FIRST RIDE REVIEW: PIVOT’S ALL NEW BOSCH POWERED SHUTTLE AM ELECTRIC MOUNTAIN BIKE

The all arounder that surprised us.

FIRST RIDE IMPRESSIONS: PIVOT SHUTTLE AM 

When Pivot launched its Shuttle SL and Shuttle LT last summer, the second-generation Shuttle received the AM designation for all-mountain without any other significant updates. The two new bikes are so good and versatile that after riding them, we thought the Shuttle AM might fade away. Well, we couldn’t have been more wrong. Pivot completely redesigned the Shuttle AM into what might just be the best e-bike in their line. And that’s really saying something because the other two are really, really good. The new Shuttle AM is modeled after Pivot’s do-it-all Switchblade and is powered by Bosch—a first for any Pivot E-bike.

GERMAN POWERED

Until the launch of the Shuttle SL, Pivot had exclusively relied on Shimano’s drive units to power its e-bikes so this is its first model to use Bosch. Why the switch? Pivot says it was really about some of the connectivity with the app, the way that the power of the system was delivered, and the cleaned-up wiring. One of those tidying features is their new wireless switch on the handlebars, small top tube display, and wireless rear wheel sensor. All of that combined with what they were already doing in terms of power delivery plus the addition of the Race version of the Performance Line CX motor coaxed Pivot to go Bosch on this bike.

Shuttle AM buyers will have the choice of the standard Bosch Performance Line CX motor or the lighter and faster Race version. They tell us that Bosch limits each manufacturer to just 500 Race motors, so if that’s what you want you’d better not wait. The Race motor is more powerful and aggressive in its power delivery and is a claimed 136 grams lighter thanks to a magnesium case. There are also small internal differences to withstand the added power.

 

 

Both drive units are fully tunable via Bosch’s Flow app. The app allows the user to select 4 modes from a total of 7 available modes. The Pro and Ride level builds have Turbo, eMTB-short crank, Sport, and Tour+ modes preinstalled, while the Team level builds with the CX Race motor come with the powerful Race mode in place of Tour+. This bike also features Bosch’s new wireless remote and small, top-tube-integrated display for a very clean-looking cockpit —especially when paired with SRAM’s wireless Transmission shifter and drivetrain. 

Pivot’s Pro and Team builds come equipped with a 750-watt-hour battery while the Ride build features a 625-watt-hour version. Bosch will also offer a new 250-watt-hour MorePower range extender this fall. It mounts to the water bottle cage bosses and plugs into the charge port. It’s compatible with all Shuttle AM models and there will be a special bottle cage that slides into the mount for quick and easy swaps.

SWITCHBLADE INSPIRED

The Shuttle AM has a lot in common with Pivot’s popular Switchblade model. Not only is geometry similar, but according to Pivot the Shuttle AM’s stiffness characteristics at the head tube and what would be the bottom bracket area of the frame are almost identical too. There is a flip chip with high and low settings in the upper link mount that allows for 5mm of bottom bracket height change and .4 degrees of adjustment at the head angle. It also allows for 27.5” rear wheel use and a mixed-wheel setup. A pair of bosses under the top tube allows for mounting Pivot’s Dock tools or other accessories.

DW LINKED

Pivot designed the Shuttle AM with 148mm of dw-link rear wheel travel and specs it with a 160mm Fox 36 fork. According to Pivot, dw-link shines when you put more power into it on an e-bike. They say that compared to a four-bar link design that tends to squat more and require more compression damping, dw-link relies on its pivot placements to counteract this squat so they can run lighter, more active shock tunes. Like all of Pivot’s newer models, the Shuttle AM features a vertical shock orientation that helps them keep standover heights low.

THE BUILDS

The Shuttle AM will be offered in Blue Neptune and Mojave Willow Green colors and in three different complete builds ranging in price from $8,999 to $13,999.

 

Photo by Matt Jones

THE RIDE

We spent two days riding the Shuttle AM in Crested Butte, Colorado. Day one was the classic Tecalli trail loop just outside of town along with a bonus out and back near the end for those of us that were just having too much fun to quit. Our bike had the standard Performance Line CX motor, not the Race version yet its power is still strong, torquey, and quick but in a nice controllable manner. Overall, we are a fan of Bosch’s system and this one is no different. What is different for us is the clean interface. In the past, we complained about Bosch’s bulky remote lever and awkward displays that looked like they belonged on a city bike, not a high-performance mountain bike. This setup is super clean, integrated and a massive improvement over previous offerings.

 

Photo by Matt Jones

 

The first climb was more scenic road than technical but the Teocalli descent is a different story. It’s a classic Colorado mix of flow and peppered with rocky sections some of which sneak up on you fast. Since this is a motorized trail, it features lots of exposed rocks and roots in places too. The Shuttle AM remains composed even when it runs out of travel – something it doesn’t do often. Its travel is plush off the top with a nice even ramp at the end. We didn’t feel compelled to add or subtract volume spacers even though there was a Fox tech on hand with a backpack full of them.

Compared to the Shuttle LT, the AM has a bit more pop and skip to its step, making it more playful and less of a point-and-shoot bike. It’ll do that too, but it would rather make a triple jump of three roots than pound over them. There is also a lightness to the bike in the air in mid-corner that makes throwing it around easier.

 

Photo by Matt Jones

 

It was the extra credit out and back on trail 409.5 that we really came to appreciate the Shuttle AM’s broad range of capabilities. The climb got increasingly steep and technical with rocks, roots, and deep ruts. It was steep enough to require a fairly strong effort from the rider yet the bike clawed its way up without skipping a beat. The suspension remained active and tractable while at the same time staying high in its stroke and efficient feeling under power. The way back down the exact same stuff was similarly impressive. We were able to throw it into some pretty nasty hack and come out on the other side pointing in the right direction and rubber side down.

 

Photo by Matt Jones

 

The second day’s ride was the classic Flag/Bear/Deadman’s loop that we had done on regular mountain bikes numerous times. The e-bike sure made this loop fun, taking all the sting out of the climbs – particularly the last one up to the top of Deadman’s Gulch and its countless switchback descent.

On this ride, we began to notice that this bike just has a balanced overall feel to it that’s exactly what you want out of an all-mountain bike. It’s not too stiff and overbuilt feeling like some e-bikes can get, yet one that can seemingly do it all. If Goldilocks were to try the three bears’ Pivot e-bikes, we’re pretty sure we know what one she’d choose. We are receiving our long-term test bike with the Race motor soon, so stay tuned for more in the pages of Mountain Bike Action and here on the website.

 

Photo by Matt Jones

 

You might also like
edit