Inside Pivot's Secret Carbon Fiber R&D Facility

Feb 16, 2023
by Mike Levy  



Located just a few miles off the highway in Tempe, Arizona, Pivot's headquarters is a modern, blue and gray industrial building that most people would pass without giving a second glance. You or I would stop, but that's because it says 'PIVOT CYCLES' on the outside in three-foot-tall letters, or maybe because we spotted some bikes through the tinted glass windows. Like many brands, there's a squeaky-clean showroom just inside the front doors, which is also where you'll find a custom-painted Phoenix DH rig, a Mach 4 SL and Trail 429, a coffee bar, and a workstation to set up demo bikes that see daily action on South Mountain that's (not coincidentally) only a few minute pedal away.

I'm not at Pivot HQ to hang out in the showroom, though. Rather, I'm here to record a podcast with founder Chris Cocalis and to see their Research and Development room where, unbeknownst to essentially anyone outside the company, they've been quietly building some of the most exotic carbon fiber frames that the world hasn't seen. To get to it, you've got to go past engineering, marketing, and the photo studio, through the tidy warehouse and assembly facility, and then past the frame quality control station until you find a set of probably locked doors that say 'Research and Development.'

So let's go for a walk and do exactly that.


photo

Pivot Cycles

Pivot Cycles
Pivot Cycles

Pivot Cycles
Pivot Cycles


From taking out the empty bike boxes at nine years old, racing BMX, and designing his own frames and bottom brackets while still in university, to founding Titus and Pivot, Chris Cocalis has had his hands on basically every aspect of the bike business. Tucked away in the back corner of the warehouse are a number of bikes from Titus, including a barely broken-in titanium hardtail that he pulled off the rack for me to get a better look at. "I was the only one who could make all of these seatstay pieces without them cracking," he says while pointing at the shapely 3" long piece of titanium that joins the pencil-thin stays to the seat tube. There's also a Moto-Lite on the second shelf, one of the earliest examples of what would eventually evolve into the trail and all-mountain species, but it's a much older – and brighter – bike that caught my eye.

The first frame: The Sun Eagle Bicycle Works Talon (pictured above) was the first frame that Chris designed, and it came to life in 1988 after he bent and broke all of the previous bikes he bought. The steel front-end used a truss layout to improve strength, while elevated chainstays solved one of the most challenging problems of the time: chainsuck, which is when the chain literally gets pulled up or down into the stays by the tire. And without needing to deal with tight clearances around the bottom bracket, elevated stays also allowed for the shorter rear-end length that everyone was looking for at the time.

It also had better-supported rear brake mounts (a common failure point back then), mounts for a frame pump, and a SIMS Snowboards decal for a headtube badge.


Pivot Cycles

Pivot Cycles
Pivot Cycles


Bladders: Contrasting the hand-welded steel Talon are a handful of much more recent items, including half of a swingarm from a Phoenix downhill bike with its bladders still attached (main photo). These are inflated while inside the tubes to provide pressure during the molding process, then pulled out to be re-used in the next swingarm.

Floating front derailleur mount: With modern 1x drivetrains being universally adopted by anyone and everyone with common sense, it makes me feel pretty old to realize that many people reading this will have never used a front derailleur. They had many issues, but one of the most annoying was how the chain had to be pushed by just the right part of the cage, a problem on full-suspension bikes where the chain's angle changes as the bike goes through its travel. The solution? Easy, make a floating front derailleur mount that follows the chain, of course (above left). This little prototype gizmo rode on a sealed bearing bolted to the frame just above the bottom bracket, while a tiny linkage connected it to the swingarm, thereby keeping the chain and derailleur cage in a much more consistent relationship.

3D-printed frame components: There's a hell of a lot to consider when designing a frame, and even more when it's a full-suspension bike. Sure, you can stare at a computer screen all day checking things, but there comes a point when an engineer needs to have something more tangible, which is when 3D-printing comes into the picture. Long before a welding torch is lit, complicated frame components, and sometimes even entire frames, are printed to make sure that cable ports are in the right place and everything clears whatever it's supposed to clear. Entire full-size suspension layouts are created in printed plastic, bearings are installed, cables are strung to make sure it all moves freely, and interchangeable sections (above right) are made to compare changes like different cable entry and exit points.


photo

Pivot Cycles
Pivot Cycles


Pivot's history: Chris Cocalis founded Pivot Cycles in 2007, a year after leaving Titus, and the company's first bikes were the aluminum Mach 4 and Mach 5 models that used Dave Weagle's dw-link suspension system. A lot has changed in sixteen years and the catalog has a lot more bikes in it than it used to, but Pivot is still using an evolved version of the same highly efficient suspension layout on everything from their short-travel cross-country rigs to their downhill bike and even the e-bike. Notable models from every year of the company's existence are up on the front wall (main photo) of the warehouse, and the setting sun of the Arizona state flag makes multiple appearances.

Shimano and Fazua motors: Many bike companies stick to a single brand for their e-bike motors, but Pivot mixes it up by using both Shimano and Fazua powerplants. The long-travel Shuttle LT and Shuttle AM both get full-power Shimano motors, but the relatively lightweight Shuttle SL uses a quieter Fazua Ride 60 drive unit (above right) that weighs less while providing 60nm of torque from a 430 Wh battery. As you might expect, shipping and storing thousands of pounds of large batteries comes with countless regulations and safety standards, from temperature-controlled warehouses to keeping them in their fire-resistant packaging.


Pivot Cycles

Pivot Cycles
Pivot Cycles


Quality control: Pivot's carbon frames are manufactured in Asia but, rather than being sent to an assembly factory, they're shipped to Pivot's headquarters (or their German facility) where every single frame goes through this quality control station before making it to the assembly line. A series of different go/no-go plug gauges are used to check the tolerances at the bottom bracket and headtube, bolts are torqued correctly, and the paint is inspected before each frame meets up with a wheeled cart carrying all of the components required to turn it into a bicycle.


Pivot Cycles
Pivot Cycles


Staff rides: Not surprisingly, the staff parking had more than a few Pivots, but there was also this beautifully contrasting Crust Evasion (above left) built up with a Whiskey wheelset, White Industries crankset, and a wireless AXS 12-speed derailleur. Pivot's headquarters employs one hundred and twenty-five people and I watched a constant stream of them coming and going from lunch rides. There are also many designated trail days that see large groups head to South Mountain to work on the local singletrack. Maintenance in the desert is no joke and nothing like the dirt pushing that's done in the Pacific Northwest; instead of shovels and rakes, it's pickaxes, rock rolling, sunscreen, and maybe a rattlesnake or two.


Pivot Cycles

Pivot Cycles
Pivot Cycles

Pivot Cycles
Pivot Cycles


Building bikes: Complete bike assembly is split up into two different areas, with e-bikes (left) and mountain bikes (right) assembled from bare frames and components being delivered on those wheeled carts. Every item is accounted for via barcodes and a scanner, from forks to brake adapters and even cables. How long does it take you to build a bike from scratch? Pivot's most involved assembly requires wiring Fox's battery-powered Live Valve suspension system, a job that might take the better part of a day for some home mechanics to get through. With plenty of practice, these guys can build an entire bike from the bare frame, including wiring Live Valve, in just an hour and a half.


Pivot Cycles


Research and development: This is where most tours would end, but not ours. Instead, we're going through these swinging doors to where all of Pivot's aluminum mules, as well as the newest Grim Donut frame, are welded. There won't be any torches today, though, because we're looking at their in-house carbon fiber production facility and these are not the monocoque carbon frames you might be expecting.

Pivot isn't quite ready to reveal the finished bike yet, but the gist is carbon fiber tubes that are laid up and molded in-house before being joined with machined aluminum lugs, which are also made in the same room. The result is stunning. It's equal parts futuristic and, thanks to the polished lugs, a little bit retro-looking and nothing like Pivot's production frames. None of this is the work of a moment, of course, and Pivot has had to invest in pricey new machinery and employees with hands-on experience working with carbon to make it happen. This, despite Pivot currently having no plans to offer any of these US-made carbon frames for sale, which begs the question: Why make them in the first place?

There are a few different answers to that question, but the main reason comes down to Pivot wanting to develop new bikes quicker and under their own roof. Originally, the plan was to design and build monocoque carbon frames in-house, from first-ride prototypes all the way to them being signed off for production, but that morphed into a different process when they realized there was a more time-efficient way: molded carbon tubes joined to machined aluminum lugs.


Pivot Cycles


Because they're building their own tubes, Pivot has more control over the rigidity and ride characteristics than a prototype molded overseas, and far more than a full aluminum bike. This allows them to look for the same stiffness and ride feel as a full carbon frame, but with the benefit of being able to easily alter the geometry by machining different aluminum lugs at the head, seat, and downtube junctions. Cocalis also explained that rather than waiting for an entire frame to come out of the oven, they're able to make different tubes or lugs as needed without starting over from scratch.


Pivot Cycles
Pivot Cycles

Pivot Cycles
Pivot Cycles


In order to make your own carbon fiber tubes, you first need to make the tools that you'll then use to make those tubes. For Pivot, that means baking up their own silicone mandrels inside an aluminum clamshell mold that they've also machined on-site. In basic terms, a mandrel is what the carbon sheets are laid over to provide support and internal pressure during the baking process, after which they're pulled out to leave a hollow tube. Pivot is laying up their own top, seat, and downtubes, each with its own specific shape, and that means creating silicone mandrels for each of those tubes and the molds required to make them.

The next step is to lay pieces of Toray carbon, each cut out on a plotter and trimmed as needed, over the mandrels in a time-consuming process before placing the whole thing in another mold (yes, they make this one as well) with resin and baking it in a press that they're modified to use heating elements.


Pivot Cycles
Pivot Cycles

Pivot Cycles


The carbon tubes that come out are essentially ready to go and require no extra finishing, including the massive rectangular-shaped downtube that's pictured above. From drawing board to rideable frame, the entire process currently takes three to four weeks but Pivot is looking for efficiencies and ways to bring that down. For some perspective, the downtube on its own requires about three hours, which is probably longer than it takes to lay up an entire carbon frame in some Asian factories.

Making carbon tubes is only half of the recipe, with the lugs for each frame being made only a few feet away on a three-axis CNC machine that also creates the links and other aluminum components like the dropouts, lower shock mount, and an interesting-looking spindle with two cogs of differing size on one end.


Pivot Cycles

Pivot Cycles
Pivot Cycles

photo


While Pivot was happy to show me what they've been working on, they're not quite ready to reveal too much about the finished bike yet or show the world what it looks like, despite a few potato-phone photos making the rounds on the internet already. That's a bit of a shame because it is, without a doubt, one of the best-looking things I've seen in many years and is guaranteed to drop some jaws. We'll have more in the near future but, until then, you can listen to tomorrow's podcast with Chris Cocalis where he explains the hows and whys of their in-house carbon production and if they'll ever offer a production version.





Author Info:
mikelevy avatar

Member since Oct 18, 2005
2,032 articles

208 Comments
  • 341 4
 Give me highly polished lugs and raw carbon tubes. Give me highly polished lugs and raw carbon tubes. Give me highly polished lugs and raw carbon tubes. Give me highly polished lugs and raw carbon tubes. Give me highly polished lugs and raw carbon tubes. Give me highly polished lugs and raw carbon tubes. Give me highly polished lugs and raw carbon tubes. Give me highly polished lugs and raw carbon tubes. Give me highly polished lugs and raw carbon tubes.
  • 268 2
 Someone get this man some highly polished lugs and raw carbon tubes...NOW!
  • 4 1
 I am with you!
  • 24 1
 You could 100% get an atherton bike and get the lugs polished by a pro, probably for less than their proto bike
  • 11 4
 I'd rather have a bike I can never wash and disrespect and feel okay about it
  • 6 1
 "Nurse! Five hundred milligrams of thorazine, STAT!"
  • 3 0
 Inspired by the polished lug / raw carbon Titus Modena. I owned one, it was a beauty.
  • 4 2
 @Dogl0rd: That's exactly what I wanted and left the carbon days behind me..Aluminum is the way to go
  • 15 0
 @NiklasRausch: Not pictured, 28 years ago; the lugs and tubes coming apart again.
  • 2 0
 @KolaPanda: I have never seen one polished up. They are always black, if you can even find a version of their bike over here. Also, the lugs I have seen from photos always look rough and dingy.
  • 2 0
 @jmhills: Yeah, the removal of the support structure leaves marks so I think they sandblast them. You can get raw (I've asked) and they polish the 'A' on the headbadge, so I don't see why you couldn't polish the whole thing.
  • 8 0
 @thingswelike: yes. Check out Bastion Cycles for polished lugs on carbon tubes. Just don't look at the price!!!

www.bastioncycles.com/models/road
  • 1 0
 @devlincc: Don't worry - I'm already familiar. I don't want a road bike, but I do follow most of the custom framebuilders regardless
  • 3 0
 According to Atherton Ti and Carbon have very similar thermal growth properties and makes a much more consistent junction than aluminum and carbon. Also the Atherton lugs, being made rather than machined, have double lap joints for maximum strength and adhesive surface area.

I've seen the Athertons with "raw" lugs, but never seen them polished. Not sure what Ti looks like polished.
  • 1 0
 @TimMog: First hand experience with a Specialized Allez chainstay coming off the bb on a high speed downhill...
  • 2 0
 Soooo get an Atherton ?
  • 2 0
 The Atherton tubing is not as nice as those here... straight round tubing. It's also way too expensive here in Canada with all the added cost! Frown I'm waiting for their cheaper version in aluminium. But then I've read a review on their 150mm and you have to be a pro to ride this bike. I was interested in the 170mm mullet bike but don't know if it's a plush bike or not... anyway, can't wait to have some news!
  • 1 0
 @Timo82: Which review are you referring to ?
  • 2 0
 @Timo82: Canadian taxes and duties aside (don't forget to take the UK 20% sales tax off the prices) I think the Atherton bikes aren't too badly priced for what they are. The braided tubes even though round, actually look well nice in the real world. (I don't have one just seen around)

I'm not clear why aluminum lugs plus carbon don't have a galvanic corrosion issue in this kind of context.
  • 1 0
 @Pabsm80: Yeah I had a US price on their site so without UK sales tax. Maybe not bad for what they are but I just find that all those carbon frames are already too expensive and Atherton are just well...way higher. lol Looks really solid thought!
  • 1 0
 @preston67: Mmmm don't remember, I've looked/read everything I found.... could try to find it back if you're really interested!? lol
  • 1 0
 @Timo82: Just curious because I too have looked/read everything I found and never saw that take on it. Generally the opposite in fact ("that you have to be a pro to ride this bike properly")
  • 1 0
 @preston67: I've just looked for 10minutes and couldn't find it... I'll try again another time but I saw the enduro mtb review and wow, they liked it a lot, the best bike ever it seems! haha

Sadly, those ones are way too expensive in Canada with the us/cad exchange rate, taxes and everything but can't wait to have more news on their cheaper version!
  • 2 0
 @TimMog: You called it.
  • 1 0
 @TimMog: You called it.
  • 2 0
 @UtahBrent: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
  • 127 2
 Rule number one of fight club is don't talk about fight club
Rule number one of secret R+D lab is dont talk about secret R+D lab
Rule number one of PB comment section is don't claim 26 is dead
  • 9 0
 I have some of these silicone mandrels for your club
  • 64 0
 Secret carbon facility pivots to not secret carbon facility.
  • 47 0
 Yes you have my attention.
  • 37 52
flag succulentsausage FL (Feb 15, 2023 at 11:57) (Below Threshold)
 They had my attention until I remembered they're all Supa Boost.
  • 47 28
 @gravitybass: Pivot will have a chance at my purchase dollars once they stop with press-fit. I really enjoyed the Pivot I rode a few years ago, but I'm not doing press-fit.

I have no issue with super-boost.
  • 5 10
flag scotteh (Feb 15, 2023 at 12:24) (Below Threshold)
 @Explodo:

+1
  • 50 11
 @Explodo: Press fit isn't the issue, its usually the operator of said press fit.
  • 27 10
 @gravitybass: I owned a bike with SuperBoost for 2.5 years. I found no discernable difference b/t it and any 148mm spacing bike I rode. What is definitely an issue is that you cut your cross compatibility b/t bikes down to fraction of what it was and those parts are far less common than those that work with 148. Couple this with pressfit BB's and that's a big no from me, dawg.
  • 8 1
 @hellbelly: This. I really don't care what standard we settle on, as long as there is one and only one standard. But it sure looks like that standard will be Boost 148, with even a good amount of DH bikes using that nowadays.
  • 2 1
 @Muscovir: Isn't the biggest advantage of superboost that it can clear fatter tires more easily? I know it gives a superior bracing angle, but that doesn't seem to be much of an issue unless people move up to 32"

People don't much seem to care about bigger tires except for niche stuff.
  • 34 4
 @Explodo: what if I told you that thread-in bottom brackets are actually press fit bottom brackets that thread in to frames....
  • 2 2
 @Explodo: it supposedly allows for equal drive/non drive side tensions since the wider hub shell can have a better bracing angle. It really depends on the shell. But in principle it allows for a wider tire and shorter chainstay at the same time.
  • 3 1
 @Breeconay: I can't visualize how superboost would allow for shorter chainstays.
  • 3 3
 @Explodo: think wider base of an isoceles triangle so that you can have a shorter height of triangle while maintaining the clearance for the wider tire
  • 3 0
 @Explodo: Frame designers will say that it allows them more flexibility to have shorter chainstays and the ability to have more going on in the limited space around the bottom bracket. IMHO as noted above, the bracing angle/increased stiffness is moot and while I'm no princess and the pea (quite the opposite, actually) I cannot detect any difference in lateral flex/tracking b/t 148 and 157 bikes. Additionally, many companies are moving on from slapping super short chainstays on everything and instead going for size specific lengths.

As for wheel strength, I think that is an overrated claim as well as to this day the strongest mountain bike wheel is a 157 DH without any spoke offset. However, not to be a conspiracy kook, but using an old standard doesn't sell like something "new" nor force companies to crank out new componentry needed to adapt, not to mention making the end consumer buy all new stuff. Boycott Big Spacing!!! Big Grin
  • 5 0
 @ogjew: Usually the operator, until it comes time to replace parts. Threaded buy and large is a more simple process to replace.
  • 10 3
 Shoulda jumped from 142 to Super boost. 148 is the bastard child / industry attempt to make you buy more shit.

And the true benefit to super boost is chainline.

I'm still rocking 142 fwiw (thanks Banshee!)
  • 18 2
 @ogjew: almost 5 years on Pivot press fits. No squeaks.

It can be done.
  • 5 3
 @hellbelly: Exactly. I more often move my parts to a new frame rather than buy a whole new bike. Press fit is fine, but super boost means new cranks, chainring, and rear wheel.
  • 23 4
 @Muscovir: Jesus wept,
Do you guys understand what is meant by a standard here?
A standard does not mean every manufacturer uses the same spacing, it means that every 142, 148, and every 157 hub is the same. so that you can buy a 157 DT hub, and it fits in your Pivot, or Knolly, or Devinci.

We all need to stop thinking that the whole industry needs to do one thing.
Fack, let Pivot and Knolly and Devinci do what they feel is best. If you dont like it, dont buy it, dont decide that some company needs to do what you think is best
  • 5 2
 @bicyclelifestyle: What if I told you threaded bottom brackets have replaceable push fit interfaces
  • 13 0
 @bicyclelifestyle: Except that the press-fit part of a threaded BSA BB is done in a factory instead of in a garage or bike shop.

And the same cheap tool can be used for a 30 second installation AND removal of a threaded bottom bracket.

That's the difference between success and failure.
  • 1 0
 @hellbelly: or increase it if you have a dh bike...
  • 3 2
 @hellbelly: I so want to jump on the pivot band wagon, I love their racing team, respect the owner but until they get rid of pressfit, it's a no go.
  • 2 0
 @bicyclelifestyle: the big difference is the cup has two different diameters with a step between them, which means the frame can be oval but the Bearing seat stays round. There was a press fit standard that utilized the same principle, which is sound, but it never caught on.
Not to say press fit frames are always shit; it can be done with great results (even better than threaded, in my experience), but most companies aren’t putting in the cost/effort to do it correctly and it’s hard for consumers to know if it’s done correctly.
It’s cool that Pivot checks with a go/no go gage, but those don’t tell you if the bearing seat is round, unfortunately.
  • 6 3
 @Explodo:Pivot's tolerances are so tight, there are no issues with their press-fit. I've sold and ridden hundreds of Pivots with zero issues. Also, consider a threaded bb is, technically, a press-fit bb...the bearings are press-fit into the threaded cups. Oops, I said it out loud.
  • 4 0
 @woody13fox: even if press-fit can be executed well, it's a pain in the ass to work on at home. as @bogey notes above, the real advantage of threaded is "the same cheap tool can be used for a 30 second installation AND removal of a threaded bottom bracket."
  • 1 1
 @Explodo: did you ever think that maybe their reasoning for super boost is connected to their use of Pressfit?
  • 6 0
 @woody13fox: I think @bogey 's comment:

"Except that the press-fit part of a threaded BSA BB is done in a factory instead of in a garage or bike shop.

And the same cheap tool can be used for a 30 second installation AND removal of a threaded bottom bracket."

hits on two bigger issues those being simplicity and accessibility.

Anyone with a tiny bit of mechanical ability can manage a BSA bottom bracket and those are available everywhere. Pressfit BB's are less common as are the tools (also more costly) as well along with the higher learning curve to deal with them. I have zero doubt that they work and Pivot has demonstrated as such. However, I tend to prefer more simple solutions.
  • 1 0
 @kmo344: Or just a new chainring and rear hub. Race Face cranks, for example, just need a different chainring offset to work with Super Boost. And a new hub can be built with an old rim if its a fancy (read: carbon) rim.
  • 1 0
 @Explodo: Agree. Hate PF and have a Yeti SB115. The new Yeti 120 has gone back to threaded and not before time as I think they are getting way to many warranty claims on BBs and linkages.
  • 1 0
 @greenblur: Almost 7 years.
  • 1 1
 @onawalk: Well said sir!
  • 1 0
 @Explodo: I've had zero issues with press fit BBs. More issues with threaded. Pivot will get my money again when I can buy a frame only from them. Hands down, Chris gave the best customer service ever. Superboost is a bit of a hassle but a better design.
  • 1 0
 @greenblur: Well with 148 I've not had to upgrade my "142 cranks". Still a fan of super boost though.
  • 1 1
 @woody13fox: Right, but it costs to ensure that sort of accuracy, it costs to have tighter tolerances, those are all added costs, which most consumers arent interested in paying for. Chris King hubs, have reputation for being reliable, and excellent quality, but you pay for that, consequently, there are less of them.

Now you can pay a premium for your frame, lets say its 20% on a $4000 frame, so youre paying $800 extra. Or you pay an extra 20% on the $100 bb for the same tight tolerances, etc.....You get it right?

Dont get me wrong, I'm actually a fan of the PF idea, would allow me to use a concentric bb, and mess with some angles and heights that I wouldnt necessarily get to.
  • 1 2
 @Skooks: You get it,

Why is it hard for people to understand?

You cant put a Honda Accord light in your Toyota Tacoma, But you can be damn sure that pretty well all H-13 bulbs from any manufacturer will fit in there (Cant remember if its actually a H-13 bulb)

#manufacturingstandards
  • 23 0
 sly, sneaking in the DW HP jackshaft / cog assembly
  • 3 0
 Noticed that.
  • 4 0
 go on vital, shows the whole bike. DW Patent Jackshaft is there.
  • 1 0
 @Brasher: yep. that bike is hot.
  • 3 0
 @Brasher: you got a link to that ?
  • 20 1
 The attention to detail from these guys simply amazing. Chris having his firm grip on the wheel still is paying off, Pivot is exploding because of their consistency and home grown genetics that they haven't changed.
  • 4 0
 He is a very detail oriented guy, and it shows. Consistency really is the key word for the operation. I had a chance to sit and chat with Chris years ago at Sea Otter because we were in the same hotel. He was completely down to earth, and really enforced the idea of being present during the production of the bikes; and insuring that he could give input to the factory to make things the way that needed to be done. He wasn’t into cutting corners for marginal gains of profit, and wants to make bikes that have a solid reputation. The bikes won’t be cheap, and that’s just a part of giving the consumer a reliable product.
  • 14 0
 "chainsuck, which is when the chain literally gets pulled up or down into the stays by the tire"

Every reference anyone can find about chainsuck refers to the chain getting sucked into the chainstay by the chainrings, either from worn teeth, misshifts, drops, etc. Elevated chainstays do prevent this, but not because it changes anything in the chain-stay-tire relationship, but because it changed the chain-stay-chainring relationship.
  • 8 0
 Yup, you are correct, my bad!
  • 2 2
 @mikelevy: You guys remember RM-6,7,9 chainsuck issues?
  • 4 0
 @onawalk: never had *that* issue w/ my rm7. breaking frames & shock hardware, however....

the 6 was even worse, impressively. comically flexy / snappy swingarm, poor over-leveraged 1.5" stroke shock (for 6" travel) just got ravaged. i felt bad that wade had to ride these. but i digress....
  • 4 0
 @xy9ine: got a stripped RM6/7 frame in the shop right now, waiting for a ridiculous vintage rebuild!
It’s gonna be our vintage DH race bike, couple buddies and I have gone in on it, with big plans to do timed runs to see who’s fastest!

Wish me god speed!
  • 2 0
 I don't really understand what happened to chainsuck... I remember using a Ringle Anti-chainsuck-thing on my Univega since chainsuck was a constant problem, but then my next bike, a Caloi Elite never really had that issue. Modern bikes, still have tight clearance between their chainring and chainstay, but we don't get the same effect. Must have something to do with greater cage tension on the R. derailleur... not sure. I'm just happy it's not a problem anymore, having your chain ride up through the tiny space between the small ring and the chainstay usually was a messy PITA to undo.
  • 1 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: I think really it is 1x that "fixed" it. Bigger rings than granny rings, further outboard yet closer to the chain stay thus leaving no room for suck. Maybe even lasting longer despite being the solo ring, because the optimization is for drop-prevention and longevity instead of smooth front shifting (which is literally a [semi]controlled drop or a [semi]controlled "stick to the side of the bigger ring", both chain suck causes). Clutch mechs certainly help, too.
  • 1 0
 @justinfoil: Potentially, but I didn't go fully 1x until 2017 and I haven't had an issue with chainsuck since the early 2000s...
  • 1 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: maybe you just always had bikes that weren't obsessed with short chain stays: they had room between the rings and stays so even when the chain bounced around or stick on a tooth, it just had room to breathe instead of immediately jamming up.
  • 1 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: nice! Where have you bought your Caloi?
  • 16 0
 Carbon tubes and aluminum lugs are SEXY! Reminds of GT thermoplastic bike that I could only dream...
  • 14 0
 I'm usually the first person to bitch relentlessly about the price of bikes, but for some reason I don't when it comes to Pivot. I've ridden a handful, and i really like them. I will never afford one, but I like them.
  • 17 1
 I assume that if I get one I'll be able to ride just like Kerr?
  • 13 0
 Bike check that crust, that thing is a gorgeous daily driver for around town/around the hills
  • 5 0
 it's worth the same price as a pivot mtb too!
  • 12 0
 Anyone that does not know what that pointy thing is in the 6th pic is too good damn young.
  • 2 0
 what is it
  • 4 0
 Its the bikes clutch right.
  • 9 0
 @mulcahy17: Pump bracket
  • 5 0
 isn't it the chimney to release air in the frame?
  • 5 0
 That's the air horn... AWOOOOGA!
  • 3 0
 A relic from the times you could safely leave a pump on your parked bike. Not even that long ago...
  • 1 0
 Evidence the chain stays were too long.
  • 11 0
 I am so proud to say that this is my workplace, and it is everything like you think it is. Dream job would be an understatement
  • 10 1
 CARBON GRIM DOUGHNUT!
  • 1 2
 First look post tomorrow, full review on Monday...
  • 8 0
 Looks like it’s not so secret anymore
  • 8 0
 There are Whataburgers in Arizona?
  • 8 0
 sell framesets again please. thank you
  • 3 0
 I would probably be on a switchblade by now if they did
  • 4 0
 I used to Have one of those Talon Slayers. They only made like 11 or something! Mide ended up in the Jeff Archer's First Flight collection, not sure what happened to it after he passed.
  • 7 1
 I guess you could say this allows them to pivot fast
  • 2 0
 Maybe pivot-ing faster now that the "secret" is out!
  • 5 1
 is a reminder of just how involved the process is likely to make people think 'actually, bike prices aren't that bad'..?
probably not
  • 5 0
 Could someone tell me how they get the blue core thing out of the tubes?
Cheers
  • 10 0
 Yup, they just pull it out by hand. It's tightish and takes a couple of people but does slide out.
  • 5 0
 Release agents are used ahead of time to allow it to slide out without getting cured to the carbon/epoxy.
  • 1 0
 When you stretch something it’s diameter gets cross section gets smaller it comes out dead easy this way
  • 4 0
 This is awesome and thanks to Pivot to allow a behind-the-scenes look into a premier bike manufacturer.
  • 5 0
 I will be in Arizona in March and Imma coming by!
  • 5 0
 My Pivot press fit bbs have always been straight and creak free.
  • 5 0
 yeup... pressfit is a non issue when done correctly...
  • 1 0
 I want to know what order of parts are assembled onto the bike in order to bring the assembly time down to 1.5 hours. Does it differ from model to model? Do part specs affect the order the bike is assembled? Give me the deets!
  • 1 0
 They said that "according to builder practice" this time is reached, not exactly changing parts order, since, at least a minimum order is needed, like, you can´t instal chaingring before bottom bracket.
  • 4 0
 Thank you Levy! This is the journalism content we like.
  • 4 0
 "quieter Fazua Ride 60 drive unit (above right)" you got me there Mike Big Grin
  • 5 0
 That museum wall though.
  • 4 0
 Inspiring onshore work. Thanks CC and Levy!
  • 1 1
 Secret R&D facility shown on PB, so not really a secret...
Those R&D doors are locked because its a mess in behind the doors of experiments everywhere (well, some of our current R&D labs are, in behind the green fence, security, locked restricted access doors)
  • 1 0
 As someone who grew up riding GT in the late 90's, the carbon with polished lugs reminds me of production GT STS bikes and the STS Lobo which featured that exact design. Good stuff.
  • 1 0
 My thoughts exactly, reminds me of GT bikes
  • 3 0
 My pants are oddly tight in the front area now.
  • 1 0
 Teasing us with a pic like that a saying nothing of it isn't nice. It reminds me of the old ZX 8700 Trek frames, which I thought were really pretty back in the day.
  • 3 0
 I've got something pivoting from those photos.
  • 3 0
 Oooh, is the grim donut getting Weagle's new jack shaft drivetrain?
  • 3 0
 that crust is the sexiest thing on the page, and I'm quite fond of pivots
  • 2 0
 There’s already spy pics out of that new DH bike you see the sneak pic of up top
  • 2 0
 I'm a big Pivot fan (and Titus back in the day) so I'm loving the content. Great job Levy. :-)
  • 1 0
 If any Canadians want to build some trail with rattlesnakes without crossing the border, come on down to SE Alberta at Medicine Hat. We can find you plenty to cuddle with.
  • 2 0
 Saw a new pivot, high pivot DH bike in Queenstown last week. Tubing looked identical to this
  • 1 0
 The last picture, sent me back in time with the super nice looking GT STS, I would love a bike with raw carbon and polished CNC aluminium parts. please make it
  • 2 0
 Now Pivot's Secret Carbon Fiber R&D Facility is not secret anymore
  • 1 0
 Looks really cool, but in my mind it reminds me of my over 20 year old Serotta Fierte with carbon tubes and titanium lugs.
  • 2 0
 Hands down, the best bikes on the planet!
  • 1 0
 77 years old and still riding. I need (want) more range than a 1x can deliver.
  • 8 5
 Looks like an atherton
  • 7 1
 Looks like a robot.
  • 7 0
 Looks like a vintage Vitus?
  • 3 1
 Machines aluminum is going to be a lot cheaper than 3D printed ti
  • 3 2
 Looks like a Specialized Allez Epic
  • 1 0
 Piverton ?
  • 3 0
 Wow wow wow wow wow neat
  • 2 0
 Seeing that wall of bikes, I be like can I just have one please, lol
  • 2 0
 That looks cool as hell. I hope they consider actually selling it!
  • 3 0
 GT LTS love...
  • 1 0
 GT Lobo love...
  • 2 3
 PB you are correct in saying that head badge sticker is a Sims sticker, but It was a Kevin Staab Sims Mad Chemist skateboard graphic. Also, Pivot your USA flag in the warehouse is hanging backwards.
  • 4 0
 @poisonspiderbicyclesshop Thanks for the heads up. We've corrected that.
  • 2 0
 @poisonspiderbicyclesshop I actually had no idea there was an "official" way to display the flag, glad to know now, and thankful for the crew in the warehouse who made the changes.
  • 2 0
 can we get a podcast on this
  • 8 0
 Tomorrow at 7am pst Smile Chris and I talk about the in-house carbon for 15mins or so near the end of the podcast.
  • 3 0
 Bring back the M4X
  • 3 0
 *formerly secret
  • 2 0
 If Gen X'ers used Pinkbike, they'd be so stoked right now.
  • 4 0
 Hey! My teenagers showed me how to find it on the interwebs!
  • 4 1
 IF everyone younger than Gen X’ers rode their bikes as much as they comment on PB maybe they would get fast!
  • 1 0
 @Salida130: Error 402: The user you are trying to respond to has enabled a Chrome extension that blocks all absolute nerds who have at one point owned a SPOT bicycle.
  • 1 0
 Sick! I love my Trail 429. Not the lightest bike but it works well for what I use it for.
  • 1 0
 So they are going the Atherton route without the 3d titanium but machined Al? That is a good pkan
  • 2 0
 Can we have an updated Les single speed yet?
  • 1 0
 @pivotcycles Updated LES single speed frame?
  • 2 0
 Oh my, that Crust with Velo Orange Crazy Bars. Be still my beating heart.
  • 1 0
 Bernard Kerr is running one of these here in Queenstown at the moment. New DH with high pivot and 2 chains on it.
  • 1 0
 Anyone else thinking Raleigh Dyno TEC circa 1990 - 1995? This is what they did way back then with either carbon or TI tubes
  • 1 0
 Pivot bikes are available in some LBS where I live. I would like to know are they any good?
  • 1 0
 Looks like a modern day GT LTS (or Lobo) STS - which is very much a Good Thing.
  • 2 0
 I'd ride a Pivot high pivot high
  • 1 0
 Hold UP. There's Whataburger in Arizona?
  • 6 5
 Pivot R&D is starting to look a lot like Atherton bikes.
  • 1 0
 sure hehehe
  • 2 3
 It took way longer than I thought to see a comment about this. As soon as I read the article I thought "That's how Atherton Bikes build theirs". Pivot not really coming up with their own idea here for their very expensive bikes....
  • 1 0
 @sbermingham91: Yeah, that was my first thought when I saw the top article pic. All the bike companies seem to copy each other especially the tire companies.
  • 5 1
 @sbermingham91: Carbon tubes bonded to lugs like 30-year old (or more!) technology and it was not invented by Atherton Bikes or the company they license their technology from, Robot Bikes. For Robot and Atherton, the innovation is in how the lugs are customized and produced, which is additive manufacturing with a powered titanium (I think I have that right).

Also, the article is pretty explicit about this is how they develop prototypes, not produce final iterations of bikes to be sold on the market.
  • 1 0
 @pmhobson: fair enough, didn't know about Robot Bikes. Just thought it was an Atherton thing! I also thought this was possibly a thing Pivot were looking to introduce, from what I gathered the article said "They're not ready to release the full bike yet" which to me comes across they're releasing a bike based on tubes and polished aluminium lugs.
  • 1 1
 So they’re ditching the solid rear triangle it looks like?? Anybody who’s seen these spy pics, can you confirm?
  • 1 0
 Hey look, idler pullies. I guess we'll be seeing a high pivot bike soon?
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy Sims sticker is a Kevin Staab model skateboard… FYI
  • 1 0
 The secret bits not shown? Isogrid revisited.
  • 1 0
 i wonder when weagle see that new bike?
  • 1 0
 With all the attention to detail, they hang the flags incorrectly.
  • 1 0
 Thanks for the heads up. We've corrected it.
  • 1 0
 I bet it's a Lau drivetrain.
  • 1 0
 Nope
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy Grim Donut and an article all in one month. Pace yourself.
  • 1 0
 Bikeporn always awesome
  • 2 3
 their American flag is displayed wrong
  • 5 0
 Thanks for the heads up. We've corrected it.
  • 1 0
 @pivotcycles: outstanding! ~USAF Vet
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