Review: The Devinci Wilson 29" is a Big Bike for Big Speed

Mar 11, 2019
by Paul Aston  



Devinci's Wilson has been on the World Cup circuit for years, but after a brief hiatus, it is back under the Unior Devinci Factory Team, with Dakotah Norton taking it to 5th place in Losinj. The current iteration rolls on 29" wheels, with a Canadian made aluminum frame and 204mm of travel delivered via a Split Pivot suspension design.

The Wilson 29" is available as a complete bike in two spec levels, or as a frame only, with a choice of colorways - the black / silver (pictured) or red / orange. The ready to race X01 DH build (tested) with a top spec Rockshox Boxxer World Cup fork and Super Deluxe shock is available for $6449 (approx. €5681), while the GX DH build has a Boxxer RC fork in addition to the obvious drivetrain change and can be bought for $4119 (approx. €3629). The frame only option comes with a Super Deluxe Coil WC shock and FSA headset for $2279 (approx. €2007).

Devinci Wilson 29" Details

Intended use: downhill
Travel: 204mm rear / 200mm front
Wheel size: 29"
Frame construction: 6066 T6 aluminum, carbon seatstay
Fork: Rockshox Boxxer
Shock: Super Deluxe Coil
Sizes: S, M, L, XL (tested)
Colours: Black / Silver and Red / Orange
Weight: 38.03lbs / 17.31 kg (XL, tubeless, w/o pedals, actual)
Price: $6449 (approx €5681) X01 DH build
devinci.com


bigquotesDo you want to go really fast? Then this will not hold you back. If you have access to big mountains and lifts the Devinci will serve you well. Paul Aston




Contents




Construction and Features

Devinci
External cable routing will be music to mechanics' ears.

Devinci
A carbon bash plate that sits just off the frame and provides sturdy impact protection.
Devinci
The straight 1.5" head tube allows extra adjustments to be made if needed.

With the original Wilson, Devinci aimed to keep the center of gravity as low as possible in the frame, in order to make space for the shock it developed its distinctive low slung belly. Another thing kept low is the standover height, which should give you more space for your knees to move around when tipping it into a corner.

Although it is mostly an aluminum frame, the seatstays are carbon, which is say to provide extra stiffness. The chainstays are alloy, and connected to a link that drives the shock. There's also a carbon bash plate under the down tube, which should protect it from even the largest flying rocks.

Some geometry adjustment is available via the flip chip at the forward shock mount, providing 0.5° of head angle and 7mm of BB height adjustment.

Mechanics will be delighted to find full external cable routing and a threaded BB. Other details include a straight 1.5" head tube, housing a zero stack headset and a 12 x 157mm rear axle.


Devinci
The rear shock protrudes through the seat tube and keeps the center of gravity low.
Devinci
The Split Pivot system with axle pivot.



Geometry & Sizing


Devinci offers both the 27.5 and 29" models in a full range of sizes from S-XL, but shorter riders might find that big rear wheel getting a bit too close to their own rear on steep terrain, which makes me question the usefulness of a size small. Also, at this point only the 29" bike has updated geometry with lengthened reach, among other things, so they really are quite different bikes.

The reach goes from 430mm (all measurements in the high geometry setting) for the small to 490mm for the XL in 20mm increments, which should happily provide a size to fit everybody. The head tube length also changes between sizes, with the small and medium being 100mm, while the large and XL have 110mm head tubes.

The head angle is slack at 62.5° and the chainstays are long at 458mm to balance out the long front center and provide front wheel grip without having to aggressively weight the front wheel. The BB sits 360mm from the ground, which isn't massively low but should help the bike move from corner to corner easier. All these numbers add up to a 1329mm wheelbase, which should be more than stable at speed.

With the flip chip in the low position, the BB drops by 7mm to 353mm, so head angle slackens further to 62° and there are also several other small changes to reach, stack and wheelbase. Personally, I'm pleased to see modern geometry numbers so that I don't have to automatically drop every bike straight to the low position; I actually used this bike most of the time in the high setting, which may be a first for me.


Suspension Design

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The Wilson's suspension design maintains its original layout, but it's been tweaked for those larger wheels. While it can look complicated from the non-driveside with 'three swingarms' it is fairly simple. The main pivot is above the front chainring, and the bike works essentially as a single pivot. On the non-drive side, this main swingarm splits into two, but not on the driveside to leave space for the chain to pass through. This main carbon swingarm looks huge, but is fairly slim, partially to meet the Split Pivot at the rear axle.

From the Split Pivot point, the alloy chainstay really works as a linkage to drive the shock. As the suspension compresses this long chainstay link pulls another short link that rotates around the bottom bracket and drives the shock via a yoke. The yoke is used to extend the shock's eye to eye length to get the damper in the correct position, and to prevent side-loading.



Specifications
Specifications
Price $6449
Travel 204mm
Rear Shock Rockshox Super Deluxe Coil, 250x70mm
Fork Rockshox Boxxer World Cup 29”, 200mm
Headset FSA Orbit 1.5R
Cassette SRAM XG-795 7S 10-24T
Crankarms SRAM X01 36t
Chainguide E13 LG1+
Bottom Bracket SRAM GXP 83mm
Chain Shimano HG601-11S
Rear Derailleur SRAM X01 DH, 7 speed
Shifter Pods SRAM X01 7-speed Trigger
Handlebar Raceface SIXC 35mm rise, 820mm width
Stem Raceface Atlas 35mm diameter, 50mm
Grips Devinci Performance Lock On
Brakes SRAM Code RSC
Wheelset Raceface Atlas 29" 30
Tires Maxxis Minion DHF and DHR2
Seat SDG Fly RL CRMO Rail
Seatpost V2 Alloy 31.6mm

Devinci









Test Bike Setup

The Wilson was prepped in line with the other downhill bikes on test for a fair comparison. The RaceFace bar was cut from 820mm down to 800mm, and its height from the floor set at 1090mm. The Boxxer ended up with 135psi, -7 rebound, HSC open, LSC +2 and no tokens. The Super Deluxe shock is simple to set up - I used a 400lb spring and -7 clicks of rebound. During testing, I did change back and forth to a 450lb spring or added a few clicks of LSC to get the ride feeling I wanted.

These setting gave 18% sag at the fork and 25-30% at the shock when standing. Tire pressures were set at 24/26psi and the bike was ready to shred. Testing took place on a variety of tracks, from Finale Ligure, Verbier, San Remo and some of Piemonte's best kept secret bike parks.

Paul Aston
Paul Aston
Location: Finale Ligure, Italy
Age: 32
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 75kg
Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Instagram: @astonator


Devinci

Riding

Out of the gate the Wilson pedals well. It's a big machine, and felt longer than the Commencal Supreme DH despite the very similar numbers on paper. The Devinci is a little slacker, so the front wheel is a few centimeters further forward and the chainstay is longer at 460mm when static, but similar when sagged, both of which could cause this. The main reason for this bigger feeling can be put down to the more vertical axle path on the Devinci. This makes you want to lean back (and your hands move further away from you) more as the bike goes into its travel, whereas on the Supreme I felt I could always stand in a central position.

Taking the Wilson on back to back runs with the Intense M29 showed this bike was more of a plow bike than the sporty American. The Wilson carved corners slightly better, but was less responsive on short and sharp turns, where it wanted to sit into its travel more. On modern downhill tracks and bike parks, those short and sharp corners appear to be few and far between, and the Devinci was slightly more comfortable in terms of straight trucking.


I don't want to call the Wilson sluggish, as that makes it sound bad, but out of all the 29" downhill bikes of the last twelve months, this was the longest and slowest responder. Whether or not this is a good or bad thing is down to the style of the rider and location, but if you want to go fast with the least effort on big alpine downhills this is a top choice. In search of something nimble and responsive for two-minute UK tracks? Look elsewhere.

Slowing down was the biggest challenge faced with the Wilson. It was difficult to uncover what was causing this, but the neutral anti-rise and fairly high levels of anti-squat could be to blame – under hard braking the bike really started to pitch forwards and take pressure off the rear tire.

Small bump sensitivity was great, and it had really good bottom-out resistance on bigger hits. It is nice for a 29" downhiller to come with the full 200mm travel up front and slightly more at the rear with 204mm. I found the Wilson to have a good balance of stiffness and compliance. The older bike was notorious for being extremely stiff, so perhaps Devinci have worked on this aspect of the frame construction, or the bigger wheels and the straight pull, non-crossing spokes of the RaceFace Vault wheelset gave that bit of give and traction when traveling across angled and rough camber.




How does it compare?

Despite a very similar build and sizing to the Intense M29, the Devinci was a very different machine. It felt bigger on the trail and less responsive, but excelled at pure trucking and cruised through bigger hits more easily. It also felt much bigger than the M29 despite only a few millimeters of difference; I'd put this down to the Wilson heading through the mid-stroke more readily compared to the super-progressive M29 and feeling more off the back. This was the main reason I was changing shock spring rates to get a good balance.

In terms of sheer speed through the rough, the Commencal Supreme is an easier ride for the flat-pedal crew, but skilled clipped in riders shouldn't be held back by the Wilson.


Intense M29 Review



Devinci
A SIXC 35mm handlebar and 50mm long direct mount Atlas stem from Race Face keep it Canadian.
Devinci
A full E13 LG1+ chain guide and SRAM X01 DH crankset take care of chain retention.


Technical Report

RaceFace SixC 35mm handlebar: I have said this before, but I still don't like this oversize carbon handlebar. It's really stiff and beats up my hands and forearms.

RockShox Boxxer: This fork is fantastic and simple to set up. I'm currently justfavoring this over the Fox 49 and it seems to hold up higher in its travel and complies more in situations where it really matters, like turning through rocky sections.

RockShox Super Deluxe: I'm not sure if the bike or the shock manufacturers are to blame, but this was the second bike (Intense M29 had the same problem) where I couldn't reach the rebound adjuster; miniature fingers or some needle-nose plier would just work.


Devinci
Rockshox Boxxer fork and the Code RSC brakes with 200mm rotors handle stopping.
Devinci
7 speed X01 DH is a popular choice and for good reason.



Pros

+ Great overall package
+ A big bike for big speeds
+ Full external brake routing
Cons

- Difficult to adjust rebound
- Hard to slow down in steeps
- A little on the heavy side for some



Is this the bike for you?

Do you want to go really fast? Then this will not hold you back. If you have access to big mountains and lifts the Devinci will serve you well. Want to rail little ruts at your local one-minute downhill track? Nope.



Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesThe Wilson is a pure speed-machine that is best suited to the biggest and rowdiest descents you can find. Devinci offers this bike as a great overall package with nothing to hold you back  Paul Aston








83 Comments

  • + 67
 So now external routing is a pro?
  • + 36
 For the rear brake it is a good thing. For the rest of the cables they can stay inside of the frame.
  • - 21
flag endurogan (Mar 11, 2019 at 0:23) (Below Threshold)
 @chillrider199: why for the rear brake though you dont need to access the cable for any maintenance unless youre swapping brakes all the time if any cable should be externally routed it should be dropper or deraileur those are the only ones you ever actually need to change
  • + 12
 For bikes that have proper tubed internal routing (i.e feed cable in one end and it magically pops out the other) its the best. and the odd brake bleed it is worth it to have all the cables hidden, who changes brakes all the time anyway?. Im done faffing with zip ties and floppy cables on external routing.
  • + 28
 Yeah for racers it's a pro. Imagine snagging your brake line in a crash and you've only 20 minutes to change it before your next run. Spare brake means 3 bolts and 4 cable ties, and it's changed, internal routing is gonna be a lot more faff and with the pressure there might ruin someones chances at a second run.
  • + 7
 @endurogan: dropper/gear cables are easy to change on internally routed bikes. brake pipes need the olive cut off every time they are removed, its a total ball ache. i 100% agree with chillrider199
  • - 5
flag endurogan (Mar 11, 2019 at 3:18) (Below Threshold)
 @b45her: how often are you guys removing your brakes? During original install you have to disconnect it anyways to trim the excess cable and after that you dont need to touch it unless you get new brakes
  • + 8
 For any mechanic it's always been pro. We've once fished a brake cable from inside a frame for like an hour. Internal cables look better, but you can do external fairly neat too these days.
  • + 2
 @inked-up-metalhead: yah imagine if you internally route the cable so it doesnt get snagged in the first place (not saying it cant still get snagged but its less likely) and you can still zip tie a cable to the outside of the frame if absolutley necessary
  • - 8
flag endurogan (Mar 11, 2019 at 3:28) (Below Threshold)
  • + 3
 @endurogan: every snagged or snapped hose I've ever seen has been that great big loop that sticks out forwards, not stuff closely zip tied to the frame. The worst I've seen on an externally routed frame is a slightly dented hose, still fully worked though.
  • + 7
 @endurogan: Even with an easy internal routing you would need to do a bleed of the brake. When you're racing DH and don't have a mechanic or isn't particularly gifted, having external rear brakes is gold. Even the worst home mechanic can cut some zip ties and undo 3 bolts, even in a rush.
  • - 1
 @Balgaroth: you can still zip tie it to the frame if absolutley necessary, that doesnt constitute completley ridding the bike of internal routing and again i ask how many of you are destroying brake lines i worked in a bike shop for five years and never saw damaged brakes aside from snapped levers or internal issues
  • + 2
 It's always been.
  • + 6
 Most brake explosions are from hitting a tree and destroying the lever/cable junction. And I used to race almost every weekend and carried an extra set of brakes with me. One time the lift ripped my brake hose, one time the shuttle goobers (dude grabbed his own bike & ripped hard when he felt it snag my brake). So 2 races I'd traveled a long way to and put MONTHS of hard training into, external routing & a back up brake saved my race run. Screw on site PANIC bleeds.
  • + 4
 @endurogan: Snapped levers either the blade, the body or anything else, when you race DH this shit happens. Not as often as in the old days but a bad crash or during the shuttles and it can ruin your race. It is much easier to have a cheap spare rear brake in your toolbox, preferably with a lever that can go either side so if shit happens to the front brake you could still use that spare brake. Working in a shop is one thing, racing is another one. And changing bikes/brakes each season, it is easier to keep your good ol spare brake than making sure you source each season a spare lever blade and spares for your current brakes and so on.
  • + 5
 @endurogan: it's one hose and one gear cable. It's not like your running a dropper on a dh race bike. And again, it's a dh race bike primarily, so yes it does warrant completely ridding the bike of internal routing. It's not the big teams, it's the privateers it's aimed at, and in this segment it can make or break and bikes sales numbers. Internal routing is purely an aesthetic choice, and there's no place for that when your on a timer.
  • - 2
 @bizutch: how many PB folks do you think would be racing this bike and need a formula pit stop brake change? Internal routing may be the way to go for most riders that dont race and travel long distances to do so.
  • + 1
 Absolutely. I'd almost say its a necessity.
  • + 2
 @enger: We are talking bike Race but when you are at the bike park for a few days or even the weekend, there is nothing worse than breaking your bike and not being able to fix it. For this reason alone I always carry a good toolbox and reasonable spares (tires/wheels/brakes/handlebar) racing or not. And having to do a brake bleed and/or passing a hose through in such situation is not fun when you'd rather be riding with your friends. Sure you can botch it with zipties and fix it at home but even at home it's a PITA.
  • + 0
 @inked-up-metalhead: well, with internal routing you have less chance of this happenning ...
  • + 1
 Easier to work on in the pits
  • + 1
 @Balgaroth: I think @enger must not understand that it's a DH RACE bike. Not just any, an elite World Cup privateer rig & that means racing, lots of work, lots of wrecks, shuttles,hauling, slinging, snagging, dropping, smashing, flipping, pinning, rushing and self-wrenching.
@enger you should understand that if you buy this bike, your goal is to show up and win and have NOTHING keeping you from the podium but yourself. Not a single motocross brake is internally routed by the way. It is a STUPID way to sell a bike by routing a cable internal.

GT built their frames to have a channel for all the cables to be nicely tucked away. Pretty simple.
  • + 1
 @GabrielDugas: again, internal routing still has the big loop at the front that's the single most likely to get snagged, followed by the loop at the calliper. It doesn't solve that. Why is it such an issue? Chances are if you think internal routing would be valuable on a dh race bike then your not the target audience, so don't worry over it and keep riding your bike with internal routing.
  • + 2
 @bizutch: currently racing on a Force and a Fury 2019, those grooves are the job !
  • + 1
 @bizutch: got it. Didnt think everyone raced.
  • + 1
 @bizutch: no I understand and agree with you....but I also know the market of people buying mtb products all dont race and care much as they drop their bike off at the LBS to do all the we work needed is all I'm saying...
  • + 1
 External is the best. Also worth mentioning that although the Tubes within Tubes systems of internal routing are very neat from a "push it through" perspective, they really fall short for markets where you run your brake levers moto, as they're all made in mind of cable routing the other way.

I gotta admit, from an internal routing standpoint, Trek are nailing it at the moment, HUGE open ports with easily screwed on covers, the only fiddly bit is getting the cable tie in the middle of the downtube to wrap around, but that also eliminates all noise from them being loose in there.

It's all a sacrifice though. Personally just prefer external routing as a general rule.
  • + 42
 Just imagen that bike with chainsaw power god rest his soul
  • - 38
flag ciechan (Mar 11, 2019 at 5:30) (Below Threshold)
 imagine*
God*
  • + 20
 @ciechan: it's actully spelled imajun
  • + 8
 @alexdeich: This is not metal mulisha.
  • + 27
 All I can think about is how Stevie would’ve raced the shit out of this bike. I miss him
  • + 4
 Yep that was a great racer i think he would have been uncatchable lol
  • + 1
 I thought the same thing!!! They should change the name from Wilson to Stevie! He'd be going MACH 14 on this bike....Such a young dude, he's ripping somewhere good I'm sure right NOW!!!!!
  • + 25
 So a 17,3kg DH bike is heavy, but a 15kg+ enduro bike is ok.
Strange days.
  • - 5
flag kleinblake (Mar 11, 2019 at 10:55) (Below Threshold)
 There’s no real reason for a proper enduro rig to weigh less than a downhill bike
  • + 3
 Enduro rigs have dropper post & wide range gears and similar spec to a dh bike so there is every reason for them to weigh almost the same
  • + 2
 You can only save substantial weight in a few places on a modern bike. With an Eagle cassette, 150mm+ dropper, DD/DH casing tires the relative weights make sense.
  • + 14
 I guess, the bike is thought for people who will race. Which means an easier way to service your bike or change a part like a rear brake quickly is a highly appreciated detail. It's easier to cut 4 zip ties than opening a hydraulic system and potentially have chance to need to make a bleeding.
  • + 15
 Bring back #SlowTechnicalDescents
  • + 8
 Okay I am not a fan of 29" wheels (I don´t argue they are the best for you, they are simply not for me) but again with a Legend, in my opinion this is the best looking DH bike on the market nowadays. Just look how lovely low is the top tube and the shock sitting comfy down there to just hug the ground and suck up all the bomb holes and track debris. Very neat and fast looking machine with a plenty of space to work in.
  • + 1
 I agree, I just got a legend (but 27.5 )! Def best looking DH bike IMO. Or the Antidote Darkmatter
  • + 1
 @krashDH85: I liked the Lifeline bit more, but yeah I am on the same vibe
  • + 7
 Commencal Supreme DH is Paul Aston's gold standard. It comes up in every "how does it compare" section !
  • + 8
 My new benchmark for bikes and parts: "Will it Aston?"
  • + 8
 There's even room to strap your spare tube
  • + 5
 Paul,
When you are talking about the clicker adjustments, -7 or +2, is that from a middle setting or starting from one end or another? I've seen different people work different ways with that....
  • + 2
 I‘d interpret -7 as 7 clicks from closed, and +2 as 2 clicks from open
  • + 2
 @crisotop: kinda how I read it too... But, I was curious as to how Paul was doing it just for clarification...
  • + 5
 Please release a chainsaw sig frame
  • + 4
 I wonder if the 27.5'' version can be a lot more 'responsive' of if it stays relatively the same...
  • + 3
 Race ready weapon straight out of the box. Can see this doing well on modern DH tracks and parks.
  • + 4
 I'm really thinking of buying this bike.
  • + 1
 Anyone know who the UK distributor for Devinci is? I know it used to be Freeborn, but there’s no info on their web site about new bikes..
  • + 1
 still waiting for my old Johnson to die first ! maybe in 50 years from now.......
  • + 2
 Glad they finally decided to spec a kickstand on this one
  • + 1
 The Devinci website says the bike costs 6.699 Euros,... Not 5.681 Euros,... X01 DH build
  • + 2
 Just say no to 35mm bars
  • + 1
 For me the Wilson’s frame is too much nicer than the Spartan
  • + 1
 That first pic..i would have voted for it.
  • + 1
 Whistler!
  • + 1
 Nice schleybletop Aston
  • - 1
 that seat tube/top tube is hideous.. reminds me of something my grandma would stick to the wall to hang her flowers off
  • - 2
 Who (of the 90% weekend warriors) wants to constantly swap brakes anyway?!? Buy, build, fire & forget...!
  • - 3
 I'm gonna wait on the 36er version!
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