Devinci Spartan 2018 Mountain Bike Review
In 2008, thanks to exposure from Red Bull’s Rampage, Devinci was thrust into worldview, and planned entry into the United States’ market. However, as they had been using a patented suspension system, the FSR, which Specialized owned the patent rights for, Devinci needed to design a new system. Nonplussed, Gauthier contacted an old acquaintance named David Weagle whom supplied them with a split-pivot design suspension system, and their off-road bike sales sky-rocketed.
In 2018, Devinci released a new version of its enduro mountain bike called the Spartan. Given Devinci’s major investments into R&D, you’d certainly not call them Spartan at all, how about Canadian!
The Spartan 2.0 is stiffer, pedals more fluidly, and is lighter than its predecessor, which initially debuted in 2014. It sports a 27.5” wheel size on a frame designed for 165mm of rear travel, and 170mm of front suspension travel, making this an enduro-oriented bike. It incorporates a flip chip, like that found on some Santa Cruz, YT, Rocky Mountain, Banshee, and Evil bikes, and will be offered in both carbon and aluminum frames. The frame will handle a 36T front chainring, has Boost front and rear, an integrated battery mount for Di2, and a carbon chainstay protector and a Kevlar-reinforced carbon skid plate. It’s designed to handle ONLY 1x drivetrains, which allows for the implementation of shorter chainstays.
Changes to the Spartan 2.0 include:
General specifications for all sizes and the Hi/Lo chip settings:
The Spartan’s revised design has arisen after 3 years of testing, both in-shop and more importantly, within enduro-type racing. It’s slacker geometry has been embraced by many enduro-type frame builders. At 1200mm’s, its wheelbase is longer than other major enduro frames like Yeti’s SB6 (1189mm, medium), Canyon’s Strive CF (1188mm), Intense Tracer (1181mm), or Specialized Enduro Pro (1175mm). Yet, it’s shorter versus Mondraker’s Dune Carbon XR (1218mm).
Long and slack frame geometries provide greater stability while jetting down technical trails, however, there are numerous parameters that affect a bike’s handling characteristics. A head angle that’s laid back will provide better handling on steep descents and over rough terrain because the front wheel is posited farther out front, which will absorb impacts more efficiently and with superior control.
A writer for Enduro Mountain Bike Magazine measured all angles and dimensions on 25 popular enduro bikes, then averaged each measurement, which is as follows:
Wheel diameter, head angle, reach, fork rake, and chainstay length all contribute to the final wheelbase length of a bike. It’s worth noting, and based upon the aforementioned averages, the Devinci Spartan falls within or close to the industry averages, which means it should handle well. However, one must add tire width, air pressure, rear suspension, fork, individual rider dimensions and riding styles into the mix to further complicate this issue of how to afford the greatest stability and agility while riding.
Reach is commonly used to measure a bike’s length while a rider is standing, and provides an indication of how long the bike will “feel” while standing, which will occur frequent for aggressive trail riders. However, to simplify, one might argue that a longer wheelbase coupled with a shorter chainstay will increase overall stability and agility. More importantly, the key to a great frame is its ability to distribute your weight properly, between the wheels.
Devinci’s choice of the RockShox Super Deluxe, rear shock, will provide a smooth, consistent stroke throughout its entire range. By incorporating a vertical positioning for the shock, a water bottle can be added. Given Devinci’s reputation for building superb-handling bikes, I’ll bet this latest incarnation of the Spartan will be no exception.