2016 Devinci Spartan – First Impressions
I alluded to this in the preview for Shimano XT, but I’m pretty excited about this bike. It represents the first time in a while I haven’t been handed down the testing detritus that nobody else is interested in. This is a prime piece of grade-A trail killing ass and it looks the part.
There she is. I remember these days. A stubby little stem…a rear tire that wouldn’t hold air…and a sparkly fresh XT gruppo.
The Spartan has been my rolling test bed for the last few months and has the custom build to match. As alluded to above, it has a full 1x Deore XT gruppo, from the brakes all the way down to the wheels (and Shimano threw in a stem, bar and seat from the PRO side). After that, DVO provided us with a Diamond fork, which is the sparkle that seems to catch everybody’s eye. Continental provided the rubber and a Yep! Seatpost rounds out the mix. Not too shabby, people.
A flip chip and a Monarch Plus RC3 Debonair. I’ve left it here in the high position for the first part of the test but plan on flipping her around and seeing what happens in the near future.
The build quality on this bike is great. From the under the downtube skidplate to the bolt on cable hatches to the rubber chainstay bumpers, there are some nice details. The lines all flow and she looks nice, if you ask me.
Here is a good look at the rear suspension. Looks absolutely nothing like a Session.
The Yep! Uptimizer. Not only could nobody find me a 150mm travel post, they couldn’t even leave me enough cable to get full seatpost extension. More on that in a later article. Also pictured is the PRO fertility reduction device.
These are the front bits that you hold onto. The stem and bar came off pretty quickly because they were too short and too wide respectively. And the fork is probably going to find some time under Pete because I’m being a bit of a baby about it.
Let’s all just pause for a moment to admire the stick that Kaz found to jam into the bottom bracket to hold this bike up. Do you think he keeps that stick in his backpack and hauls it around to all of his shoots? It looks perfect. The bike looks pretty mean as well, what with the colour matched Sensus grips and Diamond fork.
I’ve run the ‘Hi’ setting exclusively so far, as it just feels comfortable. It offers up a not obscene 66.4 degree head angle. While maybe not the trendiest of angles, it feels like a pretty good balance for the North Shore and I don’t feel all that bad about the relative ‘steepness.’ The top tube/reach measurements put it in the ballpark with the usual suspects, albeit in the shorter end of that ballpark. If I were to buy one, my 6’3”s would want the XL. But hey, reviewers can’t be choosers.
The bike has chainstays and they have a length. Some will probably judge them to be “too long”, others may think they are “just right”. They have not yet caused me to crash or have a bad ride.
The rear end is a peach. It does all the right things while pedalling and doing actual riding. I’ll probably be singing a similar tune in a month or two, but we’ll see where we end up. So far, so good.
An arty little gem from Kaz. Admire those cable ports.
Here’s the drive side. Gives you a good look at the fresh XT and the nice rubber protection on the chainstay.
Dave seems to be in his happy place…