Devinci Hendrix NSMB Greg Bast (1)
Min Max

Min-Max: Greg's 2016 Devinci Hendrix 27+

Words Andrew Major
Photos Greg Bast
Date May 13, 2022
Reading time

Pluses

The Devinci Hendrix presented an interesting take on selling mountain bikes in 2016. Devinci put together just one high-value complete build and then sold frames for a reasonable price for folks planning to make so many changes to the build that there was better value to be had assembling their own vision. For 3000 USD, a new owner got a SRAM GX drivetrain, Guide R brakes, mid-level RockShox suspension, stalwart Race Face Aeffect cranks, reasonable Formula hubs, and a fixed seat post that would make a great back up for when the dropper craps out. For 1600 USD they could have just the frame and shock.

The complete bike had some upfront costs for anyone that really wanted to use it as a mountain bike; replacing the Maxxis Chronicle tires with actually knobby rubber, moving the 180mm rotor to the rear and adding a 200mm up front, and adding a dropper post. The 30x10-42t gearing was a bit tall for the average rider pushing plus tires up steep climbs so a Cinch 28t ring or even 26t ring would have been a good buy.

The 67.3° head tube angle (HTA) isn't unreasonably steep for a bike with a 120mm travel fork but going from the frame up, why not consider buying a 140mm fork and a -2° angle set? Or, stick with a 120mm fork, install a -2° angle adjusting headset, and run the bike as a mullet with a 29er front wheel. The smorgasbord of build options in a well-built 120mm suspension bike package are delicious and the Hendrix is no exception. This frame is running on all the most common current standards with Boost 110x15 and 148x12 wheels, a press-in 44/56 headset, and a 31.6 seat post. The bottom bracket is a press-fit PF92 but combined with a 24mm spindle the bearing life should be good.

Devinci Hendrix Plus NSMB Greg Bast (1)

Aside from AXS this is my favourite Reverb remote setup. RH plunger upside down on the LH side. It's tucked away, cheap to replace, and consistently straightforward to bleed.

Devinci Hendrix NSMB Greg Bast (3)

The Hendrix was released in 2015 for the 2016 model year. It's a bit dated in terms of geometry and, of course, the plus tire spec but it sports current component standards for plug-and-play upgrades.

Devinci Hendrix Plus NSMB Greg Bast (7)

Greg's already updated the 32mm Reba for a Foxzocchi Bomber Z2 fork and the Guide brakes for a pair of significantly more powerful Code stoppers. The Bomber is a highly upgradeable chassis.

Currently the Hendrix is a largely ignored six-year-old platform that is worthy of consideration on the used market. The fast-and-fun geometry in a shorter travel platform should include it in conversations with machines like the Kona Process 111, Transition Smuggler, and Banshee Phantom with the one notable difference that those are all 29ers and the Hendrix is based around 27+ wheels, committing all the worst crimes against plus tires at the same time with the paper thin, low grip Maxxis Chronicle tires as the stock rubber.

Even Greg's upgraded rubber is fairly awful as plus options go. The EXO sidewalls in a 2.8" size, without inserts, have a minuscule magic air pressure setting between bouncing like basketballs and being a squirrely shitshow, and as is generally true of the DHF tire, the wider they get the less fantastic they are whenever you're carving your bike. The 2.3" DHF is a legendary tire for the reason, the 2.5" is good but has largely stepped aside for the Assegai, and the 2.8" and 3.0" have huge transitions from the centre to the side.

While there are limited tires to choose from, there is still some experience-changing rubber out there for Greg and any other plus-curious riders. For aggressive riding, a Schwalbe Magic Mary 2.8" in Super Trail casing would make a great front-and-rear tire. For faster rolling, going to a Hans Dampf or Big Betty as a rear tire, also in Super Trail and 2.8", will keep the tire patches matching. That's the first 200 CAD I'd be putting into this bike, or any Hendrix turning stock tires.

Devinci Hendrix 2016 Geo Chart

The 2016 Devinci Hendrix 27+. Geometry chart from Vital.

In the low geometry setting, the Hendrix sports an actual seat tube angle (STA) of 70.8° which Devinci measures as a 74.8° effective. The addition of a -2° angleset with the stock build would steepen the STA, increase reach, and lower the bottom bracket a bit from the stock 326mm height but that's still not enough of a change to make the steepest effective saddle position - with the saddle all the way forward in the rail - current. If Greg was looking for a steeper pedaling position, 9point8 makes a 25mm offset Forehead clamp setup. This adds stack height, and it may only work with 9point8's Fall Line R dropper post. I haven't seen one in person so I can't confirm whether it works on on other posts, but for 45 USD it may be a worthwhile experiment for a few riders I know who's number one complaint with their bikes is the pedaling position.

Hendrix 27+ frames, which later had their name changed to the Marshall, have relatively tall seat masts for a given size. It would be possible to gain a bit of drop by chopping the seat mast a bit and then lengthening the channel in the back. While this might void any extended warranty, it would be possible to gain somewhere between 1-2cm. It doesn't sound like much but the extra saddle drop could be enough to allow someone to keep the frame.

Not everyone has the tools, talent, or trust to cut the seat tube, and drill holes in older frames for stealth routing. If you understand that these actions could violate your warranty (which is silly if a frame fails in a different area) then ask around and you will find a bike shop willing to do the work for you.

Devinci Hendrix Plus NSMB Greg Bast (4)

I love plus tires. Both 27+ and 29+ and to clarify, I mean 2.8" or larger rubber not those peasant 2.6" tires everyone's pushing as a replacement. I don't love the lack of options and current availability, especially for 29+ setups. (My beloved Vigilante 29x2.8" is dead again).

Devinci Hendrix Plus NSMB Greg Bast (5)

I don't love Maxxis' plus options with their EXO sidewall and that's especially true of the very vague over-sized version of the DHF with it's huge gaps between the center and side knobs. I'd be swapping these right away for some, currently available, 27x2.8" Schwalbe rubber.

Prior Upgrades

If you're counting cogs you may have noticed that the 11-speed GX drivetrain on Greg's Hendrix actually has twelve of them. This is thanks to an e13 upgrade shifter kit that I've previously reviewed. The kit is fantastic and beyond adding a click to the shifter, via a new ratchet, it adds a bearing to the GX shifter like the higher-end X0 and XX shifters contain. This upgraded shifter works great with the current 12-speed SRAM derailleurs so when the current GX 11-speed derailleur and the 9-46t e13 TRS+ cassette are worn out, Greg will have a range of options to keep his Devinci shifting. Assuming the shifter is still clicking nicely through the gears, of course.

Sticking with the XD driver, there are cassette options from SRAM, e13, and SunRace but before replacing a complete cassette it's worthwhile to look at the e13 option to just replace the low gears which see the most torque and are made from aluminum. The steel higher gears should outlast multiple chains and multiple low gear swaps on a mountain bicycle. In the front, the options for a Cinch compatible chainring for Aeffect cranks are endless. If weight isn't a concern, the stamped-steel Race Face rings are cheap, cheerful, and functional. Add in a decent quality chain and replace the GX 11-Spd derailleur with a GX 12-Spd when it breaks or wears out. If you can find another GX 11-Spd, buy that and remember to swap the e13 pulley spacer kit off the current changer.

It's similarly possible to just gut the drivetrain and replace it completely with a wide-range budget option but I think the path Greg is on will give him a more robust product with better shifting quality at a similar cost - at worst - and will create less recycling in the long run.

Devinci Hendrix NSMB Greg Bast (6)

A bomber drivetrain featuring a Race Face stamped steel narrow-wide ring and an e13 cassette that's replaceable in halves. Just throw in a decent quality chain and ride.

The most recent upgrade the Hendrix received saw the stock SRAM Guide brakes replaced with Codes with significantly improved stopping power. Guides are fully refreshable but the Code system is a nice upgrade that Greg can theoretically run forever with routine maintenance and periodic rebuilds. Replacement pads are relatively cheap and very well supported. They use easily acquired DOT brake fluid, and the 'Bleeding Edge' caliper fitting and dual-syringe bleeding make the system the easiest on the market to bleed cleanly and consistently. They're on the short list of brakes I recommend.

Greg has also replaced the stock Reba 27+ fork with a Bomber Z2, which is a reasonably well-performing fork when you factor in the purchase price of 700 CAD. The Rail damper is very basic, but if he wants better fork performance from his Z2 chassis, the highest value proposition would be to upgrade the fork at it's next 100hr/yearly service. There are multiple options worth considering for damper upgrades. In this case, buying a damper out of a Fox 34 that someone else is upgrading is probably out of the question since the Marzocchi uses the same, thicker, stanchions as the Fox 34 Rhythm or E-Bike chassis.

Some folks will take issue with recommending a damper that costs a significant portion of the Z2's purchase price but the chassis is solid, the air system is good, and flipping this fork used and buying a stock fork with a top-end damper will be significantly more expensive. The most common upgrade is to spend 360 USD on a top end Fox GRIP 2 damper, and, along with a service, that's a fantastic upgrade over the more basic Foxzocchi dampers that come as original equipment on some surprisingly expensive bikes. Based on my own experience, I'd also consider spending more - 500 USD - on an Avalanche Racing Products damper. My 2012 Fox 34 with an Avy damper and the old Fox coil-negative air spring is still one of the best performing forks I've ridden.

Devinci Hendrix Plus NSMB Greg Bast (10)

A pair of SRAM Code brakes are a big upgrade over the stock Guide setup. I love that they're fully rebuildable and well supported.

Devinci Hendrix Plus NSMB Greg Bast (9)

They are one of the easiest systems on the market to bleed and quite clean thanks to the patented Bleeding Edge caliper fitting.

Pivoting

Specfic models from a few manufacturers make up some 90% of the bikes owned by riders interested in participating in this Min Max column. I'm interested in presenting a variety of machines but it seems that folks who are drawn to buying a bike and upgrading it in this way are often drawn to either the uniqueness of the bike initially (not a belly button bike in appearance or attitude) or the value it presents up front. I think this Hendrix, as a relatively aggressive short-travel 27+ bike for a very reasonable price, checks those boxes.

Unfortunately, as has been discussed on NSMB and elsewhere, plus tires never really had a fair shake in terms of initial experiences with too-narrow rims and tires with crappy paper-thin sidewalls. New converts are almost totally relegated to the slowly growing niche market of rigid mountain bikers and the rest of the sales are to established believers who know that 2.6" tires are not really a replacement for what they love about 2.8-3" rubber. As such, it's not really surprising that options are limited for Greg to re-shoe his Hendrix and options for a new 27+ dual suspension bike barely exist. All the more reason to keep his Hendrix running.

Devinci Hendrix Plus NSMB Greg Bast (2)

Greg's son Max has an XS 2021 Devinci Marshall, which is the evolution - and devolution - of the Hendrix platform. Rather than plus, the Marshall comes in 27" and 29" models.

If you're considering submitting your bike for min-max, and you're not sure if it would be a good example, please let me know. I'm not writing about any full suspension trail bikes with straight EC34 headtubes (1-1/8" steerer specific) but otherwise, I have an open mind. To answer a FAQ, there's not a minimum age of bike we're looking for. If you have a bike from last year that you're looking to upgrade strategically I'd be eager to get an e-mail about it. In the meantime, if you were buying a min-maxed rig today to upgrade over the next five years what would you be pedaling, and if you were riding this 2016 Hendrix 27+ what changes would you be making?

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Comments

mrbrett
mrbrett
1 week, 3 days ago
+2 Andrew Major kcy4130

I had a similar era Devinci Django, and never really got along with the feel of the rear suspension. Which, was odd - given I rode it better than a number of bikes since, and found it to be relatively fast on a wide variety of trails. Maybe I gave up on that bike too soon and could have worked harder on setup? Ultimately I sold the frame for like $1100 or something, with a -2 angleset in it. Kind of wish I could undo that sale ...

Definitely a story of "the one that got away"

Reply

kcy4130
kcy4130
1 week, 3 days ago
+4 Andrew Major mrbrett danithemechanic Tremeer023

Getting a new bike and not getting along with it is the worst. I've had that experience a few times. First I try a bunch of different settings, unsuccessfully. Then I go thru the phase of trying to convince myself the bike is just fine, it's all in my head, I paid a lot for that I'll just have to get used to it... Then I try a different bike or my old bike find it way better and am forced to acknowledge that I made a poor purchasing choice and move on.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
1 week, 3 days ago
+3 kcy4130 D4nderson Vik Banerjee

If you can. I’ve heard folks wax poetic (you know, when they’re TOO in love) about bikes that they’re clearly not getting along with. Recommending them to other riders, etc. Only to see them flipped in a year - a luxury other folks who may have trusted their assessment don't have.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
1 week, 3 days ago
+1 mrbrett

For my own curiosity, how far did you go in sorting out the rear end? Shock service or other shocks?

The DebonAir shocks could be hit and miss and I know quite a few riders who saved their experience (and a lot of money) just doing the basic Care For Your DebonAir and others who upgraded shocks for the win.

Reply

mrbrett
mrbrett
1 week, 3 days ago
+1 Andrew Major

It was a carbon 2017 Django, and I think those all came with a Fox Float Factory. So I think just dials and maybe volume spacers if applicable (just DIY tuning). Surely there was more performance there. And to think of the low, low, pre-COVID price that frame sold for. A shock upgrade/alternate option would have been smarter for sure. 

Next time I will make better decisions. Right?

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
1 week, 3 days ago
+2 mrbrett bishopsmike

I mean, sure, you could have gotten more for it with the pandemic price surge but at least you can sleep at night. Some of the rip-offs I’ve come across… ugh. 

In the spirit of min-maxing, I’ve met plenty of folks who’ve bought shocks that seem like ridiculous upgrades for older frames but picking up an Ohlins, or EXT, or CC Kitsuma, or etc for a few year old frame is cheaper and probably offers better performance than flipping your frame and getting a new one with a more basic damper. All this gen of Devinci bikes including Troy and Spartan are fairly neutral riding. I know folks who upgraded Spartan and Troy with high end shocks and raved about the change so I can’t see why it wouldn’t be the same with a Django or Hendrix/Marshal. 

Sometimes it’s just time for a new bike though, I get it.

Reply

LWK
LWK
1 week, 3 days ago
+2 Lu Kz Lynx .

Does anyone have any recent experience with Avalanche?  They seemed to be a thing back around ~2010 and I had an old Fox RP23 shock tuned by them, which was an improvement.  but they seem to have a pretty low profile these days.  A website that appears >10y old maybe doesnt help?...

Reply

Jotegir
Lu Kz
1 week, 3 days ago
+1 Lynx .

Right? I'd love for the folks at NSMB to get their hands on product or two. They're obviously still kicking because they have products for stuff like the 2022 Float X and other brand spankin' releases. Extremely curious about stuff like their revalve/shim stack products on stuff like the Super Deluxe Ultimate and I'd be interested to hear about how their fork dampers stack up to modern offerings like a GRIP2 36/38 or Charger 2.(something) ZEB.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
1 week, 2 days ago
+1 Lu Kz

I don’t have a recent Avalanche experience but my understanding is they’re still busy doing their thing. It’s a tiny outfit and they’re doing service and upgrades. Based on my past experiences and talking to other people, if I already had a good chassis - like a Boxxer - I wouldn’t hesitate to add an Avy damper v. buying a new fork.

Reply

WyOh
WyOh
1 week, 1 day ago
+1 Andrew Major

They serviced & custom tuned the Super Deluxe coil on my GG Smash. Huge improvement! I weigh 245lb… I now have usable and meaningful adjustments available instead of “wish I could turn that dial further to see if it would help.” Highly recommend!

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
1 week, 1 day ago
0

Awesome! A revalve of the stock damper or did they gut the shock? May I ask what spring rate you're running? Did it change as part of having the shock tuned?

Reply

WyOh
WyOh
1 week, 1 day ago
+1 Andrew Major

He changed the shim stack & replaced a plastic bushing with an aluminum replacement. Spring rate went up from 550# to 600. I had the option of using the climb switch as a near lock out, or to be useful for XC trails. I chose the latter. Pardon me while I gush about this a bit... when new/original, I rode this bike exclusively in Plush mode, mostly with the shock open, & really liked it. Crush seemed harsh and useless. The Avi tuned shock now has me preferring Crush mode with the "climb" switch on for almost everything... feels more supple AND poppy/playful than Plush ever did, all at the same time. I save open for descents or chunkier stuff, & I don't spend time on extreme enough trails to make Plush a common choice. All this has me wondering... is this what full squish bikes ALWAYS feel like for people in the middle of the design envelope?

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
1 week, 1 day ago
0

That's awesome! It's one of the reasons I love the poppet valve architecture of the Cane Creek Double Barrel shocks. The entire - very broad - tuning range is external so there is no re-valving for different riders. That said, it is great that riders can get their stock shock custom-tuned (and get a great performance result) without having to spend for a new shock.

DaveMac
DaveMac
1 week ago
+2 Andrew Major Tjaard Breeuwer

I have a 2017 Marshall and can confirm that the tire swap to Magic Mary 2.8s is a significant upgrade.  I've made some other small changes to the bike over the years, but the tires were the most significant.  I converted the Pike from 120mm to 130mm, added a lower headset cup extender (from Pivot), and swapped out the shock to a Cane Creek DB Air IL (with a slightly longer stroke).  Gained a little extra travel and ground clearance and slackened things out slightly.  Mine was running a RF Aeffect wheelset, which I ended up replacing the rear hub with a Hope Pro4 after a couple freehub failures. It would certainly benefit from a longer dropper and lower gear.  I would be able to fit a 150mm dropper without the frame mod.  I'm running a 30t oval right now but will probably switch to a 28T and or a 11-46 cassette next time I replace the drivetrain. I have recently picked up a used long travel 29" bike that is lots of fun once you get it up to speed, but I have no plans on selling the Marshall as I still enjoy riding it.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
1 week ago
0

I wish Schwalbe did the Plus sized MM in a 29” as well. Everyone talking about the 27x2.8” is stoked. 

Your Marshall sounds excellent!

Reply

silverbansheebike
silverbansheebike
1 week, 3 days ago
+1 Andrew Major

right on, another min-max! Gotta love the father-son devinci's. My dad rode a devinci when I was younger (still riding it), and I always wished I had one just like his!

Hard to see from the pics, but I imagine the bearings are a standard size? It's tough to think of anything that would need to be changed, save for maybe the tires and a 29" front wheel, but this looks like a really fun bike.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
1 week, 3 days ago
+3 silverbansheebike bishopsmike danithemechanic

Also, thanks for your enthusiasm. As long as folks keep reading & submitting (and I have something unique to say about unique rigs) I’d like to continue with this series. 

Have yet to do a hardtail. Have some things to say about the most recent Rocky Slayer and same for an Ibis Ripmo AF or Ripley AF. Anyway, always eager for more submissions.

Reply

silverbansheebike
silverbansheebike
1 week, 3 days ago
+2 Andrew Major Lynx .

Welcome! It's cool to see what others have done/could do with their bikes, and I think the min-max attitude is easily relatable to many folks. I agree it would be cool to see a hardtail, there seems to be more one-bike hardtail options than ever lately, and they aren't something new either. Lot's of min-max potential!

Reply

Ripbro
Ripbro
1 week, 3 days ago
+2 danithemechanic Andrew Major

I would love to hear what you would do with a ripmo AF. I bought the base nx model when it was released as it seemed like a steal at the time, and was even a better deal with the price increases over the last couple years.

Upgrades/changes for me so far:

Guides T -> Code rsc. 

Bought with a bike yoke 185. Great post and rebuilding this winter was really easy.

Changed out the rear assegai for faster rolling agarro. 

Changed out bar for a 40mm rise bar. These bikes have a lower stack height and I was between L and XL and wanted my bars higher

NX cassette going strong, but need a new derailleur. Likely switch out for Deore

Suspension: instead of a new bike, I’ll be looking to upgrade front and rear suspension. For the price, the DVO stuff has been great, with excellent customer support. Maybe a Mezzer? I’m curious to see if fox and rock Shox have anything new next year. My brother bought a storia and raves about it out back.

I will be keeping this bike for a while and upgrading as I go which was the plan all along when I bought the lowest build. New bike prices are just crazy.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
1 week, 2 days ago
0

Brakes are a big upgrade on a lot of rigs. In terms of writing a min-max piece it really depends on the specific build of the bike being submitted.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
1 week, 3 days ago
+1 silverbansheebike

Tires are the only thing I’d change tomorrow. And then a -2* Angleset. Finally, I did the math yesterday for another min-max project and you’d get minimum 3cm more drop with a OneUp post.

Reply

silverbansheebike
silverbansheebike
1 week, 3 days ago
0

Nice! On the topic of posts... been thinking about how one might cut a seat tube shorter. I think the limit might be where you could reasonably get a drill to fit without interfering with the top tube when drilling the stress relief hole at the bottom of the slot. I can't imagine having that hole drilled on a huge angle would be ideal, but maybe it works? Maybe a dremel is the way forward here?

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
1 week, 3 days ago
+3 silverbansheebike mrbrett Tjaard Breeuwer

You can orient the slot anywhere on the seat tube - front, back, or side - so I don't see how the top tube is an issue? I guess if you were just lengthening an existing channel, that's at the front of the seat tube, then that could be a problem.

Reply

BadNudes
BadNudes
1 week ago
+2 Andrew Major Tjaard Breeuwer

I think the limit for most bikes would be about 10mm above the top tube joint/weld. You need to leave enough of a stub to get a collar on there. I'd also try to check the internal profile of the seat tube, some seat tubes are internally butted (i.e. thicker tube walls at the top where they grip the seat post) and I'd be hesitant to shorten that butted section too much, say below 75mm or so. 

But before getting the hacksaw out remember to also consider the bottom of the seat tube; cable ports, bottle cage inserts, pivots, bends etc. can stymie your long-drop dreams regardless of where the seat collar sits.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
1 week ago
0

All great points!

Reply

Ride.DMC
Ride.DMC
1 week, 2 days ago
+1 Lu Kz

In my experience adding a -2 degree angleset to my bike shortened the reach by a noticeable amount.  Still a worthy upgrade though.

@Andrew Major I would be interested to hear why/how it would lengthen the reach on this frame?

Reply

Timer
Timer
1 week ago
+2 Tjaard Breeuwer Andrew Major

What it certainly does is shortening the distance between BB and grips, all else being equal. Aka. the weighted sum of reach and stack. In my mind, that is the relevant measurement when it comes to frame geometry.

When can always trade effective reach for stack and vice versa with spacers, stems and bar roll. So increasing reach by lowering stack just changes fit, but doesn't gain anything in terms of frame geometry.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
1 week ago
0

In terms of effective position in really depends on the setup pre-Angleset. If you get the bar/grip height back by switching to a taller riser rather than adding headset spacers - or if possible lower your stem further and add an even taller bar - you can often end up with the same or even a longer effective position if you want.

Most the older bikes I’m writing about in min-max have relatively short stack heights (and riders run multiple mm of spacers) so generally achieving the same effective position isn’t an issue. In cases where it is (stem slammed already, etc) then adding 1cm of stem length probably isn’t the end of the world.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
1 week, 2 days ago
0

Assuming the same fork axle to crown. Even going to external headset cups to accommodate the -2*, the fork is slacked out enough that it lowers the front end and that increases the Reach measurement.

If you’re talking about effective Reach with the slacker HTA then results certainly vary based on headset spacers. In general this is why so many tall folks are slamming their stems and buying high-rise bars.

Reply

Juan
John Delacruz
1 week, 1 day ago
+1 BadNudes

Hi!  Would you have any inputs on how to min max an old single pivot bike?  

I have a Morewood Mbuzi (medium vs my usual small frame sizing) purchased second hand which I guess to be a 2009 or 2010 model.  I installed a -2% angle head set (Works Components), a Marzocchi 66 180mm fork, and a DNM RCP2 coil shock, downgraded to BB7 brakes (for my own reasons), and Magic Mary 26 x 2.6in front/2.3 rear tires.  The cockpit was adjusted with a DNM 35mm length stem, a low rise Spank bar, and Brand X Ascend 2 dropper.  The drivetrain was completely replaced with a mix of Shimano components.

I am satisfied and hoping to progress my skills with the current set up.  However, I wanted to know if you have tried a similar single pivot project or familar with that of someone elses.  How far did the bike approach the performance of a current model enduro bike and where were they held back by being a single pivot?

Reply

BadNudes
BadNudes
1 week ago
+1 Andrew Major

Single pivots rule! Just because it's simple doesn't make it a lesser design. Antoine de Sainte-Exupery would even say single pivots are a more perfect design, "...nothing left to take away" and all that. 

Most generalizations I've heard about single pivots are total BS. They can be designed to be progressive, have rearward axle path, be stiff and light, or basically whatever you're looking for. They can also be designed poorly, like any DW/Horst/VPP/ABP linkage can. Anyway, I don't think single pivots should be ruled out compared to "current" designs. If a bike is held back it'll be by the geometry or the kinematic design of the frame, not just because it has less bearings.

I think the Mbuzi would make a great min-max article.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
1 week ago
0

I’m not familiar with any Morewood bikes but in general terms simple single pivot frames are great.

There are structural and tuning advantages to linkage driven single pivots, and potential performance advantages with virtual pivot point bikes (4-bar, etc) but for many riders these benefits are largely theoretical or parking lot specific. Good geometry and hood suspension components will trump generalizations about design.

Reply

danithemechanic
danithemechanic
1 week, 3 days ago
0

Couldn't this bike simply be converted to 29" wheels? I did it with a first generation Turbo Levo that, now i recognized, was min-maxed to the top and that i sold for more than it costed new.

The 2017 Levo was born as a "Fattie" but the fork already had a label stating the 29" option, i converted the whole thing and despite the wrong sizing (the reach of those M is today's S) the bike was feeling more "modern" handling.

Edit: i wanted to upload a pic of it but i don't know how...

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
1 week, 3 days ago
0

It might clear a 29” rear. Many bikes that can clear 27x3” don’t, or only clear a 29” with a small tire, some do.

I think more and more people are coming around to the benefit of running bikes as a mullet. And with the limited travel (120mm), I think it’s better run as a Plus-Mullet, or at least with a 2.6” out back.

I like Plus tires. 27+ / 29+.

———

It could be an interesting idea for someone to chase up if they owned a Hendrix and really wanted a 29”. Greg is happy with his 27+ setup so there’s nothing more Min-Max than grabbing a set of tires. Wheels are expensive.

Reply

Timer
Timer
1 week, 3 days ago
+1 Andrew Major

That mullet conversion might be the last resort if plus tyre choice gets really bad.

But given that Schwalbe has a habit of supporting uncommon tyre sizes for a looooooong time, it might never be necessary (just look at their 26" lineup).

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
1 week, 3 days ago
+2 Timer BadNudes

Schwalbe has great options now. Hard to imagine Surly will ever stop making the Dirt Wizard, which most people seem to like. 

I think we’ll see more and more aggressive rigid bikes (like Stooge) and that will carry the Plus niche (27+|29+) forward.

Reply

hongeorge
hongeorge
1 week, 3 days ago
0

Surprised at the hate for the 2.8 DHF - maybe because it's a dual compound up front? I found the 3c 2.8s on my old plus hard tail a joy on wet roots. Yes, there was a narrow sweet spot between puncture and  bounce, but they worked really well for me.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
1 week, 3 days ago
0

Nothing to do with compound. What other 2.8/3” tires did you try as a comparison? Yes, the sidewall makes them finicky to get pressure dialed (not a Maxxis specific issue - tire manufacturers/spec ‘killed’ Plus no doubt) but that aside, there are few proper-knobby Plus tires I don’t think are better. Just looking at tread.

The gap between the center and side knobs on the Plus DHF is huge so I found them unpredictable for anything but riding in a straight line (I’m not great at cornering as it is, and need all the help I can get from my tires).

The big DHF was just okay (benefits of Plus still there with air pressure dialed) until I tried other rubber - 3” SE4 (29+), 2.8” Vigi, 2.8” Butcher (27+), even the 2.8” Nobby Nic was an improvement. It’s something that other riders - I often bring up James @ Obsession: Bikes as a strong technical Shore rider who experimented a lot with 27+ - experienced as well.

I ended up giving my almost fresh DHF Plus tires away to friends (27+ and 29+) which probably sums up my experience.

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joseph-crabtree
Joseph Crabtree
1 week, 3 days ago
+1 Andrew Major

I like the DHR2 w/EXO+ as a front tire on a 40 mm internal rim to get the side knobs digging in sooner but I LOVE my Dirt Wizard though it's over 1200 grams but the supportive casing is worth it.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
1 week, 3 days ago
0

Thanks, this is a more succinct way of putting it. DHR2>DHF for sure, but when you throw out the gram scale and try something with proper support it all clicks. 

Really hoping to try a 29x3” Dirt Wizard this year since the Vigilante 2.8” is currently dead again. Really hoping the Vigi makes another comeback too.

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Tjaardbreeuwer
Tjaard Breeuwer
1 week, 1 day ago
0

@Andrew, what rim width did you have the DHF on?

I too love my 27.5 x 2.8 DHF (Maxterra, Exo).

Yes there is a channel, but on my 40mm (internal) rim, and at plus tire pressures, I get a ton of cornering traction in most conditions.

I don’t know if it because the side knobs sit fairly high on the shoulder, or that the double center knobs provide a lot of cornering traction pretty far into the lean, or maybe that the soft pressure means the tire is flattened out enough to get the cornering knobs on the ground sooner?

Either way, I have been very happy with them.

Tried some Terravail Kennebec and hated those. The Cornering knobs sat way to far down on the side, they would never have engaged.

Conversely, I loved the old Nobby Nick’s in standard sizes, fast rolling, and reasonable grip, so thought the plus would be great.

Total fail up front. Unpredictable wash out, due to sudden los of cornering .grip.

I think Schwalbe’s mistake was keeping the same number of knobs as the standard tire. There the cornering knobs were slightly stagger a bit more inboard and a bit more outboard. On the plus tire, they pulled that offset further to the inside and outside, with the result that basically every other cornering knob is missing( it has become a transition knob). Huge stretches along the length of the side without side knobs, then a small knob, then nothing again…

They live on as rear tires, until they are worn out. I won’t be buying more.

Other than that I ran a Dirt Wizard for the bike park, later replaced by a Vigilante 2.8, light, high grip.

Aside from casing support, plain old traction of the DHF is not that far off those for me.

Strange how we have such different experiences with the same tire. I suspect riding style and skill play a big factor, as well as terrain. Ours is mostly hardpack, loose over hard, kitty litter, or dry rocks, slabs and a few roots, so very different from yours.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
1 week ago
+1 Tjaard Breeuwer

I’ve run the 29+ DHF on an i39/i40 rim and an i45 rim. Strangely didn’t have a preference for either. Have run it on hardtail, FS, and rigid.

I’ve run the 27+ DHF on an i35 and on i39. 

———

Without an insert I prefer the Tough casing from WTB for the Vigilante. With a CC-Plus insert and a lot of rides on both I’ve settled on the Light casing (it’s not that Light) with an insert. 

I bring it up because on my ATB I’m running 2.6” Rangers (on i39) and the Ranger Light casing is much, much, lighter than the Vigilante.

I do think if Maxxis made the DHR2 in a more supportive casing that I’d like the tire. DHF just seems to be missing some knobs between the centre and sides. Like I said though, I’m certainly not the best at aggressive cornering.

hongeorge
hongeorge
1 week ago
0

I started out on 2.8 Nobby Nics but they were impossibly fragile, regardless of pressure, and suffered from the same issues as regular Nobby Nics in that they were not very good off road.

I was happy with my DHF/DHR setup until I sold the bike, and a friend is still loving them. That said, I still have a 2.5 DHF on my trail bike, and I get along fine with that too.  Your "largely stepped aside for the Assegai" comment has me wondering though, I have an Assegai that I took off, just felt it added drag without a massive benefit. Maybe it needs another go.

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DanL
DanL
1 week, 3 days ago
0

Due to the slings and arrows of supply chain misery two years ago and having an XD driver and SRAM drivetrain setup, I was running out of options for a reasonably priced cassette . So I thought I'd give that E13 trs+ cassette a go - at the worst it could see me through for a bit.
It's on it's second set of large cogs with no replacement of the smaller section, so it's just amortized itself against 2 GX cassettes and I have no reason to want to change it. If I has a microspline it might have been a different story but I do like the intent to split out for replacement more used cogs vs less used cogs

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
1 week, 3 days ago
+2 DanL Lu Kz

I've had great results with the e13 cassettes, both the 11spd and upgrading to 12spd, and particularly the newer generation versions that use the pinch-bolt lockring for the low gear cluster. And yes, being able to replace just the worn low gears is a solid win. 

I'll still take an HG driver every day of the week though. Jailbreak! (or don't).

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DanL
DanL
1 week, 3 days ago
+1 Andrew Major

I'd love to change out the XD driver on my FS for an HG and all the goodness that entails but I'm in the "it ain't broke" portion of the parts that are inherited on it (used bike purchase) and the SRAM derr, crankset etc are all in good order.
The OneUp switch chainring setup that was also inherited has been excellent as well although, like the E13 I'm continually/pleasantly surprised that these seemingly little bolts can accommodate the torque - ok probably not that much looking at my non-dangerholm legs haha

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Tjaardbreeuwer
Tjaard Breeuwer
1 week, 1 day ago
+1 Andrew Major

I use an e13 11 speed in the bikepark, so not much use, but it has been fine.

On the trails I use Garbaruk. Not cheap, but close to E13 , with weight similar to top of the line Sram at nearly double the price, and all steel except for the biggest cog.

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I_am_beige
I_am_beige
1 week, 2 days ago
0

I often find myself looking through the buy/sell section for another specialized pitch, I always thought the bike rode really well, and for its age the geo is still pretty decent, especially on the later models (2010 onwards), it's just a shame they only made it with the straight 1 1/8th steerer rather than a tapered one as they did on the later bighits as this limits the upgrade options.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
1 week, 2 days ago
+1 Lu Kz

Yeah, Pitch (and the Enduro SL it was born from) are awesome rigs but the 1-1/8” steerer specific headtube means they’re all dead bikes rolling so they’re not something I’d write about for min-max.

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