March 14, 2016
2015 Devinci Spartan Carbon XP
Frame quality and warranty, Suspension, Stability at high speeds and downhills, Price point, Active braking, Cockpit, Drivetrain, Brakes, Style.
Wheels, Handlebar, BB.
I upgraded to this bike in May of 2015 from a 2011 Trek Fuel 7. Obviously no comparison. After comparing (and even riding/demo'ing a few of) the other bikes in the same, or close category, the Spartan is what really caught my attention. I decided on going with the lowest carbon model and upgraded the components to my liking for a total build price less than the next step up in the carbon line. I'll review each component individually, but here's a rundown:
Easton Havoc Carbon Bar: The bike comes with a Chromag aluminum 780mm bar. It felt too wide for me, so instead of cutting I went with this carbon 750mm bar. Love it.
Race Face Atlas Stem: The bike came with a Chester, but the upgrade was purely aesthetic... Until I rode it. The Alas has a 0 degree rise as opposed to the 8 degree Chester, and it made a world of difference while descending. Had to grind down the fork top by about 1/32 of an inch because I didn't want to add any more spacers. Love it.
Race Face Turbine Cinch Crank: Originally I singled up with a Race Face 32T NW, then moved to a 30T in the same. Found a good deal on the Turbine and it makes a big difference. Had to replace the BB as well with a Race Face, but the original FSA was on it's last leg (around 350 miles). I've been on some nasty stuff since upgrading, and this crank is stiff, light, and doesn't drop the chain. Love it.
Brakes: The bike came with Shimano Deore M615 brakes (gotta meet that price point!) which felt a little squishy at first. I had the shop bleed them for my 90 day checkup, and they got a little better, but still not as good as I expected. I was going to upgrade to the XT, but first decided to try an Icetech rotor on the rear with the compatible pads. This made all the difference in the world (for half the price) and I felt I didn't need to upgrade.
Pedals: Originally went with the Diety Decoy LT, but they didn't last very long. Got the Race Face Atlas pedals and love them.
Wheels/Tires: The bike came with Jalco DD28 Rims (21mm internal width), FSA hubs, and Schwalbe Hans Dampf tires. I went tubeless pretty quick. The tires lasted about 300 miles and I went with Maxxis Minions (DHR II rear/DHF front-infinitely better). The wheels are heavy but have taken a beating and stay true where friends I was riding with have had to true or replace their wheels. They're not sexy, but damn if they haven't held up. I plan on having a custom set built soon, as I want to increase my wheel's inner width and take some weight off.
I love this bike and even after riding other friends comparable bikes, I'm extremely happy with the purchase. The only reason I gave it 4 stars was because some of the components were a poor choice for the price point. Devinci has done away with the XP line and changed the original components, so I think they figured it out. Overall, this bike does everything well, is easy to lighten up a bit (they come a little heavy), and brings a smile to my face every time I ride.