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I'm in the market for a new bike and want to know how the new Switchblade rides. Any owners out there?

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2020 SW report

I've owned 3 pivots all medium with team level builds or more

The original trail 429 (27.5+)
Mach 5.5
2020 switchblade (29)
Sw riding style, agressive

Initial reports, the switchblade is the poppyness that I missed from the 429 with amazing descending where the 5.5 seemed to get hung up frequently.

The back end is proper on the switchblade. it pedals extremely well over chunk and technical climbs and it descends very planted without getting overwhelmed with repeated hits. You feel input from the trail in a positive way.
 

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I owned the original Switchblade, now I'm on the new current Switchblade.

When I first demo'd the original Switchblade 4 years ago, within the first 30 seconds I said out loud, "I love this bike, I've got to own this bike", even when I swapped wheel sizes, I said the same thing. I bought it in 27.5+ and owned it for over 2 years (which is a long time for me, since I work for PIVOT). I then bought the Mach 5.5, which I was hoping since I loved the 27.5+ wheels on the Switchblade, that I would like this bike equally. I did not, though I really enjoyed the 5.5, it didn't feel as planted as the Switchblade did. When the Mach 4 SL came out, I decided to get that bike in FOX LIVE, as I wanted to see how that platform felt. I built that bike up rather heavy duty, I wanted to run 2.4 wide trail tires on that bike. I loved it, I quickly PR'd many of the climbs around here on South Mountain. I planned on keeping that bike for a year or so.

Two weeks ago, during a company ride, I decided to demo the Switchblade. In my mind I was going to wait until early summer to sell the Mach 4. The moment I got on the Switchblade - this time in 29 - I had that same familiar feeling I had from the original. The amazing thing to me was after the ride, my Strava informed me that I had 9 PR's! I wasn't even trying to beat anything. Since this was a company ride, and we were the "B" group, I didn't expect to have any PR's. Surprisingly many of the PR's were on climbs. The route we took is one I've ridden 3 or 4 dozen times too. I've ridden that trail for 11 years, and taken every PIVOT I've owned on it. So, I'm familiar with the trail, and though I felt good, I didn't feel that I was crushing my former times.

I went home, and told my wife that, "I accidentally tested the Switchblade", that next morning I cleaned my Mach 4 and listed it for sale... She knows it wasn't an accident, but it made it easier to let her know I was about to spend some money...

I built it up last Friday, and went on my first ride Saturday. My second ride was a night ride, and this afternoon will be my 3rd. It is an amazing bike, so planted, so much traction on climbs too. It is very playful, I find myself popping off rocks and drops more than usual. I'm on a size large, I'm 6'1" and have only made small adjustments to saddle position to make the bike fit. The suggested settings from the suspension guide feel spot on too. Best bike I've owned, EVER!

Again, I find myself thinking and dreaming so much about my Switchblade, that I wonder if my Switchblade thinks and dreams about me...
 

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First ride today on fairly tame trails in Southern OH. I felt right at home on it from the start. My first impression was it's super playful, corners like a slot car and begs to let off the brakes to go faster descending.
It pedals better on the flat trails and is equal in climbing ability as compared to Yeti SB 130. The Pivot has an advantage on climbing in rooty and chucking sections. The suspension just absorbs everything without sucking your power away.

Only issue is that I've come to the conclusion that Fox Transfer posts don't like cold weather. It was sticky going up in the morning but improved as it warmed up outside.

Real test is coming in three weeks riding a week in Sedona/Prescott/Phoenix.

Thanks,
 

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Only issue is that I've come to the conclusion that Fox Transfer posts don't like cold weather. It was sticky going up in the morning but improved as it warmed up outside.
I ride around freezing temperatures over here and never had issue with the Fox Transfer. Especially if it's new. Usually they will need a service after 1 1/2 years or so to run smooth again.
 

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Rode it on a demo about a month ago and got 50 miles on one last week in Phoenix. If I hadn't just bought a 5.5, I'd be in this bike. My take is much like the above. Lots of miles at SOMO and some at Hawes. Climbs phenomenally well and descends like a beast. takes the corners well too for a slacker bike. I am slow so it wanders just a bit on the steep climbs but it is certainly livable. I feel like my 5.5 corners just a bit better, but that isn't a knock against the Switchblade.
 

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I know its not really apples to apples but can anyone compare the climbing efficiency of the Trail 429 to the new SB. Really had my sights on the Trail 429, demoed one last year, really liked it, solid pedaling platform. Great for my midwest area.

But this new SB has really piqued my interest. Really like the the looks of the updated geo, and new shock tune. The engineering and tech is getting so good. Wondering if this can be my one "do it all" bike? Because as of now a hardtail is my one "do it all" bike. Hope to find a demo in the near future.
 

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I know its not really apples to apples but can anyone compare the climbing efficiency of the Trail 429 to the new SB. Really had my sights on the Trail 429, demoed one last year, really liked it, solid pedaling platform. Great for my midwest area.

But this new SB has really piqued my interest. Really like the the looks of the updated geo, and new shock tune. The engineering and tech is getting so good. Wondering if this can be my one "do it all" bike? Because as of now a hardtail is my one "do it all" bike. Hope to find a demo in the near future.
I previously owned a 2018 Mach 429 Trail, and have demoed the Trail 429 a few times as well. I now own the 2020 Switchblade, and continue to be blown away by this bike. The pedaling efficiency when you are putting the power down is insanely good. I am regularly getting PRs on technical trails I've ridden many times with this bike, and not just descents. The suspension feels plusher and on a parking lot ride makes you think the bike will be less efficient on the trail, but I can assure you that is not the case. The DPX2 tune is amazing - plush and yet supportive. The middle position is great for a slightly poppier/firmer feel while retaining small bump compliance, and the open mode is amazing for technical stuff.

I also have the Mach 4 SL as an XC race bike, so personally, if I could only have one MTB, it would still be the Trail 429. But if you already have a hardtail for smoother rides/races, I would not hesitate to get the new SB. It's that good.

One more note - I'm riding in the HIGH flip chip position for techy New England trails, which really increases the versatility of this bike. I'd throw it to LOW for trips to the bike park or a trip out West.
 

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I previously owned a 2018 Mach 429 Trail, and have demoed the Trail 429 a few times as well. I now own the 2020 Switchblade, and continue to be blown away by this bike. The pedaling efficiency when you are putting the power down is insanely good. I am regularly getting PRs on technical trails I've ridden many times with this bike, and not just descents. The suspension feels plusher and on a parking lot ride makes you think the bike will be less efficient on the trail, but I can assure you that is not the case. The DPX2 tune is amazing - plush and yet supportive. The middle position is great for a slightly poppier/firmer feel while retaining small bump compliance, and the open mode is amazing for technical stuff.

I also have the Mach 4 SL as an XC race bike, so personally, if I could only have one MTB, it would still be the Trail 429. But if you already have a hardtail for smoother rides/races, I would not hesitate to get the new SB. It's that good.

One more note - I'm riding in the HIGH flip chip position for techy New England trails, which really increases the versatility of this bike. I'd throw it to LOW for trips to the bike park or a trip out West.
Thanks for the detailed response. You mentioned a lot of things that really stood out to me. Like the efficiency when putting power down. Although i'm not a racer, I don't consider myself a casual trail rider either. I do like some speed and maybe a little air under the wheels. Also your familiarity with Pivot/DW suspension gives me a good reference the SB's efficiency.

I feel the geo is a good fit for my riding trails, probably similar to yours... rocky, rooty, tighter areas, shorter ups and downs. Its a modern, progressive geo but not extreme. So easy to get caught up in the long, low, super slack, super steep trend. I'm sure it is beneficial to certain areas, just don't think it would be for me. Super excited to get out on a demo.

Thanks again for your insight.
Cheers
 

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I previously owned a 2018 Mach 429 Trail, and have demoed the Trail 429 a few times as well. I now own the 2020 Switchblade, and continue to be blown away by this bike. The pedaling efficiency when you are putting the power down is insanely good. I am regularly getting PRs on technical trails I've ridden many times with this bike, and not just descents. The suspension feels plusher and on a parking lot ride makes you think the bike will be less efficient on the trail, but I can assure you that is not the case. The DPX2 tune is amazing - plush and yet supportive. The middle position is great for a slightly poppier/firmer feel while retaining small bump compliance, and the open mode is amazing for technical stuff.

I also have the Mach 4 SL as an XC race bike, so personally, if I could only have one MTB, it would still be the Trail 429. But if you already have a hardtail for smoother rides/races, I would not hesitate to get the new SB. It's that good.

One more note - I'm riding in the HIGH flip chip position for techy New England trails, which really increases the versatility of this bike. I'd throw it to LOW for trips to the bike park or a trip out West.
Good response!
 

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Thanks for the detailed response. You mentioned a lot of things that really stood out to me. Like the efficiency when putting power down. Although i'm not a racer, I don't consider myself a casual trail rider either. I do like some speed and maybe a little air under the wheels. Also your familiarity with Pivot/DW suspension gives me a good reference the SB's efficiency.

I feel the geo is a good fit for my riding trails, probably similar to yours... rocky, rooty, tighter areas, shorter ups and downs. Its a modern, progressive geo but not extreme. So easy to get caught up in the long, low, super slack, super steep trend. I'm sure it is beneficial to certain areas, just don't think it would be for me. Super excited to get out on a demo.

Thanks again for your insight.
Cheers
Yeah I think it's definitely easy these days to purchase a bike that goes too far in terms of "modern" geometry for riding in certain areas with slower, up/down technical trails. The Switchblade (at least in the HIGH position) is really really good in this stuff - better than I thought it would be. The steep(ish) seat angle helps you grind up the steep climbs - in fact, I have regularly been making it up tough climbs that my brain says "nope"... just keep pedaling and the bike finds traction out of nowhere and keeps going. One of the major differences I find between it and the Trail 429 is that the rear suspension has a notably plusher feel (makes sense with about an inch more rear travel). The Trail 429 to me feels like a solid, beefed-up, capable XC bike in how it rides - it encourages you to stand up and sprint and the platform is incredible. The SB "feels" softer, and on a gradual climb may not encourage standing and hammering (partly due to the 160mm fork), but in reality it is not slower, at least on anything remotely technical. Also, I've found that the third (firmest) position of the DPX2 still has enough compliance that you can use it in this setting for hammering on a smoother trail if you want. Much more usable than the third position on a DPS, for example, which is fully locked out and only useful on road or gravel.

The last thing, and the real reason I got the SB instead of the Trail 429, is that the capability on bigger drops is much better (I was bottoming my Trail on some of the bigger drops we have here), while the weight is essentially the same, build-for-build. When I demoed the Trail 429, I was surprised that the weight was 29+lbs with carbon rims and XC tires! My Switchblade is about 30 lbs with a 175mm dropper and 970g trail tires.

Hope this helps. Summary - smoother trails and/or hammering out of the saddle like an XC racer = Trail 429. Rougher trails and/or bigger drops/steeps = SB.
 

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I never took the SB off the open position when I rented and it just stuck to the trail when climbing. My 5.5 is much the same. The platform of this particular iteration of the dw link is just phenomenal IMO. I am just so impressed with how these Pivots climb. I am regularly cleaning stuff I could never make it up before (now it's about finding the right gear) I pretty much know the bike will climb it if I do my part.
 

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Full Send - The info you provided has been very helpful. Nice to hear some real world user feedback. Sounds like you have really been exploring the capabilities of this bike. I never considered the Switchblade before, just seemed like more travel than I needed. Came across some reviews of the new Swithchblade and that's what got me rethinking the Trail 429.

The engineering and tech is getting so good now. That extra bit of travel comes at little cost to peddle efficiency. I like the sound of that 3rd position on the shock. That's the kind of details you don't get from standard reviews. That would work great for some tamer trails in my area.

I also think you bring up a good point about the weight, comparing the Switchblade to the Trail 429. Again all that extra capability comes at little to no cost in performance. Sounds like a win win to me.

With the, costs of bikes today i can only afford to have one, do it all, kick ass bike. One that can cover a variety of terrain wherever my trail riding may take me. This new Switchblade is looking more and more like "the one".
 

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I never took the SB off the open position when I rented and it just stuck to the trail when climbing. My 5.5 is much the same. The platform of this particular iteration of the dw link is just phenomenal IMO. I am just so impressed with how these Pivots climb. I am regularly cleaning stuff I could never make it up before (now it's about finding the right gear) I pretty much know the bike will climb it if I do my part.
Watched a Youtube video of the Loam Wolf interviewing Chris Cocalis talking about the new Switchblade. Maybe you've seen it? Anyway he talks about working with Fox to revamp the Dpx2 shock specifically for the switchblade. Listening to him explain it supports what you're saying about it. Good stuff

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flIj2aOKdnE
 

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Watched a Youtube video of the Loam Wolf interviewing Chris Cocalis talking about the new Switchblade. Maybe you've seen it? Anyway he talks about working with Fox to revamp the Dpx2 shock specifically for the switchblade. Listening to him explain it supports what you're saying about it. Good stuff

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flIj2aOKdnE
I had a standard DPX2 on my Mach 429 Trail, and liked it, but I agree the hard work that Chris did with Fox on the Switchblade-specific DPX2 design paid off.

Makpak - don't mean to talk you out of the Trail 429, as it really is an amazing bike. I'd say demo both on the same trails if you can and make your choice based on which fits your style and needs the best. They have similarities, but different feels for sure.
 

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Makpak - don't mean to talk you out of the Trail 429, as it really is an amazing bike. I'd say demo both on the same trails if you can and make your choice based on which fits your style and needs the best. They have similarities, but different feels for sure.
Yeah, that's sound advice. You've provided some good input about the Switchblade. It's been about a year since demoing the 429. It would be good to demo both closer together for a better comparison. Unfortunately the state lock down due to this pandemic is slowing the process. But as long as we can all get through this with our health, that's all that really matters. And at least the trails are still open!!
 

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I’m a FB29 owner, and love this bike. Demoed the Sb2 over the weekend:

Quality and finish is second to none. I think Pivot and Santa Cruz are the best you’re going to get. I love the chain protection, the cable ports, the finish. All 10/10.

Climbing: climbing up fireroads, on road it climbs like a 140mm travel bike, nothing special. Not nearlt as efficient as my intense primer mk1. MaxxGrip 2.5 tyres probably have something to do with this mind! Once you get it in technical climbs it excels. Doesn’f get hung up at all. Only bike I’ve ridden which climbs nearly as well is the evil offering and I’d say the switchblade is better due to a steeper seat angle at my saddle height.

Descending: Initially I was a little disappointed. It was quick but not that quick (bear in mind I ride a FB29!). The shock tune is very very progressive. I set sag correctly yet I could not use anywhere near full travel even on sizeable drops. I would be taking volume spacers out I think. However its a very stiff frame and feels great, no baggy flex here like the Sb130. I thought it would suit me well with an offset bushing and a -1 anglesst to slacken it out a bit and drop the BB but it wasn’t my bikes. The I had an Ideas...

Tried mulleting a bike for the first time. Stuck a 27.5x2.35 wheel in the rear. WOW, what a difference. Seat angle is steep enough to just slam saddle forward and get away with it. Makes the bike come alive. Much more confident - Ha measured 65, BB dropped to 425mm (so maybe better run in high mode).

Its number one on my ‘buy list now’!
 

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The shock tune is very very progressive. I set sag correctly yet I could not use anywhere near full travel even on sizeable drops. I would be taking volume spacers out I think.
This is an astute observation.

We ship the bike stock with a 0.6 volume spacer in the air can, because we knew a lot of people would be using this bike not just for trail riding, but also for enduro racing; and we wanted to make sure the shock would offer enough support for that.

If it's mostly a trail bike for you (as mine is for me), you can swap that out for a 0.4, a 0.2 or no spacer at all. I tried mine a few different ways and found that a 0.4 was my sweet spot.

Spacers are pretty cheap and easy to install, so I encourage everyone to do some tinkering!

JP
 

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This is an astute observation.

We ship the bike stock with a 0.6 volume spacer in the air can, because we knew a lot of people would be using this bike not just for trail riding, but also for enduro racing; and we wanted to make sure the shock would offer enough support for that.

If it's mostly a trail bike for you (as mine is for me), you can swap that out for a 0.4, a 0.2 or no spacer at all. I tried mine a few different ways and found that a 0.4 was my sweet spot.

Spacers are pretty cheap and easy to install, so I encourage everyone to do some tinkering!

JP
Hi John,
Ha ha, I'm the biggest tinkerer there is.
I've tested and owned enough bikes to know if/how I can ride right for me!

Dis you test with a 51mm offset fork? Be interesting to see how it handles.

Great bike. And I love the fact you've got a steep actual seat angle now. Fhats my only negative of the fb19.

Great bike. Likely will own one soon!
 

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I'm in the market for a new bike and want to know how the new Switchblade rides. Any owners out there?

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I've got about four hours of riding on the new switchblade, the xt build. I rented a demo at the LBS.

I almost immediately realized it climbed alot better than my old bike. Unfortunately I wore my ass out after about four hours of climbing and didn't have time to get too rowdy on a jump or flow line, just rode rocky chunder all day which it handled exceptionally well.

I placed my order today for a team xtr build. The wheels on the xt build left alot to be desired and were awfully heavy, so i'm glad the team build comes with i9 and reynolds carbon.

I'm coming from a 2018 santa cruz hightower lt xx1 build with a 160mm front fork, and x2 rear shock and santa cruz reserve wheels with i9 hubs, weighing around 30lbs.
 
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