Spotted: Pivot's New Firebird Race Bike - Val Di Fassa EWS

Jun 23, 2021
by James Smurthwaite  

A new Pivot Firebird has been spotted under the Pivot Factory Team racers at the EWS race in Val di Fassa.

The Firebird is the longest travel enduro bike in Pivot's stable with the current version boasting 162mm of travel and 29" wheels. However, it also hasn't been updated since 2018 and is one of the few remaining Pivot bikes to not receive the updated DW Link position.

A screengrab taken from our raw footage video.

In the past couple of years, we've seen the Trail 429, Mach 6 and Switchblade updated to have a vertical shock orientation and the Firebird will be going in the same direction. This has allowed Pivot to shed weight on its other bikes and crucially also means a bottle can be fitted.

The change in shock orientation has also changed the kinematic of the other Pivot bikes to offer more small bump compliance and greater ramp-up, and we expect the change to the Firebird to have the same effect. The Switchblade and Mach 6 both now have enough progression to run a a coil shock, so we'll wait and see if that carries over to the Firebird too.


Other changes we're expecting would include some geometry tweaks and maybe an adjustment in travel alongside Pivot's design hallmarks such as size-specific tubing and Super Boost Plus spacing.

Pivot also released the following two clips that hint at what we're looking at:


We've reached out to Pivot for more information and will update this story when we have it.


133 Comments

  • 98 2
 Well the forks match , can’t say that too often.
  • 27 1
 That's hilarious...and I think it actually looks really good.
  • 41 0
 The traffic cone! Still no official release even after the teaser video this week AND the follow up teaser video. Mucho teaso.
  • 6 3
 No idler!
  • 33 1
 Interesting that it's neither a high pivot or a mullet.
  • 31 1
 Pivot will likely never have a high single pivot. The DW Link works too well for them to entertain a different suspension design.
  • 32 2
 Don't need a high pivot when the DW link kicks ass.
  • 10 4
 @NorCalNomad: well I have a Pivot, had several.... and I have a mondraker with similar suspension design.

Dw is a good compromise for the standard location of a chainring... which is where it is for obvious reasons. The problem with the std location and a dw link is that axle path and antisquat are directly linked and if you want more rearward travel you end up with more anti squat and more kickback. A dw link bike moves to forward axle travel just deeper into travel than sag.

There are dual link designs like the craftworks I travel system that is basically a dw with an idler mounted on the link...

No reason dw and pivot couldn't go this way

But I think commercials new high pivot / 6 link job is the way forward.
More independently optimizeable antisquat, antirise, and wheelpath
  • 10 13
 @NorCalNomad: Sorry, after riding a DW Link for two seasons on my Turner RFX, I’m not sure what the hype is about around that suspension system. A lot of times it just felt harsh on square hits and drops (unless you hit it just right), and while there was almost no difference climbing with the shock wide open and in the middle “climbing” position, there was quite a bit of bob if you stood while pedaling no matter where you set the shock switch.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a perfectly adequate suspension system. There are pluses and minuses just as there are with all the others. But I don’t understand when people talk like it’s the pinnacle of suspension engineering, transcending all others. Maybe that was the case when it was introduced years ago, but there are so many other viable designs these days.
  • 4 1
 @englertracing: Commercials? Did you mean Commencal's?
  • 4 2
 @TheR: Any suspension will bob if you're out of the saddle. Yes I concur that compression damping adjustment doesn't seem to affect climbing performance in any meaningful form, but I'd argue that that is a plus. The compression dampening adjustment is more noticeable when you're out of the saddle descending. The DW link climbs with unreal efficiency. I have no doubt that there are better suspensions designs more suitable for downhill applications though. The DW Link on the Firebird seems rather silly since why does that bike need to pedal efficiently? For what it's worth top tier DH riders actually pedal a lot even though they are screaming downhill so perhaps the DW Link efficiency serves them well in the regard, For most DH riders though, that pedal hardly any, an efficient suspension design like DW Link is largely a waste and would be overshadowed by the performance of bikes with a rearward axle path that can more effectively plow through terrain.
  • 4 1
 @SuperHighBeam: there is a difference between pedal induced bob and rider induced. I think this guy is bouncing his body up and down wondering why his suspension moves. I have been riding dw link and vpp link bikes for about 5 years. No lockout needed imo. But I know how to stand up and pedal without jerking my body around.
  • 1 2
 @SuperHighBeam: yea don't eat and type Smile
  • 3 1
 @SuperHighBeam: Yeah, I agree that it’s a good thing compression damping doesn’t affect performance. It was one of the things that was a plus. Like I said, there were pluses and minuses. And while any bike will bob while pedaling out of the saddle, it was unexpectedly excessive. As the other dude said, it could be me, but I’ve ridden other systems that don’t bob nearly as much.

To your point, I didn’t buy a bike with 160mm of travel to crush climbs. (And I did crush climbs). In the end, I monkeyed with the suspension and did everything I could to like it, but it never felt quite right. I wanted something that would plow, and there’s better out there for that purpose.
  • 2 0
 @NorCalNomad: You could actually do a Virtual High Pivot DW link design
  • 3 1
 @SuperHighBeam: The Firebird is an enduro bike, not a DH bike, that's the Phoenix. The enduro bike needs to pedal well and have good long travel suspension.
  • 4 5
 @TheR: careful, both the people that think Dave Weagle is the greatest engineering genius in history AND the Pivot fanboys who can recite Chris Cocalis quotes from Mountain Bike Action about how good Super Boost is are going to be mad at you. If you insult BMW’s and Taylor Made drivers the Pivot people might hunt you down.
  • 3 3
 @wibblywobbly: To be clear, I have no personal issue with Dave Weagle and Chris Cocalis. And Pivot makes some sharp bikes. I like the Firebird in particular. Don’t know about That super boost, though. I’m sure it works all right, but I don’t need the odd standard if I want to switch out frames some day without also buying new wheels.

I just don’t understand this cult of DW Link. I mean, it’s fine. It works. But so does an FSR link. Hell, in my opinion, the concentric single pivot on my Kona works better than the DW on my old Turner. But dudes are always like, “It must be a kick-ass bike… it has a DW link.” There were people on the Turner forum on MTBR who, now that Turner is no longer making suspension bikes, will only replace them with Pivot and Ibis, because DW Link. I don’t understand that. Why limit yourself to two choices when there’s a whole host of bikes and systems out there that work just as well or in some cases better?
  • 3 0
 @TheR: Definitely better options for plowing through terrain. The value of DW Link diminishes in the EN, DH, and FR disciplines of mountain biking.
  • 1 0
 @SonofBovril: You could, but the top link would either be too high to yield a functional bike or the links would be extremely close together...not sure either would work all that well.
  • 1 0
 @SonofBovril: Touche, I mixed them up.
  • 2 0
 @TheR: DW Links of yore weren't the best. FSR bikes of yore were not particularly good. DW Link has seemingly outperformed FSR year over year and keeps improving. FSR is also improving, but in my opinion is not as good as DW Link. Not all suspension designs are created equal. I will likely always be on either a DW Link, VPP, Switch Infinity, or Linkage Driven High Single Pivot Bike. Very unlikely to ever go back to a horst linkage.
  • 2 0
 @SuperHighBeam: It’s all going to come down to preferences on how the bike handles and feels overall. Some people will swear by DW, but I just don’t understand. I can honestly say I don’t really have a preference for any particular suspension system, but I will also say I was kind of underwhelmed by the DW bike I owned, especially as it pertained to rougher terrain. It did climb well, and the steering was very precise. But after hearing all the hype, I was expecting more, and “more” just isn’t really there. It’s like everything else out there — advantage here, compromise there. Not enough for me to say, “this is definitely the way to go.”
  • 4 0
 Suspension design is all about compromises. You can't take something away from one aspect without adding something to another. There is no 'perfect suspension' design that does everything amazingly with zero downsides and compromises. I prefer twin-mini-link(DW, VPP, SI) for general trail bikes because they have stiff pedaling platforms and generally does ok with chunk. For long travel bikes, I like Horst link and ABP/Split-Pivot due to their ability to separate braking forces from suspension movement and they handle chunk a lot better than mini-links. And for short travel bikes, the linkage-driven single pivot with flex stays are phenomenal. I haven't ridden a 6-bar or high pivot yet, so I can't really comment on what types of bikes I feel they should be in.
  • 2 0
 @Almazing: Could not agree more.
  • 1 0
 @SuperHighBeam: your not wrong, but, i like the dw link on my firebird because having rode many other bikes i really notice how much energy it saves for you up the climbs which is important in enduro, the efficent pedaling also allows me to run more supple suspension and beefier tires with out the pay off of slower climbing
  • 1 0
 @TheR: on super boost, im not getting mad at you, but i love super boost, when we went up 1.5 inches from 26 to 27.5, everyone loved boost, so shouldnt it be a no brainer to make the hub wider when we went up another 1.5 inches to 29?

thats why i think more brands should be making there 29er bikes superboost, then there would be no problem with changing wheels
  • 1 0
 @dylansanderson2004: All good, man. I don't have a problem with the concept of super boost. It might be exactly what's needed. I'm sure it works great. The only issue I have is that it's an odd standard only used by a couple companies. If more got on board and it became the prominent standard, I'd have no issue.
  • 2 1
 @TheR: it's not an odd standard at all
It's used by basically every dh bike and existed before boost.
  • 1 0
 @dylansanderson2004: I don't understand the point of your comment. We already acknowledged that DW Link is a very efficient design for climbing.
  • 1 0
 @dylansanderson2004: I'm indifferent to the SuperBoost standard. I don't feel it hinders my choices adversely if I wanted to get different hubs, and that's not something I even want to do since my Pivot came equipped with really goods hubs to begin with and my second wheelset for winter which has Industry Nine hubs was a non-issue to build. Did Pivot need to make the SuperBoost standard? Probably not, but I don't hate them for it and it does likely enhance the performance of the 29er platform.
  • 1 0
 @englertracing: "It's used by basically every dh bike and existed before boost." Really. SuperBoost came before boost? I'm not sure about that. Did it just not have that name and DH bikes just had wider rear axles before the Boost name was on the market? I can't seem to recall the hub width on my former 2010 Santa Cruz V10 which I no longer have...
  • 2 0
 @SuperHighBeam: your 2010 v10 had a 12x150 hub. 12x150 and 12x157 are the same hubs and wheel dish. The 157 has 3.5mm longer end caps usually included with wheels or the hubs. The difference is most 150 frames don't have "hooks" so you've gotta align the wheel stab the axle thru kind of annoying. The 157 frames all have hooks that that extra 3.5mm sits on so you can set the wheel in and look around for your axle and stuff.
  • 1 0
 @englertracing: Thank you for being the informant! Unfortunately, the 2010 V10 was a 26er so it didn't really take advantage of the wider hub spacing. Ironically, the 29er version came out just 1 or two years later which I would have much rather preferred being 6'2". I do recall install of the back wheel on that 2010 V10 being a bit of a pain, yet install of the back wheel on my Pivot Mach 429 is much easier (yes not the same hub width Boost vs. SuperBoost) but through axle nonetheless.
  • 1 0
 @englertracing: I did not realize the difference between the 150 and 157 was so minor. So really the 157s are 150s with 7mm of lip to slide into the frame "hooks"...interesting. I learned something new.
  • 1 0
 @SuperHighBeam: now you've got it.
"Super boost"
Was before boost.....
And I think even before 12x142.

Might be the oldest still used thru axle really.
We have come full circle
  • 1 0
 @englertracing: I am enlightened. I assumed super boost came after boost, but perhaps it did only in the context that the ends cap we added to make the 150mm axle easier to install. Like you said though, nothing changed with the hub itself. The real innovation was the 148mm and 110mm boost hubs.
  • 28 0
 It has a cup holder!
  • 21 0
 Pivot is on my radar they have been making great looking bikes for a while now
  • 3 7
flag conoat (Jun 23, 2021 at 11:25) (Below Threshold)
 I rode a 2018 27.5 FB for almost a year in 2018. bike handled great, but had a load of issues. it destroyed shocks from side loading like a methhead stealing catalytic converters(read:often), and the chain slap was so f*cking bad, I was convinced for the first month, the bike was going to snap. lol. Hopefully they figured all that out with the 29 and now this bike, because I really want to root for Chris and the team at Pivot.
  • 4 0
 @conoat: I have a Switchblade that I got this season with a few hundred miles and no problems yet but not to say that it won't so hopefully that vertical mount fixes the issue. I think the yoke that was on your FB does cause a lot of sideloading as my Stumpjumper ate a shock within a year and heard complaints about sideloading with their yoke too.
  • 2 0
 The Firebird this is replacing is the first 29'er that I hoped on and LOVED right away. Also my 5.5 continues to kick ass on the uphill and down. And yeah any bike with a shock yoke is going to put more loading into the shock unless it has a short link connected to it to stiffen it up.
  • 1 0
 I have about 6500 miles on a 429 trail, original suspension, serviced twice a year. It's held up great, the only thing is some creaks out of the headset that are likely due to me putting an angleset in there. I ride it on very rocky trails (Western Colorado) all the time and it's never felt like it was going to break.

Definitely going to try and swing a leg over the new Firebird and consider it whenever it actually gets to shops.
  • 14 1
 Pivot: "So if Fox won't get away from orange lowers that don't match anything, we'll just make a whole bike in Fox Orange"
  • 4 0
 Which is interesting since Pivot seems to be able to match all other Fox Forks to whatever frame color they go with. That's practically a trademark of Pivot, color-matched suspension decals. Not many other bike companies bother to facilitate that color coordination.
  • 2 0
 @SuperHighBeam: very true, they do have a very strong relationship with fox which helps
  • 13 0
 Spotted, new Shimano 6-bolt Freeza rotors...
  • 3 0
 BR over9000
  • 1 0
 Eagle eye
  • 6 1
 Looking good. No radical changes, just small, polishing details. I could not care less about the bottle space, but if the new shock position brings about a coil option, and the geo doesn't get slackened much, my existing FB 29 will be replaced next season after 3 years of awsome riding.
  • 2 0
 I run an EXT storia Coil already. No problem at all. Bike is much much better with a coil
  • 6 0
 I like how people get back for Pinkbike for posting spyshots when people choose to wear Pivot jerseys while riding an unreleased bike.
  • 8 2
 Keep the chain stays short!! That's what makes the FB29 so much fun!!. But agree hope they steepen the seat tube
  • 1 0
 What size do you ride?
  • 4 1
 I sure hope the chainstays get longer for a more proportional ride in the bigger sizes
  • 2 0
 @stormracing: I am on a medium
  • 6 1
 @cgrovego: see, for you, that is immensely more proportional than that same chainstay that gets put on an XL. I completely understand and see why you like how yours rides.
I’m not saying all chainstays need to be long, but rather the larger sizes need to be more proportionate. The mediums in most bikes are very balanced and proportionate and ride very well. Us folks on the XLs get a bit more screwed with that same rear end as your medium stuck onto an XL front.
  • 1 0
 @stormracing: yea, i love the short chainstays on my large FB29, but can completly understand how even a few extra mm on the XL would be good
  • 4 0
 You can get almost a better look at it with screenshots from the raw footage....c'mon PB, you're better than this! We know you have pics of the full side view.
  • 5 11
flag hamncheez (Jun 23, 2021 at 10:13) (Below Threshold)
 full review later this week
  • 6 0
 @hamncheez: They took my advice and added a screenshot hahaha. Props to you PB, man of the people.
  • 6 0
 Hazard Orange for the win. You've been Tango'D
  • 6 4
 As FB29 owner, I hope they fixed the geo by making the seat tube steeper or use longer chainstays on the L/XL models, cause the current one is a wheelie machine
I didn't get along with the superboost plus chainring also, it was hard to get spares for.
  • 5 0
 SB is easy. There are XT and SLX cranks for it. Then for the wheel just use a DH one.
  • 3 1
 Agreed! Needs longer chainstays on the bigger sizes
  • 2 1
 @rojo-1: mine came with a sram x01 crank and a special 0mm offset chainring from oneup which is always out of stock.
  • 1 0
 Agree 100%
Sold my Firebird 29 purely down to seat angle. With long legs it just wasn’t comfortable, even with the saddle slammed forward.
  • 3 0
 Wonder if Pivot will sell a frame only given supply chain issues on delivering full builds. Just bought a slightly used demo ‘21 FB Pro X01 and want to just swap frames to this when I can get my hands on it
  • 1 0
 you will very likely be able to get a frame only, otherwise just talk to your local dealer and you could probably get a frame sorted, with my current FB29 i talked to the dealer and was able to get a only a frame, fork, shock and cranks and custom built the rest
  • 4 0
 I’m happy they painted it orange. It looks so awesome. The color also fits the name “firebird”. Nice work Pivot!
  • 4 0
 How bout those tires tho....
  • 1 0
 Maxxis - DHR III ?
  • 3 0
 It's weird right? They almost look like worn DHR2's don't they?
  • 4 0
 Aren't there rumors about a 2.5" DHRII? I remember reading some rumors somewhere.
  • 1 0
 @Handsomehwang: I saw them last sea otter. They were on some of the syndicate dh v10 and sidewall said prototype and I looked and looked and couldn’t see what made it different than a normal dhrII until I saw 2.5
  • 1 0
 @Handsomehwang: I measured the 2.6 DHRII I bought in 2019 and the width was exactly the same as that of a DHF 2.5. It's not necessarily better than the 2.4 equivalent though.
  • 2 0
 Looks Halloween-is for my taste but sick nonetheless. Eagerly awaiting the alternate color. I wasted some ZZZs staying up last night for a non-release.
  • 1 0
 on the timer, the colours alternate between orange and green
  • 1 0
 And does look like the 429 which looks like the mach6 which looks like the switchblade…

Like Santa Cruz, all pivots will look the same

Only to be defined by colour and fork/shock to those with sharp eyes

Yawn… boring.
  • 2 0
 what happended? still no release? Didnt they have an extra landing page with a count down? Was on vacation for weeks and cant find it anymore...
  • 2 0
 Absolutelly! Dw link just like it was on TURNER bikes. Shame he is not making them anymore.
  • 3 0
 This is going to be a great bike. I absolutely love my switchblade.
  • 2 0
 Straight up ignored the fact that the Mach 4 SL was the first bike to have the new DW layout... #xcbikesmatter
  • 5 4
 The real news story is that prototype radon in the background of the first image.
  • 5 0
 That is Julian Claudi with the actual Radon Swoop .
  • 3 1
 I hope they release it in a different colour
  • 4 0
 @hobbnobs its Pivot, the other color will be obviously blue
  • 2 0
 on the timer, the colours alternate between orange and green
  • 3 2
 Those don't look like production Shimano brake rotors either. But they definitely do look like a Shimano product.
  • 3 0
 They look like the old XT rotors with the new XTR radiator fins. Whatever they are they look better than both. They should sell them.
  • 1 0
 Those are the RT-900, no more radiators, some sort of heat dissipating black paint. They have been around for ~12 months but in short supply like a lot of things.
  • 2 0
 @Snowytrail: Definitely not RT-900, I have set of those on my gravel bike as they are positioned as road/gravel rotors. Those have four spokes with large fins in between with the black heat paint, these look to have at least six spokes. Funny enough the road race teams have been running the MT-900 trail versions recently vs. the RT road versions.

These are not the older RT-86 either, as those had no heat paint/fins. thenotoriousmic is right, they look like a hybrid of older stuff. My guess - new Saint level rotors. Parts of that group are already being tested in the field.
  • 1 0
 @bicycle019: saints my bet too. The larger mt900s have 5 spokes though.

I'm wondering if they will make the new Saint rotors in a 220. Or just the mt900 when the Saint group is released. We've seen the SLX 220 so Shimano is willing. I have the perfect bike for them.
  • 3 1
 Surprised there hasn't been a PB article on the Devinci prototype yet.
  • 3 1
 Hopefully the chainstays are longer this time...
  • 6 3
 The super short chainstays are one of my favourite things about the current Firebird
  • 3 1
 Agreed! Definitely needs longer chainstays. More proportional and a much better ride
  • 1 0
 @hobbnobs: what size do you ride?
  • 2 0
 @stormracing: I'm 6ft 4 and ride an XL
  • 1 0
 @hobbnobs: agreed, but I ride a medium. As does the taller Eddy. Probably too short for XL
  • 1 0
 @hobbnobs: have you ridden a long chainstay bike before? Like 450 ish range since you are that tall
  • 1 0
 @hobbnobs: just curious
  • 1 0
 @stormracing: I haven't actually, maybe a test ride would change my opinion. The whole character of DW link bikes (generally speaking) is the short back end...made famous by the iron horse Sunday.
  • 2 1
 @hobbnobs: for sure! If you find what works for you… right on!
I’d suggest trying a bike with long chainstays if you can. It’s pretty incredible experience and you’d be surprised how well they corner because of proper weighting on that front end. It’s a beautiful thing
  • 3 0
 That looks great tup
  • 3 0
 Looks like a pivot
  • 2 2
 They couldn't add a couple holes on the bottom of the toptube? Eddy has to use electrical tape for his tube and tools?
  • 1 0
 Hurray for water bottles!
  • 2 0
 Looks like a pivot
  • 1 0
 IS THAT A NEW DT SWISS HUD ON THE LEFT OF THE PICTURE
  • 1 0
 Thanks god it’s not a mullet.
  • 1 1
 The orange looks Halloween-wish for my taste.
  • 1 1
 Looks like a sb150 in tactical pumpkin is still faster
  • 1 0
 Hi-vis bitch!!!
  • 3 6
 Still a press fit bottom bracket
  • 5 1
 Pivot has one of the best in the industry that seems to be robust against creaking unlike others.
  • 5 1
 ive had four pivots in the last few years not a single creak from the bottom bracket, nor have a replaced one
  • 2 0
 @dylansanderson2004: Thank you for reinforcing my point.
  • 2 0
 Pivot seems insanely good at having absurdly tight tolerances on their frames. No creaking on my bottom bracket at all.
  • 1 0
 @MattJonesPhoto: Yes the BB was the one thing I was hesitant to accept going to a Pivot from a former Specialized that also had a pressfit BB that creaked like holy hell at the mere sight of sand/dust. After much reading around and chats with the LBS I was convinced that Pivot did something different that made their bikes invincible to BB creak. 3 years in, I'm thoroughly impressed. No creaks and I've ridden through some silty creeks.
  • 4 7
 Full review tomorrow
  • 2 5
 Looks exactly the same.
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