Like to ride hard and fast? Devinci’s Hectik could be for you. This is a really great and well made full suspension frame that comes in at a great price point, too.
Our test bike sits in the middle of a trio of Hectiks – the Marzocchi-forked Hectik 1 would set you back £1400 and the top-spec Hectik 3 costs £2550. All three offer six inches (150mm) of rear suspension travel and adjustable forks.
Devinci’s ‘Extreme Explorer’ tag is pretty close to the mark in terms of describing what the Hectik is capable of.
Considering its 32lb heft and the 155mm of suspension available, the Hectik 2 is a surprisingly good climber. You can feel some drag from the weight and the big treads, but the efficient four-bar linkage back end remains stable under powerful pedalling pressure, and you can flick the fork travel down to 100mm to steepen the head angle, lower the bars and get on with hauling yourself to the top.
Once you’re at the top, you can start to enjoy the sort of downhills that put the bike in its element. The 160mm travel and big-hit performance of the fork are good enough for you to throw yourself confidently off the sort of drops that’ll crop up on downhill racecourses, but its 130mm travel setting lets the steering stay lively through twisty cross-country singletrack.
Frame: between cross-country light and freeride burly
It seems that we now have an ‘Extreme Explorer’ sub-group to All-Mountain, as Devinci’s Hectiks occupy that large chunk of middle ground between cross-country trail and freeride.
The frame is built in Canada from heat-treated 6061 aluminium. The four-bar linkage back end offers masses of mud room and the weight is centered low. Standover height is generous and the tubes are reinforced just where it matters without resorting to gusset overkill or an obese weight.
Equipment: shockingly good
The Fox DHX 3.0 air rear shock offers a plush and very easy to adjust 155mm of travel, and is a worthy lightweight alternative to the coil shocks that often sit on burly bikes at this price.
Fox’s 36 Talas R fork is as good as you’ll find on a bike in this price range – the Hectik 3, which costs £625 more, has the same fork.
Head geometry will obviously vary depending on where you set the fork in its 100-160mm travel range. A static 67 degrees is a good starting point for steep downhill and big hit trails, but a quick flick of the top lever on the left leg is all that’s needed to put the bike into a steeper-angled stable climbing mode.
Verdict: hard & fast middleweight bruiser
The Hectik 2 is a great middleweight bruiser for riders whose priority is to ride hard and fast – and without too much care and attention – when the trails are rough and predominantly downhill.
There’s enough pedalling efficiency and suspension adjustment for most other types of riding too, but there’s no way of getting round the fact that a 32lb bike is hard work up hills.
Still, you’ll get fit and, if big-hit fun is what you’re after, then you won’t find a much better-equipped bike than this.