I spent an afternoon aboard the Switchblade recently and from the second it was unveiled to us I could tell this was a smart bike. The lines are clean, the cables are well integrated and, especially in blue and red, it’s going to be a head turner.
The DW-link suspension takes some precise setting up to get the most of, but thanks to Pivot’s sag meter, pre-ride faffing is kept to a minimum. I spent the most time on the bike in 29 guise. Unfortunately there was only a medium available but the rangy top tube meant that I wasn’t knocking my knees on the handlebars.
In truth it’s hard to draw too many conclusions from the riding I had, it was exclusively on Swinley Forest’s blue route without any real tech, or distance, to allow me to really push the bike. It’s the kind of terrain that will feel good on any bike with some air in its tyres but the promise was certainly there from a company that sees itself as the Ferrari of mountain bikes.
The first thing I noticed was the surprising climbing ability of the Switchblade, at 30 per cent sag it feels like you will eat into the travel quickly when you get pedalling but you’re pushed onwards with minimal fuss. On the downs you can tell you’re aboard a fast bike. It hangs deep into turns and the ultra-short chainstays spit you out sharper than you would expect on a 29 inch wheel.
In plus configuration you lose a bit of the speed but gain pop and playfulness that seems at odds with the 2.8 inch tyres slammed into the frame.
We’re definitely going to need some more time behind the bars of this beauty before we can truly confirm it’s a beast – and whether Super Boost Plus is anything more than a gimmick.