Devinci DC GX 11S eMTB Review

Devinci DC GX 11S eMTB Review

By Drew Rohde | Photos by Dusten Ryen
Charged by RISE Brewing

Devinci has stayed true to their Canadian crafted roots for the past 25 years and they’re boldly embracing the future as the next evolutionary step of bicycles is here. Making some much needed improvements to their ebike line, the new Devinci DC eMTB is a big step in the right direction when it comes to on-trail performance.

Over the last few months we’ve ridden the DC on rutted moto trails in the Gifford Pinchot mountains to Bend, Oregon and then for ten days of thrashing in Palms Springs, California.

We loved this bike back home but after we brought it to our 2020 eMTB Roundup in Palm Springs and had ten riders pass it around, the decision to name this bike the winner of our Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing Award was an easy one. Simply put, we didn’t expect this bike to ride as well as it did and we apologize for judging this book by it’s cover.

Devinci DC GX 11S eMTB Review

THE LAB
Devinci gave the DC ebike some very capable geometry that is both fun and stable. A flip chip gives the user half a degree of adjustability but after a few laps we were happy keeping the bike in Low mode.

Low mode slackens and lowers the bike just a bit with no real down sides that we noticed. The numbers put the DC in the versatile Trail (150mm or less) or all-mountain with a 65.5-degree head tube angle, 475mm of reach, and a stack of 634mm. The wheelbase strikes a nice balance of stability and agility at 1,268mm. The 470mm chainstays worked well and kept the bike performing predictably. The only negative affect of the geometry in the low setting is losing a half a degree of seat tube angle (76.5 degrees), which we compensated for by moving the seat forward a few millimeters.

Build spec is very good for a sub $7,000 ebike. Although we regularly have problems, these SRAM Code R brakes handled the stopping duties well and provided plenty of power when coupled with the 200mm rotors. Keeping it Canadian, Race Face Turbine bar and stem combo offer a nice look and feel in the cockpit. A Fox Transfer dropper post holds up the SDG Radar saddle while Boost DT Swiss hubs and wheels kept the bike spinning down trail. We also appreciated the Maxxis High Roller 2 2.6 Maxxterra EXO + tire spec however since Schwalbe sponsored our ebike shootout, we swapped this and all bikes over the to the Eddy Current tire combo and were even more pleased with how the bike rode.

An ebike-tuned Fox 36 fork is matched with a Fox Float DPS Evol rear shock. The suspension is quite composed for such a heavy bike with a significant amount of end stroke progression. Small bump compliance is adequate but the in house tuning really shines through in the poppy feeling and lightness this bike conveys. Devinci really did a nice job with the suspension curve and specifying the right parts.

Weight for the Devinci DC is right at 52.73 pounds and includes the 504WH Shimano battery and Shimano Steps E8035 system with a 250W drive unit. The Steps system had a few updates including integrated on/off switches into the frame and an updated charging port. Battery swaps were not difficult, with 2 bolts retaining the frame guard/battery cover.

Devinci DC over head

THE DIRT
If you’ve ridden an eMTB much, you’ll know that climbing technical trails is a learned skill. Pedal timing, power modes and gear selection are vital in cleaning sections you’d normally make on a pedal bike, or never even try. We found the Devinci DC an easy climber that allowed us to clean several sections of trail we’ve had rough times with in the past. The traction and suppleness while climbing make it a real goat on the trail.

The torque delivery of the Steps works nicely with the tune Devinci chose to use. In Eco or Trail mode I found myself dabbing less and keeping the power to the dirt even in some very steep sections of climbs. The bike had very little tendency to loop out on the steep stuff as well, which has been a common issue with many ebikes sporting short chainstays. We feel that the weight of the DC is well placed in the lower section of the frame and allowed for some very technical climbing victories.

Overall, we loved climbing the Devinci DC, but felt it was a bit under powered compared to some Bosch and Specialized systems we’ve ridden recently. Despite the seeming lack of power, it’s a very capable climber and fun to get in the techy stuff. Our only real complaint with the DC’s climbing is the Walk mode of the Steps system. It is horribly slow. Even with a motor, some things are just too steep or rocky to climb and I found myself pushing the bike up some fairly gnarly sections where a faster walk mode would have really helped.

Devinci DC GX 11S eMTB front view close-up

Regardless of how you get to the top, once you point the DC downhill, you’re in for a treat. The bike is superbly balanced and feels pounds lighter than the scales suggest. The bike is very easy to pump and pick up over trail obstacles. The weight of the DC does make it quite quick to accelerate downhill and it pushes into corners very nicely with the low center of gravity.

Sometimes we get ebikes we expect to love and are let down by how heavy they feel on the trail and other times we pull bikes out of the box and roll our eyes, expecting them to ride like tanks, only to have our minds checked. The Devinci DC falls into the latter camp as it surprised us all! It’s an improvement over their last generation in terms of looks but still isn’t in line with the new school ebike aesthetic. The looks combined with the 53lb weight had us thinking the new bike was going to ride more like the old…We couldn’t have been more wrong.

The rear end was easy to get over obstacles like downed trees or large rocks. Small lips and jumps were enough to get the bike airborne and it felt lively in the quick, technical terrain we enjoy riding. It’s not the most playful in the air if you’re looking for whips and tabletops as there’s just a lot of mass to move around, but if you’re worried about navigating obstacles at speed or being able to bunny hop the bike when you need to, you can rest assured the bike will pop.

Devinci DC GX 11S terrain

The Wolf’s Last Word

The Devinci DC didn’t win our Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing award without a fight! We had 16 of the best ebikes we could find battling head to head, and our testers all put the DC near the top of the Trail category day after day. While we’re hopeful to see weights decrease as capabilities increase in the ebike sector, the Devinci DC makes up for it’s portliness with playfulness on the trail. Judging the $6,899 price tag for a 53lb aluminum ebike is a tough one. On one hand the bike is handmade in Devinci’s factory in Canada and sports a SRAM X01 drivetrain, Race Face Turbine cockpit and Fox Factory suspension. On the other, people not concerned with North American-made products searching for value and carbon fiber may bring up the value argument.

We have no problem recommending the Devinci DC to riders looking for an ebike. It is incredibly versatile, super comfortable on long days and has a supple suspension tune to offer maximum traction and confidence to riders who aren’t racing the clock every ride. It can hang with the best on the descents, climbs like a goat and besides our nitpicks around the looks, value and the 504Wh battery, we can’t say anything bad about how this bike performs on the trail.

Price: $6,899;
Weight: 53.3 lbs;
Website: Devinci.com

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE TRAIL ROUNDUP VIDEO
Devinci DC GX 11S eMTB Review POV

CHASSIS
Frame: Optimum Aluminum; 150mm
Fork: Fox Float Factory 36; 29/27.5+; 160mm
Shock: Fox Float Factory DPS EVOL; 185×55

POWERPLANT
Battery: Shimano E8035 504wH
Drive Unit: Shimano E8000 250-watt

COCKPIT
Brakes: SRAM Code R; 200mm
Handlebar: Race Face Turbine 35; 800mm
Headset: FSA Orbit 1.5 Zero Stack
Saddle: SDG Radar
Seatpost: Fox Transfer; 150mm
Shifter: SRAM X01; 11s
Stem: Race Face Turbine R35; 50mm

WHEELS
Hubs: DT Swiss
Rims: DT Swiss H1700
Tires: Maxxis High Roller 2; 29×2.6

DRIVETRAIN
Bottom Bracket: Shimano
Cassette: SRAM PG1130; 11-42t
Cranks: Shimano E8050 Hollowtech; 170mm, 34t
Derailleur: SRAM GX; 11s

Devinci DC GX 11S eMTB Review Downhill

We Dig

Playful
Composed
Lively Suspension Feel
Made in North America
Climbs Great

We Don’t

It’s 53 pounds
Not the Best Value
Large, Boxy Downtube

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