Devinci’s XYZ is the best looking ugly bike you’ve ever seen

Celebrating 30-years, the Canadian brand brings back a retro classic

To mark its 30th-anniversary, Canadian MTB brand Devinci has revived one of its most radical designs, the XYZ.

The XYZ was unique to say the least, especially considering it was released in the late eighties. The frame featured twin top tubes, elevated chainstays and more triangles than you can shake a stick at, but because it was so quirky it wasn't a big seller. Let's not forget this was a time when your options for a MTB were a neon hardtail or a neon hardtail.

“One of our long-lost designers came up with the original XYZ mountain bike design,” says Steve Mitchell, renowned bike collector and Devinci sales rep. “It was kinda like this ugly-duckling of ridiculousness. With no one to explain it to us, we decided to bring it back and interrogate it for secrets. That’s how the YYZ was born."

The original XYZ was released back in the eighties and featured dual top tubes, raised chainstays and way more than two triangles
The original XYZ was released back in the eighties and featured dual top tubes, raised chainstays and way more than two triangles

“These were the first attempts at core mountain bikes. They marked the start of the long twisty road we’ve been on in the industry — lots of swings and hits… plus a few misses.” Mitchell continued. “The XYZ may not have been a sales home run but it’s one of the most intriguing Devinci designs from the era.”

So using the XYZ as its inspiration, Devinci set out to bring the design back to the future incorporating all the hallmarks you'd look for in a modern mountain bike.

“We wanted old school to meet new standards. That also includes boost, a good reach, slack head angles, and short chainstays,” says Devinci marketing manager Julien Boulais

The finishing kit comes from SRAM, Chromag and Maxxis
The finishing kit comes from SRAM, Chromag and Maxxis

The YYZ takes what the XYZ started and builds upon its design with crossover top tubes, triangles galore and elevated chainstays. While the frame is retro, the finishing kit is far from it; with a SRAM XX1 Eagle drivetrain, a RockShox 140mm Pike fork, a Chromag cockpit (another British Columbia based brand) and Maxxis Skin Wall rubber.

When it was released, the XYZ was a head turner and the updated YYZ is likely to be the same. For the time being, Devinci is only planning to run an extremely limited production of three scratch-made frames, but if you'd like to see one in the flesh Devinci will have the YYZ on display at the Sea Otter Classic.

We can't decide whether the YYZ is ugly or a masterpiece, but I've been staring at it all day
We can't decide whether the YYZ is ugly or a masterpiece, but I've been staring at it all day

Colin Levitch

Staff Writer, Australia
Originally from Denver, Colorado, Colin now resides in Sydney, Australia. Holding a media degree, Colin is focused on the adventure sport media world. Coming from a ski background, his former European pro father convinced him to try collegiate crit racing. Although his bright socks say full roadie, he enjoys the occasional mountain bike ride, too.
  • Discipline: Road, mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Tarmac mountain climbs into snow-covered hills
  • Current Bikes: BMC TeamMachine SLR01, Trek Top Fuel 9
  • Dream Bike: Mosaic Cycles RT-1
  • Beer of Choice: New Belgium La Folie
  • Location: Sydney, Australia

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