Announced just as Sea Otter was kicking off, the new Pivot Cycles Firebird 27.5 will all but replace the existing 26″ model.
In fact, it’s built on the same frame with only minor modifications, plus a few new parts, to make it work with the middle wheel size.
The original frame already had massive tire clearance, so getting a 27.5×2.35 tire works fine. And it already had a straight 1.5″ headtube. So Chris Cocalis developed their own version of an angle adjustable headset, except that it’s fixed at -1.5°, with upper cups that are different for each size frame. This slackens the head angle from 67.1 (with a 170mm 26″ fork) to 66° (with a 160mm 27.5″ fork) across all frame sizes. The only reason he went with a shorter travel fork is because no one’s making a 170mm 27.5″ fork.
The new headset also has a shorter stack lower cup. Combined with the 100mm drop in front travel, the BB height only grew from 14″ to 14.1″.
On the frame, the only change is moving the rear brace between the uprights a bit forward. That’s the piece just above the front derailleur on the rear triangle in the pic above.
The Firebird’s front derailleur is mounted on a floating arm that stays in it’s normal position until the suspension moves through about 2/3 of it’s travel. At that point, a roller makes contact with the arm and pushes the derailleur upward so it won’t make contact with the chainstay. This allows them to maintain crisp shifting during normal riding without having to drop the driveside chainstay really low for proper derailleur cage clearance under compression. It saves weight and makes the frame stiffer.
Weight came in at 31lb 12oz (14.4kg) for a complete bike sans pedals. That’s with a KS dropper post, Fox fork and DHX Air shock, Stan’s Flow EX wheels with Kenda tires and tubes and Shimano XT build.
The XT build is $5,599 including the KS LEV dropper post. The X0 build is $6,199, and the first hundred bikes will get a free upgrade to a Fox DHX Air shock. Normally it comes with a CTD shock and the DHX is a $179 upgrade. The white bikes come with three sets of graphics (red, blue and green). Black is anodized and stays that way.