One of the hardest aspects of testing gravity-oriented bikes is finding a course that truly pushes these burly beasts to their true potential. And even then, finding a trail that straddles the fine line between the spontaneity of freeride and the calculated imperative of DH-racing speed can be a complicated undertaking. Did our testers find the Devinci Wilson Carbon RC to be a bike with one wheel in each of these worlds? Find out in today’s 2014 Bible of Bike Tests ‘Roundtable Reels’ video. —Brice Minnigh, Editor
DEVINCI WILSON CARBON RC
Direct Link: http://www.devinci.com/bikes/bike_374_scategory_101
Final Take: For best results, ride this speed demon extremely fast.
Devinci's downhill beast feels comfortable from the first pedal stroke. The short 430-millimeter chainstays paired with the low standover instilled confidence to throw this bike around on rugged terrain. For a downhill bike, the Wilson pedals efficiently, and cranking out of corners was simple and enjoyable in comparison to some of the other DH bikes we tested. The pedaling efficiency speaks to the Split Pivot linkage design, which serves up reliable all-round traction and rear-end stiffness. All this translates into a ground-hugging machine, but, despite that, it begged to be taken off the ground. Aboard the Wilson, we were inspired to launch jumps and commit to big hits.
Downhill racers will appreciate the performance at top speeds. This thing wants to be ridden fast, a fact that was proven emphatically this year by Devinci rider and World Cup Champion Stevie Smith. While we can't pin it anywhere near as fast as Stevie can, we did notice that the faster and harder we pushed the bike, the better it performed, annihilating rough and rocky terrain as we tore down the trail with a purpose.
The Wilson got a few key component upgrades this year. The frame is now available with the 216-millimeter RockShox Vivid R2C rear shock, and Whistler-born-and-bred Chromag gets the nod for bars and stem this year. The 780-millimeter-wide Fubars and the Director stem replaced the Truvativ Boobar and Hozfeller direct-mount stem.
Add the X.9 drivetrain, lightweight RockShox Boxxer R2C2 fork, new Avid Elixir 7 Trail brakes, Mavic EX 325 rims with DT Swiss 350 hubs and you've got a pretty sweet package for $5,800. The Wilson is also available in the top-of-the-line SL for $7,500 and the aluminum-frame XP for $3,700, or in three frame-only options. –RUPERT WALKER