It'd be hard to get any more cross-country than a Les 29 Carbon X01 with SRAM, Fox, and DT teaming up to keep things light and fast. And, while the Complete Bike build is a contributing factor to this, Pivot's extensive research, design, and exclusive technology is the primary reason. First off,...
Strengths: Super stiff but comfy riding frame.
Stable but responsive handling.
Weaknesses: At $2k retail for the frame it's a pricey hardtail, but I guess not that much different than other carbon hardtails.
Having been riding a 6"+ 26er for the last few years and been recently demo'ing full sus 29ers as a replacement. I tried out the Les to get a feel for a nice XC-style 29er hardtail. And I came away VERY impressed. On my (mostly non-techy) local trail loop it was surprisingly capable. The bikes ability to accelerate and it's light weight made getting up to speed an amazing experience. It felt super stiff while climbing and cornering, even under this 230lb clyde (this actually blew me away - but I may be used to the flex of my 8 year old Kona AL HT). At the same time it handled trail obstacles with a compliance I would've expected in a dually. I'm sure this is due in part to the rollover ability of 29" wheels, but I think the bike's geometry and engineering play a big role here as well.
Speaking of geometry, I also found myself surprised by how stable it felt at speed and on the mildly techy downhill stuff, while also being very responsive in the twisty's. At 5'11" I felt reasonable comfortable in the cockpit of the Large, although the 100mm stem was probably a tad long and I'd try shortening it by 10 or 20mm. I didn't get to Les through any large rock gardens and I'm sure it'd have similar limitations as other 29er HTs as the trail turns very rough. Overall very impressive, though.
Bike Setup: The demo model I tried had a build similar to Pivot's stock XT build, a carbon cockpit with Stan's Arch wheelset, XT drivetrain/brakes and Kenda Karma 2.2s. Carbon wheels, lighter tires and a lighter gruppo (and even a single front chainring) would lighten this bike even more if weight was a concern for racing. For a larger guy like me this build was just fine.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: September 1, 2013
Strengths: Single speed to geared option. 2.5 lbs, tapered 1.5 headtube, 12x142 axle for geared set up . stiff all the way around . standard 9mm skewer on ss slider drops.
Weaknesses: The bolts on the ss sliders. Paint seems to be quick to chip . solar orange . Would be nice if it came with custom down tube armor.
The bike was set up ss for downieville with a dt swiss 120 fork, hope m4 brakes, roval carbons, reverb dropper. This med bike fit perfect. I'am 5'10 155 lbs. Even on the all mountain ss build it was at 22 lbs with heavy duty tires . The Les handles the down just as well as the ups for a Ht this bike rips. Its a real climber all mountain rig. Pivot did it right straight out of the box.In the world of cracks in carbon ht i hope this one can last a couple of hard seasons that will be the true test .
Strengths: Handles great and feels almost like your riding a FS bike. I've done a few rock gardens and some nice little footers and have yet to notice any issues.
Weaknesses: Price! But when you consider carbon FS are going for $8k for similar build then its not that bad of a price.
This is my 3rd pivot over the last 7 years. I like how firm the pivots ride. I only have 2 rides on her and she definitely can put down more power than i can pedal out right now. It took the 2nd ride to get her dialed in and she fits like a glove. Went with the XL frame for all 6'2 of me and it was definitely the right choice.
Date Reviewed: July 6, 2013
Strengths: Solid performance, absorbs trail chatter, quick and responsive.
Picked up my Pivot Les SS custom build this weekend. Third SS owned and by far the best. Rock Shox Reba, Cane Creek HS, Wiskey Carbon Bar, Thompson Post and Stans ZTR Crest Wheels. No weaknesses identified so far, ride is solid yet compliant enough to ride rocky climbs and descents. Sounds odd, but run a 29x2.35 tire up front and a 29x2.0 rear and tracks very well running 28 psi.
Strengths: - Geared or SS with a change of the rear dropouts
- dialed geometry
- stiff where it needs to be but still provides a very compliant ride
- the SS kit comes with all the bits to clean up the bike (internal cable port covers, f der cover)
- great looking bike
- support from Pivot has been great
Weaknesses: - Expensive but competitive with other carbon bikes of this quality.
- downtube armour would have been a nice touch. I used clear helicopter tape on mine
The LES is my 4th 29er SS in the past 7 years. I was excited when I first read about the Les because it's geometry matches the Superfly with the notable difference of shorter chainstays and a longer toptube. Let me start by saying that Pivot has absolutely nailed the geometry on the Les. The bike feels more trail bike up front and more race bike out back. Acceleration is impressive, it feels like the bike gets up to speed a bit quicker than my 'fly. Whats interesting is even though the wheelbase is shorter, it rails turns with more authority. Ride quality is very refined, stiff in the BB and headube area but the rear chainstays are tuned to level the chatter in the trail. You stay more connected to the trail on the Les, my 'fly was stiff but a bit harsher out back. BTW, the Syntace P6 Hiflex post is a work of art and helps dampen the ride to a very comfortable level for a hardtail. Its only one ride but it took me a couple of miles to find my groove on this bike and by the 10 mile mark it felt just like home, I believe this is a true sign of a dialed bike. Having the versatility of running the bike geared or SS is a big plus too.
Date Reviewed: January 29, 2013
Strengths: Looks great and handles well, Climbs like a mountain goat, SS sliders are great
Weaknesses: So far nothing I can put my finger on
Solid contruction, nice and stiff at the bottom bracket. Bike feels like it has some compliance in the rear...in a good way. Not sure if it is the Syntace P6 seat post or the chain stays. The headtube is slightly more slack than some other XC HT but it doesn't seem to affect the bikes quickness. Descends exceptionaly well for a HT. Love the Fox 32 CTD fork, a great match for the bike. I have the bike set up as a SS and love the sliding rockers. I have a 32/19 set up with the sliders in the middle. I can easily go up or down one gear without changing the chain, might be able to move two gears.
I've got the standard size L xt/xtr Pivot Les with EASTON EA 90 wheels. I am in Brazil right now and the bike shops don't have a lot of special parts. I am about to order the single speed kit from competitivecyclist and the surly cogs they have there.
I have seen some folks here with the ... Read More »
I thought this was weird, it was what was on the EWS site, but rd 3 is still in France whew, more Euro goodness, another ski alps location, [URL="http://youtu.be/16Y_as3nHUY"]prepare for battle!
Whats the course going to be like?
A 29er fest or more tough love like Val D Allos!
Hopefully ... Read More »