Pivot Takes a Step Back in Time - Pivotles carbon hardtail 29er
Pivot was founded on a series of successful dual-link full-suspension bikes that run the gamut from XC racing to World Cup downhillers and until now, there was no hardtail in the lineup. The 29-inch-wheel Pivotles (pun intended) is Pivot's first hardtail and it looks to be a winner, with a beautiful carbon fiber frame that can be converted into a single-speed with the addition of a clever interchangeable rear dropout system. Pivotles frames weigh only 2.5 pounds in the medium size and feature modern, technical-terrain-friendly geometry and a number of innovative elements that underscore designer Chris Cocalis' incessant quest for improvement. Pivotles frames cost $1999 and are sold in small, medium, large and X-large sizes. Colors are Orange or matte carbon with either red or blue accents. Pivot's first hardtail 29er features a carbon fiber frame with modern trail geometry and it is based upon forks in the 100 to 120-millimeter travel range.
Why a hardtail?
When asked why a hardtail popped out in Pivot's carbon development program, Chris admitted that pressure from the brand's sponsored racers and loyal customers for a lightweight hardtail was mounting to the point where he could not ignore it any longer. Cocalis also nodded towards the Niner tent at Interbike's Dirt Demo expo area and mentioned that his nearest competition the big wheel marketplace was selling a lot of hardtails. Cocalis was quick to point out that the Pivotles was intended to fill the XC racing and performance XC-trail niche and, while its 69.5 degree head angle and short, 17.1-inch chainstays give his 29er a decided advantage in technical situations, it was not designed to fit into the rigid-rear-end, all-mountain category.
(From left) Pivot joins the internal cable guide movement with nicely sculpted entry points behind the sleek head tube junction. The seat tube widens considerably as it meets the frame's 92-millimeter PressFit bottom bracket. A look at the carbon fiber hatch that allows easy access to the frame's internally routed hoses and housings.
Pivotles frames feature internal cable routing to keep the profile clean and simple, and to ensure that the assembler and owner will not have to struggle with threading hoses and housings through the frame, a carbon fiber door is fitted under the down tube near the bottom bracket to facilitate that process. The front derailleur is a direct mount type, which keeps the shifting crisp, and a cover is sold in the $150 single-speed kit that also includes a pair of micro-adjustable dropouts as well as plugs for the derailleur housing holes in the frame to clean up the look of the bike.
Three views of Pivot's Swinger dropout system, which employs a 142/12-millimeter through-axle. Two Allen screws fix the dropout to the frame. The dropouts set against the frame in two planes to ensure adequate stiffness. Note how the left-side dropout integrates the brake caliper mounts to maintain proper relationship with the rotor.
On the subject of single-speed conversion, Pivot has applied for a patent on its Swinger dropout system. The chain-adjustment screws are indexed with a detent spring that clicks every 90 degrees of rotation. The left-side Swinger dropout incorporates the brake caliper mount so that the brake always remains in alignment with the rotor as the chain tension is adjusted. Pivot did not have an example of the single speed option at Interbike's demo area, but the design looks good.
As mentioned, Pivot sells the Pivotles as a frame only, or as a complete bike in a number of build kits that range from $3799 to the top-drawer $6699 Carbon XTR ensemble. The most popular build, says Cocalis, is the $4999 Shimano XT/XTR option (Add $150 if you want the single speed dropout kit). Pivot will be shipping the new 29er to dealers this fall.