Trail and Enduro Bikes

First Look – Pivot Firebird

Full carbon, 170mm travel and a boutique spec

The Firebird is Pivot’s carbon enduro/park bike and with 170mm of travel front and rear sits just below the Phoenix DH bike in their range. We take a look at what Pivot call the ‘Holy Grail of long travel mountain bikes’.

Scan the range overview on the Pivot website and you’ll see that the Firebird sits in both the Gravity/DH and the Enduro/Trail categories. Pivot feels that the Firebird is ‘both an enduro bike that devours park runs and a technical climber that relishes huge lines and blazing descents’. This all-encompassing nature is naturally the aim on all these mid to long travel bikes, with claims that climbing efficiency is there without a compromise to the descending dynamics.

With 170mm of travel on tap, matched front and rear, how does this bike compare to the likes of the carbon YT Capra or aluminium-framed gems such as the Radon Swoop and Orange Alpine 6? A frame only option (with a Fox X2 shock) is a hefty £3300 here in the UK, so our expectations are high. Does the Firebird have the performance to match the sublime finish, detailing and build quality?


The Firebird is a full carbon frame (including the swing arm) using Pivot’s proprietary hollow core internal moulding technology and cold forged alloy linkages. Pivot work with Dave Weagle on most of their suspension platforms, with the DW-link appearing on the Firebird and across their trail and enduro bike range – including the Swichblade which they launched last year.

This frame is bang up to date, with a 148mm Boost axle spacing and clearances for wide 2.5” rubber. Neat details are everywhere, including tidy internal cabling, a low durometer rubber frame protection and Di2 electronic gear capability.


Pivot takes their Phoenix DH bikes geometry as inspiration for the layout of the Firebird. They combine short 430mm chainstays (the same across all four frame sizes) with the longer reach measurements we now all expect on an up to date enduro bike.

Reach measurements for a Large frame are 465mm and the X-Large runs at 485mm. The size Large has a usefully short seat tube at 457mm, allowing a longer stroke dropper post, yet sits on a 1228mm wheelbase. Good numbers, which compare well with benchmark bikes in this category. A 65° head angle is designed around a 170mm Fox 36 and is again on the money, but certainly not the slackest.

Four frame sizes are offered, which Pivot suggest will cover rider heights up to 6’7”. With the number of XL sized test bike here at Dirt fitting our testers of just under or over six foot, we’ll report back on the sizing in a full test of the Firebird.


Upgrade bikes are the UK distributor for Pivot and they offer the Firebird as a frame, frame kit (frame, Fox 36 Factory fork and headset) or full bike options – of which there is a huge choice of specs. Our test bike was kitted out with the PRO XO1 Eagle ‘C’ build kit and weighed in at 30 pounds (13.6kg).

With a list price of £7630, you be expecting a premium spec and that’s what you have here. Fox Factory 36 Kashima forks use the Boost 110mm hub spacing and are matched to a Fox X2 Factory shock – it does seem a touch mean that the US doesn’t get ‘Factory’ spec front and rear at this price but there are no such worries for us thanks to the guys at Upgrade in the UK.

“The sleek yet muscular build of the Pivot Firebird looks purposeful and very much up to the job”

SRAM Eagle 1×12 and Shimano XT brakes are hard to fault though and are of a performance level that is expected at this price. Carbon rimmed wheels are also high on the buyers wish lists (even though there are plenty of aluminium alternatives which we prefer in many cases), and here Pivot have spec’d our test bike with Reynolds Carbon Enduro wheels, an upgrade over the standard DT wheels supplied with this level build kit.

Industry Nine hubs built with Reynold’s 28mm internal width carbon rims are suitably boutique for this build – it’s a first time on these for us, so we’ll be interested to see how they match the ride qualities of the Firebird.

Boutique? Premium? There are plenty of words to describe this end of the market and with some very well sorted bikes at much lower prices, this bike has a lot to live up to. The sleek yet muscular build of the Pivot Firebird looks purposeful and very much up to the job in hand though. However, with the new Intense Tracer 275C, Santa Cruz Nomad, Transition Patrol Carbon, Evil Insurgent and the forthcoming models from Cesar Rojo’s Unno brand, all occupying the same price bracket our expectations are high too. Stay tuned for a full Dirt test.


Frame: £3300  Frame Kit: £4400  Bikes from: £5150


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