Ah yes, the drift. If you can do it, you're the man. If you can't, you wish you could. We're talking about the two wheel slide. No brakes. All glory. 100% badass. Let these photos and videos serve as a visual inspiration and how-to guide, because those
Added a comment about product review 2016 Test Sessions: Devinci Troy Carbon RR 5/6/2016 11:38 AM
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Here's the button you all should be clicking:
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Added reply in a thread Have you seen many + / plus bikes on the trails? 5/2/2016 8:35 AM
I travel often, and the only plus bikes I've seen in the wild have been in the Santa Cruz area under test riders (home to a few large bike companies), and as demos in various locations during MTB festivals or events. In my experience they have yet to ... more »
Liked a comment on the item 2016 Test Sessions: Devinci Troy Carbon RR 5/1/2016 7:34 PM
Awesome review! You just helped me make my new bike purchase that much easier. Cheers!!!
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Added a product review for 2016 Devinci Troy Carbon RR 4/28/2016 4:35 PM
Reviewed by Brandon Turman and Steve Wentz // Photos by Lear Miller
Devinci went back to the drawing board with an all-new 2016 Troy frame design inspired by the look and feel of the longer travel Spartan. The bike previously had a very slender appearance and held a lot of promise, but a few details needed work for aggressive riders. It comes back for the new year ready to charge the rowdiest bits of trail with a beefed up carbon frame, 10mm more travel up front, and build kits much more in line the rider you'd expect to own a Troy. Sporting 140mm of rear wheel travel and 150mm in the front, the bike bridges the gap between lightweight trail machine and heavy duty enduro shredder. We put it to the test during the 2016 Vital MTB Test Sessions.
- Carbon DMC-G frame with aluminum chainstay
- 27.5 (650b) wheels
- 140mm (5.5-inches) of rear wheel travel // 150mm (5.9-inches) fork travel
- Split Pivot suspension
- Sealed Enduro bearings
- Tapered headtube
- Internal cable routing
- Two-position adjustable geometry
- Post mount rear disc brake
- BB92 press fit bottom bracket shell with ISCG05 mounts
- Boost 148mm rear spacing with 12mm through axle
- Measured weight (size medium, no pedals): 27.7-pounds (12.6kg)
- MSRP $6,599 USD
Devinci's boxy-looking monocoque carbon frame uses EPS molding with T700 carbon fiber for the front triangle and seatstays, while the rocker and chainstays remain aluminum. The oversized bottom bracket area serves to improve overall stiffness and rigidity of the frame, as do the asymmetric chainstays, rocker, and seat tube. We dig the frame's almost continuous line from the rear axle to the headtube.
Dave Weagle's Split Pivot suspension system is a big highlight with a concentric rear axle pivot, which, according to Devinci, helps separate acceleration forces from braking forces. The fifth generation design is substantially more progressive than the previous Troy, adding lots of bottom-out support. The shock itself is pretty accessible which is great for on-the-fly adjustments, and its low and rearward position leaves plenty of room for a water bottle inside the main triangle. Devinci uses sealed Enduro bearings at all the pivot points.
The Troy now has the new Boost 148 rear axle standard, which allowed engineers to drop a few millimeters of chainstay length and stiffen the rear end. Mud clearance is still quite good with ~19mm (0.75-inches) of room for build up, even with short 424/426mm (16.7/16.8-inch) chainstays and a large 2.35-inch Schwalbe Hans Dampf tire. A DT Swiss RWS thru-axle makes wheel removal very convenient, although it sticks way out there.
Molded guards on the chainstay and inside of the seatstay protect from chainslap, and guards on the outside of both chainstays help keep things from getting too banged up in rough terrain. The small size of the downtube guard may be a concern for some.
Cable routing is super clean, remaining entirely internal on the main triangle with no external provisions. The rear derailleur cable is also routed through the chainstay for improved durability. New entry and exit ports similar to those used on the Spartan keep cable rattle to a minimum, though a bit of rattling can still be heard on very rough sections of trail as it lacks internal hose guides.
Devinci really stepped things up with their build kits for 2016, which include much more capable tires, wheels, suspension, and cockpit components. The bike is offered in four carbon ($3,639 to $6,599) and four aluminum models ($2,599 to $6,099), as well as both carbon and aluminum frame + shock kits for custom builds ($1,599 and $2,099). Our test was conducted on the top-of-the-line Troy Carbon RR, which slotted in as the most expensive bike of the Test Sessions lineup at $6,599, and also one of the lightest at just 27.7-pounds (12.6kg).
Differences between the carbon and aluminum frames are minimal. They include a 1.7-pound weight gain on the aluminum frame, plus the ability to use a direct mount front derailleur. Carbon models are 1X specific which allows the back end to stay snug and further cleans up the overall appearance.
Comparing old vs new, the Troy now features 21+ millimeter (0.8-inch) longer reach values across the size range, 4mm (0.2-inch) shorter chainstays, improved standover heights, a 2-degree steeper seat angle, and slightly shorter seat tubes. A flip-flop pivot mechanism at the top of the seatstay allows you to switch the bike’s geometry between high and low settings, changing the head angle from 67.4 to 67-degrees, and bottom bracket height from 343 to 338mm (13.5 to 13.3-inches). Our size medium test bike featured a 440mm (17.3-inch) reach measurement, which was the longest of all medium test bikes at Test Sessions.
On The Trail
To really put the Troy to the test, we opted to repeat a pretty grueling loop on Phoenix's South Mountain several times, pedaling up the steep and occasionally very technical Javelina, Mormon, and National trails, followed by a high-speed descent down upper Holbert, before pedaling back up and rallying down Geronimo, an ultra rocky trail normally reserved for downhill bikes.
Setup on the Troy was as you'd expect. We began at 30% rear sag per Devinci's recommendation with the fork close to RockShox's suggested settings. The RockShox Monarch RT3 Debonair was equipped with four Bottomless Bands, and the Pike RCT3 Dual Position Air fork had two Bottomless Tokens pre-installed by Devinci. We rode the bike in the lowest, slackest geometry setting.
The bike certainly does feel as though it's longer than most when you stand up, which contributes to a more stable ride in really rough and fast terrain. Riders around 5'10" to 5'11" (1.78 to 1.80m) tall that typically find themselves between sizes will likely be very content with the medium frame. However, our shorter 5'8" (1.73m) tall tester remarked that to get centered on the bike he felt as though his weight was actually in front of his feet, which can lead to some odd seesaw-like handling traits if left unchecked without a shorter stem to counteract the longer reach. The steeper 74.5-degree seat tube angle actually reduced the Troy's effective top tube measurement to 602mm (23.7-inches), putting both riders in a good seated pedaling position.
At the suggested 30% sag with four bands in the rear shock, we found it difficult to use all the travel consistently. This is a combination of a progressive suspension design and less air volume in the positive air spring chamber, which makes it ramp a lot. This gives the bike more of a precise poppy feel, especially deeper in the stroke. We found it best when run at 35% sag, which allows you to use a little more travel, gain more small bump compliance and traction, and sit just a hare deeper into the suspension. Another alternative would be to drop to three bands. It turns out the Troy is among the most progressive 140mm bikes on the market, which equates to a bike that is best ridden at full tilt.
Once we found our suspension sweet spot, the Troy's most outstanding characteristic was its stability and balance front to back, which allows you to really get after it. Coupled with the progressive nature of the suspension and additional help from the Bottomless Tokens and Bands, the bike feels as though it has more travel than it does, with a nice plush feel up top and enough bottom-out support to handle just about every hit you can imagine. It's surprisingly capable for a 140/150mm bike, providing a remarkably smooth, quiet ride that's able to plow through the chunder. It's far more forgiving than you'd expect, getting through sections with the same composure as many 160mm models.
Due to the progressive design, you're able to really push into the bike and get a pretty quick burst of speed as a result of your pumping efforts. While we wouldn't call it the most playful bike, the suspension and short 426mm (16.8-inch) chainstays help it strike a nice balance of play and plow. Getting the front end up at a moment's notice was never really an issue - whether for bunny hop, manualing something, or popping into a wheelie.
We faulted the previous Troy with harsh square-edge feedback and less than ideal traction, and this new bike addresses those issues pretty well, especially in the traction department. The addition of the Debonair can to the rear shock (and far better tires) helps maintain an incredible amount of grip, aiding with small bump compliance and a smoother off-the-top feel.
The Troy can require a bit more energy to ride fast in rough terrain due to the feedback it gives to the rider, which we again attribute to how it handles repeat square-edge hits. On a few instances while jumping into rocky sections we noted a slight tugging sensation and the bike seemed to get hung up a bit, though the feedback is smoother and less common than on the old bike.
Overall we were very impressed with the improvements to the Troy's descending capabilities, and we felt as though the bike would never get us into trouble. You're able to point it where you want it to go and it'll go there, which translated to a lot of fun in otherwise hard to ride, chunky terrain. It feels very composed at all times, even under heavy braking, which allows you to hold a line well and encourages you to go a bit faster.
While the previous Troy really excelled uphill and during sprints, changes to the build kit slow the new model down a hair. It retains a very similar pedaling feel with nearly identical anti-squat values, but the added suppleness of the rear shock and higher rotational weight of the meatier wheels and tires detract from its previous spritely feel. Switching to the RockShox Monarch RT3 Debonair's pedal compression mode quieted the chassis motion just a bit while still maintaining most of the bike's small bump compliance. If you like a more surefooted feel during your pedals, this is probably the mode for you.
Climbing technical terrain was vastly improved, however, as we were no longer battling to find traction. The rear now follows the contour of the ground perfectly, providing a very secure, assured feel while pedaling up the steeps. It does require that you get your weight over the front a little more than usual, sliding forward on the saddle to prevent the front end from popping up.
The 338mm (13.3-inch) bottom bracket height never presented much of an issue in Phoenix's rocky terrain, and we only had one or two crank spikes while climbing in the shock's open compression mode.
Looking the components over, it's clear the Troy Carbon RR is a pretty high end bike. The build includes several top tier components from SRAM, RockShox, Chromag, DT Swiss and more, without sacrificing durability in search of the lightest overall weight.
The front end is highlighted by a 35mm diameter Chromag BZA handlebar and 50mm length stem, providing more width at 800mm (31.5-inches) than most riders need, but allowing you to customize the feel by chopping the bars down to your preferred width. The bar has a very low rise, however, which means you'll likely need a few spacers under the stem. Luckily Devinci leaves a healthy amount of steerer tube to do just that.
Thanks to the use of SRAM's MatchMaker system, the brakes, rear shifter, and 125mm travel RockShox Reverb Stealth seatpost maintain a clean and uncluttered appearance in the cockpit. We appreciate that Devinci mounted the Reverb lever under the handlebar - a small but important detail many companies gloss over.
SRAM's 1x11 X01 drivetrain and carbon cranks once again proved to be almost entirely trouble free, providing quick and reliable shifting plus enough range for our needs. The X-SYNC chainring does a very good job of holding on to the chain, but we'd recommend an ISCG05 upper chainguide to ensure the best chain retention. Our only drivetrain issues included the rear derailleur mounting bolt loosening over time, and some noise due to chainslap.
The new Guide RSC brakes from SRAM did a fine job of slowing us down with a 180mm rotor up front and 160mm out back. We did have an issue with the rear rotor repeatedly loosening, however, which comes down to the use of a 6-bolt IS to Centerlock adapter necessary to mount them to the new DT Swiss M1700 Spline 2 wheels. On three different occasions the rear rotor developed a large amount of play, requiring us to remove the wheel and tighten the rotor. Despite torquing it tighter and tighter, the issue persisted. We reached out to DT Swiss for comment:
"While we have not had the chance to inspect or test the exact components used by Vital MTB in this test, we can say with confidence that occurrences of issues like this are extremely rare. That said, in the interest of getting to the root cause, DT has undergone significant lab and field testing in the attempt to replicate the issues found by Vital MTB on their test bike. After many hours of testing, we have not able to replicate the problem, though our testing is still ongoing. It is our feeling that the initial install of the parts was not done properly, and that this improper initial assembly led to the further issues Vital MTB found."
In the same correspondence DT Swiss also stated that loosening can occur when the bike is rocked back and forth. Despite this, the tubeless ready wheels proved to be very durable and were just slightly out of true at the conclusion of our test. The engagement provided by the Ratchet System is also very reliable and can be easily upgraded if you'd like a near instant response.
Schwalbe's 2.35-inch Hans Dampf Trailstar Snakeskin tires provided good sidewall support and we experienced no flats, though they lack the excellent hard cornering grip provided by some of their competitors, including the Maxxis High Roller II spec'd on other models of the Troy.
While the ProLogo Nago EVO X15 saddle turned out to be pretty comfortable, it has a long, narrow profile that clashes with the rest of the bike and may not suit all personal tastes.
So would we opt for this high end build, or could you save a few thousand dollars and get something that performs nearly as well? Devinci uses the same carbon frame throughout the lineup, after all. Thanks to good tires and the same rear shock across the range, most of the Troy bikes will ride in a very similar manner. We actually prefer the looks of the more affordable Carbon XT and SX models, which ditch the trivial Dual Position feature on the Pike fork and gain better all-around tires.
Long Term Durability
Rotor issue aside, the Troy appears to be in it for the long haul. The linkage and pivot points are easy to maintain thanks to great accessibility, and the use of Enduro brand bearings means things are likely to remain in good shape for a while. Devinci provides users with a detailed maintenance guide that includes torque specs, exploded assembly diagrams, and tips to resolve any creaking issues that may arise. The frame is backed by a generous "Ride in Peace" lifetime warranty with a one year limit on the pivots.
What's The Bottom Line?
Where the previous Devinci Troy fell short in rough terrain, the new bike excels. It's an incredibly well balanced, short travel trail bike that outclasses many longer travel rides. New school geometry, more appropriate build kits, and balanced suspension with a deep, plush, bottomless feel make it surprisingly capable, yet the short travel nature of the bike makes it pretty efficient and ready for an all-day romp through the forest. It likely won't be the first one to get up the hill, but its new approach helps it keep trucking along consistently 'til you're ready to rally. Those who favor the descents, like a longer reach and knowing where their wheels are, and appreciate a very progressive suspension feel will be at home on this ride.
Visit www.devinci.com for more details.
Vital MTB Rating
- Climbing: 3.5 stars - Very Good
- Descending: 4.5 stars - Outstanding
- Fun Factor: 4 stars - Excellent
- Value: 3.5 stars - Very Good
- Overall Impression: 4 stars - Excellent
About The Reviewers
Brandon Turman - Age: 29 // Years Riding MTB: 15 // Height: 5'10" (1.78m) // Weight: 175-pounds (79.4kg)
"I like to have fun, pop off the bonus lines on the sides of the trail, get aggressive when I feel in tune with a bike, and really mash on the pedals and open it up when pointed downhill." Formerly a Mechanical Engineer and Pro downhill racer, Brandon brings a unique perspective to the testing game as Vital MTB's resident product guy. He has on-trail familiarity with nearly every new innovation in our sport from the past 5-6 years and a really good feel for what’s what.
Steve Wentz - Age: 31 // Years Riding MTB: 20 // Height: 5'8" (1.73m) // Weight: 180-pounds (81.6kg)
"Despite what it looks like, I'm really precise and calculated, which I'm trying to get away from. I'm trying to drop my heels more and just let it go." Steve is able to set up a bike close to perfectly within minutes, ride at close to 100% on new trails and replicate what he did that first time over and over. He's been racing Pro DH for 13+ years including World Cups, routinely tests out prototype products, and can squish a bike harder than anyone else we know. Today he builds some of the best trails in the world.
About Test Sessions
Four years ago Vital MTB set out to bring you the most honest, unbiased reviews you'll find anywhere. That tradition continues today as we ride 2016's most exciting trail, all-mountain, and enduro bikes in Phoenix, Arizona. Reviews can be accessed 24/7 in our Product Guide. Test Sessions was made possible with the help of Rage Cycles. Tester gear provided by Troy Lee Designs, Royal Racing, Smith, Fox Racing, Race Face, Easton, and Source.
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One of the raddest ever: Almost 2 years ago that this happened! @pedalersfork | @iamspecialized @deitycomponents #pumptrack #mtb A video posted by Marshall Mullen (@marshallmullen) on Apr 26, 2016 at 10:34am PDT
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The Belgian rider was just banned from UCI events for six years: http://cycling-today.com/mechanical-doping-femke-van-den-driessche-gets-6-year-ban/
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