Prowling for the podium.
If you're on the prowl for a stiff race bike that's ready to take over podiums left and right, it can be easy to nitpick the options, and while many rides have their shortcomings, we're struggling to find them on the 2018 Pivot LES 29 Carbon Race X01 Eagle Complete Mountain Bike. This ultra-stiff ride is ready for the starting line with the incredible efficiency of new-school XC geometry that attacks like a hungry lioness, and smooths out the trail ahead so you can outlast the competition on 24-hour endurance races, or outpace them on the lightning speed XC races. It carries on with the boosted axles that were introduced last year, allowing you to swap from the race-hungry 29er setup to a plush 27.5+ setup if you're heading out for off-season shredding, or craving a plush feel for pushing out miles on the rough terrain of the Colorado Trail.
The LES' geometry is a newer take on classic XC, meaning it's a bit slacker with a 69.5-degree head tube angle, which allows you to conquer technical courses without sacrificing its nimble handling or climbing prowess. 17.1-inch chainstays allow for agile cornering when you're negotiating switchbacks and cleaning tight sections of trail. It's equipped with a 100-millimeter FOX 32 Factory Step-Cast Fork, which keeps the geometry in-line with a race bike of this pedigree, as well as keeping overall weight down with the fork's stepped lowers.
All told, the latest model is a claimed 50g lighter than the previous LES. This weight loss is largely attributed to updated carbon fiber construction, with hollow core construction featuring an internal-mandrel process, but the new Swinger II dropout system also had something to do with the weight savings, as it's lighter than the original Swinger. Lower weight may sometimes pair its self with less efficiency, however the Swinger II interface is actually stiffer, which is most likely caused by the stretched out rear hub that was updated to Boost 148mm rear axle spacing. Like its heavier predecessor, the latest LES is built with the ultimate goal of finding the balance of comfort and efficiency — the holy grail of trail-tuning a frame
Pivot has recently overhauled their warranty on carbon frames to an impressive 10 years, meaning you'll likely be riding and racing on the LES for years to come. Seeing it's an investment destined to last, the LES is practically futureproof with its Di2 compatibility, which neatly houses all cables, wires, and batteries within Pivot's Cable Port System. This iteration comes decked out with a combination of SRAM's X01 and GX Eagle components, shaving the price down where possible while keeping the bike's shifting crispy, with a whopping 10 to 50-tooth cassette that gives you gears for days when you're fighting for a half-second gain to the top of the podium, or for giving your gams a break on tedious climbs with a generous bail-out cog to let you catch your breath.
- Shed weight with an ultra-stiff race-ready ride
- New-school geometry balances efficiency and comfort
- New Swinger II dropouts are lighter, and allows 29, 27.5+
- Designed to work for 100-130mm forks for an array of riding
- Boost 148mm rear axle spacing stiffens the rear end
- Frame comes in 50g lighter in weight than previous model
- Updated carbon fiber with hollow-core internal mandrel construction
- SRAM's X01 and GX1 Eagle components come together with massive gear range