The Wreckoning LB Mountain Bike Frame
There's no denying the fun and speed big wheels and long travel brings to the trails. Here in the office, we've been 29-inch converts for quite some time and now, the majority of the industry and racers are fully on board from XC all the way up to DH. It wasn't always this way, mind you, and even Evil wasn't immune to discriminating against 29-inch wheels and it wasn't until company head Kevin Walsh road trails on some newer crop 29-inch bikes before he realized the benefits and knew the brand could build frames that reflected its desire for aggressive and playful bikes that could blend the speed and rollover ability that only comes with larger wheels. It's the first 29er, The Following, was universally received and it didn't take long before it realized that the need for an even burlier, longer travel machine was needed to excel on technical trails at higher speed and compete in enduro events. Thus, The Wreckoning was born and pairing 161mm of rear travel and large diameter wheels quickly made it one of Evil's most popular bikes. Fast forward to today and its back with some subtle, yet very meaningful updates. Much like we saw with The Following MB revamp, the new Wreckoning isn't a total reboot, which is a good thing as that bike was pretty dialed from the get-go, instead, it listened to its sponsored racers and loyal riders 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 keep it fresh and make it, as it says, "just a little better'er". The Wreckoning remains a bike that we are very fond of and it's an easy choice when shuttle laps over gnarly natural terrain are on tap, we're hitting up lift access to progress in the park, or were competing in a weekend enduro race where we value pedaling efficiency on the transfers and bump compliant plushness while the clock is running. Welcome to The Wreckoning LB Mountain Bike Frame, the ideal foundation for that dream rig that soaks up the most demanding terrain and one that earns its reputation on the most formidable trails.
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 unheard of, 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.
This 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.
- A burly 29er built to go fast and go big
- 161mm of Dave Weagle's refined DELTA suspension
- Boost rear spacing allow for short stays and snappy handling
- Customizable geometry courtesy of flip chips at the linkage
- Built-in Sag meter makes for easy shock setup
- Lighter carbon construction drops around 0.5lb while adding stiffness
- Suspension design boosts traction and the plushness levels trail imperfection