MBA Bike Test: Devinci Django 29

Devinci Django 29

Category: Trail
Suspension front/rear: 140mm / 120mm
Tire Size: 29″

Born into the Devinci family back in 2016, the Django was premiered as a 27.5-inch trail bike with short travel and a big attitude. This do-anything bike became the weapon of choice for rolling hills, punchy climbs and ripping descents, but like a fine wine, the Django seems to get better with age. The following year, Devinci revamped the Django with 29-inch wheels, improving its capabilities across the board while staying true to the bike’s playful nature. Early this summer we flew out to Bromont, Quebec, to see what the East Coast Canadian company had been up to. Once we arrived in the small town that once hosted several World Cup races, we were met with the newest iteration of the Django. Although it poured rain most of our trip, that didn’t stop us from ripping bike park laps and trail loops during our multi-day stay. Luckily for us, we didn’t have to part ways with the Django for all that long. Devinci kindly let us ride the new bike (quietly) over our local trails right up until the day it was released. After months of wearing the knobs off our tires, we’re finally able to bring you our full review of the brand-new Devinci Django 29.

FRAME

Quite a few updates were made by Devinci to push the Django to the next level. Starting with its frame geometry, the Django gained 10mm of reach, along with a head tube angle that’s 1.5 degrees slacker than before. The seat tube angle was then steepened to improve climbing performance. Devinci redesigned its Flip Chips and moved them to the base of the shock to use fewer moving parts and to make trailside geometry adjustments a little less daunting.

Moving to the rear end, the Django received Super Boost 157 hub spacing and full-carbon construction. This wider spacing allows for tire clearance up to 29×2.6 or 27.5×2.8 inches. Knowing the importance of a well-balanced bike, Devinci offers longer chainstay lengths for size large and extralarge frames. Additional attention to detail includes cable clips to prevent rubbing, double-row linkage bearings for durability, and varying dropper-post travels per frame size. Devinci backs all frames with a lifetime warranty.

SRAM 12-speed Eagle drivetrains come as standard equipment across the Django model lineup.

COMPONENTS

Six build-kit options range in price from $2699 to $8399, ensuring riders can pick the best list of components to suit their budget. We tested the Elite model featuring a SRAM X01 Eagle drivetrain and a Fox Factory Series suspension package. A pair of stiff Race Face Next R36 wheels were added and wrapped with 2.5-inch-wide Maxxis tires. Dropper-post lengths vary from 100–175mm of travel with our size-medium test bike featuring a 150mm-travel Fox Transfer post. Devinci used SRAM brakes across all models, from SRAM G2 RSC brakes at the Elite level trickling down to SRAM Level T brakes on the entry-level model. A Race Face cockpit is used on the mid- to high-end builds, while an in-house handlebar and stem combo is seen at the lower price point.

SUSPENSION

The Django has a mean stance, with its stout tubing and its Split-Pivot suspension system. The bike features just 120mm of travel combined with a longer 140mm-travel fork. We dialed our ride in with 30-percent sag in the back and 20-percent upfront. With our rebound and compression adjusted to our liking, we found this little monster to be a capable point-and-shoot trail bike. The suspension offers a nice pop that makes it easy to do double rollers or blitz through a rock garden. With its 120mm of travel, we found ourselves using the entire stroke of our shock, knocking our “fun meter” O-ring off on almost every run. That said, we never experienced a harsh bottom-out, thanks to the progressive curve. If you plan to take big hits with this bike, it’s more than capable; however, we would suggest adding air volume tokens to further increase the suspension’s progressiveness.

Although the Django features 29-inch wheels, it doesn’t stray away from its intended playful attitude.

DOWN AND DIRTY

Climbing

Although the Django is a short-travel trail bike, it shouldn’t be confused with a beefed-up cross-country bike. The 120mm-travel category often suggests that a bike will be a ripper up the climbs, and while our Devinci held its own during long, steep climbs, it tends to feel more like a trail bike than a cross-country race rocket. Don’t get us wrong; by trail bike standards, the Django climbs quite well and allowed our testers to leave the lock-out lever set in the open position.

THE FLOW

The Django executes in a variety of situations, from bike park days to long trail rides. It seems funny to bring a 120mm rig to a bike park, but thanks to the stiffness of this burly frame, the long-travel fork and the 29er wheels, the Django is a force to be reckoned with. The Django looks at a trail feature the way a dog watches a squirrel—it’s focused and ready to dart after any jump or drop at a moment’s notice.

In the corners, the Django continued to impress. When dicing up snappy turns or holding lines through berms, the Django plants itself well. The bike brings plenty of frame stiffness to the table in a short-travel suspension package. It retains the poppy feeling of a short-travel trail bike while offering comfortable rollover due to the 140mm-travel fork. All in all, the Django proves you don’t need a lot of travel to hit technical lines with ease.

The Django’s short-travel rear end provides a nice amount of pop when charging over trail features.

MODS AND UPGRADES

Devinci engineered the Django with a stiff rear end that almost makes the Fox 34 fork feel under-gunned. For the majority of the trails we rode, the fork felt great, but once we started to push its limits, we began to wish we had a Fox 36 fork to provide us with more confidence. Riders looking to push the Django to its absolute limits may want to beef up the bike with more powerful brakes and a piggyback-style shock. This would turn the Django into a little monster, hungry to tackle the roughest trails.

On the other hand, the Django’s current trim is suited to the average trail rider looking for a bike that can help get him or her out of trouble when pushing the limits just a little too hard.

BOTTOM LINE

Often riders opt for bikes with more travel than they need. The Django sports 120mm of suspension travel and packs a punch upfront with a 140mm-travel fork. This combination gives the Django the ability to tame the rough stuff while keeping the bike playful and fun. Climbs are met with an efficient platform, and descents are rewarded with precision. The Django identifies itself as a well-rounded trail bike that makes its way up the climbs and shreds the descents. www.devinci.com


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