Devinci’s all-mountain bike, the Troy, last received an update for the 2016 model year, where it was ‘modernized’ with a roomier cockpit and Boost 148--the obligatory additions for that year. That was only a few years ago, but in bike years that chassis is going on retirement-home age.
These days, ‘modernizing’ a bike includes stretching the cockpit even farther and slamming the seat tube forward. But that’s not the route Devinci took with this brand new, freshly sculpted, full carbon fun machine.
The Troy did grow slightly up front, with a 5 millimeter bump in reach from 460 to 465 millimeters on size Large frames, but--it feels crazy to say this--in 2018 that could be considered conservative. The seat tube stayed at 74.5/75 degrees (low/high), which somehow could also be viewed as less-than-progressive. So if the Troy didn’t get the industry requisite updates, what did Devinci do to it?
Well for starters, The 140-millimter-travel Troy is now available with the correct wheel size. That’s right, the Troy 29 is finally here, also with 140 millimeters of travel out back. But before we dive into that bike specifically, let’s quickly run through some features of this freshly whittled whip.
Trunnion shock mount – It’s popular because it’s awesome. The shock pivots on bearings for added sensitivity, and takes up less room than a standard mount, so you can run longer shocks, lower standover, or both.
Threaded bottom bracket – Aftermarket press-fit bottom brackets are getting pretty good, but there aren’t many people out there who’d argue with a good old fashioned threaded one.
Super Boost 157 – Yes, after just a few years at Boost 148, the Troy moves on to wider pastures. We don’t like it anymore than you do, and apparently neither does Devinci. The forums will no doubt come down hard on this choice, and Devinci knows this, but claims it was necessary if the Troy was to get clearance for big tires while keeping the short chainstays its customers love. In order to deliver a no-sacrifice ride, something had to give.
The Troy 27.5 stays remain the same, at an ultra short 426 millimeters and the frame will accept up to 2.8-inch tires. The 29er gets similarly stubby 432-millimter stays and has plenty of clearance for its stock setup of 2.4WT Maxxis Minions mounted on 35-millimter-wide rims. On top of that, the Troy has clearance for up to a 38-tooth chainring.
Other frame details – The new Troy also features updated internal cable routing, a carbon rocker link with hidden hardware, relocated geometry flip chips (to the lower shock mount) and a two-position bottle cage mount.
We’re not going to take a deep dive on all the spec levels because everyone knows that all bikes are available at various prices and parts configurations. But before we get into ride impressions, we need to mention one build kit because it directly affects the ride characteristics of the Troy. It’s called the GX Eagle LTD, and instead of a 150-mil-travel RockShox Pike with a standard 51 millimeter offset, it gets a 160-mil-travel Lyrik Charger 2 RC2 with a short, 42-millimeter offset. Rear travel stays at 140 millimeters, and the LTD build is offered in both wheel sizes.
The extra fork travel bumps the head angle and seat angle back a half degree to 65.5/66 (low/high) and 74/74.5 (low/high) respectively, while the shorter offset fork keeps the 1215-millimeter (29er size large) wheelbase unchanged.
Even with the longer fork and resulting slacker head and seat angles, the Troy 29 LTD is easy to ride up, down and across everything I’ve taken it on in northern Washington.
We’ll start with climbing, because that’s how pretty much all rides in the Pacific Northwest start out. This bike climbs far better than it looks like it should on paper, which shouldn’t be surprising because all Devinci bikes climb well these days.
I’ve also been riding an Ibis Ripmo, which has similar front and rear wheel travel and similar--actually, arguably better--pedaling efficiency built into the suspension design, but the Ripmo has significantly steeper head and seat angles. You’d think the Ripmo would be leagues ahead, but the Troy holds it’s own.
I haven’t asked them this question, but I’m guessing Devinci didn’t tweak the Troy’s geometry much because the Troy works really well already, and why go messing with that? I like to do blind testing--that is, without knowing any geometry numbers, or even suspension travel--because if I know, for instance that the seat angle isn’t super steep, I might focus on that and let the number influence my impressions.
I’m guessing the seat angle thing didn’t stand out to me because the Troy is already an efficient pedaler, and has a super progressive spring rate that allows the bike to ride high in its travel without wallowing or squatting, even on the steepest climbs. I’ll admit that when climbing the Troy and Ripmo back-to-back, I noticed having to scoot up on the saddle a bit more on the Troy, but that’s only something I noticed after learning the numbers, doing some head scratching, and then diving into a more detailed, back-to-back comparison with both bikes on the same climb. As far as body positioning, the Ripmo might have an edge, but the Troy is just as good on the efficiency scale.
On undulating, twisty trails, the shorter offset fork on the LTD build helps keep the wheelbase in check, resulting in a natural, easy to maneuver ride feel. Oftentimes, over-forking like this winds up making the bike feel amazing downhill, but sacrifices ride quality everywhere else. I think it was a good call for Devinci to spec the shorter offset Lyrik, because it keeps that front end manageable, and allows the rider to duck, weave and play with the Troy, even when the trail isn’t pointed steeply downhill.
But when it is, that extra fork travel and slacker head angle give the Troy stability and confidence. Devinci’s signature super-progressive suspension creates a lively ride characteristic that begs the rider to perfect corner slashing and bonus-line hunting, and those short chainstays allow the rider to feel just where the rear wheel is, and place it right where it needs to go. At super high speeds, the Troy 29 remains playful, but also much more point-and-shoot planted than I remember the 2016 27.5er Troy being.
I’m glad Devinci didn’t blindly follow trends and make the Troy into a sled with massive reach and a crazy-long wheelbase, because that would have taken some of its fun-loving, playful spirit away. And even though the reach might be 10 millimeters shorter than what others might call “progressive,” I’m guessing the Troy will prove to be plenty roomy for most riders.
If I did have one gripe, it would be the RockShox Deluxe shock spec, which in my opinion should be a Super Deluxe, because a bike this deft on the downs deserves a piggyback shock with more consistency. All in all, though, I’m really happy with the Troy 29 LTD build. For how well-rounded it is, I’m not sure I even need to try any of the builds with less front travel.
|27,5 / LO||XS||S||M||L|
|27, 5 / HI||XS||S||M||L|
|29 / LO||S||M||L||XL|
|29 / HI||S||M||L||XL|