Canadian bike builders Devinci are among the select few who’ve been given the rights to use Dave Weagle’s Split Pivot suspension design, and the short travel Dexter incorporates it superbly. With Fox’s RP2 Boost Valve shock and 100mm (3.9in) 32 Series fork, this is a wonderful reminder of how much high octane trail fun you can have on a 110mm (4.3in) travel lightweight full susser.
It’s one of the most impressive short travel bikes we’ve tested in ages, suitable for everything from XC race outings and local singletrack thrashes to all-day jaunts in the hills.
Ride & handling: Do-anything efﬁciency
The Dexter is at its best with the shock sagged about 30mm into its 110mm of travel. This creates an incredibly plush ride feel without the occasional power-climbing wallow of some of the longer travel Split Pivot bikes we’ve tested. The frame design works superbly with ﬁne adjustments on the Boost Valve shock allowing you to ﬁnd the perfect, and rare, mix of stable climbing and acceleration at the same time as amazing bump absorption and ground-hugging traction over even the tiniest rocks and roots.
Inevitably there are times when bigger hits take the shock to its travel limit but you don’t really notice because the compression ramps up considerably just before the end of the stroke. A low (12.5in static) bottom bracket means you must watch out for ground strikes if pedalling through bumpy corners but you soon get used to such limitations and the stability of the low centre of gravity is a big advantage in every other scenario. The fact that we never felt the need to use a ProPedal option on the rear shock speaks volumes for the do-anything efﬁciency of the Dexter.
Frame: Superb construction
The Split Pivot aspect refers to the fact that the seatstays and chainstays pivot around the rear axle. Combined with the short-rocker activated shock and a main frame pivot in line with the big chainring, this results in no obvious pedal and braking interaction with the full-time-plush efﬁciency of the suspension. The frame construction is superb. Every tube is individually formed to give the ideal combination of strength, weight and stiffness, there’s loads of standover clearance and mud room, all the pivot bearings are top quality offerings and, despite the compact main triangle and low gravity centre, there’s still room for a water bottle.
Equipment: Complete builds to suit your budget
UK distributors Haven can offer frames alone or complete builds to suit your budget. This ‘RC’ version has a SRAM X9/X7 2 x 10 drivetrain mix, a Fulcrum Red Metal tubeless wheelset shod with Maxxis Larsen TT tyres, Avid Elixir 5 brakes and mainly Truvativ ﬁnishing kit. Total weight is just over 11.3kg (25lb).
This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine.