2018 Devinci Spartan Carbon X01 Eagle

Vital Rating: (Excellent)
Views:
2018 Devinci Spartan Carbon X01 Eagle  2018 Devinci Spartan Carbon X01 Eagle in Purple and Green
C70_purple_green C70_black C70_fv18384_1_b C70_img_9859_2 C70_img_9836_2 C70_img_9830 C70_img_9832 C70_img_9844_2
Create New Tag

Compare to other Bikes

Need more info? View our Freeride / Bike Park Mountain Bikes or Trail Mountain Bikes buyer's guides.

Tested: 2018 Devinci Spartan Carbon X01 Eagle

Devinci's new iridescent enduro rig goes on a diet while gaining travel, stiffness, improved suspension performance and much more.

Rating: Vital Review
Tested: 2018 Devinci Spartan Carbon X01 Eagle

How do you make a good bike better? That's the question Devinci asked when they set out to improve an already very capable ride. The solution involved the creation of an entirely new frame for 2018, and it's Devinci's first full-carbon bike. Over the course of three months, hundreds of miles, and dozens of park laps we got intimately familiar with this wild-looking ride, evaluating exactly how it compares to the original Spartan.

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • That paint job
  • Improved pedaling performance
  • Coil compatible progressive suspension design
  • Excellent bottom-out composure
  • Ultra-stiff rear end
  • Adjustable geometry
  • Geometry now suits a much wider range of rider heights
  • Race-ready components
  • Lifetime warranty
  • That paint job
  • Some harshness in rear suspension
  • Short 125mm dropper post spec'd

How do you make a good bike better? That's the question Devinci asked when they set out to improve an already very capable ride. The solution involved the creation of an entirely new frame for 2018, and it's Devinci's first full-carbon bike. Over the course of three months, hundreds of miles, and dozens of park laps we got intimately familiar with this wild-looking ride, evaluating exactly how it compares to the original Spartan.

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • That paint job
  • Improved pedaling performance
  • Coil compatible progressive suspension design
  • Excellent bottom-out composure
  • Ultra-stiff rear end
  • Adjustable geometry
  • Geometry now suits a much wider range of rider heights
  • Race-ready components
  • Lifetime warranty
  • That paint job
  • Some harshness in rear suspension
  • Short 125mm dropper post spec'd on size medium builds
  • Swapping shocks can be tricky
  • Geometry adjustment can be tricky

Devinci Spartan Carbon Highlights

  • Carbon DMC-G frame with 0.7-pound (310g) weight savings compared to previous design
  • 27.5-inch (650b) wheels
  • 165mm (6.5-inches) rear travel via Metric shock // 170mm (6.7-inches) front travel
  • Split-Pivot suspension design with new vertical shock orientation and improved anti-squat
  • Coil shock compatible
  • FRG adjustable geometry via flip chip in upper seatstay pivot
  • Integrated Di2 battery mount
  • Kevlar reinforced carbon skid plate
  • 170mm travel dropper post compatibility on sizes medium and up
  • 24-ounce water bottle compatible
  • ISCG tabs
  • 36-tooth chainring clearance
  • BB92 bottom bracket
  • 27.5x2.6-inch tire clearance
  • 12x148mm Boost rear axle
  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, XL
  • Colors: Gloss purple and green // Matte and gloss black
  • Frame Weight: 7.1-pounds (3.2kg, claimed)
  • Complete Weight: Starting at 30.3-pounds (13.8kg, claimed)
  • Lifetime frame warranty

Those familiar with the original Spartan will notice several big improvements while reading through the list of highlights. The Spartan's redesign took feedback from their enduro race team into account, with a considerable amount of input coming from EWS podium threat Damien Oton.

While the bike retains its Dave Weagle-developed Split Pivot and 165mm of rear travel, the new vertical shock orientation and rocker link have multiple benefits. Chris Benoit, Devinci's R&D Project Manager, filled us in on the details:

"The main difference is that the pivot/shock mount line is now a closed triangle," Chris told Vital. "By having the seatstay not cantilevered from the link pivot to the shock it made the assembly stiffer laterally. With less lateral flex on the shock, it helps increase the shock's longevity. Also, the rear triangle is more open than before and that always has an effect on stiffness. The vertical trunnion mount shock also made it possible to have both low standover height and room for a water bottle."

New
Old

New vs Old

The new Spartan is the first in Devinci's lineup to use metric shock sizing, taking advantage of a 205x65mm trunnion-style RockShox Super Deluxe with bearings in the upper mount for improved sensitivity.

Limiting the bike to a 1X-only drivetrain also allowed Devinci to widen the main pivot a substantial amount, as did the continued use of a press fit bottom bracket. Combined with a wider Boost 148mm rear axle, there's now ample mud clearance with the stock 2.4-inch Maxxis tire and room for up to 2.6-inches of rubber.

Devinci's frames are covered by a lifetime warranty, and as a result they've been slow to introduce carbon chainstays – a high stress/impact component. With a goal of creating a lighter frame for race use, they focused more development and engineering time on crafting durable carbon stays. The result is 160 grams of weight savings. Add that to the 150 grams also saved on the rest of the frame and they've knocked a decent 310 grams (0.7-pounds) of weight off.

Keeping current, the frame can now accommodate today's longer-travel dropper posts. Sizes medium, large, and XL can sport a 170mm dropper, and the small will work for most riders with a 150mm dropper with a Connectamajig fitting.

Rubberized guards help protect the frame in key areas, and the kevlar reinforced carbon skid plate is designed to absorb a big impact should you drastically misjudge a line choice or speed. Unlike most downtube guards, Devinci's has a bit of a gap between the guard and frame to take up an impact with less potential for downtube damage. Hidden underneath the skid plate is a storage spot for securely mounting a Shimano Di2 battery.

The bike comes with several different cable ports and plugs, allowing a clean look and flexibility for both internal housing size and brake orientation. Cables and housing aren't guided by any sort of internal tubes, but the ability to really crank down on them with a zip tie at both ends helps ensure things stay pretty quiet.

Geometry

Recognizing that people tend to have a mental block with having more rear travel than front, Devinci upped the fork from 160mm to 170mm of travel and slackened the head angle by 0.8-degrees in the process. They've maintained a similar bottom bracket height and steepened the seat angle by 2-degrees.

An extra 30+ millimeters of reach on each size brings the bike firmly into 2018, widening the range of rider heights it's claimed to suit to 5'0"-6'4" (1.52-1.93m) tall. Considering the geometry updates, our 5'10" (1.78m) tall test rider went from a size large on the previous Spartan to a size medium on the new bike and still gained reach in the process.

Geometry is adjustable using Devinci's FRG flip chip system located at the top of the seat stays where they connect to the rocker link, allowing you to change the head angle by 0.4-degrees while also tuning the bottom bracket height by 5.5mm and seat angle by 0.4-degrees. Making the adjustment can take a few minutes and require an extra set of hands.

On The Trail

How do the improvements noted above impact the ride experience? Having also spent several months aboard the previous Spartan back in 2015, it was our goal to find out. We tested the new Spartan on the full gamut of trails in Durango, Colorado, from smooth and fast rips around town to rugged high country gems and Purgatory Resort hot laps. Visits to Angel Fire Bike Park and Whistler were also on the menu during our three months of testing, exposing the new bike to a good variety of terrain.

Where the old bike was a chore to pedal uphill and required a "spin to win" mentality, the new bike is much more of an all-rounder with a more stable pedal response.

The first thing you'll notice when throwing a leg over the new bike is a sense of improved lightness and efficiency. Pedaling is greatly improved compared to the previous Spartan. Where the old bike was a chore to pedal uphill and required a "spin to win" mentality, the new bike is much more of an all-rounder with a more stable pedal response. With an optimized pivot placement around the stock 34-tooth chainring, whether sprinting or climbing, seated or standing, the new Spartan is far better in the pedaling realm. The steeper seat angle only adds to the equation. We noted how rear wheel traction was excellent on the previous bike over technical, loose climbs, and the new bike shares this trait as well.

During the first two days of riding we racked up nearly ten thousand feet of climbing at altitude – something we never had the lungs for on the old bike. Inspired by our early outings, we'd later pilot it on a 46-mile ride along the Colorado Trail and to the top of Whistler's new Lord of the Squirrels alpine ride.

We rode the bike in both slack and steep geometry settings, ultimately preferring the steeper setting for every day, general trail use. Having the ability to slacken the bike out a bit made it better suited to days in the bike park and steep downhill terrain.

The bike handles big compressions very well, stays composed, and generates speed where many others flounder.

Both the old and new Spartan have highly progressive suspension designs – in fact, the new bike is even more progressive than the previous layout. As a result they share some similar ride qualities, especially in terms of how well the bikes pump, jump, and handle large compressions.

We previously noted that "All it takes is smashing one good turn on the [old] Devinci Spartan Carbon to see its downhill race roots shine through. The combination of a stiff frame and highly progressive suspension yields a bike that is superb at generating speed when pumping, jumping, and being tossed about, which will keep you coming back for more."

The same is true for the new ride. Pumping the terrain still results in a decent burst of speed, which can't be said for every long-travel enduro bike. It's a pretty playful, fun ride considering there's 165mm of squish beneath you. Cornering feels very natural, and the ultra-stiff rear end is a treat for those who smash into turns. The bike handles big compressions very well, stays composed, and generates speed where many others flounder.

We noted some issues with rear suspension performance on the old bike: "It's rare that the bike feels as though it's out of its comfort zone, though it can occur on the roughest bits of trail at speed, especially when they are steep. The Spartan simply lacks the supremely calm and quiet sensation over repeat hard hits that some other class-leading enduro bikes possess, which can throw off your focus a bit, make you work harder through the chunk, and rob a bit of speed. Then again, those other bikes don't tend to pump and jump as well as the Spartan, so there's a tradeoff here... Bumping up to 35% sag we began to feel an improvement, and pushing the envelope all the way to 38-39% yielded the best result on rough trails."

The previous bike required large amounts of sag in the 35% plus range to utilize all of the available travel. We went on to say that the excessive sag needed to get the best rough trail performance impacted its ability to pump and jump as well, indicating that it was a bit difficult to find the perfect sweet spot for those who prefer to set and forget their suspension. We also made the suggestion that a larger air spring or coil shock could help the bike.

Despite being more progressive, the new Spartan rides well around the 32% sag range thanks to a different air spring and stock shock tune. It's nice to have one sag value that can do it all.

What of that harshness in the previous bike we spoke of? Devinci says they heard similar feedback from heavy riders and those pushing harder than most on the old bike. Considering that the rear suspension design was changed in part to reduce lateral flex on the shock, one has to wonder if some of that harshness was due to the shock binding under big loads. The new suspension layout helps to address this possible cause by improving lateral stiffness of the rear triangle, and the Super Deluxe shock has increased bushing overlap and bearing mounts to further reduce binding. The result is, without question, a big improvement, but there is still some odd harshness and imbalance we feel could be tuned out.

Could a coil shock alleviate some of the occasional spiking felt on fast terrain when encountering a series of large bumps?

Presented with the opportunity to do some back-to-back air versus coil shock testing in the Whistler Bike Park, we set off to see if things could improve even further with a shock swap.

Air Versus Coil on the Spartan

Throughout our time on the new Spartan, we felt as though the rear end tended to ride a bit high in its travel relative to the front end when equipped with the Super Deluxe Air shock. Conversely, the RockShox Lyrik fork tends to ride a bit deeper into the stroke than comparable forks. This resulted in us raising the bar height higher than we typically would as well as cranking up the fork's low-speed compression in an attempt to find a good balance. Even then, we felt as though we were coming through the chunk into some turns a bit over the front end.

Things also felt a bit firmer than we think is ideal on the damping side in the rear, making it a bit less controlled and harsher feeling in certain very taxing scenarios. Could a coil shock alleviate some of the occasional spiking felt on fast terrain when encountering a series of large bumps?

Running the same 32% sag and switching from the Super Deluxe Air to a Super Deluxe Coil, the bike did in fact work better in truly rough sections. Riding through Whistler's gnarly braking bumps during Crankworx, for example, the coil shock helped the bike calm down, resolved the riding high feeling, and improved overall balance. This let us look further ahead and enter turns more composed. Another notable improvement was to off-the-top sensitivity. While the Super Deluxe Air is great in this regard, you simply can't beat a coil when it comes to off-the-top performance. This resulted in better rear wheel traction.

Where the air shock shines on the Spartan is general playfulness, bottom-out support, and ease of adjustment. It helps when pumping the bike into the terrain and desiring a more immediate response and the resulting burst of speed.

Given the choice, we'd opt for a coil shock and be ready to use the climb lever when the trail points uphill.

Build Kit

The Spartan Carbon is available in four builds ranging from $4,539 to $8,199 USD, or as a frame + shock combo for $2,999. We tested the $6,999 X01 Eagle build with Race Face Turbine R alloy wheels. Two aluminum bikes priced at $3,369 and $3,999 are available as well, plus the aluminum frame for $1,999.

Looking the builds over, it's clear Devinci intended the Spartan to be race-ready. From the cockpit to the tires, the component selection is pretty much on point.

Paired with the fast engagement and wide inner profile of the Race Face Turbine R wheels, the Maxxis Minion DHF/DHR II Wide Trail 3C tires front and rear offered and excellent connection to the ground. You really can't ask for much better. Our test bike featured EXO casings which met their demise in Whistler, but Devinci specs the bike with more durable Double Down casings which we applaud.

Following three months of use in a variety of weather conditions, hundreds of trail miles, and several dozen park laps, we're pleased to report no major durability concerns.

The RockShox Lyrik RCT3 fork is a reliable, proven performer with a very smooth feel and stout chassis that works well in combination with Devinci's improved frame. Adding a Bottomless Token is advisable given the more progressive nature of the rear.

SRAM's X01 Eagle drivetrain offers remarkably smooth shifting, ample range across the 10-50 tooth cassette, and a notable reduction in friction compared to their previous 11-speed drivetrains. Devinci includes an upper chainguide (not pictured) to ensure the chain stays in check no matter how rough things get.

In our eyes, three components could use improvement. First, Devinci specs SRAM Guide RSC brakes, which we'd love to see replaced with Code brakes on a bike with these intentions. Swapping the stock brake pads helps get a little extra stopping power, however. Second, Devinci's lock-on grips are overly large for most hands and caused some hand pain. Finally, despite their claims of long-travel dropper compatibility, we were surprised to see a short 125mm RockShox Reverb Stealth dropper on our size medium bike. We feel 150mm (pictured) is much more appropriate and hope Devinci makes a rolling change in the future.

Long Term Durability

Following three months of use in a variety of weather conditions, hundreds of trail miles, and several dozen park laps, we're pleased to report no major durability concerns. Devinci backs all of their frames with a lifetime warranty, which says a lot about the confidence they have in their creations. There's a one-year limit on the pivots, but the sealed bearings are quite large and shouldn't present any early issues. All pivots are easily accessible for bearing replacement. Our Spartan test rig proved to be trouble free with no bottom bracket creaking.

What's The Bottom Line?

Devinci has done a great job of updating every aspect of what was an already very capable, well-thought-out bike. The Spartan can now go toe to toe with some of the best enduro race bikes on the market thanks to notably improved pedaling performance, a full carbon frame that weighs less, better handling in rough terrain, and all the modern features and geometry numbers one could hope for. Once relegated to descent-heavy rides, the new Spartan is now an excellent all-rounder and has proven to be very competitive in the Enduro World Series. We feel the highly progressive suspension design works best with a coil shock, though the stock air shock offers much better performance than the previous Spartan ever had.

Visit www.devinci.com for more details.

Vital MTB Rating

  • Climbing: 4 stars - Excellent
  • Descending: 4.5 stars - Outstanding
  • Fun Factor: 4 stars - Excellent
  • Value: 4 stars - Excellent
  • Overall Impression: 4 stars - Excellent

About The Reviewer

Brandon Turman - Age: 31 // Years Riding: 17 // 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 several years and a really good feel for what’s what.

Photos by Brandon Turman, Paris Gore and Brian Chapel

Specifications

Product Devinci Spartan Carbon X01 Eagle
Model Year 2018
Riding Type Freeride / Bike Park, Trail
Rider Unisex
Sizes and Geometry
Small, Medium, Large, XL View Geometry
Size Small Medium Large XL
Top Tube Length 581 / 579 605 / 603 628 / 626 652 / 650
Head Tube Angle 65° Slack, 65.4° Steep 65° Slack, 65.4° Steep 65° Slack, 65.4° Steep 65° Slack, 65.4° Steep
Head Tube Length 105 115 125 135
Seat Tube Angle 74.5 / 74.9 74.5 / 74.9 74.5 / 74.9 74.5 / 74.9
Seat Tube Length 390 420 455 495
Bottom Bracket Height 337 / 342.5 337 / 342.5 337 / 342.5 337 / 342.5
Chainstay Length 430 / 428.5 430 / 428.5 430 / 428.5 430 / 428.5
Wheelbase 1176 / 1175 1200 / 1199 1224 / 1223 1249 / 1247
Standover 724 / 730 735 / 740 739 / 744 755 / 760
Reach 425 / 429 445 / 449 465 / 469 485 / 489
Stack 606 / 603 615 / 612 625 / 621 634 / 630
* Additional Info FRG adjustable geometry via flip chip in upper seatstay pivot
Wheel Size 27.5" (650b)
Frame Material Carbon Fiber
Frame Material Details Carbon DMC-G
Rear Travel 165mm
Rear Shock Metric RockShox Super Deluxe RC3 DB // Coil compatible
Fork RockShox Lyrik RCT3 27.5 Boost Solo
Fork Travel 170mm
Head Tube Diameter Tapered
Headset FSA Orbit 1.5 Zero Stack
Handlebar Race Face NEXT R 35mm diameter // 20mm rise // 800mm width
Stem Race Face Turbine 35mm diameter
Grips Devinci Performance Lock-On
Brakes SRAM Guide RSC
Brake Levers SRAM Guide RSC
Drivetrain 1x
Shifters SRAM X01 Eagle 12-speed
Front Derailleur N/A
Rear Derailleur SRAM X01 Eagle 12-speed
ISCG Tabs Yes
Chainguide None
Cranks SRAM X01 Eagle Boost 148
Chainrings Includes 34-tooth // 36-tooth chainring maximum clearance
Bottom Bracket SRAM BB92
Pedals N/A
Chain SRAM X01 Eagle 12-speed
Cassette SRAM XG1295 12-speed 10-50 tooth
Rims Race Face NEXT-R 32 Carbon // Race Face Turbine R30 Alloy
Hubs Race Face
Spokes 32
Tires Maxxis Minion DHF 27.5X2.5 3C, TR, DD // Maxxis Minion DHR II 27.5X2.4 3C, TR, DD
Saddle SDG Fly MTN
Seatpost RockShox Reverb Stealth // Small & Medium:125mm travel // LG & XL:150mm // 170mm compatible on sizes M / L / XL
Seatpost Diameter 31.6mm
Seatpost Clamp Alloy CNC 37mm
Rear Dropout / Hub Dimensions 12x148mm Boost
Max. Tire Size 2.6-inches
Bottle Cage Mounts 24-ounce water bottle compatible
Colors Gloss purple and green // Matte and gloss black
Warranty Lifetime frame warranty
Weight 30 lb 5.4 oz (13,760 g)
Miscellaneous Integrated Di2 battery mount
Kevlar reinforced carbon skid plate
Frame weight: 7.14-pounds (3,240g)
Price
  • $8,199
  • $6,999
More Info

​Devinci website

More Products