Mountain Bike Action Bike Test: Pivot Switchblade Enduro Bike
explore deep into the backcountry, race weekend enduros and challenge buddies to the top of every climb.
It’s truly amazing how capable modern mountain bikes can be. The Switchblade is by no means a cross-country race bike, but it climbs as well as any trail bike we’ve put to the test. Even with the shock set in the open position, the suspension holds up its rider well, offering little to no pedal bob and a heavy dose of acceleration. In a seated position, the Switchblade provides traction on both the front and rear end, allowing it to twist around switchback climbs with ease. Our test riders were encouraged to find technical trails for our test. They made it through difficult sections that stumped them while riding other bikes in this category. All in all, you can’t expect the Switchblade to fly up the trails like an XC race rocket, but you can rely on this bike to get you to the top of a fun descent in a timely manner.
Pivot labels the Switchblade as an enduro bike for a reason. While it’s not a heavy-hitting bike like the long-travel Firebird 29, it’s still a hard-charging enduro bike ready to battle. Once pointed down, the Switchblade feels balanced and composed, even considering its mixed suspension travel. The 160mm fork soaks up everything with ease, while the 142mm rear end floats right behind. On harder hits or jumps-to-flat, the progressive rear travel keeps the bike right in the sweet spot and rarely, if ever, hits bottom.
Along with the solid suspension platform, the well-executed geometry provides the long, slack and low numbers modern riders are looking for. High-speed stability is delivered via its long reach and slack head tube angle, and the short rear end, along with a low seat tube height, increases maneuverability on the tightest trails. Riders looking to smash through rock gardens at high speeds or…