First Ride: Pivot Switchblade Aluminum
A new more affordable version
The Pivot Switchblade was first introduced in 2016 and quickly got attention due to its Super Boost Plus 157 rear end. The new Super Boost Plus hub spacing allowed Pivot to give the Switchblade tire clearance for either 27.5+ or 29″ wheels while keeping the chainstays as short as possible. Actually, short might be an understatement. The Switchblade featured ultra-short 428mm chain chainstays or 16.85″. Super Boost caught a lot of flak at the time for being a new standard, however, 157mm hub spacing had been used for several years on downhill bikes. Super Boost, however, had yet to be seen on a trail bike. Today, there are multiple hub options available for the Switchblade as well as other Super Boost bikes, but Boost 148 continues to be our current “standard” for hub spacing.
The Switchblade was and still is an amazing bike, in fact, you can read our full review here, https://mbaction.com/pivot-switchblade-test/. During our testing, our riders said, “Thanks to the Super Boost Plus, the chainstays of the Switchblade are short, which keeps the bike feeling lively on the trail.”
Why Aluminium: In an effort to make the Switchblade attainable by more riders, Pivot launched the Switchblade Aluminum at the 2018 Sea Otter Classic. The bike has all the features Switchblade riders have come to love, but offers it all in an aluminum frame option. Starting price for the Switchblade Aluminum sits at $4099. This price still might be out of reach for beginner riders, but it’s a thousand dollars cheaper than the entry-level carbon model. We took the all-new Switchblade Aluminium to a local trail to see how it would perform. Here’s our first impression.
First Ride: Pivot’s Switchblade is a versatile machine made for the average trail rider. It sports 135mm of dw-link suspension out back and 150mm of travel up front. This combination offers a bike that climbs like a goat but descends like a cheetah. It’s a fast and capable bike, just like its carbon brother. During our first ride we ran the bike with 20% sag up front and 25% in back. This setup worked well, however, our riders plan to spend much more time dialing in our new test bikes suspension. Our first impressions of the Switchblade Aluminum were quite good. The bike handles tight twisty trails with ease and blasts down high-speed descents with confidence. This is a bike we are excited to spend more time on, so stay tuned for a full review in an upcoming issue of Mountain Bike Action Magazine.
Switchblade Aluminum Features
- Hydro-formed aluminum frame
- Compatible with both 29 and 27.5+ wheel sizes
- Great mud and tire clearance
- Ultra-short, 428mm (16.85”) chainstays
- Long-and-low geometry
- 135mm of efficient dw‐link® suspension
- Fox 36 150mm-travel fork (also plays nice with 160mm forks)
- Front derailleur compatible
- Fits riders between 4’11” and 6’2″+
- 3-year warranty