Luke Strobel Bike Check - Pivot Phoenix DH

Apr 18, 2012
by Colin Meagher  
 
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Luke Strobel s World Cup Pivot Phoenix being test ridden on Luke s training trails in Cascadia WA. The Phoenix features a triple butted 6000 series aluminum front triangle mated to a one-piece cold forged rear swing arm. In essence it s elegant like a samurai sword but is as brutally stiff and efficient as a machete on the trails.
  Luke Strobel's World Cup Pivot Phoenix being test ridden on Luke's training trails in Cascadia, WA. The Phoenix features a triple butted 6000 series aluminum front triangle mated to a one-piece cold forged rear swing arm. In essence, it's elegant like a samurai sword, but is as brutally stiff and efficient as a machete on the trails.

Team Kenda-Pivot s Luke Strobel s World Cup Pivot Phoenix. The Pivot features a 64 degree head angle with 207mm of rear travel managed by Dave Weagle s revered DW-Link. The bike as pictured is set up for practice so it features the DT Swiss hub Mavic 521 hoops seen here vs. race day Dee-Max Ultimates. This practice set-up weighs in at a respectable 37.1 lbs. Considering that almost every part is available to the public this looks to be one helluva a sweet ride. Retail on a stock Phoenix frame with a Fox RC4 rear shock rings in at 3k USD. A complete bike as specced on Pivot s site will run you a bit north of 6300 USD.
  Team Kenda-Pivot's Luke Strobel's World Cup Pivot Phoenix. The Pivot features a 64 degree head angle with 207mm of rear travel managed by Dave Weagle's revered DW-Link. The bike as pictured is set up for practice, so it features the DT Swiss hub/Mavic 521 hoops seen here vs. race day Dee-Max Ultimates. This practice set-up weighs in at a respectable 37.1 lbs. Considering that almost every part is available to the public, this looks to be one helluva a sweet ride. Retail on a stock Phoenix frame with a Fox RC4 rear shock rings in at $3k USD. A complete bike (as specced on Pivot's site) will run you a bit north of $6300 USD.

Suspension up front is handled by a well maintained Boxxer World cup.
  Suspension up front is handled by a well maintained Boxxer World Cup.

ODI flight control bars manage the steering and measure out at 750mm. These bars--with the addition of the ODI screw in wingtip controls--can be widened by up to 36mm. They feature 25mm of rise and 5 degrees of upsweep x 9 degrees of backsweep. Hidden under the stem is a Cane Creek Angleset that allows for headangle adjustments of up to 1.5 degrees allowing Luke to go as slack as 62.5 deg up front .
  ODI flight control bars manage the steering and measure out at 750mm. These bars--with the addition of the ODI screw in wingtip controls--can be widened by up to 36mm. They feature 25mm of rise, and 5 degrees of upsweep x 9 degrees of backsweep. Hidden under the stem is a Cane Creek Angleset that allows for headangle adjustments of up to 1.5 degrees (allowing Luke to go as slack as 62.5 deg up front).

The ODI Flight Control Direct Mount Boxxer Stem measures in at 50mm. This stem features moto style clamping--the top two bolts are designed to bottom out so only the bottom two bolts need be tightened to a torque setting.
  The ODI Flight Control Direct Mount Boxxer Stem measures in at 50mm. This stem features moto style clamping--the top two bolts are designed to bottom out, so only the bottom two bolts need be tightened to a torque setting.

On his home turf Luke is rocking a set of stock 2.35 Kenda Nexcavater meats with the RSR sticky compound. A life-long Maxxis Minion DHF rider Luke was pleasantly surprised by the Nexcavator s grip even though he wasn t riding it tubeless.
  On his home turf, Luke is rocking a set of stock 2.35 Kenda Nexcavater meats with the RSR sticky compound. A life-long Maxxis Minion DHF rider, Luke was pleasantly surprised by the Nexcavator's grip, even though he wasn't riding it tubeless.

The DT Swiss hubs are a rock solid performer--perfect for training.
  The DT Swiss hubs are a rock solid performer--perfect for training.

Suspension in the back is maintained by a Rockshox Kage shock with a 450lb ti spring. The upper rockers ride on 16mm pivot pins to increase frame stiffness.
  Suspension in the back is maintained by a Rockshox Kage shock with a 450lb ti spring. The upper rockers ride on 16mm pivot pins to increase frame stiffness.

The rear shock mounts low in the frame for a lower center of gravity and better cornering. This combined with the DW-link s anti-squat characteristics makes for a low stiff bike that corners on a dime without the penalties normally associated with a low BB. The DW linkage shown here is mounted on 17mm pivot pins with a double row of EnduroMax bearings for long life and a supple ride. Additionally the short DW link and the 83mm wide bb shell contribute to minimize lateral flex.
  The rear shock mounts low in the frame for a lower center of gravity and better cornering. This, combined with the DW-link's anti-squat characteristics makes for a low, stiff bike that corners on a dime without the penalties normally associated with a low BB. The DW linkage shown here is mounted on 17mm pivot pins with a double row of EnduroMax bearings for long life and a supple ride. Additionally, the short DW link and the 83mm wide bb shell contribute to minimize lateral flex.

Luke s been riding Shimano for a number of seasons but the switch to Pivot necessitated a switch to SRAM s X0 group that has been fairly seamless . The Phoenix also sports replaceable dropouts that allow for wheelbase adjustments in 10mm increments. This is a stock feature for the Phoenix.
  Luke's been riding Shimano for a number of seasons, but the switch to Pivot necessitated a switch to SRAM's X0 group that has been fairly "seamless". The Phoenix also sports replaceable dropouts that allow for wheelbase adjustments in 10mm increments. This is a stock feature for the Phoenix.

With his new Pivot Luke is running a combo of SRAM X0 brake levers master cylinder with Avid Code calipers.
  With his new Pivot, Luke is running a combo of SRAM X0 brake levers/master cylinder with Avid Code calipers.

Top 20 World Cup bragging rights translates to custom laser etched Bergtec flats with a nice assortment of pins for grip on even the muddiest tracks.
  Top 20 World Cup bragging rights translates to custom laser etched Bergtec flats with a nice assortment of pins for grip on even the muddiest tracks.

One nice thing about having your own test track is being able to shred brown pow anytime. Strobel gettin low in the top left hander on a recently constructed line.
  One nice thing about having your own test track is being able to shred brown pow anytime. Strobel gettin' low in the top left hander on a recently constructed line.

Nexcavators getting all of that first corner...
  Nexcavators getting all of that first corner...

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78 Comments

  • + 43
 This bike reminds me of the Sunday so bad. And specially with the Sunday disappearing, it is like its evolution, it is like the Sunday with today's toys en frame building technology. It is like its reincarnation, or should I say realuminization?
  • + 7
 Yeah, I've always thought of this frame as a highly refined and up-dated Sunday. I don't think they'd mind too much at Pivot with that comparison either.
  • - 19
flag superbobob (Apr 18, 2012 at 1:23) (Below Threshold)
 Tell me if I'm wrong but I think the Sunday had a floating shock, in the style of Trek or Commençal designs.
It looks like, here, the shock is attached to the front triangle.
  • + 5
 The shock on the Sunday is not floating. I just coincides with the point where the lower link is bolted to the frame. Nevertheless, a floating shock is just another (of infinite options/linkages available) for the designer to control the bike´s motion ratio. The motion ratio is, of course, not the same in the Sunday and the Phoenix, but that is part of the evolution I think.
  • - 5
flag kaniaes (Apr 18, 2012 at 1:50) (Below Threshold)
 How to put there cane creek double barrel? ;]
  • - 5
flag pperini (Apr 18, 2012 at 2:12) (Below Threshold)
 @juanpkumicho the shock on this one is not a floater...take a look at the lower swinger..under that silver lower swinger u will see another bolt for the lower eye shock..and on the swnger aswell there is no bolting for the shock...so...
  • + 5
 that was his point, neither the Sunday or the Pivot has a floating shock...
  • + 3
 oh..true...must have misread something...
  • + 1
 @ kaniaes you can put a ccdb in there, I have one on my pivot pheonix
  • + 1
 What does have a floating shock? And yeah I agree this is basically a modern sunday. DW link and such a similar looking frame...cant' really argue with that

But what happened to Iron Horse?
  • + 12
 @xpirimint About Iron Horse : forums.mtbr.com/general-discussion/what-happened-iron-horse-711610.html

And guys, you're a bit trigger-happy with those red arrow buttons...
  • + 5
 Bet he has fun adjusting his shock settings on that frame! haha
  • + 2
 the sunday has the lower link and the lower part of the shock bolted to the frame at the same axis. i like the sunday a lot more than this pivot which looks more like a slacker 7 point. dorel industries should bring back the sunday and stop making those cheap mall bikes using the iron horse name
  • + 1
 shit mountain bikers says brown pow
  • + 3
 Get Sam to ride it, we will see the sunday back then..
  • + 1
 Burgtec*
  • + 1
 The pivot has DW link the same as the sunday had. It is a near exact bike as the sunday just newer.
  • + 13
 Interesting that he's running the low end shock?
Is the Kage not supposed to be the budget alternative to the Vivid? (or does it have Vivd gubbins inside and having the Kage body i good sponsorship advertising?)
  • + 1
 .... Big Grin
  • + 1
 it's a sweet shock, just wish I had the TI spring
  • + 0
 I read that somwhere that pro riders like the kage omore. Maybe because of it's simplicity!? I had a vivid and never messed with the ending stroke rebound simply because I didn't have the appropriate tool on the trail.
  • + 1
 the vivid might be too regressive for the phoenix (if it has a similar leverage curve to the sunday), kage looks like a normal monotube damper while vivid is ohlins style twintube (thin shaft, little bottoming resistance).
  • - 2
 The firebird has a floating rear shock, but looks like the phoenix does not. As a comparison with the sunday, i dont think pivot will mind at all. A design proven by Sam Hill and refined by pivot has to be an absolute weapon. As far as I can tell DW link is licensed to Turner Pivot and Ibis - and "borrowed" by Giant and Merida. would be interesting to see a comparo between race bikes or even AM bikes to see if there are any subtle differences in handling between them
  • + 7
 The Maestro linkage is NOT the same as the DW-Link or else DW would have sued them over it as he has other designs. For that matter, you can't patent linkages outside of the USA. Suspension theory and designs ripped from cars and motorcycles, and suddenly applied to bicycles are not NEW inventions.
  • + 2
 when will you people learn that the only 2 things that matter are the leverage curve and the axle path? what linkage is used to achieve specific curves doesn't matter at all. linkage designs matter only for looks and marketing and eventually making room for a bottle in xc/am bikes. the only thing i noticed maestro does different than the dw link is that the shock mount is concentric with the lower link frame pivot, this is an unnecessary design constraint. also the dw link patent is about the leverage curve, not the linkage. taking that into account, i say that the patent is pretty much bullshit, at least in case of sunday vs turner dw dhr:the sunday rides much more like a banshee legend than like a turner dw dhr - the dhr is an entirely different beast and is exactly what dw had in mind in the first place - progressive-linear-progressive leverage curve. in theory, this is nice but can prove a nightmare to tune the shock for.

also, to correct myself - no shock is regressive, i meant to say linear for the vivid. the frames can be regressive (sunday in the second half of travel, idk about the phoenix)
  • + 1
 Isn't the VPP system patent partially based around it's use of counter-rotating links? That's why nobody else can use a similar linkage system in the US, and nowadays VPP has largely done away with the S-curve axle path that made it famous (and ride goofy).
  • + 3
 Yes, that's not what the original VPP patent covered but SC filed extra patents that were much broader after buying the original patents from Outland Designs. That's why they're suing Yeti in fact, because the Yeti SuperBike linkage involves one of the links counter-rotating thru part of the wheel travel (it then reverses direction and co-rotates in the same direction as the other link). Its the same sort of bullshit specialized has done with inertia-valve shocks. License the original inventor of the technology's design with an exclusive agreement for bicycles, then turn around and redesign it with small changes that totally screw up how it supposed to function and file for new patents without bothering to disclose the known prior art to the patent office. Then use their money/lawyers to crowd out out brands that might want to go to the same ACTUAL inventor and license his design (as they did to Stratos for example).

For that matter, sticking to DW... we have trek and Dave both designing concentric-dropout-axle pivot designs at virtually the same time, Trek got their patent awarded first, and both being in a position of trying to sue the other guy being pointless as it opens up the issue of what if they get an intelligent judge who actually bothers to read the patent law and possibly actually applies it. Trek won't license their version to other brands, but Dave will his... but hardly anybody wants to license it, so its essentially a stalemate. The real fun is going to happen in 2 years when the horst-link patent has expired and everybody who employs a seatstay pivot currently (Kona, Ventana, etc) suddenlly switches to Horst-links and specialized no longer has anything to claim sets their suspension apart other than the shocks.
  • + 2
 i think it is but you can achieve radically different things using "counter-rotating" links. all this patent trolling is driving me nuts, dw is the ultimate patent troll but he makes a living on it so good for him. what i meant to say that many presume sunday (phoenix looks similar but i'm not sure) and dhr ride similarly because of the "dw link" yet they are almost polar opposites with dw dhr being in a league of it's own, no bike has such a radical leverage curve, also how do you patent 2 completely different curves under the same patent? it's nonsense.
  • + 0
 lol deeeight beat me to it.

specialized actually played their hand wisely, they kept the pivot low on their dh bike and got people used to its sucky square edge bump response. when the patent expires, all they have to do is raise that pivot by say, 30ish mm, invent a new acronym (something along the lines of vpp2 Big Grin ) and the crowd will be amazed at how the new bikes plow.
  • + 3
 It still amazes me that any country can uphold a patent on an arrangement of 4 bars and pivots. You could literally write out every combination possible in half an hour, with the bare minimum of engineering knowledge, and as you see from the fact that various manufacturers use various linkages, with no great difference in end effect between them, no-one is actually achieving anything even vaguely revolutionary.
Patent law requires there to be novelty, non obviousness, and commerciability. Arrangements of four bars fail on the first two counts, and thus a patent on FSR, DW, VPP etc is only worth the amount of money you are willing to spend inhibiting/wasting other people's time through futile lawsuits.
  • + 5
 You guys are nerds.
  • + 1
 oh god, not this shit again. we guys tend to know how we like our bikes to behave and choose them accordingly instead of buying something that doesn't suit us and then writing a shitty review on a perfectly good bike resulting in people not buying what's actually good, buying instead some hyped-up piece of crap like the demo since they paid sam and brendog to ride it.
  • + 0
 Why don't you like the demo?
  • + 6
 how you ride your bike is matter most . . . Big Grin
  • + 2
 Exactly! Stop talking about leverage rates and go ride!
  • + 2
 No, it's pissing down with rain outside, more fun talking about bikes right now.
  • + 1
 i ride my bike well, thank you.
  • + 6
 Berm shots are incredible! Just glad to see Luke was able to get in the world cup this year! Were all routing for you here in Cascadia!
  • + 1
 Gotta love riding in Cascadia. I have to keep my eye out for big cats and such.
  • + 3
 i don't know if this is already said but the sunday??? hhhmmm yes i can see the similarities there but sorry i would say it has more similarities to a glory sorry Frown the way the cables run over the shock/rear quarter pivot the pivot it's self, shape of top post before the seat, the short rear quarter.......
sorry but i think it looks more like a glory just my opinion.
  • + 6
 Strobel is king. Hope he wins a World Cup SOON!
  • + 5
 Strobels a pinner.
  • + 0
 'A bit north of $6300'.... sixty.three.hundred.dollars!? You can build 2 BMW E30 grassroot's for that, a spec Focus, a nice used GSXR, a 21' SanJuanl, or get a YZF450 bran spankin' new.... come on bike industry, me thinks this is getting ridiculous....
  • + 3
 for a professional race bike, that's not bad. Pro XC race bikes can run a lil north of $10k, same with road bikes.
  • + 2
 For you guys comparing the Phoenix, Sunday, and DHR here is some good info. forums.mtbr.com/pivot-cycles/phoenix-shock-stroke-spring-rate-719635.html
  • + 1
 aaaaaaaaaand the phoenix is slightly regressive. this, AGAIN, has nothing to do with the dw dhr leverage curve (the whole point of the patent). think of it as a sunday minus the bottoming issues some people had which is good, actually, but that dw sticker is just plain marketing rubbish.
  • + 1
 btw it would seem it will pedal a bit better than the sunday but also have more pedal feedback (antisquat)
  • + 2
 Luke shreddin' his bike in South Africa....

www.pinkbike.com/video/247610
  • + 1
 A the first glance, the way i was seated, on the second pic the fork looked like a Lefty Boxxer ! : )
  • + 1
 that is one sick looking rig, I loved the IH sunday and this can only be an improvement
  • + 1
 Slack is fun. Kage is sensible. Works out of the box and is sturdy. Simplicity rules.
  • + 1
 i feel sorry for the berm or the remains of the berm in that last photo he completey destroyed it Razz
  • + 2
 y is he running a kage rear shock...??
  • + 3
 that frame is pure Sex!
  • + 2
 These Pivot frames are awesome. Would love to own a Pivot M4X
  • + 1
 Sick sled and dialed setup, really dig the new Kendas...best of luck for the 2012 season !!!
  • + 2
 them new kendas realy dig that berm aswell by the looks of things haha
  • + 1
 Could the initial marketing blurb be any more gushing? lol
  • + 1
 Yeah Luke!! Sick bike!! Good luck at WC!!!
  • + 1
 Geometry is terribly different
  • + 2
 love pivot bikes
  • + 1
 What kinda chain ring is that? Looks blingy
  • + 2
 It's an e13.
  • + 1
 looks like head angle is 62-63°
  • + 6
 My eyes spy 62.5° ...from the text lol
  • + 1
 It's adjustable down to 62.5 but the stock setting is at 64.
  • + 1
 ah ok, did not see in text Wink
  • + 1
 That is crazey 2.45 in tiers. That is that i am runing on my am bike
  • + 1
 that bike is so slack
  • + 1
 yum!!
  • + 1
 sick? Smile
  • + 1
 nuts!
  • + 1
 Solid ride!
  • - 2
 He is running XO cranks, so they will undoubtedly snap on him and kill him.
  • + 2
 am i right? xo cranks does not have the 2 clamping bolts at the left side of the crank, unlike the shimano and fsa gravity?
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