Ask Pinkbike: Devinci Troy vs. Spartan, Pedal Troubles, and McGazza Stickers

Mar 22, 2016
by Pinkbike Staff  
Ask Pinkbike Header

Here at Pinkbike we get inundated with all kinds of questions, ranging from the basic "Can I have stickers" to more in-depth, soul searching types of queries like if you should pop the question or what to name your first child. Ask Pinkbike is an occasional column where we'll be hand picking and answering questions that have been keeping readers up at night, although we'll likely steer clear of those last two and keep it more tech oriented.

Spartan or Troy

Question: Pinkbike user fla3h asked this question in the all-mountain, enduro and cross-country forum: Which of these two bikes would you choose for an all around all-mountain rig: a Devinci Spartan or a Devinci Troy? Which has the better pedaling efficiency and maneuverability? We all know that the Spartan descends like a downhill bike, but what about the rest of the ride?

bigquotesI spent a bunch of time on the 165mm travel Spartan last year, and now I've been on the new 140mm travel Troy for the last two months - you'll be able to read the review soon. Both are great bikes, and both are more downhill oriented than a lot of competitor's bikes of similar travel, but the Spartan and Troy and very different from one another.

The Spartan has a lot going for it, including being one of the best high-speed cornering machines out there, and it's probably one of the easiest mid-travel bikes to ride quickly when the descents are rough and chunky, two attributes that make it a top enduro race bike. But it's also a lot of bike to be used as an all around all-mountain rig if your everyday rides don't consist of some serious terrain. One of the reasons I say this is because the new Troy is much more capable on the descents than its 140mm of rear wheel travel would have you believe, so much so that I'd personally question the need for the Spartan if you don't spend a good portion of your time shuttling with your friends who own downhill bikes. Not only that, but the Troy pedals better and is a better handling bike when it comes to climbs, flat ground, and slow speed descents. My vote is for the new Troy.
- Mike Levy

Devinci Spartan RC review test Clayton Racicot Photography CRP
  The 165mm travel Spartan is a top choice for an enduro race bike or burly all-mountain machine, but the new 140mm travel Troy is a better all around option. Clayton Racicot photo

New Shimano SPD Pedals Won't Release

Question: freestyIAM says in the All Mountain, Enduro & Cross-Country forum: I just retired my ten-year-old PD-647, DX clipless pedals and replaced them with PD-M530s. Well, now I somehow seem to have forgotten how to unclip and have tipped over multiple times on the trail - and I'm trying to understand why. SPD is SPD, right? Well, the one big diff between the two pedals is that the clipless body is spring loaded on the DX platforms, while the 530s are just fixed. I have a couple theories: The old pedals were so worn that the jaws were worn and I got adapted and habituated my unclipping technique to the worn jaws; Or, It seems my habit for unclipping has me not just turning my heel out, but also pushing forward (into the spring loaded body). So, in actuality, the technique is slightly different between the spring-loaded floating DX pedals and the fixed SPD pedals.

DX M647 pedal
The rotating engagement mechanism of the DX M647 pedal is spring-loaded to present its leading edge for quicker entries.
Shimano PD-M530 pedal
The PD M530 pedal's engagement tension screw is on the left of the mechanism. SPD soles are designed to rest on the platforms on either side.

bigquotesIt is doubtful that the cause of your sticky feet is absence of the rotating pedal element of the DX-style M647 pedal because that feature is designed to facilitate engaging the cleat, not disengaging it from the pedal. The more likely explanation is that the engagement mechanism of your new pedals is tensioned higher, or that the metal bits have not been worn and smoothed from repeated use. Use a three millimeter Allen key to reduce the release tension on both sides of each pedal. Check the graduated index marks to ensure that all four settings are consistent. If that doesn't work, try new cleats. It is not uncommon (and contrary to any logical explanation) that worn Shimano SPD cleats can actually require more release force than new ones do. Finally, Shimano SPD-compatible shoes are designed with a specific cleat depth in order to ensure that the sole sits firmly on the pedal platform on either side of the cleat. A shoe that has an incorrect depth can drag on the platform and cause a sticky release. I doubt that is the case, however, as both pedals were made to the same spec, and your shoes worked well on the 647s. - RC

McGazza Stickers?

Question: Pinkbike user Neechy asked this question in the Bikes, Parts, and Gear Forum: Anyone know where I can get McGazza frame decals?

bigquotesNo sign of any stickers being made yet, but the Queenstown Mountain Biking Club in Kelly's adopted hometown now have the 'Forever a Legend' t-shirts on sale. They should cost you $64 NZD including the $25 NZD shipping to the US, that's about $43 USD. 100% of the proceeds will go to the Kelly McGarry Memorial Trust. The ambition of the trust is to fund trail building and advocacy in New Zealand along with helping Kiwi riders' achieve their goals both domestically & abroad. Any of you guys who want some stickers let the QTMBC know in the comments or on their Facebook page. - Paul Aston

Tom Hey and Emmerson Wilken
These McGazza t-shirts were originally intended for close friends and family, but due to demand worldwide, the QTMBC are producing and shipping them worldwide to help raise money for the Kelly McGarry Memorial Trust.

Have some unresolved tech questions? Jump in the Pinkbike Forum and we'll look to answer it for next time.


  • 72 3
 I thought I read $64 for stickers, and I would have been happy to pay it!
  • 78 2
 If that is 64 of your Canadibucks its a bargain.
  • 40 0
 yeah 64cad is like 6.32 euro
  • 13 2
 Great shirts but I really want a jersey with his face on it!!!! Either way I'm getting a shirt to support the cause!!!
  • 26 0
 It s canadian pesos
  • 10 0
 YT gave 2000 people free McGazza memorial stickers on facebook
  • 27 4
 I admire Mr. McGarry greatly, but having a jersey with this face on it... come on man, I hope you are being sarcastic.
  • 20 1
 That logo could be open to serious legal problems from a certain band (that shall remain unnamed) that loves to sue their fans.
  • 5 1
 @thinkbike Yeah, no kidding. And I wouldn't count against them stooping so low as to start legal action.
  • 3 0
 I have some McGazza Forever koozies and die cuts left from the Mcgazzapalooza event. I was asking $5.00+Shipping for the koozie and would toss in a free die cut sticker with the purchase. Stickers alone are $2.50 a piece. All the proceeds will go to the Kelly McGarry Memorial Trust. PM me if you are interested. First come first serve.
  • 2 0
 I would wear one to a Metallica concert! Of course then I'd be thrown in jail for twenty to life.
  • 11 0
 Metallica wish they shredded as hard as Kelly
  • 2 0
 I'm on the committee of QMTBC and the stickers are being sorted and should be online at the club site next week.include them in a tee order for no extra freight or minimal charge for an envelope for just stickers.#ride formcgazza
  • 1 0
 I was thinking the same thing when I first saw it ....I have a feeling the lawsuit is impending
  • 1 0
 Got my Black McGazza Tee soooo stoked for the proceeds to go towards upcoming shredders !!! YEWWWEEE!
  • 35 1
 As someone who owns both a Troy and a Spartan (Shameless Gloat) I'd say it very much depends on what type of trail you ride mostly, as pointed out above. The Troy is an amazing bike, you could pedal it all day and it will get you to the top of the hills with ease. Turn it downhill and it punches well above it's weight for a 140mm bike. It's extremely playful, responsive and fun! Then you have the Spartan. She is an absolute trail slayer. I'm in love with mine. It will go over and or through everything like it's not there. Extremely confidence inspiring at speed, on the steeps and when it gets rough. No matter how fast you ride it's always looking back at you saying is that all you got?! I've mine build up on Shimano XT 11spd which gets it up the hill pretty well. Of course it's not going to be as easy as the Troy, and the legs are a little more sore the next day but every turn of the cranks worth it for the descents! (I live in Ireland so no little to no uplifts here, every descent has to be earned!)

How I'd compare the two bikes is, if you were trying to open a locked door, the Troy is a lockpick. Precise, neat, with finese. The Spartan....... The Spartan is a sledgehammer which will smash the door down without hesitation

No matter what bike you choose, you are going to get an awesome machine. Just consider what you standard riding is like, and how fast and easy you want to get up the hill, compared to what you want on the downs
  • 12 1
 I'm really compelled to find out why you have both.... And how many times you sold your body to get that kind of monopoly monies !
  • 1 0
 I'm looking at both Spartan vs Troy, very close call with a updated geo on the Troy.
  • 3 0
 Why I have both? I was in the market for a new bike when the Troy was released so got one of the first ones off the production line. No sooner had I got that, they unveiled the Spartan. A long time lusted after a Spartan until I finally decided to get one, after have many brown pants moments riding the Finale Ligure EWS. Got a lovely custom built 2016 Spartan Carbon now to match my Troy Carbon!

The new Geo makes the Troy an even better bike than it already is! Mine has conquered everything I've thrown at from local DH runs, to all day adventures, to Enduro World Series events. Now that I have the Spartan, it's kept as a bike for the longer adventure rides because of how well it pedals, and the Spartan is the enduro race bike for smashing out stages. That being said, the Spartan is the bike I reach for first now more than anything, and will still manage a 50km+ day with the rest of them
  • 2 0
 I have both bikes in the stable as well as a Wilson and I agree with what you say. If I were to pick just one bike, it would be the Spartan. My reasoning is that if I am going anywhere and can only bring one bike, that will be the one I pick. It's good enough on the climbs to make sure I don't have to shuttle but when I do shuttle or take the lift it is just that much more fun than the Troy. I also tend to choose the Spartan when I'm going to be hitting some rocky descents. The Troy is my go-to bike when I know I won't be doing anything other than a long trail ride or a quick burn through the river valley. Because of this it is the bike I ride most on a day-to-day basis. My Wilson is kind of the odd one out. I have it for when I am heading to Kicking Horse, Fernie or Whistler for dedicated DH riding. However, I hate having two bikes on a trip so quite often I leave it at home and take Spartan if there is even the off chance that we might head off the bike park and do some adventure riding.
  • 1 1
 No other bike I've owned rails corners like the Spartan. After a few injuries I had sold my DH bike. I still had a nice light trail bike. Lapierre Zesty. Great peddler but it didn't cut the mustard on the rough stuff and you could forget about DH days. I decided the Spartan was the bike for me and it was the best decision i ever made. Get the carbon one. Its a good deal lighter than the alu for not much extra cost. i can do all day, all mountain rides and uplift days. Sure the Troy is very capable and a slightly better peddler but the Spartan can do what the Troy does and what the Troy doesn't. Recently returned to a fairly decent DH track on it and put in faster times on the Spartan than i had two years previously on my DH race rig. I got myself a nice Ragley Big Wig hardtail for our Schlompy Irish winters. Not because the Spartan cant do that, just because hardtails are for winter. Unless you are riding the same specific trails all the time, ie trails that are ideally suited to the troy I'd go with the flexibility of the Spartan.
  • 1 1
 There isn't really any tracks in Ireland that really need a Dh bike infairness Croagh Patrick is the only place I can think of to be honest. I can see why you went faster as the Dh bike was probably over kill and clumsy on what you were riding.The new trail bike is probably slacker and I'm guessing has bigger wheels than your old Dh bike two years ago easy to see how it's faster really.
  • 2 0
 I love my Spartan. Climbs mint and I trust it on any track. Better than my old DH bike on the downs. Plus its not a nomad Razz
  • 25 0
 for the shimano spd issues, it might be that he now has the single release cleats instead of the multi release ones.
  • 1 0
 this was my first thought to.
  • 1 0
 we used to call them "pro" cleats for single release, and "sissy" cleats for multiple.
Nobble is probably bang on.
  • 20 1
 FYI, Devinci Spartan kinematics Big Grin Troy coming soon. Big Grin
  • 3 3
 Too much reading and thinking. Where can I demo them?
  • 3 1
 @andrextr the kinematics videos are so sick
  • 5 1
 Really loved your videos, keep up the great work!
  • 2 1
 These videos are rad.
  • 2 1
 @andrextr your videos are great...very informative. I like the Demo vs Tues matchup for various reasons. Thanks.
  • 1 1
 Thank you guys! Bye Smile
  • 20 2
 **Orders McGazza shirt**
  • 5 0
 I was deciding between the Troy and Spartan end of last season. For me, the way I looked at it was how do I want to ride my trails? Do I want to plow through rough sections or am I going to finesse rough sections. I'm a bit of a plower and ended up with the Spartan. Smile

The other thing for me is that I'm learning to get airborne on some features and I run out of talent, I could use the extra travel and slackness to help bail me out. Came in handy a couple times last weekend. Smile
  • 5 0
 Who doesn't just want to plow stuff though?
  • 4 0
 My 'short travel' is all about 'ploughing' also
  • 3 0
 Also worth noting that those of us that are on the smaller side can get away with less bike in a lot of situations. I own a Troy and it can handle everything in the all mountain category. Since I don't weigh a lot it puts less stress on the frame so it can smash through a lot of stuff just fine. Wouldn't ride it somewhere like Whistler, though.
  • 1 0
 Well, if you aren't worried about breaking things, those of us on the larger size can smash through things on a short travel bike just as well/better in some instances...
  • 1 0
 It all comes down to suspension setup there. Weight doesn't affect suspension's ability to blow through stuff if it's tuned properly. I'd argue that people who are in the middle ground in terms of weight have it easiest since suspension products would be designed to function best for the largest amount of people. But anyway around a lighter person puts less stress on a frame compared to a larger person riding the exact same thing... force = mass x acceleration
  • 1 0
 Wheels will want to plow stuff better with more weight behind them. I'd agree with you that heavy/light people are kinda SoL with stock tunes. Pretty much every bike thats running the sag I like without a custom shock tune feels like a pogo stick.

But yeah... More mass means more force which you can apply to smashing through things without finesse. Haha.
  • 5 0
 Absolutely love my Spartan! It pedals uphill and rides downhill better than my previous Rune and Covert without a doubt.
  • 8 10
 I wanted a Spartan, but it did not have bottle mounts. Deal-breaker for me.
  • 15 2
 "...Troy pedals better and is a better handling bike when it comes to climbs, flat ground, and slow speed descents." .....totally lost me at 'slow speed'...who does that? Razz
  • 2 0
 @xeren I've tried that exact model on 2 separate FS bikes, in multiple locations. Never held firm (would rotate) when going into rough stuff on the trail, and this was on trail/XC bikes. Can't imagine the issue would get better on a longer travel rig. Maybe the shape of tubing matters?
  • 1 0
 I use that mount and it does allow me to mount a water bottle, but unfortunately it only really fits on the bottom side of that down tube. Any time there's any mud, it gets all over the bottle.
  • 9 3
 I'd suck a tramp off for either one
  • 49 3
 Youd suck a tramp off for nothing
  • 10 1
 Thought you'd nip home and get changed.
  • 8 1
 either the stickers or the T-Shirts? Damn you are cheap
  • 2 0
 Interesting point about cleat depth in RC's reply in the article above. Are some shoe brands generally known for having a shallow cleat pocket and others a deep pocket?

I currently wear Teva Pivots for my XT Trail pedals and the shoe rubber doesn't touch the flat silver parts of the pedal cage (left and right of the SPD mechanism) at all. I guess my Tevas might have a shallow pocket. They need replaced anyway so I'd like to get a deeper cleat pocket if possible (if it proved too deep and too much contact I could always add homemade shims between cleat & shoe). I've borrowed a friend's bike with DX pedals on it and I did get a nice amount of rubber contact on those for a little resistance in the float and a more secure feel.
  • 15 10
 Ride Flat Pedals and don't worry about unclipping again.
  • 39 5
 Some people change to SPDs exactly because they unclip from flats all too often...
  • 2 1
 Now my cleats unclip from my shoes all too often. ^^
  • 7 2
 My Vans stick to my Straitlines like sh!t to a blanket.
  • 3 2
 I've been switching between the two for years. Recovering from injury so two rides ago I went back to flats with 5.10s. On the first ride I completely forgot I wasn't clipped in. Falling in love all over again.
  • 2 2
 @iamamodel - It's the same with me. I tended to ride clips for XC and flats for DH but have recently just stuck with flats for everything as I don't have to think
  • 2 1
 Yes, the Troy is an all out toy. Not sure why this guy mentions "slow speed descents." The Troy descends very well no matter how fast your going in my opinion. That's why he raved about that great rear suspension.
  • 3 0
 Because its more manageable on slow speed descents than the spartan that wants to go flat out or it feels soggy. If you read the whole sentence again and take its context youll understand.
  • 1 0
  • 5 0
 Hey, I got mentioned in an article.
  • 3 2
 Just bought a Spartan and currently, not very impressed with its pedaling at all. I also have a Wilson, to me, it pedals like the Wilson with Pro-Pedal all the way on and high can pressure. Though it is one hell of a ripper when things get pointed downwards! Otherwise, my FatBike pedals better up hills than the Spartan.
  • 6 1
 Fat bikes pedal uphill better than most things that aren't xc race whippets.
  • 1 0
 Tried tuning your shock...? My climbs like a goat and its still plush as when needed. I run the RS Monarch with 3 Tokens around 165Psi with 30% sag and I weigh 80kgs with gear. Just did the NZ Enduro on it. 3 days of big climbs with long rough and blind stages and it was absolutely perfect from start to finish.
  • 1 0
 FitBiker, I haven't yet, El-Nino has monsooned' the coast here so have only gotten 3 days on it vs the Fat Bike.
Are you running with compression mid, low or high? Tubless? Tire choice? Single ring?
Running full stock save for a set of Trail XO's annnddd 25% sag, full open.
  • 2 0
 I've had my Troy for a couple months now. I couldn't be more impressed, it climbs like a goat, and descends like a much bigger bike.
  • 7 7
 I am not sure how big the Spartan feels but after owning a 120mm bike for 2,5 year, after switching from 160 Nomad, I am more than sceptical about less travel being more "all round" and lots of travel with slack geo being downhill oriented. Being a person not affraid of hitting roughest and steepest bits on a HT, I am also very sceptical of this travel to roughness ratio philosophy. Because conversely you can have tons of fun on long travel bike on a smooth flattish singletrack. You can or you can't. Do deadlifts and ride on back wheel bro, then the bike won't matter that much. Just chose a bike that feels right in the area you appreciate most.
  • 2 0
 Same here, I like to ride steepest DH tracks I can find on my Honzo. Yes I don't go half as fast as on my big bike but it's just loads of fun and quite a good skills training.
  • 2 0
 Regarding the pedals, any chance you also put on new cleats at the same time?
And maybe replaced multi-release cleats with non multi-release cleats?

Just a thought...
  • 2 0
 @fgiraffe and @RichardCunningham Ya it was the cleats. I put the new pedals on without changing the cleats. After switching to the fresh pair that the pedals came with, everything works like butta. Not sure what kind of cleats the new ones are, multi or non multi release. Could have been the same style and the old ones were just too worn to work well with the new pedals.
  • 1 0
 Got my McGazza T coming in the mail and I got my huge free McGazza sticker from YT bikes.
  • 4 4
 pedal troubles and you show shimano pedals, joke ? haha where is crankbrothers, problems are their speciality
  • 6 1
 Never had problem with My crankbrothers after 3 years
  • 3 2
 myanh - yes but a LOT of people had. My Acid exploded when hitting a rock on uphill. My friends go through at least one rebuild kit a year. Guys take rebuild kit with them on any weekend in the park. I saw a pedal falling off the axle of a dudes bike midride through a rough section. Go to a first bike workshop and ask the mechanics. We'll see how the latest breed performs.
  • 3 0
 acid are for the kindergarden try the Mallet DH they take the beating.
  • 3 1
 I don't use CBros, since I can't clip out from them when I wantto despite trying to get used to them for half of a year. Times float my boat. My friends use Mallet DH. They rebuild them more often than any other pedal. They ride them for float and support.
  • 1 0
 seconded for Times, I use them on everything, more floaty than shimano, not made of cheese like CB
  • 2 0
 Times give only tiny bit less float but it is easier to clip in and out. Combination of best treats of Shimano and CB with next to no trade off.
  • 1 1
 You need to insert the cleat in the front of the sole not in the middle not in the back. Dont let out much the pins also That You have on the pedal this Will make it easy. You need to find out where its the best to put either the 15 or 20 angle cleat (left or right). Oh well it s all about Being comfortable with What like. HAVE a good ride ! Cheers
  • 2 0
 woof woof that was sick
  • 1 0
 vans on Chromag surefooted
  • 1 1
 i ride in the pacific of rain & sog.
haven't had to rebuild my chromags in 3 yrs.
  • 2 0
  • 1 1
 Pas moi...
  • 1 2
 get a turner rfx
  • 5 4
 Get anything but a Devinci. After they offered me a crash replacement at full MSRP for a Wilson that had a botched weld I make it a point to tell anyone to skip a brand that doesn't stand by their so called "lifetime warranty".
  • 2 0
 @Earthmotherfu - because they're badass. and the build options are awesome. full xt 1-11 with I9 wheels for 6k USD. and i think that comes with a lyrik
  • 3 4
 6-Fattie or Stumpy 29. Living in denial is not living.
  • 1 0
 @upchuckyeager just had a quick peep,very tasty indeed.
  • 1 0
 @upchuckyeager about 2650 sterling f&f in uk.
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