2015 Devinci Troy Carbon SX


Santa Cruz Bronson: The Bronson pedals noticeably more efficiently, and at a moderate, meandering pace handles fairly similarly to the Troy. When the trail gets rougher, the Troy has a more active rear end and handles small to medium size hits better. The Bronson does a bit better on bigger hits, where the Troy tends to bottom out.

Like many VPP bikes, the Bronson can have a bit of a “dead” feeling in the middle of its travel, which I find makes the bike more difficult to really ride actively. In other words, the Bronson is a bit less inclined to pump the terrain and pop off of features, which is something that the Troy excels at.

In terms of geometry and fit, the Bronson is somewhat similar to the Troy, meaning that it’s a bit on the short side compared to some of the other bikes on the market. I sized up on the Troy, and I’d probably do the same on the Bronson.

Intense Tracer T275: Like the Bronson, the Tracer is built around a VPP suspension platform. And like the Bronson, this makes for a fairly efficient pedaler (although I found the Bronson to be the better of the two in that regard). It’s also worth noting that the Tracer is quite a bit lighter than the Troy, which can make going uphill a bit more pleasant.

The Tracer blurs the line a bit more between a trail bike and an enduro bike, and with it’s adjustable travel, it can arguably serve dual purposes. In short-travel mode, I found the Tracer to be pretty twitchy and unstable, decidedly less comfortable at speed than the Troy.

Switched into long-travel mode, the Tracer faired much better, and could handle high speeds much better—a bit better than the Troy, albeit with considerably more travel. Again, and even moreso than the Bronson, the Tracer’s VPP rear end is underwhelming through its midstroke, and it lacks the poppy playfulness that is one of the Troy’s best attributes.

Niner WFO: This bike is a bit of an odd one out; it has a bit more travel than the Troy, and it’s running on 29” wheels, as opposed to the Troy’s 27.5”. But I found the WFO to be a bit less stable than its longer travel and bigger wheels might suggest, and I’d say it’s roughly comparable to the Troy in terms of plundering through rough stuff at speed.

In terms of suspension performance, the Niner was somewhat similar to the Troy in that it’s suspension was best suited to small and medium sized hits, but could get overwhelmed a bit on bigger impacts.

The WFO’s bigger wheels made it less inclined to hang up on square-edged hits, but the Troy’s suspension was far better for pumping and popping off of rolls in the trail. The WFO’s suspension could be described as wallowy at times, whereas the Troy’s suspension is fairly supportive throughout.

On the fit side of things, like the Troy, the geometry on the Niner is a bit on the small side; it’s another bike where I’d take a serious look at sizing up.

Specialized Enduro: The Troy is really more comparable to the Specialized Stumpjumper FSR, but I haven’t spent much time on a Stumpy and I wanted to include at least one Horst Link bike in the comparisons here.

Because they’re not wholly comparable, I’ll gloss over the discussion of stability and geometry a bit; the Enduro is more stable than the Troy, which should be pretty self evident since it has more travel and slacker angles.

But purely in terms of suspension performance, the two bikes are somewhat similar. Neither are what I would call efficient pedalers, and both feature a fairly active suspension design that does a great job of smoothing out chunky trail.

Noah Bodman reviews the 2015 Devinci Troy Carbon SX for Blister Gear Review
Noah Bodman on the 2015 Devinci Troy Carbon SX. Whitefish, MT.

My old Enduro (the 26” wheeled version) was better about handling big hits than the Troy (as I would expect from a longer travel bike), but I’m hesitant to jump to the conclusion that the Stumpjumper shares that attribute.

The Enduro is a lighter bike than the Troy, despite the fact that it’s a bit longer travel. The Troy, on the other hand, is noticeably stiffer and holds up better to being thrown sideways.

Devinci Spartan: The Troy obviously isn’t intended to be in the same class as the Spartan, but I’ve referenced the Spartan enough in this review that it’s worth laying out the comparison.

The Spartan is clearly the winner over the Troy when it comes to hard hits, drops, and smashing through legitimately rough terrain; the Troy is outgunned in those situations, while the Spartan just eats it up. Along those same lines, while I wouldn’t call the Troy unstable by any means, the Spartan is still more locked in at speed.

The flip side to all of that is that the Troy feels more efficient on most “normal” trails. Even though the Spartan arguably pedals a little better, it’s still a bigger bike with slacker geometry, and for that reason, it feels like overkill on flatter trails.

Pumping small rollers on the Spartan takes a bit more rider input, while that sort of thing is right up the Troy’s alley. In other words, the Troy is just a slightly shorter travel, slightly lighter bike, which makes it easier to keep it up to speed on your average trail.

All of that said, it’s pretty clear that these two bikes share some similar design elements. They both reward an active riding style, and I’d place both of them at the playful end of the spectrum in their respective categories.

Bottom Line

The Troy is squarely situated as a trail bike, and it hits that mark quite well. Some bikes swing above or below their weight class, but the Troy lands right in the middle.

It’s not quite efficient enough to be a bike that I’d recommend to someone who prizes pedaling efficiency, and along those same lines, even the carbon version is pretty heavy for a bike in this price range.

Conversely, the suspension runs out of travel pretty quickly when you start jumping off of stuff, so it’s not the first bike I’d recommend if you’re inclined to send it off drops on a regular basis.

But for “normal” trail riding, the Troy does really well. Its active suspension levels roots and rocks better than a lot of comparable bikes, and it’s great for pumping and popping down the trail, making full use of any and every transition you can find.

It’s also worth noting that, as mentioned above, preliminary reports on the 2016 Troy indicate that it’s going to see some changes, all of which seem to be for the better. It’s still the same basic design, and none of the changes are massive, but they all seem to be aimed towards incremental improvements.

The 2016 Troy has a longer front end, which will probably alleviate most riders’ inclination to size up. It also, reportedly, has a more progressive rear end to solve the bottoming out issue. Added to that are some extra carbon bits that supposedly lighten things up while also making it stiffer, which sounds fantastic.

Ultimately, the 2015 Troy is probably best for a rider that doesn’t have a lot of pre-determined predilections from the start. If you’re a die hard XC guy looking for something more trail worthy, the Troy probably isn’t light enough or efficient enough.

And if you like to get rowdy on your enduro bike but you’re thinking 160mm of travel might be overkill, the Troy might not be the best shorter travel bike to take a ton of abuse.

But if you’re just looking for a solid all arounder that’s fun in most situations and handles rocky, chunky trail very well, the Troy is a great bet.

Once you figure out the proper size for your stature, the Troy offers the right blend of an active, playful suspension with geometry that treads the fine line between maneuverability and stability that’s necessary on any good trail bike. And if you like the looks of the 2015 Troy but have some concerns about sizing or bottom out resistance, the 2016 model might be right up your alley.

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