Bike Check: Matt Walker's Pivot Switchblade 29

Apr 1, 2020
by Aidan Oliver  

Matt Walker had a stellar week at Crankworx Rotorua with a third place in the Enduro, Air DH and Dual Slalom. All on his new Pivot Switchblade. Touted as an all-rounder, Matt's results certainly back that up, but when we sat down to do a bike check we discovered some more interesting quirks about Matt's bike set up as well as some new Fox parts...




Rider Name:Matt Walker
Age:30
Height: 183 cm/6'0"
Hometown: Christchurch, New Zealand
Instagram: @mattjwalker

Pivot Switchblade
Frame: Pivot Switchblade, Medium
Fork: Fox RAD, 115 psi, tight lipped on any other details for now
Shock: Fox RAD, 175 psi tight lipped on any other details for now
Wheels: Reynolds Black Label Enduro rims with Industry 9 Hydra Hubs
Seatpost: Fox Transfer 170mm
Tires: Maxxis Minion DHF and DHR. 23 front psi, 27 rear, DH casing
Saddle: Phoenix WTB Team High Tail
Cranks: Shimano XTR 170mm
Bars: Renthal Fatbar 760mm
Stem: Renthal Apex 50mm
Brakes: Shimano XTR
Drivetrain: Shimano XTR 12 Speed, 34t chainring


The all-new Pivot Switchblade is certainly an aesthetically pleasing bike.

Despite being 183 cm/6'0", Matt runs a medium frame as he prefers the lively feel of a smaller bike.


bigquotesI think the bike industry is going in this longer is better trend, but in reality maybe it might feel more comfortable but is it actually better for racing and riding? I would rather have something a bit more playful.Matt Walker


One of Fox's new RAD forks. Still with 36mm stanchions, but a new lowers design and bleed ports which were previously only seen on the 40.


Matt also had a new RAD Float X2 shock. The main change looks to be one of the rebound controls has now moved to the bottom of the shock and a new air can shape.


Shimano's new XTR brakes to keep Matt under control.


A very 'bedded in' Deathgrip for that familiar feel.


Matt also runs Shimano's new XTR 12 speed drivetrain.


The new Switchblade has tonnes of neat touches like this rubber cover to keep rocks out of the linkage.


Reynolds Blacklabel Endruo rims paired with Industry 9's super high engagement Hydra hubs.


La Croix is the team's hydration choice.


Old faithful Shimano DX pedals.


Kashima all round.


Full Renthal cockpit.






191 Comments

  • 105 7
 Mwahahahaaaa! Someone who likes a nimble feeling bike! I have a feeling we're going to start seeing a bit of pulling back from the Top Fuel Dragster geometry. Yeah it can go mach chicken down steep lines and feels good doing it but that's really all it's great at. It's a compromise everywhere else. Maybe not all manufacturers but some will start to embrace "new" (old) geometry and market it as nimble, fun, and playful. Guess what else is nimble, fun, and playful? 27.5 wheels....

I spent the previous 6 seasons on 29ers only and the past 2.5 seasons going down the rabbit hole of longer, lower, and slacker. Every season I was faster on straight-ish DH segments for sure but I kinda hated riding everything else and didn't love any of my bikes. Then I test rode a 27.5 Stumpy and loved it. The LBS that I'm loyal to is a Santa Cruz dealer so I decided to try a Bronson and I immediately fell in love with riding again. It's not as efficient as the 2020 Hightower that it replaced, It takes a little more pedal power to keep it up to speed on flat sections but I don't care. It's so much more fun on every other section of trail. I'm sure I'll own another 29er for long epics in the mountains but for fun rides the Bronson is my best buddy.

Anyhow, way off topic. I wouldn't mind if this Pivot was my next 29er. Absolutely mint!
  • 41 38
 Long, slack bikes are performance bikes. They climb better, are faster and safer downhill especially in the rough and if you ride in the center corner just fine. No they aren't the best for manually, bunny hopping or backflips. Ride whatever you like but don't tell me long, slack bikes are one trick ponies because they aren't!
  • 30 1
 @SintraFreeride: Not one trick ponies, just better at certain things and worse at others. I feel like one of the reasons that short travel 29ers are becoming more popular is because long, low and slack, longer travel 29ers are pretty boring anywhere that isn't a steep and really rough section of trail. People want a little excitement on other parts of the trail and on mellower trails. You know what isn't boring? A longer travel, reasonable geometry, 27.5 bike like the Bronson or even the Nomad. Crazy nimble everywhere with enough travel and Geo to handle steep rough stuff but with more fun and shenanigans sprinkled in. If I were seriously racing enduro (not strava) I would have a 29er race sled that was longer no doubt. The fastest bike I've owned yet was a Mondraker Foxy 29. Effortlessly fast albeit a little harsh. It was also boring and a chore to ride it on anything other than steep and fast trails.

What kind of climbing? Long fireroad climbs? Climbs that require tight turning and trials maneuvers? Steep climbs? Long and slack bikes with short chainstays climb like shit. You can't just lump all toboggan bikes into one category.
  • 30 7
 @mtbgeartech: Guess what else is nimble, fun, and playful? 26' wheels....
  • 9 4
 @mtbgeartech:
The new SC nomad is not fun on anything but steep trails. Picked up a 5010 and love that for all riding, but when it comes to steep trails and bike park, I take the nomad. On not so steep trails, the nomad is a pain.
  • 2 0
 @abzillah: Fair enough. Still less of a pain than the Megatower I suppose. I have the Bronson with the Cascade Components LT link and a coil shock now. The 5010 would be better for trail riding for sure but since I only have one bike right now the Bronson is a good compromise for all types of riding.
  • 2 0
 @panchocampbell: I won't tell you you're wrong!
  • 17 0
 @mtbgeartech: I will. @panchocampbell 26 foot wheels?!?
  • 5 0
 @laksboy: Aahahahahaaa! Very low angle of attack. Carries speed extremely well...
  • 16 3
 Yeah, I think you see a lot of top EWS riders sizing down on travel and size these days. When you see a brute like Richie Rude riding a medium SB150, you know sizing has gotten out of whack a bit. Same goes for Keegan Wright (best results on the Troy which is Devinci's all-mountain bike) and Matt Walker it seems. Just goes to show that a lot of the current trend is just a band-aid for bike handling skills. Like I know the reason I stick with 29ers is basically our local terrain is super rocky, so it helps to have a bit more roll-over, but I'd probably be having more fun on the downs and in general with a 27.5er.
  • 5 15
flag Mondbiker (Apr 1, 2020 at 8:25) (Below Threshold)
 @roma258: Maybe if you tried a little harder you would found out that he was riding SB6 before and medium SB150 has almost the same reach as XL sb6...Soooo, no, even the most powerful pros are riding longer bikes than before because it works better for everyone who wants to go fast.
  • 9 0
 @Mondbiker: And they're riding shorter than the unwashed masses think they should. Because there's a point of diminishing returns coming into place. Nobody is claiming that their bikes haven't gotten longer. It's a question of where the sweet spot is.
  • 11 7
 @roma258: Well, numbers don´t lie. I don´t care what Richie or Sam or Martin rides, I´m glad there are companies out there that produce bikes for tall guys and people who might enjoy free speed boost. If you realise how long those aforementioned are riding bikes it´s massive change in geometry for them, over few years it´s equivalent to upsizing by typical 2 sizes. And pros are not known for being very open minded about bike setups as long as they were doing well before...Sweet spot is wherever you or me finds it, the important thing is to try thing first before stating opinions as facts, not that long ago DH bikes were running 64 degrees head angles and short chainstays, because someone thought that was the right thing to do, not because they tried all possible options.
  • 3 9
flag Mondbiker (Apr 1, 2020 at 9:20) (Below Threshold)
 @SintraFreeride: Don´t you love it when short bike fans for life down vote the shit out of you for stating the obvious? lol
  • 7 1
 @Mondbiker: Bro, Richie Rude is 24, Martin Maes is 23. These guys grew up with the new geometry. If they thought it would help them win, they'd use it. Isn't the whole marketing pitch that the new geo is driven by race proven geo?

I mean, whatever works for you, knock yourself out. It's not as simple as long and slack is bad (or good). There are many variables involved (including the terrain, rider, etc). The point is blindly saying there is only one way that works is....silly.
  • 7 14
flag Mondbiker (Apr 1, 2020 at 10:31) (Below Threshold)
 @roma258: First of all he is 25, second of all he turned pro when he was 15, so he is riding what´s modern for that age for 10 years, seriously, SB6 was "modern" 4 years ago ffs yet it´s completely and utterly outdated today. He rides significantly longer bike than what was considered up to date race bike yet there are guys running around all excited like it means anything that he still rides the same frame size as he did before, when numbers has totally changed. Guess what, Minaar always rides the biggest bike he can have from SC and he always raves about it, yet every model year he gets on longer and longer bike. Minaar, guy who was winning world cups 19years ago, if short bikes were great he would be riding XXS V10 today because that´s what largest available bikes were back then compared to what we have now. Is there a limit how far bike geometry can go before it just starts working less and less well? Of course there is, but thinking that companies who are not anywhere near cutting edge of geometry are there already is naive to say the least, they still cannot grasp the basic concept of front center to rear center balance so good luck to them understanding less obvious variables of bike geometry.
  • 1 0
 @panchocampbell: except there dead!
  • 10 3
 @Mondbiker: My gosh are your feelings hurt or something? 200 responses defending your long bike. I'm sorry that you need to feel like you have the best bike in the world.
  • 3 10
flag Mondbiker (Apr 1, 2020 at 11:21) (Below Threshold)
 @mtbgeartech: Hm, I wonder where the debate started lol, it´s always the guys with short bikes who can´t manual or bunnyhop for shit stating that long bikes don´t work and are over the moon when pro level athlete rides something remotely similar to what they own. If you suck at something you will suck at it no matter the equipment. On the other hand, if you are good like the guy who´s bike check this is btw, you could ride a bloody tricycle faster than most people here, big deal, it´s what you do for living after all while others aren´t.
  • 11 3
 @Mondbiker: It's a bicycle you whiny little bitch. Stop being so butthurt about it. Long bikes help inexperienced riders compensate for lack of bike handling skills by making them feel stable and safe at speed. Pros on long bikes are strong enough to take advantage of those characteristics. Many pros like shorter bikes for their style of riding. You are so worked up about your kind of bike being the best it's ridiculous.
  • 3 12
flag Mondbiker (Apr 1, 2020 at 11:35) (Below Threshold)
 @mtbgeartech: I never said my bike is the best...And it´s cool how you know everything about me lol big guy.
  • 6 0
 @Mondbiker: Rude is still sizing down from Yetis recommendations; based on those he should be on a large. Same with Hill on Nukeproof. I don’t disagree with you at all, I’ve been sizing up for reach on last 3 bikes; and loved them. But they weren’t as playful as I would have liked, and on super steep switchbacks it was tough to manipulate. New build I’m trying the shorter size (still 450 reach and I’m 170 cm). But at the end it’s all personal preference. Barelli is 170 cm on size large with 470 mm reach, Kelley is 188 cm on size 5 enduro. To each their own.
  • 2 10
flag Mondbiker (Apr 1, 2020 at 11:47) (Below Threshold)
 @Clifflane3: It all depends on what you are comparing, I could compare myself to Richie but that would be a bit ridiculous wouldn´t it? So why it matters so much to the most butt hurt people in here? And why it rubs them the wrong way when I state facts about him running longer and longer bikes with every new model year? I for one don´t care, I´m not his fan, boyfriend or mother and don´t ride his trails or have his skills, all I do is say the blatantly obvious thing, he s riding bigger bikes than he did before and if he wanted to he could size down to ride pretty similar bike to his previous one. I don´t have to be genius to see what he prefers but it looks like I can read better than most here so maybe I am genius, awesome.
  • 3 0
 @Mondbiker: It is interesting to watch those old videos of big lads like Peat and Minnaar riding those tiny little bikes with the narrow bars.
The bars were almost hitting the knees!
  • 8 2
 @Mondbiker: Ride whatever makes you happy. Nobody gives a shit. Except you, apparently since you jump on everyone's ass if they have a different preference.
  • 4 1
 @mtbgeartech: I agree that long travel bikes on tame terrain makes things less interesting. I personally don't dig "nimble/playful" bikes because these bikes don't climb very well and you can't descend like a demon.
All types of climbing. The steep seat angle, long chainstays and long reach makes climbing a breeze. I have gone to lower gears because I can now climb stuff only my friend on his ebike can climb. On tighter climbing trails you just need to anticipate and you are fine. The whole "short chainstays make it easier to turn the bike" is just specialized marketing. They make it super easy to lift the front wheel and manual but don't add traction or stability on the way down.
But like I said before if you dig your Bronson more power to you. I will stick to Pole and Nicolai.
  • 2 3
 @roma258: lol. You are assuming these pros have tested all sizes and have hardcore data to back their choices up, right? Most pros stick to what is most comfortable. Greenland sized up last year even though it didn't feel right initially. He ended up winning a world cup and having a decent season. Minnaar is still increasing reach in mm per year even though he has been racing for 20 years...I wouldn't use these pros for reference. Test stuff out yourself and draw your own conclusions.
  • 2 3
 @Mondbiker: If they had tried longer bikes and then STILL preferred short bikes I could deal with it but saying shit like "that bike can't corner, that bike is only good on the steeps" is getting so old...when they have never even tried a Pole or a Nicolai Geometron! Upsizing a Santa Crux Bronson doesn't count in my book!
  • 1 2
 @Mondbiker: I couldn't have said it better myself!
  • 3 0
 @Mondbiker: Pros do everything to be faster in the first place. Thats all that matters to them. If they choose to go with smaller size it's IMHO not because primarely they want their bike to be playful or fun but agile to be fast responding when going mach chicken at the race.

Same with the width of the handlebars. I read about it so many times. They run 760s because they want to avoid trees that keep charging at them at much higher pace than us. Enduro riders ride mostly natural trails so it only makes sense they want as much space as possible to widen that error margin.

And why they do it? Why best of them want to ride shorter bikes with narrower bars? Not because some fun. That's why they are on full 29ers and do not opt for 27.5. They choose so because they are much stronger than we so they can hold on to it. Because they are more skillful and can balance themselves even on smaller bike. It makes sense to me.

All this talking that marketing is evil because bike companies don't want us to have fun? Are we really comparing ourselves with pros? I'm tall guy and I'm just glad I can ride bike that fits me. You want to downsize to have more fun or whatever… Do it! Who am I to tell you what is right for you. Ride your damn bike. Keep safe everyone!
  • 1 0
 @panchocampbell: Bro, I'm not saying you're wrong. You could be on like a Chromag or something like that. But if you're riding a 26" bike thats 10 yrs old, and your butt is above your stem you should DEFINITELY try a new bike with modern geometry.
  • 2 0
 Do you not care that the BB is pressfit?
  • 1 0
 Awesome ????
  • 2 0
 @roma258: and Eddie Masters. He rides a Medium Firebird/Switchblade. BUT These are not the usual 'small' mediums like specialized, RM, Norco mediums etc as they have a reach of 455mm and ETT of 420/425
  • 1 0
 @mtbgeartech: "Long and slack bikes with short chainstays climb like shit."

Does the knolly fugitive LT fall into that category? Because it climbs really well, tech singletrack and steep fireroads. I'm 6'4" on an XL btw. I'm sure I'll catch some hate from the tallguy/short-chainstay/slack-actual-seatangle police that are trending here.
  • 2 1
 @thegoodflow: in short, compared to a long chainstay steep seat tube angle bike yes they are not as good at climbing. It is simple physics. If short rear ends were good at climbing, hill climb racing motorcycles would look much different.
  • 3 0
 @SintraFreeride: I've owned a Mondraker Foxy 29 and ridden a Pole Evolink 4 or 5 times for 1-2 hour rides each time. If all I were doing is winching to the top of a steep and WOT DH trail I would happily jump back on the Mondraker or buy a Pole. As I said it's the right tool for that job. My riding is much more diverse than that so I choose a bike that performs and feels best on the majority of my rides. Carving turns on this Bronson is an existential experience.

Honestly if my rides were only winch and plummet I'd pick up the new Canfield One.2.
  • 3 1
 @mtbgeartech: But hill climb motorcycles have a sweet spot too, or else their rear center would be 40' long, cuz longer is better, right? It's simple physics....condescend much?

And so I guess you place the fugitive, based on your bias and armchair geo assessment, in the long/slack/short-cs/sucks at climbing category.
What if, and bear with me here, 430mm was long enough, and whatever the effective seat angle is was steep enough, to not be a hindrance (no fighting to keep the front wheel down, no loss of traction) while climbing? How can you categorically say that it sucks at climbing, because you would definitely be wrong. It climbs tech like a beast, and it's actually a really playful and nimble bike.... but it has 29" wheels and a 500mm reach so it is a long boring stable bike for beginners with no skills... But it also has 430mm stays, so it can't climb and it's sketchy at speed.... I just don't know which internet know-it-all to believe anymore!
  • 1 3
 @mtbgeartech: re: the ONE.2... I eyeballed the actual seatangle and the stays are only 440mm... And the verdict is that bike definitely sucks at climbing... case closed.
  • 4 0
 My thoughts exactly. I have a bronson V4 and it’s the best bike I’ve ever owned.
  • 3 1
 @thegoodflow: Yes, obviously there's a sweet spot, still need to get enough weight on the back tire to provide traction but they sure don't have the rear wheel tuck under their ass now do they?

Your point about short stays and steep STA makes sense. STA has a sweet spot too though. Too steep and the body position sucks on flat and rolling terrain. Just make the ETT longer then right? Sounds good but doesn't seem to work in the real world. Again, for a winch and plummet only bike it would be fine. Any bike that is pedaled around on flat and rolling terrain there's a sweet spot.

XC bikes climb like beasts. All other bikes suck in comparison. Of course all of the geo numbers add up to what will or won't be a good climber. My Bronson isn't the greatest with it's slackish seat tube but after I installed the Cascade LT link which makes the stays 5mm longer I did notice an improvement on steep climbs. The Foxy and Hightower 2 I owned were both better fire road climbers but the Bronson beats them in tight and tech climbs. My Bronson is heavy and certainly doesn't carry speed like a 29er on flat ground but it's more fun where I have the most fun on a bike. I love it for that reason. I'm not a "look for the fastest line" kind of rider. I look for the most fun lines. I'm glad you like your bike too.
  • 1 2
 @j-maul: nope, I've visually assessed the geometry... slack seat-angle, short CS.... shitty climber.... case closed.
  • 2 3
 @mtbgeartech: "XC bikes climb like beasts. All other bikes suck in comparison."

Depends on the climb. On smooth climbs, of course a light xc bike is better. On some really steep and loose tech climbs, my fugitive definitely climbs better than any xc bike I've ridden. It's simple physics.


"My Bronson is heavy and certainly doesn't carry speed like a 29er on flat ground but it's more fun where I have the most fun on a bike. I love it for that reason. I'm not a "look for the fastest line" kind of rider. I look for the most fun lines."

I've visually assessed the geometry of the Bronson... Reach and chain-stays are too long... wheelbase is massive... verdict: not poppy and playful enough, shitty bike for having fun... case closed.

Thanks for the geometry lesson.
  • 3 1
 @thegoodflow: Oh, you're just butthurt and not ready to have an actual discussion. Fair enough, I'll get on your level. Everyone thinks your bike sucks and that your component choices suck. Neenerneenerneeeneeeerrrrr.
  • 1 3
 @mtbgeartech:

No i'm not butthurt, but I'm just making the same kind of baseless sweeping generalizations as you are, but you don't like it as much when someone else is doing it.

And, I don't care what you think, i just ride what I think is fun and what makes me happy. I'm not a boring go fast and straight kinda guy... I like to shred and schralp and boost all the way over the hill and through woods straight to your mom's house.

Nerd!
  • 2 1
 @thegoodflow: Not exactly baseless generalizations. More from the experience of riding 100s of different bikes. I go to as many demo days across the continent as possible and ride as many different bikes as possible. I almost bought a Knolly before buying the Bronson but the Bronson was too good of a deal to pass up. They're great bikes.

You're butthurt. Calling names and spewing insults is a clear indication.
  • 1 2
 @mtbgeartech: no I just dislike you and I'm being childish about it. There's a difference. Deal with it.
  • 2 0
 @thegoodflow: So you're butthurt about me then, got it. There's nothing for me to deal with, I'm indifferent to the situation.
  • 1 2
 @mtbgeartech: idk, you sound kinda butthurt
  • 2 0
 @professed: If the ETT was actually shorter than the reach, these truly would be "progressive" new-school frames! Even Pole and Nicolai haven't gotten there just yet. :-)
  • 1 2
 @mtbgeartech: "XC bikes climb like beasts" lol! They only climb well because they are light. Their geometry is utter garbage for climbing! Have you seen their seat angles? Uber slack!
  • 1 1
 @Climbtech: Why would you want an ETT to be shorter than reach? For that to be true the seat angle would have to be above 90º! If you don't think Pole or Nicolai are progressive then you must think everyone else is in the stone age! lol
  • 1 0
 @SintraFreeride: I could have a more boring bike to ride on more boring trails, so why not just ride fun gnar all the time?
  • 2 0
 @Climbtech: yeah sorry about that ! ETT is around 625 ( not 425).

The Earlier argument around climbing is rather silly.

Chainstay length doesn’t determine climbing ability for all situations and all trails

We climb chunky and tighter trails where I ride and the short stay bikes without overt anti squat seem to do best. Horses for courses
  • 84 0
 April 1st 2020 will always be remembered; on this day a (very cool) bike with matching Kashima was shown.
  • 16 1
 There's no other explanation.. It MUST be photoshop
  • 4 0
 And the tires match the rims ... Most importantly
  • 1 0
 Always irritated and puzzled my why they were'nt
  • 1 0
 @oskare: I've heard that the stanchions for the forks/shocks/seatposts are produced at different facilities.
  • 47 1
 I love how this bike is "not computing" with all the PBers! "6' on a Medium!?! It can't be! PB told me I need to size up not down!?!" "760mm bars?? is this guy mental? You can't be stable at speed on anything but 800s!!!"
  • 21 37
flag axleworthington (Apr 1, 2020 at 6:32) (Below Threshold)
 Mountain bikers are like Women: They follow trends even when it makes no sense. "Well all of my friends are getting stupid tattoos and a septum bull ring, so I should too."
  • 12 9
 @axleworthington: Man the septum piercing is unattractive! Good comparison!
  • 6 1
 "Size Up" has to be the worst advice... Arms and legs only have so much range, not to mention how joint flexibility limits bike flickability. Not to mention, shorter bars: just means you need to be stronger to handle the return forces, but gives you more range to move around without your arms pulled wide.

Fun to see Matt rolling a solid size down! Makes me want to try a Small at my height!
  • 4 1
 Rude is of similar stature (or at least height) and I think he also prefers a medium with bars cut to 760. I

I’m 186 cms and went with an XL HT2 and do wish I’d gone large. Waiting on the new Sentinel but am also curious how the used bike market will fare what with the current state of the world.
  • 1 4
 @djyosh: he is 180cm...
  • 4 0
 @Mondbiker: Nope 182cm - he may have grown since then too (I certainly grew into my 20's)

enduro-mtb.com/en/bike-check-richie-rude-yeti-sb150
  • 2 1
 @Svinyard: when man himself states differently, who am I to argue...https://www.instagram.com/p/BDORtZ9Rl-t/
  • 4 0
 @Mondbiker: Fair enough. Enduro-Mag is prob taking the middle ground into account I guess? We are talking 70.86in vs 71.66in. Regardless its interesting that all of these pros are downsizing.
  • 1 2
 @Svinyard: I honestly think that riders don´t know the exact number, I mean when is the last time you measured yourself? I sure as hell haven´t measured myself in last 10years while most people weight them self at least once a month.
  • 8 0
 @axleworthington: They also shame people for their choices based on personal biases better kept to themselves. News flash, men are just as bad as women on trend bandwagoning. Just look at beards, neck tattoos, and IPAs.
  • 5 1
 @mtbgeartech: I've been kind of hoping for a resurgence of the kangaroo bone septum piercing myself.
  • 5 0
 Don't forget Atkinson & Bryceland on their Mediums...I've been harping on this for a while--glad someone's getting props for it. At six feet on a Medium Bronson.3, my wide bars are useful for making sudden directional changes at trail speeds, as well as for rough landings. There are criteria other than speed.
  • 3 9
flag jaame (Apr 1, 2020 at 12:57) (Below Threshold)
 @mtbgeartech: I saw one about how women of Maori heritage in NZ were all getting those horrible tribal tattoos around their mouths and chins. I asked myself, is showing pride in your heritage worth making you look absolutely revolting?
Tattoos, I'm not really into them. I mean I can tolerate them, bit not on the face please. Especially not if you're a woman and/or hoping to be employed by someone/date a human.
  • 1 1
 Pros do everything to be faster in the first place. Thats all that matters to them. If they choose to go with smaller size it's IMHO not because primarely they want their bike to be playful or fun but agile to be fast responding when going mach chicken at the race.

Same with the width of the handlebars. I read about it so many times. They run 760s because they want to avoid trees that keep charging at them at much higher pace than us. Enduro riders ride mostly natural trails so it only makes sense they want as much space as possible to widen that error margin.

And why they do it? Why best of them want to ride shorter bikes with narrower bars? Not because some fun. That's why they are on full 29ers and do not opt for 27.5. They choose so because they are much stronger than we so they can hold on to it. Because they are more skillful and can balance themselves even on smaller bike. It makes sense to me.

Are we really comparing ourselves with pros? I'm tall guy and I'm just glad I can ride bike that fits me. Ride your damn bike and keep safe.
  • 1 0
 I have always ran 760 bars and smaller frames. IDGAF what the bike industry tells me.
  • 24 0
 Looks like he rides what he wants and has fun with it.
  • 14 1
 Interestingly, he says: "I think the bike industry is going in this longer is better trend, but in reality maybe it might feel more comfortable but is it actually better for racing and riding? I would rather have something a bit more playful."

I wonder how long this "longer is better" trend will continue. I think we reached the peak.
  • 11 10
 Longer is better...for flow trails...and low skilled riders.
  • 10 0
 @unrooted:
Which is what a lot of us ride and what a lot of us are.
  • 5 0
 @unrooted: medium skilled rider here, long bikes make far more difference in the rocks than they ever could on a flow trail. Ride what you like the feel of, end of story.
  • 1 2
 @catweasel: hilarious!
  • 2 0
 @unrooted: glad I was able to amuse you. I don't really get the angst here, plenty of sizes available for the average person. Some really short people may struggle to find a bike they like, just like tall people used to. 6' Walker rides a medium, 5'10 Gwin was experimenting with an XL, not sure it means anything
  • 2 4
 @unrooted:"Longer is better...for flow trails...and low skilled riders" That´s the first time I´ve heard someone call red bull hardline a flowtrail and Bernard Kerr low skilled rider. I guess he just didn´t get the memo. www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsLkcvrb2Zg&app=desktop
  • 3 2
 @Mondbiker: thank you, that’s exactly the point I was trying to make!
  • 2 0
 We may be reaching a peak in in the longer reach of bikes. Though Having ridden mtb for over 10 years the current length of bikes finally feel comfortable and not like i'm squashing my upper body into small area.
  • 15 1
 M size for 183cm ? Sure he likes shorties beneath him
  • 3 3
 Yeah I'm surprised that he's running a medium. I'm 184 and ride a large.
  • 2 4
 @bliz2z: 186 riding an XL
  • 10 1
 It has a 455mm reach, I find that pretty reasonable. I ride a 445mm reach at 1,80m and I don't find myself wishing for more reach, even on fast downhills. It's just fun if you can throw your bike around a little easier. For twisty trails that reach should be spot on
  • 4 4
 He is riding and M and he is racing...I think he is a fan of a) riding off the back and b) that the bike moves around alot when he is going fast...
  • 13 1
 @SintraFreeride: Watch his videos. He does look like he is on a smallish bike for his size but he really doesn't ride off the back and he doesn't look out of sorts at all. He look nimble and in control. Piloting the bike vs. sitting in coach.
  • 9 0
 @mtbgeartech: Ratboy rode a medium V10, and made the last race win on 26" wheels on one too. For similar reasons.
  • 1 0
 And that was before 'modern' geo was widespread, by accounts Santa Cruz's were known for being quite short too.
  • 5 0
 620 Top Tube and 455 reach is a large from what, 2-3 years ago. I'm sure he's fine.
  • 1 0
 186cm here and ride large RM Altitude, has the same reach than this medium Pivot heheh ...it also kinda depends on what steam u prefer, 50mm is what i use, so if i wanted 30mm i would want 2cm longer reach(480mm) a xl i guess.
  • 1 3
 @philmtb99: I'm 1.66 and ride an XL.
People always tell me it's too long but I've got a 33mm stem and a slamset so it's just about perfect.
  • 2 1
 @mtbgeartech: He can ride whatever he wants I just think it makes no sense especially since he is racing...
  • 1 0
 @jaame: You're on an XL, how do you deal with the 495mm seat tube length??? I'm 180cm and hate my bikes to have a seat tube longer than 460mm!
  • 2 0
 @bashhard: precisely. How can people critique fit based on the words ‘medium’ or ‘large’?

They mean fk all. There are no ‘standards’ for such descriptions.
  • 11 0
 Shimano DX pedals ftw!! Still run them on my bikes.
  • 1 2
 Does DX mean down-cross? Is it something between cross country and downcountry?
  • 2 0
 I think it stands for Downhill 4X and BMX hence the DX
  • 10 0
 115psi in the fork??? There's definitely something more going on inside the fork with the damper or air side
  • 2 0
 Lower air side looks like some sort of valve cap or adjuster.
  • 3 0
 @BigLips93 @shinook: I wonder if Fox is moving back to a coil negative but with a preload adjuster like DVO's OTT? 115 psi could be a pretty reasonable pressure for somebody his size on a Diamond.
  • 1 1
 @dlxah: My guess is that it's a 3 chamber airspring similar to the DSD Runt, Manitou IRT, or Ohlins ramp chamber.
  • 1 0
 Not sure what's going on inside the new fork, but I do know both he and Ed ran CRAZY high air pressure in their forks last year - 100+ psi. I wouldn't even get to 50% of the travel on that setup.
  • 1 0
 or that's the setup he had for dual slalom.
  • 1 0
 @heyjohnp: is the fox air spring much different to the lyric? I’ve never ridden a fox but my lyrik is running 2 tokens and 110psi. That set up is still very supple but ramps up nicely. I weigh 80kg. Any softer and it feels too soft. I like the front end to stay pretty high giving support.
  • 6 1
 6'0" tall and rides a medium... So maybe reaches (45.5cm on this medium) are getting stupid long? An average height male used to ride a large, maybe a medium if they like small bikes. Now the whole size scale has shifted down and someone above average height can pick a medium and feel quite comfortable.
  • 8 0
 I'm sure guys can pickup a longer bike and reap the benefits of it helping them out in certain things. However the industry needs to stop acting like it doesn't give up some of the good stuff in other areas (like Matt just mentioned). It's not better, its just different. I'd argue that its not ideal given that 29ers with meaty tires\suspension (which I ride as a tall dude) already give up some of the playfulness/agility that a 27.5 has...no reason to take it even further and make them even less nimble/playful with a giant wheelbase. It seems like people used to really want 29ers to have some of that 27.5 fun and worked hard to get the geo to work...then it was just "make moar reach/wheelbase!". Odd. I like that Pivot didn't go crazy with the length on this updated bike. Excellent all-rounder
  • 3 0
 Yep, just commented above, but it bears repeating here... I'm 5'11" (180 cm) but have longer legs and shorter torso. I've been on a large last two bikes but will be on a new medium in April. That said, even my new medium has a 475.5 reach and 635 top tube. The bike company adjusted their sizing because with the progression to riding longer bikes they've seen a migration of people riding bigger sized bikes (like typical medium riders moving to larges) and so adjusted their geometry and sizing to keep the right sized bikes overall, with the right sized riders.

If I went size large of my new bike, it would have had a 500 reach and 660.5 top tube, which would have been too long for me. I'm excited to get on what will be a relatively smaller bike (589 stack, 714 stand-over, & 1225 wheelbase) with still progressive geometry (475.5 reach, 635 top tube, 65 HA and 76.25 SA)... it's also rolling on 27.5 wheels.
  • 4 0
 Ah these other new long bikes are the best....but wait. Here is 6ft Matt downsizing & riding 455mm of reach better, than any of us, on a medium, after I'm sure he tried bigger sizes too. Then the, arguably, fastest man-bike-hulk on the planet tries multiple sizes, is 6ft (a hair under)...and also rides 460mm of reach in a medium Yeti for EWS bike no less. My opinion is we ought to spend that money on coaching, not some new super long bike.

Post purchase justification is savage tho...
  • 9 2
 I wonder what sound setting he's running those i9 Hubs at?
  • 11 0
 11
  • 2 0
 @blum585: anything higher than 6 isn't classy on the trail
  • 4 0
 @Dogl0rd: gotta go with at least a 7 to encourage social distancing...
  • 2 0
 @Dogl0rd: Better than the little bells to avoid surprising a bear or moose!
  • 3 0
 It’s like how the car ad tells us that the latest 4WD supercharged turbo rally inspired ride is the ride to have, because of all the WRC wins.......when we know deep down that what we really need is just a good old Leyland Mini Cooper to murder those twisties. I’m almost 6 feet tall and I can still fit into a Mini.
  • 5 0
 Bring me some LaCroix , i'm thirsty
  • 3 2
 I think it's more about inseam than height when it comes to bike size. Like yeah he's 6'0 but maybe he has a short inseam and longer upper body like many athletes. I'm 183cm as well but I ride an XL because my inseam is 35" and even on a large, the seat sticks out like a flagpole and I'm bent over the bars with my ass in the air. I still have enough space to run a 210mm dropper on an XL frame.

Then again, it's april fools who knows if any of this post is true
  • 14 0
 You got it on backwards. Long torso = bigger bike, shorter torso = smaller bike. That’s why you are laying over the front of the bike. You can’t have a really long reach and a short torso. If so, you’re on the wrong size bike.
  • 6 0
 @dualsuspensiondave: yep. I’m 6’ 3” and ride a large sentinel. My height is mostly in my legs and I have a short torso. XL feels to long in and out of the saddle. The cool thing about the latest bike geo is that you can pretty much just pick the reach length that feels best to you. Too much devotion is given to sizing guides. Everyone is different.
  • 1 0
 @dualsuspensiondave: I think the point is there is no definitive rule out there, and different things work for different people. What I meant is I'm laying over the bike on smaller sizes since the bars are lower. With the XL the headtube is longer so the bars are higher. I also have long ass arms to match the Kermit the frog legs lol. But yeah I bet I could've gotten a smaller frame and raised the bars somehow... (higher rise bars?)

But yeah the reach is 471mm on my XL bike so not massive or anything. Should have specified that it's not a super modern geo
  • 2 1
 @dualsuspensiondave: having a 34 inseam and only being 5’10 i would argue you have it wrong. I need a shorter bike for climbing and a long bike for descending as the longer leg raises your centre of gravity so having a longer reach lowers it significantly
  • 2 0
 @Lorieng: As a tall dude, we just crouch down a bit more to drop our CG. Problem solved. Watch the downhill pros, they are crouched low on the bike but also move around a ton. If you are using a long bike with a short torso, its stretching you into one position but also taking away your ability to more easily lever the bike up and you don't have as much movement capability. Better to just put yourself in that proper position with some coching to solve the problem more than a big bike.

@BiNARYBiKE the more pros I see with a setup close to what Lee McCormick recommends, the closer I am to thinking he is on to something...or at least close enough. I wish he would open up his advanced calculations that account for body measurements. Nevertheless, it seems like talented shredders get a lot out of a shorter bike (jibbing/airing the whole mtn) while the rest of us are looking for a safety sled and could use some coaching instead.
  • 2 0
 @Svinyard: The best DH riders stay flat on the bike and move up and down, not fore and aft, that´s what separates them from your average rider, they can maintain their posture no matter what terrain throws at them.
  • 3 0
 @dualsuspensiondave: Yes, exactly... I'm 5'11" (180 cm) but have longer legs and shorter torso. I've been on a large last two bikes but will be on a new medium in April. That said even my new medium has a 475.5 reach and 635 top tube. The bike company adjusted their sizing because with the progression to riding longer bikes they've seen a migration of people riding bigger sized bikes (like typical medium riders moving to larges) and so adjusted their geometry and sizing to keep the right sized bikes overall, with the right sized riders.

If I went size large of my new bike, it would have had a 500 reach and 660.5 top tube, which would have been too long for me. I'm excited to get on what will be a relatively smaller bike (589 stack, 714 stand-over, & 1225 wheelbase) with still progressive geometry (475.5 reach, 635 top tube, 65 HA and 76.25 SA)... it's also rolling on 27.5 wheels.
  • 2 0
 @Mondbiker: I was referencing the lateral movement. They def move fore and after when dropping off/hopping stuff (which is often) via a manual type technique as well as for other things too. Its a common movement for them.
  • 1 0
 @Svinyard: I guess you should watch more cathrovision vids then Wink Your commoner mtb rider moves all over the place a lot more than anyone who even qualifies to main event, do they use bunnyhop to gap over rough stuff? Well of course they do, there is no other technique to do it, it´s about their body position then they are actually riding not jumping that is almost precision machinery like. .
  • 1 0
 @Mondbiker: I think we are in "violent agreement". Look at them in a flat corner throwing the bike over. Now you could say they are moving the bike not their body, which is maybe your pt of contention and you'd be right at times, which still supports my point to the other guy. When you aren't stretched out, you have more ability to move the bike or your body. I just mentioned the fore-aft as you said they don't do that...but they do for hopping/dropping stuff and certain jumps.
  • 1 0
 @Svinyard: maybe we are trying to say something similar but I´m not sure. The common misconception about long reach bikes is that they will stretch you out, well, no they don´t unless you ride it like a small bike with ass touching rear tire when it gets a bit steeper than you are comfy with. The whole point of long bikes is to stay between wheels, relaxed, let the bike move underneath you while enjoying all the grip in the world. When you see Amaury riding it´s almost shocking how low and forward he is almost always, I mean his chinbar is 5cm from touching stem at times.
  • 1 0
 @dualsuspensiondave: Just flip rotate your stem 180 on the steer tube. Instant short cockpit!
  • 2 1
 @Mondbiker: Yes, but (and I like longer reach bikes), there does come a point, where too much weight has moved forward and you are stretched out (from pedals to handlebar), and you just can't get enough weight back of, even centre, when you need to. I have longer legs and a shorter torso, yet am 5'11". I have to be careful that my torso (and the bulk of my weight isn't too far forward on the bike when looking at sizing and demo'ing.

But, it's also why bikes with shorter chainstays work great for me (right around 430 give or take usually works for me). I can be on a longer reach/top tube bike as long as the rear end isn't too far away. You see a lot of bikes these days with a really long reach and really long chainstays... for me, on those bikes, there's not enough weight on the rear end, it's bouncing around all over the place and doesn't track well.

It all speaks to, and we say this over and over... it's not just about reach. Because of my height, I'm pretty much always right in between large and medium, so I have to take into account my little bit longer legs vs torso and look at stack, wheelbase, and chainstay length in relation to reach.

My new bike arriving in April, should be just about perfect - 636 TT, 471 R, 599 Stack (but will raise by 10mm to 609), 431.5 CS, & 1230 wheelbase, paired with a 50mm stem and somewhere between 780 and 800mm bars (still not settled), with a 65 HA and 76.25 SA... this is a medium and rolling on 27.5 wheels. Should feel very "balanced".
  • 1 0
 @islandforlife: That's hilarious that the medium you're getting has a longer reach than my XL, and my bike is a 2019 model lol. I guess it really is all about just buying the bike that has the geo numbers you want and not worrying about "size"

Also, I love riding on the island when I visit my family in Victoria. Been to Tzouhalem, The Dump, and Harbourview in Sooke. Psyched to explore more next time I'm out there
  • 2 0
 @Lorieng: I don't want a lower center of gravity by shifting my weight further forward than it ought to be. It's harder with long legs, but you just have to squat down further. The other thing no one mention is that while you can get longer bikes for bigger bodies, the trail doesn't change. Particularly berms (and sometimes jumps) get harder as your wheelbase gets longer. I want a bike size that works with my long body, but I'm also very careful about wheelbase because the longer it gets, the harder time I have getting it around corners.
  • 1 0
 @swenzowski: haha! Yep... awesome, yes the island has some amazing riding areas. Live in Victoria and it's so nice having so many options so close. Only lived here for about 5 years now after moving from the lower mainland and had no idea when I lived in Van about island riding. I guess when you're in van you just assume you're in the most epic place... really surprised me. Give me shout when you come over again, we'll hook up for some schralping... best thing about the island is all the stuff that's not on trailforks. I'm still learning and discovering... but the more I find the more it seems there may actually be more trails not on trailforks than on it over here, ha!
  • 1 0
 @BiNARYBiKE: i have the legs of someone 6’2 on average.

You need to think about the relationship between the cog, bb and bars. As you bring the bars in with the same cog, the tipping angle (its an imaginary angle that defines where your weight is) is to steep its actually easier to go over the bars. To lower your cog you need to squat which tires your legs

If you have a slightly longer bike (dh bike large is 460-470 still) then that means you do get a lot of weight on the front but also you increase your tipping angle meaning its harder to go otb

It is really up to the rider and how they like riding. I like stability and feeling inside the bike an opposed to on top of the bike.

Different brands also have different philosophies like kona love a short back end so the rider really needs to find a bike brand that suits them.
  • 1 0
 @Svinyard:

The difference for them is they have a choice on frame size and get to test back to back in varied conditions. We kind of only get one shot haha

I find im in the bike rather than on the bike on something around 470 reach. I also have a very wide ape index so im 178 tall and 183 arm span and broad shoulders. Finding a bike is a pain but i descend more than climb so i prioritise that.

Tbh i met the Saracen team and they agreed their medium was too small and i needed a large. When i stood in neutral position my head was not over the stem. I was looking down at the fork brace. That means it was too short
  • 1 0
 @islandforlife: that new medium is dh bike large and older bike large too haha

I have a spreadsheet to work out the right size bike for me and about 470 reach is bang on but i need a front end to back end ratio of 1.89 or so to be happy on the bike
  • 1 0
 @dualsuspensiondave: Long legs should go for high stack and shorter reach;
I have same problem being 6'1 all legs (and arms) I ride my bike with super low bb settings and tons of spacers under stem, however reach numbers somewhat 450 (I believe modern M), while it is not ideal on long climbs only, however a lot of modern frames have less stack and more reach with make them less suitable for me on long descends;
  • 1 0
 @islandforlife: What is the bike model you advertising so much?
  • 1 0
 @nickmalysh: It's totally made up, haha. Well I was trying to keep the model out of the conversation to keep it strictly about the numbers. But since you asked, it's the new 2020 Knolly Warden, but with a 170mm fork (vs 160) so my numbers are a little different than the published numbers.
  • 7 3
 Rad bike, but side M for 6"0 is certainly an interesting choice.
  • 5 0
 pro's never bought into the pole sizing philosophy. It sure feels confidence inspiring but if you can avoid otb thru riding well it isnt very fast to manouver
  • 8 0
 I'd like to think as a pro rider he has tried the different sizes and picked the one he likes best.
  • 6 6
 So hilarious that people 5'9-5'10 are always running large size frames. Maybe 3 years ago when mediums were cramped butt now with reach numbers in the 430-460 range with medium frames. Todays mediums are yesteryears large. Oh and your wide ass flat bars were designed to make up for the cramping of your old bike. Now that we have good reach numbers in medium i run a 760 bar too. at 5'10" deity CZ 38 760 on a medium 5010 wit a 50mm stem. Its just perfect and a hell of alot of fun. Ive sized up before and been unhappy with the results. In the end ride what FEELS the best to you not what you see other people doing or something you "will get used to"
  • 4 0
 Dare I say shorter bars feel...more playful. Love my 760s on a 50mm stem. Rode 780 with a 35 forever, just hype IMO only pro dh racers and basketball players need 800s
  • 2 0
 Definitely comes down to feel. I'm 5'10" and always like larger frames. Always feel cramped on mediums for the most part. I'm sure riding style has a lot to do with it as well.
  • 2 0
 @Tinshield: if you like it you ride it man. At least we have reach measurement now to guide us. Some brands larges are huge now. If I were buying a 2016 frame I'd get a large too anymore though I'm solidly in the medium camp. I guess I'm happy it's been made more clear as a tweener
  • 1 0
 @brookland27: Yeah it so good to have the reach measurement when comparing rides. I used to just look at the top tube length years ago.
  • 2 0
 Honestly, at 5'10" I've always felt between sizes, but I'm also about 3 years behind current trends because modern bikes are....not cheap. My large 2016 Transition smuggler has a seat tube that's too high, and a reach 457 that's at the upper end of comfort. But the medium is probably cramped. I guess the one upside of the current trend is, seat tube is much less of an issue now and the mediums should be pretty spot on. Looking at the specs, the medium Switchblade would probably be a perfect fit.
  • 3 0
 @cole-inman: Can confirm. 6'6" with a 6'7" wingspan and I run 780 bars for my sweat spot.
  • 1 0
 Need wide bars to wrestle that long ass bike
  • 3 1
 Very reassuring to see that a pro runs his deathgrips to the same state of decay as I do.
  • 3 0
 Matts hair "appears" to be Matted.

True or False
  • 1 0
 Seems like the plan at Fox is to wait so long to announce their 2020 lineup that consumer surprise and interest have completely evaporated.
  • 1 0
 Is that "Hint of Hint of Lime" LaCroix I'm seeing? Maybe it's a new-fangled catch can for that prototype shock. At any rate, gorgeous bike.
  • 2 1
 I was downvoted for saying it before but I'll die standing up for what I believe in. LaCroix is gross. It tastes like the smell of scented dish soap.
  • 2 0
 Hell ya brother like poorly flavored seltzer water with extra sulfur Wink
  • 3 0
 That fox lowers design is horrible, bridge is all kind of wrong.
  • 2 0
 that is one sick bike. love that he's not drinking the longer-is-better koolaid. 50mm stem and medium frame.
  • 2 0
 I am curious about the single pinch bolt on the fork lower.
  • 1 0
 For security ?or maybe to balance the fork ,like those things in the wheels :-)))
  • 1 0
 It's so that leg can have some left right movement so its straight before you clamp down on the axle. Just like older forks dh forks now
  • 2 0
 Looks like a carbon Banshee Big Grin
  • 1 0
 Sure wish I could order one of those new Fox X2's......................................
  • 2 2
 Sorry Matt Walker, but the Grim Donut Part 2 was also released the same day as your bike check. No one will ever know what you ride.
  • 1 0
 Yep looks like a MTB, smells like a MTB, own four of them myself, and my Shockwiz works great for suspension suggestions.
  • 1 0
 i wonder if its more expennsive than the 19k nzd version they offer. bike looks rad
  • 1 0
 Who cares what size bike he's on. I want to know why Fox brought the fork arch from 2005 back. It's so round!
  • 1 0
 Medium surely but it comes in a 455 or 460 reach,its like my Large Bronson.
  • 1 0
 In the future, the size of bike may not depend on height. It depend on riding style. Just like what Specialized enduro did.
  • 2 0
 Lovely
  • 1 4
 Are those little things on the fork something like grease ports or oil ports ?,very nice bike ,the only thing I will change would be the pedals for a flat ones ,and push the brakes a little bit outboard ,the rest just perfect ,even the detail of that rubber in the upper side cause chain will strike there ,very nice Matt,and very good job Pivot this one and the firebird the most wanted bikes for me ,be safe
  • 7 0
 Those are air bleeds. Their allow you to bleed air from the lowers, as the name implies
  • 10 0
 @Arierep: no they actually have a small set screw inside, so you can heighten the friction of the fork is too smooth Razz
  • 1 0
 @Arierep: just like the 40 ,ok
  • 2 0
 I'd ride it
  • 1 0
 ‘Worn in’ grips are cool like not changing your loaded up Depends.
  • 3 2
 Imagine how lively and fun it would be with 27.5 ????????????
  • 1 0
 That is gorgeous Drool I really like the new redesigned frame tup
  • 1 0
 Why are black label rims covered in neon yellow labels?
  • 1 0
 SWEEEEET BIKE!!Smile
  • 1 1
 why so many comments on april fools
  • 1 1
 Looks like a ........... Felt
  • 3 4
 4 out of 10, not the Grim Donut.
  • 4 7
 6'0" on a medium and 760mm bar?
  • 11 0
 yup, pros going with 760 bars and then u watch here Zoe gal riding bars so wide that shes unable to reach the ends :-) funny -- bigger is better,noot
  • 3 0
 When you can have any bike setup and ride like hell...you choose an ideal setup. No purchase justification here. Its nearly identical to what Richie Rude races/wins with too. (they about the same size). Fwiw I think its about right what that LeeLikesBikes coach guy recommends in his sizing calculators. He talks about needing technique/coaching rather than an oversized bike. Bar size is interesting here, but I think they are dropping down a bit because they are riding some sketchy, bar clipping areas with some frequency.

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