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DREAM BUILDS

Steve Vanderhoek's Devinci Spartan

Words Deniz Merdano
Photos Deniz Merdano
Date Mar 31, 2021
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Presented By
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Dream Builds is a new series that highlights two-wheeled passion projects among our fellow riders. Turning a Dream Build into a reality takes time, passion, and commitment. The folks at RideWrap want to help you protect your own Dream Build because it's an investment. If you've got a bike that fits the series, we'd love to feature it, and give you a chance to win a Tailored Protection Kit from RideWrap. You can submit your Dream Build photos in one of two ways:

Send us some photos and a description of your build. Make sure to include 'Dream Builds' in the subject line.

Or simply post a few bike photos and details to Instagram and use the hashtags #dreambuilds and #nsmb.

We'll pick two winning submissions and feature them on the site. The two winners will get a Tailored Protection Kit, courtesy of RideWrap.


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Steve's 2019 Devinci Spartan in size XL.

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That XL Frame has a 485mm reach.

Hey Steve, let's dive right in. How tall are you, what size bike are you running and why?

Yo!

I'm 6'2" and 182 lbs and running an XL Devinci Spartan 29er at 485 reach. I have been on the Spartan since 2019 and I’m super comfy on this bike. Compared to some of the XLs on the market it’s on the shorter spectrum but I know it so well that I have no complaints. I’m no racer and prefer to pop around on the trail and always looking for that bonus side line so it compliments my style perfectly. Looking forward to trying the Devinci Troy which has a bit bigger reach and seeing how those numbers work for my riding.

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Fox DHX2 Factory with 475-lb. spring.

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Steve shares his suspension settings below.

Can you share your suspension settings? Anything in particular that might be different?

Absolutely. I’m a huge suspension nerd and have spent more hours watching Vorsprung Tuesday Tune videos than I would like to admit. I also like to tinker to a fault but I’m super stoked on my current setup. I like to keep my fork running high in its travel to prevent diving in the steeper terrain and set up my rear so I will sit into the travel a bit, further keeping the front end up and maintaining a slack headtube angle. The Spartan is quite a progressive frame so even with the coil shock I’m rarely finding the bottom. I have tried an air shock as well.. I like it but prefer the traction of the coil to keep me alive on some of the bigger moves. For anyone struggling with highly tuneable suspension I have a few personal rules of thumb that help me to get a baseline.

Use LSR to find the “parking lot feel” rebound you like and run your HSR 1 click slower. Find the air pressure/tokens/spring rate that works for you and gives desired sag and use compression for fine tuning. I see too many people choking off their suspension by closing compression damping to prevent bottom out. That’s all I got on this topic... hope it helps some!

2021 180mm Fox 38

108 psi / 3 tokens

HSC - 5 clicks*
LSC - 8 clicks
HSR - 3 clicks
LSR - 4 clicks

*all suspension settings are 'clicks out from fully closed'

2021 Fox DHX2 - 475lb spring

HSC - 4 clicks
LSC - 10 clicks
HSR - 4 clicks
LSR - 6 clicks

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The hyper tune-able Fox Factory DHX2.

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Really cool seat mast/top tube junction.

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Steve's levers are set fairly neutral at about 45 degrees.

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Trusted front end combo for most Shore riders.

What about tires? Do you change tires for the season? What pressures and inserts are you running?

I think I have found a combo I like year round to be honest. Front I’m running a 29 x 2.5 Maxxis Assegai DD MaxxGrip with CushCore on a WR1 Union. Rear I run the 29 x 2.4 Maxxis DHR II DD with CushCore on a WR1 Strife. I have been running a rear MaxxGrip for the last while but when it gets drier I’m going to swap to MaxxTerra to try and extend the life of the tire. Pressure is something I check and adjust for all situations. I would say that 22 psi front and 24 psi rear is my most common setup for Shore conditions. When things dry out, get faster or I’m anticipating a big compression I will ramp that pressure up.

You ride some big lines on the regular. Do you change your bike setup depending on the terrain and weather or leave it consistent and adapt as you go?

For sure I do. I’m not really a set and forget guy... maybe it helps and maybe it doesn’t but I like to think it does haha! There are certain lines I have done recently that are no-fall zones. For that I will drop my tire pressure to sacrifice my bike parts for traction as opposed to myself. The cliffside line I have done a few times I will put my front down to 18 and rear to 19/20. I’m super stoked to be riding the We Are One wheels this year and so far they have not let me down even at these low pressures on hard exits. As for suspension I have it setup stiffer to be able to handle the bigger things as they come. Maybe I will add a few clicks of HSC if its something like Warden's Gap with a heavier impact.

Anything you'd like to change on your setup in the near future for any reason?

Really happy with my current setup. This is my 3rd season on a Devinci Spartan and I feel I got it pretty dialed at this point. I recently added a 35mm riser bar and I really like how it improved my body position for the steeps.

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No Fancy head badge on the Devinci, but I like the simplicity of it

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SRAM Code RSC on the chompers.

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Steve runs his levers more inboard than most.

Tell me what riding this bike on the North Shore, where you were born, feels like? Does it ever feel like work or do you still enjoy getting out as often as you can?

It never feels like work. I love riding more than anything and to me there aren’t enough hours in a day or days in a week to do all the riding I want! I’m born and raised on the Shore and still not tired of it. This bike is amazing for everything this area has to offer and eats up everything I throw at it. I still have lots of traveling and exploring to do but so far nothing beats it for me. The community is amazing and it's really cool to see it continue to grow and produce amazing riders.

You have a pretty demanding daytime job as a Fire Fighter. How do you think it affects your risk assessment while riding?

I love my job and I’m proud to serve the community I was raised in. As most people are aware we see quite a lot of stuff on the job. For me it’s just a constant reminder to never take for granted your time with family and friends or your health. I also recognize that despite the risks I take on my bike there is a handful of other things in life that are risky and can alter the course of my life in an instant. If you choose to pick up the bike you are accepting there is no way to mitigate all the risks. I broke my collarbone pedal striking a root at slow speed on a blue trail. The day before I ejected a backflip upside down over a 20-foot gap and was completely fine... you can never predict. I use my experience and skill I have developed over my years of riding to make a smart decision. I rarely just “send it” if I don’t feel confident or there are too many variables I don’t think I can control.

When was the last time you scared yourself on the bike?

Filming the “Into the Gnar” episode with Yoann Barelli. The line we shot in the end of the video is borderline in the dry and was purely terrifying in the rain. It’s much steeper, chunkier and sustained than the video portrays and the speed you have at exit is wild! We were both warmed up and feeling great on the bike though that day and it worked out perfectly.

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A mix of SRAM XO1 and XX1 drivetrain.

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STFU Chain Slap guides.

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STFU makes the bike run quieter on the terrain Steve shreds on.

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Well-polished and trusty alloy Race Face Turbine cranks 170mm.

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A click here and a click there on the new VVC Grip 2 damper.

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Steve might benefit from a dual crown enduro fork if Fox ever made one.

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We Are One Union enduro rim up front.

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Strife DH rim out back.

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Dave McInnes' Special gift to Steve when he built his wheels. Can you guess it?

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RideWrap doing its job to prevent shuttle wear and tear.

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Devinci has minimal rubber on the downtube otherwise.

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Stout links on the back end.

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They just work.

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Main pivot location well above the bottom bracket.

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I9 Hydra hubs.

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Tilted up because why pedal up :)

Any new projects on the horizon?

Lots of ideas! Kelsey (Toevs - Steve's partner) and I have a couple smaller ones we want to work on before the summer. Yoann (Barelli) and I are tossing around ideas for an edit together. If COVID allows I will get out to Kamloops to shoot with the WR1 crew. And I have started building some new lines for a bigger project I would start working on in the fall. Other than that I’m loving joining Rémy (Métailler) and Yoann for their trail previews and just getting out on my bike as much as I can.

What's on your current playlist in your sweet Tacoma?

The Tacoma is delivering some quality tunes these days. Here are a couple favorites:

“Chains” – R.A. The rugged man

“Heat Rock” – Redlight boogie, Sean Price

"Boom Bye Yeah” – Sean Price

“Dance of death” – Iron Maiden

“Jolene” – Dolly Parton

“Somebody to Love” – Jefferson Airplane

No consistency haha!

What is it about RideWrap products that interest you the most? And which ones do you use?

I’m super OCD about my bikes. My friends always laugh and say they feel bad for who buys my bikes but I keep them running mint all year. That starts with the Tailored protection kit from RideWrap on the frame and fork as well as shuttle armour. My last 3 bikes have looked almost showroom quality when it comes time to sell. If you follow the instructions they give you and are patient it’s a breeze!

Thank you Steve and always a pleasure riding with you.

Thanks so much for the chat Deniz and looking forward to the next lap!

Steve's Instagram

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Steve Vanderhoek always has a smile.

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His Devinci Spartan is pretty much a big BMX.

Steve Vanderhoek's Devinci Spartan build specs

Brand/Model
Frame: Devinci Spartan, size XL, with RideWrap Tailored protection
Shock: 2021 FOX DHX2 Factory 475-lb Spring
Fork: 2021 FOX 38 Factory 180mm
Brakes: SRAM CODE RSC 203mm rotors
Wheels: WR1 Union Front / Strife Rear Carbon Industry Nine Hydra Hubs
Tires: F: Maxxis Assegai MaxxGrip DD / R: Maxxis DHR II MaxxTerra DD CushCore Inserts front/rear
Drivetrain: SRAM XO1 cassette/ derailleur XX1 Gold chain 32T chainring
Cranks: Race Face Turbine Aluminum
Chainguide: E13 LG1 bottom guide May remove it
Bar & Stem: Race Face NEXT R Carbon 35mm rise 780mm
Grips: ODI lock-on
Pedals: Chromag Dagga
Seatpost: Fox Transfer Factory 175mm
Saddle: Chromag Lynx DT Black
Extras: Race Face 50mm stem
Weight: does it matter?

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Comments

YDiv
+6 Paul Stuart Pete Roggeman WasatchEnduro Cam McRae Deniz Merdano grambo
YDiv  - March 30, 2021, 11:53 p.m.

GX cassette is a standout for me. It's pretty subtle but I think this bike somewhat reflects putting performance where it really matters, like suspension and tires, and then settling for "good enough" when it comes to things like consumables.

Racing might be a different story, but yeah.

Reply

martin
+6 Paul Stuart Pete Roggeman WasatchEnduro Cam McRae Deniz Merdano grambo
Martin  - March 31, 2021, 5:51 a.m.

Thanks Steve and NSMB, that was an awesome bike check! Rad guy, rad bike!

Reply

craw
+4 WasatchEnduro Pete Roggeman AJ Barlas Deniz Merdano
Cr4w  - March 31, 2021, 8:15 a.m.

Tell us more about those old RF Turbines. Feels like a story.

Reply

Timmigrant
+4 Pete Roggeman Cam McRae Dave Smith Deniz Merdano
Tim Coleman  - March 31, 2021, 8:50 a.m.

Awesome article! I love the title image, that move is so awkward, yet Steve's makes it look stylish somehow!

Reply

DaveSmith
+6 Cooper Quinn Deniz Merdano Perry Schebel AJ Barlas Pete Roggeman Mammal
Dave Smith  - March 31, 2021, 2:54 p.m.

It's the way his knees aren't pointed every which way.

Reply

T-mack
+2 Deniz Merdano Dave Smith
T-mack  - March 31, 2021, 6:28 p.m.

Beat me to it

Reply

xy9ine
+3 Deniz Merdano Dave Smith Pete Roggeman
Perry Schebel  - March 31, 2021, 8:46 p.m.

when it comes to knees, YOU MISS NOTHING.

Reply

BenHD
0
BenHD  - July 16, 2021, 2:28 p.m.

That was a really good read. Loving the pictures!

Reply

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