The steeper and rougher the trail, the better the 2018 Spartan seems to work
When I tested the Spartan XP way back in late 2014, I was really impressed by the suspension and handling of the value-priced aluminium version of Devinci’s enduro bike. Fast-forward to spring of this year: Devinci gave me a sneak peek (and ride) on its second generation carbon Spartan, and I was pretty much blown away.
What impressed me most was the bike’s nimble, responsive feel, even though the new Spartan is longer and slacker. In a world full of enduro bikes that are starting to feel like mini downhill bikes, the new Spartan was a revelation. It’s a bike that worked everywhere on the trail in a range of situations - not just pointing straight downhill - and even there, it was impressive.
The second-generation Spartan frame is 310 grams lighter than its predecessor, with 150 grams coming out of the front triangle and 160 from the new Boost-width carbon swingarm. Devinci still utilises Split-Pivot suspension to get 165mm of rear wheel travel, but it now utilises a Rockshox metric trunion mount style shock and is also coil-shock friendly.
It is also now matched to a 170mm-travel fork instead of the previous model's 160mm. A lower seat tube now allows for the use of up to a 170mm travel dropper post on frame sizes medium through XL. Under the downtube is a new Kevlar reinforced bashplate that hides a Shimano Di2 battery holder (or your spares and small tools). All frame sizes allow for a water bottle cage inside the triangle.
Watch how to set up your shock sag for a smooth ride in this video from our American sister title Bicycling:
Geometry is still adjustable via an offset chip at the upper chainstay mount. Updates include a slacker 65-degree headtube (low mode) versus this year's 65.8-degree angle, while the seat tube angle steepens from 72.4 degrees to 74.5 degrees. Reach gets much longer, stretching from 432mm (low mode, size large) to 465mm. Chainstay length shrinks 3mm to 430mm, but bottom bracket height stays the same at 337mm.