The Good: Very good parts spec, pretty on the money for the build, and frame, but man LIFETIME warranty on the frame... unheard of. Basically SLX parts all around, which for 90% of people is more than they would need, CTD rear shock, which feels pretty standard compared to the previous versions of the fox float, and the fox float 34 which is a solid mid/upper-range fork. Lastly this is one of the few companies that actually gets the cockpit correct, spec-ing the bike with 780mm wide bars and a short 70mm (I think) stem.
The Bad: Wheels are a bit flexy, I was surprised, they didnt follow the typical over-under pattern you see on most wheels which didn't make a ton of sense to me. Additionally the bike comes with a XT long cage derailuer which i thought was a bit dumb since it ships with a double in the front. Also not a huge fan of the Hans Dampf, I would have been allot more jazzed with a pair of highroller II, or ardents.
Overall I think this bike as a whole is a great package! Pretty short chainstays, real slack head angle, adjustable geo of 67.5 in the high setting to 67 degree in the low, big burly fork, and a great build kit. The SLX brakes, are awesome, I would say back to back compared to the XT's I honestly could not tell the difference in stopping power. Shifting with the SLX, XT drive train was again solid and without issue. Rear end of the bike was very stiff and never seemed to give any trouble while riding. Only complaint about the build of the bike was that the wheels were pretty floppy, and they flexed laterally quite easily.
On the trail I was initially a bit nervous about how slack the head angle was, thinking that it would be somewhat difficult to make it up technical climbs. But once actually climbing you don't even notice it. Additionally the split pivot suspension linkage tied into the float rear shox was an awesome combination. I believe I was running about 30% sag in the rear, which when doing the parking lot squish test seems a bit too much, but once on the trail is peddles like a champ. When coming to descending, the bike basically chewed up anything I could throw at it, rocky choppy stuff... no problem, flowy stuff... no problem, even tight corners the bike did pretty alright. Anyways moral of the story on the trail: Probably the best all around trail bike I've ridden.
Comparing this bike to other stuff on the market is also pretty easy, because frankly there's not a whole lot out there in this particular price range. There is the Yeti 575 which in the same price point you get a full XT build, but lacks the carbon frame. You've got the santa cruz Bronson, which is also an amazing bike, but in that same price point, you are looking at much lower end parts. The bike that comes closest is the norco sight which is a bit cheaper, but lacks the float 34 fork, has a lower end rear shock, and generic norco wheelset. Additionally, none of these bikes come with that lifetime warranty on the frame, that this Devinci is going to come with.
The bottom line is, this bike preforms awesome... it eats up whatever you can throw at it, put that into combination with the price, and the warranty, you've got a real winner.
LONG TERM REVIEW/UPDATE
So I wrote a review about 1 month into owning this bike, and thought it was about time to give a long term review of this bike.
Overall the frame has held up quite well, but as I began to ride the bike more, it became more and more apparent there were a few things that I was not too jazzed about, that I thought others would be interested in hearing about, as well as providing a long term review for this bike which has not been done yet.
Mid stroke support of the rear shock - Man this was terrible, I am not sure what tune was spec'd on this frame but, I felt as if the bike would really wallow in the mid stroke of the rear travel. This would mean that trying to jump out of a berm/hard corner, or soon after a rough section was very hard, as the bike liked to really sink into its travel almost like a downhill bike. This problem was somewhat remedied by swapping the rear shock out with a Cane Creek DB-Inline. But even with this change it was still somewhat apparent, my conclusion (and I could be very wrong on this ) on this issue is that this bike is not designed to be very playful, but really feel like a mini downhill bike, which it does. As a result it really sines on rough sections of terrain, and to jump this bike over features in the trail takes that much extra effort and setup. I'd be curious to know what other Troy owners think of this statement and whether they would agree or not. But overall, its still great, and excels on what I think it was designed for, especially with the DB inline. NOTE: That when set up at the recommended 25% sag the bike felt way too harsh, and the sage was increased to 35%, without any noticeable pedaling inefficiencies.
Admittedly I was pretty excited to finally try out a set of Easton wheels, as they seem to always get good reviews and have pretty good brand recognition in the industry, but these things basically blew up almost after I wrote the review, quite possibly the worst wheels I've ever used.
The hubs were fine and had a reasonable amount of engagement, but the rims were very soft. Additionally, the way that the wheels were laced was somewhat weird as well, they did use your typical cross lace pattern but, did not do the standard over/under technique that you see on basically every other wheel out there, which led to the spokes not retaining much preload. As a result, the wheels got flat spots very easy, and came out of true just as much, that combined with the fact that they would dent, made for a terrible time.
I was actually so pissed about this, I wrote both devinci telling them not to spec this wheelset again, who were apologetic, as wheel as easton, who never responded.
Eventually I switched wheels to a DT hub laced to WTB rims, and have not looked back.
SLX Brakes have held up great ! No complaints, never needed to bleed, and have only swapped out the pads, really impressed with these things, and im not sure why they are not more commonly spec'd on other bikes.
About two months in, the frame began creaking pretty bad, no visible cracks or anything like that, but I'm not sure which bearing surfaces its coming from. At this point I should tear-down the whole bike and rebuild, but its one of the few frames I've owned that began to creak that soon. I would guess its a pretty common problem with this model, as there used to be a section on their site outlining how to find the creaking area. Other than some annoying sounds, the frame has held up wheel, rear end is still really stiff, and has not developed any play even after 100's of miles of riding.
My only issue is that I wish that it came with a right hand lever for the left side, since the SLX brakes dont play well with the reverb lever.
Honestly I go back and fourth from loving this bike to hating this bike, and I really think it boils down to your personal riding style. It loves to stick to the ground and soak it all up, unlike some bikes that do very well jumping over that same terrain. Its held up amazingly well considering how much has been throne at it, and its still backed up with Devinci's lifetime warranty. Even with some pretty stiff competition out there at this point, I would still recommend this bike to anyone who is really looking in that 130-150mm travel trail bike, to at least try it out to see what they think.
I'd be curious what other people think of not only the RC build but all of the builds to see if they agree with my "ground sticking" characteristic.
Thanks and feel free to comment with any questions!