First Ride: The 2016 Devinci Django
Words by Chris Shalbot/Photos by Paris Gore
Last summer Canadian bike manufacturer, Devinci Cycles released an updated version of their 140mm Troy to rave reviews (see ours here). Taking the Troy in a more aggressive direction left an opportunity in their line for a shorter travel, fast draw trail assassin – and so enters the all-new 2016 Devinci Django.
With a mild stretch of winter pending here in the northwest, our bike buyer Jon Kennedy and I jetted down to Sedona, Arizona. It was an escape welcomed by warm weather, post-ride burritos and a sneak preview of Devinci Cycles’ latest trail bike. If you’ve never ridden there, Sedona is a mix of fast rolling singletrack, thorny cacti, sandy draws, picturesque red slick rock and more energy-sucking, short, punchy climbs than anywhere I’ve ever ridden. In short, it’s the perfect venue for testing a bike designed for long days in the saddle over rough terrain.
At the heart of the Django, like all of Devinci’s full suspension bikes, lies Dave Weagle’s Split-Pivot design, which isolates braking and acceleration forces from the suspension activity through his patented design. This translates to minimal or non-existent pedal bob and brake jack, leaving suspension travel for when you need it.
Available in Devinci’s monocoque carbon or Canadian made alloy frameset, the Django follows the direction of its bigger brother, the Troy, with rugged looking, squared off down tube and asymmetrical rear triangle that will accommodate a true 2.35” tire and Boost 148mm spaced rear axle. Combined, the front and rear equip the Django with the stiffness needed to hold a line through Sedona’s rockiest descents.
The Django’s geometry is on par with other bike manufacturers leading the trail bike charge, with a long top tube, low center of gravity and short chainstays. The Django strikes a good balance of playfulness and stability at speed. What sets the Devinci apart from some of its competition is the adjustable geometry which gives the rider the option to select between 67.5 or 68 degrees of headtube angle and a chainstay length between 425-427mm. Internal cable routing is a breeze thanks to the large ports with removable covers.
The raw carbon and white Django SX we rode hits the sales floor with a price tag of $4999, a fair price for their top tier SRAM kit. It’s a well-rounded kit spec’d with everything you would need to get out the door and explore some uncharted singletrack. The size large we rode measures in with a 460mm reach. Paired with a 45mm Race Face stem, the bike felt lively and playful jumping in and out of berms and skipping over holes on the trail.
The Rock Shox 130mm Pike RC Solo Air was plenty stable holding the line and avoided deflection. Aside from only a handful of sections, the 120mm of travel out of the Monarch Debonair RT3 felt like it was all we needed. In those rare instances we did run through the entire travel, the progressive nature of the linkage and the intelligent Split-Pivot design seemed to smooth out even the harshest impacts.
We almost never left our lower range gears due to all the technical climbing. The key to cleaning the climbs was selecting the right gear, keeping a cadence and a having well timed “power move.” After overcoming our early lack of success in these climbs due to newcomer adjustment to the terrain, the SRAM X1 drivetrain performed flawlessly, getting us into the gear we needed quickly and responsively.
As we became acclimated with grip on the rocks and the technique to climb some of the pitches, our trust in the Django rose. Traction was provided by a two different Maxxis tires, a 2.3” HighRoller II 3c up front for added grip and the quicker rolling 2.25” Maxxis Ardent in back. Equipped with Maxxis’ EXO casing for extra sidewall durability, the tires kept us flat free despite the abundance of square-edged rocks and cacti.
The spec’d SRAM Guide R brakes lack the adjustability of the higher-end brakes like the Guide RSC or Ultimates, but provided great modulation and enough stopping power to keep us fade free on all the descents.
Devinci bills the Django as the “perfect all-rounder,” and it is very capable on all but long, rough high-speed descents. We were thrilled with the package as a whole, and for the price, buyers get a solid build that could be upgraded over time. As expected from a fresh build, our bike was pretty silent, but it would be a good idea to throw some mastic tape on the chainstay (top and bottom) to muffle chain slap and to help protect your investment. Our bike was mastic tape-free and did come away with some chain slap marks after a few days of riding, but no chips to speak of.
Maybe we have become too accustomed to wider bars, but the 725mm bar felt foreign to our hands and would be a worthy upgrade out of the box, but that is our only gripe we had. With the trend moving towards wider rims it would be easy to see people opting to swap those out too, but for what it is worth these should be plenty durable and can be replaced for a wider lighter wheelset down the road.
The Devinci Django is available in four different part kits starting as low as $2589 for the aluminum S build kit. It tops out with a carbon frame that is spec’d with Shimano new 1x XT kit for $5689. Both the alloy and carbon frames share the same geometry. The Aluminum frames accept a direct mount front derrailleur for riders looking to run two chainrings up front. evo has the RS Carbon, RS Alloy and the S Alloy builds in store and online. Geometry and full part lists for each build kit can be found below.
|XT 1×11 Kit $5689 Carbon Frame / $5089 Alloy Frame||SX 1×11 Kit $4999 Carbon Frame / $4399 Alloy Frame|
|FORK||ROCKSHOX PIKE RCT3 DUAL AIR 130MM||FORK||ROCKSHOX PIKE RC SOLO AIR 130MM|
|SHOCK||*ROCK SHOX MONARCH RT3 DEBONAIR||SHOCK||*ROCK SHOX MONARCH RT3 DEBONAIR|
|GROUPSET||SHIMANO XT M8000||GROUPSET||SRAM X1|
|CRANKSET||RACEFACE NEXT SL 30T||CRANKSET||SRAM X1 1000 30T|
|BRAKES||SHIMANO XT M8000||BRAKES||SRAM GUIDE R|
|WHEELS||DT SWISS X1700 SPLINE||WHEELS||DT SWISS X1900 SPLINE|
|TIRES||SCHWALBE HANS DAMPF/ROCK RAZOR 2.35” TS SS||TIRES||MAXXIS HIGHROLLER II 3C 2.3”/ARDENT DC 2.25” EXO|
|CASSETTE||SHIMANO XT M8000 11S 11-42T||CASSETTE||SRAM 11S 10-42T|
|SADDLE||SDG BEL-AIR 2.0 W/ CHRMO RAILS||SADDLE||PROLOGO K3|
|SEATPOST||ROCK SHOX REVERB STEALTH||SEATPOST||ROCK SHOX REVERB STEALTH|
|HANDLEBAR||RACE FACE NEXT 3/4 RISE 725MM||HANDLEBAR||RACE FACE TURBINE 3/4 RISE 725MM|
|RS 1×11 Kit $3789 Carbon Frame / $3189 Alloy Frame||S 2×10 Kit $2589 Alloy|
|FORK||ROCKSHOX PIKE RC SOLO AIR 130MM||FORK||ROCKSHOX SEKTOR RC SOLO AIR 130MM|
|SHOCK||*ROCK SHOX MONARCH RT3 DEBONAIR||SHOCK||ROCK SHOX MONARCH RT DEBONAIR|
|GROUPSET||SRAM GX||GROUPSET||SHIMANO DEORE SHADOW+/SRAM X.5|
|CRANKSET||RACE FACE AEFFECT 30T||CRANKSET||FSA COMET 36/22T|
|BRAKES||SHIMANO M615||BRAKES||SHIMANO M396|
|RIMS AND HUBS||V2 COMP / FORMULA||WHEELS||V2 COMP / FORMULA|
|TIRES||MAXXIS HIGHROLLER II 3C 2.3”/ARDENT DC 2.25” EXO||TIRES||MAXXIS ARDENT 2.25”|
|CASSETTE||SRAM 11S 10-42T||CASSETTE||SHIMANO 10S 11-36T|
|SADDLE||PROLOGO K3||SADDLE||SDG BEL-AIR 2.0|
|SEATPOST||V2 COMP||SEATPOST||V2 COMP|
|HANDLEBAR||RACE FACE TURBINE 3/4 RISE 725MM||HANDLEBAR||V2 PRO RISER 720MM|
|*Alloy Option comes with ROCK SHOX MONARCH DT|
|Both Carbon and Alloy Framsets Share the Same Geometry|