Carrying his legacy—Smith remains the only Canadian to ever land on the podium at a UCI Mountain Bike World Downhill Championship event—and embracing his riding spirit is a bold undertaking.
We chatted with Sports and Product Marketing Manager, Bastien Major, who spoke to the importance of the Chainsaw namesake, "Stevie had such a big impact on the Canadian cycling scene and on all of us here at Devinci. Naming the Chainsaw after himself was to keep his spirit alive, carry his legacy, and make sure he would always be remembered as one of the greatest."
Devinci partnered with the Stevie Smith Legacy Foundation to create this aluminum alloy frame welded in Canada which, they say, aims to inspire shredders of all levels to find their joy in riding.
Pedaling the Chainsaw feels familiar to its sibling, the Spartan, which I reviewed last year. And, like the Spartan, the Chainsaw sports a high-pivot idler pulley to allow for a rearward swinging rear axle path.
While climbing aboard the Chainsaw, I took note of two competing forces. First, the new-age seat angle, reach, and chainstay length made me feel strong and confident while climbing the steep slopes that this bike is built to devour. The cockpit is a fantastic place to suffer and sweat your way to the top of the mountain. However, with the extra resistance of the high-pivot pulley, Maxxis Minion DHRII 3C MaxxGrip DoubleDown rear tire, and chainguide, there was a lot of resistance for my big quads to contend with while climbing. This extra effort does feel much more bearable with the very comfortable body positioning of the bike. The team at Devinci has clearly prioritized comfort over speed for climbs. The Chainsaw seems to effortlessly float across terrain in a playful but powerful manner. The rear suspension curve design makes excellent use of its 170 millimeters of travel.
However, when I started flowing downhill, all those extra calories burnt felt worth it. According to Major, "The Chainsaw features a Split Pivot High Pivot which excels at calming the ride and making everything feel so smooth." I could feel the bike plunging deep into the stroke of the shock with every impact and slowly ramping up at the end of the stroke in a supportive way. The value-focused suspension—a RockShox Zeb Rush RC DebonAir fork and RockShox SuperDeluxe Select R DebonAir shock—show just how far suspension technology has come and will feel mostly indistinguishable from higher-end suspension for most riders. On the Chainsaw, I felt comfortable diving into deep holes and rutted out sections of singletrack with confidence. Off jumps, the Chainsaw lofts gently into the air and comes back down to earth with the same grace.
I really love the component selection on this more affordable alloy build as well. Standout components for me included the SRAM G2 RE brakes, which seemed surprisingly up to the task of slowing things down. The premium spec’d tires were a surprise to find on a budget bike. The front Maxxis Minion DHF came with the renowned tire company’s 3C MaxxTerra Exo+ compound, while the rear Maxxis Minion DHRII came with an even more surprising 3C MaxxGrip DoubleDown. I was made a little nervous by the extra traction of the rear tire compared to the front, which, in extreme cases, led to understeering situations as the front fought for grip while the back stayed glued to my line.
I can’t help but find myself loving the Chainsaw and what it represents. I’ve spent a few moments wondering how a Canadian-welded frame can be purchased for such a reasonable price. The Chainsaw is the perfect shuttle, bike park, and local freeride bike. It brings significant suspension, high-end frame design, and worthy components to the masses. I’m happy that a bike bearing the name Chainsaw was made for broad appeal, while still retaining such strong attention to detail.
LONG LIVE CHAINSAW - Stevie Smith’s love for riding was contagious. Just being in his presence made you want to go fast, whether you were racing or not. We made the Chainsaw to embrace that spirit and carry on his legacy, with an annual donation to the Stevie Smith Legacy Foundation.