Pivot Phoenix DH Carbon - Review

Jun 29, 2017
by Mike Kazimer  



Pivot bills the Phoenix DH Carbon as the “lightest, strongest, fastest, most technically advanced and stylish downhill chassis in the world,” and while that may be stretching the truth a little bit, there's no denying the fact that it is incredibly light for a downhill bike – our large sized test bike weighed in at 34 pounds, and that's with tubes and alloy wheels.

This is the second iteration of the carbon Phoenix; according to Pivot they were able to shed 300 grams off the original frame weight without losing any stiffness, and in fact, the Phoenix 2.0 is claimed to be stiffer and stronger than its predecessor.
Pivot Phoenix DH Details

• Intended use: DH
• Travel: 204mm
• 27.5" wheels
• Carbon fiber frame
• 62.5° head angle
• 440mm chainstays
• 12 x 157mm rear spacing
• Sizes: S, M, L, XL
• Weight: 34 pounds / 15.4kg (size L)
• Price: $7,399 USD
www.pivotcycles.com

The Phoenix is available with either a Shimano Zee build kit for $5,399 USD, or with the Saint build kit tested here for $7,399 USD. Highlights include a Fox 40 Float RC2 with 200mm of travel, Race Face SixC carbon cranks, and a full Saint drivetrain and brakes.


Pivot Phoenix DH Review
A yoke-mounted Fox Float X2 takes care of the Phoenix's 204mm of rear travel.
Pivot Phoenix DH Review
Two alloy links join the rear swingarm to the front triangle.


Frame Details

The Phoenix is one of those bikes that looks fast even when it's standing still, with a sleek, angular appearance that screams speed. For as light as it is, the frame has a stout, robust appearance, with an oversized downtube and a one piece swingarm that's joined to the front triangle with two aluminum links. Internal cable routing adds to the bike's clean appearance, with the housing routed behind the integrated fork bump stops. Frame protection is one of those areas that's easy to overlook, but Pivot didn't miss a step on the Phoenix – the chainstay is fully wrapped in a rubberized protector, and the underside of the driveside seatstay also has a rubber strip in place to ward off chainslap. There's also a large downtube protector to keep flying debris at bay.

Planning on racing at this year's DH World Champs? Then you'll be glad to know that the Phoenix is dropper post compatible — add one on, plus a remote lockout for the shock and you'll be all ready for that final long, flat sprint to the finish line in Cairns. Otherwise, I don't imagine very many riders will be setting up their DH bikes with dropper posts, but the option is there.


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Suspension

The Phoenix uses a dw-link suspension design for its 204mm of rear travel, with a pair of short, cold forged aluminum links connecting the swingarm to the front triangle. The upper link has a rubber bump stop affixed to it that actually contacts the seat tube when the bike reaches the very end of its travel, acting as a cushion to prevent any harshness when the shock bottoms out.

Even though it's made to gobble up rocks and roots, the Phoenix was also designed to have good pedaling performance, especially in the beginning of its travel, in order to make those sprints out of the gate more efficient. Pivot specifically designed the Phoenix to work well with the Float X2 air shock, but the suspension curve is progressive enough that it's possible to run a coil sprung shock without any issues.


Pivot Phoenix DH Review
The rear brake housing is tucked neatly behind the integrated fork bump stop.
Pivot Phoenix DH Review
There's a generously sized downtube protector to keep the carbon frame safe.



Pivot Phoenix Geo


Geometry

With a wheelbase of 1264mm for a size large, the Phoenix is one of the longer DH bikes currently on the market. For comparison, a large Kona Operator measures in at 1248mm, an extra large Santa Cruz V10 checks in at 1249mm, and a long Specialized Demo sits at 1228mm. Some of its sprawl is due to the 440mm chainstay length, but it has more to do with the long front center; with a reach of 455 for a size large and a 654mm top tube length, there's plenty of room up front to provide stability at warp speeds.

Not sold on the whole 'longer is better' trend? The Phoenix's head tube length and seat tube lengths remain the same on all frame sizes, which means you can choose the reach number that matches your personal preference rather than paying as much attention to the actual frame size.

It might be long, but is it low and slack? Yes, the Phoenix checks those boxes, too, with a bottom bracket height of 340mm and a head angle of 62.5°. Pivot also offers an angle adjusting headset that can be used to alter the head angle by .75° in either direction.



Specifications
Specifications
Price $7399
Travel 204mm
Rear Shock Fox Float X2
Fork Fox 40 Float RC2
Cassette CS6700 11X28 10 Spd
Crankarms Race Face SixC 36t
Rear Derailleur Shimano Saint
Shifter Pods Shimano Saint
Handlebar Pivot Team Carbon - 800mm
Stem Pivot DH direct mount
Grips Phoenix Team Padloc
Brakes Shimano Saint
Hubs DT 350
Rim DT FR750
Tires Maxxis HighRoller II
Seat Pivot WTB Hightail
Seatpost Phoenix Race Carbon


Pivot Phoenix DH Review






Setup

Pivot provides a list of recommended base settings for the Float X2 on their website, and the shock itself has a small sticker on the piggyback that serves as a handy sag indicator. After setting up the Float X2 with 30% sag I stayed relatively close to Pivot's base settings, other than opening up the low-speed and high-speed compression a few click in order to take the edge of the rapid-fire braking bumps in the Whistler Bike Park.


Pivot Phoenix DH Review


Handling

I try my best to approach a new test bike with an open mind, putting aside any preconceived notions about how it might handle until the tires actually hit the dirt. That being said, the Phoenix's light weight was hard to ignore, and I dropped into my first lap fully expecting a peppy, nimble ride – after all, I've been on enduro bikes that weigh almost the same. However, it turns out those assumptions were a little off. The Phoenix rides heavier than its weight would suggest, with manners that are on the more subdued side of the spectrum. The long wheelbase and stiff frame mean that it prefers straight lines and higher speeds, rather than bounding from one side of the trail to the other. Riders looking for a nimble park bike that can zip in and out of berms at the blink of an eye won't find it here, despite what Bernard Kerr's on-trail antics would suggest.

The best bikes are ones that start to feel like an extension of your own body, allowing you to relax and fully enjoy the ride. With the Phoenix, I struggled to achieve that sensation, and even after countless laps in the Whistler Bike Park I never felt like I fully clicked with its handling. I experimented with various shock pressures and settings, but the Phoenix never really came to life for me. Going faster did help, which is usually the case with more race-oriented DH bikes, but even then, the frame transmits a good deal of trail feedback. This isn't a plush magic carpet ride; instead, it's more like being in a stripped down, extra-stiff supercar, the type where even the interior door handles have been removed in order to shed weight. It's the polar opposite to a bike like Commencal's DH V4, and where the V4 makes it feel as if the entire trail is covered in eight inches of shag carpeting, with the Pivot it's more like you're riding on a hardwood floor.


Pivot Phoenix DH Review

bigquotesIt may not deliver the plushest or most playful ride, but the Phoenix does hold its own in the type of terrain that it's truly designed for – steep, rough, and fast.


Bigger jumps were where the Phoenix felt best – the rear suspension provides a nice supportive platform to push into before popping off a lip, and the bike's light weight does make it easier to pilot it to those hard-to-reach transitions. The rear suspension isn't as progressive as a YT Tues, but there was plenty of ramp up to avoid any harsh bottoming out. Based on the position of the shock's o-ring I'm sure that the bottom-out bumper touched the frame (it's supposed to – Pivot says it acts like the bump stop on a trophy truck or rally car), but I never noticed that contact.

It may not deliver the plushest or most playful ride, but the Phoenix does hold its own in the type of terrain that it's truly designed for – steep, rough, and fast. Once it's up to speed it'll stay on top of wheel grabbing obstacles, skipping up and over the top of anaconda sized roots and chunky rocks. The length that hinders it on tighter and slower speed sections of trails becomes an advantage when things open up, and it'll carve big, wide turns without a hint of flex or instability. It does take a firm hand on the reigns to remain in charge – the Phoenix rewards an aggressive riding style, with little tolerance for passivity.



Pivot Phoenix DH Review
Pivot Phoenix DH Review


Component Check

• Saint drivetrain: It's easy to take Shimano's Saint drivetrain for granted, but that's simply a testament to how well it works, shift after shift. The ability to drop down multiple gears with one shift is especially helpful for those 'Oh, shit' moments when you realize need to get in a few extra pedal strokes in order to clear a big jump.

• Fox 40 Float: The Fox 40 has proven itself on the World Cup DH circuit, but you don't need to be a professional to appreciate its performance. It's stiff without being too harsh, and it didn't take much fiddling to get it to feel exactly how I wanted. The tool-free air bleed valves on each leg also earn it some bonus points – there's something very satisfying about hearing that little hiss of air escape, letting you know the fork is ready for another long run.

• Pivot Team PadLoc bar / grips: Grips are a matter of personal preference, but I didn't get along with the Phoenix Team grips. They were too thick for my liking, and after a half day in the bike park I was ready to swap them out for something thinner and more comfortable. Unfortunately, it's not that easy finding a PadLoc compatible set of grips. I understand the reasoning behind the design, but I still think it's more hassle than it's worth. There are limited grip options, it's harder to trim the bars, and overall, it seeks to address an issue (slipping grips) that I've never had any trouble with.

• Pivot / WTB Hightail seat: The seat on a DH bike is used more for steering than for sitting, but I'd still like to see more padding added to the Hightail. The overall shape is nice, with a cutout that helps to prevent tire buzz, but I ended up with a new collection of bruises on the inside of my legs from the hard edges of the saddle.




Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesThe Phoenix is a pure-bred race machine, a fact that's readily apparent out on the trail. Cautious riders, or those who are looking for a lively, mild-mannered bike should look elsewhere – the Phoenix requires steep terrain, high speeds and an attentive pilot to really perform. Mike Kazimer









About the Reviewer
Stats: Age: 34 • Height: 5'11" • Inseam: 33" • Weight: 160lb • Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Twenty-two years deep into a mountain biking addiction that began as a way to escape the suburban sprawl of Connecticut, Mike Kazimer is most at home deep the woods, carving his way down steep, technical trails. The decade he spent as a bike mechanic helped create a solid technical background to draw from when reviewing products, and his current location in the Pacific Northwest allows for easy access to the wettest, muddiest conditions imaginable.



156 Comments

  • + 122
 Holy crap a dh bike review!
  • + 52
 ... without a battery
  • - 19
flag paulaston Plus (Jun 29, 2017 at 10:55) (Below Threshold)
 @Mooka: but requires pushing it, or a combustion engine to make it useable.
  • + 11
 @paulaston: Its ready to handle a stealth dropper post with internal routing... at that weight it is lighter than my trail bike lol
  • + 86
 Boy I love watching those shock depression videos.
  • + 56
 Her: *knock knock* What are you doing in there?
Him: Errr, nothing, just watching a bike compression video over and over.
Her: I think I'd rather you were watching porn.
  • + 3
 hellllllll yeah.
  • - 61
flag DH6 (Jun 29, 2017 at 9:48) (Below Threshold)
 @bigtim: watch porn = going to hell. God sees everything. you forget who created you and why. You were created for holiness!
  • + 51
 @DH6: but porn has all kinds of holiness. In fact, I would argue that without holes, porn is kind of not porn.
  • + 9
 @DH6: well then I'm going down there as a legend
  • + 1
 I want one for the new norco dh bike!!
  • + 6
 @DH6: Religion is for those who fear going to hell.
Spirituality is for those who have already been there.
  • + 1
 @big-O Feels good man
  • + 1
 @Boardlife69: some depth there for a pinkbike comment!
  • + 2
 @Boardlife69: Damn dude thats deep.... Love it!
  • + 1
 @DH6: GTFO with that BS...
  • + 1
 @MTBCAM8: I know I am just reviving an old thread, but I just saw your comment, and can't help but think...and hope...that it is a reference to something one might hear in the script for a porn movie...
  • + 2
 @VwHarman: Hahahaha not a porn that I'd watch thats for sure!
  • + 35
 I had forgot how useless the Padlock system is. Thanks for the reminder.
  • + 2
 I was just talking about it the other day, we were pretty sure the entire concept was dead, as it should be. I guess we were wrong.
  • + 5
 I was of the same opinion until last weekend when I got to demo a ton of Pivot bikes with the Padlock bars/grips. Turns out they're actually incredibly comfortable (tried various different widths and grip patterns) and have a few benefits - particularly that you don't need an outboard clamp, and don't need to torque your inboard clamp too much (and risk cracking a carbon bar) to prevent them from twisting. It was also suggested that new pivot bars which come with padlock will also ship with a wedge that allows you to run regular grips with no issues.
  • + 5
 @ratedgg13: Thanks for that comment! I'm in the same boat, thought it was silly, but I have them on my Switchblade and love them!
  • + 0
 @ratedgg13: they make bat's in different materials you know.
  • + 22
 I've never bought into the whole "Park bike/Race sled" narrative. I remember when they were pushing that on the Wilson a handful of years ago, calling it a total race bike, but then half of Whistler at the time was on one. Same thing with the Gambler - Race bike. Another one that is all over the park. I can't help but feel like it's just another subtle term the industry pushes for sales. Pretty soon 26" DH bikes will come back and be advertised as real parky and nimble.
  • + 16
 I've owned all sorts of DH bikes, some are described as plough bikes , some race bikes, others were described as being flickable/park style, neither of any type had any noticeable negative affects on the opposite of what their supposed plus points were..

The differences may be apparent and actually detrimental to some one who's riding the bike to at least 90 percent of it's true potential, but 90 percent of us don't.

Just buy what ever bike makes your trousers tighter and enjoy the shit out of it, I bet loads of people get put off from buying perfectly good bikes that they would have zero hangups with due to them being labelled to be a certain type of DH bike.
  • + 7
 @bigburd: I agree with all that 100%. I wanna go to Chatel and stand under one of the 60' jumps and yell up at Vink every time he sails over my head, "Hey buddy, don't you know Gambler's are race sleds and not good at jumping?!"
  • + 2
 @Rucker10 @bigburd: I agree with you that you should buy the bike you like, and sometimes the industry bill isn't really translated into what riders actually like (some racers feel better on snappy bikes, etc), but I think you can tell a huge difference between bikes based on the numbers that would suggest whether one is a "park bike" and another is a "race bike". Huge wheelbases won't feel as snappy in tights berms or on poppy jumps, etc
  • + 1
 @Rucker10: Right? How many Gamblers do we see every year at Rampage? Like 60% of the field is on one...Also with the FEST guys.
  • + 2
 Lots of parky people on Gamblers but that's probably because of their 'freeride' heavy team and Vink's recent media attention. Same goes IMO for those mx style roost guards, no real function on a pushbike but because Vink and co wear them you see tons of them at the parks.
  • + 1
 @bonkywonky: Ya, hell here in Utah, most of Deer Valley's rental fleet for the bike park are gamblers.
  • + 1
 @MTBCAM8: Canyons, too.
  • + 1
 @NickDHash: Did they get Canyons up there this year? I havent been up there yet.
  • + 1
 @MTBCAM8: Up? Like open? Yeah man. It's good times. Smile
  • + 1
 @MTBCAM8: oh hell. I meant canyons bike park has Scott bikes as their primary rental fleet. Not that deer valley got canyon bikes. Sorry.
  • + 1
 @NickDHash: Haha youre good man, Ive yet to hit either park this year. I dont feel right about that...
  • + 21
 This doesn't read as a very positive review to me, but it seems like PB was almost unwilling to say what they really thought. The whole tone of the writeup makes it sound like the rider was made to feel nervous or uncomfortable on the bike unless smashing into things at mach 12.
  • + 6
 Gwin seems to get along fine with his YT at the WC so who would need a 'race bike' like this is beyond me. Or is it just an euphemism for a bike that corners like a damn steamboat..?
  • - 1
 "Riders looking for a nimble park bike that can zip in and out of berms at the blink of an eye won't find it here, despite what Bernard Kerr's on-trail antics would suggest."

This is confusing and contradictory. Sooooooo Despite what B Kerr is doing on the bike, this is not what it handles like ??????? Whhaaaattttt?????
  • + 12
 @RaceYouToTheTop: I'm pretty sure Bernard Kerr could ride a shopping cart down the hill and make it look good. He's able to make this (and any) bike behave in a way that doesn't really reflect how it will feel on the trail to a less insanely talented rider.
  • + 7
 It certainly doesn't read as a positive review to me either, probably one of the most negative reviews I have ever read on PB. However, I think there's good reason for not really smashing bikes in a review and saying they are terrible (beyond just not wanting to upset your sponsors)... people have different preferences.

I think Mike Kazimer made it plenty clear that the Pivot Phoenix is not his preference and he wouldn't recommend it to most people. However, that being said, it's a modern mountain bike, and if you like mountain biking and want to get some wheels underneath you without being too critical, I can pretty much guarantee you would still have a hollerin' good time on this bike. It may even be what some people really want!

I don't think there are any modern mountain bikes from mainstream brands that are bad, and that's why we don't see reviews saying "This bike is BAD! Don't buy it!". The most you will ever really see is more of a, "You could probably find something else that suits your needs better, so unless this bike really stokes your flame, I would go with something else".
  • + 0
 @mikekazimer: I agree on the first point of BK being insanely talented. So back to my point. Is it the bike or the rider? If someone is actually Zipping in and out of berms on the bike, its a tough sell to say that the bike doesn't perform that way. Hence the contradiction and subsequent confusion. As you put it, it may feel different to a "less insanely talented rider," however, the issue is with the rider not the bike. The rider (Tester) can't list his own riding deficiencies as being the bike's fault.
  • + 5
 @RaceYouToTheTop, you might be getting a little too hung up on one line in the review. Keep reading, and I think you'll find that I laid out the pros and the cons of the Phoenix's handling. Of course, other riders may have different experiences, but I've been lucky enough to have spent extensive time on a wide variety of modern DH bikes, and those hours spent on other models serve as a baseline for comparison with this bike.
  • + 3
 @mikekazimer: Shopping cart ? Your statements are getting worse. The longer you ride that bike, the more you can feel the benefits. One day is just not enough to get comfortable with it. Ride it a few days and your review maybe is more positive. If you do not like a long wheelbase or a 62.5 degree head angle it is maybe just the wrong bike for you ! Here´s a link to my favourite review: www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tMJszOErZg
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer: well the positive would be its straight lining qualities but a well designed bike can be lively (deliberately not saying nimble/playful) but able to plough through stuff at the same time IMO, or at least offer a very reasonable compromise.
  • + 0
 @fossydh: I can assure you I have plenty of time on this bike - not just one day. And yes, Bernard Kerr's Hardline run is sick - there's no denying that fact. But again, just because he makes the bike look good doesn't mean that my impressions of the bike are incorrect.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: at least not incorrect for the size L and a maybe wrong shock set up. If you read my comment further down...I fortunately have a different experience on my Phoenix.
  • + 9
 I own almost that exact bike with components and can share almost the opposite of mike's opinion. I am 177cm (5' 10) and Ride a M. Coming from a 26 inch aurum I was surpriced how nimble it is. And it is stable at high speeds at the same time. The perfect mixture for me. Best bike I have owned.
Also, the pivot is not very progressive. The base tune for the x2 on the pivot hp didn't work for me very well. So I ride it with ~25% sag, slower high Speed rebound, faster lsr and more lsc and hsc than they suggest. I am not the fastest rider out there. But I am very happy with this set up.. there is room for improvement of course.
The review does not sound too positive. But it might be the size choice I reckon. Compared to the aurum I can take more speed in almost every section and hold on to chosen rough lines better. Also take more speed into Transitions of the jumps which evens out the lower progression compared to the aurum. in the air I feel supercomfortable. it whips equally good like the aurum (can't do many more tricks). I know a smaller german racer who says basically the same than I do. So mike you may try a M with different shock set up if you have the opportunity.
If somebody wants to know more about my set up or just the bike, just drop me a message.
Cheers
  • + 1
 Oh yeah I forgot.. I run 5 volume spacers which is the highest amount for this shock size...
  • + 2
 I've experienced the opposite as well. I picked up a Bos stoy coil take off from one of the guys who bought a Rocky Mountain Maiden and didn't want to run Bos suspension, Avalanche custom valved it, and it is insanely good. Out the door price, $500 USD.
  • + 1
 What size and year Aurum?
  • + 1
 @mlr428:
2013 in M.
  • + 1
 Thanks dude, I'm currently on a small 2013 @Fufi7:
  • + 1
 @mlr428: how tall are ya?
Well it is still an Amazing bike which served me well almost 4 years Long.
  • + 1
 5-6", I'll prob stick with a small Phoenix, @Fufi7:
  • + 1
 @mlr428:
Maybe you can try it first... but I actually loved the bike instantly I threw a leg over. But took me some time to be satisfied with the shock set up. Old vivid air I tried in the Beginning when waiting for the fox, felt good on the Phoenix too.
  • + 9
 Thanks for the DH bike review. Can we have more now please mom ?
  • + 5
 Write a glowing review about how a bike does everything really well and the PB community will be up in arms about another "marketing/paid advertisement" review. Write an honest review that says not everyone will like a bike and the PB community names all the pros who do things on that bike. @mikekazimer, you just can't win.
  • + 1
 @DrPete Maybe a way to win for @mikekazimer is to post only the pictures and the frame-facts as making negative opinions which are not identical with people who shred and jump this bike every week at different locations.
@norfiril You maybe feel more comfortable on a bike with a short wheelbase and a steeper head angle. The phoenix may not so maneuverable but with it´s flat head angle and long wheelbase it is more stable when you go fast or when you need more safety and confidence for landing a big jump.
  • + 1
 @fossydh: sure the bike is great, I think almost every bike today are. Is more about me on the bike than the bike itself.

I'm riding well on it but never had the instant confidence and connection that I had with the Aurum. Nevertheless I've been riding it for 3 years (2 frames, same bike) and I expect to be riding it for at least 1 or 2 more
  • + 5
 With the apparent taming of World Cup Courses are we going to see less and less bikes like this? WC riders seem to think the current courses are too easy so something that requires steep and rough terrain to really shine would seem like the wrong tool for the job?
  • + 11
 Some XC courses look more like DH tracks.
  • + 2
 I've wondered a lot about this. Last couple years at Whistler I see more and more trail bikes and it always surprises me. I really look for every chance I can find to ride my DH. I would never think to take my trail bike up there. Sometimes I ask people about it and you get a mix of, "Oh there's nothing here you need a DH for." and "I can't afford two bikes."
  • + 21
 @Rucker10: yep, then those same people destroy their frame, fork, shock and wheels and then want to have it replaced under warranty... trail bikes really cannot handle that level of abuse day in day out. Dual crown forks exist for a reason. Just because you can ride something on a trail bike doesn't make it the right tool for the job - if you're really determined you can ride everything in the park on a dirtjumper too, but why would you.
  • + 4
 @tuffy , you only hear the complaints. Although some tracks, such as Leogang, are less technical and very fast, there are still plenty of rough, steep, and technical tracks in the schedule. Many of the riders, including myself, were unhappy with the Ft. Bill woods due to it being too rough and unpredictable. And, you can't forget about the track we are currently at.... Andorra is definitely, STEEEEEEP!
  • + 1
 @Socket: That's my feeling. It is amazing what one single day at the park can do to a bike. When I go up I essentially bring a bike shop with me. It's not uncommon to sit out in that hot ass parking lot with my bike in a race stand rebuilding a fork or something. I shudder to think what it would do to my trail bike.
  • + 3
 @Rucker10: Yep, I always look to take my DH sled too, buuuuutt... I just got an Evil Wreckoning, and I'm finding that I'm not at a disadvantage unless it is a black diamond run or REALLY chunky. I still wouldn't do the big drops and jumps on the Evil that I would do on my Maiden, but it surprised me how good it was.
  • + 21
 @Rucker10: I think about this often too. The "there's nothing here you need a DH for" doesn't make any sense to me because a DH bike, or biking in general, isn't about "need." Could someone ride a HT at Whistler? Yeah. Would I want to? f*ck no. I view the DH vs. trail bike the same as small tits vs. big tits. Do I need to play with big tits? No. Do I like to? Yeah.
  • + 6
 @RichPune: Haha I like the analogy. I actually have a friend that takes his HT to Whistler. He's a shredder, he's humble, has the fitness to work the bike for an entire day in the park, and on some of trails can even keep up with us. But where we can ride for an entire weekend, he's done after that one day.

I really don't get it. I often tell people that if I could have one bike it would still be my DH, even though it's my least ridden bike. I have fun every week on my HT and Trail bike, but nothing ever compares to a day on the DH bikes. I realize that's not the same for everyone, but when I see someone at a bike park where a large machine takes your bike up the hill for you on a trail bike with a 1x12 drivetrain it just seems odd.
  • - 6
flag Chingus-Dude (Jun 29, 2017 at 10:48) (Below Threshold)
 @Rucker10: I ride double blacks on my 150mm fork and 135 rear travel just fine.
  • + 18
 @Chingus-Dude: Cool story bro.
  • + 2
 @Rucker10: new enduro bikes,170 mm fork, big 2.5 WT tires,long wheelbase...My new 2018 Jekyll is more like a freeride bike of years ago, 3 Kg lighter,good gear ratio to climb. I feel safer than in my old 2012 DH bike. It can handle the abuse of a bike park day no problem. But it make me think if a 2018 Enduro bike rides like that,I can´t imagine what a new DH bike is capable...
  • + 1
 @Rucker10: yeah, you can ride a DH bike on XC and an XC bike on DH, but a light DH bike is better at doing both.
  • + 1
 I like riding my 29" hardtail at the WBP, it's a humbling experience. Also like riding my DH bike there. I found the Slash 9.9 RSL a real blast on FT, DM and Aline as well!

Can't wait to get my new franken-bike up there.
  • + 3
 @Chingus-Dude: your bike might say something different!
  • + 6
 @Socket: @Rucker10: This was my experience. Sure, you can ride all trails in whistler on a rigid fat bike, but you'll be slow and in pain by the end of the day. A DH bike allows you to go faster (duh), have more traction (duh), and gives a wider margin for error thus allowing you to try new things or keep riding when you're getting more tired, something that gets outright sketchy trying on a trail bike. Been there, done that, absolutely nothing beats a DH bike for DHing. but hey, there's those types that think they are as fast on a trail bike because they do laps of Aline on their trail bike. Have at it, but get out of the way....
  • + 1
 @DJ-24: and EWS courses make some of the DH course look like XC Wink
  • + 1
 @Socket: I spent a week in Morzine/Les Gets on my DMR Rythm back when I was 16 and skint. You can ride pretty much any trail on a HT if you're good or stupid enough to, but its not much fun and will destroy your ride/forearms quickly.

RIP my 24" Halo SAS wheels and Marzocchi Shivers
  • + 5
 Three years now riding a Phoenix and my personal sensations with the bike just match the review: a great and light bike but I just don't feel totally confortable on it.

Here the tracks are more technical and not that fast so the bike feels too big and long. In some trails in Whistler it was a different story but I have to admit I felt better with my old Aurum.
  • + 8
 Commencal Supreme D V4.2 is the exact opposite - from the first run, there is an instant feeling of confidence!
  • + 4
 One of the best looking downhill bikes ever made. This thing is sex on 2 wheels~

And at 34lbs I'm sure itll get major air time with little effort.
  • + 2
 I'd add that for the Phoenix most of the riders I speak with who enjoy the bike are pumping in extra volume reducers to help make the bike more progressive. Also, why all the focus on the grips? You're buying a 7k+ DH bike, surely you can tack on another 30 for your favorite choice of grips (and before you say for that price it should come 'just right' everyone has a different grip preference). Riding out here in Colorado the bike is definitely a bit happier in the long, sweeping turns with some chunder thrown in (see Keystone) but given it's weight and ability to jump it's equally happy at Trestle. That being said, it's not the best in the more technical terrain but I often remind myself this may be a simple case of the indian vs the arrow
  • + 5
 The focus on the grips was due to the fact that you need specific grips for that handlebar - it's not as easy as going into any bike shop, grabbing a set of Ruffians and calling it good.
  • + 1
 Need to pick up a new handle bar while your in there getting your $30 grips. So that you can actually install your grips.
  • + 2
 I'm not a pro, more of a good average rider, and I rode the previous Phoenix as a rental for two trips to Morzine. I can honestly say that by some margin it felt better than the Santa Cruz V10 (less stable) and the Pulse (too heavy to manoeuvre). The amazing stability and lightweight pay massive dividends to someone who is more of a typical rider and not strong enough to manhandle a heavier rig.
  • + 4
 I love this time of year. Almost everyday there's a new bike unveiled to lust over (and of course grumble about the price)
  • + 1
 Ok, but in this case it´s been unveiled over a year ago.
  • + 1
 here's my take on the phoenix. I am currently riding a size medium with a fox coil. Previous to this frame i was riding a commencal V3 and evil undead and have also spent time on newer V10

the two main things about this frame that first struck me when i started riding it are the momentum that it carries over all terrain and how well it pedals. Going over rougher parts of trail i find this bike tends to skim right over and hold its line much like the evil. The commencal in contrast tended to wallow a bit and bounce around. The phoenix while not as nimble as commencal or evil is more confidence inspiring for point and shooting riding. Pedalling on this bike feels like riding a trail bike. It is by far the best pedaling downhill bike i have ever ridden. It's very easy to forget that you are sitting on 8 inches of travel. The bike is also very light which also helps.

Jumping on this bike i find fairly neutral and the aforementioned momentum greatly helps with maintaining speed between tighter spaced hits.

ergonomic wise It took me a little while to get used to the bike. It is a long bike. Before this bike i tended to like tighter cockpits but i have found that i have gotten used to this one. Despite the long reach, find myself feeling like i am riding on top of the bike instead of inside it.

I find the bike rides performs similar to the V10 but the v10 feels lower profile. The suspension feels similar though the phoenix rides a littler higher in its travel. The suspension on V10 i found was much more progressive and more plush. The frame construction much like the V-10 is superb.

One major downside of the frame is find myself buzzing the rear wheel alot after deep landings and the tire contacts the seat a little too frequently ( i dont ride the pivot seat). I wish the suspension was more progressive.

all in all i find it to be a fun bike
  • + 1
 "It may not deliver the plushest or most playful ride, but the Phoenix does hold its own in the type of terrain that it's truly designed for - steep, rough, and fast."

203 mm of travel and you can't consider it plush...or fun....and it feels heavier than it is.....
what the hell good is this thing?!
HOPEFULLY poor suspension tuning has something to do with that.
  • + 1
 Read my comment further up.. i
  • + 1
 Very high pedal kick back is the problem.
  • + 1
 @RaZias:
Apparently not that much as the v10
m.youtube.com/watch?v=4Frc_-Ynow8
  • + 3
 Mike, were you riding the size large?

I have to imagine the medium might feel more playful with the shorter reach.
  • + 4
 Future enduro bike....if the trends continue.
  • + 1
 My Phoenix soared through the air very well. The dropper post is fantastic when you get on the wrong trail or you have to climb up something but my Firebird is just a tad faster at the bikepark than my Phoenix.
  • + 0
 Hi guys, here is my review...I bought a used 2015 Phoenix demo from Pivot in 2016. This is the second season on it. It had a few scratches on it but I figured I could forego the sorrow of the first scratches and save $2300 on a saint build. I am pretty rough on equipment and I would describe my DH riding style as "An anvil thrown down a hill". My previous bike is a 2015 carbon Operator. I live 20 min. From Stevens pass and freeride once a week with my buddies on local trails. The dropper post is awesome for traverses and riding to the truck. I put a smaller chainring on the front and that helped the peddling quite a bit but it DOESN'T PEDAL LIKE A MACH 6. The fox 40 is a pice of crap with minimal adjustability and I was replacing seals every 2 weeks. I installed a Marzocchi 380 c2r2 Ti and it really made a huge difference. As far as the I'm concerned, the Phoenix is the best DH bike period.
  • + 2
 I don't know about you guys, but after trying padlocks I'm never going back to a normal grip ever again. They are the comfiest grips ever, hands down!
  • + 22
 hows the job going at WTB?
  • + 6
 @hairy1976: I actually agree with him - was dubious until I demo'd a bunch of pivot bikes last weekend. I have long struggled to find a comfortable set of grips (currently on Deathgrips) and the Padlocks beat those out too.
  • + 1
 I haven't ridden them yet, but this is what I've heard too. It seems to me that WTB should have focused its advertising on the comfort benefits of the design, nebulous as they may be, instead of the throttle-grip solution. Everyone's come home with sore hands; not everyone's slipped a grip like the WTB team rider with whom the product originated.
  • + 1
 @ratedgg13: im runing Deathgrips too find them OK but not a patch on my regular grip Santa Cruz Palmdales-awesome grip but they wear out too quick..
  • + 2
 sensus dissisdaboss are super comfy. worth the shot
  • + 1
 @adrennan: How do they hold up as far as wear? I'm interested in trying a set because of their length. I'm currently on Renthal kevlar, which last forever but my hand is on each of the locks.
  • + 2
 @WolfStoneD: i think i have had them on for almost a year? I dont ride as much as I would like to but they still have a lot of life in them. I am using the gum rubber ones. i like how long the grips are, i have pretty big hands and am not sitting on the clamps.
  • + 1
 What does the padlock feature add to comfort beyond just making the exact same grip without the handlebar cut?
  • + 1
 @adrennan: sounds like they may be worth a go.
  • + 1
 @WolfStoneD: Depends on how you ride them, mine never seem to wear at all, but I know guys who moto-throttle the crap out of their grips will wear through them quicker. Stupidly comfy though, easily my favourite grip to date (though the Lite's I'm trying now are a close second).
  • + 1
 You know what is the difference between Pivot and Commencal ?....Pivot has a very high pedal-kickback and that kills the shock feeling.
  • + 1
 The pedal kickback pf the Phoenix is not very bad. The phoenix has a perfect anti-squad and that is one of the big benefits of the DW-Link. Check this Video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Frc_-Ynow8
  • + 3
 How does it climb, does seem to be a review of that?
  • + 3
 i can safely say that it climbs pretty well, i have a reverb on mine and it does climb but its exactly how you expect a dh bike to climb
  • + 3
 @prenderville: Do you get a remote lockout?
  • + 7
 Terrible water bottle placement.
  • + 1
 @prenderville: Holy smokes you're not kidding. But... why? Would a 170mm enduro style bike not be more appropriate?
  • + 1
 lets just say i don't do much climbing
  • + 3
 @prenderville: Does it come with a dropper and can I use it for Bike Packing?
  • + 2
 im not sure if it comes with one out of the box as mine was a custom build. i wouldnt bother using it for bike backing. get an enduro bike
  • + 1
 Was out with my girlfriend, she Took my endurobike and i the phoenix. Climbed Pretty well at a mellow 30min Climb on the fireroad. Fortunately my girfriend is new in the Sport so we were going Slow.
  • + 4
 Love my Phoenix :-)
  • + 1
 You can't really talk about how light it is then neglect to post a frame weight. Come on guys.
  • + 1
 how are you gonna write the intro about how light the bike is and not even tell us what the frame weight is? what a joke.
  • + 1
 Somewhere around 3kg
  • + 1
 No rear derailleur cable under the bottom bracket? What happened Pivot? Congratulations.
  • + 2
 But... How does it climb?
  • + 1
 why we can´t see movement of brake caliper against the rotor in the video, what is it good for to see just linkage moving?
  • + 2
 Wow incredible
  • + 1
 Is it availabe as an E-Bike, Epinkbike ?
  • - 1
 Tubeless systems with tubes.

Now rear suspension with shocks and elastomer bumpers.

What's next, clutched derailleurs with chain tensioners?
  • + 3
 That bumper is a nice and non disturbing detail. Only touched when something goes really wrong (e.g. a broken damper) I have not tested it, but i think it´s hard to touch that bumper in a normal case. Even with too less psi in combination with less volume spacers. And when you dismount your shock (for service or whatever reason) you can free your bike stand and put the phoenix on the ground without getting damage to your carbon frame.
  • + 1
 Cmon, we are dying to know, how does it climb??
  • + 0
 But can it fit 29er wheels?
  • + 2
 Rupert Chapman was riding it with 29ers so I guess it can?
  • - 3
 Hopefully...otherwise the people who shell out almost 8K for this bike are going to be sorely disappointed in 2018 when 29er's start to trickle down to the general public...I predict we will see a similar review in the near future for the same bike with 29" wheels...
  • + 5
 If you remove the tires then yes, you can put 29er wheels. Just don't use tires
  • + 0
 Well, that's disappointing. It was going to be my next dh bike.
  • + 1
 I rode one at Bootleg Canyon and felt like it was the most nimble DH bike I've ever ridden. I rode a Medium and I'm 5'11" though. I rode it back to back with the new Firebird. If I could tell a big difference between the two, I would have gone with a Phoenix. Instead I ride a Firebird on local trails and at the bike parks. Someone more capable than me could push the Firebird past its limit and would need or benefit from the Phoenix. My last full on DH bike was a 2016 Session 88.
  • + 1
 Read my comment/review about the Phoenix in this comment section. I geht Alonso with it superbly.
  • - 2
 Every time I see a new bike review on PB I think, "Is it the Hightower LT!?" I can't take it anymore PB.. SEND ME HIGHTOWER CENTERFOLD NUDES!!!!
  • + 0
 Compressing the shock causes the hub to click?
  • + 3
 As the Suspension is compress it will shorten the rear end a bit as it goes into the front triangle, so the wheel will move making the hub click.
  • + 1
 My dream bike Big Grin
  • - 1
 Upper link mashes into seat tube: It's not a design flaw, it's bottom out control!
  • + 1
 Seriously. Bumper or no, Carbon generally doesn't like that sort of impact.
  • + 4
 Orange been getting away with it but with no bumper since the 222 came out xD
  • - 1
 I wonder how much Pivot are being paid to use the PadLoc grips
  • + 2
 Chis Cocalis isn't free of being a crank once in a while... I wouldn't be surprised if he was involved in the idea. Remember WTB worked with Pivot specifically on the hightail saddle for the Phoenix in the first place.
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