Devinci Wilson's Carbon Swingarm and 29'er Atlas - Interbike 2011

Sep 13, 2011
by Mike Levy  
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Interbike 2011
Big news from Devinci with the addition of a carbon fiber swingarm for the back of their Wilson downhill bike in 2012. The new swingarm has actually been in testing for quite a while now, having made appearances on the back of some of Devinci's top rider's bikes this last season, and Devinci has been quite pleased with the results. While it is slightly lighter than the aluminum version, it is the new swingarm's added stiffness - claimed to be roughly 35% - that is the story here. We've put plenty of time on a 2011 Wilson SL and have had no complaints about a lack of rigidity, but 35% will be a hard number to ignore.

Devinci Wilson's carbon swingarm details:
• Tested by Devinci's World Cup racers
• Claimed to be roughly 35% stiffer than the aluminum version
• Will come stock on the 2012 Wilson SL and the Wilson frame
• Retrofittable to older models using the same hardware

interbike 2011
The new carbon swingarm picture above will come stock on Devinci's top tier Wilson SL, as well as the frame alone, while the less expensive RC and XP models will come equipped with the aluminum version. Wilson owners who are lusting after the carbon rear end will be pleased to hear that it is retrofittable onto older models using the same hardware.

The carbon swingarm is trick, but it really does raise the question of when we'll see a Wilson made entirely from carbon fiber. I was met with a "no comment" when I posed the question of a full carbon downhill bike to Devinci's Gabe Fox, but we're willing to bet that they are working on it behind closed doors as we speak. It likely won't make an appearance this season, but given Devinci's experience with carbon - just look at their road lineup - and many other manufacturers making the move to the wonder material, it will only be a matter of time.

Interbike 2011
The 8.5" travel 2012 Wilson uses the exact same suspension layout as the previous year, with an ultra low shock mounting position that keeps the center of gravity at a minimum height. The suspension is activated via the bronze coloured link (left) that rotates concentrically around the bottom bracket. You can adjust the Wilson's handling by rotating chips within the rear axle pivot (right) that allow you to choose between a 64° and 64.7° head angle, as well as raising the bottom bracket height from 13.9" to 14.3".

Interbike 2011
Devinci jumps headfirst into the 29'er category with their 2012 Atlas, a 110mm travel big wheeler that looks ready to do double duty as either a race or trail bike. It uses the same technology as Devinci's other performance mountain bikes, including Dave Weagle's Split Pivot suspension that isolates braking and suspension forces to allow the wheel to track better when you're on the binders. There will be two models, the RC and the less expensive Atlas XP shown above.

Devinci Atlas details:
• 110mm of rear wheel travel
• Split Pivot suspension
• 16.9" chainstay length
• Tapered head tube
• 142x12mm rear end
• Post mount rear brake
• BB99 bottom bracket shell

Interbike 2011
29'ers, and especially full suspension 29'ers, are known for having longer rear ends to deal with the larger diameter wheels, but this can have an adverse effect on how the bike handles. Devinci has gone to great lengths to reign in the Atlas' chainstays, bending and shaping the seat tube to allow the rear wheel to tuck in as close as possible and allow for an industry leading 16.9" back end. The result should be a machine that is more maneuverable and playful than some others, while still retaining the advantages of the larger wheels.

Interbike 2011
Riders are able to adjust the Atlas' handling by flipping inserts within the rocker link, allowing you to choose from either a 71.2° or slacker 70.6° head angle. Pinkbike will have the first full review of the new Atlas in the coming months so stay tuned.

Visit the Devinci website to see their entire lineup.

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75 Comments

  • 16 1
 Funny that Devinci chose to start designing the wilson with carbon in the most challenging area; the rear triangle. Most companies do the front triangle first then the rear follows. Just look at how much trouble Evil has had making the swingarm for the Undead, although I guess failure is a fairly normal part of the testing process.
  • 11 1
 It looks like they only made the seat stay out of carbon and they didn't hook anything to that part. Looks like the smartest design I've seen for a carbon part on a DH bike yet. It takes advantage of weight savings on unsprung weight, puts it in a place where it won't take much beating, and doesn't put anything on it that has to be torked down. Its carbon for the masses!
  • 4 17
flag trailjunkie12897 (Sep 13, 2011 at 19:54) (Below Threshold)
 In my experience the chainstay/seatstay take the most Impact from laying the bike down. The front triangle on a dh bike is harder to hit because of the dual crown fork. Still a good way to advance into carbon though.
  • 3 0
 I've ridden the new wilson a couple times and, as simple as it sounds, the thing I was most impressed by is the short chain stays. It is SO fun to whip off jumps and rip around corners! Probably my next DH bike.
  • 2 4
 I rode it for a few days and I thought it felt like a tank under me...and it was only a Medium. Great for tech stuff to
  • 3 0
 Boggie;

They may have been testing a carbon front end for longer than you know, but it might not be 'there' yet.
The rear swingarm has obviously been refined and tested and is ready for release.

Just because a carbon rear end is out before a front end doesn't mean they started there first.
  • 4 0
 They had issues with the real triangle cracking I hear, the carbon rear triangle is their solution. Emphasis on that being a rumor.
  • 3 0
 Is it just me, or is it only the top half of the swingarm that is carbon?
There are welds on the lower section, so it's half/half ?
  • 2 0
 @ waldon83 yeah that is what I was saying. And I like that about it. it.
  • 1 1
 Dose carbon really make that much difference on a DH bike?
  • 2 0
 Unsprung weight effects suspension a lot. It is probably the most important on a dh race bike to keep it to a minimum so the suspension is very lively. That said, the difference in weight between carbon and aluminum is almost negligible, but it is a step forward. Maybe someday there will be a material that is even better . . .
  • 1 0
 santa cruz saved 300g on their swing arm alone by using carbon rather than aluminium. definitely not negligible unsprung weight. this wilson is a top contender for my frame for next season now
  • 1 0
 Carbon fibre is usually way lighter than aluminium depending on the ration of carbon/resin (%). The usual 60% carbon / 40% resin give a 1.5g/cubic cm compare to aluminium that weight 2.7g/cubic cm.

So we could say that in general...a part that is well made (from carbon fiber) would be around 55% lighter than an aluminium one for the same volume of material.
  • 1 0
 But the reality is cf frames often only shave a couple hundred grams off the entire weight. Case in point: new pivot frame. When it comes to unsprung weight it is important. When it comes to rotational weight it is huge. Otherwise it is the same as taking a pee before going for a ride.
  • 8 0
 i like the idea of making small parts of a frame carbon at a time. it saves weight only where needed.
  • 8 1
 wlsn's always look the same! but their still sexy!
  • 8 0
 Very nice looking frame! I bet in 5 years every free ride/downhill bike on the market is going to be carbon!
  • 2 0
 do we know the cost yet of just the carbon swingarm?
  • 1 0
 The price difference between the frameset with and without the carbon swingarm was about $200. It'd be at least that as an aftermarket upgrade.
  • 2 0
 Yeah probably, everything now adays is becoming all carbon!
  • 2 0
 I see all high end mountain bikes going carbon and air sprung. Evolution.
  • 3 0
 It looks real nice: Great geo, similar to a sunn radical+ with the brake on the chain-stay to separate braking forces.

"Claimed to be roughly 35% stiffer than the aluminium version"

Where is it stiffer? In what axis? How does that effect the assembled structure? Numbers without context are meaningless.
  • 4 0
 still no 7" bike from Devinci? seems like they are missing a large market segment by not having a pedal-able long travel bike.
  • 2 0
 one of the major selling features of devinci in the past was that it was canadian made and had great quality control. if they offshore this to asia (and the front triangle is sure to follow) they give up that. not that asia can't produce quality, but it's a change for them.
  • 3 0
 I wonder if this will help cut down on reverberation and squealing brakes for us big guys.
  • 1 0
 switch to a 7" rotor in the back
  • 1 0
 big guys need more braking power, not less
  • 1 0
 Nice, that's gonna be my 2012 sponsored bike! Ride now the 2011 model and it rips so hard, love the wilson! Curious about the Wilson sl, it should be in grey/zilver metalic, should also be nice!
  • 2 1
 Just realised the Wilson is pretty much identical to the 2011 Sunn prototype - with the added benefit of more than 2 shock options lol
  • 1 0
 Doesn't it look like if the seat were dropped on the Atlas, when the suspension is compressed, the tire would "braaaap" the sh*t out of it?
  • 1 0
 I hate when my seat gets braaaaaped.
  • 1 0
 you messed up the first line of the news!!! "and 29'er Altas" Smile Big Grin cool bikes tho
  • 2 0
 uh?
  • 1 0
 uh what? read the top line of the news.....it should be atlas not altas.
  • 2 0
 It says altas i stead of atlas on the title, just FYI Salute
  • 1 0
 sweet as, i just got a 2011 frame, maybe ill have to try get my hands on this new swing arm!
  • 1 0
 I'll never ever ride 29 but that Atlas looks really nice, props Devinci, props
  • 1 0
 I NEED! That Wilson! So god damn beautiful!
  • 6 0
 Jeeves!...drape a cloth over that frame...its curvaceous shape is inflaming my carnal desires...!
  • 1 2
 Now that split pivot system is sexy! It looks like with the short link in there it has some rearward wheel path that Trek's system does not have.
  • 2 3
 Thats what I thought at first but if think about it because the axel is concentric on the end of the "seatstay" and that pivots off the frame, the axel path is just a high slightly forward single pivot. The short link and the "chainstays" are just for shock actuation. Still a pretty neat design. If you put the axel in the chainstay part of the linkage thats when things would get really interesting... Also, I wonder about the disk tabs on the chainstays not seatstays...
  • 2 2
 Everything about this post makes me facepalm. Sure its written relatively well, but the writer has little grasp of basic linkage systems. The wheel path is concentric to the upper most giant pivot thingy, which is at least 4 inches above the axle with out any sag, (image seen here 3.bp.blogspot.com/_CAXB2T0FEzk/TEiZYnz6K7I/AAAAAAAAEQc/C8ZSH14Iatc/s1600/p4pb5379142.jpg). This means that for a few a bit of its travel, the axle is traveling rearward as well as up. This is different than a high forward single pivot as the center of rotation is not forward, this forwardness creates many unique things about bikes using that system, and this is NOT ONE OF THEM.
  • 1 6
flag trailjunkie12897 (Sep 13, 2011 at 19:59) (Below Threshold)
 If the axle is in the chainstay and the brake is on the chainstay and the pivot is above both of them it's just a single pivot like kona or transitions bikes
  • 10 1
 never compare a devinci to a kona... Facepalm
  • 2 4
 "handleofscience"... An ironic name...

It's definetly NOT a single pivot...

If anything it's like the bastard child of VPP and ABP (in terms of linkage set up)
  • 2 1
 So because the upper link is forward of the bottom bracket and there is a small lower link, the axle path is slightly rearward?
  • 2 1
 Ok, I just drew it out on paper. I see what you are saying now. Since the seatstay link is pivoting on a point above the BB, the arc of that stay is slightly rearward in relation to the bottom bracket. This is only possible due to the short lower link allowing the seat stay to pivot in a different arc than if it were concentric to the BB. So I was correct then? It does have a slightly rearward axle path, albeit different than the others like VPP etc.
  • 1 2
 it's pretty simple, look at the chainstays... they are attached to the lower link, the link has to rotate backwards in order to move upwards...
  • 1 0
 I wasn't taking about the devinci, I was talking about handleofscience's idea
  • 1 1
 handleofscience is acfucking fruitcake who should be ignored...
  • 1 0
 I too was confused looking at the seat stay until I drew it out and plotted the arcs around the pivot points. It makes sense now.
  • 2 0
 If anyone is interested, I found this link helpful.

www.scribd.com/doc/13937017/Marin-Quad-Link-Clinic-2009
  • 1 3
 Funny how people speculate on everything they see on PB. You all gave me a good laugh!
  • 1 3
 And i forgot to give Noble a special thanks! Two thumbs up dickweed!
  • 1 1
 lol

There's no speculation on how it moves... Anyone with eyes can see the pivots...
  • 2 1
 Also, if you're gonna try and shit-talk me, at least get my name right...
  • 1 0
 noodle sry!
  • 1 0
 Here is a video you obviously missed... Next time, do some few research before talking trash about other users which turn to be right.


http://www.pinkbike.com/video/161018/
  • 1 0
 thanks for proving me right...

2:31: "the pivot is somewhat rearward"

that means it has rearward travel...
  • 1 0
 LMAO! Dude stop! Just stop digging your hole mate. THIS IS A SINGLE PIVOT BIKE.
  • 1 0
 The arguing is just getting old... The rear wheel has one pivot point which is above the height of the center of the wheel, meaning it DOES have rearward travel as well, and it is a single pivot. But, the chainstay and bottom linkage actuate the shock compression. There is a reason why its called split pivot and not just single pivot.
  • 1 0
 Thank you for your input. I could not agree more. But saying this is NOT a single pivot and calling it a VPP bastard son just made me fire up.
  • 1 0
 Yes, it is a linkage driven single pivot. However, do to the pivot location and the lower link, the rear axle has rearward movement in relation to the BB.

Looking at some other designs, wouldn't most single pivot designs have rearward axle movement if the axle was allowed to drop below the bottom bracket?
  • 1 0
 That is what i just said....
  • 1 0
 Yeah, I replied with a window that was left open before your post. I just never noticed that about certain single pivots designs, that they could have some rearward path due to the placement of the pivot point in relation to the BB. Simple concept, I just never noticed it before.
  • 1 0
 when can i buy the new rear carbon linkage? MUST HAVE!!
  • 1 0
 the wilson's a pretty bike
  • 1 0
 Look 1000 times better than the 06 big hit you ride buddy
  • 1 0
 lookin REAL dope
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