Pivot's new Firebird gets six inches at Interbike
By Marcus Farley | Monday, September 22, 2008 4.00pm
At Interbike today, Pivot Cycles unveiled a new long-travel platform, the Firebird, plus updates and additional versions of the Mach 4 and Mach 5 bikes that were first introduced in 2007.
Pivot founder, Chris Cocalis is hopeful that his company’s first stab at the popular 6 inch travel trail bike category will light up the Dirt Demo.
Like the existing line, it’s been developed in conjunction with Dave Weagle, but they’ve also added downhill designer Kevin Tisue into the mix. “The result is a trail gobbling 6.50 inches (167mm) of rear travel,” says Cocalis, who intends its use to be “as a long travel trail bike that is also a pedalling marvel when pointed uphill as well.”
Although the bike’s not intended as a dirt jumper, freeride or downhill bike, Cocalis is hopeful that it will be capable to handle these disciplines, with its 1.5 inch headtube and flexibility to handle single or dual crown 160-170mm travel forks.
Cocalis says that the Firebird overcomes the compromises that he feels have always been made by front derailleur performance and frame design restrictions on longer travel bikes:
“On the Firebird, the patent pending front derailleur moves in relation to the rear wheel path as the suspension moves through its travel keeping the chain perfectly positioned in the "sweet spot" of the font derailleur cage at all points in the travel for better chain retention and shifting performance.
“The system also allows us to optimize the chainstay location, frame weight, and overall design strength of the Firebird frame.”
There will be a custom Pivot specific E-thirteen double ring chain guide designed to function with the floating front derailleur design. The mount for the front derailleur can also be removed, allowing access to ISCGO5 mounts for single chain guide systems.
Another element unique to the Firebird is the full floating rear shock. The rear shock sits independently of the frame, mounting to the carbon rocker and to the dw-link, resulting in what Cocalis says is “a constantly variable shock rate, giving precise control over the suspension performance at every point in the travel,” from small bumps to technical terrain.
The Firebird is made of oversize triple butted, hydro-formed 6061 aluminium, custom tuned for its aggressive nature. Frame weight is claimed to be a very respectable 6.95lbs (3.15kg) for a small anodized frame.
The Firebird is equipped standard with a custom tuned Fox RP23, but is available with a Fox DHX 5.0 air for a small up-charge.
It will be available in sizes small, medium and large in anodized black or anodized root beer brown.
Updates to the existing line up
Both the Mach 4 and Mach 5 have shock valving changes for 2009.
On the Mach 5, Cocalis says he has concentrated on changing the performance in the middle of its travel, which “has resulted in greater plushness, especially through rock gardens, whilst retaining its proven dw-link pedalling performance.”
Women’s bikes join the line
In his previous job as CEO of Titus Cycles, Cocalis was known for small frames that fitted diminutive women well. This was something he was keen to carry on when he started Pivot in 2007. As a result, proper women’s versions of the Mach 4 and Mach 5 are also revealed today.
Cocalis is keen to stress that these bikes are “way more than a pretty paint job (although the paint is sweet).”
The bikes have been completely redesigned for the smaller rider, with “a complete configuration of the frame’s suspension with shorter stroke shocks and higher leverage ratios to maintain the proper air pressure range and valving for lighter riders… and smaller tubes so that the bike is ultra light and a ride that is tuned for the rider's size.”
Colcalis hopes that, with those tweaks and an ultra-short head tube, these bikes will give female riders the perfect fit with a performance that matches that of the men’s range.
The Women’s Mach 4 and Mach 5 come in new Power Pink and Baby Blue colours, as well as the standard anodized options, to fit riders from 4ft 11in to 5ft 5in tall. Pivot will also be offering limited edition quantities of the larger size Mach 4 and Mach 5 with WTB Deva women's saddles.
Mach 4 – carbon kit upgrade
Cocalis also unveiled a lightweight build of the Mach 4, dubbed Mach 4 SL, at a claimed weight of 21.3kg (9.68kg).
He’s managed to shed the weight on previous incarnations by selecting some of the “lightest, strongest, and best performing components in the world,” that he feels, “produces the ultimate pro level race bike, without cutting any corners in frame weight or performance compromises.”
Cocalis says he’s confident that “it can be raced by anyone from 90lbs (41kg) to 220lbs (100kg) without sacrifice.”
This carbon finishing kit includes DT Swiss XRC100 Carbon fork and XR Carbon rear shock; DT Swiss XRC1250 Carbon Wheels with ceramic bearings (1250 grams); Magura Marta SL Magnesium brakes; Race Face Next Carbon cranks; Syntace Carbon bars, Carbon post, and F119 stem and a Shimano XTR groupset.
Complete bike MSRP is US$7695.00.
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All bikes are available as a frame, frameset with a fork, headset, and front derailleur, or in three build options in the US. The same, or similar options, will also be available internationally.
The Firebird will be available in the US by the end of the year and the rest of the world in February. The updated Mach 4 and Mach 5 line-ups will be available in November in the US and in January for the rest of the world.
Pivot bikes now have distribution in the UK, Australia, Spain, France, Portugal, South Africa, Israel, Switzerland, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, amongst others. For pricing contact the distributor.
UK distribution will be through www.ronnoko.co.uk, www.bhbikes.com with www.jetblackproducts.com handling the Australian distribution.
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