Steve Smith 650b Proto (10)

This year, Steve Smith took time from the busy World Cup schedule that kept most pros from attending Sea Otter to walk us through the highlights of the one-off prototype frame he raced last year at World Champs. And when we say “walk” us through the details, he mostly just stood there holding this pose until the wind knocked him over. That said, he was a really friendly guy, and took photos with everyone who stopped by!

Now back to the frame…..

Steve Smith 650b Proto (8)

Devinci Racing proudly emblazoned the bike with several “one-off” decals, but the truth is it’s actually number four of four. Each of the prototype frames was welded in house, at the company’s factory in Quebec – where they make all of their aluminum frames! Keep this company on your short list if you’d like your next frame to made in North America.

Steve Smith 650b Proto (9)

Developed in conjunction with Steve Smith and suspension mastermind Dave Weagle specifically for the pedal heavy Pietermaritzburg course, the bike sports 165mm of rear travel and was designed specifically for 650b wheels.

Steve Smith 650b Proto (5)

There are few things better than the look of raw aluminum.

Steve Smith 650b Proto (4)

The frame gets a version of the Split Pivot suspension system utilized by all of Devinci’s full suspension bikes, but a few special tweaks make this prototype look and perform differently than it’s big brother, the Wilson.

Steve Smith 650b Proto (18)

Unlike the Carbon DH bike Smith normally races, the shock position of this one is more conventionally located. On the Wilson, the shock is placed as low as possible, and it actuated by a rocker arm that rotates around the bottom bracket. Here, the lower pivot is quite a bit higher.

Steve Smith 650b Proto (1)

Our earlier jokes aside, those who follow the World Cup series may have noticed that Smith did not race at the season opener, which was held at the same venue in South Africa that this bike was designed for. Word on the streets is that he’s still out after hurting his ankle while casing a massive gap in New Zealand. No one at the Devinci tent could give us any updates on his condition, but we wish him a speedy recovery!


  1. I like the decals on the downtube’s shock mounting plates.

    Seriously, that upper swing link and seat stay bridge is pretty cool. The downtube forming at the BB is worth a close look too.

  2. I wonder if people who want a USA made bike will have the same views of anti-foreign product if it is from Canada. You can’t be pro USA made, and be ok with a Canadian made bike right? There would be no difference between paying a Canadian to weld your bike vs an Asian country.

  3. Maybe North American and European brands will adopt a “Welded by White People” decal they can affix to their frames.

    That way, we can be sure that our hard-earned dollars aren’t helping skilled laborers in Taiwan pay rent.

  4. Being from Asian descent (Born in Sri Lanka), I can absolutely see why some people prefer their bikes being made in the USA or Canada. Hell my next bike will be from either Germany, USA or Canada. And the stuff on the Bike will be from Taiwan ;). Some, not all, Taiwanese made bikes are just expensive. Knowing that wages are lower. But to each his own this subject has been beaten to death. So ride what you want and have fun.

  5. Some ideal Instant Center migration with those links….starts out way out front for small bump sensitivity and ramps up real quick to minimize chain growth…so it should ride pretty nice all around and pedal good with that high pivot point on the driving link, all that with active braking too. Real nice design, can’t get much better with a 4-bar really.

    The only thing that bugs me about the pivot bearings being on the axle is that there is some bearing preload, but I guess it’s not that bad with a threaded axle because you don’t have a QR clamping mechanism (never had one of those axles, but I’m assuming you don’t really use a lot of force when clamping the rear axle together, right?).

What do you think?