Pivot’s Shuttle LT First Ride Review: This E-Enduro Bike Has The Handling Of A Firebird 29

There are many good enduro-style electric mountain bikes on the market. This one is great.

Pivot’s Shuttle LT pedal-assist e-bike features Shimano’s EP8 system, the only drive unit purportedly designed specifically for mountain bikes. It uses a Shimano-certified 756-watt removable battery, 160 Float X/170 E-MTB 38 29″, 44mm offset, GRIP2 Fox suspension, and Pivot’s Firebird 29 geometry and kinematics.

The path

All riding photos c. Pivot

I hopped on this bike at the top of Monarch Pass – about 11,000 feet in elevation – the morning after arriving in Colorado from sea level. I cycled off-road and onto the dual track with the support of the full power of this bike behind me. When I stopped on the first stretch of rooty, rocky singletrack, I took the power down a notch at Trail, and had more than enough support and all the maneuverability I needed. The bike soaked up the chunder and steered with precision, allowing me to pick my line around big rocks, and charge through steep switchbacks with powerful control.

Pivot Shuttle LT e-bike first review

Smash or finesse – that’s always the question for me when riding e-bikes on technical trails. The Shuttle LT allowed me to do both. The bike was lively, playful, and it pedaled efficiently without the heavy feel of most other enduro e-bikes, whether I’m pounding through rock gardens or trying to power through them. He was agile in technical terrain.

Pivot Shuttle LT e-bike first review

Traversing a crash of rocks and roots descending Green Creek off Monarch Crest, baby-headed rocks and steep sections of slippery dirt, the bike went where I pointed it, cruising smoothly. The ride wasn’t so luxurious that it got boring, and the harder I pushed the bike, the better it rode. Pivot’s DW link was balanced. I never needed to lock out the shock to climb, and the bike didn’t squat under power. The Shimano 160mm cranks kept me from hitting rocks, which is even more important on an e-bike. I could get through the chunder thanks to the bike’s low center of gravity and short cranks. I felt settled on the bike, in control of the ride, and despite the shorter cranks, I never felt like I was running out of torque.

What’s inside

Pivot Shuttle LT e-bike first review

At 49.8 pounds, the bike is weight competitive with others on the market. But it drives light. Part of it could be psychological. The Shuttle LT features a trim downtube made possible by a Shimano-certified 726-watt battery. Pivot didn’t like the shape of existing batteries, so he worked with Darfan to develop one using the same cells found in a Tesla. The thinner tube takes e-bikes one step closer to the appearance of a traditional bike. Although the battery is not proprietary, Pivot is the first to use it – and Shimano will take care of any warranty claims worldwide.

Shimano’s EP8 drive unit provides the assist. Power delivery was smooth and seamless, with no jerky engagement or disengagement. In the Shuttle LT, this also allows the battery to be placed lower in the downtube. The battery is protected by a sturdy protective plate that helps keep the battery in place. And, speaking from experience on this bike, it can handle an impact. It also protects the board, no bash guard is required.

Form factor

Pivot Shuttle LT e-bike first review

“We maintain tighter tolerances than other bike manufacturers in the world,” Cocalis said. “From the way the lay-up is done to the way the cast is set; it’s one of the things that keeps the Pivots rolling consistently and defines the brand.

Pivot worked hard to keep the gap as low as possible on this bike. By using a rubber cover instead of carbon to get a few extra millimeters of clearance, they were able to position the drive unit where they wanted it while accommodating the long travel of the trunnion mounted shock while still housing the motor and a removable battery. Pivot says the standover is the same or lower than the Firebird 29.

The bike is available in S-XL, and some riders will want to size down. I’m 5’7″ and preferred to stick to size M, which is the size I ride on almost all mountain bikes. In M the bike fits perfectly. That said, I have the used to riding a slightly longer bike. A 5’11” rider with a short torso who prefers a tighter cockpit also chose to ride an M and not an L. Pivot does not make this bike in XS because, with the length of the battery, the small bike has as short a range as they can do, and they didn’t want to spec a size of this bike with a smaller battery.The design of the bike can accommodate a large water bottle bikes of all sizes.

Pivot Shuttle LT e-bike first review

The battery plugs in and it’s easy to swap it out. Pivot’s cable porting system makes the bike easy to maintain and easy to assemble, which, according to Chris Cocalis, President and CEO of Pivot, is often a difficult goal to achieve. Underneath the battery, there’s a flap that Pivot calls the beavertail that flexes the battery down and leaves Pivot space to store the cables above where they’re easy to access. Need a new brake line? It’s a quick fix. And your mechanic won’t need to drop the bike’s engine to do it.

pivot shuttle lt internal cable routing

The bike turns on with the press of a button on the top tube which also has a USB port for charging lights, navigation devices or a phone. Pivot didn’t use a Shimano power button here because Shimano’s power button has a non-replaceable battery. This button, which is the same size, is wired to the bike’s battery, and as long as the bike is charged, it will still work.

Sound

The bike isn’t quiet, but it takes a significant step in that direction over previous generation Shimano STEPS bikes, Bosch bikes, and proprietary systems from Specialized and Rocky Mountain. It purred more than moaned and was quiet enough that I didn’t feel awkward pedaling in front of purely human riders.

Specification

Pivot Shuttle LT ebike flip chip for mule

The chainstay length is the same as the Firebird 29. Cocalis says Pivot spec’d the bike with 29er dual wheels because that’s the best on a technical, high-speed trail. But he also says the bike is “totally muleable.” A flip chip at the rear lowers the bottom bracket slightly and slackens the head angle by 0.5°.

“I like to say that in many mule bikes the front wheel can write checks that the rear wheel can’t cash,” Cocalis said. “But not here.”

Pivot Shuttle LT e-bike first review

Instead of a Foat X2 DH and enduro race shock, which has had a series of problems lately and is less adjustable, Pivot’s highly adjustable Float X shock has been specified by Fox, a top level shock , which will be a focus of future development at Fox. The Float X also weighs less than the X2, and it’s “easier for the rider to get to a happy place,” according to Cocalis.

The 38 Fox fork has a standard e-tune, which means it has an extra volume spacer than the fork spec’d on Pivot’s Firebird 29. The fork setting also has lighter compression on top. Since most riders on e-bikes travel at a higher average speed, there are fewer low-speed valving in the fork and then the adjusters work from that.

To stay on top of the engine power, Fox makes the spring more progressive, which keeps the fork higher in the stroke. They also make the shock lighter so you don’t lose the out-of-this-world feel. Note that the Fox 38 of the Shuttle LT is e-tuned, not e-optimized. An e-optimized fork has more material, with thicker walls in the upper tubes and a narrower inside diameter.

Pivot Shuttle LT e-bike first review

A 36 e-optimized actually has an inside diameter of 34. According to Fox, there is no need to reinforce the tubes of the 38 for an e-bike. The 38 fork hits the e-optimized standard as is. The bike is not approved for a double crown fork because the downtube wall thickness is not designed to support a double crown that crashes into it in a crash or with overly aggressive cornering.

The Shuttle LT’s rotors match the brakes for reliable slowing and stopping. I rode this bike in the Team XTR build, which has 223mm front and 203mm rear rotors paired with Shimano XTR M9120 four-piston brakes. The Ride SLX/XT build comes with Shimano SLX M7120 4-piston and same-size rotors.

Would I buy this bike?

Pivot Shuttle LT e-bike first review

Absolutely. The ride is superior to any other e-bike I’ve tested, the downhill performance is on par with Pivot’s Firebird 29. After nearly 20 km of travel, I had only used one battery bar.

Will batteries ever get smaller and e-bikes become indistinguishable from fully human-powered bikes? Sure. But for now, this bike is a great tool for exploring further and longer, without worrying that there’s a trail that could get the most out of it. And me.

The Shuttle LT is available in Northern Lights and Bass Boat Tri-Tone, from S to XL in Stroll with Fox Performance 38, 170mm fork and Float X shock for $9899, ​​and Crew with Fox Factory 38 170mm and Float X shock for $11,999. pivotcycles.fr

Want more technical information on the new Shuttle LT? Check out our first article here.

Wiley C. Thompson