Quebec-based Devinci is headquartered across the border from our northern-Vermont testing grounds, so the Troy had home-field advantage in the twisty, rooty trails of the Northeast. We picked a good year to throw it in the mix, after geometry updates added an inch to the Troy's once-snug toptube. Combine that with the shortest chainstays in the category, and you've got the modern numbers liable to give testers a nerdgasm.
There were no complaints about the component spec, and at this price there shouldn't be. We liked the subtle touches like the Chromag bar and stem, and the not-so-subtle ones like the RockShox Pike RCT3 Dual Air. Travel-adjust forks aren't often spec'd on complete bikes, so we've learned to live without them. But they arguably benefit climbers even more than a rear lockout. The rear shock lacked the piggyback reservoir of the Monarch Plus, but none of us missed it on the trail. And our jaws dropped when we noticed that Devinci also offers this same frame and rear shock with a Pike RC, SRAM GX 1×11 drivetrain and a more basic parts package for $3,500.
The revamped geometry was a welcomed change. It felt remarkably planted on the climbs, and its moderate 67-degree head angle didn't feel like it was fighting us. Most of our testers left the fork travel where it was on all but the steepest of uphills.
On the downhills, the Troy was a unique little beast. Many of today's all-mountain bikes ride like autopilot buttons with wheels. This one demands a little more participation from the cockpit. The 140/150-millimeter platform had a tad less travel than the rest of the category, and it's stiff, balanced and playful. This is thanks to the steady ramp-up starting around the middle of the stroke that made it difficult for us to use all the travel. A few of us dropped the sag a hair, but that left the suspension feeling dead and climbing ability was sacrificed. The more reckless testers found a better solution: Go faster and hit harder. The more heavy-handed we were, the better the Troy felt. It loved to be driven hard into the berms and would swallow up the chunky bits provided you didn't try to tiptoe through them. It's a fine instrument for brutal riding.
Q&A with Devinci
For 2016, Devinci made several tweaks to the Troy. What did they do to this model? Why? How does it compare to some of the other bikes in our line up? We sent these questions to Devinci to get a bit more background on the new bike. Here's a little something extra if you're still pining for data after the video and reviews. -Vernon Felton, Bible of Bike Tests Moderator
VERNON FELTON: You guys made several tweaks to the Troy for 2016-what are those tweaks and why did you make them?
DEVINCI: The first Troy was a huge success for the company, so shortly after launching it, we started working on the second generation of the bike. We also saw that most of our consumers were building their Troy with much burlier parts, and they rode the bike in much gnarlier terrain than the bike was first intended to be ridden on. So, the aim with the new Troy was to make the bike more capable without sacrificing the pedaling efficiency. We also wanted to keep a similar weight to the previous model.
Consequently, we increased top tube length by 20 millimeters, we adjusted the shock tune to have a more progressive spring rate and we beefed up the frame in order to increase frame stiffness so the bike feel more capable.
VF: What, in a nutshell, sets the Troy apart from other AM/enduro bikes out there right now?
DEVINCI: Staying true to Devinci's reputation, it is an extremely capable 140-millimeter travel bike. It is a lot more capable than what its travel would suggest, so for riders looking to get a fairly light and very playful AM/enduro bike that is meant to be ridden hard, the Troy is the way to go! We also provide a lifetime warranty on all of our bikes, including carbon mountain bikes, which demonstrate how confident we are in our craftsmanship. Finally, the aluminum version and all the CNC machined parts are all made in Canada, and all Troy models are also assembled in our Chicoutimi factory before heading to your local dealer.
VF: I have to admit-I was a bit surprised to find that the frame sports 140 millimeters of rear travel-the travel feels both plusher and deeper than that. What's going on with the rear end that makes it feel like a "bigger" bike in the rough stuff?
DEVINCI: As with all the bikes in our lineup, we always design them to be on the burlier side of the spectrum. Coming from a DH background, we like our bikes to be confidence inspiring and to enable the riders to go beyond their limits, especially on gnarly terrain. The stiffer frame and adjusted geometry are both playing a role in making it feel like a bigger bike. However, the new spring rate is the main characteristic here. It really gives you that plush feeling early in the travel, but is very progressive, which will give you all the support you need when hitting the rough stuff.
VF: You went to a Boost 148 rear end for 2016-why? What does it add to the bike?
DEVINCI: It enables us to design a stiffer rear-end, which contribute to better handling at high speed and better energy transfer both pedaling up and when working the bikes on the descents.
VF: What are the Troy's strengths?
DEVINCI: The main strength of the Troy is how good it rides at high speed and how composed the bike feels when entering technical downhill section. It is also a great climber, which is also a very important aspect for a AM/enduro rig.
VF: What are its weaknesses?
DEVINCI: Although we have kept a similar weight to the previous version, the Troy may not be the lightest 140-millimeter travel bike out there. That being said, it was the tradeoff we had to make in order to achieve the level of frame stiffness we were looking for and also to provide a lifetime warranty on the bike.
VF: Designing a bike is always a matter of trade-offs-you give up some small bump compliance under pedaling loads, for instance, in order to improve the bike's pedaling efficiency, and so forth. What kind of trade offs did you make with this bike and what gains did you realize in doing so?
DEVINCI: As I mentioned earlier, we traded a bit of weight for extra stiffness and the durability to provide lifetime warranty. Other than that, we are very satisfied with how the bikes climb and descend-we feel that we have found the right balance in that sense.
VF: Are there any aspects of the frame design that you guys are particularly proud of? If so, what are they and why?
DEVINCI: Aside from riding characteristics, we are stoked on the bike's aesthetics. The new frame now has a similar design to the Spartan, especially with the new internal cable routing ports, which make a more consistent design in the lineup.
VF: What were you aiming for with the component spec on this flagship version of the Troy?
DEVINCI: We want riders to have everything they need straight out of the box. Short stem, wide bars, Chromag parts, light and durable wheels, top-of-the-line groupset.... We want them to build the bike and take it to the trails without having to swap half of the parts. We are mountain bikers, and I think the spec we have on this bike reflect our understanding and passion for the sport.