2022 Devinci Spartan HP gets ground-hugging high-pivot suspension system

Dave Weagle designed Split Pivot suspension platform jumps forward with high-pivot technology

2022 Devinci Spartan HP enduro mountain bike

Devinci’s 2022 Spartan HP is the Canadian brand’s new full carbon-fibre frame, 160mm travel, 29in wheel, high-pivot enduro race bike as ridden in the Enduro World Series.

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The brand says it’s moved away from the previous Devinci Spartan’s low pivot design for this latest iteration to increase speed and improve control, describing it as “the rocket ship you’ve been waiting for.”

It hopes the changes in design will represent more than just marginal gains, though, and that the latest Spartan is a real leap forward in performance.

Prices start at $6,149 / €6,249 / CAD$6,999 for the Spartan Carbon GX 12-speed model and rise to $8,999 / €8,819 / CAD$10,499 for the Spartan Carbon XTR 12-speed.

2022 Devinci Spartan HP frame details

2022 Devinci Spartan HP enduro mountain bike
The cables route from the top tube into the swing arm.
Devinci

The totally redesigned Spartan frame is built entirely from carbon fibre, including the front and rear triangles, and rocker link. The frame’s seatstay to rocker link pivots are hidden thanks to seatstay overlap, but each of the pivot bolts is easy to access for removal and tightening.

Its brake, dropper post and gear cables are routed internally through the frame with partial internal guides, allowing the cables – where required – to cross over inside the bike’s tubing.

This means it’s possible to set the brakes up moto (front brake on the right) or normal (front brake on the left), with cables exiting on the correct side of the frame to reduce unsightly bends near the head tube.

2022 Devinci Spartan HP enduro mountain bike
The cable ports have options for different routing choices.
Devinci

The frame has a BSA73 threaded bottom bracket and uses the larger 34.9mm seat-tube diameter, both done to improve the longevity of components and make maintenance easier.

It has SRAM’s Universal Derailleur Hanger (UDH), and ISCG05 chain guide tabs. There is rock strike protection on the underside of the down tube and a built-in, ribbed chainstay protector. A stick-on pickup truck tailgate pad protector can also be fitted.

2022 Devinci Spartan HP enduro mountain bike
It has inbuilt chain slap protection.
Devinci

There’s clearance for a 2.5×29in tyre and compatibility with 28t to 36t chainrings. However, the rear end still features the Super Boost 157×12mm axle standard.

2022 Devinci Spartan HP suspension details

2022 Devinci Spartan HP enduro mountain bike
The main pivot sits above the rear axles and bottom bracket.
Devinci

Along with its serious visual makeover, the Spartan’s suspension has been totally redesigned to incorporate a high pivot into the brand’s existing Dave Weagle Split Pivot suspension design and a trunnion-mounted, metric-sized 205×65mm rear shock has been specced.

This system uses a single-pivot design with a further pivot placed concentrically with the rear axle, which is said to reduce the chances of braking forces affecting the suspension’s action.

That single main pivot has been moved well above the bottom bracket and wheel axles to create the high-pivot design.

This means a large portion of the rear wheel’s vertical travel also moves in a rearward direction, up and out of the way of bumps.

Roughly 125mm of its travel has a rearward path, while the remaining 35mm starts to travel vertically, and finally forward to bottom-out.

This rearward portion of travel is said to improve comfort, increase grip and make controlling the bike easier because it feels smoother to ride.

2022 Devinci Spartan HP enduro mountain bike
The rear suspension is compatible with both air and coil sprung rear shocks.
Devinci

Although high pivots aren’t new to the scene – some of the first full-suspension mountain bikes used a high pivot – they have been gaining significant traction (no joke intended) in recent years, especially in downhill thanks to the Commencal Supreme DH, Norco Arum HSP and GT Fury.

Enduro and trail bike manufacturers are also starting to see the benefits of a high-pivot system outweighing any downsides (more on those shortly), with brands such as Forbidden releasing the Druid and Dreadnaught, Deviate with its Highlander, and more recently Norco’s Range for 2022 and the latest GT Force.

Potential high-pivot drawbacks

2022 Devinci Spartan HP enduro mountain bike
The idler pulley is enclosed in a guide to help keep the chain on.
Devinci

Of course, you can’t just turn a conventional suspension system into a high-pivot design without needing to re-think some aspects, the biggest being where the chain is routed to help control the effects of pedal kickback caused by chain growth as the suspension compresses.

To mitigate against this, the chain needs to run as close to the main pivot location as possible, and this is usually achieved with an idler pulley or wheel.

With one of these wheels, the chain engages with the idler, allowing it to travel as close to the main pivot as it would on a low-pivot bike’s chainring, reducing the amount of pedal kickback.

Idler wheels can create another set of issues, though.

Under power, the chain is tensioned as it angles over the pulley wheel onto the chainring. This can be the cause of increased drivetrain drag, wear and noise.

Devinci has done its best to reduce any potential problems and has extensively researched and tested idler pulley wheels, collaborating with drivetrain manufacturers to design the best performing and longest wearing wheel.

2022 Devinci Spartan HP enduro mountain bike
The newest Spartan HP is a good looking bike.
Devinci

The most durable solution Devinci found was to use a steel idler pulley with a special surface coating to help reduce corrosion and increase its lifespan.

It claims the Spartan HP’s idler wheel will need to be replaced the third time you replace your front chainring.

Devinci also extensively tested how much power the idler wheel design loses compared to a normal drivetrain.

The results revealed that measurable losses were within the test’s margin of error. So the potential losses weren’t significant enough to definitively say whether the high-pivot system increased drag.

The ilder wheel runs on low-friction bearings and, in a bid to further reduce drag, the bearings’ design is closer to bottom bracket bearings than suspension pivot bearings

Unlike some high-pivot suspension designs that require longer than standard chains, the Spartan HP is compatible with 126-link versions. Devinci says you would need to remove one or two links depending on the derailleur, cassette and chainring fitted. This means a consumer won’t need to buy two chains for the bike to work.

Delving deeper into the suspension

2022 Devinci Spartan HP enduro mountain bike
The rear suspension is compatible with both air and coil sprung rear shocks.
Devinci

Devinci says the Spartan is compatible with coil and air shocks, hinting that its inherent kinematics are fairly progressive because coil springs are linear in nature, and without the natural ramp-up, they could bottom-out too easily.

However, the brand keeps the bike’s suspension details and figures – such as anti-squat, anti-rise, progression and leverage rates – under wraps, but there are some interesting aspects to consider.

As mentioned, the Split Pivot design is well-known to be active under braking. This is usually thanks to lower anti-rise, where the suspension is tuned to extend slightly under braking.

This propensity to extend should make it feel more active when a rider is braking compared to a bike that has more anti-rise.

Bikes with high amounts of anti-rise, where the bike’s suspension wants to compress under braking forces, can have the feeling of the suspension locking up on the brakes.

Although many dislike the sensation created by high levels of anti-rise, quite a few riders do appreciate how it can make the bike squat into its travel. This can reduce the feeling of forward weight transfer when braking, helping to stabilise the bike’s dynamic geometry.

Single high-pivot bikes are known to have high amounts of anti-rise compared to low-pivot counterparts.

In theory, by combining the Split Pivot and high-pivot designs, Devinci could well have mitigated against some of the often-criticised effects of a high-pivot design by potentially allowing the suspension to remain active under braking, while the bike’s dynamic geometry remains fairly stable.

2022 Devinci Spartan HP geometry

2022 Devinci Spartan HP enduro mountain bike
With high and low geometry settings, the Spartan HP is adjustable.
Devinci

Compared to the outgoing Spartan, the 2022 Spartan HP has been given the longer, lower and slacker treatment.

The range features four sizes from small to extra-large, and each of the bike’s sizes has a low and high position, afforded by a flip-chip in the lower shock mount.

The bike’s chainstay lengths are also size-specific, with the small and medium sizes getting shorter 425mm/421mm (low/high) lengths, while the extra-large has 435mm/431mm (low/high) chainstays.

These figures appear short on paper but are given with the suspension fully extended. At sag point the chainstays will be longer, having grown by roughly 10mm depending on setup.

The head-tube angle is 64.5 and 65 degrees in the low and high setting respectively across the range, while the effective seat-tube angle is between 77.7 degrees and 76 degrees depending on bike size and lower shock mount position.

2022 Devinci Spartan HP enduro mountain bike geometry chart
SizeSmallMediumLargeExtra-large
Seat tube length (mm)390420460495
Seat tube angle (degrees) low/high77.1/77.777/77.676.5/7776/76.5
Head tube angle (degrees) low/high64.5/6564.5/6564.5/6564.5/65
Top tube length (mm) low/high587/585610/608639/637668/665
Reach (mm) low/high445/450465/470485/490505/510
Chainstay length (mm) low/high425/421425/421430/426435/431
Wheelbase (mm) low/high1207/12041232/12281261/12581290/1287
Bottom bracket height (mm) low/high344/351344/351344/351344/351
Stack (mm) low/high621/617630/626639/635648/644

These figures look progressive on paper, although it would be fair to say there are trail bikes with slacker head-tube angles – the Specialized Stumpjumper Evo springs to mind – and enduro bikes with steeper seat0tube angles, such as Pole’s Stamina 160 Remastered.

Elsewhere its numbers are also enduro-ready.

Reach figures range from 445mm (size small, low position) up to 510mm (size extra-large, high position), and the wheelbase grows from 1,204mm (small, high position) to 1,290mm (size extra-large, low position) at full suspension extension.

The bottom bracket height is 344mm in the low setting across the sizes. This figure is reasonably low for a 160mm travel enduro bike but can be lifted to 351mm in the high setting.

2022 Devinci Spartan HP models and prices

2022 Devinci Spartan HP enduro mountain bike
Will all bikes use high-pivot suspension in the future?
Devinci

There are three models in the 2022 Spartan HP range with prices ranging from $6,149 / €6,249 / CAD$6,999 for the Carbon GX 12s to $8,999 / €8,819 / CAD$10,499 for the Carbon XTR 12s.

Each of model uses the same frame but has spec changes.

Highlights across the range include Fox Suspension front and rear, Race Face wheels and Maxxis Double Down casing MaxxGrip tyres, combining to make this a truly enduro-ready bike.

2022 Devinci Spartan Carbon XTR 12s

2022 Devinci Spartan HP Carbon XTR 12s enduro mountain bike.
2022 Devinci Spartan HP Carbon XTR 12s enduro mountain bike.
Devinci
  • Frame: Carbon DMC-G, 160mm travel
  • Shock: Fox Float X2 Factory Trunnion Metric 205×65mm
  • Fork: Fox Float 38 Factory GRIP2 170mm, 44mm offset
  • Drivetrain / cranks / chain guide: Shimano XTR M9100 / Race Face Next R, 34t / E13 TRS
  • Brakes: Shimano XTR M9120 with 203mm rotors
  • Wheels: Race Face Turbine R30 29
  • Tyres: Maxxis Assegai 3C MaxxGrip DoubleDown TR 29×2.5in WT (f), Maxxis Minion DHRII 3C MaxxGrip DoubleDown TR 29×2.4in WT
  • Bar / stem / grips: Race Face Next R35 / Race Face Turbine R35 / Devinci Performance
  • Seatpost / saddle: Fox Transfer Factory / SDG Belair 3.0
  • Price: $8,999 / €8,819 / CAD$10,499

2022 Devinci Spartan Carbon XT 12s

2022 Devinci Spartan HP Carbon XT 12s enduro mountain bike
2022 Devinci Spartan HP Carbon XT 12s enduro mountain bike.
Devinci
  • Frame: Carbon DMC-G, 160mm travel
  • Shock: Fox Float X2 Performance Elite Trunnion Metric 205×65mm
  • Fork: Fox Float 38 Performance Elite GRIP2 170mm, 44mm offset
  • Drivetrain / cranks / chain guide: Shimano XT M8100 / Shimano XT, 32t / E13 TRS+ bash
  • Brakes: Shimano XT M8130 with 203mm rotors
  • Wheels: Race Face ARC30 on Vault Hubs
  • Tyres: Maxxis Assegai 3C MaxxGrip DoubleDown TR 29×2.5in WT (f), Maxxis Minion DHRII 3C MaxxGrip DoubleDown TR 29×2.4in WT
  • Bar / stem / grips: Race Face Next R35 / Race Face Turbine R35 / Devinci Performance
  • Seatpost / saddle: SDG Tellis / SDG Belair 3.0
  • Price: $6,999 / €7,299 / CAD$8,249

2022 Devinci Spartan Carbon GX 12s

2022 Devinci Spartan HP Carbon GX 12s enduro mountain bike
2022 Devinci Spartan HP Carbon GX 12s enduro mountain bike.
Devinci
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  • Frame: Carbon DMC-G, 160mm travel
  • Shock: Fox Float X2 Performance Elite Trunnion Metric 205×65mm
  • Fork: Fox Float 38 Performance GRIP 170mm, 44mm offset
  • Drivetrain / cranks / chain guide: SRAM GX Eagle / SRAM GX Eagle, 32t / E13 LG1
  • Brakes: SRAM Code R with 200mm rotors
  • Wheels: Race Face AR30 on Factor Hubs
  • Tyres: Maxxis Assegai 3C MaxxGrip DoubleDown TR 29×2.5in WT (f), Maxxis Minion DHRII 3C MaxxGrip DoubleDown TR 29×2.4in WT
  • Bar / stem / grips: Race Face Aeffect R35 / Devinci V2 Pro / Devinci Performance
  • Seatpost / saddle: SDG Tellis / SDG Belair 3.0
  • Price: $6,149 / €6,249 / CAD$6,999