Dirt Rag Magazine

Interbike First Ride Impressions: Devinci Dixon and Atlas Carbon

By Justin Steiner,

The Devinci camp is in high spirits after taking home first and second place finishes at the final round of the World Cup Downhill circuit this past weekend in Hafjell, Norway. Winner Steve Smith took the victory aboard Devinci’s new Carbon Wilson SL, but that’s not the only carbon fiber bike Devinci is showing and demoing here at Interbike.

Dixon Carbon

Devinci’s 145mm travel Dixon may not be a new model, but this is our first look at the new version with a carbon front triangle and seatstays and aluminum chainstays. Combined, the carbon frame is said to be 350 grams (0.77 lbs.) lighter than the aluminum model.

The adjustable geometry is identical across the Dixon platform, regardless of frame material. The LO setting offers a 67-degree headtube angle, short 16.7” chainstays, and a low 13.6” bottom bracket height, while the HI position yields a 67.5-degree headtube angle and a 13.9” BB height. Chainstay length remains the same.

Like all manufacturers making the transition to carbon frame construction, Devinci is sourcing these new bike from Taiwan—the epicenter of all things carbon. All carbon frames offer a lifetime warranty, just like its aluminum counterparts.

I spent some time aboard the new-for-2013 Dixon RX model, the RX designating a build kit spec designed to appeal to more aggressive riders. The standard Dixon’s 32mm-chassis, 150mm-travel Fox fork has been swapped out for a 34mm-chassis, 160mm-travel TALAS version. Cockpit parts are swapped for a shorty stem, a much wider Truvtive BooBar, and a RockShox Reverb dropper post.

I walked way from my brief stint aboard the Dixon RX quite impressed. The shorter, wider cockpit and dropper post played to my preferences and gave the bike a burlier, more playful disposition.

Frame stiffness felt superb, making for a very planted and composed ride feel—even with the longer fork and cockpit facilitating additional punishment. Though lateral stiffness felt excellent, the carbon frame did feel like it was damping high frequency vibration admirably.

Handling-wise, the longer fork slacks the bike out just a touch to roughly a 66.5-degree headtube angle. This change also raises the BB slightly. The Dixon is very playful on its rear wheel, thanks to those short stays, manualling effortlessly and predictably.

This RX build will be available with the aluminum frame for $3,900 and with the carbon frame for $4,600.

Atlas Carbon

The Atlas, Devinci’s first 29er, was first released in 2011 as a 2012 model. For 2013, the Atlas will also be available in a carbon version with aluminum chainstays. Carbon materials have shed nearly 290 grams from the front triangle of this 110mm-travel machine.

Traditionally, the Atlas has been geared toward XC and marathon use, but, just like the Dixon, Devinci will be offering an RX version of the Altas with the same wide bars, short stem, and a long travel fork. This time the standard 32mm chassis, 100mm-travel fork is replaced with a 34mm chassis, 140mm-travel Fox Talas fork. 

The trails around Devinci’s Quebec headquarters are tight, so they placed a high priority on quick handling via short chainstays. At 16.9” the Atlas’ stays are some of the shortest available on a full suspension 29er. According to Devinci, this 110mm is the max travel that can be accommodated with such short chainstays.

I was unable to score a ride on an Atlas RX, pictured here in the alloy version, but was able to take a spin aboard the aluminum Atlas RC. This bike’s rear suspension feels wonderfully capable, more so than the 110mm might suggest. The geometry of the traditional Atlas spec, however, left me wanting for something slacker, though XC and marathon racers will feel right at home aboard this bike. When pushed hard, the otherwise capable bike overpowers the stock 100mm-travel fork quite quickly. I do feel the Atlas’ rear suspension is more than up to the task of handling the 140mm-travel fork of the RX spec. My guess is that trail riders will be thrilled with the Atlas RX.

With chainstays just 0.3” longer than the Dixon, the Atlas is more playful on the rear wheel than any other full suspension 29er I’ve ridden yet. Though still requiring more effort than its 26” brethren, the Atlas is playful for a 29er.

The aluminum Atlas RX will retail for $4,000, while the carbon RX will sell for $4,300.

A note about shock spec

Devinci will be specing RockShox Monarch shocks on the Dixon and Atlas this year as Fox will only be producing CTD shocks for OE spec in 2013. Due to the high placement of the main pivot of the Devinci Split Pivot design, Devinci felt the additional damping of the CTD rear shock was unnecessary. I have to concur, both the Atlas and the Dixon pedaled extremely well without additional platform damping.

Wilson Carbon

Well, we know this bike can win World Cup Races, so what else do you need to know? We didn’t have a chance to ride the Wilson, so these photos will have to tide you over until we’re able to get on in for long term review.

 

 

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