29/08/2011 | 6 comments
Joe Ferrari at Haven Distribution built this Devinci Dixon SL up and sent it down to us to test late last week. Initial thoughts out of the box are promising.
I took the bike over to Chicksands in Bedfordshire for the weekend to test it out. My usual day–to–day machine is a Commencal Meta 4X (a tight, low and agile 100mm bomber) and I felt that the groomed berms and high speed nature of Chicksands was the perfect place to find out what the Devinci was all about.
The Devinci can be ridden in a HI and LO setting and I was running in the LO – a slacker (by half a degree) 67 degrees and a lower (by 0.2 of a inch) 13.7 bottom bracket height. The Fox Float RP23 XV boost valve air shock makes available 145mm of bounce out back and the Fox 32′s give 150mm up front. I usually ride a medium frame but after a good experience on a large Intense SS2 a few weeks back I decided to go for a large on the Dixon (wheelbase of 45.3 inches and a stand over height of 30.4 inches). All angles and measurements are quoted so I will be taking my own measurements shortly and adding them to these comments, as I’ve already seen different values quoted elsewhere.
A quick warm up lap on the XC loop reveals an efficient pedaling bike. The power engages straight away and the bike gets on with the job of moving forwards. The large frame size fits my five foot eleven inch height well and the overall feeling is one of comfort.
On to the dual track to see how the bike handled some more high speed compressions, whoops and turns. I’m used to riding bikes with the saddle slammed down to the tyre and was reminded a couple of times down the track of the higher standover on this machine. I usually hang off the back of my 4X but on the larger and more trail orientated Devinci I was riding with a more centred, almost front biased, stance. The back end behaved well staying in contact with the ground and gripped well. Sliding into berms and hooking up perfectly. The new Specialized Eskar2 tyres proving to be a good choice on the dusted hardpack of the Chicksands soil…or sand.
The whole bike had a stable and predictable nature in the air as well. I really need to see how well the Devinci tackles some rougher terrain before I delve any deeper with my thoughts, but first impressions are positive…Chicksands is fairly smooth and fast, bar the odd hole and braking bump, and at the same time somewhat safe and predictable. The Devinci was never on the edge here and I never felt out of shape. I need to get the bike in to some more technical situations and high speed rock and root. I’m in search of the perfect ‘Surrey hills ripper’ – a bike that climbs like a goat and descends like a mini DH bike. Could this be it? Keep a look out for a full test over the next few months in the magazine.
Jon ‘the designer’ Gregory