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​Just a few weeks ago, Devinci Cycles brought us out to their factory in Quebec to show off two new bikes for 2017, the Django 29 and the Marshall. While the Django 29 is a more focused bike aimed at the aggressive rider who likes to rally the downhills as much as they like earning them, the new Marshall has a wider range of users being both 29-inch and 27.5+ compatible. We gave the new Marshall (which you may recognize as Devinci's Hendrix of 2016) a spin in both configurations.

Devinci Marshall Features

  • 110mm rear // 120mm front travel (130mm front travel with 29-inch wheels)
  • 3.25-inch maximum tire clearance (27.5+)
  • 29er compatible
  • Split Pivot suspension
  • Boost 148mm // 110mm spacing
  • 1x drivetrain specific
  • Devinci Monocoque Carbon Gravity frame construction (DMC-G)
  • Alloy frame option
  • Asymmetrical construction
  • Low stand-over height
  • Internal cable routing
  • Tapered headtube
  • Ultra-short chainstays
  • Headset Spacer / Geometry "Chip" Compatible (Retails for $20 USD)
  • Alloy frameset MSRP: $1,769 USD
  • Carbon frameset MSRP: $2,479 USD
  • Complete bike MSRP: Available in four build kits ranging from $3,359 to $5,129

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Geometry

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Initial Impressions

Something somewhat unique to Devinci’s approach regarding build kits is how they’ve made an effort to keep the spacing and standards as uniform as possible across their line. This means is you can select a frame and then a build kit which could fit on both, for example, the Marshall and the Django 29. Being that the Marshall was designed primarily as a 27.5+ bike, Devinci has made available two build kits; a Shimano SLX/XT option or a SRAM NX option. Both kits can be paired with either the carbon or alloy frame. If 27.5+ isn’t your thing, you can select a build kit from the Django 29, which bumps the fork up to 130mm. To further widen the user base for the Marshall, Devinci has made the bike compatible with their new headset spacer which slackens the bike out by half a degree, as well as raises the bottom bracket by 3mm.

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A welcomed sight we saw on the Marshall was a nice wide 800mm handlebar and short, stable 50mm stem. Riders spoke and Devinci listened, as they let us know they’ll be spec’ing wider bars, shorter stems and wider rims across their line. We rode the Marshall with the SLX/XT on 27.5+ and the SRAM X01 12-speed build borrowed from the Django 29 when we rode it with 29-inch wheels. We’ve already given our initial impressions on the SRAM X01 12-speed build in our feature introducing the Django 29, so we’ll focus on the SLX/XT build in this article.

The SLX/XT build, as you’ve likely guess from the name, uses a mix of the two Shimano groupsXT for the rear derailleur, with SLX handling the braking, shifting and rear cassette duties. 35mm diameter Race Face Atlas bars at 800mm wide and matching Race Face Turbine stem make for a suitable cockpit for those who like things wide. If mega-wide bars aren’t your thing, it’s easy to cut them down to your preferred size. To make this bike “plus,” Devinci spec’d some Race Face Aeffect Plus with a whopping 40mm internal width, paired with some Maxxis Chronicle tires sized 27.5 x 3.0. Other highlights include a RockShox Pike RCT3 fork and RockShox Monarch RT3 Debonair shock.

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Devinci Marshall First Ride Impressions

As we mentioned, we rode the Marshall in both the 27.5+ and 29-inch configurations. Terrain varied from rolling ups and downs with a fair amount of rocks and roots thrown in, to extended fast and flowy descents witha few technical climbs for good measure. As you'd expect, when equipped with 29-inch wheels, the Marshall climbed well, smoothing out the momentum-robbing roots and rocks below you as you chug your way up the hill. We experimented with the three-position compression switch on the RockShox RT3 but found the bike to pedal adequately when left in the open or pedal position, making the lockout position only useful if you find yourself pedaling up a long and smooth fire road. Being relatively slack for a 110mm of travel bike at 67.3-degrees, we were surprised at how well the front end stayed down and didn't wander when things became steep or tight.

While Devinci designates the Marshall to be for those who like descending a bit more than they like climbing, as opposed to the Django’s designation as a bike for someone who likes both equally, we actually found the Marshall to climb extremely well while setup as a 29er, on par with the Django. Where we did notice a difference was descending. The Marshall with 29-inch wheels, although faster feeling than the Django we rode, did beat us up a bit more. This is likely due to the slightly shorter travel of the Marshall as well as the bit of extra stability with the slightly slacker head angle.

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Taking the bike out in 27.5+ configuration, the Marshall was a completely different bike. People have been praising plus bikes for the increased traction, and therefore better climbing abilities, of the bikes, but that wasn’t really our experience. Sure, we obviously felt a difference in traction but it wasn’t anything to write home about. Where we did appreciate the tubby tires was actually on the descents, when an off-camber section of trail presented itself, littered with little roots and a little bit of rock and soil showing between them. There was clearly a little catch berm at the bottom of this off-camber, indicating that riders usually go around it instead of taking the straight line over. We quickly pointed the bike head-on towards the roots and said in our head “because PLUS bike,” and straight-lined the section. The bike tracked perfectly. After that, we aimed for every off-camber or awkward line we could find, taking it in the name of PLUS.

Sure, there’s plenty of “new boot goof’n” to be had on the Marshall setup with the 27.5+ build, but we did find a few drawbacks when compared to the 29er setup. When it came time to lay the bike over in fast, hard cornering situations, we found ourselves backing off the aggression as the tires squirmed beneath us and occasionally felt like they were going to blow off the rim completely. Also, we found that landing the bike in rougher root and rock sections, that we’d gap in to or land in from a drop, the bigger tires tended to throw us off line a bit with an awkward and unpredictable bounce upon impact. And lastly, while not really a decrease in performance, we noticed the bike tended to bounce around or bob when pedaling over slow, flat sections of roots or rocks, almost like our rebound was set far too fast. This didn’t really slow us down, but it was rather annoying.

That about sums up our First Ride experience with the Marshall. Depending on what kind of trail you prefer, or what kind of rider you are, Devinci has made the Marshall a solid platform to build whatever kind of machine you’re looking for: A fast and focused 29er that can handle an aggressive rider who likes smashing the descents after earning them, or a more forgiving ride with the 27.5+ setup which lends itself to a rider who either wants to change up their local trails with a different-riding bike or someone who want a more playful, not-so-serious whip that is able to tackle tricky lines.

Devinci Marshall 27.5+ Build Kits

Marshall Carbon SLX/XT

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Marshall Carbon NX

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Marshall SLX/XT

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Marshall NX

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The Marshall is available now. Visit www.devinci.com for more details.

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