Sensory Perception

Cable management at its finest. When trying to build more-capable bikes (and win a few World Cup titles) every millimeter matters in regard to efficiency and performance. Photo: Brandon Watts

Sensory Perception A New Level of Research & Development

Nine years after Mont-Sainte-Anne (MSA) hosted its first World Cup race in 1991, a small bicycle manufacturer 150 miles to the north, Devinci Cycles, moved into a new 100,000-square-foot factory.

Alongside the company’s manufacturing machines and streamlined production center, it now had the space and resources to take its research and development department to a higher level. So, Bruno Gauthier, director of research and development, outfitted a bike with a sensor in just about every location he could.

“We created a force-acquisition system that can measure the force on the front bar, the rear hub, the exact angle of the pedal, the force on the pedal, force on the saddle, force on the shock, the force on the front fork and the displacement of the front bars,” Gauthier says. “This was incredible.”

In the ensuing years, this test bike would provide vital feedback, helping progress the capabilities of mountain bikes to their current standards. From trail to downhill bikes—including Devinci’s Wilson, on which the late Stevie Smith rode to victory at MSA and claimed the overall World Cup downhill title in 2013—the space-age-looking test contraption has contributed more than just numbers to the sport.

“We try to make the perfect tools for fun,” Devinci CEO Félix Gauthier says. “Sometimes it takes time. If you are working honestly, it takes time.”

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