Powered by Outside

Pinkbike Poll: Where Do High Pivot Bikes Make Sense?

May 10, 2024 at 9:13
by Seb Stott  
photo

High pivot suspension is here to stay. It's a design that's steadily becoming more popular on everything from downhill bikes to trail bikes. Recently Norco overhauled their 125 mm travel Optic with a high pivot and idler suspension layout. In his review, Dario noted that " It truly does offer impressive descending characteristics for a bike with such short travel. Those benefits aren't without tradeoffs though, as the climbing won't be as snappy and energetic as other short travel bikes, and the extra faff of the idler pulley might turn some off."

Asa Vermette lived up to the hype surrounding him to take the win win the Junior men with Luke Wayman in second and Daniel Parfitt third
Asa Vermette won the junior men's category in Fort William on his low-pivot Frameworks DH bike.

At the same time, World Cup Downhill races are hardly dominated by high-pivot bikes. At the opening round in Fort William, three out of five of the elite men's podium were on low-pivot bikes; in the elite women's category, the top two finishers were on low-pivot bikes (albeit with a non-essential idler in Vali's case - by high-pivot, I mean a bike that requires an idler for the suspension to function properly). It was a similar story in the juniors. More to the point, Neko Mulally tested both high- and low-pivot prototypes extensively, and seems to have settled on low-pivot for his Frameworks DH racing team. Of course, this doesn't prove low-pivot bikes are faster, but it suggests high-pivots aren't the game-changing advantage some make them out to be.

A test we conducted revealed that an idler pulley robs around 2% of a rider's power output (with a clean and lubed chain); this isn't a dealbreaker for downhill, but is at least worthy of consideration for enduro and trail riding. Idlers also add complexity and servicing requirements. The noise of the chain running over the idler can be noticeable too, especially if the chain gets dry or dirty, at which point the noise (and presumably the drag) gets steadily worse.

I'm not saying these downsides are the end of the world but there should be a clear performance benefit to offset them. There are benefits on certain terrains, but I'm not convinced I have more fun or ride any faster overall when descending on a high-pivot bike.

What do you think? Which categories of bikes should be rocking a high-pivot and idler suspension system?

Which suspension layout would you prefer for trail riding?



Which suspension layout would you prefer for enduro riding?



Which suspension layout would you prefer for DH riding?



Author Info:
seb-stott avatar

Member since Dec 29, 2014
312 articles

202 Comments
  • 128 3
 I think preference is determined by what characteristics you want from the bike. Every high pivot I've tried eats bumps, but they also eat jump lips and anything you want to pop off of. For me that's undesirable in every category of bike. I don't want to be glued to the ground. That applies to my trail bike through to my DH rig.
  • 19 1
 Agreed. The high pivot bikes I've tried don't feel overly playful
  • 26 0
 A few riders at rampage 2023 were using older bike models that weren’t high pivot for this reason.

I think Emil Johansson's Trek Session, and Cam Zink's Devinci Spartan were two of them.
  • 3 1
 so far the only one that wasn't like this was the druid v2. although it's still harder to manual compared to a low pivot bike
  • 22 3
 I own 2 high pivot bikes (a forbidden druid and a deviate claymore) and don't feel like they eat jumps any more than the non-high pivot bikes that I have owned in the past (santa cruz, banshee, geometron yeti). Honestly, I haven't found a ton of downsides to them other than more moving parts which increases parts to replace and whatnot. The bike that ate jumps the most was the Geometron and that is a pretty standard 4 bar design. ymmv
  • 6 1
 Not all high pivot have those characteristics. My druid V2 is a really fun all around bike that is still really playful on jump line.
  • 12 0
 I went from a (current) Nukeproof Mega to a Kavenz VHP16 and found the Kavenz pedals better, jumps the same and absorbs medium to big hits better. I loved the mega but the Kavenz is better across the board with no downside compared to that bike. Had a V1 Sentinel before that and the Kavenz was better across the board than that bike too. Small sample size but that’s my experience.
  • 11 0
 Also depends how you set it up. I have a highlander II that is quite playful with an air shock and absolutely eats rough stuff with a coil shock. With that said, I've come to the conclusion that suspension kinematics and shock quality are more important than where the pivot is.
  • 1 0
 @iamalexm: This is exactly how I feel about my Claymore. It's amazing on jumps and is lively and easy to move around. And it has a coil, which is another thing that supposedly makes a bike feel less lively.
  • 3 0
 My GT Fury loves to fly!!!
  • 1 0
 @tim-from-pa: Agree 100% if your fork is set to soft over the bars you go. If your shock is to soft you short the jump.
  • 7 0
 @ybsurf:

I am reminded of old king fu movies where they say “my style is the best”
  • 10 0
 I feel like this is setup rather than an inherent quality of high pivot bikes. Every high pivot bike I've spent time on, my favourite thing about it is how I can set it up nice and firm so it feels really stiff and responsive and efficient and poppy, but as soon as I drop my heels and attack terrain the suspension still actually works well. There's a dichotomy in bike suspension setup where you want your bike firm for your body inputs, but soft for terrain inputs. High pivot bikes reduce this gap because they ARE firmer for your body inputs for a given plushness from terrain inputs compared to a normal bike, or alternately they are plusher for a given firmness. That works in your favour to give you more flexibility in your spring and damper setup, more room to move, to choose a setup that's as responsive as you want it to be, not like a standard pivot bike where you're having to settle for it being as responsive as you can make it without destroying compliance.
  • 7 0
 @Yuley95: The Kavenz VHP is a great bike, best high pivot I’ve ridden, one of the best bikes I’ve ridden.
  • 1 0
 @AgrAde: Great analysis, thanks
  • 2 0
 It also depends where you live. If you live in some place that has rocks and rocks and even the jump lips are made of rocks so they are fairly flat a high pivot totally makes sense.
  • 2 0
 @Yuley95: I have a Kavenz as well and have had the same experience. I find it to be plenty playful and fun on a jump line, easy enough to manual, and just eats up chunder. I do notice I have to keep the chain a bit cleaner than on my old Patrol or risk hearing the idler, but for me that means lubing once every few rides rather than once every other week.
  • 61 4
 I've got the Druid V2 and while I'm still trying to decide what the limits are of this bike and how I want to use it vs a longer travel enduro bike, I've noticed that it is an amazing technical climber and the traction speed and traction downhill is amazing too, especially for a 130mm travel bike. I don't notice any inefficiencies with the idler, but I do notice the benefits.
  • 8 1
 Absolutely. Flat corners feel like they have way more grip on my druid vs my previous vpp bikes. A druid and a dh bike (also high pivot) has all my needs covered. I went n-1….
  • 6 1
 I have a Druid v1 and I feel the same. I guess maybe there's some theoretical efficiency loss, but I've never felt it. In my area where pretty much every climb is a technical climb, it's often faster than "more efficient" bikes because the traction is better. And of course downhill it rides way beyond what its travel suggests, especially with the Cascade link.
  • 1 0
 And the druid V2 still really fun and playful on jump lines
  • 5 3
 As someone who bought into high pivots then stepped away, you soungd a lot like I did. Then I went back to low pivot and liked it a lot more than high pivot.
  • 4 1
 I had a Druid and the idler drag, noise, maintenance drove me nuts. I couldn’t sell it fast enough.
  • 1 0
 delete, double-posted somehow
  • 1 1
 When climbing chunky stuff do you find the back wheel actually gets caught up less? I live in a rocky area and my horstlink layout is THE WORST for chunky sections. Like I just feel the back end being held up. I'm looking at a Druid V2 for next season in the hopes of alleviating this problem.
  • 1 0
 @cpobanz: your the guy the mechanics pull straws on
  • 1 0
 @FuriousGeorge: yes definitely. I came from vpp and the druid definitely has more traction and less pinging between rocks/ruts when climbing.
  • 1 1
 @FuriousGeorge: probably does that better. Corners worse, jumps worse, manuals worse, more maintenance, more effort, more noise. Straight line bombing is sweet.
  • 44 1
 Why don't we have an answer option for - kinematics matter more than suspension layout?

The current answers and question REQUIRE too many assumptions.
  • 11 9
 Jeff Kendall-Weed has said that bike geometry is WAY more important than suspension layout and he doesn't really care too much about it at all.
  • 12 0
 One of the benefits with HP not mentioned is that you can change the front chain wheel size (no. of teeth) and not impact kinematics.
  • 1 0
 true.
  • 1 1
 @mkul7r4: sure, so guess we can all ride URT bikes with no difference to any other suspension layout.
  • 1 0
 @mkul7r4: but you cant really seperate the two as different kinematics greatly affect the geo in different riding situations.
But I somewhat agree that the most important thing is that the wheelbase is around where your preference lies and head angle/bb height are are in right the ballpark.
Then again especially BB height and "slackness" will be influenced by your suspension kinematics/setup.
  • 30 4
 I like my Knolly, and these HP bikes don't have nearly enough pivots to excite me
  • 7 0
 but what if they combined fourBy4 with a high pivot??
  • 12 0
 Who cares if it’s high or low, how many pivots are there? That’s what matters.

Didn’t know how to answer these poll questions as a Knolly rider. All of the answers were the wrong one.
  • 2 1
 @mtmc99: When Lal said they were working with other brands besides Nicolai, I was really hoping it was Knolly and the new Chilcotin would be a high pivot (Supre drivetrain requires a high pivot) with the fourBy4.

I was so bummed when it wasn't.
  • 8 1
 @just-a-lorax: if anyone can figure out how to make a bike both high and low pivot, it will be Knolly. They are experienced and hungry for more pivots
  • 5 0
 @mtmc99: FourHighFour Pivot?
  • 1 0
 @kinematix: *I think he meant high pivot 4 bar. Like the Druid, Dreadnought and Supernought.
  • 2 0
 @ethanrevitch: nah, @kinematix got what I was suggesting. All the normal Knolly stuff+high pivot
  • 3 0
 @showmethemountains:

Been there, done that. Smile

The original Podium prototypes from 2008 / 2009 featured Four by 4, with a high forward idler pulley and a forward chainstay pivot location to increase the rear wheel path's radius of curvature. Some of this was based on my experience of riding a Balfa BB7 for a couple of seasons in the early 2000s (that was bike way ahead of its time), so we're not strangers to idler pulley bikes.

We've come a long way since then with our bike designs and we're now not the only ones making successful bikes with dual four bar (or 6 bar if you want to call it that) designs. We're happy with where our new product range is now and the maturity of the Four by 4 Linkage and its ability to separately manage both wheel path and shock progression at the same time.

Cheers,
  • 22 0
 There should be an option for “Don’t really care - show me what all the other 99.9% who never tried one and don’t have a clue think”
  • 1 0
 Finally someone is making a good point
  • 1 0
 Seriously. How many people have ridden enough bikes to have a truly valid opinion here? It can’t be many.
  • 21 1
 High pivots don't seem to effect Matthew Fairbrother's efficiency!
  • 19 0
 Who cares about efficiency when you have seemingly limitless energy?
  • 5 0
 Willpower>equipment
  • 12 1
 Why is everyone assuming that an idler is required for high pivot? GT's AOS suspension (circa '14) featured a high pivot and a floating bb to compensate/mitigate chain growth. Would love to see an updated version of this layout.
  • 5 0
 I initially skimmed your comment and thought you were hyping the old floating drivetrain bikes that had no suspension when you stood up but a quick google fixed that. I don't have an opinion on AOS but they actually did a nice job with their demo video - www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZhSLXAUtRI&ab_channel=GTBicycles
  • 6 0
 Honestly suspension system felt pretty great on my 2014 GT force. It didn't jump well, but was really good through steep and rough terrain. If it wasn't so small (even in XL), and steep HA, I'd probably still be riding it.
  • 2 0
 @spudsmtb: Wow that video encapsulates so many shower thoughts I've had. Good to reinforce the fact that I've never had an original idea.

Why not have the bottom bracket in the rear triangle? It should eliminate chain growth? Although when I see it in a video it looks like the bottom bracket would move independently of the seat tube so maybe that's not desirable for climbing.

Cable routing on the down tube though... I want it back. Add a bolt on shuttle guard and it's clean, functional and incredibly easy to service.
  • 3 0
 @daithic: bottom bracket in a rear triangle is the old URT design. URT bikes are basically hardtails when you stand on the bike. Also horrible pedal bob when seated cause there's no anti squat. It's just a terrible idea in every way haha
  • 10 1
 If I were fast enough to have a mechanic fix my bikes? High Pivot.

As I currently am? Well, I ride a steel bike that uses bushings instead of bearings everywhere except the main pivot. I've serviced the pivots literally never in the four years I've owned the bike, and it still works like a dream after 6k miles.
  • 4 0
 Which steel FS are you rockin
  • 2 0
 @mkul7r4: a coolio cotic
  • 2 0
 Uh, high pivots are no more complex than any other suspension design. Most of them are using a high horst link sort of deal, there's no extra pivot points. On my Shore the idler is just mounted off a little tab on the chain stay right beside the main pivot.
  • 1 0
 @bendrew: I agree. High pivot bikes are no more complicated compaired to VPP bikes like Santa Cruz's or Pivot.
  • 9 0
 Raced the Cannondale Jekyll (High Pivot) for 2 race seasons. Really like how planted and confident inspiring the bike was. Racing on Specialized bikes now( "low Pivot") and they ride really good. Moral of the story is instead of thinking that High Pivot is better than Low Pivot or Visa Versa is laughable when you don't have a shock that is sprung or set up correctly.
The same people who are so opinionated on one design over the over would be better served if they knew how to dial in their LSC and HSC settings better or at all. Just saying...
  • 1 0
 100% agree
  • 1 0
 Absolutely
  • 16 5
 It seems to me that HP designs are best suited for DH applications where pedaling (and drag) is less of a concern.
  • 15 22
flag wolftwenty1 FL (May 10, 2024 at 12:23) (Below Threshold)
 Guessing you've never ridden one? At least lately? This drag argument is moot on the modern HP bikes...and even on the gen 1 versions of a few years ago 'drag' was losing you only about 1-2% in watts.
  • 20 4
 @wolftwenty1, there's no denying that idlers can add extra noise, though, and that's not going to be to everyone's taste, especially riders that constantly forget to lube their chains.
  • 9 1
 @mikekazimer: Fair for sure. If you're a 'wash your bike once per year' kinda rider...probably bad idea for you.
  • 3 1
 @wolftwenty1: you got me. I would love to try the latest generation of the Druid, that bike looks awesome.
  • 2 4
 @bknorris: I had a V1...it was terrible...really was...the new gen of these bikes are insane. I've ridden the Slash and Druid and they are unlike anything I've ever ridden.
  • 16 0
 @mikekazimer: So, are you saying that the extra noise does not necessarily translate to drag? Seems noise is from friction, and friction is drag? No?
  • 6 2
 @trillot: thats my interpretation of the noise. It seems like high pivot riders get up in arms when anyone brings up drag but dont argue about the noise so its just easier to bring that up
  • 9 1
 @trillot, no, there's definitely more drag with an idler system. It's much less noticeable on the newer iterations, but it is there. Personally, I find the noise more distracting than any perceived loss of efficiency.
  • 6 0
 @wolftwenty1: I have a V1 and coming from riding DH bikes, I am super freaking impressed with the druid. Climbing and descending. What didnt you like?
  • 5 1
 @mikekazimer: Agreed on all fronts, I am seriously confused by the folks saying there is no drag. Im not anti high pivot but to say there is no extra drag is just wrong.
  • 5 0
 @eluder: I think the argument is the drag is negligible. Article seems to be gone but Travis Engel (Beta mag) did a bro science deep dive into it with the v1 Dreadnaught and found it about 1% less efficient (measured in watts produced) than a non idler bike. Noise is there meaning so is drag…but if it performed better dirty it would come that way from the factory Smile
  • 3 0
 @DH-CA: maintenance, wear, noise and shock tune. lol. Try the V2, you’ll see what I mean.
  • 2 0
 @wolftwenty1: yeah, it did suck, I got rid of it faster than any bike I’ve ever owned.
  • 2 0
 @bknorris: try a contra Wink
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: anybody can deny anything.
  • 1 0
 @wolftwenty1: What, every year?
  • 1 0
 @bicyclelifestyle: you know me I'm just an armchair engineer
  • 8 0
 What even is "enduro riding"? Racing in the EWS?

Or riding 170 mm on green trails and never getting the wheels off the ground?
  • 7 2
 Trail riding with a full face
  • 5 0
 @xciscool: I do this, but only because my safety record with bicycles is checkered at best. And my face is already ugly enough as it is.

But I also ride lift served double blacks with the same helmet.
  • 24 0
 Enduro riding is when you ride trails you think are challenging. By contrast, XC riding is when someone else rides trails you think are not challenging.
  • 2 0
 @Ih8Hondas: Same and same!
  • 4 0
 It's just riding the way most people do it. Get to the top, if you're first you get pride and first dibs on descent, then everyone rides down fast, and if you catch people and have to bust their balls for holding you up, you get to rag on them over parking lot beers.
  • 1 0
 @pmhobson: enduro is a type of motorcycle right?
  • 1 0
 @Ih8Hondas: you could actually give yourself a nice nosejob or straighten your teeth if you faceplant a tree in the right way, maybe try a half shell again.
  • 8 0
 Linkage driven single pivot.
  • 3 0
 A fellow Evil fan I see. I've ridden a grip and a half of bikes, but I still ride my V1 Evil Insurgent more than anything, because its a party on every trail. Climbs great, descends great, but where it is the real business is on jump lines and rough landings. So predicable and poppy, I've never even bothered to upgrade the stock shock it just works so well.
  • 2 0
 @ghotinori: marin does single pivots too, love my B17. Put a coil on it and keeps up with Enduro bikes as long as their rider is slower than me
  • 2 0
 @ghotinori: evil gang. My offering pops off stuff like nothing. Climbs so well too.
  • 2 0
 @ghotinori: Same same. Had many bikes since but my V1 Insurgent is still the Party Bike. It’s had several generations of component upgrades cycled through it over the years and I’ve had many other bikes since but somehow it still brings the smiles.
  • 6 0
 Honestly the whole mid pivot design a la Jekyll is pretty darn sweet. I don’t notice any of the drawbacks of the true high pivots I’ve ridden.
  • 4 0
 I just got the new sight for my first HP bike, and it's good. That said, I didn't buy it because it was high pivot, and I don't really have a strong opinion about the pivot location, other than "I should work the way I like it to".
Adjusting to the HP on the sight is not really that jarring, which may speak more to the execution of the design rather than the philosophy. I've definitely had friends who are less picky than me jump on a high pivot design and feel strongly for or against.
  • 7 0
 I've snorted the high pivot koolaid
  • 8 4
 Too many comments from folks who have never ridden/owned a HP bike. The funny thing is that every HP owner has owned a non-HP bike before. Hmmm, so who is better equipped to comment on this?! Just saying
  • 4 0
 I've a 2002 high idler DH they just work. Its not new or rocket science. Big brands just didn't want them as vvp was the rage.
  • 1 0
 I've also an i-track craftworks enr that I strapped a cyc motor kit on as my knees are fecked, but when motors off for the descent you can feel the i-track working. For a trail bike a tunned i-track would be better but for a DH no pedal kickback is better.
  • 3 0
 When I was at the Eastern States Cup enduro opener at Power there was a surprising amount of people racing a jekyll(including some fast dudes). Makes me wonder if a high pivot Enduro bike is really a good trade off.
  • 3 0
 There's not much to trade off. I've got a V1 Dreadnought and I've put in multiple 4-5k' days, and it never feels like I'm working harder to climb that much vs a "regular" bike.
  • 1 1
 @stevemokan: How about out of saddle sprinting or pumping the backside or rocks? To be clear I think there is a reason they are so popular. I would love to try one but nothing comes without some cons.
  • 1 0
 @howejohn: I also have a V1 dreadnought as my primary bike. I would not have appreciated it as much earlier in my biking progression but with the experience I have now I feel like I can take advantage of the benefits and deal with the complications.

As far as pumping the back side of features, I was say it is as good or better except in the tightest of transitions. The limitations there are more about chainstay and wheelbase lengths than the HP characteristics. A more aggressive riding position is rewarded but it does not require the kind of weight shifting that can cause instability on bikes with bigger front center to rear center ratios like my previous ibis bikes. The short rear end on those can stay tucked into tight transitions better but they also require a lot more work to keep traction on the front wheel so it’s a trade off.
  • 2 0
 I have Deviate Highlander 150, it goes through harsh/ rough sections or roots like like a plow without slowing you down. Shaved 10+ sec from PR's in Strava on the lockal trails. It also gives the misleading impression that you have more travel :-) wich immediately disappears when you want to drop from something big.
For sure, drivline give you a bit more drag on the uphills, especially then you do not clean and lube the chain, pair it with added frame weight and it kind of the challenge for your legs on the long days.
So, depending on your priorities you may benefit from high pivot :-) even for "trail" bikes.
  • 2 0
 I love my Devinci Chainsaw and have ridden it in both dh and enduro pedally configurations.It's a great bike park bike and perfect for trips overseas where most of my riding would be lift/shuttle assisted but with a few pedal days thrown in. Jumping requires a little bit more input but the trade off is plush landings and tech gobbling goodness!
  • 2 0
 I’m almost 3 yrs into riding a high pivot (Range) and absolutely love it. Descending is the most important thing for me so I’m willing to trade off some climbing ability. I absolutely hate the feeling of being hung up on square edge hits so for me HP is the winner. Bike geo also has a lot to do with how it feels while pedalling and for me the geo of my bike is really comfortable for long days in the saddle. It’s heavy but It’s worth it on the descents IMO. I find that people say that HP bikes pedal like shit without ever having ridden one. They just heard it from someone and took their word for it. They’re not for everyone but they’re for me. So buy one and try it , or don’t , I don’t care. I’m not your dad.
  • 9 4
 People in the trail bike poll have not ridden a Druid.
  • 7 4
 As much as I want one, I don’t want a 36-37lb trail bike. Might as well get the dreadnought.
  • 7 0
 @kirny6: My Druidv2 is 33lb , where you getting that figure?
  • 4 1
 @kirny6: my medium Druid v1 was just over 33 lbs stock. Slightly less after a few upgrades. You’d need to go coil and burlier tires with inserts to hit weights like that. And if you’re doing that, you should be on a Dreadnaught anyway.
  • 1 1
 @PhoS: I went back and looked at some reviews. You right, could’ve sworn I saw that someone. Either way still not what I’m looking for unless I only had one bike. Would be a great one bike quiver but that’s not my situation. I have a sub 30lb Tallboy and a mega and I love the combo.
  • 1 0
 @kirny6: for reference I went from a tallboy+mega to just a druid v2. I have yet to miss my santa cruz bikes. The only place it would be worse is at a bike park, but this is why you buy a dh bike too.
  • 2 0
 I don't know if it really matters as long as the whole set up works. There's different products and engineering that can accomplish, or mess up, whatever you're looking for depending on how it's executed.
  • 6 0
 No hardtail option? sad
  • 1 0
 What bike?

"in the elite women's category, the top two finishers were on low-pivot bikes (albeit with a non-essential idler in Vali's case - by high-pivot, I mean a bike that requires an idler for the suspension to function properly). It was a similar story in the juniors."
  • 3 0
 I always thought, these few mm of the axle's path backwards in impacts, wouldn't be the same thing that a tire does when it deforms when it hits the same impacts.
  • 2 0
 Still got my 2007 K9industries Dh01 .. a 27”5 rear wheel just about fits.. hellfire I might even fit a 29” boxxer on the front. Retro-ish steel alloy mullet with early idler. Good job the BB was crazy low
  • 1 0
 Son has one, loves it on 27.5. The reach is short so 29 with a 2 Deg headset would shorten it another 25mm so not ideal. Maybe if you have a large and it feels long.
  • 2 0
 Let's not forget the K9 AM prototype we made in 2010... 140mm travel 4-bar with an idler. That was a cool bike! (I still voted low pivot though)
  • 1 0
 I have a v1 druid I use smoove chain lube and it's as quiet as a regular bike I've owned or ridden most designs in the last 30 years the druid is amazing how it eats Rocky trails while still pedaling efficiently especially climbing through rock gardens if you don't ride that type of terrain you probably don't need it
  • 5 0
 Missing option that covers most of the DH field: Low pivot with Ochain
  • 3 0
 This is a tough poll. How many of you have tried both? I've never ridden a high pivot bike, so I don't have any comparison to validate a good answer.
  • 2 1
 for years, enduro bikes got optimized for pedal efficiency. they became basically mini downhill bikes. with an idler and the recent "weight doesnt matter bruh, trust me", this paradigm gets compromised.

personally, i find noisy bikes extremly annoying to the point that i straight up cancel my day on the bike. a rattling idler pulley would drive me absolutely insane. however, oversized idlers like those of the nicolai (?) might be more silent.
  • 2 0
 I JUST CAME HERE TO SAY THAT KAVENZ VHP V7 IS THE GREATEST BIKE IN THE WORLD...
AND ALSO - ALL CAPS, ALL THE TIME!
AND ALSO ALSO - BIKES ARE GOOD!
AND ALSO ALSO ALSO - WHY ARE TYRES SO EXPENSIVE?!
  • 1 0
 Yeah I would complain that my bike tires cost the same as the last tires I bought for my car, but luckily looking at a new set (for the car) I see that they have basically tripled in price since then. So … inflation ? No puns
  • 3 0
 'High pivots are here to stay'. In my experience of mtb over 30 years, the only thing thats here to stay are round wheels. The next big thing in five years time? Low pivots.
  • 1 0
 It just makes more sense. I don't know why people are so reluctant to move. Yes you will have 1 extra gear just like a pully wheel and yet I don't see any complaints about having 2.
  • 1 0
 I just got the Norco Sight C2 MX which is a high pivot frame. I love how it east everything up. Technical climbs it does really well on too. Pushes me forward was i'm going up. The idler is loud though especially in the lower gears. It is super playful and I have a smaller frame than I normally ride this year which might be why this is.
  • 4 0
 It's the pilot not the bike
  • 1 0
 High pilots?
  • 2 1
 Mountain bikes are a system, kinematics are huge, hub pickup speed matters, as well as derailleur clutch friction, gearing, unsprung weight, wheel size, etc. It isn't as simple as idler vs no idler.
  • 1 0
 Somewhere, out there, I pray that Doc is reading this while reviewing the schematics of a Hitman or Race Link and heating up a TIG welder...

BMW - The O.G. gravity machine.

= )
  • 1 0
 No way. Much cooler stuff was pulled before that on the santa cruz bullit with a dual-crown, and many other bikes (stab, rm, etc). The only people riding BMW were dropping to 8’ flat in central park. They looked cool but nobody was really throwing down on them.
  • 1 0
 First we have to clear up what a “high pivot” is. You can wack an idler and change the chainstay angle by a few degrees and call it high pivot. I’m looking at you Crestline and GT…
  • 2 2
 Low pivot. But I want a clutch mechanism built into the cranks or chainring I can turn the drivetrain on or off via dropper lever so the suspension can work when i don't care about pedaling.
  • 6 1
 I would definitely forget to hit that lever when I go to pedal and blow up my knee.
  • 1 1
 @adrennan: it'd be no different than having to shift into the right gear
  • 4 0
 Take your lowest cog off and grid it smooth on a bench grinder. Now you have a neutral to shift into.
  • 3 0
 @howejohn: that's an interesting idea
  • 7 0
 Like how Gee had that dead cog on his cassette for a few DH races? Drop the chain onto a cassette slider to reduce chain feedback, then shift back onto a gear when you need to pedal.
  • 1 0
 @howejohn: that’s always been a good move!
  • 2 0
 I am amazed how many people have ridden both (and probably most at least 2 categories of bikes)
  • 3 1
 since i bought Dreadnought as my first HP i dont want anything else anymore, HP is life
  • 3 1
 I like how 90% of the comments here are from people that have never ridden a high-pivot bike
  • 4 0
 Hardtail with an idler.
  • 1 2
 Feeling the nuances of different suspension types is a difficult thing for most riders. You could be comparing a linear design to a progressive design. Short or long rear center and wheel path that is forward or back, pulley wheel or not, every variation feeling different. What I know is that a pulley wheel bike, done correctly, will be smoother in rough terrain and save you when you make mistakes in the craziest of conditions, allowing you to put yourself in that position more safely. If you don't get that crazy or you're just that precise with your bike handling, a more traditional wheel path has advantages. Pedaling is not the HP's strong suit but can be designed to do really well. A low pivot will naturally be easier to design with good pedaling, jumping and turning while being intuitive but bump compliance will suffer because of those things. Each could be great in either respect but is always a balancing act between pedaling and bump performance. I love riding HP bikes off a lift or shuttle but I'm not picking that for a big day in the saddle. I also love jumping into boulder fields but that's not happening on a traditional bike. Going for an all day pedal, traditional bike please.
  • 1 0
 Never ridden a high pivot but if it works like claimed then it would be really good in rock gardens. But my dw equipped rig does great in rock gardens and other techy stuff.
  • 1 0
 If we're using it as an example, I think its worth pointing out the frameworks bike was designed to be on the higher end of low-pivot, and meant to use an O-chain
  • 11 13
 Anyone who thinks that high pivots come with any additional tax on effort or maintenance just has their head buried in the sand. I'll be the first to admit that my Druid V1 low key sucked. Lots of drag, lots of maintenance. But 4 years later and they've really minimized the tradeoffs of high pivot bikes by perfecting idler position. My '24 Norco Sight pedals faster than my Evil Offering did, is every bit as playful, and has all the benefits of a tuneable axle path. It genuinely blows my mind that some people would prefer to ride a DW bike or an outdated VPP.
  • 12 4
 It blows your mind that people want more efficient pedaling characteristics?
  • 10 5
 @mtnjamscott: Have you ridden a high pivot bike? Everyone talks about them like they're impossible to pedal. I've had three of them and spent a lot of time on a fourth. I've happily pedaled 7,000 foot days on them.

Does a high pivot belong on every bike? Of course not. My up hill charging/xcish bike doesn't have one. But if we're honest with ourselves, 90% of mountain bikers are slow uphill anyway, wouldn't notice a difference if there was an appreciable one, and are only there for a good time on the downhill. They'd stand to benefit massively from this new crop of High Pivot bikes that have massively improved over the last 4 years.

And yet high pivot bikes instead illicit baseless commentary on how inefficient they are from people who have literally never ridden one and average 130W on a 6 mile after work ride.
  • 10 0
 @stravaismyracecourse: Name checks out
  • 3 0
 I owned a V1 Druid for quite awhile in Phoenix. I loved A LOT of things about that bike. Pedaling performance was not one of those things.
  • 1 0
 @stravaismyracecourse: I have found the high pivot bikes are great for traction but much worse for jumping. When I get older and less into freeriding I can see myself riding a high pivot.
  • 2 0
 I've been struggling to explain this exact phenomenon to myself. I have only ridden my 2024 Sight so far this year, so maybe my memory is off. It seems to me that it pedals better than just about any bike I have ever owned. Not necessarily faster, at nearly 38 lbs, but better. The result is I feel like I can go farther and climb higher with less fatigue. I'm looking forward to getting back on my regular FS bike this weekend to compare. My heaviest bike in nearly two decades somehow also seems to be the one that tires me out the least.
  • 2 1
 @stravaismyracecourse: 2nd paragraph is what everyone in this thread needs to read. How many people in here are lycra clad, Olympic level XC racers that might actually need that barely noticeable extra efficiency of a low pivot? Not many.

I'm never going to enjoy climbing, even if my bike was 100% efficient, so I will absolutely sacrifice a minute amount of efficiency to be more able to bomb on the way down.
  • 2 2
 @Ih8Hondas: who *needs* any of these bikes?

The thing is, none of us have horsepower on tap like the pros do, so we need all the help we can to get to the top with fresh legs - the flip side of your argument.
  • 2 0
 @stravaismyracecourse: I was only responding to your comment about the DW link really. The Ripley, Ripmo, 429 and Switchblade are all DW and known for being great climbers while still being a ton of fun on the descent.
  • 1 0
 @mtnjamscott: People still think chain torque limiting suspension sensitivity is efficiency??
  • 1 3
 One thing I wish HP designs would do is use off the shelf idlers from Sram or Shimano, so the bikes can still be serviced in the long term if spares dry up. I know smaller rings have efficiency losses, but as in the article, what's an extra percent.
  • 6 1
 @Austink: $160 for a fancy idler? I was thinking $40-$50 max. Afterall, it's just a bearing and a piece of milled aluminum/steel.
  • 1 0
 it doesnt make sense... its "witchcraft". They've been saying it for years.
  • 1 0
 Also, I think the questions were worded in a way that I can't really answer them.. To "either or".
  • 1 1
 And there are actually 4 different main pivot locations, not 2. Another flawed poll.
  • 2 0
 There are 2 types of bikes:
- silent
- noisy

Idler wise it is irrelevant
  • 1 0
 I want my next bike to have a big sail on it like the YT etc so that I don’t know , just surprise me!
  • 1 1
 Anyone that doesn't like high pivots either has never ridden one or needs to just buy a cross country bike because they care so much about pedal efficiency.
  • 1 0
 High pivot Mullet XC bikes without batteries are so 2026
  • 1 0
 I was expecting this was the question that was going to be asked. But it was only on the front page, not in the actual article.

Not sure about the lack of batteries though. How is the pedal support going to work then?
  • 2 2
 So basically, no one wants a high pivot idler bike if they actually want to pedal it.
  • 4 1
 I want a high pivot regardless. I hate pedalling no matter what, so I may as well maximize the part of the ride that I actually do enjoy.
  • 3 1
 @Ih8Hondas: I hear strider bikes are pretty good for people who hate pedaling bicycles.
  • 1 0
 @matyk: I deal with the pedalling for fitness reasons. When I truly don't want to pedal I get out the moto bike.
  • 2 0
 @Ih8Hondas: I dunno. It just seems kind of strange to be on a cycling website when you say "l hate pedaling no matter what."
  • 2 1
 @matyk: I mean, I hate going to the gym, but I'm about to start using my free access to one of those for my health as well.

Sometimes we have to do things we don't like if we want avoid having our bodies fall apart, especially when you have loose joints and family history of having to have said joints rebuilt because of it.
  • 3 1
 I'm high curious
  • 1 0
 High time to find out. May pivot your whole life - in the bestest of ways.
  • 1 0
 no question about idlers on xc bikes??
  • 1 2
 Opens workshop door...
Looks at my go-to bike
Ah 13kg (28lbs in old money)
Ti 29 inch goodness from Stanton
Utterly capable
Hang on...no pivots at all.....
  • 2 1
 A 29” hardtail is closer to a road bike than a mountain bike. Have fun with that.
  • 1 0
 @emptybe-er: …ah you clearly have never ridden a Stanton 29er. Switches direction like a bmx in singletrack. Ah that’s the name of the frame Switch29er ti. That explains it….
  • 1 0
 Not sure - show me the arguing,

Damnit…fell for it again, Pinkbait.
  • 1 0
 Hype pivot make sense to the sales team.
  • 4 3
 HP 4 life \m/
  • 2 3
 When I fist saw a high pivot bike I thought "that's the dumbest idea imaginable"

I still feel the same way.
  • 3 0
 User name is very accurate.
  • 1 0
 Only for money...
  • 1 0
 END REAR DERAILLEURS
  • 3 6
 I like jumps… soooo you can keep your high pivots. Only place I see them being useful is racing where you want to be stuck to the ground like Velcro.
  • 1 4
 They made sense in 1997 and never after that with the four bar link. Many today are too young to know this and a being sold a bad design older riders know to avoid.
  • 2 3
 Waste of time gimmick. Nothing to see; get on your bike and move on.
  • 8 11
 Buncha butt-hurt HP riders have entered the chat
  • 2 4
 Answer - the trash bin
Below threshold threads are hidden







Copyright © 2000 - 2024. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.049963
Mobile Version of Website