Bike Check | Stevie Smith’s Devinci Wilson
A deeper look at the 2013 World Cup Champion’s suspension and brake setup.
Following his 2013 World Cup Championship, Steve Smith, of Devinci Global Racing, spent 2014 and 2015 battling through multiple ankle injuries. 2016 is a new year though, and after a long off-season of putting in many hours on the bike and in the gym, the Stevie we know is back and fighting for the win. He finished second at round one in Lourdes, France, and is off to round two in Cairns, Australia. Before he headed down under, we asked him a few questions about his suspension, brake and drivetrain setup. This is his bike, and these are his answers.
To begin: Stevie’s Devinci Wilson Carbon is set up with a SRAM X01 DH drivetrain, SRAM Guide Ultimate brakes, RockShox BoXXer Team fork, RockShox Vivid R2C shock, and TRUVATIV Holzfeller DM stem, and TRUVATIV Stevie Smith BlackBox bar. For reference, Stevie weighs 175 lbs. (80 kg) and is 5’11 (180 cm).
Can you describe the feeling of your optimal suspension setup for World Cup racing?
I like my suspension to support me so it doesn’t blow through the travel, but it also need to supple off the top to work on the small bump chatter. It is also key for it to give me the necessary traction over the roots and other rough obstacles a World Cup course can throw at me. Nigel, my mechanic, does an amazing job in working with me to make this happen for each course.
How do you get to this optimal feeling? Can you share your suspension settings?
Right now I am running a RockShox BoXXer Team with a firm coil spring. The rebound is set 7 clicks from closed, and the compression is set 8 clicks from closed. My RockShox Vivid R2C has a 400 lbs. spring, and my compression is set 3 clicks from closed. The end stroke rebound is fully open and the beginning stroke rebound is set 7 clicks from closed. These setting vary a little for each course.
How do you position your brake levers on the bar?
My ideal lever angle is one where my wrists never have to bend. When I am in my attack position there is zero bend in my wrist, it’s a straight plane through my forearms, my wrists and into my fingers. For me I feel that this helps prevent arm pump and, obviously, this will change as I deal with whatever the course can throw at me.
My Guide Ultimate lever clamp is positioned 28 millimeters inboard from the edge of the grip. This allows my index finger to sit perfectly on the end of the brake lever, without making contact with the other fingers when the lever is pulled.
How do you describe your optimal brake feeling?
My Contact Point adjustment is set right in the center of its range. I don’t like my brakes to be spongy, or bite too quickly. I like them powerful with some modulation, so I am not skidding all over the place.
What size chainring do you normally start the weekend with? Does that ever change?
I always seem to run a 36-tooth X-Sync Direct Mount chainring, and I rarely make changes to the size. There comes a point when tucking is more beneficial than pedaling like a maniac and fighting the wind.