Review by Cole Gregg

In today’s mountain bike market, there are countless options for the hardcore crowd. But when it comes to entry level builds for trail riders on a budget, there are still few options available that are built to take a beating. Devinci aims to change that with their 130mm Marshall 29, providing a well thought out build and capable geometry for riders new to mountain biking or shredders on a tighter budget.

Devinci set out to build an affordable and well riding bike where many have tried and failed. The Marshall 29 features an Optimum G04 Aluminum frame that is handcrafted in Canada, with a Split Pivot suspension design sporting 130mm of travel in the rear. Devinci paid special attention to ensuring the frame provides a good base to upgrade on, equipping it with a 148x12mm boost rear axle, Enduro bearings at the suspension pivots, PU frame protection in critical areas and even a lifetime warranty.

The Marshall 29 is offered in sizes XS to XL with two build options, starting at $2,299 for the SX build and coming in at $2,599 for our Deore level build. Riders on sizes XS and Small get a pair of 27.5” wheels, while the M – XL models come with 29” wheels. There are even 20mm jumps in reach between each size, with our size large test bike sporting a reach of 480mm, spot on for a size large designed for both climbing and descending. Speaking of climbing, the Marshall features a 76.9-degree seat tube angle to encourage plenty of weight over the front wheels on punchy climbs. When it comes to going back downhill the 66.5-degree headtube angle should strike a balance of slack enough to keep things in control at speed, but steep enough to make the bike easy to maneuver for lesser skilled riders. With 435mm chainstays on the 29er equipped bikes (430mm on 27.5”) and a 1227mm wheelbase, tight switchbacks should be tackled with confidence.

Devinci Marshall 29 Deore 12spd Review

Our Devinci Marshall 29 Deore 12S build comes loaded with Shimano drivetrain and brake components, RockShox suspension and a spattering of Devinci’s in house V2 componentry. Shimano’s Deore M6100 12 speed derailleur and shifter have proven to be stellar performers for us in the past, offering a 10-51t gear spread that should handle just about everything. When it comes to slowing things down this build features a 4 piston Shimano M4100/MT420 calipers/levers paired with 180mm rotors front and rear. The suspension is taken care of by a 140mm RockShox 35 Silver TK Solo Air fork paired to a RockShox Deluxe Select R Debonair rear shock. There are limited damper adjustments on these air-sprung units, letting beginner riders focus on riding instead of fussing over the setup. The fork features an adjustable air spring paired to a Turnkey damper, offering rebound adjustment and a lockout on/off with a “blow-off” valve that allows the fork to compress under a heavy unexpected hit when locked out. The rear shock makes do with just an adjustable air spring and rebound settings, relying solely on Devinci’s in-house compression tune on the rear shock to tame the trail.

When it comes to applying climbing power and cornering traction Devinci’s house V2 brand is highlighted here with V2 Comp rims paired up with a Formula catalogue-spec Hubs. The product guys knocked it out of the park with tire choice: out back is a 2.4” wide Maxxis Minion DHRII, paired to a front DHF in 2.5” width, with both featuring the Dual Compound Exo TR rubber and casing. Finishing off the build is a V2 35mm diameter cockpit with 50mm stem and 780mm wide bar with 15mm rise, and a Trans-X dropper in size-specific lengths from 100mm on the XS through to 200mm on the XL. The overall build weighs in at a claimed 34.92lbs for a size Medium, putting it high up on the scale but with an assumed durability to handle the rigors of a beginner rider getting stuck in.

Devinci Marshall 29 Deore 12spd Review

While the fork and shock may not be the pinnacle of suspension design, don’t let that fool you. Paired with the Split Pivot rear end this kit did not disappoint. Tuning the fork and shock on the Marshall 29 was very simple thanks to the basic rebound dials with minimal turns giving you a lot of feedback per click, meaning it was easy to get things in the right ballpark and hit the trails in record time. Once you dial in air pressure and rebound the suspension kit is really set and forget, only requiring additional air pressure when riding jump trails for some extra support

The 76.9-degree seat tube angle made the short punchy climbs super comfortable with minimal front end wander. Out of the saddle climbing there was some apparent pedal bob taking place, but when seated on longer sustained climbs it was hardly noticeable. Black graded xc loops left me feeling rewarded, performing well when getting up out of the saddle through some of the more technical sections. On longer road climbs I turned the rebound down on the rear shock to calm the rear end of the bike a little as there is no lock out on the shock – not the ultimate solution, but it provided a welcome improvement in the climbing manners. On technical climbing trails, the split pivot frame design had plenty of traction paired with the meaty Maxxis DHRII out back, letting me claw my way up the rock infested stints.

Devinci Marshall 29 Deore 12spd Review

As a rider that is more advanced than this bike is spec’d for, I made a point to ride it on trails that the bike was targeted at. When it came to putting tires on the trail, the Marshall 29 felt right at home on smooth to moderate terrain. If your thing is fast and flowy singletrack then this bike is going to be a great option – it was an absolute blast on the mix of green and blue flow trails at Duthie, with oodles of cornering traction and predictable handling when it was time to get airborne. Thanks to that tight wheelbase, changing directions on tighter switchbacks was very manageable and it provided a great fun platform on the slower and more twisty trails. While it shines on flow trails, it can be easy to find the limit of the suspension performance when you take it down some rough and technical singletrack.

In the rough and rowdy singletrack of the Phoenix area I was able to find the limit of the suspension, but this is very reasonable as the terrain there is unforgiving. For the most part I was able to ride all the trails I normally do, it just required a little more regard for the trail speed. It felt like the geometry of the bike wanted to go, but I was finding the limits of the suspension as it packed up over successive hits and found the end of its travel a little too often. With that said, this frame is a prime candidate to grow with you as a rider. To me this is not a negative as the prime consumer for this bike won’t necessarily be blasting down double black trails to begin with and will be able to upgrade the components spec over time. That said, it is a key point to keep in mind with this specific build.

The parts spec was generally solid, though the brakes on the Marshall 29 did begin to fade on some of the longer and steeper descents that perhaps exceed the intended use of the bike. Upgrading to larger rotors or non-resin pads may be enough to sort this, incurring minimal costs. The frame was generally solid and quiet, save for some annoying cable rattle. A bit of attention may have solved this, but it did a little to detract from the overall riding experience.

Devinci Marshall 29 Deore 12spd Review

The Wolf’s Last Word

If you are in the market for your first full suspension MTB the Devinci Marshall 29 is a bike that should be highly considered. From its playful trail characteristics to confidence inspiring jumping the bike ticks all the boxes. Backed by a lifetime frame warranty and equipped with a solid spec list, there is not much left to be desired for riders new to the sport. If you are an advanced rider on a budget this bike gives you a great starting platform to upgrade components down the road.

Price: $2,599
Weight: 34.9 lbs (claimed, medium, no pedals)


Frame: Aluminum Optimum G04 130mm
Fork: RockShox 35 Silver TK SoloAir 140 | 51 Offset
Shock: RockShox Deluxe Select R Debonair | 2T | 210×50

Brakes: Shimano Deore M4100/MT420 | 4 Pistons
Shifter: Shimano Deore M6100 | 12s | I-spec EV
Handlebar: Devinci V2 Pro | B:35mm | R:15mm | W:780mm
Stem: Devinci V2 Pro | B:35mm | L:50mm | 0°
Saddle: Devinci
Seatpost: TranzX Dropper | 31.6mm | 1x Lever

Wheels: Devinci V2 Comp | 29mm inner | TR
Rear Tire: Maxxis Minion DHRII | 29×2.4wt | DualCompound Exo TR
Front Tire: Maxxis Minion DHF | 29×2.5wt | DualCompound Exo TR

Bottom Bracket:
Shimano BB52
Cassette: Shimano M6100 | 12s | 10-51T | Microspline
Cranks: Shimano MT510 | 30T
Derailleur: Shimano Deore M6100 | 12s

Devinci Marshall 29 Deore 12spd Review

We Dig

Great bang for your buck
Playful trail feel
Solid component spec for an entry level bike

We Don’t

Brakes fade on fast/steep trails
Some internal cable rattle
Suspension has its limits


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