Ed’s Note: This bike is part of our annual, sub-$3,000 bike test where the Dirt Rag staff spends significant time aboard less-expensive but fully capable offerings that we’d seriously consider buying ourselves. The final review will be out early 2016 in issue #189. Subscribe today so you don’t miss it!
The Devinci Hendrix RS is a bit of an anomaly, not unlike its namesake, Jimi Hendrix. Mashing together 27.5+ wheels built on boost spacing, slack geometry and capable 120 front /110 rear travel, the aluminum wonder is poised to turn heads, but can it play the Star Spangled Banner behind its head?
The guitar genius, Jimi Hendrix once sang, “Well I stand up next to a mountain, and I chop it down with the edge of my hand” in his 1968 song, Voo Doo Child. I feel like this is an apt metaphor for the way the Devinci Hendrix approaches climbing. Either grinding away, one pedal stroke at a time, or aggressively hammering to get to the top, reducing the mountain to naught but something beneath you…
Or perhaps I’m grasping at metaphorical straws to make a point… Either way, this bike loves to climb, even if I don’t. The 67.3 or 67.7 degree head tube angle (depending on whether you have the frame set to lo or hi) is slack but doesn’t wander going uphill, or feel like your pushing too much upfront. The 780mm standard bars help in the leverage department too, but watch out in tight spaces.
The Hendrix RS really shines going downhill. As most bikes do I suppose. The combination of big wheels, big tires and enough suspension to soak up an endless stream of rocks, roots and other distortion is outshined only by the bikes ability to build up speed.
Not unlike other weirdos like the Surly Instigator, The surly Krampus or the Trek Stache 29+, the Hendrix will quietly lure you into a speed trap, causing you to check your vitals before blowing whatever hairpin turn waits at the bottom of an awesome descent. Fortunately, the Hendrix is equipped with Sram’s Guide series brakes, making braking a breeze.
If taking flight is your thing, you have something in common with Mr. Hendrix, who was a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne Division of the US Army. I tend to keep my feet, and wheels on the ground, but the Devinci Hendrix certainly isn’t opposed to taking flight, assuming you have the skills to hit your drop zone.
At 32 lbs. the Canadian made, aluminum Hendrix RS is way lighter than it’s human namesake, who probably weighed at least 120lbs, right? Speaking of our friends to the north, Jimi Hendrix, that’s the performer, not the bike, was once detained upon entering Canada after traces of heroin and hashish were found on his person. Mr. Hendrix was set free on $10,000 bail and was later acquitted of the charges. You can get your mitts on the Devinci Hendrix for less than $3,000 in sizes S,M,L or XL, no court dates necessary. Where you get your hash is your own problem.