The Wreckoning features a 161 mm of Evil’s DELTA system suspension. Developed closely with Dave Weagle, DELTA stands for Dave’s Extra Legitimate Travel Apparatus. The DELTA system promises a supple initial travel, a firmer middle stroke for traction, ending in a ramp up to soften the bottom out. Our test bike was fitted with RockShox’s big volume Monarch Plus Debonair shock. The frame is designed to fit a 160 mm travel fork.
Evil's dual suspension bikes are all carbon frames and The Wreckoning is no different. On The Wreckoning, Evil use unidirectional carbon with a one-piece molded construction process. There is internal routing for a dropper seatpost while the rear derailleur and brake lines are routed under the top tube with the rear derailleur cabling running inside the seat tube. The frame arrives with a carbon upper chain guide with ISCG05 mounts for a custom e*thirteen lower guide and bashguard.
As on The Following, The Wreckoning has a handy meter on the non-drive side of the linkage to easily set your sag at the recommended setting. In this case, 30% sag.
Big travel 29” bikes are starting to jump on the slacker, longer geometry trend and The Wreckoning is right up there. The Large frame we tested had a reach of 452 mm, 66.1 degree head angle, 430 mm chain stay length, a seat post angle of 74.8 degree, bottom bracket height at 348 mm, and a 1208 mm wheelbase. That is with the geometry set to Low, at X-Low the head angle drops to 65.5 degrees and the bottom bracket height dropping to 339 mm.
It’s not just the geometry that is progressive. The Wreckoning is only compatible with single chainring drivetrains, with no provision on the frame for a front derailleur. The rear axle is Boost 148 compatible bringing with it the increased wheel stiffness, greater tyre clearance, and shorter chainstays.
So how much does it cost?
A The Wreckoning frame including the Monarch shock retails for around R55,000. This is dependant on the exchange rate. Evil currently have a $500 discount on their frames until 31 November which applies to purchases through the local distributor in South Africa.
The Wreckoning is available as a frame only option. This means that you have the amazingly fun, and sometimes excruciatingly tricky, task of buying the build kit for the frame. Our test bike was kitted out with the following components:
Fork: The Wreckoning arrived sporting a RockShox Pike. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, the Pike is an excellent performing fork with a reliability to boot. The Pike performed well on the bike, although considering the intended use of this bike, a Lyrik may be a better match for those looking to push the bike to its limits.
Shock: The Wreckoning was fitted with a RockShox Monarch Plus Debonair shock. Much like the Pike, the Monarch is a super capable shock and served well as the heart of the DELTA system suspension.
Drivetrain: The SRAM X01 drivetrain with a 32T was flawless with (and possibly thanks to the integrated chain guide) zero chain drops during our review period.
Wheels: The wheelset features a pair of Derby rims laced to Hope Pro Evo 4 hubs. The carbon Derby rims are rather large with a 31 mm inner diameter and 35 mm outer diameter. The stiffness of these rims is immediately noticeable.
Tyres: The Derby rims were wrapped in Onza’s Ibex tyres with a 2.4 inch width which combined with the 34 mm rim diameter resulted in an impressively wide contact patch and mountains of grip. The combination proved to be a good test of the stated 2.4 inch max tyre clearance, which The Wreckoning happily passed.
Cockpit: The cockpit was fitted with a short stem and wide bars to suit The Wreckoning’s roomy reach. A RockShox Reverb adjustable seatpost controlled a WTB saddle.
Apart from one brief test ride at my local trail to kick off the suspension setup, all my riding on The Wreckoning was done in the Alps in South Tyrol, Italy. This meant the luxury of ski lifts and seemingly endless trail option. The perfect setting to test a big enduro bike.
Getting setup and comfortable on the bike was relatively painless. I’m 6’4” and although I can go longer, the reach on The Wreckoning was spot. With the RockShox Reverb seat post fully extended, I was still unable to get my preferred leg extension when pedaling but a longer seat post would have fixed that problem.
The SAG meter is a very handy aid when first starting to dial the rear suspension, especially considering the difficulty of measuring the shock when tucked into the DELTA suspension system. For the trails I was riding, I found no desire to fiddle with the already progressive geometry. Perhaps, if I found myself in the park at Whistler or in a downhill race, the slightly lower and slacker numbers might help maintain some stability at full tilt.
The Wreckoning is a touch clumsy in the rough twisty stuff but much like the YTCapra, the bike comes into its own at high speeds. Off the brakes, up to speed, and at the edge of your ability, The Wreckoning is pure mountain biking bliss. The DELTA suspension system is superb. It soaks up everything while still providing a solid platform to boost off trail features and accelerate when jumping on the pedals.
Even in the steep Italian Alps, I’ll admit to struggling to get the bike to its full potential. Back home and without regular uplift assistance, I feel it is way too much bike for regular riding. The Wreckoning does, however, have one big advantage. You can simply pick any line you please with this bike and, when that goes wrong, it will still somehow manage to spit you of the other side unscathed. Not seeing your ass can sometimes trump the downsides of riding an excessive bike.
The Wreckoning’s climbing ability varies depending on the terrain. On single track climbs, especially the natural sort with rocks and roots, the geometry and long suspension made it a bit awkward. The low bottom bracket height did not help either with the need to carefully place your pedal strokes as the bike bobbed over the trail. Firming up the shock helped but it can be a delicate task removing your hand from the grip when you are tackling technical terrain.
After having been seduced by the ski lifts for five days, I thought it best to get my heart rate elevated for more than the 15 minutes it took to come down. So one morning, I decide to forego the ski lift and climb the 900 metres to the top of the lift. After having a mixed experience on the short single track climbs, I was pleasantly surprised by how well The Wreckoning climbed the smooth dirt road. Do not expect any cross-country out of the saddle attacking, but a steady seated pace is easily maintained for long periods of time.
In the end
Evil have created one of the biggest, baddest 29er enduro machines in mountain biking. In the right hands, The Wreckoning is a mini-downhill sled with huge potential. The bike loves to be ridden hard and fast. The big wheels and ample travel will happily guide you through the most gnarly sections with little effort. Unlike a downhill bike, however, it can climb and does so admirably well considering the manner in which it handles the downhills.