The ultimate trail weapon.
With the explosion of plus-size tires on the market, it was only a matter of time before the boundary-pushing engineers at Pivot designed their very own trail machine with voluminous rubber for steamrolling every line in sight. In 2017 Pivot took the plus-sized tires and BOOST axle standards to entirely new levels with the Switchblade, and with the love it received it's no surprise that they've chosen to carry it forward to 2018 for the Switchblade Carbon 27.5+ Pro X01 Eagle Complete Mountain Bike. This beefy trail machine conquers the whole mountain, blurring the line between trail and enduro, with a massive, 150mm fork soaking up the chunder, while 135mm of DW-Link suspension pairs along to track lines and power up climbs. It keeps a slacked out attitude, with a 67.25-degree head tube, which give it confidence and power descending, and with plus tires this beast becomes the ultimate trail weapon that holds tight to loose berms and soaks up roots and rocks.
Not content with merely rocking the Boost standards now ubiquitous with plus-sized rigs and aggressive 29ers, Pivot invented their own Super Boost Plus 157 axle for the rear end. This new axle standard adds an additional 9 millimeters of room to the rear axle, which results in 12 millimeters of additional tire clearance. This also elevates the rear wheel's stiffness significantly, in Pivot's opinion, better matching it to the increased stiffness of a front wheel with regular Boost spacing. Essentially, it combines a DH chainline with a typical 5-inch bike's Q-factor and heel clearance. The introduction of a gravity-sized rear axle has serious implications for an aggressive all-mountain rig, and these implications travel far beyond the dramatic increase in wheel stiffness afforded by its spoke bracing angle.
The biggest effect of the Super Boost rear hub is that the Switchblade enjoys the clearance to run traditional 29-inch hoops, or in this case, add an additional element of bump compliance and traction with 27.5+ wheels and tires. Either way, the extra-wide spacing allows Pivot to go freaky-short with chainstay lengths on the Switchblade, chopping them down to an astonishing 16.85 inches by moving the rear wheel up towards the seat tube. That's a dimension that embarrasses bikes with standard BOOST rear axles, and it pairs well with a Phoenix-inspired, double-wishbone rear triangle that stiffens both the pedaling interface and linkage design.
Geometry wise, the rest of the Switchblade is similarly capable of making mincemeat of dicey lines and rolling over large obstacles standing in your way. The snappy-short rear end makes for quick turning when you're slaloming around tight corners and negotiating sketchy sections of trail where instantaneous response is necessary. The low-slung chassis sticks to the trail while larger 2.8-inch tires roll over root and rock impediments without the jarring sensation normally attributed to skinnier trail tires. Its longer top tube and reach keep things comfortable on long descents, so you're not cramped in the cockpit. Another geometry nuance is the relatively steep seat tube, which optimizes pedaling efficiency on long uphills sections.
- All-mountain machine with short and lively chainstays
- 135mm of DW-Link travel for efficiency and bump compliance
- 150mm of front travel for smoothing out big obstacles
- Long and slack geometry conquers rowdy lines
- Super Boost rear axle for extra tire clearance
- Elements of the DH Phoenix reinforce the rear linkage
- Plus-sized tires for incredible traction and smooth ride
- High-modulus carbon frame is light, stiff, and strong