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Digital Subscriptions > Singletrack > 113 > PIVOT SWITCHBLADE 29 PRO XT


Price: £6,970.00 (as tested)

From: Upgrade Bikes,

Unlike Evil and Orange, Pivot Cycles has been making 29in mountain bikes for quite a while now. The US-based brand originally launched back in 2007 with the Mach 4 and Mach 5, then barely a year later it rolled out a 29er in the form of the Mach 429 – a bike that is now almost ten years old.

While it took the UK market much longer to warm to 29ers, they were far more readily accepted on the other side of the pond, where boutique US brands such as Niner, Ellsworth and Pivot tapped into the allure of wagon wheels early on.

Since that first Mach 429, Pivot has added numerous 29ers to its range, including carbon versions of the Mach 429, and a burlier version called the Mach 429 Trail – a bike that is up there as one of the best short-travel bikes I’ve ever ridden. As such, I had lofty expectations for the new Switchblade.

Reviving an old model name from Pivot-owner Chris Cocalis’ days at Titus, the Switchblade comes into the range as a long travel full suspension 29er. Building off the success of the 116mm travel Mach 429 Trail, the Switchblade uses a carbon fibre frame and a dw-link suspension design, but with a step up in travel to 135mm on the rear, and 150mm up front.

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About Singletrack

Chipps suggests that you wake up and smell the broad beans. International Adventure - Costa Rica. This tiny Central American country has a hidden network of beautiful singletrack. Holger Meyer teams up with one of the country’s best riders to get to the good stuff. Room 101. Charlie the Bikemonger dons wig and prepares to hand out justice. In the dock this issue are secret trail snitches and over-biked canal riders. Trailhunter - Gettin’ Grizzly. Tom Fenton goes off the beaten trail centre at Grizedale forest to find out what exactly makes a ‘must-do’ trail. Singletrack Recommended. Only the products that we fully endorse, make it into Singletrack Recommended. This issue we have forks, wheels and a shock pump. Column - Jason Miles. Being a winning endurance racer is fully achievable, reckons Jason. Being a tidy one is a completely different thing. Bike Test - Twentyninegnars. 29in wheeled bikes have come a long, long way in the last decade. We check out three mid-travel trail monsters from Evil, Orange and Pivot. Interview - Intense Cycles’ Jeff Steber. The charismatic founder of Intense talks product development, company expansion, carbon evolution and why he’ll always be at home with his TIG welder. Classic Ride - Northumberland. This most empty of English counties gives up some singletrack treats for those willing to make the journey. Kit Bag - Bothy Bags. Tom Hill unpacks his overnight bothy bag to show what he takes out on a mountain night in the hills. Grouptest - Flat Pedals. Flat pedals are not created equal. David Hayward’s been testing 16 and has whittled those down to his favourite four flat pedals. International Adventure - Menorca. Antony takes an off-season winter jaunt around the singletrack of this Mediterranean island best known for its summer beaches. Column - Dom Perry. How come, at the end of a riding week, it starts to feel like work?