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Why We Like The Switchblade 29 Pro XT/XTR Mountain Bike
In the last five years mountain bikes have progressed so rapidly that we've reached a point where most high-end bikes are a pretty solid choice, and it's hard to find one that rides poorly. That means that when shopping for our next rig we try to look for qualities that help a bike stand out from its peers, and after our first ride on the new Pivot Switchblade, it was clear this bike is a cut above the rest. Masterful suspension performance, an industry-leading carbon frame, dialed geometry, and eye-catching looks characterize this versatile steed. 142mm of rear travel paired with a 160mm fork place it in the aggressive trail/all-mountain category, meaning everything from all-day trail rides to enduro racing and even bike park laps are within your realm. And with Pivot's unrivaled commitment to quality and meticulous attention to detail, you can expect to get the best possible experience out of every ride.
At first glance you’ll notice that the new Switchblade looks very different than the previous generation. The clean lines and fresh colorways are aesthetically pleasing and are sure to draw looks when you're unloading the bike at the trailhead. You'll also notice that the shock is now positioned vertically and driven by a rocker-style upper link rather than the previous generation’s horizontal clevis design. This allows for a stiffer, lighter, and more compact frame while freeing up room for a full-size water bottle on all frame sizes. The rocker-style linkage also decreases the load on the shock and offers a more progressive leverage curve along with coil shock compatibility. Rear travel is boosted from 135 to 142mm for a little more forgiveness when the going gets rough, and every build kit comes with a 160mm travel, 44mm offset Fox 36 that brings comfortable handling and precise steering to the equation.
The Switchblade V2 geometry moves to a slacker head tube angle, a steeper seat tube angle, longer reach figures, and a shorter seat tube that accommodates longer dropper posts than the previous model. The 66-degree head tube and 75.5-degree seat tube may not go as far into the slack-and-steep realm as some other bikes in this category, but these numbers are thoroughly modern and hit a sweet spot that makes this bike a joy to ride on any trail—bet it tight and technical or fast and flowy. A two-position flip-chip lets you adjust the bike's geometry to suit the terrain at hand but also allows you to switch between various wheel configurations including 29 inches, 27.5 Plus, and mullet (29” front/ 27.5” rear).
This Pro build pairs a Shimano XTR rear derailleur with an XT shifter, chain, and cassette. We've been thoroughly impressed with Shimano's 12-speed mountain group and its ability to shift crisply and reliably—even when the drivetrain is under load. FOX Factory suspension keeps your tires glued to the ground when the going gets rough, while the powerful XT 4-piston stoppers and meaty Maxxis rubber help you scrub speed before dropping into a rowdy chute. DT Swiss M1700 wheels continue to spin true ride after ride, while the DT Swiss 350 hubs with an upgraded 36t star ratchet provide snappy pedal engagement. Pivot also equips this bike with a Transfer Factory dropper that pairs nicely with the Kashima fork and shock.
*Due to unprecedented demand in the global supply chain and the bike industry over the last 18 months, material weight and exact components are subject to change. We are working diligently to keep tech specs updated, and any adjustments will be minor. If you have any questions, reach out to a Gearhead by chatting online or calling 1-888-276-7130.
- Pivot's all-mountain 29er that excels on any trail
- Equipped with 142mm rear travel and 160mm up front
- Balanced geometry is great for a wide variety of terrain
- Vertical shock orientation now accommodates full-size water bottle
- Custom DPX2 shock offers improved support and bump-absorption
- Hollow-core molding process delivers a stiff and lightweight frame
- Size-specific design means every frame size has the same stiffness
- XT/XTR Pro build leaves little to be desired for upgrades
- Item #PIV1WVE