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Pivot Firebird 29 Team XX1 review | ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine

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The Pivot Firebird 29 makes a compelling case for us to sell our kidneys to buy one. But before making an appointment with a shady backstreet doctor, you should read our review – this bike is not for everyone!

For an overview of the test fleet head to: The best enduro bike you can buy

Pivot Firebird 29 Team XX1 | 170/162 mm (f/r) | 13.66 kg | € 10,899

Eddie Masters had some notable successes in the EWS onboard the Pivot Firebird 29 last year. Pivot designed this looker of a bike to take on the roughest trails, equipping it with a plush 162 mm of travel at the rear and a 170 mm travel fork. As with all of Pivot’s full suspension bikes, it relies on DW-Link suspension kinematics and the overall quality and finishing is superb. From the cable guides to the chainstay protector, the attention to detail on this bike is impeccable! However, for the hefty price tag of €10,899, you wouldn’t expect any less. That price also means that Pivot specs this bike with only the finest parts. The SRAM XX1 Eagle drivetrain, FOX Factory suspension and Reynolds carbon wheels with Industry Nine hubs are enough to make our palms sweat. We were less thrilled with the weak SRAM Guide Ultimate brakes. However, for next year, Pivot is speccing the more powerful SRAM CODE RSC. We weren’t fans of the PadLoc grips either. The soft compound results in the handling feeling a bit vague.

The Pivot Firebird 29 Team XX1 in detail

Fork FOX 36 Factory GRIP 2 170 mm
Shock Fox Float X2 Performance 162 mm
Brakes SRAM CODE RSC
Drivetrain SRAM XX1 Eagle
Seatpost Kind Shock LEV INTEGRA 150 mm
Stem Phoenix Team Enduro 45 mm
Handlebar Phoenix Team Carbon 800 mm
Wheels Reynolds Blacklabel Enduro/Industry Nine
Tires MAXXIS Minion DHF/DHR II 29″ x 2.5″/2.4″
Weight 13.66 kg
Price € 10,899









Well protected
Not only the chainstays but also the seat stays are effectively protected on the Firebird 29, making for a very quiet bike.
Wide and stiff
Pivot relies on their own Super Boost standard for the rear axle. Unfortunately, this leads to wheel compatibility issues. We also found the increased stiffness to be more of a disadvantage because it makes for a harsher more fatiguing ride on the descents.

More sag = more performance
The suspension of the Firebird 29 is very progressive and offers plenty of mid-stroke support. We found a sag setting of 30% ideal to use the travel effectively.
Improved
In the past, the rear linkages on Pivot’s bikes’ tended to get scratched, as small stones jammed between the rocker link and the frame. The new protective cover helps solve the problem.

Size S M L XL
Seat tube 394 mm 424 mm 457 mm 495 mm
Top tube 594 mm 625 mm 648 mm 671 mm
Head tube 95 mm 105 mm 115 mm 125 mm
Head angle 65° 65° 65° 65°
Seat angle 74.5° 74.5° 74.5° 74.5°
Chainstays 429 mm 429 mm 429 mm 429 mm
Wheelbase 1186 mm 1217 mm 1242 mm 1265 mm
Reach 429 mm 455 mm 475 mm 495 mm
Stack 605 mm 612 mm 622 mm 633 mm
Helmet Fox Rampage | Goggle 100% | Jersey Mons Royale Redwood ¾ Raglan Tee | Shorts Giro Venture Shorts II | Knee pads ION K-Pact

width of 157 mm. This decision has allowed Pivot to design the bike with extra short chainstays. However, that limits the choice of wheels, with 148 mm hubs not being compatible, and we found the wheels fitted quite harsh.. You’ll immediately feel the effect of the short, stiff rear end on the trail. It’s easy to launch the Pivot off of ledges and the steering is lightning fast and very direct. However, the Firebird has to be ridden actively to generate have enough traction on the front wheel – those who don’t will not be able to realise its full potential. The rear suspension performs brilliantly, supportive in the mid-stroke with a lot of progression towards the end. For this reason, you should ride the bike with at least 30% SAG. With the suspension set up that way, the Pivot stays firmly planted on the trail at high speeds and stays composed. In demanding terrain, you can feel the immense stiffness of the frame and the wheels. Some riders will like it, but it will tire you out quicker on rough downhill runs, making the bike less comfortable overall. With the saddle pushed forward, the rider’s position on the Pivot is nicely central and the rear suspension remains relatively neutral while pedalling. Combined with the light wheels, this helps take the sting out of long climbs. Bergauf sitzt man mit nach vorn geschobenem Sattel angenehm zentral auf dem Pivot und der relativ antriebsneutrale Hinterbau mit den leichten Laufrädern nimmt auch langen Uphills den Schrecken.

Let’s get loose! With the Pivot, you can really get on the gas – provided you know what you are doing.

Tuning tip: More powerful brakes | Less stiff wheels

Conclusion

The pivot Firebird 29 is a bike with character. It quickly responds to input from the rider and comes to life with an active riding style. With its long front end and plush suspension, it is made for tough, demanding trails. But the short, stiff rear end combined with the stiff carbon wheels can be quite punishing, demanding a very active riding style.

  • Capable rear suspension
  • Poppy
  • Beautiful finish
  • Demands an active riding style in corners
  • Very stiff chassis
  • Expensive

Uphill

Downhill

Stability

Agility

Value for money

For more info head to: pivotcycles.com

For an overview of the test fleet head to: The best enduro bike you can buy

All bikes in test: Bold Unplugged | Canyon Strive CFR 9.0 Team | Commencal META AM 29 SIGNATURE ORANGE | Giant Reign Advanced 0 | Lapierre Spicy Team Ultimate | Nukeproof Mega 275c RS | Orbea Rallon M-LTD I9 | Pole Machine EN | Santa Cruz Nomad CC | Scott Ransom 900 Tuned | Specialized S-Works Enduro 29 | Trek Slash 9.9 | YT Capra 29 CF PRO Race

Words & Photos: Christoph Bayer

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