Devinci chose the Enduro World Series round at Peebles in Scotland to formally unveil the new Spartan that, the company says, fills "the gap between freeride adventure and the exploding world of Enduro racing". Initial signs for the bike were good after team riders swept to great results the previous weekend in the Enduro des Hautes Vosges race in La Bresse, with Damien Oton winning on the new bike.
The Spartan has its origins in the project to create a downhill bike for Stevie Smith to race the downhill world championships at Pietermaritzburg in South Africa in 2013. The idea was to make a bike that could take the big impacts but was light and easy to pedal, and Dave Weagle has refined his split pivot design to take on aspects of the Wilson downhill bike.
The Spartan has the air of a cultured downhill bike and with 165mm of travel, nudges toward the top end of travel amongst bikes with the enduro racer in mind. It will also be interesting to see the new Devinci downhill bike that is in development and due to get a run out under Stevie Smith at the Fort William World Cup at the weekend following the Peebles EWS.
The Spartan frame is the same aluminium frame/swingarm and carbon seat stay combination used for one of the Devinci’s Wilson downhill framesets. It would be surprising if future versions of the Spartan didn’t feature more carbon. The aluminium frame parts are handmade in Canada and Devinci’s marketing manager David Regenier-Bourque said the production process is focused on frame alignment and consistency. Devinci offers a lifetime warranty on all its frames.
A lot of love has gone into the design and fabrication of the tubing on this bike. The down tube is asymmetric to keep weight down but provide extra strength around the drive side, and the very wide (92mm) bottom bracket provides a big contact area for the welds around the down tube/bottom bracket junction.
Running 650B wheels, the frame itself has both ISCG-05 chainguide tabs and a front derailleur mount. Against the trend of many top-end bikes, the Spartan features neatly run external cable routing (aside from a port in the seat tube for the Rock Shox Reverb stealth post). If this sounds like a drawback to you, then you have clearly never had to change a gear cable outer in a muddy field in a hurry.
Overall, the frame and linkage have good mud clearance with room for a 2.5in tyre. The frame also comes with an additional bashguard / skidplate to look after that down tube.
The Spartan features a reversible chip at the rear shock mount that adjusts head angle and bottom bracket height. The high setting gives you a 66.4 degree/344mm combination with the low setting being 65.8/337mm. The bike comes in four sizes and the large version we looked at had a 1,180mm wheelbase that lengthens by 2mm in the low setting. Similarly, the chainstays run at 430/432mm in the high/low settings.
A Large bike weighed in at 30lb, 12oz without pedals.
Builds and pricing
Devinci certainly kept the Spartan under wraps, with its launch coinciding with its immediate availability in Canada and the US and imminent arrival in the UK. The North American market gets three build kits, but only the cheaper XP version will be available in the UK.
- Spartan RR $6,999.99
- Spartan RC $4,699.99
- Spartan XP $3,699.99
- Spartan XP £2,899.99