Spotted: A New 165mm Travel Enduro Race Bike From Deviate

Oct 4, 2021 at 7:24
by James Smurthwaite  

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.

The high single-pivot, linkage-activated suspension design appears to be carried over from the Highlander range.

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.

Deviate has spent the past four years producing high pivot bikes and we're not expecting that to change anytime soon.

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.


  • 154 1
 Some eagle eyes spotted this PROTOTYPE in the wild
  • 7 1
 when they say spotted do they spotted or is spotted the new name for press release
  • 5 0
 @Compositepro: yep bang on. Hold out for the first ride review tomorrow.
  • 23 1
 @2-1RacingUK: you'll be waiting a little longer than that! This really is a prototype and we only have 1, which happens to be Henry's race bike.
  • 2 0
 Snake in the eagle shadow?
  • 4 1
 @deviatecycles: Please call it the Claymore thanks
  • 104 0
 SPOTTED: New prototype bike, complete with HA, travel, and reach numbers!
  • 191 10
 I guess it should have been titled, "We Spotted Something New and Then Asked the Rider for More Information About Their Bike."
  • 56 3
 @mikekazimer: not as click-baity though
  • 4 0
 @mikekazimer: That's also quite the mouthful (headlineful?)
  • 8 0
 Proper Headline: Human laser scanner catches prototype in the wild, photographs and runs full geometry calculations.
  • 15 2
 @mikekazimer: Studies show humans are biased toward adding instead of subtracting when solving problems. How about this option? "New 165mm Travel Enduro Race Bike From Deviate"
  • 7 22
flag Waldon83 (Oct 4, 2021 at 12:27) (Below Threshold)
 Seem's a lot more planned than spotted. Nobody just carries around a Canon 1Dxmkii incase they spot a prototype bike....
  • 1 15
flag drib (Oct 4, 2021 at 12:34) (Below Threshold)
 @BiNARYBiKE: fake "spotted" articles generate more customer activity in the comment section. I guess quantity over quality is preferred...
  • 83 9
 @Waldon83, they do if they're already at the EWS to cover the race. I don't really understand why people think there's a conspiracy here - Deviate were obviously looking for press by racing the bike. It's new, and not many people have seen it so it makes sense to cover it.
  • 27 2
 @mikekazimer: maybe people are just thinking "Outside" the box here
  • 7 25
flag FarmerJohn (Oct 4, 2021 at 12:58) (Below Threshold)
 @mikekazimer: "We spotted it" makes it sound like you guys were hard at work Vs reality of a giant prototype sticker on a bike at a major cycling event being pushed around with the intent of getting "Spotted"
  • 6 20
flag fries (Oct 4, 2021 at 14:16) (Below Threshold)
 @mikekazimer: what's not to understand about it?? You've used the word "spotted", when clearly this is setup. There's nothing close to being spotted here, it's click-bait, just admit it
  • 121 3
 @fries: No conspiracy here... we put an EWS racer on a prototype enduro race bike that will be launching at some point next year. By putting a big "prototype" sticker on it, we hoped that some media outlets/riders/spectators would "spot" it and talk about it, ideally sharing some snaps on social media or on news platforms. Pinkbike photographer Ross Bell saw it, took some snaps, and then we received a message from Pinkbike asking us if we were able to share some more details: we gave them the basics which is what you see in the above article...

I'm pretty sure a small brand looking to generate some attention for a new product is not really surprising to anyone!
  • 15 3
 Oh @mikekazimer: we all know there’s pap’s at the race and we all know they’re going to approach riders for details. Just don’t start throwing around the “conspiracy” title now. We all know you write your own Wiki page……

If you’d have titled it in any other way, the ‘global internet armchair professors’ would still highlight your shortfalls.

Let them have their moment as their mum shouts down to them in the basement, if they want another bowl of lucky charms.
  • 37 4
 @deviatecycles: Your reason, levelheadedness, insight into these events, and defense of the process is both far beyond what one would expect to be your obligation, and completely wasted on the pinkbike comment section.

Resume illogical and pointless trashing of @mikekazimer, outside, and the way every article is written, regardless of how it is written.
  • 12 11
 @deviatecycles: I don't think you're getting it. I'm opposed to click bait, not your bike, or even the way you went about the publicity. Call me an old man, I don't care, but pinkbike never used to use click bait titles, it's new in the last few years and I personally think it's beneath them and tacky af. Good luck with the launch, bike looks great.
  • 16 4
 @fries: the title describes the article and what the reader should expect to read. Click bait would be more to the effect of, "You'll never guess what bike we spotted" or "Have the Scottish gone mad with this new bike?" or "Harry and Meghan tell all about a new bike"

All I see is a descriptive title. Why is everyone getting there nips twisted over these "Spotted" articles.
  • 5 1
 @mikekazimer: You know we’re only here to complain about everything, why else would we all have a pinkbike account?
  • 13 2
 Jesus you are a bunch of whiny little shits, aren't you Pinkers?
They've seen this bike, asked for details and brought you photos - and you still think it's some kind of swindle.
It's called journalism (and it's my career so I know it when I see it).
  • 1 10
flag drib (Oct 5, 2021 at 1:25) (Below Threshold)
 @deviatecycles: What would be lost with titles like this "Preview: New Enduro Bike From Deviate", instead of cringe fake "spotted" article?

What did you gain from this useless title which is generating this useless discussion?

PB/Outside did get more customer interaction, but you?
  • 5 1
 @drib: theyve already explained the situation, its not a fake spotted article. PB spotted the bike took some photos and then after, contacted deviate for details about the bike. There's no playing loose with the truth here and you're making a mountain out of a mole hill for some perceived insult to your intelligence.

why you're pointing the finger at deviate i don't know.
  • 2 2
 @chakaping: Thank you mate!
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: Or "Is it even new, if it's not longer lower slacker idley'r?"
  • 63 0
 Plot twist: it's not actually a prototype, the model's name is PROTOTYPE.
  • 9 2
 Given that its carbon and has built in frame protection (and even graphics) then I think its safe to say that this bike is very much not a prototype, and very much the finished article.
Prototype sounds cooler though.
  • 1 0
 @gabriel-mission9: its a bit like those prototype cars covered indisruptive pattern vinyl or therres enough money to blow on mold tools to make a one off bike
  • 2 0
 Model name: Prototype
Tagline: There can only be one!

*Panning shots of Scottish highlands*
  • 53 0
 Only ONE idler pully? YAWN. I'm over it. Where are the dual idler pully bikes at? I want my suspension forces isolated from my braking forces, my damping isolated from my rebound, and my pedaling forces isolated from butt forces.

If some company doesn't start making bike with more than just one idler, and requires at least 3 chains, I don't know where the industry is heading.

What happened to INNOVATION?
  • 18 1
 Shh, innovation is so the 90s-early 2000s, now we're in the Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V phase.
  • 7 0
 Sounds like you're ready to bring back the unified rear triangle!
  • 8 0
 @maxxx: URT me baby one more time!
  • 2 0
 @maxxx: Unjustified rear triangle?
  • 4 0
 Brooklyn Machine Works has entered the chat
  • 4 0
 Tell us more about these 'butt forces'.
  • 6 0
 @number44: butt force = rider weight, divided by area of saddle contact, multiplied by riding time, minus shamie thickness multiplied by millimeters of pedal bob.

  • 2 0
 @bonkmasterflex: I feel like the previous day's Taco Bell consumption should figure in to any calculations of force and butt. Maybe that only matters when 'analyzing' HSR.
  • 1 0
 Why stop at 2! Lets jump right to Sram Composite Radical Eagle Wings with 12 concentric pulleys none using the same size bolt. It is as close to perpetual motion you can get, even generates it own power for all the electronics.
  • 33 8
 So why does Forbidden, Norco, ect all get so much press, while Deviate gets the "meh" treatment? I think their Highlander is the cleanest executed high pivot since the Canefield Jedi
  • 13 1
  • 19 6
 What's the 'meh' treatment? Their lineup is still fairly small - we can't review what doesn't exist. Levy did enjoy the Highlander when he reviewed it last year:
  • 14 1
 @mikekazimer: I meant by the mountain bike audience as a whole. Everyone raves and raves about Forbidden, I never hear chatter about Deviate. I was going to check who had more Instagram followers, but all of Facebook is down.....
  • 13 0
 Because they aren’t a North American brand
  • 3 0
 @hamncheez: Well, its relatively easy to get your hand on a forbidden or a norco in N. America. I've seen plenty of Druids here on the front range of Colorado, haven't seen a single Deviate.
  • 18 0
 @Unrealityshow: We're working on making it easier for North American riders to get their hands on a Deviate...
  • 2 9
flag skiboot1 (Oct 4, 2021 at 14:40) (Below Threshold)
 @hamncheez: what about the Canadian brand Evolve? High pivots and idlers seem dumb on pedal bikes. High pivots on downhills make sense. When pedalling uphill I'd like to remove as much of the insufficiencies as possible. You can change my mind.
  • 4 0
 @skiboot1: because it doesn’t actually matter. If the bike slightly more efficient up, on a 45 minute climb if the bike is 2mins faster. Which is arguably a lot between the tape, is not even relevant when we are talking about going out for a ride. But if the bike is more stable, more plush, on the descent, that is worth it. At least for the riding I do.
  • 2 0
 @skiboot1: anything more than an XC rocket makes some compromises which negatively affect climbing performance, from suspension kinematics, to geometry, to tire choice. Even if high pivot systems do affect climbing, it's just another compromise that riders can choose to make (as 99% of riders already do).
  • 4 0
 @deviatecycles: whew laying down some fire on skiboot1
  • 1 0
 @skiboot1: Looked at Evolve's website, didn't see any DH bikes or high pivots
  • 5 0
 @skiboot1: also this is why nobody cares about Evolve:
  • 2 0
 @N-60: but they put a custom linkage on it
  • 2 0
 @skiboot1: the "inefficiencies" are negligible. I switched from a Ripmo (the benchmark for climbers) to a Highlander 150... IMO, the latter climbs better, not necessarily faster, but better. Power from pedal to patch is predictable and constant. Steep SA with a predictable and confident HA makes it a great climber. It's an "enduro" bike so I'm never racing to the top.

Going down is another thing altogether. I've beaten all of my Strava times with this new bike. High pivot isn't just for DH.

Just geeking out but what other company employs grease ports on their pivots? Works like a charm!
  • 3 0
 @skiboot1: evolve literally sells rebadged chinese catalogue frames. They used to have a few advertised as "VPP" until (I'm assuming) either Santa Cruz or Intense mentioned intellectual property and both those models and mention of VPP were scrubbed from their site. Enough explanation?
  • 3 0
 @deviatecycles: I would like that a lot. This bike looks much better then the Dreadnought, and doesn’t have the dangling dingus of the Shore.
  • 1 0
 @bonfire: i have a trek madone its probably slower ip hill than any bike with an idler with my fat self on it….. now i did hear they do these bikes with motors in so i can claim KOMS are legit
  • 2 0
 @jovesaxa: my 2005 Rocky Mountain switch had grease ports.
  • 1 0
 @N-60: I had no idea
  • 1 0
 @deviatecycles: bring them to Nelson, BC. I would love to!
  • 1 0
 @BiNARYBiKE: That's crazy. 2005!! I'm sure it is cost prohibitive now on mass production bikes where profit margins are at play. I think it's a useful feature and glad to have it.
  • 1 0
 @jovesaxa: My 2011 Kona Coilair had a grease port, as did my 2008 Santa Cruz Blur LT
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: *Me crawling out from under my rock* My bike has disc brakes. What? Are you telling me your "old" bikes also have disc brakes? Hydraulic? Pffft. Joking aside, I'm surprised to hear so many manufacturers tried it. Did you like it?
  • 1 0
  • 2 0
 @jovesaxa: Last-Bikes also use greasports on their pivots, though no high pivot bikes.
If I don't end up getting another Last as my next bike, Deviate is one of the most likely alternatives, would love to try this high pivot stuff.
  • 2 0
 @Losvar: Unfortunately, LAST don't have distribution in Canada, which is the case for many of these really nice/niche European brands. They really do make a beautiful bike but are cost prohibitive once you launch them over the ocean without the padding of a proper distribution chain! Does the grease ports system work well? I've only used them once and seem to do the trick.

I really am sold on the HP - it goes! My young lad just pre-ordered the new Devinci Spartan so I'm definitely looking forward to trying it out as well.
  • 1 0
 @Losvar: havent santacruz been doing this forever
  • 15 0
 Today i threw all of my unused mountain bikes in the ocean because i plan on acquiring this prototype.
  • 11 1
 Higher pivot = Higher profit.
  • 3 0
 no high pivot is high enough
  • 10 0
  • 2 0
 like the scottish long sword, used with both hands....BUT IF.....they will sued by, probably not...
  • 7 0
  • 1 0
 In keeping with the movie theme, this bike simply must be called The Kurgan
  • 1 0
 Or call it the M181 8some twit will not get the reference and point out its only got 160 travel
  • 4 0
 So the pink bike comment section is now for complaining about real bike news from the staff we have always loved? Seems like a set fulfilling prophecy if you drive out all the people who once created content by complaining about the content.
  • 4 0
 Love my Highlander, this looks like an awesome upgrade, but perhaps too much bike for my typical rides.
  • 5 0
 If you call this the Smashacutioner 5000 I may consider it
  • 8 0
 That will never work. Try Smashacutioner 6000.
  • 6 1
 Great to see it's not an E bike.
  • 1 0
 I've liked these Deviate's for a while and great to see a 165mm version, as that's the sort of thing I'd buy.

I've noticed the mbr review of the Highlander where they basically say that there is stiction in the rear end, due to the lip seals used on the bearings, meaning the ride is not as smooth as you might think. Has anyone with a Highlander noticed this?
  • 1 0
 Only when the shock isn't in the frame and I'm trying to move the rear end by hand. Don't notice a think when out on the trail
  • 1 0
 What does prototype even mean anymore? Paging FTW to define the true definition of prototype cause this looks like tidy production model pulled out of box ready to race.
No disrespect to idler pulley bikes (more than one way to skin a cat).
I do understand why they exsist maybe its more of an esthetic thing to me or perceived more chain friction. I haven't warmed up to them yet...........just seems to me the equivalent of sticking bandaid on gashing wound.
  • 1 1
 Looks very nice and all... but to go and say they are innovating and came out in 2017 with this great idea of using high pivot rearward suspension designs is a bit of a stretch... I don't know the age of the writer, but there were plenty of bikes using high pivot rearward travel frames back in early 2000s (Brooklyn Machine Works, Balfa, Canfield, to name a few).
  • 3 0
 Are we sure it's a "Prototype" ?
  • 1 1
  • 3 2
 Nice! I always hoped that Deviate would make a proper long travel bike instead of just throwing a different link on their 140, screwing up the geometry, and calling it a day.
  • 2 0
 do you have one?
  • 4 2
 If they can’t call it a Claymore, they should go with The Kurgan. Like The Highlander but more badass.
  • 1 0
 clancy browns best role imo
  • 1 0
 Ah ! you got there before me! Of course it must be the Kurgan
  • 3 0
 External cable routing! Can we get a comeback?
  • 1 0
 External , internal routing
  • 1 0
 @mfoga: "Also borrowed from the current Highlander is the external cable routing channel below the top tube".
Though I see now it goes into the stays after that, what a wasted opportunity.
  • 1 0
 a truckload of @deviatecycles mtbs were already spotted in Pisgah last week. How the snuck by the @santacruz dealer at the entrance to the forest is the biggest mystery yet!
  • 3 0
 Lovely looking bike! Nicely done, best wishes on the hills.
  • 1 0
 More bearings, more sprockets, and still complex damage open gear drives. It's a right time to create great solutions for gearboxes we need.
  • 2 0
 I wonder if it's a prototype, can't tell.
  • 2 0
 Damm that looks like a beast.
  • 2 0
 What does “smash your PBs” mean?
  • 2 0
 Peanut Butter
  • 5 0
 Pathetic balls
  • 8 0
 Probably “poor bros” still riding a 2020 low pivot bike
  • 1 0
 Puny Balls
  • 3 0
 Someone should answer. Personal best. Wait that’s not it….
  • 2 0
 PBs are what we called PRs before Strava came along
  • 3 0
 It’s what outside has done to PB (pinkbike)
  • 1 0
 That is one badass looking frame. Move over Norco, Cannondale and whoever else...
  • 2 0
 Damn, not a single OUTSIDER for me to downvote. Will check later.......
  • 3 0
 Well, how about an Aussie to poke fun at?I'll start it:

Ha ha, your bats can't fly and you can't hit a six off a underarm mullygrubber! Take that!
  • 2 0
 @deviatecycles looks like an absolute weapon!
  • 2 0
 One please.
  • 2 2
 glad to see they didn't go with the powdered colored hues of all the 2020 bikes.
  • 5 3
 review tomorrow
  • 3 2
 It’s got a sword on it I bet it’s gonna be called Excalibur!
  • 3 0
  • 2 0
 @jonnybeher: The Claymore?
  • 2 3
 Anyone besides me hear the word in their head all Pootie Tang style and pronounce it "Suhwoed!"
As in... that mutha cut me with uh suhwoed!
  • 1 1
 @zombiejack33: Already a bike from Cannondale.
  • 3 1
 @blowmyfuse: and when they use the word claymore for the bike they get "suhwoed" by cannondale
  • 2 1
 @pisgahgnar: they should spell it the Celtic way then ! Scotts should lets themselves being robbed of a such part of their culture by 'Muricans tho it is already cultural appropriation but it sure won't be seen this way.
  • 3 0
 @inthebigmountains: Ah, good find. So Deviate picked up the trademark for Claymore. Shows that Cannondale's trademark on it expired April 15 2021
  • 1 0
 The kurgan
  • 2 2
 It's gonna be called the Claymore
  • 2 3
 CrackNFail already has that
  • 1 0
 @KyleIsaman: They haven't had that model in production since around 2013. I'm sure is free by now. Still it would be nerdragingly epic if they called it The Kurgan.

Also I rebuilt an 05 Prophet with modern parts (27.5 conv, 1x1, custom tuned shock etc) and I beat the tar out of it. I ride that thing balls to the wall wherever I can. I even took it to Mtn Creek and it did fine on the blues and greens which is my current skill level.

No crackage or failage there. I do know the rep was well earned for a while there though. Maybe I got lucky.
  • 1 0
 Beautiful bike!
  • 2 0
 Any color you like, as long as its black!
  • 1 0
 I got 5 kids too feed
  • 4 5
 It looks just like every other prototype high idler pulley bike out there.
  • 1 2
 It does, really. That's the problem with design trends. Yea your favorite bike brand now makes a high pivot mullet bike you wanted, but so does everyone else. When Specialized, Trek, or Giant makes a high pivot bike, we'll know the trend has run it's course.
  • 14 1
 Or, perhaps, more accurately, every other high pivot idler bike prototype out there looks a bit like the Deviate Guide (2017) or the Deviate Highlander (2019)...
  • 1 0
 @PHeller: Or when a photo is published of David Beckham with one (which was the day every hipster fixie rider cried themselves to sleep).
  • 1 2
 Huh. Another idler wheel. Shocker.
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