FIRST RIDE REPORT
THE ALL-NEW PIVOT SHUTTLE
Words by Drew Rohde
Photos & Video by Brian Niles/Treeline Cinematics
Boasting a longer range, more power and more aggressive geometry, the new 29-inch wheeled 2021 Pivot Shuttle is here. Our team was lucky enough to get the inside scoop and have been working very closely with Pivot’s Chief Executive Shredder, Chris Cocalis over the last several months. In that time we’ve spent over 30-hours testing a prototype Pivot Shuttle, in a raw/unpainted finish to keep us under the radar, before receiving our “Switchblade green” production unit days before the embargo lifted. We’ve got just enough time on the finished Pivot Shuttle Team XTR model to give you some pretty thorough impressions on this eBike. But, before we get into the tweaks we made, the fun and conversations we’ve had during this process, let’s talk about what’s new for 2021.
Starting at the heart of the bike is Shimano’s new EP8 drive unit with a 726Wh battery. The battery is easily removable via two Allen bolts and the bike is also compatible with 504Wh and 630Wh batteries, should you want to order another battery to lighten the bike up for quick after-work rips or to pack a lighter spare for all day adventure rides. Pivot also moved the location of the On/Off button and charge ports, which make them easier to access.
Shimano’s new EP8 systems come with two factory preset power profiles that are easily customizable via the Shimano mobile app. Pivot worked with Shimano to develop two presets they think will cover most rider’s needs whether they’re looking for a full power-blaster ride or a slightly longer ride where a more natural feel and battery management is required. We rode in the stock settings for a while but wanted to experiment with the app so we did some tweaking and had fun changing up the settings, sometimes without telling whoever was going to ride the bike next.
Moving out from the drive unit and battery, riders may notice similar lines and aesthetic to the previous generation Shuttle, but there are in fact some significant differences. A new linkage design makes room for a Metric-length shock that has the Switchblade valving but is customized to meet the demands of an eMTB. The new linkage and shock help make the 140mm of rear wheel travel a bit more aggressive and ready to handle the faster and larger hits that the more aggressive geometry and 160mm Fox 38 will certainly lead you into.
We found the geometry to strike a nice balance of being playful without being twitchy. The chainstays struck a balance of being long enough to climb steep pitches with yet we could still manual this bike better than most eBikes we’ve been on. Granted that could also be a bonus of the higher 630mm stack height. After much demand, specifically from their European customers, Pivot added 10mm to the head tube height, and ships the bike with a lot of steerer tube spacers. We’re trying out the tall bar concept and aren’t 100% sold just yet, but we look forward to more laps at various bar heights. Along with the taller stack height, the new Pivot Shuttle has some other adjustments to the geometry. Our size large has a 460mm reach, 441mm chainstays, 74-degree seat tube angle and 64.3-degree head tube angle.