It's fair to say Deviate was a bit ahead of the curve when it comes to high pivot suspension designs. While the past 18 months have seen many brands experiment with rearward axles paths and idlers, Deviate was making bikes with the pivot point above the chainring back in 2017 with the 160mm Guide frame
Deviate has since refined its concept into the Highlander range
that eschews the gearbox for a conventional drivetrain in a trail-friendly package. Unlike most high pivot bikes, which are aimed at the gravity-fed crowd, Deviate's Highlander bikes have previously had a focus on all-round riding with 140mm and 150mm options.
That might be about to change however as we spotted U21 racer Henry Crease racing on a 165mm travel Deviate prototype at the EWS Tweed Valley. Our guess is that this bike will replace the somewhat-dated Guide as Deviate's new enduro race offering. At the moment, the details are thin on the ground for this bike but it shares a very similar silhouette to the other Highlanders so we're expecting it to be an extension of that range and the sword decal on the downtube pretty much confirms that
The 165mm travel bike is designed to be run with a 170 or 180mm fork. This specific prototype is a size large, with a 64-degree head tube angle (170mm fork), and 490mm reach, making it 1° slacker and 23mm longer than the equivalent Highlander 150.
The suspension system looks to be carried over from the rest of the Highlander range, although we expect there has been some kinematic tinkering for a progressive enduro racing tune. Also borrowed from the current Highlander is the external cable routing channel below the top tube, the idler hardware and the seat tube angle - Henry is running a 210mm dropper "slammed" in the size Large.
Frame details include built-in protection and ample clearance for the worst of the Scottish weather.
Deviate calls the bike, "very much a tool for steep, technical and fast trails, designed to smash your PBs on any enduro track." A production version of this bike will be released in early 2022.