Luxury Bikes

Important Test Sessions – Deviate Claymore – Mountain Bike Feature

Deviate is a brand from Scotland that has been developing its unique high pivot platforms since 2016. Founded with a mission to create a better bike with a design that is far from the norm, Deviate’s first bike, the Guide, was born. The Guide is based on a high-pivot platform, a 12-speed Pinion gearbox and is only available in carbon. It formed the basis for all future Deviate models.

Six years later, the Claymore arrives in 2022, Deviate’s first foray into the enduro category and their third bike design as a company. The Claymore, which received high praise early on, has gained significant traction with the recent rise in popularity of high-pivot bikes and is proving to be something special in the world of enduro bikes.

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  • 29 inch wheels
  • 165 mm (6.5 inches) rear travel // 170 mm (6.7 inches) fork travel
  • Full carbon frame construction
  • 64.3 degree head tube angle
  • 78 degree seat tube angle
  • 520 mm reach (size XL)
  • 441 mm chainstay length in all sizes
  • High swivel suspension with tension roller
  • 18t chain tension roller
  • External cable routing with recess along top tube for concealment
  • Water bottle and accessory holders
  • Screw-on downtube protection made of carbon, chainstay protection made of glued rubber
  • Fully customizable build specification
  • 12 x 148mm Boost hub spacing
  • 73mm bottom bracket with BSA thread and ISCG05 tabs
  • MSRP: $7,432-$12,065, frame only $2,880-$3,300
  • $9,675 as tested



  • The faster we drove, the better it got
  • The suspension provides both excellent edge compliance and support
  • Minimal frame protection at the rear
  • Loud on the way


Claymore overview

Named after the incredibly long sword from the Middle Ages, Deviate honors that heritage with an even longer bike. The Claymore focuses on 165mm of rear wheel travel, paired with a 170mm fork, and is offered exclusively in a full 29-inch configuration with no flip chips or geometry adjustments. The high-pivot design uses an 18-ton pulley designed to keep pedal wobble under control and virtually eliminate pedal kickback.


Deviate offers the Claymore with a fully customizable build specification via the bike builder option on their website or as a frame-only option. Priced at $9,675, it was the most expensive bike in the test, but it’s money well spent. Our test bike was well equipped with an Öhlins RXF38 m.2 fork and TTX2 air shock, Shimano XT 4-piston brakes with 200mm front and rear discs for braking, an XT 12-speed drivetrain and Industry 9 Enduro S aluminum wheels bring everything together.


Customers can choose spring rate, stem length, handlebar rise, dropper length and even chainline. Our size XL test bike featured OneUp carbon handlebars with 35mm rise, a 42mm stem and a 240mm dropper, which allowed us to have the seat almost compressed and out of the way for descents. Hats off to Deviate for offering such adequate amenities and allowing customers to invest their money where it matters most.



The Claymore features a spacious 520mm reach paired with a 64.3 degree head tube angle for a planted front wheel. The back half of the 1,303mm wheelbase consists of 441mm of chainstay length with about 21mm of rear axle movement, barely noticeable on the trail for such a large figure, topped off by a 78 degree seat tube angle that provides an upright pedaling position creates excellent traction on the front and rear wheels when climbing.


On the path

The chassis came out on top as the bike that impressed us the most in the Shootout and really offers the best of both worlds. It feels stable and conforms incredibly well to the ground, but doesn’t absorb much energy when trying to pump or jump down the path. The Claymore’s stability is comparable to that of downhill skis; It remains stable in corners and sticks the wheels to the ground at high speeds. This makes tight corners a little more difficult, but the traction present gave us the confidence to tip the bike as hard as we wanted at any speed.


The main disadvantage of the relatively long wheelbase was that the front wheel felt less stable when cornering outside of the camber. To achieve more even pressure between the two wheels, a more forward seating position was required to keep the front wheel on the ground. If you regularly travel in this terrain, it may make sense to size down.


Uphill, the Claymore isn’t the liveliest bike on the market, but it’s not necessarily cumbersome. The seated pedaling position doesn’t require much effort to get things moving and, thanks to the upright seat tube angle and generous rear center, requires minimal effort to keep things moving on even the steepest of inclines. For such a large bike it is rather light on its feet.


What is the end result?

This bike was the most impressive in terms of full throttle performance in the test. None of our testers anticipated the symbiotic nature of the rear axle travel and the playful nature of the bike, as these are generally two contradictory characteristics of high pivot bikes. Depending on where you live and what you ride, these bikes are still rare to see in the wild, but that’s likely to change for those willing to pay a premium for equivalent performance. When it comes to fully customizable, high-quality features on a suitable platform, the Deviate Claymore is hard to beat.

We stayed right at the base of the mountain, courtesy of Visit Big Bear, and we couldn’t have imagined a more convenient way to spend the week testing bikes. Since our condo was less than a minute from Snow Summit Village, we were able to easily return to our unit between laps to swap bikes and had plenty of room to work on our bikes. Off the bike, we were grateful to have enough space for our entire test crew, as well as a pool and hot tub within walking distance to relax after each day of testing. Big Bear has a wide variety of dining options and a great downtown area that we explored when we wanted to mix up our dinner plans or just grab some ice cream afterward. If you’d like to explore Snow Summit or Big Bear, California for yourself, come visit us or for more information…

Thank you to everyone who sponsored this test and made our trip possible!

Click here to watch the whole thing Enduro test session feature 2023

Find out more about the Deviate Claymore at

View key specs, compare and rate bikes Distract Claymore in the Vital MTB product manual.

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