If you’ve spent much time in the mountain bike world, you’re likely familiar with the somewhat boutique, totally badass brand known as Evil Bikes. Based out of Bellingham, Washington, Evil currently offers just six models (five mountain, one controversially gravel). But not unlike a microbrewery that puts out a small number of world-class beers, everything Evil makes sets a new standard for its category.
Which brings us to the brand’s latest launch, a redesign of The Wreckoning, the downhill-focused beast that first rolled out of the woods four years ago. This 29er was born with the sort of aggressive geometry and travel that could tackle the gnarliest of descents, but the latest iteration (starting at $5,799, or $3,299 for the frame only) boasts a couple of notable improvements.
First off, this bike’s rear shocks have just a bit more travel, jumping from 161 millimeters to 166. For those of us who suck at the metric system (this writer included), that’s more than 6.5 inches. Together with those 29-inch wheels, that means it can ride out the bumpiest single-track without sending you flying over the bars.
The second big change is that this Wreckoning is more customizable than ever before. If you’re looking to mostly tackle undulating trails, you can set the Flip Chip to low and run a 160mm fork. If you want a bit more flexibility, you can opt for a 170mm fork and climb and descend with equal alacrity. And if you dream of insane downhill bombing, you can rock a 190mm fork and send it.
From what Evil has told us, this bike’s design is also optimized for a smoother pedaling stroke that eases uphill endeavors. It also features modern 157mm rear axle spacing and a unified one-piece rear triangle that provide the stiffness need to navigate rocky chutes.
Lastly, the Wreckoning has some classic Evil traits, including streamlined internal cable routing and Sound Mounds, rubber sound-cancelling chain stay protectors. That feature may be the only thing muted about this bike; its on-mountain performance has all the makings of loud and proud.
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