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First Ride: 2021 Evil Wreckoning

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Evil’s longest travel 29er has received even more travel for 2021, along with new geometry numbers and 12×157 rear axle spacing. That’s pretty much the whole scoop in one sentence, but there’s obviously more to it than that.

The original Wreckoning had 161mm of travel, and the latest edition gets an additional 5 millimeters of squish for a total of 166mm. The bike’s designed to be used with a 160 or 170mm fork, although team rider Bubba Warren already demonstrated that it’s possible to run a dual crown fork on it at Crankworx Rotorua earlier this year.

There are two colors available, black and Coral Reefer, which, it turns out, is very hard to match on a computer screen. It’s sort of a flourescent salmon pink / orange color, with a hue that varies depending on the light.

Evil Wreckoning Details

• Wheelsize: 29″
• Carbon frame
• Travel: 166mm (r) / 160 or 170mm fork
• 64.8 or 64.2-degree head angle (170mm fork)
• 430 or 432mm chainstays
• 12 x 157mm SuperBoost spacing
• Colors: Coral Reefer, black
Weight as shown: 32.1 lb / 14.6 kg
• Price: $5,799 -$8,099 USD
• Frame and shock: $3,299 USD
evil-bikes.com

Complete bikes begin at $5,799 and go up to $8,099 USD, with five different build kit options, along with the ability to select either an air or a coil shock, including a Push Elevensix. The frame only with a RockShox Super Deluxe coil shock is priced at $3,299 USD.
Frame Details

The clever little features found on Wreckoning LB like the built-in sag-o-meter and the integrated chainguide didn’t go anywhere, and there’s still plenty of room for a water bottle inside the front triangle. A metric, trunnion shock is now used, and the bike is coil- or air-spring compatible. The DELTA link suspension layout (a link-driven single pivot design) remains, but the leverage curve has been altered slightly to match the additional travel.

Like the recently released Following, the Wreckoning now uses Super Boost, 12x157mm rear axle spacing, along with a wider main pivot and larger hardware in order to increase the overall frame stiffness.

Other details include a 30.9mm diameter seatpost, internal cable routing with guide tubes to elimate rattling, and a threaded bottom bracket shell.

Geometry

The new Wreckoning is longer and slacker than the previous version, although Evil didn’t go quite as far as some may have expected. Remember, this is the same company that has a gravel bike with a 66.6-degree head angle…

With a 170mm fork the Wreckoning’s head angle sits at either 64.8-degrees in the Low setting, or 64.2-degrees in the X-Low setting. Switching from one geometry position to another isn’t hard, but it is a little time consuming, since it involves removing a total of 10 bolts to make the swap.

The reach has grown on all sizes, and a size large now has a reach of 482mm, up from 452mm on the previous version. There’s a steeper seat tube angle to accompany that longer front center; Evil says it’s 76.5 or 76-degrees depending on the geometry setting. I’ll dig into this topic a little more in the ride impresisons, but keep in mind that the actual seat tube angle is around 68-degrees – that means taller riders may find themselves sitting more towards the back of the bike than they’d expected based on the numbers on paper.

The Wreckoning’s chainstays measure a short 430 or 432mm for all sizes.

Ride Impressions

I was able to sneak in two decent rides aboard the Wreckoning in order to get an initial feel for what version 3.0 of this big-wheeled brawler is all about.

I clocked 7,000 vertical feet of climbing between the two rides, which gave me plenty of time to ponder its geometry and pedaling performance. The 32-pound weight is reasonable for this category, especially considering that’s with a coil shock and a Zeb – gram conscious riders could easily knock off a pound of weight with a different suspension set up. That coil shock does start cycling into its travel when you stand up and really put the power down, but it remained reasonably calm during seated pedaling efforts. I did make use of that climb switch, though, especially on long logging road grinds, partially to keep the bike sitting higher in its travel, which helped a little with the seat angle.

Yes, it’s time to talk about that seat tube angle. To put it bluntly, I don’t think the Wreckoning’s seat tube angle is steep enough, at least with a 170mm fork. With the dropper post fully extended I felt more stretched out, with my weight further over the back of the bike than I would have preferred. The last few bikes that I’ve tested – the new Transition Sentinel, Guerilla Gravity Gnarvana, and Commencal Meta TR, all put me in a more comfortable, upright riding position due to their steeper actual seat tube angles.

The Wreckoning’s stiffness was noticeable, especially with the Zeb up front. It has a very solid feel, and the short back end makes it easy to snap through tight turns and pop off of jumps. That coil shock and 170mm fork are conducive to plowing straight through obstacles, but I’d hesitate to call this purely a ‘plow bike’ – there are longer and slacker options out there that fit better into that category. Instead, the Wreckoning feels like it has plenty of travel to get you out of trouble when things get extra-rough, without being a one-trick-pony that only works on the steepest, gnarliest tracks.

The travel is very well managed – it’s there when you need it, but there’s also enough support to keep it engaging on smoother, flowier sections of trail. That adds an unexpected level of versatility to the Wreckoning, making it suitable for much more than just shuttle and lift-served adventures.





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