By Justin Steiner
Spring is springing and we’re getting closer to one of my most anticipated yearly landmark; Massanutten Resort’s Yee-Ha! downhill race. This will be my third year in a row kicking off the race season at this long-standing event, thanks to its early placement on the calendar and the wonderful folks you’ve made this event happen continuously for the last 16 years.
Fortunately my new test bike has arrived with ample prep time prior to this year’s Yee-Ha! Allow me to introduce Devinci’s Wilson SL, the very bike Devinci Team rider Steve Smith champions on the World Cup Circuit.
The 216mm-travel Wilson features Dave Weagle’s patented Split Pivot suspension system, here’s a nice video of Weagle explaining the design. Essentially, the Split Pivot allows Weagle to completely isolate the rear brake’s forces from the suspension system to eliminate brake jack or squat.
It’s a novel approach that’s also been adopted by Trek via their ABP suspension design. Despite some initial speculation to the contrary, both Split Pivot and ABP have been allowed to coexist due to the US Patent Office’s decision to award both entities patents on the design. If you’re interested, there’s some interesting reading over on Bike Radar about both the Trek Patent and the Split Pivot Patent.
I’m looking forward to spending some quality time aboard the Wilson through the upcoming season. This bike’s high single pivot should pedal well, and be entirely free of brake influence. If the Wilson’s interesting BB-concentric rocker link provides small bump compliance and mid-stroke controlled as advertised, this will indeed be an interesting bike.
The Wilson’s geometry is adjustable from 64-degree headtube angle/13.9-inch BB/16.9-inch chainstay to a 64.7-degree/14.3-inch/16.8-inch setup. Both of these options are notably steeper and taller than my last DH rig, Turner’s DHR (63-degree /13.5-inch/17.4-inch), but with the advantage of half an inch shorter chainstays. Should make for an interesting comparison.
All this spec talk is getting me hot and bothered considering I haven’t yet even had a chance to ride the Wilson yet. Fortunately I’ve got a few weeks to dial in suspension settings and cockpit preferences prior to the Yee-Ha! at the end of the month.
If you’re looking for some natural terrain gravity riding on the East Coast, considering heading down to Massanutten Resort April 28th and 29th for some great racing and quality southern hospitality. Check out the event details here and check out last year’s race report and course video here. Hope to see you out there.