive descender, so I like a bike that makes the sketchy downhills easier, but is great at cleaning stair steppy uphills.

    I'm hoping this will make a good replacement for my RIP-9, which is my do everything bike. I like having one bike that can do it all, from a 5 hour pedal fest on the Arizona trail, to rocky downhills like Milagrosa. And I like earning my downs.

    The type of trails I rode for my big mountain berm fest sadly do not exist in Tucson.

    Goma is a keeper for the front end of the Evil and might also replace some of my rear 26" Minions with Gomas. I have had and seen too many issues with Maxxis' new TR EXO rear tires failing at bead under hard riding.

    Five 2 Zed twenty forty 7 sixty 94 if you wanna demo. Its set up burly so you might want to bring your own fork. Im out at Golder Ranch.
    Last edited by SunDog; 02-11-2015 at 03:42 PM.

  81. #81
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    Ride Six: Local techincal loop (High 50)

    A few bits from this mornings ride and last nights Following vs Mach 5.7 Carbon driveway shootout.

    Pivot Mach 5.7C is supposedly among the top tier of efficient pedaling bikes. In a multiple switch back and forth comparrison of pedaling efficency I have to say the DELTA pedals as good or better than my DW Linked Mach 5.7C, and is seemingly as good in the trail position as the Pivot is in climb mode. The Following is also silky smooth in comparrison, likely due to the wagon wheels. Also oddly the Following seemed to accelerate faster. Both bikes have DH wheels and AM/DH tires and sport sub 66.5 degree HAs.

    Well I also noticed the relative nimblness of the 5.7C in comparrison to the wagon wheeled Following. It was that ability to handle tight terrain with excess speed that I had some difficulty with on this mornings ride. Now I would say that my issues stemmed more from overspeeding the trail into tight turns than from the wider turning arc. I washed hard exiting turns that I rode the the 26" line.

    I also OTB'd once due to having too much speed in a tight diving S turn with a drop and sharp turn at the exit. I have a feeling the big wheels higher foward inertia xxxx might have aided the OTB.

    At present I feel that I need to work on my 29er handling skills, mainly learning to read the trail for it and regulate the big wheel induced extra speed. Definately not a fault with bike, just me pushing it too hard into a performance envelope that differs from what Im used to. I really need to get that down before heading up to the big mountain trails again with the plan to ride competatively in the pack.

  82. #82
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    Addendum: Todays ride was on fast bermy trail with drops, booters, and slick rock steeps aplenty. I am pleased to say that I experinced ZERO sack smacks and cheek splitters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SunDog View Post
    Addendum: Todays ride was on fast bermy trail with drops, booters, and slick rock steeps aplenty. I am pleased to say that I experienced ZERO sack smacks and cheek splitters.
    Lol, SunDog, I too noticed that the Following had a habit of kissing my @ss on steep rocky descents. Like you I've since adjusted my downhill position to avoid burning a gap into my shorts.

    This is definitely not a design fault of the bike or the wheel size--I've ridden many 29ers on tough descents--but it is an effect that the dialed geometry and handling has on how you ride. Since the bike is so confidence inspiring, I now tend to choose much steeper and gnarlier lines and find myself leaning farther back and below the saddle than ever.

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    ducrider and Sun Dog..Thanks for taking the time and effort to post your reviews, great info. I get my large Following frame tomorrow and I'm itching to get it built. I'm a big fan of this style of bike, (29er, short CS, slack and low). I have a Canfield Yelli Screamy and a Spec Enduro 29 so the Following will fit right in. Since I have the Enduro for the really rough stuff, I'm going for a lite "flickable" trail build for the Following. XX1 drive train, Pike 120mm, ENVE wheels and Spec Ground Control rear and Butcher front. I haven' decided on the "high" or "low" setting on the frame yet, but I think I'm going to try the low setting first and see if I can make it a cornering demon. Looking forward to contributing to the reviews of what looks like a great new bike.

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by ducrider View Post
    Lol, SunDog, I too noticed that the Following had a habit of kissing my @ss on steep rocky descents. Like you I've since adjusted my downhill position to avoid burning a gap into my shorts.

    This is definitely not a design fault of the bike or the wheel size--I've ridden many 29ers on tough descents--but it is an effect that the dialed geometry and handling has on how you ride. Since the bike is so confidence inspiring, I now tend to choose much steeper and gnarlier lines and find myself leaning farther back and below the saddle than ever.
    Yeah I am still into adjusting to the 29er handling mode and I like pushing it so I am going to be prone to somethings. Just putting it out there for our 26" brothers who might be switching to a 29er. Other than test rides my previous 29er experience was hardtailed so I did not have this issue.

  86. #86
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    My Evil Following Circus Build

    Evil Following Medium 0006.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -evil-following-circus-build.jpg  

    -evil-following-initial-build.jpg  

    -evil-following-top-mountain.jpg  


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    Quote Originally Posted by SunDog View Post
    Addendum: Todays ride was on fast bermy trail with drops, booters, and slick rock steeps aplenty. I am pleased to say that I experinced ZERO sack smacks and cheek splitters.
    Hi SunDog. Running any sort of chainguide? I was thinking of getting an "enduro" chainguide that just has the taco and top guide. I have the N/W chainring and clutch derailleur, but i'm still a bit afraid of dropping a chain on my nice carbon fiber parts. I've read the N/W setup can start to drop the chain once it gets a bit worn.

    Thanks

  88. #88
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    Dropper Post Sizing

    Im 5'11" w/32" inseam. I need a 150mm dropper post to get the full range of body positioning to take advantage of the bikes versatility.
    Last edited by SunDog; 02-20-2015 at 10:24 AM.

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeB-66 View Post
    Hi SunDog. Running any sort of chainguide? I was thinking of getting an "enduro" chainguide that just has the taco and top guide. I have the N/W chainring and clutch derailleur, but i'm still a bit afraid of dropping a chain on my nice carbon fiber parts. I've read the N/W setup can start to drop the chain once it gets a bit worn.

    Thanks
    Not yet. Planning on the MRP AM guide with taco for AZ chunk.

    Might also look into those direct mount keepers if rocks or logs aren't a problem.
    Last edited by SunDog; 02-16-2015 at 04:45 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SunDog View Post
    Yeah I am still into adjusting to the 29er handling mode and I like pushing it so I am going to be prone to somethings. Just putting it out there for our 26" brothers who might be switching to a 29er. Other than test rides my previous 29er experience was hardtailed so I did not have this issue.
    Sundog would you say that the following is a much faster bike than the uprising? I don't know much about 29ers. I already have a heavy built 26er(knolly chilcotin) and am looking for something faster to compliment. Not sure if change to 29er will have much more speed over a light build uprising?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SunDog View Post
    Not yet. Planning on the MRP AM guide with taco for AZ chunk.
    Yeah, I'm considering that one, too. That or the 2015 e-thirteen TRS enduro guide. It's nice because it comes with 3 different sized tacos. probably costs a fortune, though. 90g.

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom34 View Post
    Sundog would you say that the following is a much faster bike than the uprising? I don't know much about 29ers. I already have a heavy built 26er(knolly chilcotin) and am looking for something faster to compliment. Not sure if change to 29er will have much more speed over a light build uprising?
    Have not ridden Uprising so cannot comment on a direct comparison. Hope to do so soon though, there's one in town and we can probably work out a mutual shootout.

    My stable of bikes are 4 heavy duty 26" TB/AM/FR, all on DH/AM wheels and nothing steeper than 66 degrees. I did have a rigid/hard tail Voodoo Soukri 29er that railed like a Porche Boxter but had to pack it up because it was too much of a good thing but lacked durability for me.

    With that in mind and my growing experience with the Following vs. a slack AM/duro 26er built for agility not plowing, I would say the Following is that class, but it is not going to have the flickability and nimbleness of the smaller wheeled chassis. Following might not be an inate jumper unless you're uber smooth like Strobel, but will likely be more efficient and faster in some places on the trail once you get used to the dynamics of the bigger wheels. If you like playing around on rocks the bigger wheels can be a plus too.

    Given mt present stable, the Following filled a hole and expanded my stables performance and fun factor.

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    Update: Following - Frame Sizing Comparisons

    An interesting debate has been brewing around whether or not to size-up a frame to allow for shorter stems. In my case, the issue is somewhat complicated by the fact that my body's mechanics work best with a very forward saddle placement, shortening my bar reach options to longer stems or bike with very long reach/top tube measurements.

    With my 5'9 height placing me squarely on a medium based on Evil's recommendations, a couple of weeks ago I decided to go along with that advice and built one up. That bike was the subject of my OP review. But the only way I found that I could ride that medium Following without a cramped cockpit was with a 70mm stem. Sizing up was an option but I worried about the increase in wheelbase.

    Only one way to find out for sure. This week I moved all my parts (except for a shorter 50mm stem) over to a large Following, which is essentially the same in every dimension except for a 2cm longer top tube with a corresponding 2cm increase in wheelbase, and a longer seat tube. All of the additional 2cm of wheelbase length is found in between the bottom bracket and the front axle. Chainstay length remains the same.

    I spent the entire day today on the same technical testing grounds I brought the medium Following to. And the results were not subtle at all.

    The medium and the large felt like different bikes. While that might be a simplistic and obvious thing to say, what is interesting is that the differences are likely more exaggerated, since in this case the rider's height and size is kept constant and it is the bike size that is changed. In the real world, a larger size is also supposed to support a larger, taller, heavier rider who would fill up more of the spaces fore and aft, and above and below, the bike center. That effectively matches an increased wheelbase to a proportionally scaled-up rider size. But what would 2cm of additional front-center feel like to the same rider?

    1) This Vehicle Makes Wide Turns - its what came to mind when I took my first few switchbacks on the climb out to the start of the first descent. In reality, I don't think it required turns any wider than my other 29ers including those with steep head angles, but coming from the quick handling of the medium frame, that feeling on the large was pronounced. It definitely felt like the large frame's front wheel swept left and right in a wider arc than the medium. I could not pop in and out of different line choices as quickly. Couldn't change directions as abruptly. So no, its not as 'nimble'.

    2) Climbs just as well - to my surprise, the additional weight bias to the rear of center in the larger frame did not make a difference in climbing ability or make it any harder to keep the front from lifting on super steep grades. Given that my bar (and hence body) position was at exactly the same place in both frames (by using different length stems), I suspect having similar chainstay lengths as being a bigger contributor to keeping the front wheel down than the differences in front-center length.

    3) Descends (and jumps) like a champ - as expected, but more so. Having the wheel farther in front allowed for some really hair-raising lines down super steep rocky, rooty ledges. The kind one can barely climb back up on foot. I also felt much less need to go far back and below the saddle to weight the rear. I had no incidents of the rear tire buzzing my shorts as I did with the medium. High speed rollers and flowy downhills just benefited from the added stability provided by the longer wheelbase of the large. Launching off jumps felt more stable as well.

    4) Slips and slides - had to relearn all the high-g turns and berms that I was railing on the medium frame. With less weight on the front wheel, the first few attempts at carving sweepers at the limits of tire traction ended up with my front tire pushing and sliding out when leaning super hard into turns. Got to lean forward. Got to lean forward. Repeat to self until muscle memory is reprogrammed.

    Those are my observations today. More in the next few days as I take the large frame out to other types of trails.

    So which frame size is better? For me, I honestly don't know yet for sure. I think it largely depends on which riding and handling characteristic one ends up valuing the most in the end. I'm still figuring that part out. But given that both bikes climb equally well, I'm somewhat leaning toward the downhill bias of the large.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ducrider View Post
    An interesting debate has been brewing around whether or not to size-up a frame to allow for shorter stems.
    Thanks, ducrider. Very interesting. Have you considered posting your observations in the other forum where people have been debating this very issue?

    BTW, your comparison makes me glad I didn't go to XL. Would be too much of a leap from my current large 26er to an XL 29er. Also, with a more centered saddle position, the characteristics you describe would be even more pronounced, right? You'd be more stretched out on the large if you moved the saddle rearward.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeB-66 View Post
    BTW, your comparison makes me glad I didn't go to XL. Would be too much of a leap from my current large 26er to an XL 29er. Also, with a more centered saddle position, the characteristics you describe would be even more pronounced, right? You'd be more stretched out on the large if you moved the saddle rearward.
    Yes, while the saddle position will be in exactly in the same place regardless of Following frame size (all have same chainstay length and seat angle), if you were to have a more rearward saddle position, I'd imagine the sensation of having a longer front-center would definitely be more pronounced. You'd have the front wheel even farther forward of your body center. An XC buddy tried my large and remarked that it reminded him of a chopper motorcycle, with a raked out fork.

    If I were coming from a 26er I'd be inclined not to size up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ducrider View Post
    So which frame size is better? For me, I honestly don't know yet for sure. I think it largely depends on which riding and handling characteristic one ends up valuing the most in the end. I'm still figuring that part out. But given that both bikes climb equally well, I'm somewhat leaning toward the downhill bias of the large.
    I'm in the same position as you and tried to get feedback on the 29 is finally Evil forum. From the feedback, I am hearing that one should size up and shorten the stem for a more DH focused set up. Sticking with the Evil size recommendation and go with a 70mm stem for a more nimble XC (but still very capable) focused set up.

    My main concern has been how the Following handles tight switchbacks and slow speed technical sections. The wheelbase on the large seems too big a step up for me but the only feedback I have had to date is that they both climb as good as each other. No one apart from you has commented on how the bike turn/handle. So I appreciate your comments so far!

    I'm coming from a large Ripley (70mm stem, Im 5'10") and REALLY like the ability to clear very tight switchbacks and weave at slower speeds through technical trails. I'm after a bit more confidence on the steep and faster stuff and am willing to compromise a LITTLE on the slow speed handling.

    I'll keep tracking your reviews, but I may stick with the Medium...

  97. #97
    mtbr member
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    I came from an XL Ripley to the large Following and the feel is very similar in terms of reach and handling so you should be happy going from the large Ripley to the medium Following.

  98. #98
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    Colin, what do you think about the results of his test on the large frame since you are around the same size? Seems like you are getting around pretty good on yours, do you feel the bike isn't as playful as it could have been if you would have went with a medium?

  99. #99
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    Its more than enough playful for me, a mere mortal.

    If I were sending it like Strobel, I might think differently but as it is I didn't want to feel cramped on the climbs. Not to mention I'd have a mile of seatpost on a medium.

    No regrets on the large. That extra bit of wheelbase certainly isn't holding me back.

  100. #100
    caninus xerophilous
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    Nice research there duc rider.

    At 5'11", I fall into the tweener catagory, but have a longer reach than typical, I usually ride large sized frames with a 26.5"ish cockpit measured from center of seatpost to center of handlebar. I prefere wide 780mmm with a 50mm stem. I like to pilot my bike rather than be along for the ride and don't mind climbing but love going down.

    For my Following size I took into consideration my usual frame preference and was eyeing a large frame, but with my previous 29er experience I had some misgivings regarding the increased wheel base and inate handling quirks of a 29er. I had to consider how I intended to ride the frame, fun flicky enduroness seemed to be what the Following was intended for, so I downsized based on my intended riding style.

    I built up my cockpit with a 65mm stem to offset the reduction in frame lenght and used a 780mm bar. I think I measured the cockpit at 26.75 inches. This put right in my prefered riding position envelope, where I can comfortably keep the front end pinned during descents and aggressivehandling while keeping my weight centered over the frame.

    Riding wise, Im pretty pleased with my choice. Having now acclimated better to the big wheel induced handling traits and adjusted my suspension settings I am no longer experiencing/confounded by the wider turning arc and over speeding due to the added accleration of the bigger wheels.

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