Deviate Guide – No Derailleur, Better Downhill Performance

Deviate Guide Downhill Mountain Bike

One less thing to worry about

On rocky terrain, there's a risk that your rear derailleur will get smashed, especially if the rocks are big enough. Usually when that happens, that's the end of your ride unless you have the technical know-how and little bit of luck.

Getting your rear derailleur smashed on the rocks is not the only thing that could go wrong though. 

Poor shifting is one of the most common problems in mountain-biking and is related to problems with the rear derailleur. Sticks, mud, and grass are the least of your concerns. Some derailleur problems can be fixed on the trail and some require tools riders don't usually carry.

Also, if you fly with your bike, you don't have to worry about baggage handlers playing rough with bike and breaking exposed derailleurs, hangers, or brittle cassettes.

The Deviate Guide uses Pinion gears, which is a fully sealed gear system, making them impervious to mud, sticks, grass, and sand and therefore more reliable. 

Also, with Pinion gears, there are no rear derailleurs to worry about getting smashed on the rocks.

Deviate Guide uses a 12-speed Pinion C-Line gearbox.

Other advantages of Pinion Gears

  • You can shift your gears without pedaling so you can be at the right gear from the start
  • Less weight on the rear of the bike and more to the middle of the bike for better suspension
  • Very little maintenance required
  • 12 evenly spaced gears with a massive 600% gear range
  • Quick gear change

More than just Pinion Gears

One of the strengths of The Guide is its suspension performance. Since the weight is shifted to the middle to bike, it results in better suspension and better handling around corners.

To make the suspension even better, Deviate added a high pivot point so that the rear wheel moves in a natural arc away from impact.

However, the high pivot point creates a pedal bob on climbs and pedal kickback on descents as the bike hits an obstacle. To fix this problem, an idler and tensioner was added.

This makes The Guide ideal for ascending and descending big mountains with chunky trails and steep technical terrain.

Who it's not for

The Deviate is not ideal for beginners because just about everything about it is complicated. Even installing the wheels takes more patience and experience than usual.

Also, you can't shift gears under load, which may be a disadvantage when you're in a race.

Because of the way it is designed, it may feel sluggish on smooth flowy trails.


  • Unique look
  • Absorbs the smallest bumps
  • No rear derailleur
  • Wide, evenly spaced gear range
  • Gearbox requires very little maintenance
  • Great at cornering
  • Can shift gears without pedaling


  • Not for beginners
  • Not for flowy trails
  • May seem sluggish on flat trails
  • There's a lag between hitting the pedals and the bike starting to move
  • Cannot change gear under load


The Guide is a great bike for what it's built for i.e. steep technical terrain. You find yourself hitting bumps you would have otherwise avoided when using a different bike. It's not for beginners though because of its complexity.

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