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Pivot Switchblade Carbon 29 XTR 1x Complete Mountain Bike - 2017

$8,399.00

Item # PIV002X

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  • Blue/Red, S ($8,399.00)
  • Blue/Red, M ($8,399.00)
  • Blue/Red, L ($8,399.00)
  • Blue/Red, XL ($8,399.00)
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Item # PIV002X

Faultless.

Since the platform was first introduced, it seems that each successive generation of 29ers has been met with a new body of prejudicial assumptions. The kneejerk push back against wagon wheels is so pronounced that Pivot Cycles' Switchblade Carbon 29 XTR 1x Complete Mountain Bike, just released for the 2017 model year, may be the first 29er that hasn’t set sail with an equally large barge of critical baggage in its wake—it's pretty much a faultless 29er. There are several reasons why, but the most immediately obvious one is that it comes equipped with rear hub spacing that's even Boostier than Boost.

When naming the new standard, Pivot showed a bit more ingenuity than us, calling it Super Boost Plus 157. The key takeaway is that the rear hub is a gravity-tier 157mm wide, which makes for a stiffer spoke bracing angle (no more "twenty noodler" jokes) and packs a chainline with 12mm of additional tire clearance. That added clearance lets Pivot shove the rear wheel up even more than a standard Boost axle, chopping the chainstays down to a mere 16.85in while allowing 27.5+ or (as is the case here) 29in wheels and preserving a Q-factor on par with typical 5in bikes.

The increased wheel stiffness conspires with a double wishbone rear triangle and Phoenix-inspired clevis to stiffen both the pedaling interface and the linkage design. This makes the rear triangle more resistance to torsional flex, which increases pedaling efficiency and decreases the stress put on the pivot bearings. It's easier on your legs and on the hardware you rely on to bail you out of situations where overly ambitious line selection lands you in water that's just a little too deep.

The rest of the geometry is similarly capable. Where the concise back end makes for a sharp knife while dicing rooty sections, the relatively steep head tube and low bottom bracket height make for a slack, low chassis that further contributes to DH stability. Despite the frame's big-line parachute qualities, its seat tube sits relatively steep, keeping you forward and on top of the pedal stroke while climbing. Compared to Pivot's Mach 429 Trail frame, the Switchblade is slacker up front and steeper in the seat tube, perfecting the art of aggression whether you're climbing out or dropping in.

In case you've missed it, the undertone of all of the above is: this is a trail race bike that's ready to go as hard and fast as you are. Given that sky's-the-limit attitude, we're not surprised Pivot opted to upgrade the usual DT Swiss alloy wheels to Reynolds' Enduro model. Not only are the rims full carbon, but they're laced to a set of hubs machined by the CNC geniuses at Industry Nine. The rims are also 28mm wide, internally, so they allow for a greater air volume and lower PSI. With the exception of a Race Face Next SL crankset, the entire drivetrain is Shimano's peerless XTR model, and the build is finished with a stealth-routed KS LEV dropper.

  • A 29er with trail-bike travel designed purely for racing
  • DW-Link suspension keeps the 135mm of travel firm while pedaling
  • Aggressive geometry drops in like enduro but climbs like XC
  • Rear axle bulges to Super Boost for stiffness and tire clearance
  • The DH-specific Phoenix's DNA surfaces in linkage
  • Stubby stays and carbon construction maintain stiffness
  • Shimano's flagship racing drivetrain leaves nothing to chance

Tech Specs

Frame Material:
carbon fiber
Suspension:
DW-Link
Rear Shock:
FOX Float Factory DPS EVOL Kashima
Rear Travel:
135 mm
Fork:
FOX Factory 36 Float Kashima
Front Travel:
150 mm
Headset:
Pivot Precision Sealed Bearing
Shifters:
Shimano XTR
Front Derailleur:
n/a
Rear Derailleur:
Shimano XTR
ISCG Tabs:
yes, ISCG 05
Crankset:
30 t Race Face Next SL
Bottom Bracket:
PressFit 92
Cassette:
11 - 42 t Shimano XTR
Brakeset:
Shimano XTR
Brake Type:
hydraulic disc
Handlebar:
Phoenix carbon riser
Handlebar Width:
740 mm
Grips:
Phoenix lock-on
Stem:
Phoenix Trail Enduro
Saddle:
[sizes mediu, large, x-large] WTB Vigo Team, [sizes x-small, small] WTB Hightail
Seatpost:
KS LEV Integra dropper
Wheelset:
Reynolds Carbon 29 Enduro
Hubs:
Industry Nine
Front Axle:
15 x 110mm Boost QR thru-axle
Rear Axle:
14 x 157mm Super Boost Plus 157 thru-axle
Tires:
Maxxis High Roller II TR
Tire Size:
29 x 2.3 in
Pedals:
not included
Recommended Use:
trail
Manufacturer Warranty:
3 years on frame
Actual Weight:
Blue/Red, M: 13230g

sizing chart

Switchblade size by rider height

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Geometry chart

Pivot

Geometry Chart

 

Switchblade 29er
150mm Travel Fork
 

Seat Tube

(c-t)

Effective Top Tube

(eTT)

Stack

(S)

Reach

(R)

Stand Over

Head Tube

(HT)

Head Tube Angle

(HTo)

Seat Tube Angle

(STo)

Bottom Bracket Height

(BBH)

Chainstay

(CS)

Wheelbase
S 16in 22.9in 23.82in 16.14in 27.75in 3.54in 67.25o 74.5o 13.38in 16.85in 44.61in
M 16.75in 24.2in 24.21in 17.32in 27.9in 4in 67.25o 74.25o 13.38in 16.85in 45.96in
L 18in 25in 24.41in 18.11in 28in 4.25in 67.25o 74.25o 13.38in 16.85in 46.85in
XL 19.5in 26in 24.8in 19.09in 28.8in 4.72in 67.25o 74.25o 13.38in 16.85in 48.02in

 

Switchblade 27.5+
150mm Travel Fork
 

Seat Tube

(c-t)

Effective Top Tube

(eTT)

Stack

(S)

Reach

(R)

Stand Over

Head Tube

(HT)

Head Tube Angle

(HTo)

Seat Tube Angle

(STo)

Bottom Bracket Height

(BBH)

Chainstay

(CS)

Wheelbase
S 16in 22.9in 24.02in 15.75in 27.65in 3.54in 66.5o 73.75o 13.27in 16.85in 44.78in
M 16.75in 24.2in 24.46in 16.93in 27.87in 4in 66.5o 73.5o 13.27in 16.85in 46.14in
L 18in 25in 24.7in 17.72in 27.9in 4.25in 66.5o 73.5o 13.27in 16.85in 47.02in
XL 19.5in 26in 25.14in 18.7in 28.82in 4.72in 66.5o 73.5o 13.27in 16.85in 48.19in

Reviews & Community

REVIEWS

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Super Fun, Gotta play with the Tune

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've been able to take my switchblade on a good variety of trails now. I'm coming off a 170mm 26 Giant Reign X, and feel that i can ride the switchblade about as hard on the way down, but absolutely cruise on the way up. Technical climbing is great (especially with the I9 hubs), and if you need to climb fire roads or pavement, the middle and firm settings feel perfect. The rear suspension certainly gives more feedback, and i suppose it couldn't handle the same size huck to flat as my big rig, but this bike can definitely be ridden aggressively. On a section of trail made up of medium size chunk, then 3 2-3 foot drops in quick succession, i had the sensation of the 29er accelerating and felt like i was hanging on: this thing goes fast! there is a little more work required to get up to speed, but after getting there, it will absolutely haul until you hit the brakes.

the big hoops certainly help get through chunk, though i don't charge rock gardens quite as hard as on the 170 bike. I did case a couple small doubles yesterday and the suspension did an admirable job getting the rear over the knuckle. as far as the 29er handling, i immediately felt at home with the new geo, and feel i can carve and make corrections equally as easily as my 26. Switchbacks are also a cinch.

On a 3-4 foot drop in a steep section of trail that sees you immediately get on the brakes to make a sharp left turn, the bike did feel a little squirreley, but i suspect this is because i have't gotten the tune quite where i want it to be yet, as opposed to any shortcomings in the design. The fork comes stock with one blue spacer which is waaaaaay too linear for this bike. I'm up to 3 orange and 1 blue with 25% and will probably take out the blue and run around 22% in the fork as medium hits are too harsh now. the shock/suspension has been great so far. i have yet to feel it bottom out, but have used full travel many times. the shock was quite warm after a fast/chunky descent (Nascar in carlsbad, CA) and i'm curious about switching to a float x or x2. I'd like to try adding a band in the air can and running slightly less pressure and see how it feels, but i am happy so far with the stock shock tune and wouldn't complain if it didn't get any better. at 195 with my riding gear, i found that the open 3 setting makes a HUGE difference accelerating through g-outs and minimizing pedal bob. definitely play with it.

there are only a few downsides, 2 of which will work themselves out. I've smacked my feet a couple times getting used to the wide q factor, but that dropped off after a few rides. you also gotta watch the rear der through any pinch points and it takes some mental adjustment to hug the left side even more when you come across any. other than that, the size L and XL should come with a 150mm dropper, and the fork should ship with bottomless tokens: it's silly that for a bike this price, i gotta spend another 9 bucks to get the fork to feel like it should. the xt brakes will squeal more than my 2013 xtrs, and the rear rotor should probably be a 180 as i've noticed just a touch of fade. also, as previously mentioned, the stock bars should be 760.

The bike climbs and descends great. the geo makes it easy to shift weight around when climbing, lay it over and drift through corners, and make mid turn corrections when you start to regret your past decisions. A couple parts in the spec should be updated and the fork should come stock with more tokens. I wouldn't take it to the park or on world cup DH runs, but i have loved this ride on everything else!

Long Travel 29er Trail Crusher

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I'm 5'11" and often am split between medium and large sizing. I decided to go large in this case and it didn't feel too big for me. I rode it at Park City Mountain Resort - fast and flowy for the most part, but found some good rock gardens to try test out how Pivot's long travel 29er could handle.

What I liked about this bike:
-The DW Link suspension makes this rig pedal like a beast. I left the rear suspension wide open most of the time and it pedaled great. I'm a big fan of how DW Link bikes pedal and this is no exception. I didn't feel it was necessary locking it out for the most part unless you're on a gravel road or something.
- This thing is an absolute tank for descending and general trail ripping; having the 29" wheels, the 135mm rear travel paired with the 150mm fork (also works well with a 160mm), and relatively slack head angle tube. Seriously plows through rock gardens and you can trust it underneath you.
-The long wheel base feels practically as long as a DH bike and feels entirely stable digging into corners and railing around berms.
-Components spec'd on this are top notch. Pretty hard to fault the XTR grupo and Fox suspension set up.

What I didn't like about this bike:
- I'd throw on a touch wider bars - 760 to 780 would be perfect. For how long it is, the wider bars would be give it a bit more control.
- Not sure whether it was the 29" wheels or the long wheelbase, but the bike was not easy to get airborne, at least not in the way that the Mach 6 is. While it feels very stable and tears up the trails, it isn't an entirely playful bike in the same sense. For those who don't mind keeping their rubber in contact with dirt, this bike would be perfect.
-As per usual, I would likely bump up to a 34t chainring.

If you're looking for a longer travel 29" bike that can pedal efficiently and crush trails up and down, this is the bike for you! I'd be more than happy to help get you dialed with this bike and spec'd best for you, hit me up at cojohnson@backcountry.com!

Long Travel 29er Trail Crusher

The evolution continues

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

Long travel 29ers get better and boostier with the Switchblade. Pivot is on a roll. As a Pivot owner, I can attest that the tech is legit, no gimmicks. Give me a shout directly and we can discuss the Switchblade as your next bike. btowery@backcountry.com 801-389-7247