Scotland-based Deviate Cycles’ has released its first enduro mountain bike; the Claymore. Like its shorter travel siblings, the Highlander and Guide, the new Deviate Claymore delivers its rear wheel travel via a high-pivot suspension layout resulting in an almost entirely rearward axle path. As it is pushed through its 165mm of rear wheel travel, the Claymore’s rear-center length increases by a whopping 22mm, a feature they say lends itself well to stabilizing the bike when it’s deep in the suspension stroke. There’s a fair bit more to the Claymore than its high-pivot and head-turning aesthetic, so let’s take a closer look.
All outdoor photos by James Vincent
- Intention: Enduro Riding and Racing
- Wheel Size: 29″
- Fork Travel: 170mm
- Rear Wheel Travel: 165mm
- Frame Material: T700 UD Carbon Fiber
- Pricing: $3,200 USD for frame and Fox Factory X2 Shock
Be in no doubt, Deviate Cycles’ aren’t jumping on the high-pivot bandwagon now the suspension design has become something of a staple on World Cup Downhill podiums. Indeed, they’ve been investing in the development of high-pivot linkages since the very beginning, with the Deviate Guide Gearbox Bike the first out of the stable back in 2016.
All Deviates have an actually high main pivot location, as opposed to the many supposed high-pivot bikes wherein the main pivot is quite a lot lower; the GT Force Carbon and Cannondale Jekyll are good examples of that. In the case of Deviate Cycles, their high-pivot bikes feature a lower linkage design with a pivot that is concentric to the bottom bracket. This configuration gives rise to an axle path that is majority rearward.
A 230mm x 60mm shock delivers 165mm of rear wheel travel. Deviate tell us they have engineered the leverage curve to provide a supple initial stroke, before becoming more progressive towards the end of the 165mm travel. It is said to work well with air and coil shocks, with sufficient clearance for the Fox Factory X2 and Ohlins TTX22m.2 shocks. Overall progression from the unloaded state to bottom-out is 21%.
The chain is routed up and over the main pivot location via an idler pulley mounted to the swingarm, in a bid to eliminate most of the suspension-induced pedal kickback that high-pivot designs would otherwise suffer from. The exact location of that idler, and the number of teeth on the pulley, determine important kinematic parameters including pedal kickback, but also the closely-related anti-squat numbers.
The Claymore follows in the footsteps of the Highlander trail bike, a 140mm (or 150mm) travel trail bike, sharing a similar suspension layout, tweaked for additional rear wheel travel and the demands associated with hard enduro riding. It is a full 29er and there are no geometry adjustments available. On this, they say, “Not every enduro track or riding spot is the same, so we’ve designed the Claymore to hit the sweet spot where flat-out stability and snake-like agility meet”.
So, what do those numbers look like?
A fairly slack 64.3° head angle is designed to support a 170mm fork with a 44mm offset. The Claymore is should feel relatively roomy, with a very generous reach figure of 490mm in size large. It comes in three frame sizes; M, L and XL, accomodating riders from 170cm to 198cm tall. Each frame size sports an (unloaded) rear-center length of 441mm, with the BB dropping 30mm from the front and rear axles. Do bear in mind the rear-center length increases to ~463mm at ~140mm into the rear wheel travel, before the rear axle path arcs forward again and begins to shorten the rear-center length toward bottom-out.
The Claymore couples those geometry figures with what should feel like a rather upright pedaling position thanks to a seat tube angle of 78° (effective and actual).
The Claymore was designed to be ridden hard in the Scottish Highlands where trail conditions are, more often than not, sopping wet, with plenty of gritty granite rock (think Fort William) that loves to chew up frame bearings. To defend against that, all Enduro bearings on the Claymore, as well as the idler pulley, are protected against water and dirt ingress by twin-lipped wiper seals. They also feature grease ports.
Pricing & Availability
The Deviate Claymore is available as a frame and shock only, with pricing starting at $3,200 USD / £3,000 (including VAT) for a frame with the Fox Factory X2 Air Shock. All frames are sold with a lifetime warranty, and a crash/damage replacement policy.