Devinci Cycles have once again come out swinging for the new season. While their Dave Weagle designed Split Pivot full-suspension line is only in its sophomore season, they continue to add to and refine it. This year they'll offer a new split pivot 110mm travel 29er, called Atlas, which is available in two component builds.
In addition to the new model, Devinci refine two of their Split Pivot designs with updates to the rear seat stays on the Wilson Downhill bike (now carbon), and add a direct post-mount brake mount and ISCG 05 tabs to the Dixon trail bike. Aside from these specifics, the entire mountain bike line gets shorter stems and wider tires: cross-country bikes are upgraded from 1.9in to 2.1in and their trail bikes get 2.35in rubber.
For the road, Devinci continue to forge ahead with LEO design concept, an upright performance design, but add a new top tier model called LEO SL. The new bike is described as the ultimate gran fondo bike, and the frame is completely new for 2012 with the most apparent new features being the svelte, straight seatstays—the original LEO employs hour-glass stays—and raised seat tube, which is said to add comfort.
Atlas: a quick 29in racer
Devinci call their new Atlas a performance cross-country bike, but we'd go further to call it a true cross-country racer. The bike is exceedingly quick for a 29er and handles very much like the Dexter, Devinci's 26in wheeled 110mm bike. The bikes share a very similar geometry. Weagle and Devinci say they worked hard to keep the length of the bike as close as possible to the 26in wheeled model; the chainstays on the 29in Atlas are only 3mm longer than the Dexter (428mm on the Atlas, to 425mm on the Dexter). The head angle also fits squarely within the cross-country category where it's adjustable—via chip—between a 71.6° and slacker (but still fairly steep) 70.6° angle.
Atlas is a 110mm performance cross-country platform, and in our limited first ride it struck us as a super efficient pedaler
The Monarch RT sprung (our test ride was on a Fox RP23 damper) travel on the Split Pivot bike feels firm and efficient, which combined with the sharp handling characteristics of the Atlas gave us a 'race bike' first impression.
The Atlas' custom profiled G4 (6066-alloy) tubeset is hydro-formed and then sequentially welded, finished and painted in Canada. The new bike comes with a variety of contemporary features including a tapered head tube, 142x12mm rear through-axle, and Press Fit BB92 bottom bracket. BB92 is a departure from the Dexter's BB30 model; Devinci say that the wider bottom bracket shell helps accommodate the short stays and offers a better selection of cranks to be used without adaptors.
The Atlas will be available in four sizes—small through extra-large—in two builds. We rode a special demo model with SRAM X9, a RockShox Reba RL fork and Fox RP23 rear shock. The production Atlas XP costs US$3,000 and is fitted with a Reba RL fork and mostly SRAM X7 component kit. The pricier Atlas RC ($4,000) comes with Fox's RP2 shock and Float RL fork paired to a mostly SRAM X9 group.
Updates to the Split Pivot line: Wilson and Dixon
Devinci's flagship Wilson SL complete bike and those Wilsons sold as framesets will come with uni-directional carbon seat stays. The carbon stays are said to increase rear end stiffness by 30 percent. So much so that the shock required a re-tune according to Dave Weagle. "It's not often that a single structural change requires a different shock tune," he said.
Wilson SL's new carbon rear seat stays are said to boost stiffness by 30 percent
"We've gained more control from the frame because it isn't bending," said David Régnier Bourque, Devinci's marketing manager. In addition to the added stiffness, the new stays pare over 1/4lb (113g) from the frame.
Dixon, Devinci's 6in (150mm) trail bike, is also updated for 2012 with a 160mm direct post mount disc mount, and ISCG 05 chain guide mount. The complete models will feature shorter stems and wider tires for the coming season.
Dixon's new bottom bracket shell, which will accept an ISCG mount
On the Road: LEO SL
Though the LEO SL comes marketed for the same group as LEO, which is still available, it's presented as a ground up project. The result is a frame that's claimed lighter and more compliant than the previous generation. Devinci claims 930g for the medium frame.
Video: Devinci's new LEO SL road bike
Devinci designed the frame with a 'top to bottom' philosophy. The top of the bike, which most closely interacts with the rider is said to be a forgiving conduit for the bottom of the bike's stiffness. The oversized down tube, BB30 bottom bracket and oversized chainstays set the bike's handling tone, but the stiffness is damped by the new, smaller, straight seatstays and extended seat tube that's said to designed to maximize comfort. The bike's geometry, too, is skewed toward a more upright and comfortable position.
While the new bike is available in a variety of component packages the most popular may be the new Ultegra Di2 package for US$4,500.
Want more? Check out this video of the Devinci factory in Chicoutimi, Quebec.