Table Of Contents

  • Climbing Ability 90% 90%
  • Downhill Ability 80% 80%
  • Overall Fun 100% 100%

Travel: 142mm rear/ 160mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66

Seat Tube Angle: 75.5

Reach: 470mm (large frame)

Weight: 30.2 lbs

Price: $10,899

What We Like: All-around Performance

What We Don’t: Price

Pivot has nailed it. The Switchblade is a dialed-in all-around trail bike that is ready to tackle any terrain, and it will do it in style. The rear shock has been customized by Fox for the Switchblade and has made the bike super-efficient on the uphills but plush and bottomless on the downhills. With a modern but reserved geometry, the Switchblade is highly maneuverable and snappy through tight sections of trail but will also eat up choppy straights. It really is hard to find a negative with the Switchblade other than the price, but also there is a ton of technology that is available to be added to the Switchblade should your wallet allow.

We participate in affiliate programs to help us fund Gear Hacker. Some of the links in this website are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product using our link, we will earn a small commission. Don’t worry! This comes at no additional cost to you, and we will never base our reviews on whether or not we earn a commission off of a product. With that said, if you find our review helpful and decide to purchase an item we review, we would be very appreciative if you use our links to do so. It will help us bring you more awesome content in the future!

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  • Climbing Ability 90% 90%
  • Downhill Ability 90% 90%
  • Overall Fun 90% 90%

Pros

All-around Ability in a Variety of Terrain

Cons

Weight of Some of the Build Options

Travel: 145mm rear/ 150mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 65.2

Seat Tube Angle: 76.3

Reach: 470mm (large frame)

Weight: Starting at 29 lbs

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  • Climbing Ability 70% 70%
  • Downhill Ability 80% 80%
  • Overall Fun 80% 80%

Pros

Maestro Suspension Platform, Price

Cons

Could Use Some Better Brakes

Travel: 146mm rear/ 170mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 64.6

Seat Tube Angle: 76.4

Reach: 488mm (large frame)

Weight: Varies With Frame Material

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  • Climbing Ability 80% 80%
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Pros

Really Playful Bike

Cons

Expensive Build Options

Travel: 150mm rear/ 170mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 64.5

Seat Tube Angle: 76.9

Reach: 480mm (large frame)

Weight: Starting at 31 lbs

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  • Climbing Ability 80% 80%
  • Downhill Ability 100% 100%
  • Overall Fun 90% 90%

Pros

DH Bike That Can Climb

Cons

Needs Steeper Seat Tube, Price

Travel: 170mm rear and fork

Head Tube Angle: 63.9/ 64.3

Seat Tube Angle: 76

Reach: 487mm (S4 frame)

Weight: Starting at 32.5 lbs

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  • Climbing Ability 80% 80%
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Pros

Climbing Ability, Ripmo AF Option

Cons

Stock Shock Not Being Fox Float

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Head Tube Angle: 64.9

Seat Tube Angle: 76

Reach: 475mm (large frame)

Weight: Starting at 28.9 lbs

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  • Climbing Ability 90% 90%
  • Downhill Ability 80% 80%
  • Overall Fun 100% 100%

Pros

All-around Performance

Cons

Price

Travel: 142mm rear/ 160mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66

Seat Tube Angle: 75.5

Reach: 470mm (large frame)

Weight: 30.2 lbs

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  • Climbing Ability 80% 80%
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Pros

The Shapeshifter

Cons

Also The Shapeshifter

Travel: 150mm rear/ 160mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66 - 67.5

Seat Tube Angle: 73.5 - 75

Reach: 470mm (large frame))

Weight: Starting at 31.2 lbs

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  • Climbing Ability 90% 90%
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Pros

Amazing Climber, Custom Paint Job Option

Cons

Short Reach and Cost

Travel: 160mm rear/ 170mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 65

Seat Tube Angle: 75.5/ 76

Reach: 455mm (large frame)

Weight: Starting at 30.95 lbs

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Chainstay Chip Makes A Difference

Cons

Sluggish At Slow Speeds, Super Long

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Seat Tube Angle: 78

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  • Climbing Ability 90% 90%
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Pros

Strong Climber, Stable Descents

Cons

Not As Playful As Older Versions

Travel: 150mm rear/ 160mm fork

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Seat Tube Angle: 77.7

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  • Climbing Ability 80% 80%
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  • Overall Fun 70% 70%

Pros

Made For The Downhills

Cons

TWINLOC System Needs Some Work

Travel: 170mm

Head Tube Angle: 64.5

Seat Tube Angle: 75

Reach: 466.5mm (large frame)

Weight: Starting Around 30.20 lbs

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  • Climbing Ability 80% 80%
  • Downhill Ability 90% 90%
  • Overall Fun 90% 90%

Pros

Now Comes With A Water Bottle Mount, Sportier Geometry

Cons

Climbing Could Be More Efficient

Travel: 160mm rear/ 170mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 64

Seat Tube Angle: 78

Reach: 480mm (large frame)

Weight: Heaviest Build 34.2 lbs

Pivot has revamped the new Switchblade for 2021, bringing some serious technology to the game in some of their more expensive build options. Pivot has found that sweet spot right between the XC, super-efficient bikes, and the Enduro, rock ‘em sock ‘em bikes.

The geo is modern without going over the top in terms of slackness and wheelbase, hitting that perfect Trail bike set up. With a fully customized rear suspension provided by Fox to work with the dw-link pivot, this bike is ready to roll right out of the box.

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The Bike

The Pivot can also be fit with 27.5” tires or can be turned into a mullet. This with the flip-chip that will alter the degrees by 0.5-degree and raise the bottom bracket makes it a zippy little character. The rear axle is the 157mm Super Boost. So it will feel different beneath your legs on the initial ride. If you’ve found a set of tires you like, they won’t fit the Pivot unless you find the proper wheels that the tires can go on.

Going back to the technology that is available on this bike, Pivot and Fox have come together to have the availability of Fox’s Live Valve for the Switchblade. The Live Valve is an electronic suspension adjustment system that monitors the terrain 1000 times per second to adjust the suspension accordingly. Allowing you to concentrate on the trail and not the sag. It is battery powered, which needs recharging, but there’s only one battery to power the sensors and the valves. It’s pretty neat.

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Climbing

The song Smooth Criminal and the cover by Alien Ant Farm come to mind when writing about the Pivot Switchblade. With the newly customized rear suspension platform, the bike is super snappy. Some say it feels disconnected from the trail, meaning that roots and rocks don’t seem to impact the pedaling as you can just cruise right over them. The Fox shock keeps everything moving well without getting hung up on the little or big things. With the 44mm fork offset, the handling is swift, and the Switchblade will stay on the line you pick for it, no questions asked.

There is no ability to add a front derailleur, so it is only a one-by, which may not have the range of gears that some riders look for. This is a small price to pay that is made up for with the well designed rear suspension. The seat tube could also be a bit steeper, but now we’re just nit-picking.

The bike has excellent suspension progression, and you don’t even think of the words anti-squat because it almost seems to have no sag at all while pedaling. It’s an efficient bike, plain and simple. At just over 30lbs, it won’t ruin your legs for the downhills either.

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Downhill

As always, this is where the fun begins. With the newly refined rear suspension that is capable of being a coil shock if wanted, everything feels so lively. The bike can get you airborne really quick if that’s where you want to be. The 430mm chainstay keeps the back end responsive in tight corners at high or low speeds.
The bottom-out progression will allow for some serious drops without really feeling the hit. One word you keep hearing when talking about the Pivot is plush, and again, this is thanks to the custom rear shock. The responsiveness of the front wheel—thanks to the “not as slack” head tube angle—does translate into good downhill control on a variety of terrain.
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Build Options

If you are looking for one of the more technologically advanced bike builds on the market, look no further than the Pivot Switchblade Team XX1 AXS with Fox Live Valve technology. Sure it’ll cost you $12,399, but what you get is pretty neat. SRAM AXS wireless drivetrain paired with Fox’s Live Valve suspension system, which is seemingly more technology than Neil Armstrong used when he traveled the moon.

Each build option on the Pivot Switchblade does have the option of coming with the Fox Live Valve suspension technology—just add $1,900 to the ticket price and you’ll have the most sophisticated suspension technology on the market.

The baseline price for a full build is $6,799, which is bananas in my opinion. It does come with the custom-designed Fox Factory Float DPX2 rear suspension, but it does make the cost hard for a lot of riders to justify. The bike does come in two cool colors: a Horizon Blue and Treeline Green—if that helps at all.

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The Bottom Line

This bike will make you feel like a good rider, and after the year we’ve all had, isn’t that something we all want? It also could definitely be a one quiver bike for a lot of riders. It is surprisingly efficient on the climbs, handles really well, and is sporty on the downs. Really, it’s the perfect combo. No, it is not as modern as some bikes on the market these days, but that helps with the climbing and it still can crush some chunder on the way down.

The price is a bit steep, but with the fact that it can basically do it all and do it all right out of the box without any added components, it’s going to be an excellent bike for a lot of riders.

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We participate in affiliate programs to help us fund Gear Hacker. Some of the links in this website are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product using our link, we will earn a small commission. Don’t worry! This comes at no additional cost to you, and we will never base our reviews on whether or not we earn a commission off of a product. With that said, if you find our review helpful and decide to purchase an item we review, we would be very appreciative if you use our links to do so. It will help us bring you more awesome content in the future!