Pivot Shuttle SL First Ride Report

FIRST RIDE REPORT

PIVOT SHUTTLE SL

Words by Sourpatch | Photos by Matt Jones/Pivot Cycles

The Super Light eMTB category or eBike Light as we call is has been on fire this year. With many brands launching capable lightweight eBikes like the new Trek Fuel EXe, HaiBike and even Transition announcing one on the horizon, Pivot wasn’t about to get left behind and launched their own SL eBike. A few weeks back I attended a Pivot Shuttle LT media event and as a bonus for our travels, Pivot Cycles and Absolute Bikes took our group out for a pretty epic 20-mile ride about the new Shuttle SL. The ride gave me enough time to get some initial impressions on the Fazua motor and the bike, but we’re really hoping to get one for a long term review in the near future.

QUICK HITS

  • 132mm DW-Link Suspension
  • Fazua Ride 60 System
  • 430wh Integrated Battery
  • Size-Specific Chainstays

Price: $8,299 – $11,999
Website: Pivotcycles.com

If you missed the launch announcement, the sleek new Shuttle SL is a 132mm rear travel lightweight ebike. Pivot partnered with Fazua to give a seamlessly integrated drive system. The motor – the Fazua Ride 60 – pumps out 60Nm of torque with 450 watts of peak power. Keeping the motor powered is an efficient, integrated 430Wh battery – one of the largest found in a lightweight carbon offering. Why did Pivot opt for an integrated battery you might ask? Well, not only does it save 1-pound over having a removable battery, but it also allows for a slimmer downtube which helps to create the extra-sleek aesthetic.

Pivot Shuttle SL First Ride Report

Moving to the handlebars, you will find Fazua’s Ring Control. The Ring Control is a 3-way switch: flicking it up or down cycles through the power modes; while pushing it towards the stem engages walk mode. The final piece of the electronic puzzle is the flush-mounted LED HUB display module. This module is simple in design, with just 5 LED dots to signify how much battery is left, and 4 colors for the different modes. Fazua has replaced the standard “eco, trail and boost” mode naming convention for their own. There is Breeze (eco) signified by green lights; River (Trail) with blue lights; Rocket (Boost) shows pink lights; and “off” showing white lights. Fazua recently added a fourth “Boost” mode, which gives the user a 4-second burst of 450 watts peak power, before it cycles back down to the mode the user was initially in. Circling back to the LED HUB, the module can be pulled up to show a usb-c port for phone charging or device connections. The LED HUB has both Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity so you can use your favorite device to display most information that is missed by using such a simple display. The drive system and its components weigh in at just over 9 lbs, making it a fairly light system overall.

Loosely based off the Trail 429 Enduro Edition, the Pivot Shuttle SL has relatively modest geometry. At 6’2, I was right on the large/x-large split, and though I was set-up on an XL initially, I’ll share the large spec as that is typically what we would all opt for at The Loam Wolf. The 132/150mm Shuttle SL has a 65-degree head tube angle with the flip chip set to the low position. Flipping to the high position, the head tube angle steepens half a degree. Similarly, the effective seat tube angle starts at 76-degrees in the low position and gains half a degree with the flip chip in the high position. The size large has a reach that falls right in the middle of our preferred numbers at 478mm in the low position and extends 4mm by switching the flip chip.

Pivot opted to use size-specific chainstays on the new Shuttle SL. Instead of making separate rear triangles for each size, the chainstay length is instead controlled by the front triangle. The size large has a chainstay length of 432mm to 434mm in the high and low positions, respectively. The wheelbase on the size large comes in at a versatile 1,240mm.

The Shuttle SL is available in 4 different builds starting at $8,299 for the Ride SLX/XT Build, and going all the way up to $11,999 for the World Cup XTR Build. We rode the Team XTR build which comes in at $11,599. The Team XTR build comes with Fox Factory suspension: a custom-tuned Float X out back, paired with an e-MTB tuned 36 providing 150mm of travel. Shimano’s XTR Groupo makes up most of the drivetrain and stopping power. Due to Fazua’s larger E-Tor spindle on the Ride 60 motor, Pivot and Fazua worked with ROTOR on a crankset to fit the motor, those being the 165mm Ekapic e-mtb cranks. In typical Pivot fashion, a pair of 29-inch Reynolds Blacklabel XC wheels was wrapped in Maxxis Dissector 2.4 tires to keep traction and rolling speed high. Rounding out the build are Pivot’s in-house Phoenix components. In a size medium, Pivot claims the Shuttle SL weighs in about 39lbs for the Team XTR build. The World Cup XTR build weighs in at a claimed 36.25lbs for a size medium with the Fox 34 fork.

EVOLUTION OF THE SHUTTLE SL

FIRST PROTOTYPE -> PRODUCTION
2018 – 2022

Pivot Shuttle SL First Ride Report

THE WOLF’S FIRST IMPRESSION

As mentioned above, I was only able to get a single ride in on the new Pivot Shuttle SL during the LT media event. Our ride was about 20 miles in length with only 1,800-feet of elevation – just enough to get a feel for the bike and its Fazua drive system. The ride started with an easy, almost 4-mile fire road pedal from the parking lot to the start of Rainbow Trail. Some of the group set out on the Rocket mode right away, while most of us stayed in between Breeze and River modes. I stayed in River for the majority of the ride. The Shuttle SL and Fazua Ride 60 system pedaled really well, and the motor itself was fairly silent with smooth power delivery. The XL that I was on provided me with a comfortable pedaling position, despite its 500mm reach number.

For those who haven’t ridden Rainbow trail, the 11-mile segment we rode leaned heavily on the XC side of things. Most of the trail was tight, exposed singletrack with a smorgasbord of awkward corners to punchy climbs. The Shuttle SL was easy to maneuver through technical rock sections and was quick on power when needed. The Maxxis Dissector tires did a phenomenal job holding traction around faster, exposed right hand corners, inspiring confidence to push faster and faster. The Shuttle SL’s nimbleness made it plenty playful on side hits. That said, the extra large frame’s 1,272mm wheelbase was a bit long for some of the near hairpin lefts that that paired with abrupt climbs immediately out of the corner. If I were regularly riding this type of terrain I’d probably opt for a large instead of an XL to shorten the overall length of the bike and my reach.

Pivot Shuttle SL First Ride Report

I was also unlucky enough to be offered one of the larges that a Pivot staff member was riding as the XL i was on started having wheel speed sensor issues. This ultimately left the bike powerless for the remainder of the ride. For those wondering about how the bike pedals dead, I did pedal the XL up the steepest climb on the ride, and although it was not fun, it was no worse than pedaling an acoustic enduro bike up a hill. The elevation could have also played a factor in the level of suck that climb was.

I felt much more at home on the size large, with the shorter wheelbase being most noticeable. A couple more traverses after the bike swap and the more fun descents arrived. A few of the segments were fast and extremely chunky but the Shuttle SL remained composed, and the custom tuned Float X helped soak up the trail with ease. The light weight of the Shuttle SL made it easy to pop some of the unintentional rock doubles and keep speeds high. Overall, Pivot did a great job on making a lightweight ebike that descends just as well as it climbs. The only thing I’m not a big fan of is the XTR drivetrain, which sounded absolutely awful when having to shift quickly under load to make an abrupt climb, and had me waiting for a chain break.

Santa Cruz Bronson V4 CC Action

Touching back on the Fazua Ride 60 system. I think it has excellent potential and will only get more refined as time move forward. The power delivery is smooth, and it is just powerful enough to prevent you from wanting more. The Ride 60 systems seems to be quite efficient – on our ride both bikes I rode returned to the parking lot with 3 out of 5 bars left, with most of the ride being run on the mid-assistance River mode. Though it’s clean, I would have preferred to see some sort of digital display versus the LED Hub that Fazua uses, personally. I don’t foresee myself, or many of our crew, mounting their cell phones or Garmins to the cockpit to use as a display like Fazua intends. The Ring Control looks great with its slim build but does take some getting used to, especially since most of the competition uses buttons that have a firm and noticeable click, but it isn’t a concern.

Despite the issue I faced with the bike I was on, I still rank the Pivot Shuttle SL fairly high on my list of lightweight ebikes. Even though I’ve had just a single ride on the bike, I can foresee myself putting it above the likes of the Levo SL and Orbea Rise already. Hopefully we will be able to get one soon to start a long-term review on the bike to be able to firmly and officially rank it. The SL category is on fire right now and I am all for it, and Pivot’s entry does not disappoint.

Visit Pivot Bikes to learn more.
Pivot Shuttle SL First Ride Report

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