FAST BIKES: PIVOT SHUTTLE CARBON E-BIKE - Dirt

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FAST BIKES: PIVOT SHUTTLE CARBON E-BIKE

Premium EMTB goodness

With more and more companies joining the emtb bandwagon, some are doing a better job than others. Pivot are the latest to come along and in some style with the Shuttle.

Words and Images: Ieuan Williams

A full carbon EMTB with beautiful lines and finish, it is no less than can be expected after the recent bikes that have been produced by the brand. The Pivot Shuttle is the name of this electrically charged pedal machine and it’s a Shuttle by name, Shuttle by nature. With the basis for this bike coming from the superlative Firebird that was tested earlier this year this should be a bike to challenge the best.

Suspension and chassis 

Pivot have opted for the cream of the crop with a FOX 36 Factory 29/27.5+ 150mm upfront giving more than enough adjustability and durability to hold up to the abuse given. The Fox theme is carried on with a Float Factory DPX2 EVOL, the uprated version of the previously loved DPS damper. At the rear the same suspension platform as other past Pivot bikes with the DW Link design gives 140mm of travel. This was always a system that I liked on the previous dealings with the Firebird.

Rear hub spacing on the Shuttle is also worth a mention – the 157mm configuration is what would normally be found on a downhill bike. This really does improve the rigidity of the rear end when carrying some extra weight and should bring with it some extra longevity.

Components

Dampers aside, there is an awful lot going on here as Pivot have gone all bells and whistles for their first foray into the EMTB market. A Shimano E8000 Drive unit is the power plant for the Pivot Shuttle and it’s paired with the BT-E8010 500W battery for a match made in heaven.

XT Di2 running off the bike’s battery is a great way to utilise the system and Shimano also provide some XT stoppers to round up their contribution. Fox pops up again this time in the way of the Transfer dropper post. The very important part of the wheelset has been handed to DT Swiss with the EB 1550 EMTB 40mm setup. This mated to some superb Maxxis rubber it is a great combo. The window dressing comes in the form of some in-house parts – Pivot seat, headset, bar and stem roundup what is a great specification.

Shape and fit

With sizes from small (15.5”) to XL (19.5”), Pivot seem to have all bases covered for sizing here. The bike used for this test was a size Large and I would recommend this for anyone around the 6 foot mark with the Extra Large sorting out the guys above this.

The Shimano motor chosen for this bike allows for the bottom bracket to be kept nice and low at 345mm. The numbers definitely add up.

Pivot have their own brand cockpit on the Shuttle and with the 780mm width (with the WTB Pad-loc grip system) it is a purely inviting place to be.

Feeling

With the Pivot Shuttle equipped with 2.8 Maxxis tyres, the lack of travel seems to be no issue at all. Big volume tyres on low pressures have no problem soaking up trail chatter.

The Shuttle uses a Shimano motor and the smooth delivery of power is obvious from the get go. Pop the bike into Boost mode on tough climbs and there is no issue with getting the Pivot up there – the shape and size of the Shuttle helps get the body position correct to keep things moving.

Pivot have really got the Shuttle dialled in with a geometry setup that not only compliments the climb but allows for some real purpose on the descent. The 65.8° head angle and 437mm rear chainstays give more than enough stability when things get out of hand. The length of the stays also helps keep the wheels on the ground when on a technical climb.

With the lack of fatigue on the climbs and the comfort of the plus-sized tyres, I can guarantee if you are fit you will run out of battery before you want to get off this thing. These tyres seem to cancel out the stiffness that the chassis has from the full carbon construction and the wider rear wheel spacing. 

One thing that has got my brain thinking is getting a set of 29” wheels on this bike. Will this bring some more harshness to the ride or more precision? I think things could get interesting when the chance comes about and more details will be shared when it happens.

Limitations

There are only a small collection of things that I can see so far limitations wise with the Shuttle. The first one is unavoidable – price. £9000 is a huge figure in anyone’s book. Now don’t get me wrong it’s a beautiful piece of equipment, but it is still something that’s going to get ranted down a track and sustain damage.

The other is the brake choice. The Shimano XT brake is a more than adequate stopper on a lighter trail bike but with the extra weight of an E-bike there really is need for some serious power. Maybe the 4 piston version would be a better choice, or a Shimano Saint?

Verdict

There are only a few brands that compare to the quality that has been shown with the Shuttle and really it’s a three horse race between this, the Rocky Mountain and Merida‘s offering. Clean looks, lightweight construction and a parts list that only needs tweaking. After getting as much riding in in 45 minutes as I would have on a non assisted bike in two hours it is a no brainer.

With 50 miles in a charge and no need to have it on when descending, a day’s riding is just fun without the effort of having to winch a bike up a climb. Fun is definitely the word I would use. Don’t knock it till you try it. 

PRICE: £8999

pivotcycles.com

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