First Look: Deviate Claymore High Pivot Enduro Bike

Jun 9, 2022
by Seb Stott  

Deviate have been making high pivots since before they were cool. Or at least, before they were everywhere. They've been designing them since 2016, and their gearbox-equipped Deviate Guide was one of my first tastes of a pedal-able high-pivot bike. So while high-pivot bikes are hardly novel these days, Deviate says "Our extensive experience designing nothing but high pivots means we can confidently claim that our system is the most robust and well-engineered out there." Big words.

Today they're launching a high-pivot enduro bike, this time with a derailleur. It's called the Claymore, named after the monstrous two-handed swords once used in the Scottish Highlands, where Deviate are based. It offers 165 mm of rear-wheel travel, 29" wheels and is built around a 170 mm fork.

Suspension design

When Deviate says 165 mm of travel, they mean 165 mm in the vertical direction. The rear axle also moves backwards by about 21 mm over its travel, lengthening the rear centre and (in theory) helping it to suck up large bumps without pushing up the frame as much or as fast.

The axle path is rearward through almost all the travel, with only a millimetre or two of forward movement near bottom-out. This is a true high-pivot, not a "high-ish" pivot design that has become popular lately.
Anti-squat is relatively consistent throughout the travel, which should help resist slouching even on steep climbs. Anti-rise levels are very high, so it will stay deeper in its travel under braking.

The leverage curve is fairly linear through the middle of the travel but gets progressive towards the end.
The 18-tooth idler pulley is connected to the swingarm in such a way as to keep the anti-squat around 110% at sag, according to Deviate's calculations, which should keep it from bobbing or slouching on the climbs. Being a high single pivot, the anti-rise level (the effect of the braking force on the suspension) starts high and drops off throughout the travel. This will minimise brake dive but may make the rear suspension firmer in some scenarios.

The leverage over the shock decreases throughout the travel from 2.95 to 2.3. That makes it 22% progressive. Most of the resulting ramp-up in the force at the back wheel happens towards the end of the stroke, which should suit coil shocks.

The Details

The frame is a full carbon affair, with cable routing running through the rear triangle but bolted onto the underside of the top tube in a cable channel. Personally, I'd rather the cables ran externally to the rear triangle too, but that's just my opinion.

The shock is driven by a short link that pivots around the bottom bracket and is pulled from below by the main triangle.

Deviate emphasise the durability of the frame, with a Lifetime Warranty & Crash/damage replacement policy; twin-lip wiper seals and Enduro bearings throughout; grease ports on all pivots and the idler, and frame protection including a bolt-on carbon downtube protector and bonded rubber chainstay protector.

There are not one but two accessory mounting points under the top tube, as well as space for a water bottle on the down tube.

The Geometry

As a dedicated 29er, there is no size small, just a medium, large and XL. The suspension and most of the geometry numbers have a general resemblance to the Forbidden Dreadnought, but while the Forbidden has size-specific chainstays, the Deviate uses 441 mm stays throughout the size range. For tall riders, this will result in a smaller back-end on the Deviate than the Dreadnought, but remember the chainstay length will grow by about 15 mm at sag, so this is still a bike with a very long rear-centre.

Pricing and Specs

For now, the Claymore is available as a frame only, with either an Ohlins TTX22m.2 coil shock or a Fox Factory X2 air shock. Prices start at $3,200 USD / £3,000 GBP (including VAT).

For more information check out


  • 273 4
 This is a sick bike and a great option. Not because it has good geometry, a great frame design, or a great price but because it doesn't have headset cable routing.
  • 54 0
 We don't ask for much, do we?
  • 40 0
 Even better than that, its a ZS44/56 headset, so you can chuck in an angleset if you want it a bit slacker...
  • 17 1
 "Great Price"....$5,735.81 Shipped to Vancouver. Just the frame and shock.
  • 2 0
 @rich-2000: this!

Stuck a 2* works in my druid.
  • 19 0
 @mel22b: we have Canadian dealers and would highly recommend you contact your local one if you are serious about a price. It may work out cheaper than going direct.
  • 27 5
 @mel22b: Not sure how the CAD to GBP exchange rate and shipping cost, taxes, import duties etc. are Deviate's fault? Imho £3000 a very reasonable price for a frame like this. Complaining that the price looks high in a completely different currency is weird. I mean, I can convert it to Colombian Pesos and get outraged "oMg ItS a 14 grand frame". Doesn't make any sense. As for the non exchange rate related costs, of course a bike from a small Scottish brand will end up more expensive in Canada than, say, a Devinci (that will likely be less of a deal this side of the pond).

A good example is how import duties have screwed Commencal prices in the UK (f*ck brexit). I bought a Privateer instead but would never claim "Commencal is expensive". They're great value, just not here.
  • 3 0
 @deviatecycles: Thank you!
  • 1 0
 No matter how PB comments there are about external cable routing, we will never have our way!
  • 2 0
 @bananowy: When compared to other carbon framesets with similar intentions the price is on par with the likes of Trek and SC, since it doesn't come with a shock, so it's £3000 + price of a shock. So it's a competitive price, making it a viable option for anyone building a bike that way. Buying a bike from a foreign country is always going to add on extra costs (unless you're buying from within some kind of bloc without duties, I'm sure we used to have something like that. Shame we can't all ride around on sovereignty).
  • 2 0
 @bananowy: It's £3,600 when you add a shock, £3,700 if you want a spring for the Ohlins as well.
  • 36 0
 Sick Bike. What's not to like here. Wish all manufacturers would post leverage curve graphs like this
  • 15 6
 Can’t read it myself. But I’m a simple guy, looks like a Session, has a mount bottle cage and no headset cable routing. Sold
  • 1 0
 You're right, I love it. But, that being said, I'd love it even more if it was made from aluminium instead of carbon.
  • 24 5
 I'll be honest, the last thing I'd like to jump on is a claymore!
  • 19 1
 It would be perfect for blowing up berms tho!
  • 2 0
 No one like being impaled by a sword.
  • 29 3
 They need to have a sticker on the head tube that says "Front Toward Enemy"
  • 1 1
 @kinematix: With an optional Shrapnel perk.
  • 2 0
 You mean a Cannondale Claymore or a Deviate Claymore?
  • 10 1
 This bike is bordering on ideal - and the frame has a very clean look, especially for a high pivot. Would love to see full build weights. Overall, this should pack nearly all the punch of the Norco Range - just hopefully without the 38 lbs. build weight. If this thing comes in at 33-34 lbs, it's gonna be a beast.
  • 1 0
 I had a highlander 150 and it was ~36 pounds without accessories. That was with carbon everything, RS coil and a 38.
  • 43 0
 My Large Claymore weights 34.3lb with Fox X2/Fox 38's, DT Swiss EX1501 Wheels with Maxxis 2.5" DD tyres and One-up dropper/bars/stem.
  • 20 0
 @deviatecycles: You're making it awfully hard for me to respect my budget this year. Smile
  • 2 0
 @deviatecycles: it's a beauty, nice work. Any plans to bring out a mullet?
  • 3 0
 I've held and ridden a built one. 34 pounds without even trying to be light
  • 9 0
 This looks really good and at a decent price as well.
You can get a Specialized Enduro frame for 2900, this is only $300 more and it looks (in my opinion) way better.
  • 2 0
 It's $3350 without a shock, per the website.
  • 10 0
 @stevemokan: if you're looking in the US that price is inclusive of all tax.
  • 1 0
 the specialized enduro is 4k in SEA, cane even begin to imagine how much deviate would cost
  • 10 0
 @deviatecycles: look at you normal people who include tax in listed price. us Americans like to keep the consumer guessing what the final price may be with tax.
  • 3 2
 @adrennan: probably because it’s complete dependent on what state/city/county you’re in, from 0 to ~10%…
  • 6 1
 @baxterbike: if i go into a grocery store or a bike shop or whatever to buy something, I sure hope they know what city they are in and what the tax rate is... makes sense for online (though I feel like that system could be fixed). but that argument falls apart for in-store purchases.
  • 1 0
 @adrennan: On our website, the correct pricing into the US is calculated at check out and is fully dependent on the import tax that is charged in the State you're in.
  • 3 0
 @adrennan: we also measure temperature on a scale where 0 is the freezing point and 100 is the boiling point of water.
  • 7 0
 Pretty obvious with the claymore sticker on the downtube without looking for trademarks
  • 6 0
 Though this article covered the accessory mounts, it did not mention the rear hub spacing. Boost 148.
  • 1 0
 if you run a normal bottle on the downtube mounts, the forward accessory mount is basically unusable. i used the smaller (~450ml) fidlock bottle version and was able to get a tool wrap on the front mount and even a second small fidlock bottle on the rear top tube mount but only when turned around. that was on a L highlander, so not sure the M could accommodate that same setup, especially with the steeper seat tube angle on this rig
  • 3 0
 @twonsarelli: check out the YT Thirstmaster 5000. It's a short wide fidlock bottle that holds 835ml. I wish this bottle shape/size was more commonplace.
  • 2 0
 @haen: Woah! Did not know that existed. I have a Fidlock 600ml on my Enduro, was thinking of upgrading to the 800ml, but if I can get one of these I will! Seem out of stock, though.
  • 6 0
 Gotta love green bikes with Ohlins
  • 3 1
 “Since it’s a full 29er there’s no size small…” What year is this, 2010? I had a stumpy around that time where smalls weren’t available but almost every mfg I’m aware of has found a way around this by now regardless of wheel size. Shock placement might make things tight but there are plenty of similar layouts with a full size run. Gorgeous bike nonetheless.
  • 11 0
 There is no design reason why we can't make a small. We just don't see the demand in size small at the moment to open the mould. We do apologise to the smaller riders and there is a chicken and egg argument here. As we grow this is changing and we will introduce a size small down the line (but probably not for the Claymore).
  • 3 0
 I once interviewed for a job in Aberdeen and made a solemn promise to the Scottish gods that if I were hired, I'd buy a Highlander. Unfortunately the gods of Scotland apparently don't want to support small business.
  • 10 0
 We have no gods
  • 4 0
 Maybe the guy they hired promised to buy two.
  • 1 0
 @browner: exception is limmy, i think
  • 2 0
 Wow I must say that I always thought that your frames were nice looking but this one in red oufff !!! I would prefer a black coil shock on it but still, one of the best looking bike I've ever seen!! It is still light so only hope it is a bit more plush than the highlander since it's an high pivot enduro bike... and mullet would then be a dream bike!!
  • 10 7
 I, for one, think we need more bikes named after Elden Ring weapons. Trek Moonveil Guerrilla Gravity Greataxe Intense Cometshard Specilized Rivers of Blood....
  • 17 0
 Commas would have been highly useful for your list of names.
  • 8 0
 Careful, your nerd is showing…
  • 1 1
 @nickfranko: bro, Outside really needs to modernize the comment system. I had everything spaced out and indented. Went to publish and what I got was that word vomit with no way to edit it once I realized what happened.
  • 2 0
 @deviatecycles, well done!

This is a beautiful looking bike, and if it rides anything like the Highlander you'll have a winner. Wish I could get a ride on one.

Looking forward to seeing the ride reviews!
  • 3 0
 Cannondale had a "Claymore" circa 2013. Everyone is running out of names. Maybe manufacturers should just use numbers, kinda like New Balance sneakers.
  • 2 0
 10 years ago, which is probably when the trademark runs out.
  • 4 0
 To those who did not do the math, 165mm vertical travel with 21mm rear travel equates to 166.330995mm of actual travel.
  • 9 0
 I knew it felt like more than the 165mm of travel we claim! Wink
  • 3 0
 Anti-squat graphs should be accompanied by the height of the center of mass assumed, and anti-squat curves should be shown for the whole range of gears, not just one gear.
  • 5 0
 If you want this information we are happy to supply it via email. We don't publish, because for a lot of riders this would represent too much information on one graph.
  • 1 1
 @deviatecycles: Without at least the height of the center of mass assumed (which is one simple number), it's too easy for anti-squat curves to be misleading, and I can't see how that's ok.
  • 3 0
 Stunning. I'm glad that I'm firmly between sizes.
Big jump between medium and large eh?
  • 5 0
 Same here - my preferred fit is exactly between medium and large. I guess we're in that small minority of riders over 5'8" but under 6' :/
  • 2 0
 @endurendo: I'm 5ft 8in, but short legs/long body - my optimum reach is around 475mm.
Luckily for me a lot of brands have settled on that for their large frames at the mo.
  • 2 0
 22% is a bit low on the progressivity side considering they are spending it with a coil imo but otherwise looks like a great bike.
  • 3 0
 Stunning. Beautiful. I'd want one if I didn't have my own bike design.
  • 3 4
 Disappointed to see the marketing wanks that seem to require the internal routing bullet point no matter what have even infiltrated small bike manufacturers up in Scotland. All that engineering and design put into running cables and hoses neatly under the top tube to then destroy that benefit by running them internal for the final 1/8 of the run. So dumb!
  • 1 0
 @deviatecycles do you have a suggested tune for us Rockshox coil riders? Seriously considering this frame if RS coil will fit.
  • 1 0
 A talented tuner can figure it out easy for you
  • 1 0
 @stormracing: the nice thing about Rockshox is they publish all their standard tunes and their shocks are easy to tune yourself (if you are already doing RS shock rebuilds). I just don't have the skills to work out what tune best suits a particular frame.
  • 1 0
 Definitely! That is cool of them for sure
Yeah I wouldn’t know how to figure it out either haha
  • 1 0
 @IMeasureStuff: Mid/Mid per their website. I bought an RS SD Ultimate for my Highlander in the same tune and it's been awesome.
  • 1 0
 @jovesaxa: Thanks! Are you running the air or coil on the highlander?
  • 1 0
 @IMeasureStuff: The coil with a sprindex spring. The bike came with an X2 Factory, which is a great shock but it isn't coil! It really changed the bike. I've had similar feedback from other owners.
  • 4 1
  • 9 11
 I rode one of these the other day and it had no idler drag. I previously spent over a year on a Forbidden, and those bikes have more drag than a freaking drag show. I'm guessing it's because Deviate uses a larger idler wheel, and the one I had also had oversized derailleur wheels. VHP vs HP might have something to do with it. In short, I'd never buy another Forbidden, but I'd jump on one of these in a heart beat.
  • 2 0
 Yeah that’s why Contra bikes went with such a huge idler wheel
Eliminate that feeling of drag
  • 6 0
 The overwhelming majority of the drag on my druid was from the e13 lower chain guide roller. Removed that thing last year and have been sailing smooth. Surprisingly few chain drops and they've all been from backpedaling while in the 51t.
  • 5 3
 @jkiefer: I tried everything I could to make that bike work for me. New idlers, two drivetrains over the course of 12 months, removed lower chain guide, etc. Drag was brutal, chain would drop all the time, and it ruined two races because the chain would jump off the upper chain guide and get jammed behind the idler requiring removal of the idler in the middle of a stage, and then a third race it blew off the chain ring on a drop, I went to sprint and I went face first into the dirt.

When it worked, it was fast AF (qualified for the EWS on it), but I just couldn't count on it to actually work.
  • 1 0
 @fullendurbro: Damn that's brutal. Sounds like you gave it a proper go
  • 1 2
 The Druid turned me off of all HP bikes. Drag sucks.
  • 6 5
 That's a fine-looking bike. I'm glad they didn't name it after a land mine.....
  • 2 0
 2 accessory mounts! Nice job.
  • 1 1
 In terms of suspension this basically seems like a high pivot Orange Switch 7 (especially in the leverage rate curves). I'm digging it
  • 3 1
 No, "if it isn't Scottish, it's crap" comments? Lost opportunity.
  • 2 3
 Great looking bike for sure, but the linkage and idler are a nightmare to work on, at least on my Highlander they were. It didnt descend better than other non HP bikes either...
  • 2 1
 More details?
  • 2 0
 Interested as well what exactly is the nightmare with idler and/or Linkage?

There are three bolts holding the idler spider, those out and idler is off. Linkage is bit more involving to service, but nothing extraordinary, good instructions available at Deviate webpage. I just replaced the rear swing and serviced the linkage (cleanup and new seals) took few hours total. BTW all bearing are still original and in perfect condition after about 4500km.
  • 2 2
 @jlehtinen: the double set of bearings on the idler are overkill. The rubber lip washers do work well, but were very tight and draggy, but do keep mud out as designed. The idler never spun freely. I 've had other HP idler bikes ( 2 Canfield Jedi ) and the idler spins easily with your finger.

The linkage is slick but a pain to remove and service. The design is very cool but it never performed "better" IMO. My SC Nomad, and Banshee Titan are much better in rough and chunky terrain, albeit slightly more travel.

Bike did pedal well though, just not what I needed out of a HP design.
  • 2 0
 @Bushmaster123: Fair points. (thumb up)
  • 1 0
 Great geo on this one. Curious how it pedals in real life. Bike looks fantastic.
  • 1 0
 you're saying the frame is okay for 170 height. Isn't 460 reach too big for a 170 height fella ?
  • 2 1
 Who remebers the Cannondale claymore? Bike looks sick though!
  • 2 0
 Damn no small…
  • 1 0
 Man, want really looking to replace my Highlander...but this looks ace.
  • 1 0
 Looks very tempting!
  • 1 0
 Front towards enemy.
  • 1 2
 Great review. Cool bike. Jank level 100 skidding round that corner though.
  • 3 5
 Too big for me Frown
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