Michael’s Evil Wreckoning V3

Hello Wolf Pack! Today I’m going to give you all a bit of an overview of my current personal mountain bike – the Evil Wreckoning V3 – and why the combination of chosen components works so well for me.

Some quick stats on myself, I’m 5’8” (172 cm) and weigh in at around 165lbs (75 kg) on a good day. I’m based in the North East of Scotland, and our trails feature a wide variety of terrain with the standout feature being the signature granite rock in most areas.

I believe that I’ve managed to perfect the blend of “boutique” brands with some more everyday but quality and no-nonsense components with this current build. I’ve built most of my bikes at this point and rarely consider complete builds – I find as a home mechanic this gives me more connection with the bike and feels like more of a project opposed to a straight up purchase.

This isn’t my first dance with Evil bikes, having owned their older 27.5 V1 Insurgent previously, which I partially regret selling and not keeping as a party rig. I’ve always found the package their bikes offer really suits my riding style, for me they always manage to strike the balance of play, plough, and efficiency well. And I’ll shamefully admit aesthetically they’ve always stood out above the rest for me!

So, what about the Wreckoning? Let’s get into it!


Material: Carbon
Travel: 166mm
Size: Medium
Weight: 15.8kg / 34.8lbs
Burgtec Evil titanium bolt kit
Flip chips set to low (not X-low)

This was the first 29er I had ridden that didn’t feel like a complete monster truck taking me for a ride. Instead it feels playful, maneuverable and agile, much like my previous Insurgent, but with the flick of a switch you can go into flat out plough mode putting the 166mm of rear wheel travel and 29” wheels to work. And for a long travel 29er the bike pedals incredibly well, far better than the numbers suggest, so I never worry about taking the “big” bike out on longer days.

Size wise, I fall right in between the small and medium, but I opted to go for the medium. I find it fits me perfectly with a 455mm reach with the bike in the low flip chip setting. I’ve played around with the flip chips back and forth, however I’ve found in the X-low setting the bike loses a lot of agility, and I prefer the head angle in the slightly steeper setting of 64.6 degrees for 90% of the trails I ride. The occasional uplift day warrants the slightly more aggressive geometry of the X-Low position.

In terms of ride feel, the DELTA system used by Evil provides a super supple off-the-top feel, with a poppy and playful platform in the middle of the stroke that can predictably break away and use up more travel through the chunk when required. It has a truly bottomless feel, I really haven’t ridden another platform quite like it to date.

From flat out berm thrashing flow to full granite chunk I find this bike ridiculously good fun through it all and it rarely lets me down. Oh and it jumps good too!

Now I believe transparency is really important especially when it comes to product reviews, even though this isn’t a review as such. But if I had said the Wreckoning hadn’t been without trouble I would be lying, as I did manage to crack the front triangle at the beginning of the year, which I was really gutted about at the time.

Failures can occur with every bike brand and no one is immune, but what’s important is how a company deals with these situations and the steps they take to put things right. To Evil’s credit they handled the warranty process incredibly well and were very accommodating throughout the process, which saw me back on the bike in no time. So big up to Evil for standing by your customers & product!


Shock: Rockshox Super Deluxe ultimate coil | 400 lbs coil
Fork: Rockshox Zeb ultimate charger 2.1 | 170mm (78 psi with two volume reducers)
Misc: Rockshox Zeb short fender

Nothing massively exciting here in the suspension department, I opt to use Rockshox as I find their products to be generally user friendly and easy to set up to my liking with little fuss.

Up front I run a Zeb ultimate with 170mm of travel at 78 PSI with two volume reducers and I run the rebound a little slower than some. I find this helps keep the front end under control and the traction more predictable. During my last service, I had my bushings refitted by our local suspension tech, which helped to reduce friction in the fork and eke out some extra suppleness.

In the rear again nothing crazy, I run a super deluxe ultimate coil shock, with a 400lb spring, and like the front end a slower rebound. I generally leave this untouched, and I let Evils DELTA linkage do most of the heavy lifting, so fairly set and forget and I find this works well for me.


Shimano XT 12 mech
Shimano XT shifter
Shimano XT cassette
Shimano XT chain
Shimano XT crank set (165mm)
Shimano XT bottom bracket
Hope tech union gravity pedals
Works components GEO chain ring (32T)
MW “Oh SH*T” ISCG 05 bash guard

So, drivetrain, again straight forward, I’m running a full XT 12 speed drivetrain with a Works Components GEO chainring as I’m a sucker for a nice looking chainring. Keeping that chainring safe is one of my own little bash guards, the MW “Oh SH*T” ISCG05 Bash Guard, which launched this year.

The Shimano shift quality is smooth and consistent, and running 165mm cranks also appears to have some benefit especially when climbing, helping to eliminate some rock strikes. I have found however the clutch longevity and reliability in Shimano rear mechs is less than desirable, which is such a shame because other than that it’s a solid groupset!

In the last year or so I made the switch from flat pedals to clipless pedals. Initially I tried some SPD compatible pedals and just couldn’t get on with them. Later on and with Robert’s recommendation I gave the Hope Union Gravity pedals a shot, and since then haven’t looked back since. Clipping in has been a big game changer for my riding and has unlocked a new type of bike control for me.


Hope tech E3 E4
Sintered steel pads
Hope tech 200mm rotor front and rear

Potentially the oldest components on the bike are my Hope Tech 3 E4 brakes. These came from the previous bike, and in typical Hope fashion have just kept on running reliably with the occasional bleed and set of pads. They really don’t ask for much and provide consistent and predictable stopping power on demand.

I run 200mm rotors front and rear combined with sintered steel pads. I find this combination helps manage the heat well and prevents them from ever really fading on long descents.


MW “BLTN” stem (40mm)
Hope Tech 35mm carbon handlebar 20mm rise (770mm)
ODI long neck lock on grips

Up front in the drivers’ seat, I’m running one of my own components that isn’t quite ready for market yet – my 35mm clamp, 40mm reach stem in red. It’s currently coined the BLTN (Better Late Than Never) stem, as this project has taken me way longer than I care to admit.

I have a bit of a bad habit of running my stem with only a 5mm spacer below, and feeling like it’s “wrong” if setup otherwise. I guess this is for aesthetic reasons, and a habit carried over from the BMX. That said, I find the lower down position with a higher rise bar comfortable, and it allows me to get what weight I do have down on the front wheel a lot easier.

Connected to this stem is a pair of 35mm Hope Carbon handlebars. I won’t say too much about these here as they’re on review, but so far so good!

Paired with the bars I’m running ODI longneck lock-on grips. I choose these for their ultra-squish comfort and surprising longevity, but also because I ran regular ODI longnecks on my BMX bikes for as long as I can remember.


OneUp V2 150mm Dropper
PNW loam lever
SDG chepi duster saddle with ti rails
Dward design aluminum seat clamp

In the seating area I’m running a 150mm Oneup V2 dropper post shimmed to 140mm and slammed as far in the frame as it will go, this range of posts offer a budget friendly post that has long term reliability and never gives me any trouble. Keeping the post in place is a Dward design seat clamp, which is another piece of small brand UK-made goodness to add to the collection.

To actuate the dropper, I have the PNW Loam Lever. It’s subtle with a quality construction, and has a nice snappy throw to actuate.

And finally saddle wise I’m running an SDG Duster saddle in the Chepi design. This potentially might be older than the brakes and is looking pretty tired now, but I haven’t found a seat that fits me quite as well as it does and I believe they’re now discontinued.


DT Swiss EX511 29” 32H laced to Hope Pro 4 front & rear
Vittoria Mazza Enduro Race, 2.5” front 2.4” rear

Wheel-wise, I’m running a custom-built pair of EX511s laced to Hope Pro 4s with 32 spokes front and rear. The hubs are fantastic and will likely keep on rolling forever. The rims however have left me disappointed, as they have some worrying corrosion and rot around every spoke hole and will likely need replacing sometime in the New Year. Corrosion issue to one side, this wheelset in my view is a relatively budget-friendly, no thrills, dependable and burly wheelset that should keep even the hardest of riders happy and rolling.

I’m still running the Vittoria Mazza enduro race tires from the review earlier this year, you can read more in depth about them in the review but since then they’re still running great and hardly worn given the miles on them to this point.


Fidlock water bottle system

Only real extra here is my fidlock bottle system which I run across all my bikes now, which is a great system and eliminates any bottle removal faff on the move.


This build for me allows me to be the most confident and comfortable I’ve ever felt on a bike. Through its ups and downs I still absolutely love it, and most if not all days aboard it are the best days as it really allows me to push my limits and try to find its limit! It’s also the first bike I’ve owned that I really haven’t really had much desire to replace, as it has become so familiar to me now and I would appear to have broken the 2 year new bike cycle.

I Dig:

• DELTA link suspension sorcery
• Big bike plow with little bike play
• Aesthetically pleasing
• Pedaling efficiency (I need all the help I can get)
• Running my own parts – isn’t that exciting!

I Don’t:

• DT Swiss EX511 rim corrosion
• Shimano mech clutch poor lifespan


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