In the Enduro World Series, the new Devinci Spartan has already caused a stir. Damien Oton succeeded not only a 6th place in Scotland, but also stood on the podium in Valloire with an amazing 2nd place, impressively demonstrating that the newest bike of the Canadian manufacturer is really fast. Recently the German Devinci distributor, “Shocker distribution”, called us to arrange a detailed review. In addition to several tours on our home trails and in the alps, we were keen to test the new Devinci Spartan in a race too.
The Devinci Spartan comes with the Split Pivot™ suspension system, typical to all Devinci’s, this linkage system should not only have a great pedal stroke efficiency, but also offer fully active suspension under braking.
With the incorporation of a flip-chip at the shock mount, the rider has a choice between 2 different geometry settings on the Devinci Spartan. In addition to the head and seat tube angle, the bottom bracket height is also affected. For our test we chose the slackest setting of the bike, with a 65.8° head angle in combination with the 432 mm chain stays and the lowered bottom bracket, this setting would provide the best downhill performance.
While the main frame and chain stays are made of aluminum, Devinci produces the seat stays out of carbon, not only to reduce weight, but also provide more rigidity and stability.
The Devinci Spartan Build
The Devinci Spartan is available in three equipment variants. For our test, we got the 4.229 € Spartan RC, which is the mid-price model in the range, located between the low priced Spartan XP (3.729€) and the flagship Spartan RR (6.299€).
The suspension of our test bike was driven by a RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 and a RockShox Pike Dual Air RC. While the rear shock provided 165mm of travel, the Pike has as usual 160mm of travel.
For our test, we received a Devinci Spartan in size medium. With a Reach of 413 mm and a top tube length of 580mm which is about standard for a medium. With a height of 178cm, the tester rider Pirmin fell exactly between M and L. The question of the right size was answered due the availability of the bike, only a medium was available so this was the one he got.
The riding position can be described as central and compact but not uncomfortable. In the slack position of the flip chip, the bike still climbs uphill readily. The impression of sitting too far above the rear wheel never came up. In particularly steep climbs we were glad to be able to drop the travel of the RockShox Pike. Despite the 1050 gram Schwalbe tires, climbing was swift and you reach the trail head relaxed with the Devinci. Under steady pedaling we really could not recognize pedaling influences, only when we got out of the saddle did we reach for the additional compression damping setting of the RockShox Monarch Plus.
When the seat post is lowered and the chain switched onto the large front sprocket, the Spartan is in its element. On the descents, it impressed our testers, not least due to the small frame size with a very agile handling. When asked for fast changes of direction the spartan would do so willingly, but at the same moment it is not nervous at high speed.
The short and wide cockpit provides a confident and aggressive riding position, working in harmony with the powerful and stable brakes and the grippy Schwalbe Hans Dampf tires.
The chassis of the Devinci Spartan is very balanced, the RockShox Pike fork matches well with the rear suspension, absorbing small bumps perfectly, and remaining stable in the middle of travel while still coping with big hits well, the ending progression prevents bottom outs.
The bike is very plush on the trail and handles even large impacts very well. But still the suspension does emphasizes the agile character of the bike.
The harmonious suspension and the good balance of the bike is noticeable in corners. Neither uncontrolled over-or understeer surprised our testers, this ensures safety and lots of fun. With the Devinci we went faster and faster through the corners of our home trails and scratched on some of our Strava best times.
Statement From Testrider Pirmin:
“In the medium frame size, the Devinci Spartan is OK for me with a height of 178 cm, making for an agile and playful bike with which you can have a lot of fun, and not only on the home trails either. Because of the robust parts and good suspension the bike performs great on alpine trails or in the bike park. As a racer I would chose the bike in size L, providing more stability at high speeds and in difficult terrain.” – Pirmin
The Devinci Spartan is a solid and top-functioning bike with 27.5″ wheels. Even if racers want a slightly longer and slacker bike, the Spartan impresses with its tried and tested geometry and reliable components with a well-balanced handling. The only thing that doesn’t convince us is the high price of 4.229€ and the weight of 14.3 kg.
For more informations visit: www.devinci.com
Words & Pictures: Christoph Bayer