Devinci Django 29 - First Ride

Aug 16, 2016
by Vernon Felton  


Django Gets the Big-Wheel Treatment
In a weird way, the story of the new Django 29er begins with an entirely different bike—the Troy. You see, the Troy used to be Devinci’s mid-travel trail bike. But then riders began slapping on burlier components and taking the Troy into uglier terrain than it was intended for. To keep pace with that fact, Devinci made the 2016 Troy a bit longer in the cockpit, beefed up the frame and gave the Troy a more progressive shock tune…all of which bumped the Troy into legitimate all-mountain/enduro territory.

Now there was just one problem: There was a gaping hole in the Devinci line up where a lightweight trail bike used to belong. Devinci filled that hole, a few months back, with a new 27.5-wheeled model called the Django. The Django was nimble, it was quick and if you want to know more about it, you can read all about it here. Of course, the moment the Django 27.5 hit the streets, people began asking: Why wasn’t Devinic releasing a 29er Django instead? Well, here’s the new 29er version. I’ve been riding the top-shelf version of the bike tor the past week.


Django 29 Details
• Intended use: trail
• Travel: 130-mm front and 120-mm rear
• 29" wheels
• Adjustable geometry
• 68 - 68.5° adjustable head angle
• 432-mm chainstays
• 12 x 148-mm rear spacing
• BB92 press-fit bottom bracket
• Split Pivot Suspension System
• 2.35" Tire clearance
• Internal cable routing
• Asymmetrical construction
• Sizes: S, M, L, XL

PRICES - USD / CAD / EUR:
• Carbon X01 Eagle: $6819 / $7699 / €7239
• Carbon SLX/XT: $5129 / $5799 / €5449
• Carbon GX: $4249 / $4799 / €4509
• Carbon NX: $3809 / $4299 / €4039
• Carbon frame: $2479 / $2799 /€2629
• Alloy 29 GX: $3539 / $3999/ €3759
• Alloy 29 NX: $3099 / $3499/ €3289
• Alloy frame: $1769 / $1999/ €1879



Devinci Django 29
There are six Django 29 models ranging in price from $6,819 (USD) to $3,099 for this base-level Alloy NX model.
2016 Devinci Django Geo Chart.

The Django 29 sports 130 millimeters of travel up front and 120 millimeters out back—just like its 27.5-wheeled sibling. In fact, the bikes are surprisingly similar. The Django 29 rocks a half-degree steeper head angle, but once you account for the extra trail of most 29ers, what often seems like a steep head angle on a geo chart winds up steering a bit slacker on the trail. Despite the bigger wheels, the Django 29 is only seven millimeters longer in the chain stays than the smaller-wheeled version. Seventeen-inch (432-millimeter) chainstays on a 29er? Not bad at all.

“We really wanted to give both versions of the Django similar personalities,” says Devinci marketing coordinator, Julien Boulais. “They are meant for the same kind of riding, it just comes down to what you prefer as a rider—if you like to get the bike in the air and finesse it a lot, the 27.5 is going to appeal more to you. The 29er version is going to be a bit faster through roots and rocks, but both bikes are meant to be nimble and lively.”

Devinci Django 29

Where does the Django fit into the broader world of bikes? It's an aggressive trail bike, a la the Pivot Mach 429 Trail or Intense Primer. Geometry-wise, it's not too far removed from the Evil Following, with is longish-front center, short rear end, low bottom bracket height... The Django 29 is a bit steeper in the head tube, than the Following, though if you're all about slack head tube angles, it's worth noting that Devinci is also offering a taller, lower headset cup that further slackens the head angle.

As for rear suspension, Devinci has utilized Dave Weagle's Split Pivot suspension for about half a decade now and the system is featured here on the Django as well. Rear shock duties are handled by an excellent Fox Float Factory series unit.


Devinci Django 29
The Django 29 features very cleanly-designed, internal cable routing.
Devinci Django 29
The top of the line Django Carbon 29 comes equipped with SRAM Level TLM brakes and RockShox Reverb dropper post.



For starters, the bike is a veritable rocket on climbs. True, it doesn’t hurt that I’m riding the pimped out version—a bike that weighs a mere 27.6 pounds and sports the mother of all granny gears (hello, SRAM Eagle). Nevertheless, I didn't weigh the bike until I was halfway finished writing this review and I would have sworn that the Django weighed even less than that. It pedals like an XC bike. You could add a couple more pounds to this thing and it’d still motor up climbs like a champ. This particular iteration of the Split Pivot design pedals pretty damn crisply. Even when run wide open, the bike simply moves on out. I wound up climbing with the shock in Medium mode, not because the bike bobbed excessively when run in Open mode, but because I prefer to climb with the bike sitting a bit taller.

Though it feels like 2016 is the year when the adjective “playful” gets run into the ground, I can’t help but apply it to this bike. It really is the embodiment of that trait. The Django 29 is a bike that loves to be popped off of things and whipped through corners. The bike is, quite simply, a hell of a lot of fun to ride. And, yes, I'm still talking about the 29er version here. That said, you can also quickly reach the limits of its 120 millimeters of rear suspension. The Django 29 begs you to push hard —on both the climbs and the descents—but it doesn’t give you a massive buffer for rider error on technical downhills.

The Django 29 is a capable bike, definitely, but it doesn’t feel as controlled and stout as some other models (Evil Following, I’m looking at you here). Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. It’s a horses for courses kind of scenario. The Django is, after all, a bike that I’d gladly take on a multi-day stage race, whereas I wouldn’t be nearly so quick to reach for the Evil when diving into an event like that.

Of course, these are just first impressions. I have some fiddling to do yet--I want to see how the bike handles descents when shod with bigger tires ( the stock 2.3-inch High Roller II is fine up front, but the 2.25-inch Maxxis Ardent out back breaks loose far too easily) and that geometry-slackening lower headset cup. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Stay tuned for a long-term test in 2017.



Visit the feature gallery for high resolution and additional images.

Be sure to check out the Django in action with Mark Wallace as well.




MENTIONS: @devinci





93 Comments

  • + 125
 I wonder what it rides like... Unchained?....
  • - 24
flag projectnortheast (Aug 16, 2016 at 6:18) (Below Threshold)
 would be so perfect if your comment was the only one... wait... doh!
  • + 20
 It rides like a YT DiCaprario.
  • + 2
 Troy is proven on a chainsaw.
  • - 5
flag SnowshoeRider4Life (Aug 16, 2016 at 9:35) (Below Threshold)
 the official winner of pinkbike today is @steviestokes
  • - 15
flag bmoore34 (Aug 16, 2016 at 11:16) (Below Threshold)
 A whole django review with out 1 n word in the comments. I'm impressed with everyone's restraint
  • + 2
 @chyu:more like by the Chainsaw.
  • - 2
 Wow... neg reppers are out in force... lighten up francis!!
  • + 50
 How many times do we have to read that the author didn't like the stock 2.25 Ardent that came on the bike. DOES ANYONE LIKE A 2.25 Ardent? Why don't they just put legit tires on the bike from the gate, especially on the rear wheel? Does Maxxis give companies a deal on other tires if they agree to buy 1000 2.25 Ardents
  • + 28
 there are legions of slow riders who think they are the best tires around. Anyone who has ever leaned their bike to corner with those tires knows otherwise.
  • + 7
 @atrokz: Slow rider here. I used to love the Ardents on my Whyte 901. Other than the pinch flats every 2-3 rides they did a stellar job for me
  • + 16
 I like the 2.25 Ardent on the rear for more hardpack trails in drier conditions on not so steep trails. You often hear PinkBike doesn't like the ardent, and that's a given seeing as they are usually riding it on the shore, where its steep and aside from a few months in the summer, it's usually wet. The Ardent is a great tire choice for desert riding or "XC" trails where you want more traction; places like Moab, Sedona, So-Cal, Sun Valley, etc.
  • + 0
 @tufty: lol. never liked those flimsy side lugs, especially when Maxxis has a highroller option!
  • + 17
 according to this dude, www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb-gear/review-maxxis-high-roller-ii-2-3-and-ardent-2-25-29er-combination you just need to have better body position. lol GIT GUD, SCRUB

No really, they are terrible. & that's coming from someone who's been around long enough to have ridden 1.8" Fire XCs.
  • + 4
 Is the 2.4 Ardent any better than the 2.25? I'm still enjoying my stash of ADvantage 2.4 but I know I'm going to run out eventually and I figure I better stock up on some other decent 26" option. High Roller is okay but I don't love it.
  • + 5
 @gtrguy: it is marginally better. It has bigger nobs, but the lack of supported side knobs makes it still break loose too easily. It just has a less chunky slide and release in the bigger version. I personally think they suck, including on desert trails and sun valley....its a good tire if you want to be drifting at speeds that seems like you should still be glued. They will mess with your head, because drifting is fast right, and being loose is fun. But you're doing it at 12mph.
  • + 1
 @gtrguy: I ran a 2.4 Exo on the front for a season and really liked it. Roundish profile and reasonable weight. My biggest beef was re: how often it would burp. Managed to separate it from the rim on two occasions.
  • + 8
 Maybe they run great backwards and Maxxis has been trolling us for years.
  • + 4
 @atrokz: Hello mate, happened to me these days. I build up my used 2015 Troy XP with Minions up front; then there was this Ardent 2.25 which hundreads of tests reported as super fast rolling, good grip, good cornering,bla, bla, bla. Actually, I was looking for a Griff or a Minion SS but there were any. I rode the bike the first time (really great bike the Troy, it amazed me) and found almost impossible to control the speed with the rear brake. You just lean it for cornering and it slides like riding on motor oil if you just seats your finger on the brake lever. I was wondering: what's going on with the wheel? How so many sites spoke good words for them?

One thing they do well: fast rolling and good grip in the climbs. When you get speed downhill it's a nightmare...
  • + 6
 @takeiteasyridehard: dang, maybe I suck. I've run the 2.4 EXO TR version for the last year or so and been pretty happy with it as an all-around tire. Profile is pretty round with 23mm rim. It feels a little sketchy if I'm only leaning the bike slightly, but once I get it further over to the side knobs it seems to grip fine. I've just adjusted by exaggerating the lean a bit more. Not sure what people mean by 'unsupported' side knobs?

I will say they brake like crap in loose conditions. But overall I don't think they're bad at all for a fast-rolling tire, and the EXO has been tough as nails. I bottom out on the rim pretty often (hardtail, square rocks) and I've only gotten 1 flat in maybe 6-8 months of riding.

No experience with the 2.25, but I don't see myself ever going any narrower than 2.3 for pretty much anything. IMO a bike like this shouldn't be messing around with skinny tires. Smuggler uses 2.3 Minions, which is a good choice IMO.
  • + 2
 @bkm303: Go compare 2 of the same tire in different sizes. At least for Maxxis, it's not just casing width, but all the knobs are smaller too. the 2.25 has much smaller knobs than your 2.4. Heck, even HRII 2.3 vs 2.4 is noticeably different.
  • + 8
 Ardents are awesome for skidding which is required for the brown pow vids
  • + 7
 @gtrguy: The 2.4 Ardent is a very different tire. Given how it rides, it might as well have a different name on it. For hardback and long miles the 29x2.4 is a good choice, though it still doesn't have the outright cornering bite of a High Roller II or Minion DHR. I'll have to try and squeeze the larger Ardent into the Django 29 to see if it'll fit... the advertised clearance is for a 2.35 and that 2.4 Ardent is plenty big.
  • + 2
 @vernonfelton: Thanks for the info, I assume that applies to the 26" version as well but it sounds like the 2.4 Ardent isn't going to be a decent replacement for the 2.4 ADvantage that I love so much. I wish Maxxis would bring that tire back, I think it was ahead of it's time.
  • + 2
 The 2.4 Ardent is my all time favorite tire, from the wet weather in Seattle where I used to live to the hardpack here Europe where I am now. Nothing I've tried matched the fast rolling with good grip this tire offers. I'd gladly use a Minion in pure wet conditions or at the park instead, but I can always feel the increased rolling resistant instantly.
  • + 2
 I only liked the ardent on moderate hardpack, which I rarely ride, and otherwise it felt sketchy. Also, and perhaps I had back luck, a bad batch or bad body positioning, I blew the sidewalls on three Ardents in a row (one on the first corner of the first ride necessitating some creative duct tape usage to hold it together for the way down). I'll admit to being a hack on a bike but the Minions, High Rollers, Hans Damph's and Magic Mary's I've had under me have never had near the same issues.
  • + 2
 @vernonfelton: I guess I just don't see why a minion SS isn't the tire of choice for a bike like this. Seems to be a good balance of cornering grip and rolling ability. And again, this would be comparing it to a 2.4 ardent which is certainly a different tire than the 2.25
  • + 3
 @PRCVT: Minion SS could work quite well here too. Lots of good tire choices, even at the 2.35 size. This bike is a dedicated 29er platform (not meant to do double duty as a 27+ bike), which means there's less room between those chain and seat stays than on some other bikes in this niche.
  • + 1
 Can make boring hard pack trails fun with fast rolling and lack of corning grip. Perfect for UK trail centres
  • + 2
 Had a 2.25 Ardent on the front of a demo bike for a few weeks this summer and have to agree with most people here. Nice fast roller on hardback put that thing snaps away without any warning when you're going hard. Caused a few hard crashes on my first couple rides with it.
  • + 1
 Fits up to a 2.35...is this a highlight or drawback?
  • + 1
 @snl1200: same with the 2.25 and 2.4 ardent I ran as a set. I pinched them enough times to rip the inside of the casing and warp the tire.

Hans dampf sg did the same thing though. I guess I am good at destroying tires. Its not like I skid, weigh much or even live someplace steep.
  • - 2
 I have one on one of my deals and it rocks and wears slow. 8/10.
Do not bag on Maxxis.
  • + 4
 @gtrguy:

I don't ride a 29er, still very much 26 here, and I hear you worrying about long term stocks of 26 tyres!

I, like many people here, found the Ardent (in anything less than 2.4), didn't suit my riding style (or Japanese trails very much), and after close to a decade now of trying any and all sorts.... have you tried a Conti Mountain King II?

No, they don't always grip the best on wet rocks and roots, so I'd be reaching for Minions north of Vancouver I'm sure, however, I found that for a generally reliable, predictable rear (and even on the front if your trails are well behaved), it rivalled anything else, is light and when running the tubeless ready version, I have never yet had a puncture that didn't immediately seal with Stans. For anyone interested, I run them on a Banshee Spitfire V2.

Just a suggestion in case you haven't tried one.... and there are still 26 versions to be had.
  • + 4
 @atrokz: I have 2.4 front and rear and would love to take a shred with you. Yes they suck in any wet conditions but in dry pack I can rail a corner pretty solid. Fast rolling tire with decent sidewall strength. Certainly not the worst tire I have ridden and after getting podium on my first BME series race this year with yes, Ardents, I think the rider factors in much more than the tire.
  • - 1
 It the Kenda Honey Badger didn't exist, Ardent would probably win the prize as worst mtb tire.
  • + 1
 @alexsin: I accidently rode a 2.4 on backward (back wheel) and didn't notice until someone pointed it out to me. They are about the same run backward. Marginal.
  • + 1
 @orientdave: Thanks for the suggestion on the Mountain King II, I'll check that out. East coast Canada here so wet and rooty/rocky can definitely be a thing.
  • + 1
 @oronaut: Lol those 2.4 Ardent center knobs are ramped. Idk how you couldn't notice the difference unless you only ride sand and loam.
  • + 1
 @bkm303: No sand, but I live in Bellingham!
  • + 1
 @PRCVT: @PRCVT: the Minion SS 2.35 measures 2.1 wide at best (measured on a 26mm inside width rim). Not sure what game Maxxis is playing with tire widths but it is one scrawny tire. Spec Slaughter is a better choice.
  • + 21
 Holy...... SLX/XT 5499€ ??? Can´t wait until the Shimano Tourney is on a 2000€ Bike!
  • + 13
 I like the way you RIDE, boy.
  • + 2
 You got a puuurrty mouth boy
  • + 5
 So stoked to hear more about this bike! Devinci back in the 29er game is such good news Smile
  • + 2
 Great new bike from Devinci but I'm wondering what it will happen to all those new 27.5" wheeled short to mid travel bikes relased just few month ago...
Trek relased the new Slash as 29" only (ok, it's a pure enduro machine), the YT Jeffsy looks like one of the more capable and enjoing to ride 140mm bikes out there. It looks like Companies are worried of making the final step and admit that for a certain design the 29" is better than the 27.5" (and viceversa). Maybe the two standards will exist together forever; that could be the point.
  • + 2
 i wouldn't be unhappy on a 27.5 short travel bike... but given a choice between a 27.5 Django & a 29, I'd buy the 29. or a Hendrix & an extra wheelset.
  • + 3
 The straight tube-d aluminum bike has such refreshing angular lines! devinci has been killing it on the industrial design for awhile now, no exception here.
  • + 1
 @vernonfelton : more on the Django 29 vs Following please... Geo is almost a carbon copy, DW designed suspension, 120/130... What other impressions outside of presumed "Django climbs better, Following descends better"? T.I.A.
  • + 1
 I'm a Wreckoning owner looking for a second bike. The Following doesn't fit as big as the Wreckoning but the D29 looks like it might be perfect. More in this comparison please.
  • + 4
 "68 - 68.5° adjustable head angle


seems a bit fecking pointless - why not just make it 68.
  • + 4
 It also changes bottom bracket height, wheel base and seat tube angle. It is a noticeable difference in handling. I ran the Dixon for years with the same geo adjustments.
  • + 2
 Still too steep regardless. 67 please!!
  • + 1
 @handynzl: tbf the wheels are too big as well lol
  • + 1
 Anyone want to comapre geo on this vs the atlas? I love the atlas apart from the faxt that my xl is barely fitting me at 6'1.5" (small reach). Otherwise great. 110mm rear and I run 120mm front. I didn't pay 6000$ for my full xt with hope/stan's version luckily.
  • + 1
 I'm a big rider and just stuck the numbers in my geo chart. Compared to other bikes I'm looking at (Smuggler, Honzo CR, etc) it's in the ballpark. Which is a bit surprising because as far as I can tell the folks at Devinci have never met a person who was over 6'2".
  • + 1
 I love my atlas also. I'm 6'2 and ride the xl its small but I don't mind. It crushes trail. I would love to try this one out!
  • + 1
 @alexsin: times are a changing eh? everyone's on board now mate, even Devinci, imagine. the Troy looks awesome as well. the hold out seems to be Rocky but the guys at the LBS just showed me the new dealer book and the Slayer is massively long. it's the new age and tall guys are now included.
  • + 1
 @jamesbrant: I'm told that Rocky is about to release a new medium bike, something like a scaled-down Maiden. There will also be Sight and Range 29ers from Norco, who get extra props for doing a lot of size-specific stuff on their bikes.

The irony is that the Enduro 29, which effectively gave birth to the concept, isn't very tall-guy-friendly now.
  • + 1
 Owner of a Troy for 2 years or so, Love the split pivot and waited a long time for this 29er.

Author and other are comparing it to the Evil, why not to the Jet? i think it is much closer in what it ment to do, long eides and fun rides, that will feel good on the same bike.
Also, there is the Hendrix which is odd to me me why not make it 27+ and also 29er, also foes for the new Django. If you make 148*12, make it for both size of wheels, and gives more room to play with it - only a thought.
  • + 5
 How long before we get the 30.5 wheels ? Can't wait any more.
  • + 10
 18% faster! 287.9% stiffer and 5% lighter, while being 3% smaller and having a 99% increased angle of attack due to the 4% larger size. And only 200% more expensive. It's a no brainer mate!
  • + 10
 @atrokz: I ran the calculations, and your numbers are 103% correct.
  • + 1
 Sure if you want to run 40 spoke wheels or 32 x 1/4" dia spokes...
  • + 3
 Those split pivot bikes feel crazy playful to ride. Would love to try this one.
  • + 0
 I would rock a Alloy Devinci for sure just because they are born in north America at least they come from the same continent! Unlike other big brands. They need to bring their carbon over here and get it the hell out of china!
  • + 3
 UNREAL (movie) for FREE on redbull tv NOW www.redbull.tv/video/AP-1NDH12BMW1W11/un-real
  • + 1
 Awesome looking bike, i was hoping they would make a 29er since they announced the first django. My one issue is the alloy frame colour, I don't need a carbon bike but the paint job alone might be worth the upgrade
  • + 1
 Nothing constructive to say -it just looks like a Kangaroo: The massive white seatstays and all-black front end have a slimming effect that make it look like all-hind legs.
  • + 2
 I wish not only the top level bikes were tested, but also a more attainable, alloy model.
  • + 6
 I hear you. The top-level version was what they had on hand when they rolled into town, so that's what you see here. The NX level carbon bike, however, is priced well at $3,809 (USD)...about $1,400 more than the carbon frame alone, which is kind of crazy given that it comes with Fox suspension, front and rear, as well as a dropper post.
  • + 1
 If it rides anything like the Atlas while addressing the slight geometry shortcomings of its predecessor, then it's a great bike.
  • + 1
 Alloy frame with Fox Performance Elite suspension all for $3600....smart smart spec!
  • + 1
 Missed the mark on the geometry side of things.........nowhere near as slack as other "new school" 29ers
  • + 2
 Please do a Intense Primer and Django 29 shoot out
  • + 1
 Think I'll djan go and get 1.
  • + 1
 That's worth like an eight f a prop.
  • + 1
 Is reach really the same between large and xl or is that a typo?
  • + 1
 Looks like it works great
  • + 1
 29er parties never seem to end uh?
  • + 6
 Ask Giant.
  • - 1
 When journalism quotes nursey rhymes.... Eek

"The Django was nimble, it was quick"

Jack be nimble,
Jack be quick,
Jack jump over
The candlestick

lol
  • + 1
 *Jack Flash sat on a candlestick
'Cause fire is the devil's only friend

www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAsV5-Hv-7U
  • + 1
 Boost in the back with clearance for 2.35s? Lame.
  • + 0
 Nobody in hell was asking that question
  • + 0
 I like the way you ride boi
  • + 1
 pressfit BB, no thanks
  • - 2
 Why are companies still limiting bigger tires. 2.35 max? Come on, I thought this was "born on the shore?!"
  • + 9
 uuuh... DeVinci is from Quebec. not the Shore. and (a legit) 2.35 rear tire width seems to be the sweet spot for going fast. after that, sidewalls start folding, or have to be reinforced to the point they weigh a ton...
  • + 2
 @slyfink: Born on the shore of the St. Lawrence? Some of us like big tires on light bikes.
  • - 1
 Banshee was born on the shore. Devinci is an immigrant.
  • + 2
 Born on the shore of the Chicoutimi river, an affluent of Saguenay river which is an affluent of the mighty St. Lawrence... So yes, born on the shore... of somewhere.
  • - 3
 How many of you almost hurled - or at least had to choke a few lumps back - when you saw those seat stays?

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