The Pivot Shuttle SL has just been launched, and it's a complete rethink of what the Shuttle model has been in the past. Pivot Cycles are leading with weight, claiming a bike weight lower than 16.5kg. We don't have a test bike, so we'll just have to take their word for it. But the Pivot Shuttle has always been impressively light with the Shimano E8000 or EP8 power plant. Now, the Shuttle SL adopts the Fazua Ride 60 mid-power system, and the bike has evolved.

TESTED: 2022 Pivot Shuttle Team XTR

2023 Pivot Shuttle SL: At a glance

  • 132mm DW-link rear travel
  • 29er wheels
  • Full carbon frame with geometry adjustment
  • Fazua Ride 60, 60Nm mid power motor (1.96kg)
  • Fazua 430Wh battery (2.2kg)
  • Progressive geometry and suspension kinematics
  • Build options with 140mm and 150mm suspension forks
  • Highly customisable settings via an app
  • Claimed weight of 16.5kg
  • Australian RRP? TBC...

A closer look at the Pivot Shuttle SL

The Pivot Shuttle SL jumps right into the space getting a lot of attention right now - nimble, light, mid-power eMTBs. While eMTB designers chased more torque and bigger batteries, they almost forgot that some people wanted bikes to stay out longer and ride, not to charge huge lines. More than that, some riders prefer the natural feel of a lower torque motor, especially one that runs drag free beyond the 25km/h capped assistance limit. By adopting a motor that is more compact, with lower torque and therefore lower energy demands, bike designers can create a bike that weighs less and likely has geometry and weight closer to an advanced trail or enduro bike.

Bikes like the Specialized Levo SL and Orbea Rise have helped pioneer this type of bike, with the Specialized Kenevo SL, Transition Relay and of course the new Trek Fuel EXe all adding refined bikes to the mix. There's a wide range of stats in that bunch alone, with 40Nm-60Nm motors. But the overall design brief is the same - cut back the torque and motor and battery size to run a lighter bike that rides more like a non-assist bike, but with assistance. Better yet, make sure it pedals without drag for a natural ride feeling.

The Pivot Shuttle SL has adopted the same frame layout as we have seen on the Switchblade, Firebird, 429 Trail, Shadowcat, Mach 6 and Mach 4. This means a shift to a vertical shock position and adopting much straighter frame lines than their previous iterations of their bikes.

This allows excellent frame standover and means the shock is no longer structural which promotes longer life with better performance. It also opens up the main triangle so a water bottle can fit, and an accessory mount - two things the Shuttle didn't have in the past.

The frames are also lighter and stiffer, and the addition of a geometry adjustment chip in the rocker link lets riders tune their rides. Pivot's geometry for the Shuttle SL takes cues from the 429 Trail, but makes it a little more progressive. Geometry is highly size specific, but a large bike will have a 65 degree head angle and 76 degree seat angle, 478mm reach and 434mm chain stay length. The seat tubes are short for use with long dropper posts, and there are 4 sizes. The high setting steepens things up by half a degree and extends the reach by 5mm.

The wheelbase length is under 1300mm even on the XL, so when Pivot say they want this thing to be a singletrack ripper, it makes sense. The short stays, reasonably low head tube and moderate travel should make this a lightning fast trail bike.

The 132mm travel frame is said to have the excellent antisquat properties thanks to the DW-link suspension, but to offer enough midstroke support to allow a progressive feel when pushing the bike hard. Pivot have paired DPS shocks with Fox 34 140mm forks, and Float X shocks with Fox 36 150mm forks, depending what built options you choose.

Where does the Pivot Shuttle SL fit?

“The Shuttle SL bridges the gap between an analogue bike and an e-bike,” says Chris Cocalis, founder and CEO of Pivot. “It gives you that same dialed in, nimble traditional mountain bike feel while the power characteristics provide that perfect amount of an assistance making it feel like you’re having a really strong day on the bike-only you get to have it every day! We did this by laser-focusing on the strength to weight ratio, geometry and suspension to create an insanely light, yet perfectly powerful e-MTB.”

What's the deal with the Fazua Ride 60 system?

The Fazua Ride 60 motor clocks in at 1.96kg, and the 430Wh battery at 2.2kg, so it's a light system. It has Fazua's Ring Control switch that sits around the bar inboard from your left grip, letting you toggle between the three modes and the walk function.

The ring control system will stay clear of any dropper.

The Fazua Ride 60 system will also run drag free if the motor is off, or you're moving above 25km/h. This is integral to create a natural ride feel, and inherently makes a bike 'feel' light.

Fazua have 3 modes, called Breeze, River and Rocket.

Ok, stop laughing.

The modes are colour coded Green, Blue and Red. Green is said to feel like a tailwind, River is more natural, giving you the return on what you put in, while Rocket punches to a full 450W of support when needed. You can tell what mode you're in via the colour of the LEDs on the head unit, which will also give you an indication of charge left, albeit in 20% increments.

You can completely tune the modes via a Fazua app, to make the bike ride exactly how you want.

The battery is in tube, which means it's staying there. This has allowed Pivot to make the build lighter, but it will mean that lower overall weight doesn't mean you can sling a battery-free eMTB into a bike bag for plane travel. There is a range extender that adds another 210Wh.

Our take

While we haven't seen or ridden the new Pivot Shuttle SL, it would be great to get one out on the dirt. Based on riding other mid-power eMTBs, they have been a blast to get out and ride, giving you a little more boost to get more runs in, without having any major impact on bike handling, or getting the bike to and from the trails. The Shuttle SL should be a very popular addition not just to Pivot's range, but to the mid-power market.

If you need details on spec, price, and what's coming into Australia, contact Pivot Cycles Australia.