Devinci Marshall Carbon - First Ride

Aug 31, 2016
by Vernon Felton  



New Name, New Material

Devinci announced the release of a new bike today. That's the obvious lead, but it's not the whole story. So, let’s rephrase it. Here goes: Today, Devinci unveiled the carbon Marshall. And if the frame looks familiar, that’s because they released the aluminum version last year, as the "Hendrix". After a legal kerfluffle over the name on its top tube, the latest edition became known as the Marshall (Jimi Hendrix’s middle name). Okay, got all that?

Here’s what you need to know: There are both carbon and aluminum Marshall models, and each one will happily accept both 27.5+ wheels or 29er hoops. Devinci is selling the Marshall with both wheel sizes in 2017.

Oh, and we rode the carbon Marshall both ways—semi-fat and wagon wheeled.

Marshall Carbon Details

• Intended use: trail riding
• Rear wheel travel: 110mm
• Fork travel: 120mm
• Wheelsize(s): 27.5+ or 29-inch
• Carbon front and rear triangles
• Clearance for up to 27.5 x 3.25'' tires
• Internal dropper post routing
• Boost (12x148mm) hub spacing
• Sizes: S / M / L / XL
Aluminum 27.5+ MSRP: $3,359- $4,419 USD/ $3,799- $4,999 CAD/ €3,569- €4,699 EUR
Aluminum 29er MSRP: $3,099- $3,539 USD/ $3,499- $3,999 CAD/ €3,289- €3,759 EUR

Carbon 27.5+ MSRP: $4,069- $5,129 USD/ $4,599- $5,799 CAD/ €4,319- €5,449 EUR
Carbon 29er MSRP: $3,809- $6,819 USD/ $4,299- $7,699 CAD/ €4,039- €7,239 EUR
www.devinci.com

Devinci Marshall Carbon

One Frame, Two Wheel size Options
As you might have noticed, there’s a wide price range on the Marshall models. That’s because there‘s also a wide range of ways to build this thing up. In 27.5+ trim, you are looking at four models: two in aluminum and two in carbon. Devinci, however, also offers the Marshall frame with the same six build kits as their new 29er Django model and the parts kit on the 29ers goes from blue collar to Wall Street wanton.

Or to put it in plainer terms, the top-of-the-line 29er Marshall gets SRAM Eagle, whereas top-of-the-line 27.5+ Marshall gets an SLX/XT component mix.

Only interested in the frame?

The aluminum Marshall frame sells for $1,769 (USD)/$1,999 (CAD)/€1,879.

The carbon frame sells for $2,479 (USD)/$2,799 (CAD)/€2,629.


Devinci got heaps of crap in previous years for their relatively short top tubes and have been growing the front centers on their bikes, as is evident on the Marshall. The top tube on a Large is 625 millimeters (24.6 inches) and the reach is 464 millimeters (18.2 inches). There are longer bikes out there, sure, but the Marshall is far from stubby.

The Marshall is also fairly aggressive for a bike sporting just 120 millimeters of front suspension and 110 millimeters of rear squish. In Plus trim, you are looking at a head angle of either 67.7 or 67.3 (depending on which way you flip the frame's geometry-adjusting "flip chip").

As a 29er, the front end lifts and the bike gets slacker still--66.7 to 67.2 degrees. That puts the 29er version of the Marshall in a similar league (geometry wise) as the Evil Following, Ibis Ripley LS and Yeti SB4.5c.

While Plus Size bikes are often painted with the old "It must be a clumsy nag of a bike" brush, the wheelbase on the Marshall is reasonable; the 435-millimeter (17.1-inch) chainstays keep the bike from becoming a handful on tight trails.
Devinci Marshall Carbon


Devinci Marshall
When the aluminum "Hendrix" version was released last year, it had a RockShox Reba up front. Devinci realized, however, that the bike's slack geo was urging riders to ride aggressively. They needed more fork. This year, all 27.5+ Marshalls get RockShox Pikes. The 29er build kits are spearheaded by Fox 34s.
Devinci Marshall
The plus-size thing is still far from sorting itself out when it comes to deciding on the "right" tire size. The 27.5+ Marshalls are shod with Maxxis Chronicle 3.0 tires, but can accommodate tires up to 3.25-inches. Personally speaking, I think 2.8 makes the most sense (less uncontrollable tire bounce), but the Chronicles worked well.

All of Devinci's aluminum Marshall frames are handbuilt in Canada, at the company's factory in Chicoutimi, which makes the bike a bit of a rarity in a sea of overseas imports. Whether that matters to you or not is a purely a personal call, but it's worth pointing out. Devinci doesn't fabricate its own carbon frames--they're imported like 99 percent of the competition. Devinci, however, flouts convention again by offering an actual lifetime warranty on their carbon frames. And by lifetime warranty, I don't mean the "Five-year lifetime warranty" that's become common in the bike industry. Five years could only be called a lifetime if you were a pet hamster. Given the price of carbon frames, it'd be nice to see the rest of the bike industry follow Devinci's lead on that one.

What's the actual weight difference between the aluminum and carbon Marshall frames? Just a hair more than a pound. The aluminum frame tips the scales as 3.66 kilograms (8.07 pounds). The carbon frame weighs in at 3.16 kilos (6.97 pounds).

Devinci Marshall
Devinci equips the Marshall plus models with a RockShox Monarch RT3 Debonair rear shock. So, no, it's not Metric.
Devinci Marshall
As with other Devinci models, the Marshall is configured around Dave Weagle's Split Pivot suspension design.


Devinci Marshall Carbon

First Impressions
Devinci showed up on my doorstep in early August with a Django and a Marshall. The objective was simple: Spend a few solid days riding the new bikes on our own turf, (Galbraith Mountain, in Bellingham, Washington). If you missed the First Ride report on the Django, check it out here. In the case of the Marshall, I was curious: How would the bike fare as both a 27.5+ machine and as a 29er? The only way to answer that was to ride the same trails on the same day, back to back. One lap on the plus-size setup. Another lap on 29er hoops. Our route included a mix of singletrack and fire road climbs to the top of the mountain, followed by a singletrack descents that included both tight, natural terrain and flowier jump trails. If you're familiar with Galbraith, the route down included Scorpion, Unemployment Line, Atomic Dog and a detour back up to finish with Irish Death.

I opted to start with the 29er set up (Maxxis High Roller II 2.3s). In that guise, the Marshall climbed readily enough--it wasn't the rocket that the Eagle-equipped Django proved to be, but it's also not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison there given the Django's top-tier build. If you are a fan of the razor-sharp steering of a steep cross-country racing rig, then the Marshall might stymie you initially. This ain't that bike, even if the 110 millimeters of rear suspension suggests long days in Lycra to you. Personally, I'm used to climbing on bikes with relatively slack angles, so I'm probably not the best judge of whether a bike's head tube is "too slack" to navigate switchback climbs. I had no problems cleaning tight uphill sections. Moreover, I could let the bike go on the descents, which is really what the Marshall is about. It's a bike that leans towards the rowdy end of the spectrum, feeling confident at speed, with just the right amount of maneuverability. You won't mistake the 110 millimeters of suspension as anything more than it is. Even with close to 30 percent sag, it's a firm and progressive 110 millimeters aimed at riders who are going to ride hard and fast. It's not a tooth-rattling affair, but it's no Barca lounger either.

Devinci Marshall
We rode the top-shelf plus bike, the carbon Marshall Carbon SLX/XT shown here, and simply swapped between stock plus wheels and 29er hoops.

After a couple hours of wagon wheeling, it was time for the plus-size switch. Climbing traction was awesome on the plus-size Maxxis Chronicles, but I also noticed the extra weight. The Maxxis Chronicle 3.0 is no boat anchor of a tire. In fact, it should only weigh 70 grams per tire more the High Roller 29x2.3s, but I found myself feeling the extra rotational weight all the same. Could some of that sensation be chalked up to "second lap-itis"? Maybe. You're never quite as full of the piss and vinegar on your second climb up the mountain, so perhaps that played a bit into the sensation. I'd need more time on the two wheel set ups to say definitively.

On descents, the Chronicle allowed for generous leeway when lofting the bike off small drops or plowing into rocky and rooty sections of trail. I know, not a stunning revelation, but there it is. That's what plus-size tires are supposed to do for you, after all. In Plus-size mode, the Marshall proved just as easy to wend through the corners. It's no ropey nag of a handler. There is a distinct difference in cornering traits, though. While you can lean the High Roller 29ers into the corner and feel the authoritative bite of the shoulder knobs, the 3.0 Chronicles have a vaguer feel in the corners. They don't give up traction--initially, I thought they would--but they just don't feel as solidly committed to the turn.

Frankly, I prefer the 29er Marshall set up, but if I'm going to be honest with myself, I might only dig that taller, skinnier configuration since I already spend a ton of time running 29x2.4 tires and am well accustomed to how they feel. In other words, my personal bias might be shining through and, to be fair, I might wind up appreciating plus-size tires more after spending more time on them. The jury inside my skull is still out on that one.

The cool thing about the Marshall (and this is true of several newer "convertible bikes", such as the Santa Cruz High Tower or Pivot Switchblade), is that you're not locked into a single wheel size. You can choose what works for your style and trail conditions. The plus-size tires, for instance, would probably be awesome in my neck of the woods in winter when the root-sections get dicier and lower tire pressures become essential, whereas the 29er wheels might be better in summer conditions up here. Either way, you can run what best suits you. Having that option is a good thing.


Visit the high-res gallery for more images from this article.

MENTIONS: @vernonfelton / @devinci




84 Comments

  • + 109
 I swear if I see another plus sized bike today... PB you better post some downhill bikes. Or the crazy different pro XC bikes
  • + 11
 I second that
  • + 12
 Tire sizes aside, thats a slick looking frame! Love those lines.
  • + 4
 @VPS13: Yeah true. Ive always looked at Devinci with awe since Steve Smiths 2014 world cup Wilson. The red and white frame... Oh my.
  • + 7
 @VPS13: Gotta love the reasonable frame prices and lifetime warranty too
  • + 5
 Yea! Why don't they! They should show crazy XC bikes like Emily Batty's Trek Top Fuel!! Or a less known downhill bike like the Solid Strike Evo. Or maybe go really crazy and show us a video of Claudio racing downhill on a tandem bike with Loic Bruni!! yea right, like any of that's gonna happen. Maybe when pigs fly or Shimano releases a dropper post. Ha!
  • + 1
 @VPS13: ya but the stem isn't up side down lol
  • + 29
 So far, every 27+ review came to the conclusion that the tester actually preferred the 29er option.
Does that tell us anything?

27+ must be for the casual, beginner to intermediate biker (leaning towards an e-bike but wants to do something for his fitness).

It broke my heart a little today seeing that even Yeti thinks they must produce a 27+ bike. But on 2nd thought it completely makes sense. If Yeti is the Bugatti of Biking as somebody posted today, then the demographic who can actually afford a Yeti is exactly the type of rider that 27+ bikes are for (see description above).

Do you agree?
  • + 10
 I think that until 27.5+ and 29er wheel+tire combos weigh the same, 29ers will rule the "convertible" field. Performance-wise, there's no substitute for removing weight from the rotating bits. Also, if I can't clean a techy climb on a decent 29x2.3ish" tire, my first thought will be to ride back down and try it until I get it instead of throwing in the towel and reaching for some fatter rubber.
  • + 1
 One of the best skills coaches in the world Lee McCormack rides a FS plus bike and loves it as hell... I do not think he is a noobie with poor skills...

I live in a rather wet place, I'd personally love a bike like this one - plus tyres for winter/spring, regular ones for the summer. Sooner or later I'll get a bike like this but with weirder geo, like Pole or Unno. 100-110mm front/rear, long slack, extra long chainstays and skinny tyres, for absolute speed domination of local trails Big Grin
  • + 17
 Harley's, + bikes, and skills coaches. All aimed at the same demographic.
  • + 5
 @SlodownU: hahahaha ok you got me there
  • + 1
 @SlodownU smartest thing I've heard in a long, long time.
  • + 1
 No. I could afford two Yetis and still think the plus tires bite the big one. I'm tearing EXO Minions on trail rides. How is a plus tire with a sidewall like baloney skin going to hold up.
  • + 2
 @SlodownU: 2 out of 3 isn't bad. But Gwin has more "coaches" than Shaw, and Shaw has more coaches than your local up and comer, who has more than you. Any sport is the same, the more successful you are the more coaches you have.
  • + 2
 @dtm1: let's not confuse the type of coaches a professional athlete at the top of their game gets vs. an intermediate mountain biker contemplating plus because they want things to be easier, hiring the local skills coach.
  • + 5
 This reminds me of when all the 26er guys accused 29ers of being for beginners...
  • + 12
 Vernon, I know you once lived in a community where pretty much everyone put SKINNIER tires on in the winter, instead of fat ones. is Bellingham that much different, or has the essential nature of mud been changed to meet the marketing requirements of the bike manufacturers?
  • + 2
 I own a 3" tire plus bike and bunch of "skinny" 2.4" tire bikes. For winter PNWet use I want a 2.4" tire. The higher pressure and aggressive knobs punch through the slimy surface and get traction. The plus tires tend to slide on the surface layer.
  • + 2
 @vikb: My tirechives still have the "fat" 2.2s and the 2.0s (in 26, of course) for winter.Too bad I no longer have a 26" bike to put them on.
  • + 1
 @codypup: My PNWet winter bike is a 9yr old 26er. I love that bike and I feel no guilt thrashing it in the mud all winter. It owes me nothing. Smile
  • + 9
 life time warranty. I like a Canadian company that backs its bikes with warranty not silly acronyms.
  • + 4
 More detail about the geo due to the tire change would be nice. People dont get distracted by shiny new stuff. The difference in OD of a 29er and a 27.5+ is not ZERO. It can be as much as a half an inch. Its sad that frames, forks, hubs, drivetrains, rims, and tires have been made for plus bikes but no body once said lets make it the same OD as 29 and lets not f*up the geo.
  • + 4
 I think we miss the fact that the majority of bicycle companies are run by a group of bros. PBers always make it seem like the brands are run by calculating engineers and business forecasters. When in actuality most of these ideas that seem half cocked are. I've been in a commentary company's office one morning when someone had an idea and they had a proto ready before lunch. The reason the "idea" came was because there competitor had something similar. It's just one big game of one up mans ship even if it doesn't make any sense. But I digress here we are wasting time ogling over the latest and greatest. What a time to be alive there is literally a bike out there that will provide what ever ride feel you want.
  • + 3
 So this is almost 2° slacker than the Django and over an inch lower standover... Yet has less travel? Huh??

Why not give it 130-140?

If this can be overshocked like the Hightower and the poster above, it may be a winner. As it is, it just reiterates how ahead of its time the Following was and still is
  • - 1
 What do you mean over shocked?
  • + 2
 @poozank: it means you think you are smarter than the guy who engineered the bike.
  • + 1
 @poozank: see turbojet-megafred post below. Means putting a larger shock on it to increase travel and modify leverage curve.
  • + 1
 @MikerJ: lol Oh ok lame
  • + 2
 Totally, I love my following! I've ridden the Hightower and pivot switch blade not to mention, the nomad, mach 6, sb6c, 429 trail, specialized dual suspension e-bike with plus tires, troy and spartin, niner rip 9, kona process, and trek remedy 29 with di2. And more but every bike pales in comparison to my following. Nomatter the terrain or season the bike can rip through snowy turns and flick table tops on any jump line. It.also chewed upnthe rock gardens on flying monkey in zion. I've yet to ride the sb5.5c but my brother just built his up and loves it but he thinks the following is a bit more pocket in the turns but just slightly.
  • + 2
 100% agree about the Following. I'm loving mine!
  • + 3
 there is something new every week. 27.5, 27+, 29, 29+, went from 3 rings to 1x9, 1x10, 1x11, 1x11 -42, 1×12-46, boost, frames that were for 27.5 + now frames that handle 650b, 650b+ and 29. tires went from 2.25, 2.3 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.8 to 3" . Al to Carbon. Now probably DH bikes without a drive train and 29" wheels, than 29+. It is absalutley mind numbing the the choices that are available today. ...and yet Sram still uses DOT fluid.
  • + 2
 yay got my Marshall today. willing to give the plus size wheels a try. I am also PNW rider who likes using bigger super tacky tires in the wet. It is not mud we deal with, it is the water and moss on the rocks and roots. Also the climbs can be very steep loose gravel/rocky/rooty energy-robbing stuff. though remains to be seen if the current rubber options are as good as the smaller width DH tires out there
  • + 2
 I can't speak for the Carbon Marshall, but my 2015 Aluminum Hendrix fit a 200x57mm Cane Creek DB Inline as a replacement for the 200x50mm RockShox rear shock, which bumped the rear travel up to 135mm from 110 and matches with the 140mm Lyrik that I swapped onto the front. There's still 6mm of frame clearance when the rear shock is fully compressed, so there doesn't seem to be an issue with the change. This bike can really shred the downhills, and there is an option to bump up the travel to match its geometry. Just something to consider if you're in the market for one.
  • + 2
 Now that might interest me in this bike, that would give it an extra 15mm over the Following which might be just enough to settle the rear end down on the high speed chatter while keeping it playful and poppy.

Anyone else try this?
  • + 6
 ... If I was riding the Marshall, I'd probably stack...
  • + 2
 Just try not to get too amped.
  • + 1
 I rode a Salsa Bucksaw and I noticed some things about fat tired full suspension bikes that I really liked. After that I wanted to try a 27.5+ bike without investing crazy money ($2700) so I ordered a Hendrix RS. It took me some time to learn proper suspension setup and inflation with the 27.5+ tires but once you do it's pretty damn capable. Back to back against my 29er it allows me to be lazier on line selection, much easier to balance in techy parts, superior climbing traction, better in loose over hard terrain, harder to knock off line, more tire contact patch. The disadvantages are slightly slower rolling on flat, initially weird tire bump sensation, weight of the wheel and tire gyro effect, requires more braking effort and tends to tax the brakes. Once the Maxxis Recon 2.8+ is available I will probably go down to that size from the 3.0+ Chronicles just to get more bite when leaned over. Crazy fun bike and I am sure even more capable with the upgraded suspension for 2017.
  • + 2
 By the numbers this bike is incredibly similar to the Django 29 except for stack and 10mm of travel. So close you wonder why they bothered building two separate bikes.
  • + 3
 Significantly slacker HA and lower standover by more than an inch = lower COG.

But why did they give the bike with the more aggressive geometry less travel???
  • + 1
 FWIW, I'd be shocked if the front triangle mold for this bike is different than the one for the Django. So really, why not offer it when there's a market & all you have to do is buy some chainstays & seatstays?
  • + 1
 @dtm1: 0.2' is not exactly a significant difference in HTA
  • + 1
 @dtm1: in low both have similar SOH too
  • + 1
 @dtm1: because they're trying to convince you that this will be faster and more playful than that 160mm bike they sold you as the best thing ever last year. Go ahead and see if it's true.
  • + 1
 @alexsin: If it were .2° I'd agree with you. But it is not. The django is 68.5 in high, this is 66.7 in 29er low. 2° Is significant.
  • + 2
 I bet a lot of people would like to know how it compares to a Process 111 and that would be an easy comparison, given the Bellingham location.
  • + 1
 Transition Smuggler too.
  • + 4
 Not even super boosted? The bike is already out of date.
  • + 1
 I just bought a 2016 new bike, and if you look at all the new changes, it already makes you feel like your bike is outdated. Better to not look at bike porn and than you wouldnt feel like you are missing anything.
  • + 3
 I'm pretty sure Devinci has been reading my comments. This is exactly what I was looking for (minus the 7lbs carbon frame).
  • + 1
 I'm seriously wondering if that's accurate. Devinci seems to have issues with publishing weights, I've seen them skewed wildly from different sources, & even across different models on their website. If a Spartan comes in just above 6 www.bikerumor.com/2014/08/12/first-look-new-carbon-devinci-spartan-enduro-bike-plus-actual-weight how the hell is this a 7 lb frame.

FWIW, they're showing the the Shimano spec at around 29 even. not seeing that happening with a 7 lb frame. www.devinci.com/bikes/bike_839_scategory_191
  • + 1
 & looking that spec over, there's not even any carbon components on it.
  • + 1
 ya, thats heavier than some DH frames
  • + 1
 @hamncheez: my process frame is 7.5 without a shock woohoo!
  • + 2
 @groghunter: could be 7lbs with shock, rear axles, seat clamp in size XL (heres hoping)
  • + 2
 I think it's a case of Life Time Warranty = 7lbs carbon frame. I'm never going to ride the same bike for my whole lifetime, so a lighter 5 yr warranty bike is fine with me. But if I was a 200lbs+ dude, I'd reconsider.
  • + 1
 @bcmrider: But the weight numbers don't actually add up, man. Spartans are basically 6 lbs, & fully built up models come in around 32-33. Even with lighter tires, my Carbon Spartan is a smidge under 31.

But the complete bike numbers on their website show these as being 29.. & their wheelset/tire combos are almost certainly heavier than mine. If they're using the lightest Chronicles, my tires are about 50g lighter, & hopes+flows are almost certainly lighter than their stock wheelset.

So the two bikes have almost the same components, but the one with a pound heavier frame, & heavier wheels, is 2 full pounds lighter as a complete? I'm no math wiz, but that just doesn't make sense. either the quoted weight for the frameset is wrong, & it's much lighter than a spartan, or the quoted weight for the complete bikes is wrong, & they're selling a short travel trailbike that's over 33 lbs. Which is insane.
  • + 1
 @Jimmy0: Yeah, but you expect that from Kona.
  • + 0
 @groghunter: these days I don't put it past manufactures to try and convince us that we should just ride and ignore the weight of their products, despite paying ever more increasing prices.
  • + 1
 Wish they'd hurry up on the 2017 Troys, likely getting the GX but the full specs aren't available yet
  • + 1
 Wow, has the trademark system really gotten to the point where you can't use last names of past celebrities?
  • + 15
 I wish some company would make a bike called Down Hillter
  • + 1
 Well he has an estate that owns his name and likeness, music ect. They probably should of known that might happen. It is a bit silly though. Who cares?
  • - 5
flag Treze (Aug 31, 2016 at 10:54) (Below Threshold)
 @WAKIdesigns: Or just Hitler! That would be rad!
  • + 22
 Or Dirt Cobain
  • + 1
 @rc3kartusa: that's perfect haha
  • + 1
 Or your own name....
A guy named Victor was sued by Victoria's Secret for naming his sex shop, "Victor's Little Secret". Victoria Secret won the case... Its a classic biz law 101 read.
Also, in action sports, ON3P Skis received a cease and desist order from Scott Sports for naming a model the "Great Scott" (named after the owner of ON3P, Scott). That ski is now aptly named the "Cease and Desist"...
  • + 3
 @nickwm21: Google for Specialized Cafe Rubaix case...
  • + 3
 @rc3kartusa: Dirt Diggler
  • + 1
 @mountaincross: There's a bike shop in my town called Burrows Specialized Sports. They were around pre-Specialized.
  • + 1
 @VTwintips: bought my 2009 Ibis from Joe at Burrows. Still don't know how they've managed to keep the Specialized in their name (Hope Specialized isn't listening ha ha)
  • + 2
 @rc3kartusa: Ha - Devinci actually has a bike called the Kobain in the lineup this year.
www.devinci.com/bikes/bike_837_scategory_204

According to them - "the Kobain is a superstar entertainer that just plain rips."
  • + 1
 @tomcat: They were there before specialized was so its the opposite case really.
  • + 1
 @vernonfelton is it BB92? I see they're speccing a 30mm spindle crank, therefore I'm curious.
  • + 1
 Yes it's BB92 - they cram a tiny raceface bb in there to fit the 30mm. Rocky Mountain and a bunch of other companies also spec 30mm cranks w/ a BB92 shell frame.
  • + 1
 @tomcat: This would be the first time Devinci has done it (that I'm aware of.) All of last year's bikes stuck with 24mm spindles, which is why the Aeffect was the only RF crank they were speccing.
  • + 1
 @groghunter: All the XT Troy and Django's came this year with Next cranks.

It's annoying they don't list the BB on the specs but once in a while they publish it -
www.devinci.com/bikes/bike_699_scategory_205
  • + 3
 Saweet bike!
  • + 0
 Gimme this with more travel and a slacker head angle and i'm in... 29er troy maybe?
  • + 1
 Seriously bike industry, stop with all this plus sized pish!!
  • + 0
 Is it just me or do all Devinci bikes look like structural overkill?
  • - 3
 Wooo, sick looking bike and stoke about another bike that will cross over to tandem!
  • + 4
 Please shut up about the tandems
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