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When considering my options for an ultra-light aggressive trail bike, the cerebral dust clouds settled to reveal the Devinci Troy Carbon.  Considering my ability to swap out the majority of the build kit for after market upgrades, I opted for the Devinci Troy Carbon XP (lowest end build).  Here is how it unfolded…

Initial Impressions

Christmas arrived early in November when two oversized DEVINCI boxes arrived at work.  I was excited and terrified all at the same time; I would have to build my bike up from scratch.  The XP build kit came in a neatly crafted plastic assemblage with hollows and grooves for all bits and pieces (with which I would quickly acquaint myself).  I could have taken it to my mechanic but how else is one to learn?  CAUTION: Some of the components’ shortcomings may be highly correlated to my lack of bike assembly skills.

On the Trail

The result was instant gratification.  The 27.5” wheel size (from my previously ridden 26”) rolled up and over root gardens and rock patches that my previous BB used to smash.  I also felt the power-to-weight ratio in my favor, as I was able to keep within a few heavy breaths of my Enduro-style riding partners.  For once, I actually felt competitive on a climb.

The Pike RC Dual Air has two positions for min and max travel (120mm & 150mm, respectively) as well as a compression lock-out.  This meant for easier climbs without sacrificing small bump compliance, and with a flick of a dial, I could careen down chundery trails.

The Devinci Troy Carbon was the perfect weapon to bag peaks along groomed climbing singletrack or decommissioned forestry roads. However, I did notice that I sat taller and steeper than before, which led me to feel like I lumbered through corners and was poised to endo every North Shore steep.  The first month on my bike felt like an identity crisis: I now climbed better than I descended. I was becoming an XC rider… I actually cried a little.

Build Kit

Of the entire build kit, only the following original items remain installed:

  • ·  Shimano 10-speed rear cassette
  • ·  Rear Deore derailleur
  • ·  FSA headset
  • ·  Rockshox Pike RC 27.5 Daul Air 150MM
  • ·  Fox Float CTD
  • ·  Rear Deore shifter & cables and brake rotors
I gutted and swapped everything else to include:
  • ·  Easton Haven 27.5” aluminum wheels
  • ·  Maxxis High Roller II & Minion tires (front & rear, respectively)
  • ·  Easton Haven 35mm carbon handlebar (750mm length), Haven 35 (32mm length) stem, carbon-friendly grips
  • ·  Shimano XT brakes & levers
  • ·  One-Up Components RADr cage (to replace 10-speed medium derailleur) & 42T rear cassette ring
  • ·  RaceFace Next SL crankset
  • ·  RaceFace Atlas pedals; RaceFace 30T front chain ring
  • ·  Reverb Stealth dropper post

Things That Could Be Improved

During one bike trip to Orcas Island, WA, I noticed my suspension pivots squeaking every time I engaged the rear shock.  Typical me I noticed it, denied it, then tried to forget about it.  I almost convinced myself it was just a normal part of a new bike, “I have to break it in like new shoes.” Until at work a coworker mentioned the same thing with his Devinci Troy and I realized an allan key was all that I needed to remedy it. But by that time, the noise had disappeared. Improvement: The factory could tighten the suspension pivots a bit better before shipment… unless this is a “new shoe” thing where they wear in a bit and some minor post-ride adjustment is necessary, just like with derailleur cables?

What’s the Bottom Line?

Squamish riding is a funny thing: you climb hundreds of feet right out of the gate until you finally plateau some thousands of feet above sea level, only to descend endless ribbons of singletrack that link up berm-filled, technical, and/or fast & flowy double-wide pump tracks (Half Nelson).  Rarely do you get the undulating, always-pedaling feeling of riding (like around Sedona, AZ). The steeper headtube angle, higher BB and shorter wheelbase make me feel a little more cautious on the infamous North Shore gnar. The Devinci Troy Carbon would absolutely kill it on terrain like Sedona’s; however, in Squamish, I know I’m going to suffer on the uphill no matter what lightweight weapon underneath me.  At that point, I’d rather be a glutton for punishment on a heavier, slacker, more aggressive trail bike than this one.

Overall, the bike is very responsive and snappy on the descents.  It pops over my favorite lips and absolutely slays Strava times on the ascent.  I do still think it feels a bit too twitchy shredding down gnarlier tech lines, or steeps, but I am willing to acknowledge that it could also just be me that needs improvement.  At the end of the day, you can’t help how a bike makes you feel, and judging by my newfound cautionary approach, I’d say this bike could make a competitive XC rider out of anyone.

About the Reviewer

Monica McCosh has been riding bikes in British Columbia for over 5 years through the dusty desert interior, the gnarly roots of the North Shore, and the flow and jump lines of Whistler Bike Park.  Not quite a competitive racer, but most definitely a Freeride enthusiast, Monica attends various bike events and organizes guided bike excursions throughout BC.  She is a Marketing professional in the mountain bike industry having worked at Ryders Eyewear and Easton Cycling.

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