The Devinci Wilson has seen its fair share of success over the last few seasons with pilots like Steve Smith and Mark Wallace putting it through its paces on some of the world's most demanding race tracks. For the 2016 season, we're finally seeing this popular race machine make the move to carbon. The switch to carbon doesn't signal radical changes for the Wilson platform, though. The new frame and the 2015 aluminum version share the exact same geometry, which is a testament to how well the aluminum version performed. The same 63.2-degree head angle, 348-millimeter bottom bracket height and 1,222-millimeter wheelbase are signatures of this long-and-low race rig.
Updated features like integrated fork bumpers and a carbon skid plate complement the carbon construction. It's heartening to see that Devinci stuck with a threaded bottom bracket on the new frame rather than move to a press-fit unit. With the improved ride quality of the carbon frame, you can also expect to shed some weight. At just a hair over 36 pounds with a set of HT AE05 pedals, our size large test bike was about a pound lighter than its aluminum predecessor, with the same build kit.
Our test bike, the SL 7s, is Devinci's flagship model at $7,760, and the Quebec brand spared few expenses with the build. A RockShox Boxxer World Cup fork is paired with the Vivid RC2 on the rear, and the supple sensitivity of the charger damper up front feels perfectly matched on the Split Pivot suspension system. The Chromag BZA 35-millimeter carbon bars complement the improved ride quality that the carbon front triangle and seatstays offer. Easton Havoc wheels paired with Schwalbe Magic Marys and a SRAM X01 DH groupset with Guide Ultimate brakes round out the smart-albeit pricey-build package on the new SL 7s.
Devinci Wilson Geometry
If the sticker price of the SL 7s isn't in the cards, Devinci is also offering two lower-priced models of its new carbon Wilson-the RC 10s comes in at $5960 and the XP 10s is $4660. Both still offer smart build kits that will give you all the tools you need in the park or at the races.
On trail, the new Wilson has a familiar stability. Its low center of gravity and balanced suspension characteristics invite you to push the pace. The Wilson is one bike that comes alive when pushed to the limit, which shouldn't come as a surprise considering its racing pedigree. Any sort of hesitation or apprehension on the track meant the Wilson wouldn't cooperate: It has no interest in being ridden slowly. Getting off the brakes and committing unleashes its potential, and the bike rewarded me for charging into sections faster than my mind felt comfortable with. Through the roughest sections of our test track the wheels felt planted and in control. There were no excuses for not pushing past my comfort zone. It's a bike with an appetite for speed.
More at devinci.com.