Doughty year-round companion loves snow and sand
- temperature-resistant kit reliable winter and summer
- loads of standover clearance
- one word: Bulldozers
- rims not tubeless-ready
With so many multi-purpose bikes flooding the market, it’s refreshing to have a manufacturer unashamedly design a bike for one thing; in the case of the Devinci Minus, for having an awesome time in the snow.
The Canadian manufacturer has come up with a nice combination of parts, frame geometry and functionality, all at an acceptable price. For most people, a fatbike is a second – or even third – bike to add to their stable, to be used for three or four months per year. It stands to reason, then, that value is paramount, as the bike may sit unused for three-quarters of the year.
With value in mind, the frame and fork are a sturdy Optimum G02 aluminum – not the lightest frame on the market (the complete bike weighs in at 15.43 kg / 34.02 lbs in a Medium), but who buys a fatbike based on weight anyway? The rigid fork has a tapered steerer, so it can be retrofitted with a Bluto or other suspension fork if desired, but in most circumstances there’s no real need, thanks to the massive VeeTire Bulldozer 26×4.7 tires, which provide ample bounce and cushioning. In the rather confusing jargon of Fatbike, 3.6-inch tires are referred to as “4-inch”, and 4.6-inch tires are referred to as “5-inch”. The Bulldozers come in just a bit fatter again at a mighty 4.7 inches wide...and still fatter again with the tire pressure low and some weight on the bike. Traction will never be an issue, and the Bulldozers come tubeless-ready – sadly, though, the V2 Comp DB 100mm rims do not, so they would need to be swapped out to go completely tubeless.
To stop the gigantic tires, Devinci has opted for Avid BB5 mechanical disc brakes with 180mm rotors. There’s a reason for mechanical rather than hydraulic discs, and the clue is in the bike’s name. This machine is designed to be ridden in the extreme cold: down as low, in fact, as the point where Celcius and Fahrenheit temperatures read the same….minus 40 degrees. When it’s that cold, the mineral oil or DOT fluid within hydraulic brakes won’t function properly, so mechanical braking is what it’s got.
The Minus is an incredibly stable bike, thanks in large part to the long, 455mm chain stays. The standover clearance is fantastic, as it should be; putting a foot down in deep snow can be a treacherous business.
The Samox 24-tooth single-ring crankset is as robust as the rest of the bike, and the Shimano XT M786 Shadow+ rear derailleur and Deore M610 rear shifter integrate perfectly with the Shimano 10-speed 11/36-tooth rear cassette.
The V2 Comp seatpost and V2 Pro saddle are nice; this is a bike designed to be ridden all day in some nasty conditions, and a good comfortable saddle is part of what makes this happen. The other part is the handlebars. The 720mm V2 Comp Riser bars are not quite as wide as those on some other fatbikes, but they’re wide enough to be comfortable and narrow enough to sneak between trees on narrow snow trails.
If you’re new to fatbiking, are keen to try it out or maybe just want to stay in shape over winter, go test ride a Minus. Alternatively, if sandhill adventures or beach riding are your thing, the Minus is the right bike for that too. It’s a sturdy, reliable, comfortable, indestructible monster truck, and so much fun it will probably be illegal soon.
When the lesser mortals stow their bikes and slide through snow on four wheels, break out the bike that's named for the negative temperature tilt and monster truck it through the fluffy white stuff. Devinci's Minus hauls through all conditions thanks to a sturdy, cold-formed aluminum frame. You'll get precise steering from the tapered head tube, and enhanced handling thanks to low stand-over height and center of gravity. Shimano's 1x drivetrain will not fail you: in the diciest conditions, you'll have ten smooth-shifting gears, and powerful, freeze-proof Avid mechanical disc brakes. Throw in fine components from V2 and you've got a recipe for rugged comfort that's not afraid of a little snow.