At the 2013 World Cup race in Pietermaritzburg, we saw Steve Smith aboard a one-off prototype 27.5"-wheeled Devinci, sporting a drastic aggressive new look and eye-catching lines. Naturally it caught our attention, but Devinci assured everyone that it was just a one-time deal, and that we wouldn't see this bike be produced. Or would it?
If we've learned one thing about Devinci, it's that they never rest. They take their existing designs, and work relentlessly to improve, evolve, and innovate. In the last two years, we've seen trail/enduro bikes evolve into increasingly capable machines. We've even started seeing professional downhill racers choosing their enduro bikes over the downhill bike for certain courses. Five years ago, no one in their right mind would have even dreamed to race a trail bike at a world-cup downhill track. My oh my, how the times have changed.
Enter the Spartan - a bike that is quite difficult to fit into any specific genre. A bike that can be taken to any enduro race on the planet, beaten for hours on end, only to come back begging for more. A bike that is perfectly comfortable ripping the gnarliest trails at Whistler, then heading to the valley trails for a grueling lap on Comfortably Numb. The Spartan is best described as enduro bike with a bit of downhill sprinkled in for good measure.
It should come as no surprise that the Spartan is designed around 27.5" wheels. It's the golden standard for just about any new bike coming to light, and we're perfectly fine with that. Devinci's Split-Pivot suspension design drives 165mm of supple travel, driven by the Rock Shox Monarch RC3 rear shock. The mainframe is constructed from Devinci's DMC-G monocoque carbon tubing, offering up increased stiffness and strength compared with the aluminum version of the frame. Perhaps most important, the Spartan Carbon frame is nearly two pounds lighter than the Spartan Alloy frame, a significant drop in weight. Devinci opted for a carbon seatstay on the Spartan to lend extra stiffness at the rear of the bike.
Geometry on the Spartan is aggressive - make no mistake. In the low/slack flip-chip setting, the Spartan's head angle sits at 65.8°, along with a 17" chainstay and 13.25" BB height. If that sounds a bit too aggressive for your liking, you can flip the geometry chips into the high setting for a 66.4° head angle, 16.9" chainstay, and 13.55" BB height. Even in the high setting, the angles are still relatively slack and low, translating to a bike that wants to be ridden on steep, fast, nasty terrain.
The Spartan Carbon frame comes stock with a Rock Shox Monarch RC3+ Debonair rear shock, FSA Orbit Z headset, and Maxle 12x142mm rear axle.