New Deviate Highlander is a high-pivot enduro 29er

Deviate Highlander 140mm 29er
Developed in the Scottish Highlands, this 29er has a high-pivot rear suspension system (Image credit: Deviate)

Deviate Cycles has released a 29er version of its high-pivot dual-suspension design. The Scottish company is known for its 160mm high-pivot bike named the Guide, with 27.5-inch wheels and a gearbox drivetrain.

For 2020, Deviate has added a second bike to its product portfolio. Remaining with the high-pivot rear shock suspension engineering theme, it has reduced overall travel to 140mm and upsized the wheels to 29-inch. This new frame is quite fittingly called the Highlander and Deviate claim that its descending ability is akin to 29er enduro bikes with much greater travel.

The high-pivot theory recognises that chain tension negatively impacts rear-suspension performance. Moving the pivot point higher, by virtue of routing the chain though that idler-pulley, reduces the influence that your drivetrain tension has on suspension movement during a technical descent.

Geometry numbers are progressive, with a 65.5-degree head angle and ample 480mm of reach on the size large Highlander. Both front and rear triangles are carbon-fibre, with enough clearance to run 2.8-inch wide tyres between the chain- and seat stays, which are spaced to the 148mm rear axle standard.

Deviate’s Highlander is certified to run 140- to 160mm front forks and the frame weight is an entirely reasonable 2.95kg.

One of the concerns with a high-pivot design is idler-pulley upkeep. Adding an additional function to the chain’s path of operation can increase complexity and the burden of maintenance. Deviate’s idler-pulley is 18T in size and features fully sealed dual outboard bearings, to keep it spinning true. There are also grease ports to allow for home mechanic care of the idler pulley, which should negate any upkeep issues.

The first batch of Highlanders will be available in either medium or large sizing, with colour options of Skye Blue or Sunset Yellow. Deviate is pricing the Highlander at £2,750.00, for a frame and shock.

Deviate Highlander Builder

Lance Branquinho
Freelance writer

Lance Branquinho is a Namibian-born journalist who graduated to mountain biking after injuries curtailed his trail running. He has a weakness for British steel hardtails, especially those which only run a single gear. As well as Bike Perfect, Lance has written for, and Cycling News.