Pivot team manager and DH Pro Bernard Kerr received the first prototype version of their 2014 race bikes - air-freighted from the factory - and it is a huge departure from the Phoenix it will eventually replace. Bernard built it up immediately and was returning from his first hot lap on the bike when we caught up with him. The new chassis is designed specifically around 27.5 inch wheels, for starters, and it features X-Fusion suspension front and rear. Bernard said the graphics and component spec was not production and that Pivot was still settling on a proper name for the bike. He was impressed with the bike's performance from the start and was keen to get back on the mountain. The following is as much of the story as we could piece together in the brief time we had to get some spy photos. What We Know About the Frame Design
The new chassis is longer, lower and slacker than its predecessor
. Reportedly, the top tube is a half-inch longer, the bottom bracket is slightly lower than the Phoenix, and the head angle is slacked out to 62-degrees. The seat tube is a stub, welded to a large, two-piece welded forging that carries the pivot locations for the rear suspension and also forms the bottom bracket shell. Pivot pioneered the technique of manufacturing critical parts of the frame from thin, matching halves that are then welded together to form a rigid and lightweight structure with precise locations for key components. The dropouts are bolted to the rear suspension and the left-side dropout incorporates the brake caliper mount. Pivot confirmed that a 26-inch-wheel option will be available in the form of modified headset cups and a different dropout combination. The through-axle screws into a machined nut on the drive side that also integrates the derailleur hanger. Up front, the tapered head tube has no form of adjustable cup - yet - because the team protos are intended for World Cup competition. Cable routing is mostly external, but all cables and hoses run cleanly through a tunnel on the down tube formed by the shock mount. As a nod to the future, the down tube has a port to route a Reverb Stealth-type dropper seatpost. Suspension Notes
Acceleration and pedaling is virtually ensured by the bike's dw-Link arrangement. Mechanically, the suspension linkage creates an instant center that is high and forward at the beginning of the suspension travel, suggesting that the new configuration is intended to perform better than its predecessor on square-edged bumps. Rear travel is listed as 207 millimeters. The nature of the suspension curves was not known, but the bike feels very plush through the first half of its travel. X-fusion
is the suspension sponsor of the Pivot Team, so we got an up close and personal look at the new RV1 DH fork. The lowers looked like production items, although both crowns were CNC-machined prototypes - a tipoff that the fork offset was adjusted for 27.5-inch wheels at the crown and not by altering the dropout castings. Bernard says that he and team-mate Austin Warren have been impressed with the performance of X-Fusion's shock and fork, and also by the support that the X-Fusion factory has provided them. We were not told who was going to be racing the new Pivot - either Austin Warren or Bernard Kerr - but from all accounts, the bike is ready to do battle in its present form, and with Whistler's trail network in rougher shape than it normally is at this time of the year, the big wheels should play a supporting role in the race this weekend. As for when and how the new chassis will appear in final production, we will have to wait and see. Knowing Pivot's expertise with the material, we are hopeful that a carbon version will also be available. Pinkbike will keep you updated as we get more information on Pivot's new DH weapon. - RCPivot Cycles
...But, why not have it slightly re positioned and have a full seat tube?!
it also makes front triangle tubing less complicated, and thus less expensive!!
one thing to consider though:
with this change in the phoenix, do factory statements like ''centered position of the shock'', ''low position of the shock'', become a bit marketing bullshit??
DW is moving towards more compact linkages on all of the bikes he designs (see the dramatically reduced size of the rear triangle and the much shorter and heavily raked upper link) because they allow for a more heavy manipulation of the anti-squat profile over the course of travel. With all of DW's newer linkages the activity (or speed) and arc of that upper link is much greater than in the past. At nil travel it points somewhere ahead of the lower link (which has always been the case) and at full travel it points behind it - the latter involves a 'switch' similar in kind to the one that happens on the Yeti SB trail bike linkage. DW is using this like always to achieve very effective control over the anti-squat curve and indications are that a sharper tailing off of AS in the non-pedaling final portion of travel might be achievable allowing a better pedal feedback result without compromising pedaling performance.
Smith did pretty good on a "little" bike with 650b in the air DH last week. Definitely not a disadvantage, and there is an advantage.
Own both frames and both ride very nicely, but they have a slightly different feel to them presumably because of this arrangement. Struggling with the looks of this frame, the Pheonix had such nice lines, this thing may ride really nice, but it ain't too pretty.
thats because its THE SAME DW-LINK SUSPENSION!
With the thin wall approach mentioned in the article I would think they are closer to the old intense frames. Although the welding method reminds me of the mountain Cycles San Andreas.
Not sure why you would ever want to use the word thin in a downhill bike though?
That 951 is a awesome looking bike, even if it is a bit 'older' by todays standards.
This one does not have a change in hell !