The last couple of years have shown us that an exorbitant price tag isn't a requirement to get a functional and capable machine, as more and more well spec'd aluminum bikes hit the market. Devinci's new 130mm travel Marshall trail bike and their Kobain hardtail both bring a good deal of performance to the table, selling for $2,099 and $1,699 USD, respectively.
We've had the Marshall on hand for a few weeks now and even amidst winter weather have managed to log some miles on it so we'll go into detail on that bike. We'll also touch on the Kobain, further down, as well.
• Wheel Size: 29" (M-XL) 27.5" (XS-S)
• Aluminum frame
• 130mm rear travel, 140mm front
• SRAM and Shimano 12s build options
• Sizes XS to XL
• 460mm reach (medium)
• Lifetime frame warranty
• Price $2,099 USD
Both the Marshall and Kobain frames are 100% made in Devinci's Quebec facility, with everything from the welding and heat treating to the painting and finishing happening there. Devinci are able to control their output and production schedules more precisely this way, it enables them to more accurately forecast deliverables.Frame Details
The made-in-Canada Marshall has 130mm of travel on a 6061-T6 aluminum frame. The bike uses 12 x 148mm Boost spacing for the rear axle, a departure from some of Devinci's other bikes that use Superboost. There is a threaded BB and Enduro bearings on all pivots. Tire clearance for all frames is 2.4". The XS and S frames have 27.5" wheels and the Medium - XL sizes are 29".
There's room for a water bottle on all sizes. Dropper posts are of course standard, with the XS having room for 100mm of drop and the XL doubling that at 200mm. There's compatibility for chainrings as small as a 28t up to 32t and the frame has a lifetime warranty.
The XS size is made with the intent to get riders as small as 4' 11" on the bike, pushing the envelope towards younger riders as well. The smaller wheel size helps riders more easily maneuver the bike and it aids in tire clearance when riders are getting low over the back end.
The 130mm of travel is delivered via Devinci's Split Pivot suspension design. Devinci settled on 130mm as ideal for a trail bike. The Troy has a little more and the Django has a touch less, and 130mm was ideal for people getting into the sport. It's not limiting for riders looking to push themselves and progress, according to Devinci, and it's also not so much travel that the bike would feel awkward and unwieldy on mellower terrain.
Geometry & Sizing
The Marshall is available in sizes XS to XL. The XS and S sizes are built with 27.5" wheels and the larger frame sizes are 29" wheels - there's no option to interchange wheel sizes. Chainstay lengths vary depending on bike size. Devinci believes this offers riders the best feel per size. XS and S frames are 430mm long while M-XL are 435mm.
XS size frames have a standover of 717mm and a reach of 420mm. A medium has a reach of 460mm and the XL stretches out to 500mm. Seat tube angles vary a very slight bit between sizes with a medium sitting at 77-degrees. Head tube angles on all size frames are 66.5-degrees. Options & Price
There are two different spec options for the Marshall, Shimano, and SRAM. Both bikes are priced at $2,099 USD. Both builds come out to a touch below 35 lbs complete.
The Deore 12s build uses a 12-speed Shimano Deore drivetrain, Deore brakes, a RockShox 35 Silver 140mm travel fork, RockShox Deluxe DebonAir shock, a TranzX dropper post, and Maxxis Minion DHF/DHR tires. (One note here - due to supply constraints when the test bike was sent to me, my ride had SLX brakes, as pictured. Production bikes will be Deore.)
The SRAM SX 12-speed build carries over the RockShox suspension and pairs it with a full SX drivetrain and SRAM Guide T brakes.Devinci Kobain
Devinci have also released a new hardtail, the Kobain that starts from $1,299. The bike is built in the same factory and, like the Marshall, it's geared towards more entry-level riders looking for a bike they can trust to get them into riding more aggressive trails without limiting them or causing too big of a hit to their finances.
With a 75-degree seat tube angle, 65.5-degree seat tube angle, and 445mm of reach on a size medium, the bike is made to be versatile and capable. The bike is available in sizes S-XL and all models use 29" tires.
The Kobain is available in two configurations, with Shimano SLX ($1,699) or Deore ($1,299) parts. The SLX build has a Marzocchi Z2 Rail 130mm fork and 2.6" Kenda Regolith tires while the Deore fork has a Rockshox 35 Silver and 2.6" Minions.
I've had the Marshall with a Shimano Deore build out on the trails for a few rides at this point. Not long enough to do a full review (stay tuned, this bike will be in our upcoming affordable bikes Field Test), but long enough to develop some initial ride impressions.
The bike is simple to get dialed in and feeling good with minimal effort. The bike's angles aren't too extreme in one direction or the other and it is comfortable climbing everything from long gravel roads to technical singletrack. There's not a ton of control or fine-tuning of the suspension to be done, as it is the base level, but the tune that comes on the shock and fork hasn't left me wanting any massive changes on my first few rides. Some riders may feel the need to add a volume spacer in to change the ramp up a touch, but that's a simple task that can be done at home, or at any bike shop.
The bike feels solid and planted on the descents, with a good amount of traction and control, something riders of all abilities will be able to appreciate.
The spec of the Marshall is quite ideal right out of the box. The Deore drivetrain continues to impress, and the Maxxis Minion DHF / DHR II time combo works well on a wide variety of trail types. The TranzX dropper post is smooth and consistent, and although some riders may be looking for a post with more drop it will fit the majority of riders and the frame can accept a longer post.
As I mentioned above, we'll have a full Field Test review featuring the Marshall along with a number of other bikes coming up in the future.