Pivot debuted a new version of the Firebird today that borrows heavily from their latest carbon Phoenix downhill bike. Though “enduro” quickly stopped being a style of riding and magically morphed into the most abused noun in several languages, it’s hard to escape the notion that the Firebird could be the right kind of tool for that kind of job. Pivot wrangles 170 millimeters (6.7 inches) of efficient-pedaling DW-Link suspension out of the 7.1-pound carbon frame. Firebird Gets the Longer/Lower Treatment
|The old Firebird was a capable bike, but this new version takes it to another level. The Firebird borrows heavily from our latest Phoenix carbon downhill bike--with a longer, lower geometry and an incredibly stiff, double wishbone rear end. In testing, the Firebird proved the stiffest model we've ever produced...yet it weighs less than 28 pounds in our top-end build. - Chris Cocalis|
The Nitty Gritty
• Purpose: enduro / park
• Frame: Carbon front section and swingarm, DW-Link suspension, ISCG mounts, internal cable routing.
• 7.1-pound frame weight (size Medium)
• Di2 and front-derailluer compatible
• Wheel size: 27.5-inch, with room for 2.5-inch tires.
• Boost 148 spacing
• Wheel Travel: 170mm (rear), 170mm (front, capable of running 180)
• Updated geometry: 65-degree head angle, 74-degree seat angle, longer reach (445mm/17.52" in size Medium) and shorter (430mm/16.9") chainstays
• Four sizes: Small, medium, large and X-large
• Nine different build kits
• Price range: $4,999 to $9,899
• Available: Now
• More about the Firebird at Pivot Cycles
"The old Firebird kind of embodied the short and tall geometry thing," quips Cocalis. While that might be overstating things a hair, there's no denying that the new Firebird benefits from a geometry makeover. The reach on a size Large frame has grown 65 millimeters (2.5 inches) to 465 millimeters (18.31 inches). While they were at it, Pivot trimmed the chainstays, lowered the bottom bracket lowered, relaxed the head tube and steepened the seat tube. The Firebird isn't Mondraker-long--for comparison's sake, a size Large Mondraker Dune has a reach of 493 millimeters (19.4 inches)--but the new Firebird is certainly a different, more modern beast than its predecessor.The Geeky Bits
The Firebird will take a 180-millimeter travel fork, though Pivot designed the bike around 170 millimeters. It's a given that the Firebird may see as much use at the bike park as it does on any enduro course and when you follow that train of thought, you can bet that some riders are going to want to throw a coil-over shock on this thing. "The Firebird has a more progressive stroke than our Mach 6, so, yes, it's possible to put a coil over shock on this, but a clevis mount puts a lot of stress on a coil-over shock. Besides, the Fox Float X2 that we spec on the Firebird is really the best option--it works incredibly well on this bike."
Pivot notes that if you simply must have a coil-sprung shock on your bike, a custom-tuned PUSH industries ElevenSIX shock will work a treat--they've done extensive testing with Push, using that shock. Other coil-sprung shocks, however, could well result in a ton of bottoming out and some potential for frame damage. In other words, you're probably better off with that FOX Float X2.
When Pivot introduced Super Boost 157 on their Switchblade, some speculated that we'd see new Pivot models incorporating the wider DH-width hub spacing, but, nope, it's not here on the Firebird. Cocalis' reasoning is straightforward. "It's not a plus bike or a 29er--it doesn't need it. We were able to achieve all the stiffness and chainguide compatibility that we wanted with Boost 148."
And for the record, the Firebird is not 27.5+ compatible. 2.5-inch tires are as wide as you're going to want to go here.
Pivot offers nine different build kits mated to the Firebird's carbon frame. You're looking at a price range of $4,999 to $9,899. Is there a lower-cost aluminum model in the works? Though Cocalis doesn't entirely rule out an aluminum option, you shouldn't hold your breath.
"We won't have an aluminum option in the near future," says Cocalis.
The market for lightweight, pedal-friendly long-travel bikes only seems to be growing. How will the new Firebird fare against the likes of the Santa Cruz Nomad, Specialized Enduro, Mondraker Dune or GT Sanction? Only time will tell. By the time you read this, Firebirds will be available to the public.
Want to see the Firebird in action? You can check out Pivot Cycles' video right here