Ridden for the first time in public at this past weekend’s slopfest UCI World Cup downhill mountain bike race in Maribor, Sloveniz, Pivot Cycle’s all-new Phoenix DH grabbed 15th place under Mitch Delfs (AUS).
Not a bad start for a completely new frameset built on an entirely new design, but not unexpected given the six world championships won on Dave Weagle’s DW-Link suspension platform.
So what makes the Pivot Phoenix special?Â The centerpiece is, of course, the DW-Link suspension, which Pivot founder Chris Cocalis says creates the “ultimate world cup downhill bike.”Â It has position-sensitive anti-squat built into its 8.15” (207mm) of rear travel, and the design claims to maintain extreme sensitivity to both large and small bumps and drops while pedaling efficiently.
Drawing on the experience with Dave Weagle’s famed Iron Horse Sunday downhill bike, the Phoenix runs a similar leverage ratio curve for the first half of the travel, then becomes more progressive toward the end of the stroke.Â It runs a higher spring rate than the Sunday, and uses a curve that’s similar to Pivot’s Firebird freeride bike.
The shock and main linkage are positioned as low in the frame as possible to maintain a lower center of gravity.Â The open area on the bottom of the downtube allow easy access to all of the Fox RC4 shock’s compression and rebound settings.Â Bolstering the benefits of the low shock placement is a low BB height, which Pivot says imbues the Phoenix with great handling and cornering characteristics.
One of Pivot’s brand attributes are stiff frames, and the Phoenix takes a lot of measures to maintain that heritage.Â All of the pivots on the front triangle are machined from a single piece of alloy for eachg side, which are welded together to create a hollow BB/Seat Tube/ Main Pivot section.Â That piece is welded to a massively oversized hydroformed downtube, whichÂ meets up top with a full 1.5″ headtube.
The rear triangle places all pivot points on two-piece hollow box section uprights (the vertical pieces directly in front of the rear wheel).Â The lower link uses 17mm diameter main pivot pins and double row EnduroMax bearings and the upper linkage uses 16mm diameter pins with the same double row bearings.
Upper rocker arm is machined from a solid piece of aluminum, as shown here.Â Progress starts clockwise from top left.
The Pivot Phoenix DH will be available January 2011 in two frame colors with various decal options, all of which are shown above and below.Â Pivot’s plan at the moment is to sell the Phoenix as framesets and framekits, but not as complete bikes. Complete bikes should be right at 39lbs, and the rigs that the Team Lex / Pivot Cycles are racing this year on the UCI WC schedule are about 37lbs:
Above, Mitch Delfs pilots the Phoenix over a rooty section.
SPECS AND DETAILS:
- 64Âº head angle*
- 13.6″ BB height
- 17.25″ chainstay length*
- 207mm (8.15″) rear wheel travel
- 83mm threaded BB shell with ISCG mounts
- 150mm rear wheel spacing
- 12mm thru-axle dropouts
- MSRP: TBD
Regarding the listed head angle and chainstay length, and for that matter, the BB height:Â First, Rob at Pivot Cycles was careful to point out that this bike won’t be available until January and that these specs may change.
More the point, though, is that the Phoenix has an adjustable head angle via an indexed head tube (via some sort of secret Cane Creek headset) that will allow you to change it +/- 0.5Âº, 1Âº and 1.375Âº.Â More details on this feature will be released in late June, so stay tuned.
For the chainstay, look closely and you’ll see silver dropouts bolted onto the frame.Â They’re replaceable (which is great if you wreck), and various options will be available allowing you to adjust both chainstay length and BB height.Â Pivot says you could take the BB lower, or raise it up to 13.8″ with a shorter chainstay for park-style riding.Â This lets you fine tune the bike to your riding style and the type of course.
This White-and-Blue color scheme gets our vote!Â The decals are from N-Style, which makes protective logo stickers for motocross, and apparently double as frame protectors on the Pivot.
Pivot has a few more demo days listed in May (all in CO), go check them out…they’re great riding bikes…but its unlikely you’ll see this bird rising from the demo trailer.