2023 EMTB SHOOTOUT
PIVOT SHUTTLE LT REVIEW
ALL ROUND E-ENDURO EXCELLENCE
Photos by Max Rhulen & Dusten Ryen
Video by Brian Niles / Treeline Cinematic
Before bringing the Pivot Shuttle LT to our 2023 eMTB Shootout for review, we had the pleasure of putting in a lot of base miles. Like many of the eBikes in our group review, we do our best to have lots of different riders take the test bikes to the trails they love, or hate, most. This allows us to see where the bikes shine, where they aren’t ideal and also offer insight to potential customers as to who these things are built and designed for. In fact, Pivot originally sent us a size large Pivot Shuttle LT and while we enjoyed the many improvements over its Shuttle AM predecessor, we felt there was some performance missing for our preferred riding terrain and style. Lucky for us Pivot was open to sending a size medium – you may remember seeing our “Should You Size Up, or Size Down?” bike geometry video. Ever since, we’ve grown very fond of the Pivot Shuttle LT and how it performs over a wide variety of terrain. But how does it compete against a very stacked field of aggressive enduro eMTBs? Read on to learn more about our long-term review of the Pivot Shuttle LT as part of our 2023 eMTB Shootout.
2023 EMTB SHOOTOUT SERIES – This bike was one of 13 that our staff thoroughly tested with absolute objectivity in mind. From different types of riders to terrain, our goal is to present the best and most honest information possible to help you make your best decision. Of course, we’d love to thank Fox Racing and Schwalbe Tires for being invaluable partners to this series and making it happen.
• 160mm DW-Link Suspension
• 29” Wheels
• Shimano EP8 Motor
• 756Wh Battery
• Seatstay Flip Chip
• HTA 64.5
• STA 77.5 (effective)
• REACH 491 (Large)
Price: $9,899 (Ride) – $11,999 (Team XTR – tested)
FRAME AND FEATURES
Pivot Shuttle LT is a 29”-wheeled 170mm front and 160mm rear travel bruiser with high speeds, chunky trails and big smiles on its mind. Using the Pivot Firebird as inspiration, Pivot designed the Shuttle LT to be a capable all-round enduro eBike with geometry and suspension to tackle the trail ahead, whether it be up or down hill.
Like the rest of Pivot’s full suspension mountain bikes, the Shuttle LT employs the DW-Link suspension platform, however we feel that the extra weight of the eBike-platform takes the edge off some of the higher-frequency hits that some riders notice on DW bikes. We’re fans of how eBikes make suspension feel and the Shuttle LT is a great example of that.
DRIVE UNIT AND ELECTRONICS
The Shuttle LT is one of the seven bikes using a Shimano STEPS EP8 drive system in this year’s shootout, offering up 85Nm of torque for its 2.6kg weight. This is powered by a 756Wh Darfon battery integrated into the downtube and removable from a port in the downtube in around a minute. As with the majority of EP8-equipped systems, the Shuttle LT uses the EM800 display and EM-800L assist switch, offers ECO, TRAIL and BOOST modes, and pairs with the Shimano E-TUBE PROJECT app for mode customization and diagnostics.
If you missed our Size Up or Size Down Video, we’d suggest riders take a good look at dimensions on a bike you really enjoy and if you’re in doubt, size down. You’ll be rewarded with a much livelier and lighter feeling bike that is more fun in more places. The Shuttle LT has well-rounded enduro geometry, with no stand-out number to create a versatile ride.
Never one to be bashful about the lust-worthiness of their bikes, Pivot Cycles offers just two models of the Shuttle LT, the $9,899 Ride spec or the Team spec, which retails for $11,999. In our opinion the Ride model would be the one to pick for those on a budget as you’re still going to be stoked with Fox Performance Elite suspension, Shimano SLX Brakes and shifters with XT derailleur and big Galfer rotors mounted to DT Swiss Hybrid H1900 wheels. Stepping up to the Team spec however will get you XT cranks with Shimano XTR everywhere else and upgraded DT Swiss HX1501 wheels along with Fox Factory suspension. It leaves little to be desired, but you’d hope so at that price.
SETUP | Coming into this test the Shuttle LT was a bike that a couple of our testers had already spent quite a bit of time on and had high hopes the rest of the crew would feel the same. Without sharing our input or bias, it was quick to see by the smiles on the other rider’s faces that they felt it too. Some bikes take time to dial in while others just feel right. The Shuttle LT, when you’ve got the right size, feels like home.
The Shuttle LT’s suspension platform required very little effort to tune and that’s something we really like as testers and riders. We’re constantly swapping between bikes, and when it takes little more than getting air pressure and your preferred rebound feel set, it’s a major plus. It’s also a great indicator that the bike’s been designed well and the company worked with their suspension partner to give consumers a great off-the-shelf ride. No need for $1,200 shocks, or crazy custom tuning here, just hop on and let it rip. The suspension offers a firm, but not harsh feel that allows the bike to pump and accelerate nicely on backsides but doesn’t abuse the rider or hang up on square-edge hits.
ELECTRONICS & INTEGRATION | As Shimano EP8-equipped bikes go, Pivot has done a good job with their Shuttle LT at integrating it cleanly, with the painted motor cover showing little of the motor and the small Darfon charger plug blending into the seat tube. The top tube on-off switch and USB-C charging port are neat, though we found the button could become sticky after some use. With the Shimano system though there’s no getting away from the extra wires required for the remote and display – it’d be great to see wireless versions in the future.
The Shimano motor is a solid performer but not the most powerful out there, especially notable for heavier riders where it can bog down if cadence drops or the terrain pitches up suddenly. The large 756Wh Darfon battery gives good range that is much appreciated to squeeze in that extra lap or two, but while some folks seem to be focusing on the “more is better” mentality of battery size, we rarely find ourselves draining this large battery, and would gladly take the 1.5-2lb weight savings. It would be great to have the option to select a battery size to best fit each rider’s preferences.
CLIMBING | The climbing position is efficient and comfortable and we were able to billy goat up some pretty impressive techy climb challenges, but it was also a bike that you could sit on and grind away for an hour-long climb. Traction and comfort strike a nice balance and this was a bike our crew enjoyed pointing uphill.
DESCENDING | As great as the Shuttle LT is to climb, this is a bike designed to go downhill fast, and it does that exceptionally well. Most of our riders in the 5’10-6’1 range preferred the size medium while our 6’2” and up guys liked the size large. What we noticed is that the medium rides a lot more playfully and feels much lighter, especially in the front end. Snapping it out of corners into a manual or little trail-pops off smaller features required less effort on the shorter medium-size bike. The small sizing gaps will let most riders choose between two or even three sizes to obtain their preferred handling characteristics. Compared to other bikes in the roundup, the Pivot Shuttle LT strikes a really nice balance of being confident and composed enough to tackle the truly gnarly downhill tracks but is still playful enough to pop and play on mellower trails. It’s an excellent all-rounder.
FINISH AND VALUE | The Pivot is put together very well, with a very refined feeling all around. Speaking value, it’s difficult for us to vouch for a $12k bike as “good value”, but given the high spec, quality finish and excellent performance, it seems about right. If you’ve got this sort of money to spend on an enduro eMTB, the Shuttle LT will serve you very well.
So, do we have anything we don’t like about the Pivot Shuttle LT? Other than the fact that we couldn’t afford one comfortably, there’s not much that we’d change. It would also be nice if they incorporated some sort of a rear mud guard to prevent so much build up behind the seat tube in that lower pivot area. And while the Shimano motor doesn’t negatively affect us in any way, we’d love to see them offer Bosch-level power and assistance so we can remain more competitive on the races up the hill too.
The Wolf’s Last Word
Every year when our reviewers show up to start testing the bikes, there seems to be a couple that just stand out instantly. This year the Pivot Shuttle LT was one of those bikes. Whether it was a die-hard Bosch fan or someone who didn’t love the color of the bike, none of our riders could deny that the Shuttle LT was down to shred and it was a bike we all kept wanting to take out for the next ride. When you’ve got a garage full of bikes waiting to be ridden and one keeps pulling you back, that’s a pretty big sign that it’s a bike we’d suggest to our friends. Pivot Cycles have done a great job creating a fun yet capable all around enduro eMTB.
WHO’S IT FOR?
The Shuttle LT is surprisingly versatile for its 160/170mm travel, and will suit a wide variety of riders who value a bike that goes uphill and downhill well. It’s not the bike we’d choose above some of the others for a gnarly e-Enduro race, but for everything else it’s stellar…if you can afford it.
PIVOT SHUTTLE LT TEAM SPECS
Frame: Full carbon | 160mm
Fork: Fox 38E 29 Float Factory | 170mm
Shock: Fox Float X Factory
Motor: Shimano EP8 | 85 Nm
Battery: Darfon | 756Wh
Display: Shimano EM800
Brakes: Shimano XTR M9120 | 223F/203R Galfer Rotors
Bar: Phoenix Team Low Rise Carbon | rise: 20mm | width: 780mm | clamp: 35mm
Stem: Phoenix Team Enduro/Trail | length: 50mm
Seatpost: Fox Transfer Factory | S:150mm | M/L: 175mm | XL:200mm
Saddle: Phoenix WTB Pro Volt (MD), Pivot Pro E-Bike (LG-XL)
Wheelset: DT Swiss Hybrid HX1501
Front Tire: Maxxis Assegai 29×2.5″ | MaxxGrip | EXO+ Casing
Rear Tire: Maxxis Assegai 29×2.5″ | MaxxGrip | EXO+ Casing
Cassette: Shimano Deore XT M8100 | 10-51T | 12spd
Cranks: Shimano Deore XT M8150 | 160mm
Shifter: Shimano XTR M9100 | 12spd
Derailleur: Shimano XTR M9100 | 12spd
Excellent all round enduro machine
Capable yet playful
It’s not cheap
EP8 slightly underpowered
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