Review
18.07.12
Outstanding
Tested and reviewed by Vital MTB
Vital Rating: 4,5 (Outstanding)



The last time we spent some miles aboard the Devinci Troy was back in 2016 during Vital MTB Test Sessions. At the time, we were impressed with the (then 27.5) bike’s ability to be pushed hard. A lot has changed since our last ride. With new standards, shock mounts, suspension improvements, wheel options, and geometry tweaks to look forward to, we were excited to spend a few months aboard the latest Devinci Troy to see if all the updates would retain the qualities we liked and refine those we weren’t so thrilled with. With three months of ride time under the tires, it's time to fill you in on our findings.

Strenghts

  • Pedaling efficiency
  • Capability and versatility – Excels on both pumping or plowing terrain
  • Excellent "real world" style build kit

Weaknesses

  • Wide rear end
  • Tall stack height
  • Small bump compliance isn't ideal

On The Trail

We kept our Troy 29 GX LTD north of the border in Squamish, British Columbia, along with a few trips to the surrounding areas. The beauty of a place like Squamish is that the diversity of weather and riding allows us to test just about every scenario that a bike might encounter. From flow trails to uber-jank, moon dust to fall slop, our Troy saw it all. 

With the RockShox Lyrik fork and Deluxe rear shock, setup was straightforward. Both came with one Bottomless Token/Band installed, and we started off with slightly firmer settings than recommended at 20% rear sag. We went this route as our experience has been that we’ve always preferred a firmer setup, and also knowing that the factory-installed Bottomless Token and Bands are generally fewer than we usually like. 

Out of the gate, the Troy 29’s reach felt longer than the numbers would suggest, which was a welcome surprise. At 5’11” tall, the Large felt perfect while both seated and standing. Fairly neutral geometry helped us feel at home quite quickly.


With our initial setup, the Troy's performance felt balanced and comfortable right off the bat. The new Troy’s spring curve remains progressive, but slight adjustments and new shock setups have improved the rear end performance throughout the entire range of travel. We eventually settled at 25% sag, where small-bump compliance was good, albeit not outstanding. The tradeoff there is losing some of its lively feel and great acceleration. We found that a few pedal strokes had the Troy up to speed quite quickly, especially for a 140mm wagon wheeler. We tried dropping air pressure and adding Bottomless Bands to improve small-bump compliance while preventing bottom outs, but while compliance improved the bike wasn’t as agile or playful so we went back to an early setup. The Troy is still a fairly progressive bike, so we stuck with a single Bottomless Band and used full travel where and when appropriate.

Devinci nailed it as far as climbing goes.

The Troy 29 GX LTD climbs easily and is very well balanced between efficiency and enough suspension action to provide good traction. Whether grinding up a fire road or climbing technical singletrack, the Troy climbs better than most all-mountain bikes we’ve thrown a leg over. The rear wheel tracks terrain effortlessly and we found ourselves cleaning technical, ledge-laden climbs easily in all three compression settings. The longer-travel Lyrik fork remains planted. Devinci raised the bottom bracket very slightly with the new Troy, but it stays fairly low at 339.5mm. Nevertheless, we only experienced a few pedal strikes and we’ll take the blame for bad timing. We always dabble in local cross-country racing (because there’s usually free beer at the end), and while it is hardly World Cup XCO, it is a testament to the Troy’s pedaling prowess that we managed to hold our own among the spandex bandits aboard their much shorter travel rigs. This is not generally the case when we ride 140mm bikes with proper tires. Regardless of what the climb was, the Troy was efficient enough to prevent wasteful suspension movement, but supple enough that rocks, roots, and ledges were absorbed and traction maintained. Devinci nailed it as far as climbing goes.


When pointed downhill, the Troy 29 GX LTD continued to impress. The expectation for the 160mm Lyrik is complete confidence, and while 140mm may not scream “capable,” the Split Pivot rear end keeps right up. When we last rode the Troy back in 2016, we enjoyed the balance between play and plow, and the new Troy has this trait in spades. Like the bike it replaces, the new Troy feels like it has more travel than it does and remains remarkably composed in terrain that has some enduro bikes chattering about. The rear end handles successive hits very well and doesn’t seem to get hung up or pack in. In every scenario that an all-mountain bike might encounter, the rear wheel simply tracks the ground without issue. Compared to some other bikes, we found that our flat-pedal feet remained firmly planted in sections where we might be wishing for clips. Even when dragging our brakes on steeper terrain, the Troy 29 felt solid. 

Some bikes that provide excellent traction early in their travel tend to wallow or not leave enough travel for bigger hits, but this is not the case with the Troy as it ramps up nicely without becoming harsh. We used full travel often enough that we considered adding a second Bottomless Band, and had we been racing or spending more time riding chairlifts, we likely would have. Another plus that came along with the progressive suspension was just how much the Troy rewarded pumping. Any well-timed rider input resulted in what felt like "free speed" and more time listening to a great-sounding rear hub. Depending on the venue, the Troy could make a great enduro bike, especially with a couple of part swaps that we’ll refer to later.


...the rear end takes over for plow or play, whichever style you choose.

On rolling terrain, the Troy 29 really shines. The efficiency previously mentioned gets the Troy up to speed, and then the rear end takes over for plow or play, whichever style you choose. The 160mm front and 140mm rear ends are very well balanced; shifts between seated and standing, or transitions between climbing and descending are seamless. Those familiar with Squamish know the trails in the Alice Lake Provincial Park area tend to have a wide variety of features and styles within a single trail, and this is where we found the Troy 29 really shined. The Troy was solid, predictable, and just plain fun in every scenario. 

We recall noting that the previous generation of the Troy was a handful at times due to just how progressive it was. While it handled big hits quite well, it transmitted quite a bit of feedback to the rider and not always in a good way: at times, it could be exhausting. The new Troy has quieted this feedback, yet further refines its ability to deal with repeated square edges. Across the board we were very impressed with the latest improvements, and the addition of a bigger wheel option it means that regardless of wheel preference, all riders can play. Users can expect the Troy to handle anything thrown at it, especially the Limited version we rode, which carried speed easily and saved our bacon on more than a few instances. The more we rode the Troy, the more we enjoyed it.



Long Term Durability

Other than the odd rinse and typical adjustments, we didn’t touch the Troy during the three months we had it. Not a single pivot bolt came loose, no creaks developed, and all of the parts are still running strong. We were curious to see how the relatively complex rear end would hold up, but the bearings remain smooth and no play has developed. Granted, there are a lot of moving parts surrounding the rear axle, so Devinci provides users with a detailed maintenance guide. The frame is also covered by Devinci’s Ride In Peace warranty should any defect occur.


What’s The Bottom Line?

If it isn’t clear yet that we like this bike, let us be clear: the Troy 29 GX LTD is a bike that deserves to be short-listed. It is a very well-balanced, all-mountain bike that packs a punch. The frame features great construction and attention to detail. The suspension has an excellent equilibrium between efficiency, play, and plow, which makes the Troy 29 GX LTD a true all-mountain bike that is very capable. This bike will make just about anybody feel fitter and more talented than they probably might be. Those who favor really pushing it on descents and aren’t afraid to turn trails into rhythm sections will be especially fired up by the new Troy.

Vital MTB Rating

  • Climbing:4 stars - Excellent
  • Descending:4.5 stars - Outstanding
  • Fun Factor:5 stars - Spectacular
  • Value:3.5 stars - Very Good
  • Overall Impression:4.5 stars - Outstanding



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Photos/Credit : VitalMtb | Jessie McAuley, Joel Harwood

Visit VitalMTB.com to read the complete review.