Evil Calling or Following MB for RI Trails

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Evil Calling or Following MB for RI Trails

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  • #225076

    Hi Everyone,

    I am a long time reader but first time posting on this site.
    Soon I will be buying a new bike and I have been looking at Evil’s Calling & Following MB.
    What I would like to know from other Evil owners of these bikes is which would work better for New England Trails, Rhode Island in particular.
    I am currently riding a 2016 Specialized Stumpjumper Expert Carbon 6fattie which has 150mm of travel, but I think it is too much for most of the terrain.
    I think I am an aggressive rider that likes to find fun lines and likes to ride fast and have fun. All the bikes I have own up to this point have been in the same travel range as the Stumpy.
    Is the Following MB (120mm) too much of a drop in travel that I’d regret it ?
    Also, I haven’t owned a 29er before, although the Stumpy is close with the 3″ tires.
    Would the Calling be snappier, more nimble ?
    I keep going back and forth between these two bikes, any input would be helpful.

    #225077

    You should be able to fit 29er wheels on your Stumpy if you want to try that first. You may find that livens up the ride enough for you without buying a whole new bike.

    If you’re dead set on getting a new bike, I think you’d be really happy with a bike like the Calling. It’s not just about the amount of travel on a bike, it’s the whole package. You’ve got to take into account the suspension platform, the geometry, and the components. As always, it’s best to try before you buy if possible.

    #225078

    I have been looking into Evil’s bikes for awhile now and as you mentioned, I like the suspension platform, the geometry, and the components that Evil offers.  Since there is no place in my area where I can demo the bikes, the decision of chosen one of them becomes that much more important. This is why I wanted to get feedback from people who own the Calling or Following MB (or V1) that live in my area.

    #225124

    I’ve ridden every bike Evil offers up to this time as my friend is their Georgia dealer. I have not ridden in RI in particular, but I can provide some perspective having been to Vermont, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts and many other locales up and down the East coast to ride. I will speak of each bike and perhaps that can help you.

    • The Calling: This is by far the rowdiest trail bike on the market today, period (yes, I’ve demoed pretty much everything comparable). In the “X-Low” geometry position (I have no idea why anyone would ride it in the “Low” position) it is insane. It rallies like mad and pushes you to jib off of everything on the trail, no f*cks given. Even with only 130mm of travel it out-rides bikes with far more travel and allows you a crazy amount of confidence. It is the bike I’d own if I was going to buy a 27.5 rig.
    • The Following MB: This is very similar to the The Calling however it has a dare I say slightly more composed demeanor. The Calling is the pissed off jagged hardcore band whereas The Following is has incorporated some more post punk angular nuances into it’s repertoire while still being to crush as needed. The big wheels roll faster and allow for more float as big wheels do, but this is one of the few 29er’s that carves like mad and allows you to pop it around when you get the itch to leave terra firma. It’s a great bike, but not the 29er I’d get…

    …I own a Wreckoning. The Wreckoning is bananas with 160mm of travel and is probably more bike than you’d want to deal with, but it combines the nuances of having the big wheel roll-over of the Following with the hell bent for leather riding chaos of the Calling. The Wrecker (again in the X-Low setting) is flat out crazed as nothing out there rides like it. It is a do-everything bike for me, being equally at home on my local Georgia trails, the nastiest stuff in Pisgah, double black DH runs at Trestle Bike park and blazing down the Whole Enchilada in Moab. I’ve never felt out-gunned or like it was overkill as it handled everything with aplomb. You could say I’m a fan of Evil bikes and the Wreckoning and the Calling are my favs. Feel free to ask all you want as I’m basically my buddy’s go to when it comes to details on the bikes and I do most of the demos for him.

    #225218

    Thanks for your fantastic information, Doc !!  For where I live the Wreckening is too much bike, but the info of the Calling and Following I will definitely take into consideration, thanks again!  Of what length forks were on these bikes?

    #225224

    Both the Following and the Calling were decked out with 140mm travel forks and this puts them at almost the exact same geometry. If you get a chance to ride them (come to Georgia and we’ll set you up), look carefully at the top tube/reach numbers. Normally I’ve ridden a medium, but I actually preferred the Calling in a size large running a 35mm stem. This is equivalent to a medium Wreckoning, which is a longer bike. One thing that no reviewers seem to mention is that Evil bikes contrast to every other bike manufacturer of late by having longer top tube/reach measurements with shorter wheelbases. Most companies bikes top tubes are shorter size to size compared to Evil, but their wheelbases have become huge. I think this has a lot to do with why Evils handle so well. Their 29er bikes blow away every other one I’ve demoed. The two closest in fun factor to any Evils I’ve ridden were the Santa Cruz Hightower and the Ibis Ripley LS.

    #229425

    I like your comparison of The Following MB to the other brands.  Have you ridden the new Norco Sight 29″ for comparison?  I’m torn between the 2 but am leaning toward the Sight for a little extra travel.  And they seem to be a bit burlier for DH than other brands (not sure how it compares to Evil)

    #229428

    @ScottGillis: “I like your comparison of The Following MB to the other brands.  Have you ridden the new Norco Sight 29? for comparison?  I’m torn between the 2 but am leaning toward the Sight for a little extra travel.  And they seem to be a bit burlier for DH than other brands (not sure how it compares to Evil)”

    Personally, I have never liked Horst-link (FSR) suspension bikes. I realize they are ubiquitous as they can be scaled to handle many styles of riding. Since Speshy’s patent ran out a few years ago everyone and their brother has one including the Norco you mention. FSR’s require typically quite a bit of shock damping (think Specialized Epic on the far end of it) to make them not feel mushy when pedaling and most people I know that ride them routinely use a lock out lever on their shocks for climbing/pedaling efforts. That’s something I don’t want to putz with.

    As far as burly, goes Evils are built like tanks. We’ve seen only a couple of them have any issues and these were 1st run frames where a rider did not have the shock hardware torqued properly resulting in some cracks around the mount. Evil quickly warrantied them and that was nearly two years ago. We’ve seen no failures since.

    Finally, for out and out down hill performance absolutely nothing I’ve ridden comes close to how well Evils ride. This is particularly true on the Wreckoning. I demoed the new Orbea Rallon back to back with my Wrecker last weekend. The Rallon is maybe the closest in numbers on paper to the Wreckoning, but the reality is quite different. The Orbea is much more upright (dare I say XC) in feel and the suspension doesn’t feel as bottomless as the Evil. It’s a nice bike, but the Wreckoning is in another league. This is cliche, but Evils really position you down in the bike versus on top of it. Several people at the demo last week actually rode my bike around and immediately noted the difference in position versus the Orbea. The Wrecker is my daily driver and I never feel over nor under biked aboard it.

     

    #229469

    Re Evils, I generally echo what Dr. Sweets has said, though I no doubt have less experience than him.   I own a Following and love it as an all-around trail bike.  I have briefly demo’d a Wreckoning as well, and it was unbelievable going downhill.  (I know you are asking about the Calling, and I also demo’d one, but it was the wrong size…) One thing – if you do much technical climbing, the Following definitely climbs more easily than the Wreckoning in some scenarios.  That Wreckoning front wheel is way out there, and a little harder to tame when aimed upward.  But downhill, going over rough terrain and chunk and on steeps, the Wreckoning is a dream.  I should say that I’m a bit conservative going downhill and don’t aim for max speed.  The Following needs a little more care making its way down steep challenging stuff, but does well for me, and the big wheels really make it easier to keep up your mo’ (strong recommendation for good light and *wide* carbon rims if you can afford them). Whereas, the Wreckoning felt to me like “a lotta bike.”   Given my style of riding, the Following gives the better balance, and it’s stout yet can be built quite light (mine is a hair under 28 lb).  I agree with the Doc that the Evil suspensions  are amazing given their travel – they really feel different than other geometries – and that “in the bike” feel is for real.  I do get just a few more pedal strikes with those super-low bottom brackets, but that’s more a comment on my skill and the rocky terrain, and the tradeoff for that low position is well worth it.  You can leave the suspensions open and still pedal and climb on a firm platform, and even with 120 mm rear travel they never seem to feel bottomed out.  I don’t know the terrain where you live, but maybe you can figure out how to apply these comments.

    (BTW, I have 130 mm front travel – he mentions 140 mm, which seems to propped-up and raked-out to me, and I don’t think is standard on that frame (it’s 120 or 130 typically). Also to keep in mind – mine is a Gen 1 Following.  The new ones have Boost and some minor tweaks, but the overall ride feel is largely unchanged according to the descriptions I’ve seen online.  Finally, be sure to get the right frame size.  If you go too small with an Evil you ned to extend the seat post, which with their raked-back angles can put your butt a little to the back.  But mine is positioned perfectly.)

    For more on the Calling, take a look at Skills With Phil (Phil Kmetz on YT): as he has great videos doing everything on his Calling, from Whistler to pump tracks to outback trail rides.  (Of course, he’s a super-human rider…)

    If I felt like trying more bikes I’d revisit the Calling and a Yeti 5.5C.  But I am totally happy with the Following.

    #229475

    @KenBabcock: “Re Evils, I generally echo what Dr. Sweets has said, though I no doubt have less experience than him.   I own a Following and love it as an all-around trail bike.  I have briefly demo’d a Wreckoning as well, and it was unbelievable going downhill.  (I know you are asking about the Calling, and I also demo’d one, but it was the wrong size…) One thing – if you do much technical climbing, the Following definitely climbs more easily than the Wreckoning in some scenarios.  That Wreckoning front wheel is way out there, and a little harder to tame when aimed upward.  But downhill, going over rough terrain and chunk and on steeps, the Wreckoning is a dream.  I should say that I’m a bit conservative going downhill and don’t aim for max speed.  The Following needs a little more care making its way down steep challenging stuff, but does well for me, and the big wheels really make it easier to keep up your mo’ (strong recommendation for good light and *wide* carbon rims if you can afford them). Whereas, the Wreckoning felt to me like “a lotta bike.”   Given my style of riding, the Following gives the better balance, and it’s stout yet can be built quite light (mine is a hair under 28 lb).  I agree with the Doc that the Evil suspensions  are amazing given their travel – they really feel different than other geometries – and that “in the bike” feel is for real.  I do get just a few more pedal strikes with those super-low bottom brackets, but that’s more a comment on my skill and the rocky terrain, and the tradeoff for that low position is well worth it.  You can leave the suspensions open and still pedal and climb on a firm platform, and even with 120 mm rear travel they never seem to feel bottomed out.  I don’t know the terrain where you live, but maybe you can figure out how to apply these comments.

    (BTW, I have 130 mm front travel – he mentions 140 mm, which seems to propped-up and raked-out to me, and I don’t think is standard on that frame (it’s 120 or 130 typically). Also to keep in mind – mine is a Gen 1 Following.  The new ones have Boost and some minor tweaks, but the overall ride feel is largely unchanged according to the descriptions I’ve seen online.  Finally, be sure to get the right frame size.  If you go too small with an Evil you ned to extend the seat post, which with their raked-back angles can put your butt a little to the back.  But mine is positioned perfectly.)

    For more on the Calling, take a look at Skills With Phil (Phil Kmetz on YT): as he has great videos doing everything on his Calling, from Whistler to pump tracks to outback trail rides.  (Of course, he’s a super-human rider…)

    If I felt like trying more bikes I’d revisit the Calling and a Yeti 5.5C.  But I am totally happy with the Following.”

    See, I’m not completely full of crap. Mostly, but that maintains some degree of mystery. In the December issue of Bike are the editors “dream builds”. Anthony Smith does basically what I would do with a Calling if I was to build one. Having spent over a month riding a Calling building one was/is something I’ve thought about many times even though I’ve zero regrets with my Wreckoning. Mr Smith went with a coil over Super Deluxe out back and a new 150mm travel Pike up front and obviously running it in the X-low position. That bike cannot be anything, but insane in it’s ability. The demo Calling I rode which had the most base level kit (it was a frame built up with NX, Raceface wheels, a Yari 140mm fork and random controls my pal had) and even with this somewhat “spartan” build absolutely shredded like mad.

    Back to the matter at hand; if you want the best “climber” in Evil’s range get the new Following. If you want to jibe and play on/off of even the most mundane trail detritus then the Calling is your bike. If you want the Calling’s aforementioned attributes plus a bit more, dare I say Enduro-ness then the Insurgent is the ticket. Finally, if you want to demolish everything in your path, take lines that would otherwise scare the pee out of you and still have the bulk of the previous descriptors the Wreckoning is the one. All of them have similar DNA with a suspension and geometry that is like nothing else. They all also have quite a bit of overlap despite maintaining their individuality. Big fun no matter the model. Party.

    #229699

    Thanks guys for all your input.  Since I ride mostly my local trails and there are no huge downhill sections, just short ups and downs, I went with the Following MB (frame only). I am transferring much of my previous bikes components over to save some cash.  I am really looking forward to hitting the trails with this bike !

    #229714

    dr sweets,   how is the Evil Insurgent? That is the one I’m interested in. And I live in Florida, where in Georgia do I need to go to test ride one? I don’t remember ever seeing Evil at Santos fat tire festival.

    #229723

    @AlvinMullen: “dr sweets,   how is the Evil Insurgent? That is the one I’m interested in. And I live in Florida, where in Georgia do I need to go to test ride one? I don’t remember ever seeing Evil at Santos fat tire festival.”

    The Insurgent is pretty much this: “If you want the Calling’s aforementioned attributes plus a bit more, dare I say Enduro-ness then the Insurgent is the ticket.”

    A few things to be aware of. First, new Insurgents are on the way. The original model which came out at the end of ’14 is a killer bike, but it is likely that Evil will be moving the design to mirror the more recent changes on their bikes namely a 148 dropout (original has a 142), more rear tire clearance and a trunnion mounted shock. Now, if you already have a bike with a 142 rear dropout and you simply want to move parts now is a great time to do so as the existing Insurgent frame are on sale.

    Second, b/t the Insurgent and the Calling, I like the Calling better. There is not much that will overwhelm it and as much as I dig the monster truck ability of the Wreckoning, I’d be perfectly happy on a Calling with a 150mm fork. The bike absolutely rips and if your terrain is not as mountainous, it is the one to get. I think it would be better suited to Florida.

    Finally, no we weren’t at Santos, but are located in the Atlanta metro area, Roswell to be exact. We have pretty much everything available for demo and would just need some advanced notice if you are coming up for a ride. Demos are $75 for the day if you take the bike or nothing for a couple of hours if we go with you. Call Mike who owns the dealership through Blue Mountain Bikes for details and tell him the Dr sent ya. 404-314-1641. Party.

    #229747

    Thanks for the info. If I don’t pull the trigger soon, I may set up a demo this coming summer. We are planning a possible trip to Mulberry Gap in June or July. But I am considering getting an Insurgent soon as the GX build direct from Evil, shipped is now $4300, about a $1000 less than the Calling. I like more suspension than I need, I ride mostly technical trails, and with the adjust ability of the Insurgent I figure it would work for me on anything from easy trails to downhill lift parks.

    #229751

    @AlvinMullen: “Thanks for the info. If I don’t pull the trigger soon, I may set up a demo this coming summer. We are planning a possible trip to Mulberry Gap in June or July. But I am considering getting an Insurgent soon as the GX build direct from Evil, shipped is now $4300, about a $1000 less than the Calling. I like more suspension than I need, I ride mostly technical trails, and with the adjust ability of the Insurgent I figure it would work for me on anything from easy trails to downhill lift parks.”

    I get ya on the Insurgent. We can likely hook you up even better than going direct. Let us know how we can help. Mulberry Gap is fun, but there are lots of options for riding around.

    #229820

    Dr. when I go to the blue mountain bike shop website is shows it is in Blue Ridge GA, not Roswell, and has a 706 area code. Are there two shops, or do I have the wrong bike shop?

    #229823

    @AlvinMullin: “Dr. when I go to the blue mountain bike shop website is shows it is in Blue Ridge GA, not Roswell, and has a 706 area code. Are there two shops, or do I have the wrong bike shop?”

    No you have the right shop. However  Mike, the owner of the Evil dealership is down in Roswell and keeps most of the bikes at his house. He runs the business through that shop. The number above is direct to him. More often than not if you do a short demo as noted it will be me that meets you usually with a couple of different Evil bikes.

    #230004

    OK, I got with Mike and ordered a medium Evil Insurgent in Slime Green.

    #230006

    Awesome! I think you’ll dig it.

    #230239

    The excitement is starting to build…

    I just got my Following MB (orange) delivered!!!

    Over the next few months I will be transferring components over from my previous bike and ordering some new parts to complete this build.

    Can’t wait to hit the trails on this machine!!

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