I am curious in your opinon how you would compare the Devinici Spartan Carbon with the Santa Cruz Nomad 27.5 and the Pivot Mach 6 (which I know the pivot only has 155m rear travel but can you feel the difference of the loss of 10mm of travel?) Which order would you put them in when comparing, downhill ability, tight corners(flick ability) , and climbing. I ride south mountain here in Phoenix a lot so of course I want the best of both worlds, climbing like an xc and descending like a downhill bike :)
Thanks for you time,
Of those three bikes, I’ve spent the most time on the Mach 6, followed by the Spartan, and I’ve only done a little bit of parking lot “testing” on the Nomad. So, aside from a bit of speculation, I can only really comment on the Mach 6 and the Spartan.
The Mach 6 is the winner in the pedaling department – not that the Spartan is horrible, but the Mach 6 pedals fairly well. My understanding is that the Nomad also pedals very well, and based on my time on the Bronson, I’d believe it. Without spending more time on it, I can’t say if the Nomad beats the Mach 6 though. It’s also worth noting that (assuming equivalent build kits) the Spartan is the heaviest of the bunch, which doesn’t help it on the climbs.
In terms of flickability, I’d give it to the Spartan. While the Mach 6 has a shorter wheelbase, the Spartan’s suspension design makes it feel the most consistent and supportive of the bunch, which I find makes it a bit easier to load up and pop off of the suspension through corners. From talking to a friend that owns a Nomad (Mk III) and has ridden the Spartan, he seemed to agree that the Spartan felt more flickable and playful – more inclined to pump through rollers and reward an active rider.
For all out downhill performance, for me it’d probably be between the Spartan and the Nomad. I’ve found the Mach 6 to feel a bit more harsh over small to medium size bumps, which I think has more to do with the DW link design, rather than the fact that it has a little less travel. The Spartan is excellent on the descents, but since I haven’t spent much time on the Nomad, I can’t say which one wins. Speculating (and based off that conversation I had with a friend), I’d say the Nomad might have the edge when it comes to steep, straight line plundering. It’s longer, slacker, and the suspension design might be a bit better at leveling the trail. The Spartan might have the edge when it comes to descents that favor an active rider who pumps the terrain, doubles up obstacles, and is a little less concerned with point and shoot stability.
The TL,DR version is really that they’re all really nice bikes, they all do well in different scenarios, but there isn’t one that I’d consider a clear winner in every situation.
Hope that helps!