Review of my Devinci Stockholm hybrid bike

After my old bike was stolen, I looked for another bike. Based on my experience with the previous bike, I knew I did not want an adjustable stem (these start creaking after a while) or a suspension seat post (there was not enough length to it to mount my rear light and reflector). I wanted to get another hybrid because of my familiarity with them, so I looked at a few bikes from the local stores. The 2010 Devinci Stockholm is the bike I finally decided to get. This page details my thoughts on it. I decided to write it up because there really was not much in the way of user experiences, reviews or other info on this bike when I bought it. Hopefully it will add another data point for anyone looking for information on this bike. Since I like to think that the new bike comes courtesy of the thief that stole my previous one, you can thank the thief for anonymously donating this review.

This page is based on one sample: my specific Stockholm and my own experiences with it. Therefore, this is only one data point. Keep this in mind if you are reading this as a review. All photos here depict my bike, which differs from the stock model by having bar ends, an add-on chain protector and lights / light mounts.

Description

My Devinci Stockholm My Stockholm is pictured on the left (the stock model does not come with bar ends). The Stockholm is an entry level performance hybrid. The components and specifications are fairly average for a bike in this price range. The Stockholm has an aluminum frame, steel fork, Shimano Alivio shifters and rear derailleur, Shimano Altus front derailleur and cassette and the basic entry level Tektro brakes and brake levers. The bike came with 700 x 35 mm tires with a nice reflective side wall strip on each side for better visibility. There are three chain rings in front (48/38/28) and eight sprockets in the back (11 to 32 teeth) for a total of 24 speeds. The handlebars are risers with a gentle rise but I noticed that they are very wide (61 cm) compared to my other bikes. Although Devinci is a Canadian company, the bike is Made in Vietnam. The build quality seems fine.

Appearance-wise, the bike is mostly a charcoal gray (though not as dark as that of most cars) with a matte finish (there's no clear coat). This makes it look almost like it is anodized aluminum. I think it looks great. There are a few hints of yellow and black (handlebars, seat post, the inner circumference of the rims, cranks). There are no less than 18 Devinci logos on the bike: two on the seat post, two on the handlebars, two on the front forks, two on the seat stays, two on the seat tube, one on the head tube, two on the down tube, one on the saddle, two on the stem and two on the stemcap). To me, this is excessive. But luckily the logos are understated enough that they are not distracting.

Devinci does not list the weight of the Stockholm. A lot of manufacturers seem reluctant to list bike weights, because different sized frames have different weights and not every manufacturer will list the weight for the same sized bike. Cannondale, for example, states on their website that they used to list the weight for the medium frame of each model and after other manufacturers list the weight for the smallest frame in order to appear lighter, Cannondale stopped list the weight completely. Given that there are a finite number of sizes for each model, manufacturers should simply list the weight for every sized frame they have and call it a day. While it's true that by not listing the weight, they encourage you to visit the bike shop to see it for yourself (which you should do anyway), I find it a bit strange that it is one of the most frequently omitted but also one of the most frequently requested specs. Weight does not really matter all that much for this class of bike unless you are carrying it up and down the stairs a lot.

Anyway, my medium frame Stockholm with non-stock additions weighs in at under 13.6 kg (30 lbs). This is an overestimate of the weight as it includes my bar ends, water bottle holder, chainstay protector, bell and light mounts. I weighed it by weighing myself on a scale meant for weighing people and then weighing myself holding the bike on the same scale. I went to the doctor the next day and weighed myself on the scale there and it was within +/- 0.45 kg (1 lb) of the weight I measured on my scale at home. However, there is no guarantee that any of these scales are properly calibrated. Also, this is only for the medium frame.

What I Liked

Comfortable riding position. I can be fairly upright but without sitting straight up like a comfort hybrid. The combination of the stem angle, the length of the steering tube and the riser handle bars puts the grips about 2.5 cm above the saddle, which is perfect for me for city riding. Granted, this is not a fast position due to the potential for air resistance, but this is a hybrid not a road bike. I test rode a few other bikes and many had the handlebars too low. A stem swap and moving a few spacers down on the steering is certainly possible to adjust the position to be lower.

Nice look and finish. The paint job is pretty nice with no noticeable flaws. The lack of a clear coat finish is distinctive and gives a nice metallic look to the frame. The cables were routed neatly by the bike store with minimal cable rub locations.

Reflective sidewall stripe tires. While reflector and reflective stripes are no substitute for lights at night, they do help improve visibility. The Stockholm comes with tires that have reflective side wall stripes that are visible from the side and somewhat from the rear and front (but not head on or directly behind).

Reflective side walls with the camera flash Reflective side walls with a flashlight

Shifters work well; easy to use. The Alivio shifters that come with the bike are pretty good: they are easy to access to switch gears. They are similar to the lower end Tourney shifters but are a bit more refined ergonomically. The shape and dimensions make the Alivio shifters easier to use.

The provided components work well. The provided set of components seem to be well chosen for this price range and I have not had any shifting, braking or other problems with them. I find the grips quite comfortable, the brakes are powerful enough and the derailleurs are smooth enough. I cannot comment on the rims and hubs because I do not know anything about what makes a good hub and what makes a good rim for bikes.

What I Do Not Like

The brake levers are shorter than what I am used to. They are only as long as half the grip and so you cannot grip them with all of your fingers (not that you want to squeeze hard on them, which would flip the bike in short order as I learned with another bike). The problem I had with short levers is that when I am going downhill fairly fast on a rough road with potholes, it is more difficult to get a good grip on the levers to control my speed due to the vibration of the bike.

Short Brake Levers

The front derailleur is the type that is behind the seat tube. This appears to leave very little room for fenders but I have not tried to put them in yet. A spacer nut is probably necessary at the chain stay bridge to have a chance to get the fender to clear the derailleur. Additionally, if you ride in gravel road the grit is deposited directly into the derailleur by the tires. On other bikes I have seen, the derailleur does not go behind the seat tube, leaving plenty of room.

Front Derailleur Lives Behind The Seat Tube

There is a lack of clearance for my heel. If I am wearing slightly larger shoes, unless I position my foot just right, my heel can sometimes rub against the crank and even hit the chain stay. This is a geometry issue; if the pedals were slightly wider or the cranks were shaped differently, then this would not be a problem.

The wide handlebars seem to make the bar ends that I installed less comfortable. As mentioned before, the handlebars seem really long at 61 cm. I had a good experience with bar ends before on my department store bike but the bar ends on the Stockholm are far less comfortable due to the width. This is not a problem if you do not install bar ends and I think I am starting to get used to it.

I feel the included seat is too narrow to offer good support when sitting completely upright. The seat is OK if I do not sit completely upright and put some weight on the handlebars. If I sit completely upright and put all my weight on the seat, it is not comfortable. I need to look into getting a new seat. One thing to note is that the lifetime frame warranty from Devinci is void if you use a seat post other than that which was included with the bike. That strikes me as a bit unreasonable: what if someone stole your seatpost and saddle? More reasonable warranty terms would simply stipulate that you need to use a seat post of the same diameter.

There is a lot of chain slap. If I am on the middle or small chain ring, every time I go over a bump, the chain slaps against the chain stay. Even on the large chain ring, the slap happens often. This became annoying enough that I bought a Lizard Skin chain stay protector to pad the chain stay and eliminate the noise. It works well but does not look as good. By the way, the included chain stay protector, which is just a clear plastic sticker (like you see on all bikes), does not adhere properly to the chain stay. It is peeling off in the middle; this was the case from day one when I got it brand new from the store. This is due to the shape of the chain stay: it has a slight taper so you cannot get the sticker, which was generically designed for non-tapered chain stays, to conform to the shape.

The chain slaps against the chain stay so an after market chain protector was installed to eliminate the noise.

The front brake can be squeaky. This is especially apparent as I slow down and then squeeze it. The bike store was unable to eliminate this when they prepared the bike for me. It happens infrequently enough that I do not mind. In fact, sometimes I deliberately cause it to squeak as a way to politely indicate to pedestrians that a bike is behind them on the multi-user-path.

Comparison against my Norco Yorkville

Compared to my now stolen 2007 Norco Yorkville, the Devinci Stockholm feels a lot more high quality. Granted, the Yorkville is not the same class of bike as the Stockholm, but a comparison is still useful to put the Stockholm in context with another bike.

The Yorkville's paint chipped if you looked at it wrong, it was a bit rickety due to the adjustable stem (which works its way loose and you get odd clicks and pops when you put force on it) and the grips - which are not cylindrical but included a palm rest - kept rotating so that the palm rest is pointed at the ground. Very annoying. The Yorkville's Shimano Tourney rear derailleur had shifting problems during the first week out of the shop and I had to take it back multiple times to fix it. I eventually had to replace it with a Shimano Deore before the problems went away.

In contrast, the Stockholm is solid, with no creaking or popping or any other weird sounds except for the chain slap issue. I have not actually allowed anything to scratch the paint so I cannot comment on how durable it is but as I said before, the paint job is almost flawless whereas the Norco had chips in it from day one. So far the grips have stayed in place and the shifting is still working very well after about 250 km. I have not had to get it adjusted yet.

Ride is about the same; bumpy roads feel bumpy since both bikes have 700 x 35 mm tires. I think the Yorkville feels a bit less of the road in the handlebars but I could be wrong since I obviously no longer have both bikes to compare and I have been riding a new route. The Stockholm lacks the suspension seat post but I do not notice any difference at all. I think the Stockholm is faster as I have been beating all my old times with it; it could just be the fact that I am riding more with this new bike. One thing to note is that the highest rear sprockets on the Yorkville is 14 teeth (which seems standard for 7 speed cassettes used on hybrids), while on the Stockholm the highest 3 sprockets are 15, 13 and 11 teeth. This means that the two highest gears are slightly harder to pedal than the highest gear on the Yorkville given the same gears on the chain rings. As a result of the higher gears, it is possible to push harder on the Stockholm than the Yorkville. The highest gear on the Stockholm also feels grindy due to the fact that the angle subtended by each tooth gets larger the fewer teeth you have; this is not a problem but an observation that I investigated briefly.

All in all, the Devinci Stockholm is a lot better than the Norco Yorkville.

Conclusion

This is a better bike than my previous ones, but it has several issues that I did not like. I like the way it looks and it rides very well in an urban environment. There are some minor issues with geometry and component clearance that detract from my overall opinion of the bike but all in all, I like it. The Stockholm is not a fast bike (compared to road bikes; it at least feels faster than the Norco Yorkville I had) and the upright position gives a lot of wind resistance. But hybrid bikes are designed for an upright ride, so this is a feature. As I get better at cycling, I would probably benefit from the drop bars of a road or cyclocross bike in order to go faster and that is the type of bike I will get next. But the Stockholm seems very suitable for around the city riding. If fenders fit in spite of the placement of the front derailleur, then it could make a good commuting bike.

About Peter Yu I am a research and development professional with expertise in the areas of image processing, remote sensing and computer vision. I received BASc and MASc degrees in Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo. My working experience covers industries ranging from district energy to medical imaging to cinematic visual effects. I like to dabble in 3D artwork, I enjoy cycling recreationally and I am interested in sustainable technology. More about me...

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