With the launch of the original Following in 2015, Evil emerged from the ashes and established themselves as creators of genre-defying bikes. They used DH roots to flip XC on its head and push trail-bikes into uncharted territory. The Following was the first of its kind; an aggressive 120mm travel 29” bike that was lauded by everyone who rode it.
With the launch of the original Wreckoning in 2016, they once again blew minds with a long travel 29’er that rode like a 26” downhill bike. Its low-slung geometry kept your weight inside the bike so you could push into corners instead of high-siding over them. Oodles of that magical DELTA suspension (161mm, to be exact) let you roll through slippery root gardens like they were a manicured pump track while simultaneously keeping the fun levels on high.
With the launch of the original Offering in 2018, we saw these forays into aggressive-XC and mini-DH come home to a happy middle ground. This bike took key elements from the slap-happy Following and the gnar-hungry Wreckoning and turned them into what many see as the ultimate trail bike. With 141mm of rear wheel travel, the capacity to run a 140-160mm fork, and DELTA’s low and x-low settings, the Offering offered those of us looking for something in between the Following and the Wreckoning just that, but with the capacity to suit the extremes if need be.
A new decade
In 2020, we have seen Evil take the first two bikes from this impressive range and refine them for the new decade. With the Following first, and then the Wreckoning, we saw Evil move to 157mm Super Boost+ rear ends, a change that allowed for maximizing stiffness on frames that beg you to let loose on them. In developing the “Sound Mounds” chainstay protector equipped on all their new-age models, Evil used hours of slow-motion footage and audio recording to determine how best to reduce chain-slap to near nothing, making these bikes as quiet as a shadow. In keeping with today’s best practices, Evil’s engineers increased seattube angles for a more comfortable and more efficient climbing experience, and they lengthened these bike’s reach measurements to create a more sure-footed (wheeled?) bike.
And because the devil is in the details, little improvements like a lighter integrated chainguide, fully internal cable routing, and beefier frame hardware and bearings trickled their way through the line.
Just in time to finish off this wild year, we get one more gift from Evil HQ. Today, December 8th, the revamped Evil Offering drops. It features all the improvements seen on the Following and the Wreckoning in a 140mm rear travel package. Might this be the perfect middle ground? Is this the bike for you? Let’s dig in and see what makes the Offering tick, and then compare it with the Wreckoning and the Following to help you decide.
The Offering: V2
Those gorgeous lines
The second rendition of the Offering, like the Wreckoning and Following before it, takes on fast, angular lines reminiscent of a Lamborghini Aventador, dropping the alien-like swoops and curves of the previous model. Every shape on the frame affirms this bike’s speedy intentions, down to the new internal cable routing ports on the head-tube, which are reminiscent of the air intake scoops of a super-car.
How do they do it?
The Offering isn’t just good looks though, with plenty of thought and planning having gone into its redesign. The imposing, one-piece swingarm component of Dave’s Extra Legitimate Travel Apparatus (DELTA, for short) is now affixed to the front triangle by a larger diameter and longer length main bolt. This makes it better at handling the large amounts of stress that the pivot experiences when we’re out there hucking to flat off every drop we see, something this bike just begs for.
The change is made possible in part by the SuperBoost+ 157mm rear axle spacing, which at first glance may have you shaking your head in dreaded anticipation of a new standard. The reasoning behind it, however, is sound. Today’s SB+ rear hubs have a wider flange spacing than the 157mm hubs of yester-year, which gives your wheel’s spokes a more supportive bracing angle than a regular Boost 148 rear hub. If you imagine looking at a bike wheel head-on you’ll see a triangle, with the two sides formed by the right and left side spokes, and the bottom formed by the hub. A wider hub makes for a pyramid that is harder to topple over, i.e. a stronger wheel. With a bike like the Offering, as likely to be found in Whistler bike park as it is on the high alpine of the Rockies, a taco’ed rear wheel is not something you want to chance.
This hub spacing not only makes for a stronger, sturdier bike, but allows for an increase in tire clearance - run up to a big ‘ol 2.6 incher and still have plenty of room left for all the mud you’ll pick up. At the same time, the extra width lets the bike retain the tight, 430mm chainstays that help make Evils so poppy and fun.
Because it turned out very few people wanted to run a 140mm fork on the Offering, Evil has dropped that option and is now opting for 150mm or 160mm reduced offset forks. Using a shorter offset fork creates a slightly calmer, more “locked-in” steering feel, which fits well given the Offering’s intentions — to ride really, really fast. If you’re curious, you can read more about fork offset and how it affects a bike’s handling in the blog post linked at the bottom of this review. If not, suffice it to say we think this is a positive change for this particular bike.
The golden number(s)
Aside from a few key items, Evil has eschewed a radically different geometry, sticking with effectively the same head-tube angle (running a 160mm fork, one can use the flip chips to get either 65.3 or 65.9 degrees), the same wheelbase (less than a 5mm difference from V1 to V2), and and the same chainstay length (still that oh-so-fun 430mm).
Why did they not change these numbers? Well, because they’d already gotten it right. The Offering V1 was the last in the line of Evil’s first generation trail bikes, and as such they’d come a long way in determining what makes for an amazing ride experience. The Following MB (and now the Following V3) sit at a snappy 67 degree head angle, while the enduro-inclined Wreckoning V2 hovers at just under 65 degrees, depending on your fork and flip-chip selection. These were both bikes that did what they set out to do with panache and style. As the middle-child, sporting a middling amount of travel and all-arounder intentions, 65.5ish degrees is what makes the Offering so good at what it does. Instead of trying to be something it’s not, excels at its purpose.
Same goes for its wheelbase, an oft-overlooked geo measurement but one that is extremely important. Too long, and a bike may be stable at race-pace, but it will feel like a school bus the rest of the time. Too short, and a bike will jib like a BMX bike, but buck you off when the going gets rough. Once again, the Offering is and has been the ideal for the middle of the mountain-bike-trail-bell-curve, and that’s where it stays.
The two places we wanted to see changes made to this bike’s geometry, we did. Reach numbers have gone up across the board by at least half a centimeter on the smallest frame, and a full centimeter on the XL. And because you asked, yep, seat tube angles are up too, one full degree.
What does that mean for the rider? Well, on the ups, it means that we still get a comfortably spaced out cockpit - I’m talking about effective top tube here - because although the reach of the bike is a touch longer, our bum is also moved forward, so the distance from our hands to our saddle is only half a centimeter longer. Because our center of mass is moved towards the front wheel, there is a positive effect of keeping it from lifting up and flailing around on steep climbs. This weight redistribution also helps counteract the floppier feeling that a short offset fork engenders at slower speeds. All in all, we get a bike that climbs better and inspires more confidence during the descent.
A final noteworthy change is that the standover height of the bike is significantly lower than on the first Offering - about two centimeters on every size. That is especially beneficial for smaller riders who can now more comfortably dismount from their bicycle.
Can I have it?!
Yes, you can have it! Despite the massive delays in the bike supply chain, we’ve gotten our hands on a handful of the Offering V2 frames for launch, which we have loaded into the Visual Bike Builder so you can create the ultimate trail slaying, mountain exploring, jump-boosting beast of a bike. In fact, because of those same supply chain delays, this bike is launching as frame-only until sometime in 2021, so building it custom is the perfect way to go.
If an entire new bike isn’t in the budget, this is also a great opportunity to swap parts over from your current bike, although you will need a few items specific to this frame. Those include:
- 157mm Super Boost+ rear wheel. You can assemble a single rear wheel in our Wheel Builder, and we have so many rim and hub options that you should be able to match your front - or you can build up a fresh new set and sell the old. I’ll link to my rundown of Industry Nine’s System at the bottom of this article so you can learn more about the gorgeous, colorful aluminum-spoked wheels from North Carolina, which you can use our wheel builder to create in any color arrangement you’d like.
- 157mm Super Boost+ compatible crankset. Because of the wider rear hub spacing, you will want a crankset designed to create the right chainline, like these.
- 30.9mm seatpost. You may already have a 30.9mm diameter seatpost, but there have been a plethora of phenomenal, longer drop seatposts launched in the not-so-distant past. Being able to get your saddle 100% out of the way on the descent makes for a much more fun riding experience, and is something I highly recommend. The Fox Transfer is one of our favorites, not only because it is incredibly reliable and a pleasure to use, but because it comes in that gorgeous golden Kashima color. I’ll link to my review below.
- A fork. Your fork must of course be designed for a 29” wheel, 150 or 160mm travel, and ideally reduced offset. That’s 42mm for RockShox or 44mm for Fox, Marzocchi, and Cane Creek. If you have a standard 51mm offset fork, it will still work, but it will have a slightly different steering feel than a reduced offset fork. You can learn all about how that will affect your bike’s handling in the blog post I mentioned earlier (find it down bottom). In my opinion it wouldn’t warrant a new fork on its own, but in combination with another factor (trying out that new Fox 38, for example) it could be a compelling reason to try something new. If your fork is simply the wrong travel, many can be adjusted. Just send us a message and we’ll help you figure it out.
- Upgraded rear shock. The RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate that comes stock on the frame is a phenomenal rear shock, but if you’re looking to go coil or try something a little different, we’ve got options. You’ll need a 185mm x 55mm shock, which you can find here. Oh, and the original Offering uses the same shock, so if you’re upgrading you can simply swap your fancy shock over.
The Offering, The Wreckoning, or The Following: Which is right for me?
At this point I’ve clearly sold myself on an Offering, and I’ve probably sold you on one too. But that belies the fact that the Wreckoning and the Following both have the same updates and design cues that make this Offering so rad; they just approach things from slightly different perspectives. Let’s distill each one down to its essence and figure out what is the right bike for you. I am just under 5’10”, and with my wingspan of 5’10” and a 30” inseam, I always prefer a medium bike. I can get away with a large, but medium is my go to, so size specific numbers are on that size frame.
- Travel: 140mm rear, 160mm front (compatible with 150mm fork)
- Head Tube Angle (low position): 65.9 degrees
- Seat Tube Angle: (low position): 76.5 degrees
- Reach (medium): 465mm
- Wheelbase (medium): 1211mm
This is the bike for me if:
I ride up, down, all around. The trails I ride day to day consist of singletrack but incorporate technical features like rock/root gardens and jumps, drops, and steeps, all of which I seek out. I take trips to all sorts of riding locales, from the area's lift-access bike park (where I ride everything from blue to double black trails) to high-alpine all-day adventures. I want a bike that can do everything with style and grace.
- Travel: 120mm rear, 130mm front (compatible with 120mm fork)
- Head Tube Angle (low position): 66.9 degrees
- Seat Tube Angle: (low position): 76 degrees
- Reach (medium): 460mm
- Wheelbase (medium): 1183mm
This bike is for me if:
I love to move as fast as possible and pedal all day. The trails I ride day to day are on the smoother end of the spectrum and don’t ever get too steep - on the descent. Give me a vertical wall of a climb on the way up, and I’ll beat you to the top. Going downhill, I relish a scalpel of a bike, one that I can get off the ground on at a moment's notice and that corners like a bat outta hell. I want a bike that won’t hold me back when I want to pedal from dawn till dusk.
- Travel: 166mm rear, 170mm front (compatible with 160mm-190mm forks)
- Head Tube Angle (low position): 64.6 degrees
- Seat Tube Angle: (low position): 76.3 degrees
- Reach (medium): 455mm
- Wheelbase (medium): 1226mm
This bike is for me if:
I love the gnar. Plain and simple. I want to push myself to the limit and find the nastiest, scariest looking thing to point my bike down, and I want my bike to relish it with the same enthusiasm. I want to be able to huck off of any drop, boost off of any lip, and charge down any chute I see without thought of the consequences, because my bike will be able to pull me out of it even when I short the landing or forget to use my brakes. I want a bike that I can pedal to the top comfortably, but will chug a beer with me when I get there and race me to the bottom. Now wouldn’t that be a trick!
If you have any questions about these three marvelous bikes, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment below, or reach out to us. We’ve spent considerable time on all three, and it’s safe to say, we love em and we think you will too.
Cheers - Dan at Fanatik
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