The Wreckoning LB GX Eagle Complete Mountain Bike
Big wheels keep on turning and with the industry fully on board and offering plenty of excellent enduro and even downhill 29ers, we're curious if 27.5-inch wheels' days are numbered. While we were early adopters and have been believers in the 622 ERD gospel for a while, onboarding everyone else hasn't been quite as easy and even Evil Bikes was hesitant at first. However, after company head Kevin Walsh hit the trails with the new crop of 29-inch bikes, he quickly realized the benefits and knew it could build frames matching the brand's aggression and playfulness while offering the speed and rollover ability that can only come from large wheels. It's first 29er, The Following, received critical acclaim and it knew that it needed an even burlier long travel version to slay technical trails at high speed and compete in enduro racing arenas. The Wreckoning was born and its marriage of 161mm of travel and large diameter wheels made it one of Evil's most popular bikes. Fast forward two years later and its back with some subtle, yet meaningful updates. Much like we saw with The Following MB treatment, the new Wreckoning isn't a total reboot, which is a good thing as both bikes were pretty dialed from the get-go, instead, it listened to its sponsored riders and consumers and addressed certain areas including water bottle mount inclusion (on medium through x-large frames), a lighter carbon fiber layup, and of course, some new colors to make it, as it says, "just a little better'er". The Wreckoning remains a bike that's the pick of the litter for shuttle laps on gnarly natural terrain, lift access while progressing in the park, or racing enduros where we value pedaling efficiency on the transfers and bump gobbling goodness on the stages. The Wreckoning LB GX Eagle Complete Mountain Bike is one steed that’s not afraid of the terrain and earns its reputation when the trails are most formidable.
Evil's gravity-fueled addiction is no doubt reflected in its frame designs. As such, The Wreckoning is built to go fast and mob over the rowdiest terrain. Just a few years ago, the thought of a bike with over six inches of travel and 29in wheels that could actually corner and pedal for hours would be unheardof, but modern technology is an amazing thing and we'll gladly accept bike progression as we're all about having a more capable bike that we can pedal on our favorite trails. Thankfully, one thing left unmolested on this new version and adheres to the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality is the v1's long, low, and slack geometry. The first version already sported Boost axle spacing, so Evil was able to refine the angles and lengths making the first version the shredder it was and it didn't want or need to mess with a good thing. Naturally, if you're looking at this bike you might be on the fence between it and its little brother The Following. While The Following has a little more sports car feel and taut handling, The Wreckoning is a full-on monster truck that's always in plow mode with an almost two-degree slacker headtube angle at 66.1 and 65.1-degrees, depending on what setting you have the linkage flip chip in. The now ubiquitous Boost spacing lets Evil hack the length off of the chainstays to position the rear wheel right up against the seattube, for a rear end that's virtually the same length as its 27.5in Insurgent. Berm busting and line adjustments have never been easier on a big wheel bike and you'll quickly discover that the Wreckoning loves back wheel.
The suspension travel is governed by Dave's Extra Legitimate Travel Apparatus, or simply DELTA, which Evil designed in collaboration with Dave Weagle, also of DW-link and Split-Pivot fame. Dave holds more bike patents than you can shake a stick at and has achieved wizard status in the mountain bike suspension world. Essentially, DELTA is a linkage driven single pivot that's chosen to achieve a level of adjustability that's not allowed on DW-link's mini-link design. In fact, DELTA was originally designed as a platform to test different suspension curves, so it's most basic, defining attribute is its limitless adjustability. On the new Wreckoning, Evil redesigned this linkage for simplicity, weight savings, and increased strength. The redesigned dog bone links use integrated forged bosses that connect the linkage to simplify maintenance while boosting lateral stiffness.
Naturally, shock setup is very important on a DELTA bike and Evil works very closely with its suspension partners for the proper tune and hooks up The Wreckoning with a built-in sag measurement meter so you can dial in the prescribed 30% quickly and easily. Just reset the little toggle, hop on the saddle, and add or remove air as needed. This particular version gets the excellent RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 DebonAir that we feel fantastically matches the plushness and adjustability of the Lyrik RC2 DebonAir fork up front.
Riding a DELTA equipped bike is a revelation as it offers an amazingly light-off-the-top early stroke while transitioning into a supportive mid-stroke that simply creates traction as you claw up and over loose, rock ledges and slippery root balls. As you peg the fun meter deeper into its six-plus inches of travel, the kinematics create some ramping to help maintain a bottomless feel and prevents harsh bottom outs so you'll have the confidence to hit that double, huck-to-flat, or stomp that gap you've been eyeballing with the confidence that comes from its refined suspension platform. It takes a lot to find DELTA's limits which is fantastic for those looking to up their game and even Evil's own pro factory pilots.
With all that talk of suspension design and geometry, it'd be easy to dismiss the frame's carbon construction. While Evil has had some issues with carbon manufacturing many moons ago, its unidirectional carbon and one-piece molded frames are now constructed in a factory that also happens to service most of the high-end manufacturers on the market. The new frames simply exude quality and after logging some hard trail miles and subjecting the bikes to a few seasons' worth of general abuse, we can wholeheartedly say that they're built to a caliber reserved for certain outhouses constructed from cinder blocks.
The v2 Wreckoning is built up with a new, lighter layup further enhancing that engineered chassis flex that makes Evil bikes a beast under hard cornering with sure tracking at speed through chunky rock gardens. The marketing hyperbole of increased stiffness with more compliance isn't lost here and while we don't have specific numbers to reflect this, we do have quantifiable metrics on its weight loss that comes in at the tune of a half-pound lighter for frame and shock over the previous version.
This particular build features a smattering of components that balance performance on the trail and a helluva value. Mercury Wheels supply the hoops with a durable build and a sturdy 30mm internal width that helps the Vittoria Morsa tires achieve full volume for ride comfort and grip. SRAM's GX Eagle drivetrain is as dependable as they come and provides the range needed for climbing mountains, pedaling flatter stretches, and sprinting to stop the clock with or without a number plate attached to your bike. Finally, reining in all your newfound speed is a set of 4-piston Guide RS brakes.
- Go fast and take risks on this 29in ripper
- 161mm of Dave Weagle's ultra-plush DELTA suspension
- Boost rear spacing allows for slammed wheels and short stays
- Customizable geometry courtesy of flip chips at the linkage
- Sag meter makes for easy shock setup
- New, light carbon construction drops 0.5lb and adds stiffness
- Suspension design boosts traction and gobbles up trail imperfection
- GX Eagle provides the range, durability, and value