Updated Pivot Phoenix DH Carbon gets versatile geo tweaks

Pivot Factory Racing team inform evolution of lighter, slacker downhill bike

Updated, redesigned, advanced: Pivot has made some significant changes to the Phoenix DH Carbon for 2016 with (as you’d hope) the input of the Pivot Factory Racing Team. 

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The new Pivot Phoenix DH Carbon, a bike that took Bernerd Kerr to his 2015 King of Crankworx title, is now lighter and features reworked geometry, increased frame protection, increased tyre clearance and a Fox Float X2 air shock rather than a coil shock. Other features include the Pivot Cable Port System, a full-length internal cable routing setup that Pivot claims is easy to maintain. 

Pivot has taken on board feedback from the Pivot Factory Racing team, which consists of Bernard Kerr, Eliot Jackson and Emilie Siegenthaler, as part of the redesign process. They’ve fed back on elements like using frame sizes as a tuning option, the use of the Fox Float X2 rear shock, and setting up the Phoenix DH Carbon for different sized riders from 5ft 4in to 6ft 7in.

Geometry to suit everyone?

Pivot claims that the Phoenix DH Carbon has geometry that’s equally suited to those riders who like their courses steep and so want a longer bike, and those who prefer a shorter fit for a more playful ride feel. 

Each frame size has the same head tube and seat tube length (4.17cm and 16.95cm respectively), so those riders who want a shorter steed are advised to go down a size, those who want a longer bike should select a larger size with corresponding longer top tube, and handling can be adjusted with the optional adjustable +/- .75 degree headset.

The head angle is 62.5 degrees across the size range.

The pivot phoenix framset comes with the fox float x2 air shock:

Now more or less standard on DH bikes, the 27.5 wheels give increased stability and traction. The rear wheel sits 440mm (17.4in) behind the rear triangle in chainstays that now offer increased tyre clearance. Additional rubberised frame protection now features around the upright of the rear triangle. 

Pivot uses its own hollow-core carbon moulding process to produce the frame for the new Phoenix DH Carbon, which has a claimed weight of under 31lb / 14kg without sacrificing the strength or robustness required for DH racing. 

The shock provides 204mm of travel and the frameset is designed to work with forks with 200mm of travel or more. 

Geometry by size

   S  M XL 
 Seat tube length (C – T)  16.95  16.95  16.95  16.95
 Top tube length  23.75  24.75  25.75  26.75
 Head tube length  4.17  4.17  4.17  4.17
 Head tube angle  62.50°  62.50°  62.50°  62.50°
 Seat tube angle  71.85°  71.85°  71.85°  71.85°
 Chainstay length  17.40  17.40  17.40  17.40
 Bottom bracket height  13.37  13.37  13.37  13.37
 Standover height  29.00  29.00  29.00  29.00
 Wheelbase  47.68  48.74  49.76  50.83
 Stack  24.06  24.06  24.06  24.06
 Reach  15.83  16.85  17.91 18.98 

DW suspension linkage

DW stands for Dave Weagle, the man behind the trademarked dw-link system with whom Chris Cocalis, founder and president of Pivot, has worked to develop a suspension system that’s ideal, they feel, for downhill performance. It takes the dw-link’s anti-squat and variable wheel travel path to develop a system that, Pivot claims, pedals better than anything else in the downhill category – and has also allowed the designers to further lower the bottom bracket height and slacken the head angle. 

Eliot jackson, part of the pivot factory team, putting the new phoenix through its paces:

Air shock not coil

Although the Phoenix DH Carbon is coil-shock compatable, Pivot has opted for the Fox Float X2 air shock based on team feedback which indicated it offered better control and a plusher feel as a result of its independent high- and low-speed compression and rebound adjustments, plus the air spring and volume adjust spacers which allow the shock to be tuned to rider weight and core conditions with more accuracy than a coil shock.

The Fox Float X2 shock also features an EVOL air sleeve that reduces friction thereby giving greater suspension sensitivity, plus the new RVS (Rod Valve System) which helps the shock transition between small and large impacts. 

Build options

The frameset, featuring the Fox Float X2 shock with EVOL air sleeve, will retain for $3,299 (UK and Australian pricing TBC). 

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There are also two complete bike builds on offer: Shimano Saint build at $7,599, which also has the option to upgrade to Reynolds Carbon wheelset as used by the Pivot Factory Racing Team, or the Shimano Zee spec at $5,499. Sizes small, medium and large are currently in stock, with extra-large coming on line in mid-March 2016, and the bikes are available through authorised Pivot dealers.