BIKE OF THE YEAR - 2015 Vital MTB Shreddy Awards 13

Our testers ride a lot of different bikes here at Vital MTB and Evil Bikes' The Following 29er stood out as the most fun, relevant and capable MTB of 2015.

Evil The Following highlights

  • The relatively new short-travel, aggressive 29er concept is a special blend of XC/trail/all-mountain/enduro magic. Bikes of this style bring together the precision and responsiveness of a short travel ride, the capability of a slack geometry, and the snappy feel of short chainstays. Add in some well-chosen components and big wheels and you can get away with murder.
  • The Following is the first 29er from Evil Bikes, pairing 120mm rear wheel travel with a no questions asked, "I can do that" attitude.
  • With a 130mm travel fork and a relatively slack head angle, the bike is far more capable than the numbers might have you believe.
  • While several other brands have similar designs, Evil's take stands out for its ability to make easy work of the roughest bits of trail thanks to a surprisingly bottomless suspension feel. As one of our test riders put it, "It's not a 29er for efficiency, it's a 29er for mowing over shit," which makes this bike one we love even more.
  • Impeccable attention to detail throughout the frame seals the deal, especially when you consider the kick-ass selection of components in Evil's complete build kit that comes at a great price.
  • Highlights include sleek molded rubber protectors in all the right places, a large main pivot thru axle, integrated sag meter, clean internal routing, adjustable geometry, and uni-directional carbon frame.
  • From Evil: "Monster truck wheels with a sports car feel. 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."
  • From Evil: "Completely redesigned Delta System with a focus on simplicity, weight reduction and strength. We increased lateral frame stiffness with redesigned dog bone links that use integrated forged bosses to connect the linkage and simplify maintenance."
  • Vital tested The Following during our 2016 Test Sessions and was blown away. Review coming soon.
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13 comments
  • Manitou

    1/5/2016 6:13 PM

    You don't need to see where you're going. Just feel it, The Following is with you Luke!....in my best Obi-Wan Kenobi voice.

  • Smutok

    1/3/2016 12:04 PM


    So good you don't have to look where you're going
  • northwestdhdad

    1/2/2016 4:53 PM

    Not winning 'employer of the year' that's for sure.

  • adrennan

    1/4/2016 9:12 AM

    care to elaborate?

  • Manitou

    12/31/2015 5:59 PM

    There's no doubt about Luke Strobel!

  • bigguns8431

    12/31/2015 5:32 PM

    all though evil is a sick bike company its Luke Strobel that fucking rules fuck yeah

  • Manitou

    12/31/2015 4:43 PM

    Congrats Kevin and crew! A well deserved award, it redefines what 29ers can do. I sure do love mine!

  • ColoradoDirt

    12/31/2015 3:49 PM

    I had a run or three on the The Following and I can also say... so damn impressed!

  • Varaxis

    12/31/2015 5:59 PM

    How do you say it pedals compared to other trail bikes? None of the glamour shots show any sort of pedaling, which might turn off some of those into 3hr rides with buddies going both up and down mountains and backcountry stuff.

  • Richt2000

    1/1/2016 9:24 AM

    Seated it feels more efficient that horst link, but not quite as efficient as VPP.
    Standing and mashing on the pedals its very very firm - amazing efficiency - best bike I have ridden for standing climbing/peddling -if you are a rider who puts in a turn in at every opportunity when descending, the platform makes this bike very fast.

    Descending it feels more like 140mm travel, very plush, the only time you realise you've only got 120mm is on repetitive hits like a rock garder.

    However the best thing about this bike is the insane shock pressure - you need to run about 100psi more than most bikes - it makes it unbelievably grippy on climbs and poppy off features.

    Its a worty winner in my opinion.

  • Manitou

    1/1/2016 5:45 PM

    Compared to my VPP bikes I've been able to climb at the same level of difficulty on the Following but the VPP might be a little better seated climbing over real chunky rock stretches. The DELTA is definitely more efficient when climbing out of the saddle and actually encourages that type of climbing in certain terrain, like on steeper slabs and hardback. I like the feeling of getting up and moving around on the bike to goose it up and over stuff. I feel it's a great pedaling bike overall.
    I recently installed an RWC needle bearing top shock bearing, this really livened up the suspension making it more supple and active. It feels even more playful now and it should handle the hi speed chunky rock garden descents better than it did before. Which I felt was the one area where it was not as good as other bikes like the VPP and DW Link bikes. I was contemplating retuning the Monarch but after installing the RWC kit up top I'm going to hold off on that mod and just ride it as it is now.
    It's the most playful FS bike that I've owned because of the DELTA suspension, the short chain stays and great overall geometry. Love it!

  • ianjenn

    12/31/2015 10:08 PM

    It pedals pretty well. The suspension platform is very firm I was using 3 rings or so in ours. I did 14 mile loops fine with it. During lunch I could do 10 miles and close to 900 feet up pretty easily. I am not in the best shape BTW....

  • bikedude

    12/31/2015 3:10 PM

    i think, yuck, a 29er for bike of the year. but this bike seems to be getting good press. look forward to all the reviews.