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2017 Pivot Firebird XT/XTR Pro 2x Complete Mountain Bike

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2017 Pivot Firebird XT/XTR Pro 2x Complete Mountain Bike

 

We’d typically expect bikes named after birds with something light, nimble, and with a touch that bespeaks the hollow bones of its namesake. But Pivot’s 2017 Firebird XT/XTR Pro 2x Complete Mountain Bike proves that assumption wrong. Our own reviewer writes that the bike climbs “miraculously well,” but its 6.7in of DW-Link suspension and agro angles do burn brightest when the trail is steep and the lines are crunchy. Its aggression whether climbing out or dropping in means the Firebird straddles the often at-odds worlds of gravity and trail riding. Does this make it—as Pivot grandly claims—”the no-compromise Holy Grail of long-travel enduro mountain bikes”? We think it certainly puts it in the running.

If we were to limit ourselves to one word to describe the Firebird, we’d axe Pivot’s “Holy Grail” and replace it with “long.” Or maybe “long-n-short,” which technically qualifies as one modifier (Thanks phrasal adjectives!) and encompasses the Firebird’s long, Phoenix-inspired reach and stubby, sub-17in chainstays. That combination keeps the front end honest on climbs and well-mannered while cornering, while the short stays still let you dice through whatever the trail throws your way. Ok, we’d also add “slack,” because the 65-degree head tube also means that the Firebird is up for the kinds of full-on gravity runs that even bikes like the eminently capable Switchblade would balk at—but again, the long reach keeps rider weight forward and the steering honest, regardless of which direction you’re heading.

Despite its relatively short stays, Pivot is still able to equip the Firebird with mid-range tires because of the advent of Boost spacing. Widening the rear axle buys some precious real estate around the bottom bracket, so Pivot is able to slam the rear wheel up into the seat tube without putting rubber on carbon. This tire size (2.5in up front and 2.45 in the rear) may be our favorite for all-mountain riding. When combined with the DT Swiss M1700 wheels’ 30mm internal rim width, these tires sit just fat enough to allow a lower PSI for more cushion, more traction, and none of the top-flop we’ve experience on plump tires shoe-horned onto narrow rims.

And then there’re the Boost hubs. Normally, we’d give them top billing and attribute much of the bike’s on-trail feel to the improved wheel stiffness, but—with the Firebird’s geometry—Boost isn’t the star here. That’s not to say the hubs don’t play a part, though, as they do no doubt contribute to the bike’s eagerness on climbs and cat-on-carpet tracking through funky corners and rock gardens. They do also allow for the tire clearance gains and chainstay losses, but we’re just so enamored of the entire package that we’re loathe to over-inflate the importance of any single element.

If there is one element worth calling out, you couldn’t go wrong focusing on the DW-Link suspension design. It guides the bike through just under seven inches of confusingly versatile travel. On paper, it should be a gravity bike; on the trail, it acts more like a climb-happy five-inch bike that transforms into an eight-inch brute across rock gardens and old-growth root lattices. Throughout its travel, DW-Link describes an adaptive path that balances the suspension to eliminate bob and provide a consistent pedaling platform, even while climbing or stomping through terrain that most others would consider imprudent to pedal through. The Firebird encourages excess on both the ups and downs; fortunately, it’s versatile enough to keep up and even erase the occasional rider error.

Pivot builds this machine with a curated mix of Shimano bits, installing XTR at the rear derailleur, where it does the most good, and letting XT handle the rest of the duties. We’re not disappointed with this mix, as many of us choose to run XT M8000 brakes for their blend of functionality, durability, and cost. Finally, and given the Firebird’s Phoenix DNA, it’s only fitting that Pivot hangs the frame with Phoenix finishing kit.

An enduro sled that hits like DH but pedals like a trail bike

6.7in of DW-Link suspension climb and descend with aplomb

A long reach keeps the slack, low geometry honest in corners

Carbon frame maintains stiffness without the weight

Boost front and rear hubs increase wheel system stiffness

FOX 36 Factory fork and a dropper post round out the suspension

Curated Shimano and Race Face drivetrain hits the right numbers for racing

 

2017 Pivot Firebird XT/XTR Pro 2x Complete Mountain Bike

Frame Material:

carbon fiber

Suspension:

DW-Link

Rear Shock:

FOX Float X2 Performance

Rear Travel:

170 mm

Fork:

FOX 36 Factory Kashima

Front Travel:

170 mm

Headset:

Pivot Precision Sealed Bearing

Shifters:

Shimano XT M8000

Front Derailleur:

Shimano XT M8000

Rear Derailleur:

Shimano XTR M9000 GS

Crankset:

Race Face Aeffect

Bottom Bracket:

PressFit 92

Cassette:

Shimano XT M8000

Brakeset:

Shimano XT M8000

Brake Type:

hydraulic disc

Rotors:

180 / 180 mm

Handlebar:

Phoenix carbon riser

Grips:

Phoenix lock-on

Stem:

Phoenix trail enduro

Saddle:

Pivot WTB Vigo Race

Seatpost:

[size small] LEV Integra dropper, [sizes medium – x-large] FOX Transfer dropper

Wheelset:

DT Swiss Spline-Two M1700

Front Axle:

15 x 110mm Boost

Rear Axle:

12 x 148mm Boost

Tires:

[front] Maxxis Minion DHF WT, [rear] Maxxis Minnion DHRII WT

Tire Size:

[front] 27.5 x 2.5 in, [rear] 27.5 x 2.45 in

Pedals:

not included

Recommended Use:

all-mountain, enduro

Manufacturer Warranty:

3 years on frame

Actual Weight:

Red/Blue, M: 14220g

2017 Pivot Firebird XT/XTR Pro 2x Complete Mountain Bike

GEOMETRY CHART

Firebird
  Seat Tube

(c-t)

Effective Top Tube

(eTT)

Stack

(S)

Reach

(R)

Stand Over Head Tube

(HT)

Head Tube Angle

(HTo)

Seat Tube Angle

(STo)

Bottom Bracket Height

(BBH)

Chainstay

(CS)

Wheelbase
S 15.5in 23.37in 23.07in 16.54in 27.87in 3.94in 65o 74o 13.75in 16.93in 46.26in
M 16.75in 24.24in 23.43in 17.52in 28.23in 4.33in 65o 74o 13.75in 16.93in 47.41in
L 18in 25.12in 23.78in 18.31in 28.23in 4.72in 65o 74o 13.75in 16.93in 48.37in
XL 19.5in 26.02in 24.13in 19.09in 28.46in 5.12in 65o 74o 13.75in 16.93in 49.32in

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