Devinci Spartan Carbon XP - Review

Jul 27, 2015
by Mike Levy  




The Spartan takes its name from those legendary and supposedly fearless Greek warriors that were said to live for war. Given that Devinci's 165mm travel bike was originally penned as a course-specific race machine for Stevie Smith to ride into battle at the 2013 World Champs, this seems like a pretty fitting name. The design has evolved into a purpose built enduro race rig since then, which the Canadian company obviously had in mind when working on Stevie's bike, and the result is the 27.5" wheeled, carbon fiber machine that you see here. Damien Oton and Devinci's other riders have been racing the Enduro World Series aboard their own Spartans that feature a much different build to our XP test bike, but actually use the exact same frame and geometry.

Spartan XP Details

• Intended use: enduro / all-mountain
• Wheel size: 27.5''
• Rear wheel travel: 165mm
• Split Pivot suspension design
• Frame material: carbon fiber
• Tapered head tube
• Press-fit BB92 bottom bracket
• ISCG 05 chain guide tabs
• Internal cable routing
• Weight: 32.8lb (large, actual, w/o pedals)
• MSRP: $4,299 USD


At $4,299 USD, the Spartan Carbon XP is the least expensive carbon-framed bike in the range (the RC costs $5,199 USD), and it comes with RockShox's Pike Dual Air fork and Monarch Plus RC3 shock, as well as a Reverb Stealth seat post and a set of very suitable Schwalbe Hans Dampf tires with Super Gravity casings. Interestingly, it also sports a front derailleur and two chain rings to get the 32lb bike up to the top of the mountain. Devinci also offers a frame-only option, which comes with the same shock and retails for $2,799 USD.



Devinci Spartan geometry


Frame Details

The 6.6lb (claimed) carbon fiber Spartan frame looks like it's burlier than most downhill bikes out there, thanks in no small part to its massive and nearly square down tube. Devinci says that they've used their DMC Gravity technology to build a carbon frame specifically suited to ''rock-ravaged environments," and that they've done this by employing ''cross-hatched and unidirectional Torayca T700 carbon fiber layers, bolstered by high-strength epoxy resins and finished with a blast of Nano powder additive.'' Sounds a bit like something lifted from a top secret cookbook, although the Canadian company claims that list of ingredients is proprietary to their bikes, so tough luck, NASA.

The frame is manufactured in Asia by using an EPS moulding technique that sees a specific blend of expanded polystyrene (similar to the stuff that's used in the packaging of electronics, as well as for helmet liners) that is then wrapped in layers of carbon fiber and placed in the mould to create its shape. The EPS core is shaped to match the inside dimensions of the frame, and it then expands to provide pressure to the carbon on the opposite side of the mould, thereby squeezing out air and voids. The advantage over using more common bladder moulding technique is that the EPS core is able to provide much more exacting tolerances, especially in complicated areas such as the real estate down by the bottom bracket and main pivot junction. The bike's front triangle and seat stays are carbon, but, much like many other companies out there, they've stuck with aluminum for the bike's chain stays.


Devinci Spartan RC review test Clayton Racicot Photography CRP
A thick bolt-on shield protects the Spartan's down tube from rock strikes and flaming arrows.
Devinci Spartan RC review test Clayton Racicot Photography CRP
The bike's cables are routed internally by way of mechanic-friendly ports that make maintenance easy.


Carbon fiber and manufacturing techniques aside, the Spartan frame sports a tapered head tube, a set of ISCG 05 chain guide tabs, and exceptionally clean internal cable routing courtesy of nifty ports that make maintenance a cinch. What it doesn't have, though, is provision for external cable routing should you want to run them on the outside of the frame, and it's lacking any place to mount a water bottle cage. We're mostly indifferent about the first point - that's what zip-ties are for - but the latter offense is a big no-no in our books. As it is, you'll have to wear a backpack (we know that a lot of you do), or stuff a bottle into the gear-carrying pockets of the bib shorts or jersey that you'll need to buy when you pick up your Spartan.


Devinci Spartan RC
  The Spartan's 165mm of rear wheel travel is controlled by Dave Weagle's Split Pivot suspension design.


The Spartan's Suspension Explained

It may not look like it, but the Spartan's suspension layout is based on the same principles, and uses much of the same technology, as Devinci's 204mm travel Wilson downhill bike. That shouldn't come as too much of a surprise when you learn that Dave Weagle is behind the design of both bikes, and that he was looking to carry over a lot of the Wilson's characteristics into the 165mm travel Spartan. Both share the same Split Pivot configuration that sees the dropout pivot rotate concentrically around the rear axle, which, along with the placement of the bike's other pivots, is said to allow the braking neutrality to be tuned independently of chain induced suspension forces. In other words, active braking combined with good pedalling performance.

Devinci refers to the bike's seat stays as the "brake link" due to the caliper being attached to it, while the wrap around linkage that joins it to the front triangle is called the "control link." This short link is what determines the bike's leverage ratio, and it also adds a great deal of lateral rigidity to the bike. The rearward shock mount is also home to a geometry adjustment that, by flipping an insert front to back, allows the rider to change the head angle between 65.8 and 66.4 degrees, and the bottom bracket height from 337 to 344 millimeters. While the bike's geometry can be altered slightly to suit different terrain and riders, these changes have negligible effects on the suspension.

Devinci Spartan RC review test Clayton Racicot Photography CRP
Split Pivot suspension sees the dropout pivot rotate concentrically around the axle.

Devinci Spartan RC review test Clayton Racicot Photography CRP
This small insert can be rotated to either slacken and lower or steepen and raise the bike.
Devinci Spartan RC review test Clayton Racicot Photography CRP
The wrap around link controls the shock rate and adds lateral rigidity.






Specifications
Release Date 2015
Price $4299
Travel 165
Rear Shock ROCKSHOX MONARCH PLUS RC3 DEBONAIR FAST BLACK 8.5X2.5
Fork ROCKSHOX PIKE RC 27.5 DUAL AIR 160MM
Headset FSA ORBIT 1.5 ZERO STACK
Cassette SHIMANO 10S 11-SHIMANO 10S 11-36T
Crankarms SRAM S1000 36/22T
Bottom Bracket SRAM BB92
Chain SHIMANO 10S
Rear Derailleur SHIMANO DEORE M615 SHADOW+
Front Derailleur SRAM X.5
Shifter Pods SHIMANO DEORE
Handlebar V2 PRO RISERBAR 31.8MM*780MM
Stem RACE FACE CHESTER
Grips DEVINCI PERFORMANCE W/LOCK-ON
Brakes SHIMANO M615 w/ 180MM ROTORS
Hubs FORMULA
Rim JALCO DD28
Tires SCHWALBE HANS DAMPF 27.5X2.35" TRAILSTAR SUPERGRAVITY TL
Seat SDG FLY RL
Seatpost ROCK SHOX REVERB STEALTH 125MM 31.6MM

Devinci Spartan RC review test Clayton Racicot Photography CRP








Climbing

The 165mm travel Spartan isn't pretending to be anything other than an enduro race rig, which means that, unlike some of the so-called all-around bikes in the same travel bracket, it isn't masquerading as anything that it's not. What it is, though, is a demon descender that feels like it's slacker than the Harley-Davidson chopper from Easy Rider, and maybe slightly heavier as well. Okay, not really, but you get the picture. Ascending is priority number two... or maybe three or four.

The bike's pedalling abilities are actually relevantly decent, and it moves forward without a ton of chain induced suspension action raining on the pedalling party, but there's still 165mm of very supple travel under you that activates if you're even talking about bumps within earshot of the Spartan. This makes spirited out of the saddle efforts feel about as wasted as most people's university educations, and the key to feeling like you're getting something done is to stay seated and spin those pedals at a decent cadence. The Monarch's DebonAir spring make it one of the most supple dampers out there, and mashing down on those pedals while throwing around all of your weight is going to remind you of that fact every time you spin the cranks around. On that note, it would be nice if the Monarch's three-position compression switch offered a firmer lockout than it does. As it is, the firmest setting is still too active when talking about huffing your enduro ass up steep fire roads in order to get to the goods.


Devinci Spartan RC review test Clayton Racicot Photography CRP
  This is a climbing photo if you tilt your computer. The Spartan was too much fun on the downs for me to climb stuff for the camera.


A funny thing happened when the bike got onto some relatively technical climbs: it didn't totally suck. It should suck, but it doesn't. It's not a handful on singletrack ascents, at least relative to other bikes of similar travel, and we'd go so far as to say that the Spartan almost defies its own geometry when it comes to climbing. Set up wide, turn in sharp, and you won't have too much trouble with the tightest bastard of a corner, all the while holding your upper body forward and low to keep the front end from coming up. It's those moments when you'd think an aid like a travel-adjust fork would be ideal on the Spartan, but we didn't actually turn the Pike's DPA dial too often - we had enough pedal strikes without moving the bottom bracket even closer to the ground, thank you very much. These were also times when the bike's 432mm reach, which is on the short side of things for a large sized bike, became noticeable. It's not that it felt cramped - it didn't - but the cozy front end does ask that you use a bit more body English than a longer bike would require on steep climbs.

Tinkering with the suspension geometry adjustment out back raises the bottom bracket up by seven millimeters, from 337 to 344, which isn't as much disparity between the two settings as we'd like to see, so the bike did spend most of its time in the lower, slacker of the two modes. One thing you'll never be short of is traction, though, so you'll have good results if you keep the cranks turning.

The big Devinci weighed more than 32lb on our scale (an earlier version of this review incorrectly stated the weight to be 35.2lb), and removing its wheels revealed that a lot of that fat is stored in the bits that you're trying to keep spinning. That means that the Spartan is never going to feel sporty, which was most noticeable on short, steep climbs that ask for brief squirts of max power. Sure, the bike's rear wheel traction saves its hide on technical stuff, but let's be real here: this is an enduro race bike that's on the portly side of the spectrum, not a machine for those five and six hour missions into the backcountry. Keep that in mind while enduro'ing your way up the mountain and you'll be happy.



Descending and Suspension

Think you're brave? You might not have enough courage to push the Spartan to its limits, which is exactly what you should be looking for in a bike in this class. There are plenty of quality mid-travel bikes to choose from, but only a rare few that are as composed as the Spartan when throwing yourself into the a mess of rocks and roots. The bike's geometry, low slung feel, and rear suspension that ramps up progressively, all combine to make it feel more like a pint-sized downhill rig rather than a contemporary all-mountain bike bike that's meant to do everything at a so-so level. It's also not a bike that you need to ride in a tidy manner, like an HD3 or something that's more nimble but also less forgiving, and you can let it hang out when on the Spartan and not get punished for your mistakes nearly as often as you probably should. That means that the 165mm travel Devinci is a ton of fun because it's a rig that any rider is going to find easy to ride at the outer edges of their comfort zone without feeling like they're about to get slapped upside the head.


Devinci Spartan RC review test Clayton Racicot Photography CRP
  When it comes to cornering, the Spartan might be the easiest and most confidence inspiring mid-travel bikes that I've ever ridden. It might also guilt you into doing some more trail work...


Cornering the Spartan was an intuitive affair, which is surely down to the low bottom bracket, laterally rigid frame, and what feels like a healthy amount of brake squat under your ass. There's loads of traction on tap due to all of that, even more than there should be given how dry and dusty our local haunts are right now, and, if it could talk, the Spartan would look you dead in the eyes and mutter something about you being a bit of a sissy, regardless of how fast you came into that corner. Then it would roll its eyes and tell you to try again.
bigquotesWhat it won't do is inspire you to pop and play, which is a trait that it shares with Devinci's downhill bike, but a jumble of rocks or roots won't knock it off line mid-corner, and it had us wondering if this is what becoming Velcro actually feels like.


That same stable, never let you down sort personality allows you to do some serious Grave Digger impersonations when you want to take the straightest line possible between over here and over there. The progressive rear suspension that allows you to run as much as forty percent sag without any bone jarring bottoming is a big reason for that, as leaning into the back of the bike when hauling ass through anything rough must be what it feels like to ride a big four stroke through a set of whoops, only with less exhaust fumes and noise. We would like to see the fork ramp up more through its stroke in times like this, though, and it's nice that the DPA Pike can now accept Bottomless Tokens that allow you to do exactly that. We ended up running a touch higher air pressure in the fork than expected, although that did work well with the soft rear end when things got steep or fast.


Devinci Spartan RC review test Clayton Racicot Photography CRP
  The Spartan feels more at home on the steeps than you do when sitting on your couch, pricing out new bike parts on the laptop.


The Spartan's built-in geometry adjustment is a nice touch, but it'd be even nicer if there was a larger disparity between the two modes. Then again, your shock settings don't have to be changed as it is, which wouldn't be true if there was a larger gap between the 'HI' and 'LO' positions, or if there was a travel adjustment. Those of you who are old enough might remember the 'Turbo' button on computers in the late 90s - turning it on made the computer faster, while turning it off obviously did the opposite. So, who would ever turn it off? Think of the Spartan's LO geo setting as being its Turbo button, because that's how we're betting nearly everyone out there is going to run it.

The Spartan does sacrifice some agility and playfulness in exchange for its ability to deliver insane amounts of traction and stability, but that could mean that more timid riders won't feel inspired to let their inner hooligans out. Then again, those same riders are going to feel pretty damn inspired when things get steep and rowdy, while more skilled mountain bikers will get those same benefits but also be able to throw the 32lb Spartan around like a (heavy and long) BMX bike. The Spartan is best suited to big terrain and riders who put on their big boy pants when they head out for a rip.



Technical Report

• Those 175mm Cranks: The Spartan likes a fair bit of sag, which puts the bottom bracket even closer to the ground and helps to make it one of the best cornering mid-travel bikes that we've ever ridden. It also means that we clipped pedals and the ends of the crank arms way more often than we do on other bikes of similar intentions, a fact that put us on the ground a few times. We'd argue that pedal strikes are always rider error, and we're not sure if going with shorter arms would have kept us upright after a few of those pedal strikes, but it certainly wouldn't have hurt matters, either.

• The 2 x 10 Drivetrain: At first glance, a front derailleur does make a lot of sense for a 32lb bike like the Spartan. It's hefty, has beefy tires and heavy wheels, and is more about just getting up to the top than getting to the top in a short amount of time, all of which makes the small 22 tooth small chain ring seem pretty reasonable. Two problems, though: shifting down to the 22 means that you instantly lose any and all momentum that you might have had, and the gearing seemed pretty low, even for the steep and tricky climbs on our local mountains. The bigger issue, however, is that the Spartan is meant to go fast as hell on the downs, but the damn chain would fall off every time we did that. This bike is just begging for a wide-range 1 x 10 conversion with a narrow / wide ring and svelte chain guide. Pick your gearing wisely and there's no reason you still can't have a reasonable climbing gear to boot.


Devinci Spartan RC
  Lots of gears, lots of dropping the chain. The Spartan is a prime candidate for a single chainring and wide range cassette conversion.


• Schwalbe Hans Dampf Tires: Thank you, Devinci, for spec'ing a tire with a proper casing that suits the bike's rowdy intentions. Schwalbe's Super Gravity, TLE Han's Dampf tires tubeless'd up easy, proved to be reliable, and offer up more traction that the average rider knows what to do with. They don't roll quickly, but the Spartan isn't exactly about that.

• No Water For You: The lack of a bottle cage mount is a big deal. We don't ride with a backpack that often these days, and even if we did, we'd still probably not use one if we were just going out for a spin that was going to last an hour or two. You know, the perfect one-bottle kind of ride... We'd even take a bottle cage mount on the underside of the down tube over nothing at all.

• Shimano Deore Brakes: Japan's budget stoppers always have us wondering why so many people pop for anything that costs more, and the brakes on the Spartan were the same. Plenty of power with the 180mm rotors front and back, and a nice, firm lever feel that always feels right. You'll need a hex key to adjust where the levers sit, and there's no bite point adjustment (this never functions on Shimano's brakes anyways), but damn, do they just plain work well.




Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesThe Spartan is an extremely capable descender that's almost like a downhill bike if downhill bikes were actually useful for day to day riding, but it's also going to be a hell of a lot of bike for some riders. Then again, isn't it much more fun to be on a machine that inspires you to let it hang out rather than one that you're always second guessing? Of course it is, and Devinci's carbon enduro bike will allow any rider to do exactly that. - Mike Levy



An earlier version of this review incorrectly named the bike model as the Spartan RC. The model reviewed above is the Spartan XP, which retails for $4,299 USD. Also, due to a malfunction, the digital scale we used to weigh the bike read 35.2lb. This is not accurate, and the correct weight of the bike is 32.8lb.



About the Reviewer
Stats: Age: 34 • Height: 5'10” • Inseam: 33" • Weight: 165lb • Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Mike Levy spent most of the 90s and early 2000s racing downhill bikes and building ill-considered jumps in the woods of British Columbia before realizing that bikes could also be pedalled for hours on end to get to some pretty cool places. These days he spends most of his time doing exactly that, preferring to ride test bikes way out in the local hills rather than any bike park. Over ten years as a professional mechanic before making the move to Pinkbike means that his enthusiasm for two wheels extends beyond simply riding on them, and his appreciation for all things technical is an attribute that meshes nicely with his role of Technical Editor at Pinkbike.



255 Comments

  • + 150
 Holy shit 35 lbs
  • + 41
 "Devinci claims it to be 32lb, by the way"
  • + 33
 probably most of the extra comes from those wisely spec'd tires
  • + 23
 The wheels are most of the weight they are used in the lower models to keep the price down.
  • + 2
 I'm amazed they even bothered seeing how it goes uphill, at 15.96kg you just wouldn't bother.
  • + 9
 I guess I don't get it. Plenty of other good options. Some cost less AND weigh less and have comparable performance, if not somewhat superior. I bet you could get it down to something like 29lbs but it should be a lot closer to that number than 35lbs...and I just don't see any point of 2x drivetrain ever on a bike like this! Friggin 1x11 with 32/42 rear cog on a 27.5 bike is plenty for climbing and descending. If you run out of gears than you're probably more of a descender anyway. Bump up to 34 or 36 why not?

But this is just MY logic and rationing. It's the reason I didn't go with this bike. To each their own.
  • + 46
 look at these componenents too, paying 5199$ for this isn't serious, it's bullshit.

Shimano SLX(derailleur, brakes) --> sucks
sram x7 ---> re-sucks
pike rc dual air ---> re-re-sucks
and finally it's not even a 1x10transmission bike.... just no.

for less money, you have a Kona process 153 deluxe, with a pike rct3 solo air, 1x11 sram X1 transmission, XT brakes and THIS is something serious! 2015.konaworld.com/process_153_dl.cfm
  • + 4
 portly....ba hahahahahhahaaha
  • + 5
 It's rightly being called a downhill bike by a few, I think. Aimed at downhill, weighs loads, burly. I mean.. I had the last orange patriot, freeride bike, built like a tank, 180mm each end, not for going up hills really... weighed 35lbs. And that was a couple of years back. I'd like to think, at 35lbs and carbon, it was hard as nails.. But there's a dude below saying he's already witnessed a cracked one. ?!? What's the point then? I'm not a materials specialist by any stretch, but that doesn't add up to me. Bit like ENVEs having an alleged grip issue on choppy ground... personally that's not why I'd spend a fortune for the 'best' materials. Sounds like it rips down though, also sounds like the weight is questionable.
  • + 16
 This is a little unfair though. I've ridden this Spartan build, on a demo day, and I've ridden one built up at 31.5 lbs. With lighter tires and wheels, and 1x10 (42t extender), it was quite the Enduro bike. If we're honest with ourselves, this is just a 35lb freeride bike. They really should offer it in two different specs at the same price. A race version, and a bike park version.
  • + 3
 RedBurn, I love the Kona (bought one actually), but the difference in price/components is all due to the carbon. Cut $2K off the pricetag for aluminum.
  • + 4
 That is .6 pounds less than the Canfield Jedi I just finished building! I thought my SB66 is a fatty at 32.4 pounds.
  • + 10
 ummmmmmmmm, it says they tested the xp but all those pictures are of the rc. which is $4,299.
www.devinci.com/bikes/scategory_132
  • + 36
 A squat rack and a barbell do a lot more for the weight of your bike than actually buying lighter components.
  • + 4
 Xprezo Adhoc - made in Canada with a steel rear end, probably as good or better at descending, and weighs 28lbs stock.
  • + 8
 My Wilson Carbon sl is only 36 lbs... my Aluminum 5-spot is 28.5 lbs.. .Im not sure what this article is gettting at except maybe just another paid ad that Pinkbike is getting so Famous for posing as Articles. Seriously.. The first half was specs right off the website. Pinkbike reviews seem to be useless..

Also:
'if downhill bikes were actually useful for day to day riding'

Stupidest statement of the month. What does one bike have to do with another except to push some sort of weird PB agenda. I havent been on the front page for a while and I am not sorry and stupidider for it.

ps. I have rode the Aluminum version of this bike and it wasn't horriable. Climbed like a goat. I dont have an issue with the bike but the Ad. in all fairness though, you cant find a fair review anywhere anymore. the advertiser runs the sport.
  • + 9
 @meesterover thats one of the best collesctions of bikes ive ever heard!

Also, on the kona note, almost all reviews on that process 153 say it has the best geometry of any 650b bike out there!

If it were my money, and i really wish it were, id get the canyon strive/ yt capra/ kona process 153DL
  • + 4
 Okay my "RR" model weighs in at 29 pounds 2 ounces. Set up with 1x11, maxxis tires and a RaceFace next crank.
  • + 4
 My GF's kona process 134 weights 33 pounds for the cheap build with the XC tubeless tires setup so all of you people who are mentionning the 153, it is probably in the spartan's ballpark weightwise unless you go with the higher end versions. Also, it is probably worth mentioning that the finishing quality is very different, as to keep the matte look, there is no clear over all the decals so they will start peeling off as you take it out the box and it makes it look beat up very quickly. 2 very different beasts as the spartan looks like a million dollar bike. I have taken the process for a few runs and I must say it rides great though. The attention to details just isn't there as much as it is on devinci bikes and it is reflected in the pricetag.
  • + 0
 Or you could just get the YT Capra
  • + 18
 Weight is always less of a big deal than people think. The gram-cutting agenda has been pushed so long and so strong that people tend to assume that anything above 30 pounds is going to cause you to cramp up, get a hernia, throw out your back, and then die of exhaustion within 100 meters of going up a 5% grade. Yes, 35 pounds is a little heavy, but if the bike's geometry and suspension is sorted, and if the gearing is right, it's honestly not that big a deal. Yes, lighter is always nice, but there's always a sacrifice that comes with weight subtraction. This thing is built to be beat to hell, sent back to grab a pizza, and then beat back down again, and to do that, you need to add material. "Optimizing" only gets you so far.

There's a bike for every roll, and this one's is to climb when it has to, and but mostly go -very- quickly downhill. The GT Sanction is in the same category. These kinds of bikes are the evolution of the "mini DH" 160 and 180mm bikes from a few years ago.
  • + 14
 id rathey have a heavier bike than a broken bike like a capra
  • - 5
flag Terrafire (Jul 27, 2015 at 9:31) (Below Threshold)
 Wait. its 35 Lbs CARBON? What?!
  • + 2
 @PLC07 - You're right; the Processes are heavy bikes. I have a 134 with a pretty decked out build and it weighs 31.5 lbs with pedals (full X01, carbon front wheel, Flow/Hope rear wheel, 34 FIT fork, 800-900 g tires tubeless, etc.). I could save a bit more with a few more carbon bits, but it would be hard to get below 30. I can see how a lower build with 2x10 could weigh a bunch. But the bikes ride great.
  • + 9
 I feel 35lbs is a very unfair representation for reviewing the frame, it's only 6.6lbs after all so the build must be very heavy but with a front mech setup and super gravity tyres and a lower end build kit it never would be that light, we are just used to seeing the super light weights of top model xtr and carbon clad pieces of art, It would be mega easy to drop a few lbs from it.
  • - 2
 35 lbs without pedals... so over 36 lbs complete! Yikes. Way too heavy.
  • + 3
 Mark Weir was pedalling 35lb VP3's over five years ago! It's 2015 - given the contenders in its class, a 35lb bike is way off the mark. Also interesting to note how the YT Capra didn't get skewered the same way as the Spartan did for not having a water bottle mount...
  • + 11
 You can't honestly make any comparison when mentioning Mark Weir. He ran a 1x9 with a 38t ring up front for most of his glory days. The man is not human.
  • + 8
 The Capra was on my list until I read about the guy who snapped 4 frames in 6 months, then YT told him they couldn't do business with him anymore. I've seen many sub 30 lb. builds of the Spartan without any carbon wheels. I'm looking to sell my Process 153 and build up one of these at the moment actually.
  • + 20
 We sell a lot of Spartans at the shop I work at, and its literally $50 for a narrow wide, and you can drop a pound and a half like that. This weight is also including a dropper post, which alot of under around the $4k mark. If you go for the alu version, its under $4k for all that. Alot of people also see the deore components and think its shit, but in reality, the brakes are more or less the same as SLX or XT, without all the adjustments, and when it comes to a rear derailleur, your going to wack it on rocks and break it sooner or later, so makes sense. As long as it shifts gears decently, its awesome. The Spartan is sick because they have specd good suspension, a dropper, and good tires which are the some of the most important parts at the end of the day. Devinci is killing it with pricepoint to quality this year.
  • - 1
 The Cove Hustler that is a 6" travel bike, with a stock build comes in at 29 pounds.
  • + 7
 Jeeeezzz guys. Enough about the weight! At this level of parts, no wonder it striking 35lbs. If you take this bike, run it tubeless, some lighter allround tires and upgrade it to a 1x10, you are deff closing up to the 30lbs mark. Now, you might want to keep those SG tires, as the bike does inspire you to charge a fair bit. I built up my Spartan with XT group with 1x10 conversion, lighter wheels and standard Hans Dampf tires, and it went well below 30lbs (including pedals).
  • + 1
 What's bad about the rc dual air pike?
  • + 2
 I have a 35.7 lb Diamondback sortie, and I think it's fine on the uphills, and more than holds it's own on the descents. So stop bitching
  • + 2
 @seraph - You're totally right: Mark Weir is a mutant!. If that guy was crushing it in his heyday with a 35lb rig, us mortals need all the help we can get with lighter bikes!
  • + 4
 @cam-mcilroy hard to believe that smart post got a negative prop. This is a classic example of stupid props. Cove is an Icon that should be highly respected and the hustler......"nothing works the corners like a hustler"
Major respect. 29 pounds of aluminum 6" brutality.
and yes Mark Weir could outride most here on a tricycle.
  • + 1
 They just revised their review and claim it weighs 32.8 lbs
  • + 3
 sorry pinkbike, but you guys seriously fucked up this review.
  • + 2
 Yea I makes me wonder how accurate the other reviews are.
  • + 4
 judging from this not very. @mikelevy ya goofed
  • + 52
 Gotta say on my two cents having been running this bike frame the last 6+ months, it kicks a$$ across the board. Having been on literally a ton of similar bikes and rides over the last couple years,the Spartan has never disappointed. Every one climbs differently, but to me for the angles and amount of travel this bike climbs fantastic, and that's with a 36 tooth 1X set up. Mike got it right on the down part though, it begs to be pushed. Another huge difference on this review bike and real life is I have my carbon Spartan (size M) built well under 30lbs (28.7 - 29.2) depending on tire choice. I never take time to post comments, but feel for how good this bike is in real life,needed to take the time to post. Happy trails.
  • + 20
 A ton is a lot of bikes.
  • + 32
 Around 65 bikes, assuming 14kg per bike. That's a lot of bikes alright.
  • - 3
 2000/35= ?? Decent!
  • + 3
 Yeah, a ton is a lot of bikes, but not so many of these 36lb Spartans ..... that includes the pedals, by the way.
  • + 39
 A bit unfair on the spartan to test the bottom of the range. I see that the nomad was tested with ENVE etc, the SB6c and HDR were both high end builds. I'd bet a sensible custom build would come in around 30lbs and be an absolute ripper!
  • + 1
 At what price though?
  • + 14
 Considering the Spartan is less expensive as a frame than all of those mentioned, it would be pretty reasonable I reckon!
  • + 3
 Pinkbike tests what they've been sent, which is the ethical (for the lack of a better word) thing to do.

Imagine how samey all reviews would be, if Pinkbike just changed all the components to what they like, top end suspension on all the bikes, you name it. There would be little to differentiate bikes from one another,
  • + 11
 I get your point, and it's entirely valid but it seems unfair that bikes get labelled as porky when the bottom of the range has been tested which is so much cheaper than the alternatives. A Nomad would be just as overweight with that kit on it.
  • + 14
 It's up to the reader to understand the difference. Granted, a lot of the audience are dipshits, but the majority of folk (I'd like to think) can look at the spec and/or frame weight and not jump to conclusions.
  • + 1
 I guess I just don't care. When it's 5200 and over 35lbs stock...I think that's just insane. It should be lighter. Sounds more like a bike that should cost around 3500. It's an ENDURO bike, implying it should be a solid climber compared to how it descends and those numbers just don't give me that vibe.
  • + 10
 Oh, and it looks like PB have got the spec wrong anyway. The bike tested is a Devinci Spartan Carbon XP ($4200), the spec and price is for the better RC.
  • + 1
 You sure? That's a pretty big f*ck up. Link us?
  • + 3
 Yeah look at the wheels; they aren't DT 1900. They are the formula/jalco's.
fanatikbike.com/product/devinci-spartan-carbon-xp-12840.htm
Same drive, same wheels, same bike!
  • + 2
 The rims on the pictures look like Jalco ones, and the brakes look like Deore, not SLX. @Dobbs59 might be right re: spec vs. tested discrepancy.

FWIW, I bought an XL frameset and built the bike myself using DT EX 1501 wheelset, 1x11 drivetrain, etc. With tyres with snake skin casing it weights about 30lbs, super gravity tyres add slightly more than a pound of weight.
  • + 1
 @wbftw that's exactly what I'm considering doing; EX 1501, pike solo air, carbon bars, etc. Prob only 1x10 though, not sure yet.
  • + 1
 @Dobbs59: yeah, that's pretty close to what I have. Check if 11spd XT is out -- if so probably no reason not to go 11spd. Having said that, the bike climbs very well (on par with Cube Stereo 29er) even without suspension lockout (I very rarely use it), so 1x10 would work just fine.
  • + 1
 I already have a 1x10 setup which I'd probably use. I haven't decided yet, I'm keeping an eye open for the new Evil bike (if it's ever released!)
  • + 1
 @Dobbs59: Evil Undead? That looks like such a fun bike, albeit more of a trail variety. Spartan can handle a lot, but is probably not as fun as the Undead on smoother trails.
  • + 2
 No, the new insurgent (replacement for the uprising but supposedly more bike park capable).
My main concern about the spartan is the split pivot; I owned a DW link bike before and I didn't gel with it.
  • + 3
 @Dobbs59, Split Pivot and DW link bikes behave differently, Split Pivot ride more like a normal single pivot bike, none of that stretchy chain feeling 'anti squat' that DW link has.
  • + 1
 Interesting stuff, thanks fix the spade.
  • + 16
 Everyone cries that they only review the wonderbikes and it sucks because they're too expensive and then they review a more affordable one and everyone whines about the weight and the component choice. Haters gonna hate.
  • + 2
 Gotta be an even playing field for teh carbonz super bikes though?
Otherwise, how we going to know what's what?
they can list the specs and price points.
  • + 2
 I have a custom build an it weights 29.8lbs.
  • + 17
 is it just me, or are carbon fiber bikes getting heavier than aluminum ones from 2 or 3 years ago?
  • + 1
 Very true. At least the longer travel ones. I guess they don't want an sb6 repeat. Those stays look really burly.
  • + 17
 I have this bike and cannot say enough good things about it.
  • + 4
 Concure with U, love mine...period
  • + 12
 Been loving this bike. I think it climbs a lot better on the fire roads than Mike says, but it might be a drivetrain thing. (Mine's a 34t 1x11.) I'm also running a Vivid Air. Tech climbs? Yeah, it's nutty. I cleaned a couple local climbs on this bike for the first time ever. I haven't tried every bike out there, but this thing is easily the best climbing long travel bike I've ridden.
  • + 8
 My buddy has one and he cleans up nicely but my one question is, what weighs 35.2lbs these days at $5199.00?
  • + 18
 Hmm. Tough question. I'm gonna take a shot in the dark and guess it's the Devinci Spartan.
  • + 11
 The price for the reviewed bike is $4200, looks like someone made a mistake on which model they were riding
  • + 1
 test rode an aluminum one, loved it, also felt it climbed great. I described it as "begging you to go faster" the second my feet came off the pedals at the bottom.

I've found both the Trek ABP & the other Split Pivot bikes I've ridden beside the Devinci to be absolutely great bikes. The way the rear suspension works for these bikes just feels perfect to me.

But the more I look at it, the more I wonder if a Troy isn't a better choice.
  • + 1
 & honestly, as much as I like Devinci, carbon frame with lifetime warranty > carbon frame without lifetime warranty. that means only carbon bikes I'm interested in are made by Trek, Specialized & Giant.
  • + 4
 @groghunter Devinci have lifetime warranty too.. www.devinci.com/registration/index.html
  • + 0
 well dang... seeing this made me look up Santa Cruz. as of may 1st, they do now as well. Not that I'm very interested in an SC. not been happy with VPP.
  • + 11
 I'm on my second one now (got one of the first aluminum ones and now on the carbon). A couple of points:

I ran mine in low setting for the first year and thought I would never change it back. Now I run it in high mode for any pedalling adventures because that extra BB clearance is often the difference between frustration and satisfaction. The only thing I will suggest is don't change it mid ride...that instantly leads to feeling like you're getting on someone else's bike. The low mode is great for shuttling/bike park days.

The pictures show the XP model, but the review is of the RC model...a little confusing. Those Jalco's on the XP model are not technically tubeless ready, and though strong they are ridiculously heavy. And yes, the SG Schwalbes add a tonne of weight too. I change to Snakeskin/EXO unless racing or bike park riding. By going 1x10 and changing tires you can drop 2lbs. My XP with a few changes comes in at 31lbs which is more acceptable.

@fatenduro Got a whole year from the pressfit BB in my first one, in Vancouver.

@lsmillie The Shimano deores are not great if you are a brake dragger. All Shimano brakes are a little bit susceptible to heat build up (probably due to the mineral oil?) hence all the efforts to nullify that on their higher end brakes...heat sinks on the pads, titanium brake pad backing plates, ceramic pistons, ice tech rotors yada yada. Try using an ABS style braking technique and they work waaay better. That's true of any brake actually. I can do full Garbo laps in Whistler without problems.
  • + 1
 @catton6183

agree about the brakes - ~I run Shimano hydro discs on both my mountain bike and my road bike (Giant Defy Advanced Pro 1).

The MTB is not such an issue because we run bigger rotors, but on the road bikes we are generally seeing 140mm rotors front and rear and heat build up can be an issue.

You'll see many manufacturers using centrelock hub wheels just to access Shimano Freeza rotors which are only available in 140mm in C-Lock.

My Giant has 6 bolt DT Swiss wheels, so I've switched the front out to 160mm with the ICE-Tech rotor and have the finned organic pads front and rear, works great.
  • + 2
 you get freeza rotors up to 203mm in CL
  • + 1
 @poah

yes, but you cannot get Freeza rotors in 140mm in 6-bolt, which is why many road bike manufacturers have to put 160mm 6-bolt on their models, or choose CL hubs to allow the smaller 140mm rotors in Freeza.

Shimano's official take on it, is that they don't think 140mm 6-bolt rotors provide enough heat dispersion and so won't manufacture their Freeza rotors in 140mm 6-bolt, on the 140mm CL Freeza rotor they use the CL spider as part of the heat sink

With a road bike, you generally don't want / need large rotors, and some frame/forks cannot run larger rotors, unlike MTBs
  • - 1
 you wrote

"
You'll see many manufacturers using centrelock hub wheels just to access Shimano Freeza rotors which are only available in 140mm in C-Lock"

which is incorrect
  • + 2
 It's quite fun seeing the road world make the same tiny rotors to save a bit of weight mistake that MTBs used to make back in the day. I bet before long it'll be 180mm rotors on front as standard and to hell with the 25g difference if I can stop at the bottom.
  • - 2
 road and xc world does not go for 140 rotors for weight saving, they do it for modulation - brake power management. With current systems so good with heat management even Enduro guys use 160 rotors. Max braking powr is always limited by tyre grip, and it does not come in abundance when it comes to road bikes, and defo not with Xc bike with semi slicks in mud
  • - 1
 don't really think road disc brakes are a good idea anyway. think of the laceration carnage that will take place in a mass pileup. yikes!
  • + 3
 It's probably a different story if you're riding in twisty, tall european mountains and you need massive heat management but I find the bottleneck on most roadbikes when it comes to braking is the tires. I don't get the point of using discs if those shitty tektro rim brakes will lock the wheel easily as road tire have very little grip.
  • + 3
 I think the true advantage of disk brakes on road bikes is having some brakes when it is wet. Granted, having disks mounted on aluminum-rimmed wheels might be overkill, but carbon rims (now standard in every racing bike) matched with cork pads provide almost negative braking when water is involved. Furthermore, carbon clinchers (tubulars are a pain in the ass) suffer from blow-ups as a consequence of heat build-up from braking. That is also a problem that is eliminated with disks...
  • + 1
 Disc brakes not a good idea for road bikes? Stronger and lighter rims no1, ability to ride with bent rim no2 Also ask my proroadie friend who scraped half of his body after his front tyre blew up while riding at over 80km/h down the twisty road in Alps. It was the heat from the rim during braking that
made it happen
  • + 1
 Not a good idea due to the potential for serious carnage in mass pileups. I'm talking about racing not recreational riding in the alps with some friends. Imagine a mass of 15-20 riders and bikes crashing at high speed, hitting the tarmac, rotors slicing open flesh to the bone. Eesh.
  • + 3
 although, I don't think any road components are made specifically with crashing in mind. except helmets maybe.
  • + 5
 Yup, a rotor smashed right next to a hub is a big liability, but a 55T chainring sticking out from the bottom isn't a problem at all, nor is hitting the asphalt at 40mph....

Had a road bike with discs since '08. It's a no brainer, so much more control. Guys with Zipps & cork pads here are an absolute nightmare to ride with on public roads, I've effectively stopped riding with those groups (plus riding in the dirt is more fun).

Waki is right; tires are often going to be your limiting factor here. Getting your ass off the seat and over the rear tire helps, but that's not a skill most roadies will try and hone in my experience.
  • + 4
 Rotors slicing open flesh?? Are you f*cking serious? I'm having a hard time thinking of a less likely scenario in a crash. Road crashes are awful, and rotors are the last thing I'm worried about.

Road discs are the shit. I've been running Tektro Spyre mechanicals on my road/cross bike for over a year now and they're infinitely better in the wet, have ample power in every other condition, require less adjustment, allow for less rotating mass, and never run the risk of blowing up my rim/tire on a long downhill. If you don't see the merits of road discs you probably don't ride road at all.
  • + 1
 @bkm303

yeah man. I'm serious. Hopefully I'm wrong but still serious.

Never said I don't see the merits of disc brakes on a road bike. I just think there are safety concerns for use in a large group of competitive cyclists.

Done loads of road riding.
  • + 4
 I think they mean the likelihood of being injured by a chainring for example would be much larger than a 140mm rotor at the center of the wheel. That being said, the safety concern for road rotors would not outweigh the perceived performance advantage. That doesn't mean the rotor is suddenly not dangerous. It just means you dont have to worry about it as much as other components already on your bike prior to the use of disc brakes on your road bike
  • + 1
 hydraulic disc brakes on road bikes are simply awesome.

many who say otherwise have not actually owned (not just "ridden") a hydraulic disc brake road bike?

I've been riding a Giant Defy Advanced Pro 1 since last October, and would not go back to caliper brakes...makes no sense.

My bike is 8kg with SPD-SL pedals and 2 bottle cags, and is an excellent all round performer.

When it gets really wet I can ride with full confidence, and I can run Continental GP4000 II 28mm tires at lower pressure for incredible grip and comfort on bad roads, and low rolling resistance.

@poah

You seem to misunderstand my post - I did not say you can't get Shimano Freeza CL rotors in any size apart from 140mm!

I said you cannot get Freeza in 140mm 6-bolt pattern, 140mm rotors is what most road bikes will run, and its annoying that Shimano will not make a 140mm 6-Bolt Freeza rotors.

Giant had Tektro make a custom floating rotor in 140mm 6-bolt for the Defy hydro bikes, but it does not deal with heat as well as Shimano Freeza or Ice-Tech, and like many Tektro rotors they were somewhat wobbly out of the box!
  • + 1
 Pb is getting litigious today :/
  • + 2
 Also, if you're crashing *all the time* riding your road bike, you probably shouldn't be road riding.
  • + 1
 Can someone point me to the idiot who came up with the argument that brake rotors will be slashing flesh during pile ups? It comes up very often so someone have written it some roadie bible-zine. Or some middle aged prick wrote ot on some roadie forum during a disc-brake debate which I assume is at least of 27,5 size in MTB world. I mean, how retarded would you have to be?! I vote inventor to be a male between 45 and 60 with tool bag under carbon saddle
  • + 4
 reading comprehension > waki
  • + 3
 Large pack crashes are not uncommon in XC mtb or cyclocross. When's the last time you heard about anyone getting sliced in one of those events? I've literally NEVER heard of anyone getting hurt by a rotor, in any type of cycling. I'm WAY more worried about what the pavement will do to my skin.

Maybe they're talking about getting your finger stuck in the rotor when working on the bike? I've heard of people getting cut pretty deep that way.

Or maybe you everyone in the peloton falls off the bike and they all reach for the seatstay of the guy in front of them to hold onto, and then SLICE, no more finger. That must be the scenario.
  • - 1
 The only way you could slash flesh with rotor is if you parked such bike in the fat arse of the moron who came up with that concept, but ironically, that would do him rather well, draining his left bottock of fat
  • + 0
 MTB went through that over 15 years ago, roadies will catch up. As we see from the article all guys who tried it are for it, some are sceptical, one purist, probably shtty descender (as 99% of TDF participants) and one clinical idiot probably too much Strava on Garmin, too little riding. Melt your face hahahaha, as if Asphalt impacted at 30MPH wouldn't do it first. Cut arteries, what a tool...
  • + 0
 You really think 99% of TDF participants are shitty descenders?
  • + 1
 I don't know about cuts, but I've seen plenty of nasty burns from people falling onto brake rotors, that seems more likely in a mass pile up. But then in a mass pile up everything becomes a hazard.
  • + 3
 @Fix-the-Spade

only rotor burn I've ever seen in many years was Doddy (MBUK) when we were in Whistler, we'd done a long lap from Garbanzo through the Lower Bike Park, stopped by the lifts, heard a sizzle then a yelp and realised he'd touched his calf against a very hot rotor. He got a nice "brand" from that!
  • + 1
 @pancakeflatted - I took number out of my arse, but if you look at nr of people doing knee out, riding with head in shoulders, you can get an impression tha something is wrong. I don't mean they should be able to qualify to DH WorldCup but something in the ways of Contador would be nice, considering that average roadie gets paid more than top10 downhillers. I know a dude who never won a stage in any major race (came in top 5 in Giro once, outside 100 in general) and he earns more than I do.

@Fix-the-Spade - unless you work as a doctor or let's say medic in a bike park I call it a bullsht Smile
  • + 2
 Most (if not all) mass pile-ups happen when the peloton is motoring on flat(ish) terrain and someone touches wheels or clips some "road furnture". In those situations there has barely been any braking. I might be completely wrong about this, but I doubt the milliseconds of braking before such a crash occurs are enough to make the rotors so hot. For sure they will get hot as f*ck when descending, but then crashes tend to be more of an individual thing, like in mountainbiking. What must be solved for road racing (not just riding) is the issue of rotor/pads alingment. My wife and I ride exactly the same mountain bike model, but if I mount her front wheel on my bike the said alignment is off. Roadies take a lot of wheel changes, many from neutral support. With rim brakes one can at least open the calipers and ride OK if the new rim is too wide, but that is right now not possible with disks. BTW, the hideous SRAM brake/shift hydraulic road levers must also be "fixed" before the whole peloton switches to disks (which I am sure will happen).

@WAKIdesigns I am sure even sissy-pants Thibaut Pinot would kick your ass big time riding down a mountain pass!
  • + 1
 who gives a shit what brakes roadies are riding?
  • + 1
 you don't really, you're just arguing Razz
  • + 3
 migth be, might be...
  • + 4
 No we are not. We are having a group mental dump and we feel great afterwards
  • + 3
 @Wakidesigns, Oh Waki, you must live with a herd to be so ready to call bull. Many moons ago I had the joy of trips to the Alps with my Uni club, you would be amazed how many ways a person can drag their brakes all the way down Pleny run AND THEN somehow fall on top of their own bike at the bottom. Until you've seen someone with a rotor pattern burned onto their ass you haven't lived. Also, the fore arm, thigh and palm of the hand are common locations.
.
PS. Moooooooooo!
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns

Check out the palmares of finishers *outside* the top 100 of this year's TDF. It's littered with top bike handlers, world and national champions in various disciplines, winners of the most-important races in the world. I'm positive that many of them can descend like madmen.
  • + 0
 Behold! My penis is the largest! Road bikes must use disc brakes period. p.s. I don't care, I will never buy a road bike but I do want to try descending from Stelvio pass on one... Only if it has disc brakes and 25 tyres or fatter
  • + 2
 imho road biking is really fun, generally safe and a great way to gain fitness. Have you done it much?
  • + 0
 I did two summers of mainly road riding, one in Poland, another in Sweden, 2-3 times a week according to a training program,1-4h rides. Reason no1 why I don't do it is my hyperactivity disorder cannot accept riding at on pace under 140BPM, with cadence higher than 60RPM. Reason no2 - I don't like extreme sports, I don't like danger, riding among cars on country roads is not my thing, inhaling fumes on cycle paths along main roads isn't my piece of bread either. I have no probs with people doing it, my penis is still very large
  • + 2
 Road cycling never felt like an extreme sport to me but I've heard similar misgivings from other people. Some people get concerned about the heavy metals in tuna...but consider all the heavy metals in the air we breathe just by going outside! So...I personally will take my chances with the fumes riding a road bike into town to get groceries. Cars never seem to be much of a problem for me maybe just my style of riding. And cheers to your large penis. Another dick is exactly what the world needs ; )
  • + 11
 Just bought a Spartan frame and I love the bike. I had a new nomad for the last year or so, it was the xo1 build weighing around 29.5 lbs. Bought the Spartan frame and swapped all the parts and its 30.3lbs. I have to say the Spartan does just about everyone batter than the nomad.
  • + 9
 I've had one since March. Replaced a near new TR450 and older specialized enduro with it and ride all of the trails I used to need two bikes to ride. It is the perfect "one" bike for the sea to sky corridor if your priorities are shuttle-peddle-bike park in that order.

I bought the xp (base) build but changed out the wheels which shed some weight but more significantly really showcased the stiffness of the frame.

I think Devinci priced the XP build well considering you get a complete bike with carbon frame, reverb and top shelf springy bits. Everything else gets replaced as they wear or break anyway.
  • + 8
 You know what Pinkbike missed in this write up - speaking about build components. Devinci did an excellent thing and it's a diservice to the community for not pointing it out - they build a good frame and stocked the top and bottom end packages with the same fork and shock. Yes that means the wheelset on the XP is terrible and heavy, and that's worth mentioning and shitting on them for, but at the end of the day, the XP and RR builds ride as close to the same as possible.
  • + 7
 Reading this review was like déjà vu with how I feel about my 2011 Trek Scratch. Thank god Devinci has built the Spartan identical to the Scratch, and brought back to market a bike that can climb for hours and simply rail on the way down like you're on a downhill rig. I agree that the DT E 1900 wheelset is a cheap ass heavy wheelset with 533d rims that should have been substituted with a nice set of the new Easton Heist 27 wheelset. With a few parts swapped with higher end bits this bike can be brought down to a more race worthy 31-32 lb mass, but it will bring the price up closer to the competition of an HD3, Nomad, Mach 6 and the SB6c.
  • + 6
 Seems like every review for so many "Enduro style" bikes are coming out almost identical.
"Gets you up the climbs eventually /defies its geometry /descends amazingly"

These were almost the exact words to describe the trek slash/devinci Spartan/ giant reign / transition patrol / most other bikes I've seen! Only difference for the most part seem to be if the suspension characteristics made the bike more stable or more playful. When I was recently trying to decide on a bike and looking at countless reviews, you can pretty much convince yourself to buy any of the new style bikes! That said, I ended up going with the reign due to local shop/price and I love it
  • + 6
 If you're worried about water bottle holders and 3 extra pounds, possibly this isn't the right bike for you. If you like to shred serious gnar and you like going big (really big) then this is your machine. I recently sold my DH bike as the gap between the Spartan and my DH bike was too small. Btw, the Troy is much lighter and has great water bottle placement.

That being said, I have the high end aluminum Spartan and mine comes in around 31-32lbs? (I'm guessing as I haven't weighed it and have since put on a vivid air). Also, lose the front derailleur and go tubeless to shave a couple lbs.

Finally, I can easily run a full size water bottle on a large frame using the bolt on the down tube guard and a patch of velcro.

My $.02
  • + 8
 Drinking the specialized kool-aid. Stop it with the water bottle nonsense, is this bike really meant for 45 min spins after work?
  • + 3
 maybe not, but that's the reality for a sh*tload of people's bikes in terms of how they're actually used... although isn't this an enduro bike? get a fanny pack and get on with it.
  • + 9
 i'm super tired about non-downhill bikes that are "almost like a downhill bike".
  • + 10
 Totally dude. I'm sure you can find a sweet, full rigid, "nothing like a downhill bike" 1986 Trek 850 for >$250 on craigslist. Innovation and refinement sucks.
  • + 5
 Nah bro, pony up for the 1993 930, dude. Dat true temper OX, bruh.
  • + 5
 picked one up yesterday, literally lifted it off the ground and almost fell over backwards I was so shocked at how light it was. Figures it was a $6k build with multiple upgrades...the model they reviewed must have held a lot of weight in the wheels
  • + 6
 Preach! With the right build kit it is INSANELY light for what it's capable of doing on the downs. Still cheaper than nomad.
  • + 3
 This is the same experience I had and my Spartan climbs better than my stumpy!
  • + 5
 I feel that pinkbike should throw an identical build kit on to each frame they test (so enduro kit for enduro bikes, dh kit for dh bikes, etc...). That way each frame gets a fair and equal test against the others in its class. It would then be up to the consumer to determine what frame they feel is best and in the price range (for a full build or frame) that they feel most comfortable at. I have a dixon carbon and I remember all the heat it got after pinkbike tested it for being an overweight carbon enduro bike. Mine performs amazing and I built it up to be an average weight for a 26" enduro bike with a great spec, on a low budget.
  • + 1
 It would make sense for frame only tests, but would they have to test the provided spec on the manufacturers build too?
  • + 2
 MBR mag in the UK does all of their bike comparisons with a set of control tires to level out the playing field...really good idea IMHO.
  • + 1
 @tobiusmaximum I see your point but at a lower price range most it seems that frame companies have nearly identical specs (x7 or deore drivetrain and brakes and house brand wheels, bars, stem). At the higher price ranges where some companies diversify, I would think most people would rather buy frame only and build up themselves anyways, I know if I had the money for a $7k bike I would build it up custom.
  • + 5
 Bike is an absolute ripper.
my XL frame 29.8 lbs with a fairly stout build.
does it go up hills like a 22lb cross country race bike? No, but thats not why you would buy a bike like this.


www.pinkbike.com/photo/12368487
  • + 3
 Righ there with g11rant87 - I have an "RC" that I spec'ed chinese carbon wheels & bar; low end 2x derailers and cranks, with the original DH casing tires and I'm still under 32. If I put lighter tires and went 1x10, It would be as light as my Tallboy LT, more durable and more capable. I can't imagine how light this bike would feel as a 1x with non-DH tires while still doing EVERYTHING a DH bike can
  • + 1
 Just out of curiosity how tall are you @skiman? I'm 5'11" and have been looking at the geometry numbers and wonder if I should go with the XL due to the shorter cockpit.
  • + 2
 @ somismtb I am 6'1".
Bike is awesome just spent a week in BC at a bike park with it. I will never need a full on DH race bike again
  • + 4
 I've got this frame built up with Fox front and rear, Shimano XT (34T up front and 11-36 in the back), Maxxis Minion rubber, and it doesn't nearly weight that claimed weight. This is by far the best bike I've owned in the last few years...It blows the Banshee Rune and Transition Covert I've had out of the water both uphill and downhill. This bike doesn't disappoint!!!!!!
  • + 4
 "but the damn chain would fall off every time we did that" - so it's time to check the length of the chain. I'm using 3x9 drivetrain in HT and, hand on heart, I can't remember when was last time when my chain have dropped. I'm aware of movement in FS frame but still it can be tuned properly so the chain won't drop every time you get to speed.

"The lack of a bottle cage mount is a big deal" - if you like water battle it is but I personally don't like any unneeded holes in the frame so it's not that big deal to be honest.
  • - 1
 I agree with you. I call BS on the whole chain dropping comment. It's a fake problem created by reviewers. I saw about a half dozen dropped 1x riders at my last race, and 0 dropped front derrailer riders. You could spot the 1x chain droppers cause they all had to get off their bikes to put the chain back on.
  • + 2
 a proper alignment of FD and clutch RD, it's almost on par with a NW with top guide.
  • - 5
flag R-trailking-S (Jul 27, 2015 at 3:00) (Below Threshold)
 Never dropped a chain off the front rings? How? The front rings are literally designed to have the chain fall off.
  • - 1
 I have that same exact drive train on my bike and I drop chains all the time at least 3 times a day out riding. I bought a chain guide and it still manages to come off. Then I broke my chain guide when my chain wedged itself out between the large chainring. I had everything installed and adjusted correctly. Just a piece of crap I guess.
  • - 1
 Since getting a bike with a bottle cage, coming from one without...Sooo nice to ride without a pack. It can be a deal breaker.
  • + 3
 Yeah when I used to run a 2x9 with no clutch derailleur I never dropped a chain once I got it set up right. If you have the front derailleur which acts like a chain guide and a clutch rear derailleur idk how you would drop chains all the time unless your shiftting while in rock gardens or something.
  • + 0
 You guys are on crack. 2x and 3x drivetrains are made to shift in the front, inherently the chain comes off the ring easily. They fall off with aggressive riding on rough terrain. Hence the reason they make 2x chainguides. If clutch derailleurs held the chain on, there would be no use for a narrow wide.
  • + 4
 Shimano just filed a patent for a shiftable narrow/wide ring.
  • + 0
 Just try shifting while turning or leaned over on some roots. The rear derailleur will typically ghost shift a bit because of the slant of the parrellogram knuckles (xx1/x01 not included). That is when the chain will momentarily lose tension enough to fall off any non narrow-wide clutch equipped setup. I love my shimano zees, but if i had anything other than a narrow wide ring up front I would drop chains just like I did with 3x9 and 1x9.
  • + 4
 Best bike I've ever ridden. So versatile. All the weight is on the wheels. The rims and tyres that come stock weight a ton.
Swap her 1x10 and upgrade rims and tyres and you will have a really campetitive Enduro bike.
The no water bottle holder is a bit of a pain but I bought a waist belt which sorted the water bottle problem and keeps a bag ( hate them) out of the equation.
This yoke corners like it is on rails. It accelerates over chatter. The rear end tracks brilliantly but wallows a little in out of the saddle sprinting. The trade off is really good compliance in the rough, higher speeds, better braking and a confident ride.
  • + 4
 But just look how chunky that frame is, looks like it'll take a reet pounding.

Having had a Norco drop 5" bike that weighed 42 odd lbs probably 44lbs with junior t's, I'd say that the Devinci is a major gain even if it is made out of carbon, not monocoque alloy.

I reckon people gotta appreciate how far things have come forward in bikes and kit and recognise that fully.
Like said before, it's a chunky frame that's probably overbuilt for those just in case moments.
  • + 6
 Pressfit = fail. Maybe PF can be justifyable for an XC rig, but a 35lb DH bike? Come on...
  • + 4
 The issue with pressfit MTB and road bb's is the BB's isn't the fact that they're pressfit; BMX bikes have been using pressfit BB's for ages and those things are beat to shit and NEVER taken care of. The issue is the weight game and folks making the BB's themselves with too much plastic and crap. Praxis Works, RWC, and Wheels Manufacturing do 'em right and they're damn solid.
  • + 6
 4200CAD is about 3200USD...for a carbon bike with a life time frame warranty. just saying
  • + 0
 This bike is in USD
  • + 1
 These prices are the same as listed on their website in CDN $

Spartan XP
www.devinci.com/bikes/bike_530_scategory_132

Carbon Spartan Frame
www.devinci.com/bikes/bike_585_scategory_132


ML making a mistake....say it ain't so!
  • + 3
 My Spartan Carbon Large Frame weight is 3.565 kg with rear shock, seat clamp, downtube alloy skid plate (90 gram) and rear axel . My X Nomad3 Large frame weight was 3.165 kg . The weight difference between Large Spartan Carbon and large Nomad3 is just 400 gram. W/o skid plate 310 gram

My large Sprtn Carbon weight is just 29lbs .....Been loving this bike.

35lbs carbon bike !!!! You get what you pay for ...
  • + 3
 I've been on an upgraded carbon Spartan XP for a few weeks now and I'm lovin' it. WHY did I buy this bike?
-my local shop (velorangutan - Wes Hayslip in Austin, TX) has a large carbon spartan in stock purely for test rides. I was able to ride this bike on my trails for couple days and I can't say that this was an option for a Mojo HD3 or any number of other awesome, in theory, bikes.
-$4200 for a bike with a Pike, Reverb, Monarch, and solid brakes is a pretty damned good starting point for upgrading!
-It climbs way better on central Texas rocky technical stuff than it has any business doing. I ended up on an XL even though I would normally ride a large at 6'. The large demo seemed to put my center of gravity slightly rearward and it did funny things when I went up a steep climb until I put a longer stem on it. So I went with the larger size.

When it comes to the weight of this bike, part of it is the burly frame. Yes, they claim 6.5 pounds but my XL was 7.5. Also the wheels, tires, tubes (no brake rotors) weigh over TEN pounds (10.4 lbs / ~4700 grams). I upgraded to chinese carbons on DT Swiss hubs but kept the Hans Dampfs. I'll probably try something lighter (they're 1000 grams) when they wear out.
  • + 3
 I don't see why a 2x system is so hated on especially for something to be ridden uphill. Sure 1x11 has the same range but the chain will be at an extreme angle and cause more wear? I could be crazy but I'd prefer a 2x than the single ring setup haha.
  • + 2
 They did keep dropping the chain....
  • + 1
 Ik i saw that but mean in general. Even with a single ring setup they woukd drop the chain (granted not as much) but it did happen when they tested the xx1 when it first came out. It's just the nature of aggressively riding on a full suspension bike. For racing sure a 1x is the way to go but for anything else i can see the reason why they would put a double crank on the bike.
  • + 1
 I think Ive only ever dropped a chain once with a NW and clutch combo. This would be eliminated to never if there was a chain guide.
  • + 1
 I guess its just personal preferance i do like the single ring on my freeride bike but the area i live in theres not a lot of lift accessed trails so i have to pedal up some large hills so i like the option of having a granny gear for those hills. Even though one can extend the range out back with larger cogs and more gears i don't like the idea of having a chain so far put of a straight line.
  • + 1
 It's a catch 22 - the steeper and gnarlier the descent, the harder the climb and the wish for a lighter bike with more gears, which drops chains on the way down. We can't win!
  • + 1
 Its sad but true. Whether it be on an enduro or full downhill rig but the look one gets after riding into town covered in mud and smiling after a fun day going down the mountain lol
  • + 2
 Biggest mistake is to think that carbon bike will weight nothing. I was thinking same. I have an AL Demo with CC DB Coil and Boxxer WC Keronite, all with proper DH setup weighting 18kgs (i run big DH tubes). Last time dude had his Carbon Kona Operator 2014 in shop and i thought it will be pretty light, even being full of low spec components (basic boxxer,..). Oh boy, i was so wrong. The bike was so so heavy around BB, i was pretty shocked. It was at least 20kg which blows my mind... brand new carbon bike.

I quickly realized that it does not matter if frame is carbon or not. Smile For sure, how it feels under rider (compared to AL frame) will be a different story, but the weight was really bad. Reminded me my very old Banshee Scream.

You still have to look for hi spec bike or at least shock / wheels light combo to make it really light.
  • + 2
 I have one of these bikes and you can easily without much work get this down to below 30lb the wheels are so heavy i have rode a lot of bikes and am a DH racer and i have never rode a bike like this DH so fast, i sold my 2015 Divinci wilson after 4 weeks once i rode this and been racing this as my DH bike since, it is truly amazing and i would not have any other bike, getting to the top may be harder but the fun is in the downs for me
  • + 2
 Just so people aren't scared off the bike... It's a rocket ship.. I built mine up this winter with Raceface sixc carbon everything, 165mm cranks, Stan's flow ex on hope pro 2's and it touched down at 29lbs. The bike inspires confidence... There's nothing the bike stopped me from doing, and it certaintly got me out of some hairy situations. It had me thinking if I had to had "a bike" it'd be it.
Then I built my Wilson up, and since swapped the spartan frame out for a Troy keeping the 160mm fork. The best of both worlds is two bikes, but the spartan does both well.
  • + 2
 I've got an alloy Spartan that weighs 30.5 pounds with 1.5 kg wtb tyres so there's still heaps of room to get lighter in the components but it more than makes up for the weight when you point it down holy shit it moves and feels way lighter than it actually is
  • + 2
 Had my stock Spartan carbon XP (size Large) weighed by my LBS, and it weighed 33.4 lbs without pedals
converted to a 1x drivetrain and that took off an additional 0.8 lbs

paid $3500 for it due to end of season sale, all in all, a great value for awesome performance!!
  • + 2
 Thats heavy IMO - my "old" 2011 carbon Enduro in XL with slightly lighter tyres( DHR and Hans Dampf SS) and ali rear end comes in at 30lbs with DX pedals, a Pike DPA, 785 Funn bar, 200/180 rotors and Flow rims....
  • + 1
 It seems like in every review of these longer travel "Enduro" or "all mountain" bike the same basic conclusion is reached in terms of climbing, and that is something along the lines of what was said here. "It climbs relatively well for what it is" or something along those lines. When these bikes are reviewed (which are essentially mini DH bikes), why not have it just be implied that these things blow at climbing, like when a DH bike is reviewed, and not even bother trying to sugar coat things.
  • + 3
 That's the thing -- it climbs well, period, and I rarely use suspension lock out. Not sure how Spartan compares to an XC rig, but it climbs on par with my trail bike (Cube Stereo 29er).
  • + 3
 No disrespect to you but you own the bike, and everyone always loves their own bike and thinks its the best bike. Nobody comes on Pinkbike and comments about how crappy their bike is or the things it doesn't do very well. Its like people on Facebook who always think their kids are the cutest kids. That's fine and I can't blame them for thinking that, but it doesn't make it true.

At the end of the day I'm talking about the reviews I see here (and other sites) which generally always conclude with a "decent for what the bike is" type of conclusion about climbing. I'm just saying I think its time to just consider "what the bike is" prior to the review and evaluate it as such. A bike geared for enduro racing is just going to be poor at climbing as its only made to do the bare minimum it needs in order to get a rider to the top.
  • + 1
 @sino428 I agree. I have this bike and for anything other than fire road climbs it climbs a bit s***. I've tested a lot of bikes...there's really no way it would out climb a stumpy (or most things with FSR), nomad (anything with VPP), troy (or most modern smaller travel bikes thinking about it). The Split pivot/ABP is great for braking late into corners and it's plush but it's hard to describe it as a good pedalling design.
  • + 2
 I disagree I have a 2011 carbon nomad and I don't like it that much I had a 2011 enduro evo and freaking loved it climbed way better even though it was heavier and had more travel up front. The enduro was much more fun on the decents as well short stays thing manuales like a beast jumped poped off shiz like crazy nimble but still tracked well huge mistake and bad timing thanks to 27.5 I can't sell the boring non playfull hard to pull up the front shiddy climbing dead feeling rear end no pop short cramped harsh for its travel overpriced fun sucker for the life of me. Not everyone loves there own bike who wants to trade for a 2015 27.5 enduro elite the nomads simply amazing best one bike quiver killer in existence I promise you it won't disappoint and thanks to its carbon construction even with 180mm out front a dropper post and true dh tires it only ways 22.7 lbs and climbs like a mountain goat that ate charlie sheens Crack stash as nimble as that little chearleader freak I met at the bar this weekend and as stiff as the hard on she gave me when we left...and as far as 2 by drive trains go I never dropped a chain on my 07 kona stinky or my 2011 enduro evo so Idk I never had a problem but the homie has a trek slash and that always dropped a chain I wanted to throw it off a cliff everytime we road together thank god he went 1 by maybe some are just flawed from the factory.
  • + 3
 Periods..... Use them
  • + 2
 No way you gotta work hard to reward your self with my text didn't you know no good things come easy it's the philosophy of life
  • + 2
 This review reads like the reviewer ran 40% sag in the slack setting with extra air in the fork and thought the climbing was crappy and the bb was too low. Well duh. Hopefully that's not how the test went.
  • + 2
 I'm usually not one to complain about weight but you could get a similar enduro, aggressive slack frame with a coil shock and aggro components for 33lbs similar to my mojo hd.
  • + 1
 Bought a Spartan for not much more with 1/10 and SRAM/Cromag build, had to keep the xp wheels for now though, and yes they are heavy and flexy but Maxxis tubeless HR 2s help a bit. Super sick ride if you value the downs more than the ups. 32lbs in a large. Light Bicycle carbons next year will shave at least 1.5. Love this bike!! pic on my profile. Freeride lives!!!
  • + 1
 ahahahaha...once again, leave it to the in-store companies to dig their own graves.

someone needs to tell these idiots you can get a 30lb aluminum YT capra specc'ed with SRAM guide rsc, pike rct3, debonnaire, 150 reverb stealth for $3,000.

SLX on anything over 3k is f-king madness.
  • + 5
 35 lbs who cares , I'd rock this thing all day
  • + 2
 Mine is 13kg, 1x10, Maxxis Minion - HR2. Climbs much better than described, I dare to say even better than my previous Ibis Mojo HD. Just the rear brakes...are somehow more sharp..
  • + 0
 Having demo'd a Mojo HD for two days in Moab...to quote Vincent Vega: "that's a bold statement".
  • + 2
 I owned a Mojo HD for 3 years. Best version is the original with 26 wheels and 160 mm travel. Last year was 650b 140 mm travel. Great bike and probably better than Spartan. The trails here are mostly rocky....I moved everything from Mojo to Spartan, no new things. Even the shock was the same just different size. Weight is 200-300gr more, full bike. So, Spartan, 30% sag and climbing with 32 ring without bobbing only when you stand up. Great traction and on descends it is very progresive, it uses the 75% of travel. Top tube is longer and your weight is more forward, front grip better. I use the Hi setting.
My only problem is braking in rocky staff, I thing in Ibis was more effective. And something else...Ibis was more quite probably due to alu chainstay in Spartan
  • + 3
 My Spartan weighs a touch over 30 with pedals, yes I paid more but it's a beauty
  • + 1
 what components did you use to get to that weight?
  • + 1
 My spartan RR in size XL on x01 build and all the carbon goodies/aluminum wheelset with mt7 magura brakes and all the trimmings comes in at 28.9 pounds with pedals...
  • + 3
 Mountain bikes should have threaded bottom brackets. Enough said.
  • + 2
 Article say 4300 USD and devinci web site say 4300 CAD ? There's A LOT of difference.
  • + 1
 My 2008 L Nomad with DHX5 coil, Marz Rc3ti, Zee brakes, Hans front and G4 back clocks in at just under 35lbs. Tell me again why I need a new bike again?
  • + 1
 My Spartan Carbon XP comes in at 34lbs with pedals, only change is single 34tooth fat thin chainring and ditched the front shifter and derailleur.
  • + 2
 35lb is unbelievable for a carbon enduro bike! Who's going to buy that, when most carbon 160-170 bikes weigh 29 - 31lb?
  • + 6
 This model is selling for £3400, which is unreal for a carbon frame full bike with pikes and a monarch plus!
A nomad is £2849 frame only and it's made in the same factory!!!!
  • + 1
 And a reverb stealth!!!
  • + 1
 Look at YT Capra and Canyon Strive prices... e.g. the AL1 Capra has all the same spec or better, weighs under 31lb and has 165mm travel. For £1900.

35 pound? no ta
  • + 0
 Yep, all true. The direct sales model is the way to go. I wouldn't compare an Alu bike to a carbon one though. Not because it's any worse but because carbon is expensive to make. I have no desire for either though. The Capra is too short and Canyon's UK prices vs euro turns me off.
  • - 3
 Makes you wonder how santa cruz sell any bikes eh?
  • + 2
 Direct sales model is all fun and games until you need some support/warranty
  • + 2
 I've just had terrible warranty support from santa cruz, YT or Canyon couldn't be any worse.
  • + 1
 Saw one of these crack at black mountain cycle centre. Was only his second or third run on it, can't remember. Either way = day over.
  • + 2
 More details please... Looking for evidence that, at 35lbs, they should have used metal lol. Did you see a cracked one? Or the incident that caused it to crack?
  • + 1
 Nah didn't see the crash it's self. Apparently two guys clipped and they both fell off. Stopped to ask if the riders were ok and that's when the riders' mate said "the bikes cracked." and he showed me and the lad I was with. Tiny, but difinite crack on the inside of the left hand chain stay. They didn't say how it happened and looked way too gutted for me to ask. Understandable. I'm sure it would've been sorted by warranty but that doesnt keep you riding on the day.
  • + 1
 Interesting! You sure it was the chainstay that cracked? The chainstay on all spartans are alloy. the front triangle and seatstays are made of carbon.
  • + 1
 To the best of my memory it was the chainstay but it could've been the seat stay. Sounds like your more clued up on these than me. Unless it was the ali part that cracked?? Like I said, they didn't seem in the mood for me to ask for details and get amongst the bike too much.
  • - 1
 @mikelevy. This is a strange review.

Starts out pretty solid as a review of the bike: yes it is expensive for the component spec and weight, no it can't climb worth a damn, no it's not playful and poppy, but it's really fast if you want to go steep and deep and for some that's just right...it's a park bike for people who can't justify / don't want a proper DH bike.

So far, so good: then you jump into this whole tirade on how the bike is more manly than the reader? Calls you a sissy for going to slow? Add in disparaging comments about other bikes that aren't remotely in the same category?

Why so angry?
  • + 2
 Wait wait wait. At first it was the Spartan RC . They changed it to an XP now ? Haha
  • + 1
 how am I supposed to read the Specificationslist when I start to faint at first 2 specs. i could probably fall into a coma after finishing the list.
  • + 2
 Is it possible to get a comparison with another bike again? The Capri and Nomad comparisons were quite nice to have.
  • + 0
 Dear PinkBike - I have never ridden with a water bottle on a mountain bike. Ever. Even on a road bike I'd rather have a straw near my face than fumble trying to ensure my bottle gets back into the cage properly.
  • + 5
 You sound clumsy.
  • + 3
 All those prices were actually CAD
  • + 1
 Let's have a re-issue of this article, so all the comments are actually valid with respect to the actually price/build and currency....maroons!
  • + 2
 for that price might as well go with the NORCO Range 7.2. Killer B !!
  • + 2
 This is definitely the dream bike right here.
  • + 0
 Carbon fibre and weighs 35 pounds! Must be having to pack in that cloth and glue really well to make it as strong as a metal bike then!!
  • + 0
 Here you are! You didn't disappoint!! Check out rolley44s comment, you'll love it.
  • + 1
 I love it....so do you!!
  • - 2
 Too bad their color sheme on base model are ugly... was looking for a spartan but the look is... meh when you don't go on higher spec model. Someone could explain why higher model got a single chain ring in the front and some model got two? I don't see the point of having a front derailleur..
  • + 1
 Pinkbike get your shit straight! The XP model comes in around 32 lbs where the RR is well under 30 lbs
  • + 2
 Too heavy, short reach, no 1x11...
  • + 1
 Levy - this review is next level with the analogies. Well done, sir.
  • + 1
 so anyone want to buy me one?
  • + 0
 My enduro specialized is 28.0lbs with better geometry and same travel this thing is a rip off same components
  • - 1
 So an Enduro Elite aly weighs 29lbs without pedals with pretty much the same build, travel, similiar geos... and climbs better. ????
  • + 1
 Good to see frame only option, this is a brutal 35lb build.
  • + 2
 Needs the new Lyrik...
  • + 1
 The reach of these bikes is all sorts of messed up. T-rex approves!
  • + 1
 My strive weighs 27lbs and was half the price of that...
  • + 0
 Bad tyre choice if you want to get more than 5 rides out of your side knobs.
  • + 8
 Eh, just find a rich cougar to "sponsor" you.
  • + 2
 No chain guide?
  • + 0
 Think yourself lucky you get the chain!
  • + 1
 Im cheap and shimano deore brakes do the job so well. Why change.
  • + 1
 I have mine sitting near to 28 lbs
  • + 0
 Price tag and the weight don't match up...
  • + 0
 Spartans were from Sparta, not Greece.
  • + 2
 And where was sparta? ; )
  • + 1
 i think u missed that geography lesson..!
  • + 1
 There was no "Greece" at the time, I think it's you who should take a history course.
  • + 1
 I think you'll find that there was a civilisation referred to (by pretty much everyone) as ancient Greece.
  • + 1
 Yes they were all Greeks, but they were city states.
  • + 0
 4200$ and Deore + X.5??? UGTBKDNME!!!
  • - 1
 Bike looks very nice but its very heavy for an Enduro bike
  • - 2
 Does it come in 26+?
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