It's been nearly four years since Devinci first had us swooning over the Spartan. At the time, it was a fairly radical departure from the rest of their bikes, offering up a whopping 165mm travel aboard the relatively new 27.5" wheel size. It turned out to be one of Devinci's most popular bikes for racers and weekend warriors alike. While most bike models seem to run on a two year lifecycle in the mountain bike world, Devinci did not want to rush into replacing this bike. They new that with it's popularity, they had to do their homework and make sure the replacement was up to snuff, as it had big shoes to fill. As predicted, Devinci did well to make a great bike even better, and what we have now is a completely new bike from the ground-up that is absolutely a worthy replacement.
First and foremost, the most noticeable change with the new Spartan is the vertical shock placement, which puts it more along the lines of their Troy aesthetically. They opted to ditch the horizontal shock position that we saw on the previous Spartan in an effort to improve stiffness and reduce side-load on the rear shock. Along with the new placement, we also get metric shock sizing as well as Rock Shox's Trunnion bearing upper mounting system. The Trunnion system reduces initial compression stiction by doing away with a traditional DU-bushing style upper shock mount, and replacing it with sealed cartridge bearings in the upper linkage that bolt directly to the top of the shock body. Ultimately this provides buttery-smooth suspension feel as well as improved small bump compliance. As with the last Spartan, the new model is boasting 165mm rear suspension travel, along with Devinci's evolved Split Pivot suspension platform, developed in conjunction with Dave Weagle. The Spartan is intended to be run with a either 170mm or 180mm travel suspension fork.
As one would suspect, the new Spartan gets longer and slacker in the geometry department. It's approximately 20 - 30mm longer in the reach, and just under a degree slacker on the head angle. Seat tube height has been reduced, while bore depth increased to accomodate the longer crop of 175mm dropper posts.
The new Spartan Carbon frame has dropped roughly 310 grams off the old frame weight. A new EPS-molding construction along with a full carbon seatstay and chainstay have helped to save the weight, all while managing to make the frame stiffer and stronger. The revised frame design also gives it more seat tube clearance for 175mm dropper posts. Devinci also opted to make this bike Di2 compatible by integrating a battery holder on the underside of the downtube, underneath the kevlar reinforced skid plate. Not into Di2? This compartment can also be used to stash tools, parts, or anything else stash-worthy.
All cables on the Spartan are routed internally through the main frame. The shifter cable is also routed internally through the chainstay, while the rear brake cable sits outside the frame on the rear end of the bike. A full sized (24oz) water bottle fits on the downtube cage mounts across all frame sizes. Other details include Boost 12x148mm rear dropout spacing, pressfit BB92 bottom bracket shell, and a ZS44 / ZS62mm headset.