The power wagon.
Your friends might think you're on a warpath when you hit the trails on the 2018 Pivot Switchblade Carbon 29 Pro X01 Eagle Complete Mountain Bike, and we can't entirely blame them, its versatility and all-around trail hungry geometry puts it among the top all-mountain trail weapons we've been able to get out hands on. Its 2017 release showed us just how far Pivot's engineers wanted to push Boost axle standards, allowing for more room than before for tire clearance, while shortening chainstays and keeping your Q-factor where it's comfortable. This trail-ready machine is ready to conquer the whole mountain, and slide its way from trail to enduro and back again, thanks to its beefy 150mm fork that soaks up big hits, while 135mm of DW-link suspension comes along to lock your traction to the ground when powering up long climbs. This model is paired with the huge, versatile gearing of SRAM's X01 eagle, to keep you pedaling though the techiest terrain filled with big power moves, and a full FOX suspension, to soak up the chunder when things get a bit rowdy.
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. 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 if you're feeling it, you can 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 whipping through tight trees and negotiating sketchy sections of trail where instantaneous response is necessary. The low-slung chassis sticks to the trail while 29-inch wagon wheels roll over root and rock impediments without the jarring sensation normally attributed to smaller wheels. 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.
- Charge from trail to enduro on this chunder hungry ride
- Short chainstays keep this all mountain machine lively and bright
- Soak up chunky lines with a beefy 150mm fork
- Long and slack geometry conquers rowdy lines
- Super Boost rear axle for extra tire clearance
- Built with wagon wheels for banging out maximum miles
- High-modulus carbon frame is light, stiff, and strong