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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all..found an older thread from 2018, decided to start a new one for the 2019+ Switchblde vs Firebird 29r.

Anyone ridden the Firebird 29r from 2019 to recent and the newer Switchblade 29r? My reason is I like the idea of the Firebird to rip down janky trails but a little concerned it will be too long for tighter areas. Has me thinking the Switchblade might be a better fit? Currently on a HD4 and want to move into an aggressive 29r that will still take hits and drops. Idealy I'd love the travel of the firebird with the geo of the switchblade..lol. Already have a shorter travel 29r for tamer trail days. Thanks
 

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Hi all..found an older thread from 2018, decided to start a new one for the 2019+ Switchblde vs Firebird 29r.

Anyone ridden the Firebird 29r from 2019 to recent and the newer Switchblade 29r? My reason is I like the idea of the Firebird to rip down janky trails but a little concerned it will be too long for tighter areas. Has me thinking the Switchblade might be a better fit? Currently on a HD4 and want to move into an aggressive 29r that will still take hits and drops. Idealy I'd love the travel of the firebird with the geo of the switchblade..lol. Already have a shorter travel 29r for tamer trail days. Thanks
I owned the original FB29 for awhile and it really was a pretty fantastic bike all around. It was probably the best of the many longer travel 29rs that I've ridden at being an all arounder. I've ridden the new Switchblade and the two bikes are really similar in a lot of ways. The FB is more planted though. My take on it is that if you want the extra travel, you aren't giving up anything to the SB except some pop with the flip side being the FB handles bumpy terrain fantastically. That said, the new SB is also very capable and you aren't giving up much to the FB if you are looking for something slightly more agile. Bonus is that it can hold a water bottle and take a coil shock if that matters to you. Pivot increased the capability of both the new SB and FB with the latest generation, so there isn't much daylight between the old FB29 and the new SB.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, I'm looking at the newest FB29...sounds like it's splitting hairs between the 2 new releases.

Firebird:

Pros: longer travel for drops
Cons: Little long and slow in some of the fast corners.

Switchblade:

Pros: More agile. Especially if you have some decent corners.
Cons: May get overwhelmed on the roughest trails. Though it sounds like it can handle quite a bit.
 

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I’m looking at the same but thinking I want the more maneuverable of the two for more technical flat ground trails. The SB already seems to have similar specs to a 429 and a Ridley but with 20-30 mil more travel. If I want to step it up I could always get the cascade link and an angle set.
 

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For the turns, consider the sizing. At 6'1" I fall between L & XL. I rode both sizes in the SB. The L was good and the XL was a schoolbus on switchbacks (only negative). Then I rode an M old FB and felt that it cornered well but was too small for the rest and I picked up how calmer it was in comparison to the SB. The L on the new FB is perfect, maybe a tinge less than the L in SB on turns but it's also more composed. The SB and FB are very similar and neither would disappoint and you'll have a blast on both. Consider the frequency of usage in the type of trails you ride. The FB can be boring on easier trails and casual riding. Push it for speed and you'll see it wake up, and it's at home in steeper, gnarly, chunky terrain. The SB is livelier on easier trails and can be at its capacity when things get too rough.
 

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I've not ridden a FB (or any true enduro bike), so take my input with a grain of salt...

I love my SB v2 (5'11''., size L). If your priority is hauling the mail down some steep chunk, you could likely tune the suspension a little differently to accommodate that (I recall someone from Pivot saying that, while the SB isn't an Enduro bike, they knew that some customers would race them in local events and wanted it work well for that), but a FB is probably the better option.

But the SB makes for a very active ride, eager to jump and jib off anything. Or, you can just point it down and let off the brakes and it'll take quite a bit. It's also still a great climber especially over technical bits. It's just a great one-bike option.
 
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