Steve Smith's Devinci Wilson Carbon - Interbike 2012

Sep 17, 2012 at 21:50
Sep 17, 2012
by Mike Levy  
 
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Steve Smith s Devinci Wilson Carbon that won the World Cup race in Norway.

World Cup Machine
Canadian mountain bikers around the world celebrated last weekend as Devinci's Steve Smith took his first World Cup win at the final round in Hafjell, Norway, aboard the new Wilson Carbon. Smith, who lives on Vancouver Island, just a few hours away from Pinkbike HQ, has been knocking on the door for a few seasons now, and it's fitting that the win comes aboard a Devinci - the company is also Canadian. Steve rode a production frame to victory, and we gave you an exclusive behind the scenes look at the new Wilson Carbon only a few weeks back, but his race rig features a number of interesting touches, many done by his mechanic, Nigel Reeve, that are worth sharing.


The BlackBox Touch
Smith has been on the BlackBox program for awhile now, giving him access to some very special tools to do his job, many of which eventually become available to consumers. The RockShox BoXXer World Cup fork on the front of his Wilson Carbon receives the BlackBox touch, with 'BlackGold' treated stanchions that are said to come very close to mimicking the extremely slippery feel of the original DLC (diamond-like carbon) coating, but can be applied easier and for a much more reasonable cost. While we didn't delve into the fork's internals, we're willing to bet it forgoes the use of inner seals when in race-mode, another step to increase sensitivity.

There is also some far less obvious trickery happening with Smith's BoXXer fork that shows RockShox's commitment to giving their riders the best equipment possible: the fork's crowns have gone through a post-forging, CNC process to ensure that their stanchion tube clamping surfaces are in exact alignment with each other. Perfect alignment and tolerances from top to bottom contributes to active, stiction-free suspension movement, allowing the fork to react better to impacts. While the post-forging machining work done to the upper and lower crowns is currently found on the forks of only a select few BlackBox riders, RockShox told us that consumer BoXXer forks will be receiving the same treatment in the near future.

The changing conditions at the Hafjell World Cup would usually call for some sort of cut spike creation, but Steve ran a set of prototype Schwalbe tires instead that look to offer the same benefits as a modified spike tire. The tire,
which looks to be a combination of a Dirty Dan and Muddy Marry, was obviously to Smith's liking throughout the weekend, with him using them during both his first place qualifying run (which was 4.8 seconds up on second place) and his winning race run.


Steve Smith s Devinci Wilson Carbon that won the World Cup race in Norway.

The Devil Is In The Details
While the more obvious components, such as suspension and tires, usually get the most attention, it's the small details that are often the most interesting. Smith's World Cup bike is looked after by his mechanic, Nigel Reeve, who seems to be a stickler for details. This much is obvious by looking at the bike's trick number plate setup that uses thin carbon bands clamped around each stanchion tube, with each one being home to an aluminum nut and bolt that holds a carbon backplate in place. The fork bumpers are trimmed and glued in place onto the bands, making for a sturdy setup that won't rattle or interfere with the bike's cable routing during a race run. It may sound like a lot of work when a handfull of zip-ties could be used, but it's these the small details that can add up when fighting for tenths with the fastest racers in the world.

Steve Smith s Devinci Wilson Carbon that won the World Cup race in Norway.

It's been said that a quiet bike is a fast bike, and a fast bike is one that doesn't lose its chain during a run. Both of those points have been addressed by Reeve, with a mega-trick and nearly weightless carbon guard in fitted between the largest cog and the spokes. Yes, most World Cup DH bikes have their rear derailleur's low limit screw run in enough to lockout the largest cogs, thereby limiting the probability of the chain jamming between the cassette and spokes, but no chances are taken at the level Smith races at. The carbon guard is a bit of extra insurance to that end. The bike's e*13 guide sees its chain contact surfaces protected with a layer of soft Velcro loops glued in place, a step that minimizes noise.

Steve Smith s Devinci Wilson Carbon that won the World Cup race in Norway.

More BlackBox goodness, some functional and some not. Riders on the program get their names put under the clear coat of their carbon brake levers, a nice touch that is sure to make many envious. Smith's bike is equipped with an X0 ten speed shifter, but the stock thumb paddle has been replaced with a custom unit that differs slightly from what you'll find on your own shifter - instead of the convex shape found on the the production paddles, Smith's actually has a concave shape to its surface. We've seen World Cup riders modify their paddles in the past, with many cutting in a crosshatch pattern to add a bit of purchase in muddy conditions, but this concave shape likely has the very same effect.


Smith runs a 38 tooth chain ring, a common size on the World Cup circuit, but prefers slightly longer, 170mm X0 DH cranks instead of the usual 165mm arms. One of the fitter riders out there, he puts an emphasis on putting the power down, and the longer cranks give him a spin that he is comfortable with. Up front, a cut down Truvativ Boobar, with a 7° back sweep and 5° up sweep, is fitted. Smith prefers to run it at 765mm instead of the full 780mm width. When it comes to geometry, the bike is always run in its lowest and slackest setting, with the stanchions slid down as far as possible in the fork crowns and the two-position rear dropout in the 'LO' setting.

Tire pressures obviously vary depending on conditions, but are usually set around 29psi out back and 27psi up front. With a World Cup racer's year depending on less than ten timed runs that are usually under the four minute mark, a
single flat tire can have a catastrophic effect on their overall standing come season's end. Many racers at the sharp end of the field run some sort of tubeless setup to this end, and Smith is no different. Devinci was being tight lipped on the subject, but the giveaway was the two valve stems per wheel, directly across from one another, that lead us to believe that Smith is employing some sort of tube-in-a-tubeless system that limits that chance of a ruined run if he starts to lose air.


Steve Smith s Devinci Wilson Carbon that won the World Cup race in Norway.

Split Pivot Suspension
Smith's bike may sport a custom red and white paint job, but it is actually a production frame that uses the very same Split Pivot rear suspension as found on the aluminum model. The Wilson's rear suspension consists of four major components: the carbon fiber seat stay assembly or wheel link, the Split Pivot concentric dropout pivot, the floating brake link (in the Wilson as the chain stays), and the control link that activates the shock and handles braking reactions.

Prototype BlackBox Vivid
The Wilson uses a 10.5" x 3.5'' shock to control its 8.5'' of travel, and Smith's race bike is fitted with the prototype BlackBox Vivid rear shock that we saw at the beginning of the season in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. What sets it apart from a production Vivid? The most obvious change is the location of the shock's compression adjustment dial that now resides on the bridge between the piggy back and shock body, as well as a proper dial to tune the ending stroke rebound (the production Vivid requires a hex key). Small witness marks allow Smith to return to his base settings after making adjustments. There also looks to be a volume adjustment feature on the piggyback that allows the shock's progressivity to be adjusted.

RockShox dodged most of our questions about the proto shock, but we have solid information that significant changes have been made to the internals, including a completely altered top out assembly. Why does that matter? The top out spring can also be utilized as a negative spring, helping to push the shock into its travel, and we're that the internal changes have been done to further increase suppleness. Many of RockShox's air sprung forks feature adjustable negative pressure for this very reason, allowing the suspension action to be either more supple or slightly firmer at the top of their stroke. Riders who have spent time
on the prototype Vivid have told us that the shock is incredibly sensitive, reacting to even the smallest trail chatter.

Interestingly, Smith's bike doesn't sport the de rigueur titanium shock spring fitted to its prototype Vivid, with a standard 325lb steel spring used instead. There are two reason's for this: the Vivid's larger than average shock body requires a shock spring with an equally large bore, a tough find when it also has to fit a 3.5" stroke shock. Also, Smith is known to be extremely sensitive when it comes to setup, and finding a proper length spring with the exact rate that he wants has proved difficult. Titanium is found at nearly every other location on the red and white bike, though, with torx-head titanium bolts used to mount the brake calipers, as well as for the fork crown pinch bolts. Shock hardware is also titanium, and the titanium washers are even drilled out.


www.devinci.com

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120 Comments

  • + 94
 Most beautiful bike I've ever seen!
  • + 5
 very nice work!
  • + 27
 Could not agree ant more, this bike is perfect in every way ..absolutely loving the Canada down the top tube. Not many Canadians at the top of the men's podium and Smith makes me proud.
  • + 30
 perfect man to represent Canada eh!
  • + 1
 I want this bike so much!
  • + 7
 Canadians... Can you guys for once just all agree on something.
  • + 2
 I mean't to + prop the above comment. Somehow I failed.
  • - 1
 Dave Weagle helped design the linkage, but no DW signage anywhere...I wonder if Pivot is mad at Mr. Weagle for helping a competitor?
  • + 1
 He's worked on designs for so many companies that they really can't be. Turner, Devinci, Pivot, etc. all use his designs.
  • + 2
 newest trend for canadian downhillers: moustaches!..... nice bike and congrats to smith and all canadians
  • + 2
 Who doesn't lave being Canadian. Eh! I love how it says CANADA right on his bike! Way to represent us!
[Reply]
  • + 29
 PB editorial guys, thanks for giving us so much coverage of the Wilson in recent weeks. It's a fantastic and exciting bike and I can't get enough of it.

Devinci marketing and accounting guys, with the carbon version ready to drop, please give us lower spenders a full aluminium version with full Zee at a reduced price. I think $3000 American would be a good price point for such a bike.

I would love to rock a Wilson next year, probably with 711mm bars on it. Let's face it, the width of bars doesn't make that much difference. You get used to whatever width you use. Try doing an X-up or barspin with 80omm wide bars and triple clamps. Totem all the way!
  • + 5
 $3000 USD would be a literally unbelievable price for a full DH race bike with Zee, considering how the Specialized Status 2 has X.7 and a Domain and it costs $3100 USD.
  • + 2
 Acually it would not be unbelievable... take a look at Kona and Norco, along with the 2013 version of the Status
  • + 2
 The main difference between the 2012 and 2013 Status 2 is the Boxxer. It still has X.7 shifting and X.7 level braking.

Kona's Operator DH has a spec similar to the Status 2 but is $100 more expensive.
  • + 1
 I have ridden X7 for years and it just gets the job done... no complaints. I can't see why a Wilson can't come similarly spec'd for close to that price
  • + 1
 With X.7 maybe. The original posted stated that he would like to see it with full Zee at the $3000 USD price range.
  • + 2
 Look at the YT Tues! That bike packs tons of value for the price! If they could put a wilson in that price range, I'd be down
  • + 1
 I bet YT release a bike will Zee for under that price.

What level is Zee meant to be exactly? I thought Saint was like your XT/X9 level and Zee was X7 level.
  • + 1
 Saint is like the XTR or XX of the DH world. Zee is probably around X9 or SLX
  • + 1
 I thought XX was above XTR? Isn't XTR like X0?

I can't believe SLX is X9 level- really?

Sounds like Zee is a lot higher up the pecking order than I thought.. the cranks look pretty wack though and the shifter is cheap as.

OK, I'll increase my offer on the Wilson to $3150 American.
  • + 4
 I always thought of the SRAM/Shimano line up to be like so:

XX --> n/a
X.0 --> XTR
X.9 --> XT
X.7 --> SLX
X.5 --> Deore

X.0 DH --> Saint
n/a --> Zee
  • + 1
 Yeah. Ive only been riding for six months so I don't know too much about this stuff yet haha.
  • + 1
 Thank you Seraph. As I thought. You have Zee as N/A, but what kind of level would you put the quality? I read that the rear mech was "built on SLX geometry" which to me says the quality is probably the same, but does SLX have the clutch?

The Zee cranks look like Deore to me, and the shifter looks like Deore too. The brakes combine a Deore lever with a Saint caliper. So average it all out and what have you got? SLX? Anyone know the prices on a full groupset, to give better indication?
  • + 1
 This bike is sooooo sick...and 2011 Wilson XP's (X7 groupos) were only 3800.00 complete (USD). I bet they could offer a 3000.00 bike. My guess is we're looking at another 2-3 years before we see any significant price drops on the Carbons. I must say though, seeing a company that has DW so involved in complete frame design that is giving life long Warranties on all Carbon frames, is gonna go quite a long way in building confidence in Dh Carbon technology with consumers.
  • + 1
 To be quite honest I don't think Shimano groups are translatable to Sram. After the change to 10sp both companies went weird ways. I would never (again) buy X7 nor will I ever (aagain) buy XT or XTR. I guess the only good comparison can be made between Saint and X.0 DH. XX is so dumb that II just skip it. SLX and Zee are brilliant, Saint is luxurious but very good. XTR does not offer anything but marginal weight saving and better jockey wheels in the rear mech. Functionally and structurally it offers nothing more. XT is... I don't know what it is anymore... uglier, cheaper looking, and more expensive brother of SLX? From Sram you get those good highlights are X7 brakes, X9 type2 rear mech and X0 shifter. X7 shifter is ok if you dont have cash for X.0 because X9 is just as bad.
[Reply]
  • + 17
 Hot dang. The little custom touches make this bike sick.
Go Stevie!
Love his moustache too. Maybe that is the key to his speed? The stache.
  • + 7
 If only I could have my own personal mechanic! Stevie is lucky to have such a genious as his mechanic!!
[Reply]
  • + 14
 What a noob!!! Spoke guard, 765mm bars, steel spring, 170mm cranks??? Blasphemy!!
  • + 1
 And when he wins, it all shows that he is just THAT much better. Trends will be trends.
  • + 22
 That was my point... post a bike with all those things mentioned for some other random anonymous rider and you'll see the flaming, "fred" and "noob" calls and how that doesn't work for serious DH. We get too hung up in trends that we often sacrifice what it really works for us.
[Reply]
  • + 12
 A true race bike, i couldn't see how a bike could get more efficient or faster than this right here... nothing short than a work of art
[Reply]
  • + 7
 Surely one of the nicest bikes out there!

But I still don't get it how a WC racing team can't find a titanium spring for that shock?
[Reply]
  • + 9
 Sick see to see a Canadian winner, both the bike and the rider.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Probably one of the best downhill frames ever made. At last, proper design and no unnecessary links. Nice and simple. Beautiful as well. Just wish i was 20 years younger to d one justice!!!
[Reply]
  • + 4
 You have the Gwin "Darth Vader" carbon by Trek, the Smith "Darth Maul" carbon by Devinci and the Monster Hill "Yoda" carbon by Specialized who is next?
  • + 2
 you forgot the Carbon "Death Star" V-10
  • + 1
 The carbon "obi-wan" gt fury.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Anyone else wondering why they swapped out the matching red carbon swing arm from World Champs that had his name and maple leaf on it for that black one with the red pin stripe for the last WC? Bike is still sick, but it looked better with the red one... were there issues?
  • + 1
 ive been wondering the exact same thing - and im surprised it hasnt been mentioned anywhere.....i did hear originally there were issues with the swingarm, maybe there are still some with someone like stevie smashing it
  • + 1
 maybe they need it back for ther show room?
  • + 1
 It may have been destroyed to a point that he could not use it. He does not run a guard or tube on his rear trianlge to protect the bike from the chain and I have one on my carbon seat stay that had a small section, I noticed to late, that was not covered and after a day or 2 at Whistler it had ripped off the upper layer of clear coat and ate into the carbon some.
  • + 1
 What i like about this part that it's replaceble as a single part - you do not need an entire rear-part of the frame, just the top-swing. the fact that it is carbon makes this a bit expensiver but still reasonable construction...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Aesthetically very different from a shimano/fox/mavic equipped bike (obviously), but what I like is that we as consumers have choices now when it comes to this high-end stuff. even if not for purchasing but just to oogle at while at work. lol
[Reply]
  • + 1
 perfect bike. the aluminum version is kind of heavy but this carbon must be nice weight. nice to see the details of the bike, just forgot to say about the cassete. looks like 6 speed with 9 teeth smaller. with the 38 ring this 9 teeth must fly 100kph
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Didn't want a Devinci. Read this. Now want a Devinci. Congratulations marketing men, you win again.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Maybe its just me but liked the boxxers a lot more before they went with black stanchions. Great looking bike thought!
  • + 25
 I don't think Steve uses black stanchions because they're pretty...
  • + 1
 Bagordon. If you ever get the chance to feel a fork coated in DLC or "black gold" (if it's really as good as dlc) you'll understand. I Felt Ross Schnells lyric with DLC, feels incredible. Makes you dream of being cool enough for Blackbox that's for sure.
  • + 1
 Me too I have never been keen on the look of black stanchions, However have bike with the custom mods look killer and steve shows it ride well too Wink
  • + 1
 I heard DLC (believe, could be wrong) wears out pretty fast and therefore only really practical in the racing world, but with the "easier application and more reasonable costs" or better formula, maybe we can see it practical on consumer production lines..it'll top Kashima easily/obviously.
  • + 2
 why will it top kashima?
  • + 1
 Lower friction coefficient. I'll see if I can find the company that coats forks for aftermarket users. They have a comparison of Ti-Ni, Kashima, and DLC. DLC does wear fast though, I'm curious how they make it work in Moto forks so well though. New Kawasakis come with DLC coated forks.
  • + 1
 @ Spaced,

Atleast for our bikes, I would order the 3 coatings from Best to Not As Good: 1) DLC 2) Kashima 3) Ti-Ni.

The reason I would put Ti-Ni on the bottom is because it THE least durable coating and wears out extremely fast. Ti-Ni is pretty much only temporary when coated on Aluminum. However, it does stick to Steel much better. 2002 Boxxers came with Ti-Ni and it was bad since the coatings flaked off quickly and often messed up the actual stanchions. *Info from some Forum Guy* Even though, DLC is still better than Ti-Ni, therefore, I doubt we would see Ti-Ni ever.

DLC still is pretty temporary on MTB Alu+ Stanchions, especially compared to Steel applications. Kashima Anodizing seems like to have a good balance between Durability vs. Performance. However, I've heard there are people whose Kashima coating is flaking, so it's possible.

Another point that was made and something we could SEE VERY SOON are Carbon Fiber stanchions/Chrome Plated in which the DLC would be much more viable with.
  • + 1
 chrome plated carbon fiber stanchions, serious?! has there been any prototypes? seems like a pretty tough application of carbon...
  • + 1
 Yeah seriously! Crazy thing is a company back in 1999 ish made one. I have to go look up the forums again but it has already been done. And I think Carbon Fiber Wrapped in Alu then Plated will be available within 3 years and 5 years tops, the bike Industry is moving like crazy toward CF. You're right about it being pretty big application for CF but it can be just simply wrapped around a less thick Alu Stanchion or something then Plated. Fully CF Stanchion with Chrome Plating probably little later...but only time will tell!
  • + 1
 In an article about Marzocchi prototypes a few months ago there were photos of carbon fiber stanchions being tested.

http://http://www.pinkbike.com/news/marzocchi-suspension-2012.html
[Reply]
  • + 4
 The bike is rad, but the fact that Stevie won still has me pumped!!!!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 this is awesome and legen wait for it ...... dary Big Grin
[Reply]
  • + 1
 the ONLY problem i have with Stevie's awesome victory is that now Truvativ can say their BooBar is a world cup winning handlebar Razz
[Reply]
  • + 2
 man that bike looks fine, the production version is on my list of bikes for the future!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Steve Smith spells Canada the true North way! C eh! D eh! N eh! D eh! Proud too be!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 I LOVE THIS RACE MACHINE !!! Go stevie !
[Reply]
  • + 3
 One of the nicest bikes I have ever seen in my life!!.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 does this mean we'll finally see less 800mm broom handles mounted on people's bikes?
[Reply]
  • + 2
 if anyone has anything negative to say about this bike they must be dumb as hell.
  • - 3
 Or maybe they just have their own opinions? Might not want to make blanket statements like that.
  • + 3
 ok what do you have to complain about oh master of biking.
  • - 3
 I'm only saying that perhaps not all people share your opinion that this bicycle is the end-all of DH bikes, and if they state otherwise they are not "dumb as hell" as you claim they are.
  • + 2
 did i ever say it was the "END ALL" dh bike, no. seriously there is absolutely nothing to bitch about, this bike it is a very dialed machine, that is what i was referring too that not even the brand. also on a side note i have ridden an aluminum one and they rip.
  • - 4
 You implied that it was basically infallible in your original statement; that if anyone had anything negative to say about the bike that they were wrong and stupid. Therefore you imply that there cannot possibly be anything about the bike that is not good.
  • + 2
 All I know is you suck at biking so frankly I'm done with this, see you on the trail.........
  • - 3
 Sure, I suck at biking. Not sure what you're basing this on as I don't think we've ever ridden together. Also not sure what my riding ability has to do with opinion on a pro DH bike.
  • + 5
 i have something negative to say about the bike, its not in my garage!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Drool Man i want one so bad !!Looks like a great race bike.Drool Helmet Salute
[Reply]
  • + 0
 NSDynamics located in brisbane is run by nigel and aaron, if you want your suspension serviced and tuned by world cup mechanics then give them a shout, Turns you bike alive.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Those fork bumpers are so slick . . . . so many clever mods like the shifter lever & tubed/tubeless tyres
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Somebody please tell me where I can get on of those SRAM carbon spoke guards?
  • + 1
 It's totally custom, so nowhere to get...
[Reply]
  • + 3
 The nicest bike ever !
[Reply]
  • + 3
 it belongs in a museum
  • + 10
 after another few races and wins maybe... right now it needs to be thrashed.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Still not a fan of the seattowee, but man, that bike is dialed
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Does anyone know if Devinci is coming out with any other models of the Wilson or is it just the carbon one this year?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 You sure that's velco on/in his chain device?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 A dream machine ! Devinci ! Fait au Québec !
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I heard the carbon frame exorbs more shock and vibrations.
  • + 1
 You mean "absorb"? Just asking, might be some new school term.
  • + 1
 Ha! yea, I was just making fun of stevie. He said "exorbs"
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Drunken train journey home. Loving these comments.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 ohh that's preeetty...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 If Megan fox transformed into a bike... This is what it would look like.
  • + 1
 No she would transform into a black carbon demo Smile
[Reply]
  • + 0
 If you have 2 valves on a rim how do you measure the PSIs? Measure both and add?
  • + 3
 I want to more about this voodoo also!
  • + 1
 the tubeless psi is set to what you want and the tube is just a redundant backup. if you lose 3-5 psi, the tube kicks in. it's not magic.
  • + 3
 Someone should make a tube with a valve similar to a UST valve, so it can seal the system in the event of a flat. Run it in in conjunction with a seated tubeless tire and in the event of a pinchflat it would simply transfer from inside the tube into the tire. It would eliminate the need for the two valve stems, and it seems reasonably feasible, although you would probably be appealing to a very limited market.
  • + 1
 I thought it was ran so that if the tube pinch flatted the air would just go into the casing and not escape since it is tubless.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 He was that fast he only used 5 inches or the 8 available on the Boxxers haha
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Wow, wow just WOW!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Nice bike but do you really need an overshift guard?
  • + 1
 It would only be needed if the RD or hanger was bent. It would prevent a DNF in that case.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 So. Why Devinchi racing use lowest settings in the sunspention? I guessing that it quite bad for suns workin'. Or not??
[Reply]
  • + 1
 wondering too if he really races Schwalbes..don`t like them.
  • + 1
 Pretty sure he ran Muddy Marry's for all 3 of the races he won at Crank Worx.
  • + 1
 I get along with Schwalbe well. We all have personal preferences. All the top tires have strengths and weaknesses, yes even the Maxxis tires. Pick the tires you like and use them.
  • + 1
 it tells you in the article...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 This outta control !
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Wilson's are boss...
[Reply]
  • + 0
 why two valve tire
[Reply]
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