It seems like more and more of an occurrence, off road drop bar bikes are becoming more specialized. While there are certain bikes that have geometry tweaks that can benefit applications better and frames that boast a bevy of braze-ons for fenders, extra bottles, and racks, we think a majority of the 'cross/gravel/all-road bikes aren't really all that different enough that we feel we would need a bike for each discipline. We like jumping in weekly road rides, hitting up gravel adventures on the weekend, and hopping barriers in the fall and it'd be refreshing to have one bike that could champion all of those endeavors with just a tire swap. After spending some time on Pivot's Vault Ultegra Complete Bike we feel that it's a rig that'll excel on those spirited group rides, dirt fondos, and threading between the course tape. It's snappy enough to respond to sharp, punchy climbs and sprinting into the last corner of a 'cross race while remaining comfortable on a 6-hour gravel adventure. The quiver-killer term gets thrown around quite a bit and even though the Vault isn't the absolute best bike in every given scenario, we defy you to find another steed that is as capable and versatile to tackle so many variables with this much aplomb.
Pivot is an off-road company at heart so it's no wonder that the Vault was conceived as a 'cross racer and taking a quick look at the geometry reveals this. A low, but not too low, bottom bracket and requisite 42.5cm chainstays encourage quick handling and pedaling through corners with enough clearance for pedals to clear sandy stretches and muddy ruts. The wheelbase is stretched a little longer than you'd find in your typical road racing specimen and along with the more relaxed headtube angle and clearance for tires up to 38mm wide, it translates into welcome stability that adds a much-appreciated dose of confidence when bombing down washboard riddled descents and mellow singletrack sections on those off-road adventure rides.
Pivot's carbon construction expertise, honed over the years of constructing class-leading mountain frames, carries over to the Vault and its hollow-core, internal-molding process adds strength, stiffness, and durability while shedding grams, something that's appreciated on the race course or just heading out for a quick road ride to blow off some steam after work. Additionally, the construction yields improvements to the vibration damping to help smooth out the ride, allowing you to go faster over rougher roads, the ability to stay fresher for longer, and to remain comfortable for the duration of the ride, no matter the surface.
This Vault's build kit fits the do-it-all demeanor and offers a great value blending Shimano's workhorse group with thoughtful cockpit pieces that are plenty lightweight to satisfy your racing habit while remaining durable so it won't leave you stranded on a less traveled B road. At the front and rear 12mm thru-axles, Stan's NoTubes' Grail wheels are a do-it-all wheelset handling everything from the low air pressure cross tires to higher pressure road tubeless.