Django 29
Devinci Django Carbon 29
Full review of the Django 29er by Pinkbike

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.

Frame Details
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.

Suspension Design
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…

ST (MM) 410435470500
SA (DEG) 74.574.574.574.5
HA (DEG) 68686868
TT (MM) 582602626649
REACH (MM) 420440460480
CS (MM) 434434434434
WB (MM) 1142116211861210
BBH (MM) 336336336336
SOH (MM) 717730748755
STACK (MM) 619619.5628638
HT (MM) 105105115125
*GRANDEUR (CM) 152-171169-180178-187185-193
ST (MM) 410435470500
SA (DEG) 75757575
HA (DEG) 68.568.568.568.5
TT (MM) 581601625648
REACH (MM) 424444464484
CS (MM) 432432432432
WB (MM) 1140116111851209
BBH (MM) 341341341341
SOH (MM) 723736754761
STACK (MM) 617617.5626636
HT (MM) 105105115125
*GRANDEUR (CM) 152-171169-180178-187185-193

I ran the Fox Factory fork and rear shock at 25 percent sag, which is my go-to on trail bikes. At times (admittedly this sometimes being due to sloth as much as curiosity) I opted to increase sag to 30 percent in the rear shock and, given the bike's progressive rear suspension traits, you can get away with that, though I wound up returning to 25 percent as optimal. The rear suspension felt more predictable at 25 percent. I also like to climb with the suspension run wide open whenever possible, and at 30 percent sag I was flipping the compression damper on the rear shock. Not because the bike was bobbing excessively, but because I like to sit higher in the bike's travel when I climb. I never felt the need to add volume spacers--there's enough ramp up in the stock configuration.

Rocket. Friggin. Ship. This bike rips on climbs. Can I just stop there? No? Okay, then. The fact that this blinged-out version of the Django 29 only weighs 12.5 kilos (27.6 pounds) certainly helps it on the ascents, but it actually climbs as if it was even lighter than that. Pedaling efficiency is very, very good even when the shock is run wide open, yet the rear wheel tracks smoothly over rooty and chunky sections of climbs. The traction is outstanding. Even on days when you feel like crap, you wind up standing out of the saddle on this thing and getting all stupidly heroic. Naturally, the Django 29 isn't going to imbue you with any superhuman climbing powers, but until your lungs give out, it has a way of tricking you into thinking it has.

Devinci has always offered a wide range of bikes, but the company has made its most public impact as a more gravity-oriented outfit. Even when the company is churning out lightweight trail bikes like this one, there's no mistaking where their passion lies: It's in the descents. To that end, the Django is a hoot on the downhills. The bike has a lively, poppy feel to it. As I hinted at earlier, there's plenty of progression tuned into the rear suspension. How much of that is kinematics and how much of that is shock tune is unclear to me, but I can say that the bike gives you an always-ready platform to boost a little air and harsh bottoming was a very rare thing. You still wind up using all of the bike's travel--It's not a ridiculously steep ramp up--but the Django is also not offering up as supple a feeling suspension as some more relaxed riders might like. This is a bike that performs best when ridden hard and fast. Again, it's something that harkens back to the company's general vibe.

That said, the Django is not quite as forgiving of passive piloting as some other models in its class. You do need to pay attention to your line choice. Swapping back and forth between the Django and the Evil Following (a bike I own) gave me daily reminders that this is a very capable trail bike, but it's also one that requires both aggression and diligence at the controls to wring the most out of its potential. On days when I wasn't feeling alpha male on the descents, the Django frequently reminded me that I needed to sack up and get on with it.

On paper, the relatively long wheelbase (for a trail bike) suggests this thing might be a handful in tight singletrack. It isn't. I am completely at a loss as to why that's true, but the bike has an agility that belies its geometry chart.

I consistently ran the Django 29 in its Lo setting and initially considered swapping out the stock lower headset cup for the taller one. Knocking a half degree of the head angle would help. The one thing, however, that I was already not in love with about the Django was its generous stack height. The Django's head tube is already fairly long. At 115 millimeters on a size Large, for comparison's sake, it's 15 millimeters longer than that of a Large Tallboy and 13 millimeters taller than that of a Large Ripley LS. To compensate, I eventually resorted to slamming the stem and running an unsightly stack of headset spacers on top. My goal was to try and get my hands in a less T-Rex-esque position. Adding another 10 millimeters to the situation (the height of that tall lower headset cup) would take things in the exact wrong direction. This, however, is my only real gripe with the bike.

Pinkbike's Take:
The original Django 27.5 was a quick-footed, little whip. The Django 29 brings the benefits of big wheels--the improved roll over and ability to maintain momentum in chunky terrain--but maintains the fun. If you're looking for the slackest, most DH-oriented trail bike on the planet, there are better choices. That's not a dig against the Django 29, however. This is a bike that rides best when ridden hard, but also strikes a more even balance between descending capability and climbing prowess. - Vernon Felton

useful link(s)
Read the full review on Pinkbike
Django 29 lineup