Hello, Pivot Cycles Firebird. This new enduro mountain bike could be the dirt cruiser you’ve been looking for if you ride rugged, wide-open terrain and want six inches of travel but don’t want to push a heavy, beastly rig up the hill. The benchmark in the mountain bike enduro space has been the Yeti Cycles SB6, which tips the scales at just under 30 pounds. Now, the Pivot Firebird ups the ante by also coming in under 30 pounds, and giving you what rides like three bikes in one.
Enduro That Feels Nimble
And Pivot Cycles has shoved more chips onto the table, too, because not only are they promising sub-30-pounds, but a do-everything kind of versatility that allows running 29, 27.5 or 27-plus wheels (up to 2.8-inch wide rubber). The super short, 16.9-inch chainstays are half an inch shorter than those of the Yeti, and even with a 10mm longer-travel fork (170mm vs. 160mm on the SB6), the Firebird’s wheelbase remains a relatively tight, 46.8 inches. That’s hardly truckish and should make the Pivot feel agile enough for everyday trail rides.
Consider that a five-inch-travel Specialized Stumpjumper has a 46-inch wheelbase (all sizes, medium). And the Stumpy is decidedly more trail focused in its geometry, meaning it’s way less ideal for fall-away steeps than the Firebird. And guess what? The Stumpjumper’s chainstays are actually longer than those of the Pivot Firebird.
Pivot’s argument is that nothing lends to flickability and quick-feeling acceleration when you ratchet the pedals quite like ultra-short chainstays. The easiest way to understand that is that it takes less energy to move a shorter lever.
A Bike That’s Adjustable on the Fly
If you prefer to roll 27.5, perhaps because you’re a short drink of water, like your author, Pivot made sure you’d experience fewer pedal rock slams by offering a shim beneath the head tube, to raise the bottom bracket height. And there’s a two-position switch for the rear-end, too, in case you want to raise the ride height, or drop it further—the latter would be ideal for park riding on 29er wheels, say. And speaking of which, using that shim on the head tube would effectively slacken the head angle on 29er wheels. Ideal if the day calls for extra steep downhill bombing runs.
All of this extra versatility, plus a very low standover cockpit, to keep your center of gravity squat, argue in the Firebird’s favor. As does the fact that the massive tire clearance that allows you to run 27+, also means that even if riding includes Scotland-level slop, the frame should remain rub free.
Now, whether you’ll also want to go fetch a vintage Pontiac Fire Chicken to drive yours to the trailhead, is entirely your call.
$5,099 to $9,199 • BUY