Pro Bike Check: Damien Oton’s Devinci Spartan Carbon 29

Like many of his fellow Enduro Pro racers French Unior/Devinci Factory Racing team-rider Damien Oton has switched to 29″ wheels for the 2018 season. Damien rode a prototype of the new Devinci Spartan Carbon 29 way before the bike was even launched — he’s actually been on one since the opening race of the 2018 season in Chile.

The 30-year-old Catalan-born Frenchman — that’s where his nickname “Catalan Eagle” comes from — took second place at this year’s last EWS race in Finale Ligure and secured the second overall place.
At 1.70 cm Damien disputed the 2018 EWS season on a size M Devinci Spartan Carbon 29. His race-ready bike with pedals weighs 15.3 kg.
A good reason to smile! The trails in Finale Ligure perfectly suit the Catalan Eagle’s riding style. Last year the Unior Devinci Factory rider bagged the overall EWS victory, this year he finished second and secured the 2018 vice-champion title.
In Final Ligure Damien used a RockShox Super Deluxe RCT rear-shock with 165 mm of travel which was set up with 125 psi.
A 170 mm RockShox Lyrik RC2 takes care of the front-end. In Finale the fork was set up with 80 psi. The Mudhugger Front Fender was totally unnecessary on this warm, sunny race weekend!
Damien relies on SRAM X01 Eagle components for his Devinci Spartan. In Finale Ligure he combined the 12-speed (10-50) Eagle cassette with 500% ratio with a 34 t chainring up-front.
Devinci’s SPLIT-PIVOT rear suspension concept works independently and allows for complete separation from braking forces.
A SRAM CODE RSC brake with a 200 mm rotor on the front wheel. SRAM’s CODE RSC brakes won our big Grouptest which included 19 of the most popular disc brakes.
At the back sits another SRAM CODE RSC brake with 200 mm rotor.
For his front wheel Damien combines a MAXXIS Assegai downhill tire with a Race Face Next R carbon rim. On the trails in Finale he ran 1.5 bar. Damien deliberately chose a carbon rim for the front-end. He prefers it because the stiffer carbon rim allows him to control the bike better and stick to his lines more accurately.
At the back Damien prefers a softer aluminium rim because it’s more comfortable. For the back wheel Damien chose a MAXXIS Minion DHR II downhill tire combined with a Race Face Turbine R rim. In the finals Damien inflated his rear tire with 1.75 bar.
The Catalan Eagel – Damien Oton’s very own coat of arms etched in his HT Components X2-clipless pedals.
Damien relies on a RockShox Reverb Stealth dropper post to put his SDG Radar saddle into the right position.
The Catalan Eagle grabs his 750 mm Race Face Next R carbon handlebars with a pair of Lizard Skins Charger Evo grips. The front of the SRAM X01 Eagle shifter is decorated with his name.
Damien likes his brake levers to sit extremely flat. In the off-season he rides lots of motocross and has transferred the typical brake lever position to his enduro bike.
The most important sticker on Damien’s bike is the one that bears his daughter’s Joy’s date of birth. The flip chip (below his index finger) on the rocker-arm allows him to adjust the geometry of the Devinci Spartan 29 — however he wasn’t too concerned with this detail as he was too busy telling us about his daughter when showing us his bike!
The OneUp Components EDC tool hides in the head tube. Damien uses a 35 mm Race Face Atlas stem.
Damien proudly showed us his self-made tubeless repair kit which he hides in the hollow axle of the SRAM X01 Eagle crank (170mm). If you on the other hand don’t want to make your own tubeless repair set, we tested the 5 best kits for you.

Video Portrait of Damien Oton

We wish Damien all the best for the upcoming season. Unfortunately we didn’t quite catch the tips his countryman Fabien Barel gave him for the next season — our French is still a little wobbly. Je ne parle pas français!

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Words & Photos: Manne Schmitt

About the author

Manne Schmitt

As the proud father of Robin and Max-Philip, Manne has been there from the start and is the wise elder of the editorial team. He won his first cycling race in elementary school at a school sports day. After less successful attempts at football, he found his passion for cycling via endurance racing in 1989! The world of racing still consumes him and no one in the team knows the EWS pros better than Manne. As a former head analyst of a state agency, he knows how to do proper research and finds exclusive news that no one else has. He supports his sons in day-to-day business dealings as the authorised signatory for 41 Publishing – viva la familia!