The Django has its roots in an entirely different bike—the Troy, which began its life as Devinci’s mid-travel trail bike and quickly morphed into an all-mountain brawler. The Django became Devinci’s jack of all trades, trail machine, debuting first as a nimble like 27.5-wheeled beast. The moment the Django 27.5 hit the streets, however, people began asking: Why wasn’t Devinci releasing a 29er Django instead? This bike is Devinci’s answer. Same travel as its 27.5 sibling. Same mission statement. Bigger hoops.
Devinci offers six different Django 29er models—four carbon-framed and two aluminum-framed bikes. This top-tier X01 Eagle version was released first, which is why we snagged it. Equipped with a "latest and greatest" sorta kit, it sells for $6,819 USD. Before you start seeing red because of that price tag, take note: complete carbon Django 29ers start at $3,809 (the SRAM NX-equipped version) and the base-level, aluminum Django 29 NX retails for $3,099. Devinci also offers carbon ($2,479) and aluminum ($1,769) frame-only options.
The internal cable routing on the Django 29's carbon frame is particularly clean and includes these tidy ports. Always nice to see on a bike at this price. The only significant length of externally-routed line is the rear brake hose, which runs from the down tube to rear caliper.
Bit of a tight squeeze here. While I don't personally see the need to go larger than the 34-tooth ring shown here, if you are some kind of raging Quad-zilla, hill-hammering beast who feels compelled to rock a 36 or 38-tooth chainring, you may find yourself stymied.
Devinci has always made a point of touting its Made-in-Canada aluminum frames. The carbon Django, like just about every other composite, full-suspension bike under the sun, is made overseas, in Asia. Unlike most other carbon frames, however, the Django carbon frames are backed with a lifetime warranty, as opposed to the more common three and five-year, carbon-frame warranties. It's a vote of confidence.
Rotating the linkage bolt on the Django 29, lets you tweak the bike's geometry. An optional, extra-tall, lower headset cup slackens things even further.
Devinci says the Django 29 will accept a 2.4-inch Maxxis Minion DHF out back. Here's a 2.25-inch Ardent. I tossed in a Minion DHR II 2.3 for the bulk of the test. There's room.
The Django 29 is equipped with a BB92 press-fit bottom bracket. In a subtle nod to the Django's capabilities, you'll find ISCG-05 tabs on that BB shell, which means running a minimalist, taco-style bash guard or chainguide is fair game. You might argue that a trail bike like this doesn't demand such accoutrements. I'd beg to differ--particularly in the Django's case. It's always nice, however, to be given the flexibility to go your own way with a frame.
What this bike doesn't have is a front derailleur mount. This is a dedicated 1x frame, so if you want to run multiple chainrings, you're out of luck here. I don't think front derailleurs are necessary any more, given not only the advent of SRAM Eagle (admittedly, still cost prohibitive for many of us), but also a variety of less-pricey, extended-range, single-ring options. I know a lot of readers disagree with me on that point. To each their own. Either way, consider yourself warned about the Django's "one-by-only" dating status. Oh, and finally, it's a Boost 148 party out back on this bike.
The seatstays and front triangle are made of carbon. The Django 29's chainstays, however, are aluminum.
Devinci wrangles 120 millimeters (4.7 inches) of rear suspension out of Dave Weagle’s Split Pivot design—a suspension design Devinci has been equipping their bikes with for about five years now. In a nutshell, Split Pivot features a rear-axle, concentric pivot that (in conjunction with the rocker and other frame members) is supposed to allow for unrestricted rear suspension, even when you are on the brakes. Smoother suspension equals better traction equals better control. There are a raft of other touted benefits, including great pedaling efficiency, excellent small-bump compliance and so forth. Again, the same things that basically every design aims to achieve. Devinci Django 29 Review
As with Weagle’s better-known DW-Link design, Split Pivot is licensed for use on a variety of brands' bikes and is tuned to achieve different ride qualities each time around. Rear suspension duties on this top-shelf Django are handled by a Fox Float Factory Series shock.
The Django features adjustable geometry. Rotating the linkage bolt that ties the seatstay and rocker together lets you either steepen (Hi) or slacken (Lo) the geometry. In Hi mode, you’re looking at a 68.5-degree head angle. In Lo, it’s 68 degrees. You can slacken it further to 67.5 by swapping out the stock lower headset cup for an extra tall (about 10 millimeters) cup. Naturally, as you slacken the head angle you are also altering the bike's seat angle, bottom bracket height and (to a lesser extent) its reach, chainstay length and wheelbase. The geo chart (below) dives into the nerdiness of it all.
As for where the Django falls—geometry and personality-wise—in the bike world, I’d classify it as swimming in the same general end of the gene pool as Santa Cruz’s latest Tallboy, Ibis’ Ripley LS and, most closely of all, Pivot’s Mach 429 Trail. If the name dropping means nothing to you, all of these are bikes that would have been safely called “aggressive” trail bikes just a couple years ago. These days the meat of the bell curve is moving their direction, so I guess we can just go back to calling them trail bikes again…