For those who’ve been paying attention to Pivot’s recent frame evolution, the design of the updated 2020 Switchblade won’t come as a surprise. Gone is the swooping S-shaped down-tube and clevis mounted horizontal shock. In its place, Pivot went with a trunnion-mounted shock oriented vertically and straighter, boxier tubes, resulting in weight-savings, increased standover clearance, support for longer dropper posts and plenty of room to mount a water bottle (commence applause). The new colors offered (Treeline Green and Horizon Blue) look clean and modern and leave plenty of room for customizing the aesthetics of your new bike, whether you lean subtle or loud.
But those changes are just the beginning of the updates made to Pivot’s quiver-killing mid-travel 29er, which underwent its first redesign since it’s initial release back in 2016. Pivot’s engineers have been working on the new Switchblade design for over two years, and along with the frame changes, settled on a modernized geometry (read longer, lower and slacker than its previous iteration), increasing the rear travel to 142 millimeter, and introducing a flip-chip similar to Pivot’s long-travel Firebird 29 for easily adjustable geometry (mullet anyone?) For those interested in running 27.5″ plus tires, utilizing the flip chip in conjunction with a lower headset cup means you can retain the geometry while increasing your footprint.
In summary, the new Switchblade is lighter, stronger, slacker, longer, lower and all-around the most versatile bike in the Pivot line-up. Pivot’s engineers have done an incredible job building on the success of the first gen. and checking all the proverbial boxes. In the words of Pivot Cycles President and CEO, Chris Cocalis, “The original Switchblade was ahead of its time and one of our most popular models because of its incredible technical capability with unmatched all-round versatility. This new Switchblade has big shoes to fill, especially as one of our most anticipated bikes, but honestly, it exceeds even my expectations out on the trail. It’s even more capable and adaptable but still retains that all-around performance that makes it incredibly fun to ride everywhere.”