Unior Tools Team Parts Ways With Devinci as Frame Sponsor After 3 Years

Dec 28, 2020
by James Smurthwaite  
After showning promise last year as a privateer Dakotah Norton lived up to the hype and put his factory ride onto the podium at the opening round of 2018.

The Unior Tools team, which has been racing on Devinci bikes in downhill, enduro and cross country, has today announced it is parting ways with its frame sponsor after 3 years.

The team found instant success with the Canadian brand as Dakotah Norton earned a podium at the first World Cup downhill race with Devinci in Losinj. Further success later came from Jure Zabjek in downhill, Damien Oton in enduro and Tanja Zakelj in cross country. Norton was able to bring the partnership to a close the way it started with another podium in Lousa's first race this year.

The team and its riders also worked on developing and prototyping a number of bikes for Devinci including the experimental High Pivot Wilson. You can read more about that process, here.

Jure Zabjek finding his stride on this steep course.
The always consistent Damien Oton would hold on to 3rd on day two.

bigquotesAfter three successful years, we are announcing today that Cycles Devinci and Unior Bike Tools will be parting ways starting in 2021. The last three seasons have brought us unforgettable memories. From Dakotah Norton’s first World Cup DH podium to Keegan Wright’s performances at Crankworx, from Jure Zabjek’s and Tanja Zakelj’s top-10 World Cup & World Champs results, to Damien Oton’s impressive win at Megavalanche, we are proud of our accomplishments under the Unior Devinci Factory Racing banner since 2018.

Unior Bike Tools and Cycles Devinci will still be on the racing scene in 2021, and are both looking forward to announcing their respective plans in the new year.

As 2020 draws to a close, we look back on all the good times this great partnership has brought us.

We would like to thank all the athletes, staff and sponsors who made this amazing journey possible. Thank you! See you at the races… and the after-parties!
Unior Tools

Dakotah Norton went for style own the final jump after crashing further up the track.

It sounds like the Unior Team will be continuing with a new frame sponsor in 2021 while Devinci will still be on the racing scene but in another guise. More follows


47 Comments

  • 50 1
 I hope this means Devinci is restarting their factory racing team that they closed down in the wake of Steve's death. #longlivechainsaw
  • 10 0
 And taking on Loris?!
  • 2 0
 @adrennan: that would be A welcome surprise
  • 1 0
 @adrennan: oh man that would be one hell of a match. Quebec + Loris = W
  • 42 0
 An incomplete list of synonyms for "part ways"
-split
-take a different path
-separate
-no longer hold hands
-don't hate each other, but won't kiss anymore
-hate each other, and will only kiss if Wyn Masters is getting everyone drunk
-won't be working together in 2021
-divorce
-moving on

By all means, let's keep this list going. Maybe we can get the editors to part ways with the headline "parts ways"
  • 18 0
 -doesn't work out, let's just be friends
  • 24 2
 "Pulls out"
  • 6 0
 Withdraws.
  • 15 0
 - leaving
- bailing
- too legit, let’s quit
- ghosting (this would be great, just... don’t make any announcements at all)
- unsubscribed
- new phone who’s this
- laid off
- furloughed
- severed
- actually decapitated in the parking lot with a custom carbon fiber axe, all GoPro footage confiscated and sponsor CEO on trial for murder
- polite awkward smiles at the company holiday party, followed by filling a cardboard box full of mech and being escorted out by security
  • 3 0
 "dakotah divorces devinci'
  • 7 0
 “It’s me and not you”

“I just need some space”
  • 8 0
 conscious uncoupling
  • 3 0
 whatever Emily Batty said
  • 1 0
 It's me, not you.
  • 1 0
 ways parted
  • 2 1
 @twowheelmotion: lol: it’s been a wild ride. Thanks!
  • 1 0
 "does the fade away"
  • 1 0
 It’s not you. It’s me.
  • 24 0
 Devinci is going to sponsor the huffy team with Emily batty, loris vergier etc. It make sense.
  • 1 0
 Ahhh that was funny...
  • 1 4
 Vergier ??? Not at all cause in last Syndicate video Jordie from Fox told then that’s last time working with Frenchman !! Devinci ride Fox since last year ...

For Vergier, Trek looking good for.
  • 3 0
 @Burn21: no rst x huffy x decinci
  • 7 0
 My guess is if Unior is looking for a frame sponsor and #hartattack is moving teams, we might see Cube become the Unior frame sponsor. The post specifically implies Unior will be switching frames.
  • 1 0
 @Burn21: Devinci did, or Unior Devinci? Unior was the team, they would have put together the component package.
  • 8 0
 I'm just hear to point out the crazy shape Dak Norton is making in that last pic. So stylish.
  • 7 0
 Na, they'll keep it Canadian. Mastercraft/Devinci
  • 2 0
 They just need to figure out how to pay for their travel in Canadian Tire bucks.
  • 1 0
 @rrolly: I wonder what the exchange rate is between CT money and the euro?
  • 6 0
 Damn, that rocky section in the first photo looks fun!
  • 4 0
 2021: Devinci Cycles joins forces with American tool icons Craftsman for UCI World Cup downhill.
  • 1 0
 Happy New years Guys,
Am I reading this right? You guys are talking about welding frames?
...Am I missing something, carbon needs no welds. You need a seamstress not a welder. You're right that Taiwan etc is extremely skilled but the majority of bikes aren't aluminum/steel these days and the process of creating consistent wall thickness and resin quality is tricky to do and hard to detect by the buyer (until it fails). Hambini eviscerates companies for their bottom brackets daily as an example.
Quebec has a great work force but materials, tariffs and shipping costs are a factor in the success of these companies outside of their HR costs.
The DH scene is abit different in it's manufacturing but carbon XC/AM/Enduro frames are the bread and butter of a company and that is where Devinci has an uphill battle with Norco and Rocky Mountain in Canada. Huge brand loyalties and they have already sent manufacturing overseas to cut their costs...
I wish Devinci the best but they need to get some better branding to get people to spend cash on their gear.
  • 6 4
 Devinci is becoming the fucking Michael Jordan of bike companies. You in, you out, you change disciplines, you back in.... You maybe back out.
  • 2 0
 2020 December headline.... xxxx is parting ways with yyyy. Insert any name into xxxx, yyyy!
  • 1 0
 Will Unior go back to riding Trek frames or will they get a European brand as a frame sponsor?
  • 1 1
 I remember when Toyota sponsored Schwinn back in the day ... those were good days... and now, made in china crap
  • 17 0
 Devinci makes many bikes in Canada. To my knowledge they make more bikes in North America than anyone else. This may be a competitive selling point for many customers, additionally they are excellent bikes.

Please don’t disparage craftsmanship based on location. The vast majority of high end bikes are made in Taiwan by extremely skilled workers. Making a consistent ,reliable, quality product over and over again is insanely difficult and it is a miracle of our world economy that a modern mountain bike isn’t $40,000.

I build frames in my workshop as a hobby, and I am astounded by the quality of manufacturing coming out of Asia. It is amazing. To anyone who has spent any time welding at all, the TIG welding on display on a run of the mill frame is obviously done by a master craftsman. Easily matching the welding on the beloved Homegrowns.
  • 4 0
 @peterdavidhaile:

but there's a HUGE difference between Mass production Big Box Store quality and master craftsmanship
  • 9 1
 @shwinn8: There are many amazing builders all over the world.

I’m not arguing that there isn’t a difference between master craftsmanship and what is found at big box stores. I’m just pointing out that craftsmanship isn’t contingent on location. Chicago was mass producing crappy bikes for North America long before China came into the picture.

The craftsmanship you see on any Trek, Giant, Specialized, Scott, Santa Cruz, Surly, Salsa, etc. (99% Taiwan) is masterful and it’s done by highly skilled Asian workers; many of which are paid highly. Taiwan has a high cost of living, is highly educated, and has high property values.

The ultra high end world of custom bikes (Engin, Firefly, Bingham Built) has to differentiate themselves from the rest of the industry with proper and custom bike fit.

There are many many stories of bikes from very skilled small scale builders being out of spec in a particular dimension; and that’s because bikes are really really hard to make well.

Economies of scale have made all this possible. It’s a lot of work per bike to make 10 custom bikes, and a lot less work to make 10 identical bikes. Now imagine sitting in a booth and welding 30 identical frames a day for a year. It is amazing and inevitable how good they are.
  • 3 0
 @peterdavidhaile:

that's great. my whole point is where Schwinn was with Homegrowns and Straight8's to where they are now. I'm just living in the past. I'm old.
  • 2 0
 @shwinn8: I can appreciate that, they are beautiful bikes.

I’m apologize for my tone, I should’ve been sleeping instead of surfing the internet.
  • 1 0
 @shwinn8: truth, but that’s largely due to their purchase of Yeti and when they overworked Yeti’s facility in Durango at the sacrifice of Yeti to make those awesome Schwinns. It took Yeti a major move, I believe bankruptcy, and years to recover from that period.
  • 2 0
 Norton to YT
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