Dirt Rag Magazine

Pivot introduces new long-travel 29er / 27plus Switchblade



Pivot has just announced the release of its new long-travel 29er trail bike called the Switchblade. If the name sounds familiar that’s because about 10 years ago Pivot’s founder and owner Chris Cocalis created the original Switchblade with his first bike brand, the now defunct Titus Cycles.

Photo by Lear Miller

Photo by Lear Miller

The Switchblade fills an open gap in Pivot’s current line, namely a long-travel 29er with 150 mm of travel up front and 135 mm from the dw-link rear suspension. But there’s more to it. The Switchblade frame is compatible with 27plus wheels and tires. To make all this work with very short 16.85 inch chainstays and dual chainring compatibility Pivot is using 157 mm rear hub spacing. Before you scream about another new spacing standard it’s important to note that 157 (also known as Super Boost Plus) isn’t all that new–it’s found on current downhill bikes and hubs are readily available.


Key features

  • Compatible with both 29 and 27plus wheel sizes
  • Fits 27plus tires up to 3.25” wide
  • Fits 29er tires up to 2.5” wide
  • Features Pivot’s new long and low geometry
  • Ultra short 428 mm (16.85 inch) chainstays
  • Front derailleur compatible with Pivot’s stealth E-Type mounting system
  • 135 mm travel dw-link rear suspension with upper clevis and linkage and double wishbone rear triangle designed for a 150 mm fork and fits forks up to 160 mm travel
  • 27plus spec’d with either 40 mm inner width DT Swiss alloy or Reynolds carbon wheels and Maxxis Rekon 2.8″ tires
  • 29er spec’d with 25 mm inner width DT Swiss rims or 28 mm inner width Reynolds Enduro carbon rims and Maxxis High Roller II 2.3” tires
  • Pivot Cable Port system for easy internal routing of shifters, brakes and dropper posts as well as full Shimano Di2 Integration
  • New ultra-quiet low durometer rubberized frame protection 
  • 6.4 lbs (2,900 grams) for a medium frame with rear shock


Pivot includes a headset spacer with every bike so riders can personalize geometry to their local trails and/or tire size selection.


Geo copy


As you’d expect, Pivot is a luxury brand so pricing starts at $6,299 for an XT/XTR 1×11 mix in either wheelsize and tops out at $10,099 for Shimano Di2 and Reynolds carbon wheels. It has been indicated that sub-$5,000 aluminum bikes will be available in the near future.



Trail Tested: Pivot Mach 429SL

dirt-rag-pivot mach4SL-1

Pivot isn’t a brand that rests on its laurels. With the undeniable success of the original aluminum Mach 429 came the natural progression to a full carbon frame in 2013. More than just a change of frame material, the bike also had small but important geometry tweaks to further refine the already great-handling machine. Now, for this year, Pivot is at it again, further refining the Mach 429 with the new 429SL.

While geometry remains the same, new hollow-core carbon technology increases stiffness and shaves half a pound off the previous carbon frame, now 5.3 pounds including the shock. Match that to 100 mm of potent dw-link-controlled suspension and this venerable favorite becomes even more attractive.

The frame comes standard with a Fox Float Factory shock and a 120 mm travel Fox 32 CTD Factory fork, but geometry is designed to work with a 100 mm travel fork as well. As shown, our bike weighs 25.2 pounds without pedals, but could be less with a standard seatpost and lighter wheels. The bike’s stiffness and seemingly bottomless suspension creates a feel of confidence not usually associated with 100 mm travel frames. Of course, the fact that the geometry is adjusted to comfortably accept a 120 mm fork certainly adds to that go-anywhere attitude.

dirt-rag-pivot mach4SL-2

With a head angle measuring in at 69.3 degrees with the 120 mm fork, Pivot is utilizing a fairly common number for cross-country bikes. That’s matched to mid-length chainstays to keep the bike quick and nimble. A 100 mm fork steepens the head angle to 70.3 degrees, speeding things up to World Cup cross-country handling. Climbing, the 429SL has just a touch of movement at the very top of the stroke to maintain traction on technical climbs, with excellent anti-squat from the dw-link design to keep the bike feeling fresh and spunky when really putting power to the pedals on smooth sections. Generally, I kept both the front and rear suspension set in Trail mode for the majority of my ride time, using Climb only for long sections of smoothness and Descend when I knew it was time for a long downhill.

On the East Coast’s rough and rocky trails, the Pivot’s active dw-link characteristics made it feel planted and confident at any speed. Its geometry, while stable at speed, makes it one of the easiest-handling 29ers I’ve ridden. The Mach quickly sneaks around the tightest of switchbacks, climbing or descending. Out West, on faster, open trails with more sustained climbing, the 429SL made it easy to maintain speed through sweeping corners with precise steering.

Thanks to the Pivot’s handy little plastic guide zip-tied to the shock, setting up sag for racing or trail riding is easy. The Pivot frame also provides ample standover height and room for one bottle cage, though I had to turn the shock around, moving the Fox CTD adjuster upward to get clearance for easy bottle removal—a trick Pivot suggests, with no effect on damper performance.

dirt-rag-pivot mach4SL-3

The Mach 429SL is the second-ever production bike released with full Shimano XTR Di2 integration, and using Shimano’s Pro-line Tharsis XC Flat Di2-specific stem and carbon handlebar with internal wire routing, the XTR Di2 wires are almost completely hidden and totally out of view at the cockpit. The complete package showcases Pivot’s beautiful and thoughtful design.

The Mach 429SL Carbon frameset retails for $2,999, and various complete bikes are offered. The Shimano XTR Di2 bike retails for $10,400 with a few slight differences from ours, including Reynolds carbon wheels, Pivot-branded Phoenix Carbon seatpost and handlebars and an aluminum Team stem.

Vital Stats

  • Price: $2,999 (frameset with shock)
  • Sizes: S, M (tested), L, XL
  • Wheelbase: 43.9 inches
  • Top Tube: 24inches
  • Head Angle: 69.3 degrees
  • Seat-Tube Angle: 71.9 degrees
  • Bottom Bracket: 13 inches
  • Rear Center: 17.65 inches
  • Weight: 25.15 pounds (w/o pedals)
  • specs based on size tested

Video: Summertime shredding with Pivot Cycles

Emilie and Bernard have been a man down with Eliot doing some important rehab after his big spring crash, but he’s coming back this weekend and they are stoked to be all together again at the Swiss world cup of Lenzerheide. In the meantime, the crew has been carving berms in the awesome Austrian mountains, things don’t go as planned at the crazy urban downhill race in Bratislava and Emilie is getting her style dialed.


Inside Line: Our first look at the New Pivot Mach 429 Trail


The latest Pivot trail and all-mountain bikes—the Mach 4 and Mach 6—have been a big success, but most recently the 29ers have been restricted to the cross-country end of its lineup. Now the new Mach 429 Trail lets 29er fans—ourselves included—enjoy the excellent dw-link suspension on more rowdy trails.


Pivot started the design with a ride experience in mind, not a travel number, so while it may seem odd that the bike ended up with 116mm of travel, the new linkage design features influences from the Mach 6 and Phoenix downhill bike for a much larger feel. The suspension moves through a custom tuned Fox Float DPS shock with two sets of valves and pistons similar to what is found in the dual chamber Fox Float X shock.


The full carbon frame is designed for a 120mm or 130mm fork and while it’s sold as a 29er, the Boost spacing front and rear allow it to fit a 27.5×3.0 wheel and tire too.


While most of Pivot’s mountain bikes have internal cable routing, the 429 Trail routes its cables on the bottom of the down tube for easy maintenance—though the dropper post has stealth routing. Those cables run to a direct mount or standard rear derailleur and a Shimano side-swing front derailleur.


If built with a single chainring, the mount is removable for a cleaner look. The external routing also makes the frame a little less expensive than the Mach 4 or Mach 6. Like all Pivot bikes, the bottom bracket shell is a Shimano PF92 that allows the frame and bottom bracket junction to be as large and stiff as possible.


The geometry is in line with the current trend with a longer front center and slacker head tube angle. At 67.5 degrees it is on par with the new breed of 29er trail bikes like the Kona Process 111, Evil The Following, Specialized Camber EVO and Transition Smuggler.


The Mach 429 Trail frame and shock will be available in two colors and sell for $2,499 when they go on sale at the end of July and complete bikes will be available in eight different build kits from $3,999.



First Impression: Pivot Mach 429SL


The new carbon Mach 429SL from Pivot Cycles shaves half a pound off the previous frame to come in at a very respectable 5.3 pounds. Match that to 100 mm of potent dw-link controlled suspension and this venerable favorite becomes even more attractive. New hollow-core carbon technology from Pivot not only reduces weight but also increases overall stiffness.


The Mach 429SL is the second ever production bike released with full Shimano XTR Di2 integration (the Mach 4 Carbon was the first) with an easily accessible internal battery compartment near the bottom bracket as well as internal ports with dedicated caps for wires or traditional cables and housing. The frame is also RockShox Reverb stealth dropper post compatible or in our case, the cable and housing from the Fox DOSS dropper routes internally in the top tube.


Our bike is built up with a complete XTR Di2 group, including Race level brakes and wheels as well as Shimano’s Pro line Tharsis XC Flat Di2 specific stem and carbon handlebar with internal wire routing. By using these the wiring system is almost completely hidden in the frame and totally out of view at the cockpit.

dirt-rag-Pivot-Mach429sl-5 dirt-rag-Pivot-Mach429sl-6

The frame comes standard with a Fox Float Kashima Factory shock with Pivot’s simple to use sag indicator. It also has a 120 mm travel Fox 32 CTD Factory Kashima coated fork but the geometry is designed to work with a 100 mm travel fork as well. As shown, our bike weighs 25.15 pounds without pedals but depending on some specific parts could be built to less than 24 pounds.


With a head angle measuring in at 69.3 degrees, Pivot is utilizing a fairly common number for its cross-country specific Mach. That’s matched to 17.65-inch chainstays to keep the bike quick and nimble. So far its 100mm of rear travel has been highly impressive, often giving the illusion of having more travel at higher speeds. Climbing, the Mach is consistently active but excellent anti-squat from the dw-link design keeps the bike feeling fresh and spunky when putting power to the pedals on smooth sections without giving up compliancy and traction on technical climbs

The Mach 429 SL Carbon frameset retails for $2,999 and various complete bikes are offered. The Shimano XTR Di2 bike retails for $10,400 with a few slight differences from ours including Reynolds carbon wheels, a Pivot branded Phoenix Carbon seat post and handlebar, and Team stem. For first impressions of XTR Di2 click here and here.



Pivot unveils full carbon fat bike, the LES Fat


While Pivot is perhaps best known for its high-performance suspension bikes like the new Mach 429SL, it is expanding its lineup into the fat tire realm with the launch of the new LES Fat model.

Because the full-carbon frame uses an arching dropout system like to the one found on the LES hardtail, the LES Fat can accommodate all manner of “fat” tires, from 26×4.8 to 29×3 and the emerging 27.5+ sizes. Because of its adjustability, it can retain an ideal geometry, Pivot says, despite the wide variation in bottom bracket height that the different wheels would normally create. The rider can also adjust the ride characteristics by using it to fine-tine chainstay length from 17.2 inches to 17.76 inches. The rear axle is spaced at 197mm with a 12mm thru axle.


Because the height of the front end can vary as well, Pivot includes an 18mm external headset cup that can be used to adjust the front end height based on wheel choice and rider preference, whether it’s with a RockShox Bluto fork or the stock, full-carbon fork. The press fit bottom bracket has a 15mm smaller Q-factor than most fat bikes, Pivot says, thanks to the special E-Thirteen crankset that is compatible with both single and double-chainring setups.


Use the magnifying glass at the bottom right to see full-size images

The frame uses a similar design as Pivot’s other new mountain bikes, with a smart cable port system that can cleanly fit any type of cable needs, including an internally-routed dropper seatpost. While it may seem to fall at the sporty end of the spectrum, it has three sets of bottle cages and rear rack mounts to handle any adventure.


There are three sizes available and prices start at $2,599 for the frame/fork/headset. A complete bike with Sram XO1 and the carbon fork will set you back $4,699. Pivot says they expect the bikes to begin shipping in about two weeks.

Want to try one for yourself? Chances are the new LES Fat will make an appearance at Dirt Rag’s Dirt Fest presented by Pivot Cycles, so we hope you can join us.



Pivot Cycles signs freerider Aaron Chase

Courtesy of Pivot Cycles


Pivot Cycles is pleased to announce the addition of Aaron Chase to their roster of riders. Chase, a master in the world of freeride, is best known for pushing boundaries and for his technical and creative style, both on and off the bike. He has graced the covers of countless magazines, stood atop the most sought after podiums and is now best known for his progressive video projects. As a content producer for both GoPro and Red Bull Media House, Aaron’s videos have been seen on most major TV networks and his You Tube views number well over 100 million. Chase has signed a multi-year deal with Pivot Cycles.

Chase was born and raised in New Hampshire; calling Highland Mountain Bike Park his summer home and spending the remainder of the year at his home in New Jersey at the foothills of Mountain Creek Bike Park.

“This is a new chapter, and I am excited to work with the entire team at Pivot. In order to make the kind of videos I’m known for, I need a full line of top tier bikes and the Pivot Cycles quiver that now lives in my garage is unbelievable. It’s like opening the door and seeing someone put a couple of Lambos in there. I also have to thank my long time friend Dave Weagle of dw-link fame for making the introduction,” said Chase.

“Aaron will bring something truly unique to the Pivot family – his innovative riding style is matched only by his ability to test equipment to its very limits,” said Chris Cocalis, president of Pivot Cycles. “We look forward to seeing Pivot Cycles in Aaron’s incredible Red Bull and GoPro projects and to benefiting from his contributions to our product development process.“

Aaron Chase will be riding the new Pivot Cycles Phoenix Carbon DH as his downhill bike with the Mach 6, Point and M4X models for enduro, dirt jump and slopestyle applications, respectively. Additional bikes will be added to the quiver as the season and events dictate.

Chase will debut his full range of 2015 sponsors, including his Phoenix Carbon DH at the upcoming Manizales Urban Downhill Race in Colombia, where he will be filming the next video in his renowned Red Bull Media House “Through My Eyes Series”.

Keep up with Aaron Chase via Instagram: aaronchase, Twitter: @chaselife and Facebook: aaronchase17. Find Pivot Cycles at pivotcycles.com, Facebook: PivotCycles, Twitter: @PivotCyclesUSA, Instagram: pivot_cyclesusa



Registration Now Open for Dirt Fest presented by Pivot Cycles

Dirt Fest 2015_Pivot

We’re excited to announce Pivot Cycles will join us at Dirt Fest 2015 as our Presenting Sponsor. Pivot Cycles will be on-hand with a demo truck packed full of the latest Mach 4 Carbon, Mach 429SL and Mach 6 models.

Registration to Dirt Fest 2015 is open now at BikeReg.

If you don’t already know, Dirt Fest is the sixth annual gathering of the mountain bike tribe takes place on a wooded, porcupine-infested peninsula, jutting out into Central Pennsylvania’s Raystown Lake, the third weekend in May. There are 36 miles of fast, fun, flowy trails known as the Allegrippis Trails System just a few pedal strokes away from event HQ and a new trail on the other side of the lake accessible only via boat, the Terrace Mountain Trail. We will be offering a limit number of spots on the boat to access it, so sign up as soon as you arrive.

Weekend shenanigans include but are in no way limited too…..

  • Womens Only Skills Clinics and rides throughout the weekend.
  • Weekend Only Skills Park with professional skills clinics.
  • Themed Group Rides; night, costumed, fat bike, unicycle, kids, teens, and whatever else we might come up with.
  • The famed Dirt Fest Epic with a boat shuttle
  • Live music, craft beer and revelery both nights!
  • A huge expo with tons of demo bikes, packs, helmets, shoes, etc.
  • Boat Shuttles across Lake Raystown to and from Terrace Mountain Trail.
  • And more!

Everything above is included in the $40 Weekend Pass. Parking and camping space not included.

A portion of the proceeds from Dirt Rag Dirt Fest go directly to support the Allegrippis Trails System, through the Friends of Raystown Lake Trails Fund. Thus far the event has donated nearly $20,000 to the trails which keeps them open and maintained.


General admission – ($40 pre reg/ $55 day of)

Everyone (even houseboaters) looking to participate in Dirt Fest will need to register for the Weekend Event Pass. This will allow you to ride any demo bike you like, take any class or clinic, use the shuttles, enjoy the social events, you get the idea.

The event opens to the public at noon on Friday.

Camping – ($20 per individual, pre registration only)

Be sure to register for camping if you plan to camp at Susquehannock Campground, the home base for Dirt Fest. This camping registration includes Friday and Saturday nights, Thursday if you’d like to come early. Susquehannock Campground will close on Sunday at 3pm.

Camping is primitive and sometimes crowded‚ others call it cozy. Register as either Camping at Dirt Fest with a group or Camping at Dirt Fest as an individual.

Parking – ($30 per vehicle/ limited to 300)

For those camping at Susquehannock only!

In an effort to improve event safety and encourage carpooling (or riding) to the event, we’ll be limiting the number of vehicles that can park at Susquehannock campsites.

If you wish to park your vehicle at or near your campsite, you’ll need to purchase one $30 parking pass per vehicle.

However, purchasing a parking pass is not mandatory. If you do not wish to purchase a parking pass, you will be issued a temporary pass for the purpose of unloading camping gear. After unloading your gear, you will be required to move your car to a remote parking area.

Sponsors and Exhibitors

In addition to Pivot Cycles, we have commitments from Michelin, NiteRider, Velocity Wheels, MET Helmets, Pearl Izumi, Hutchinson, FiveTen, Ibis, Juliana, Gravity Components, Rocky Mountain, Community Bikes and Boards, Santa Cruz, Rothrock Outfitters, Scott Sports, SRAM, Transition Bikes, Trek, Niner, Kona and many more to come.

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or joining our expo area, please contact Trina Haynes via [email protected].

If you are a local business in Huntingdon County and would like to become involved contact Evan Gross via [email protected].


If you are serious about volunteering, we are serious about having you. We are talking the real deal: a 1 a.m.-traffic-directing, registration-tent-working, toilet-paper-restocking, recycle-container-emptying, T-shirt-wearing VOLUNTEER!

  • Must be willing to work a minimum of six hours a day.
  • Must sign up for hours one month prior to event.
  • Show Up and Smile, don’t stop until Sunday at 3 p.m.!
  • Think this sounds like you? Contact Evan at [email protected]

Latest info

To keep in tune with all the latest info about the festival follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/dirtragdirtfest

Photo Gallery

In case you missed it, here are some photos from Dirt Fest 2014.



Pivot Cycles unveils new 429SL carbon


Earlier this year the release of the Mach 4 Carbon was big news for Pivot Cycles, as its first step into the 27.5 market. Now it has followed it up with something even bigger—a 429SL with the same carbon design, dw-link suspension and full XTR Di2 compatibility.


According to Pivot the carbon 429SL drops more than half a pound of frame weight from the previous version of the carbon 429. It also features a series of ports whereby the bike can be outfitted with any type of mechanical or electronic drivetrain with cables routed internally for a clean look. Claimed frame weight is 5.2 pounds and a complete bike can be built less than 23 pounds, Pivot says.


The dw-link retains its 100mm of suspension travel and can be paired with a 100mm or 120mm fork. In between you’ll find a PF92 bottom bracket, direct mount front derailleur compatibility, and sealed Enduro cartridge bearings throughout. It also features internally-routed dropper post compatibility.

The 429SL is available in three colors and four sizes, with a 70.3 degree head tube angle, 12.75-inch bottom bracket height and 17.65-inch chainstays (with a 100mm fork). The Mach 429SL Carbon frame will retail for $2,999 and will be available in a wide range of builds starting at $4599 (XT/SLX) and continuing to $8,849 complete with XTR 2x and Reynolds carbon wheels, or $10,400 with XTR Di2 and Reynolds carbon wheels.


Correction: This post originally misstated the weight savings from the previous model. The new 429SL has dropped half a pound from the previous version of the carbon 429.

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