What do MTB riders want from an e-bike? More power? Longer range? Or a super lightweight hybrid that offers assistance but rides like a traditional mountain bike?
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on Bikerumor.
While Pivot Cycles has been electrifying its customers with the Shuttle e-MTB for about 5 years now, the Shuttle SL is a different beast entirely and looks like it will give the new Trek Fuel EXe some competition.
It certainly competes in the weight department: at just 36.25 pounds (claimed), it’s one of the lightest eMTBs we’ve seen.
Pivot recently built the Shuttle with a Shimano EP8 motor and a massive 726Wh battery. Compare that to the new Pivot Shuttle SL, which relies on the more recent Fazua Ride 60 system with “only” a 430Wh battery, and you start to get a picture of the difference in frame construction.
Fazua Ride 60 Drive System
More than just capturing the look of a traditional mountain bike, the Fazua Ride 60 system claims to add to the ride quality of the new bike in ways that heavier, more powerful motors can’t match. The most obvious is probably the weight. The motor weight of 4.3 pounds and the 4.9-pound 430Wh battery gave Pivot a starting point to build a sub-37-pound e-bike.
Pivot claims that the 430Wh battery provides more than enough juice for 3- to 4-hour rides with 3,000+ feet of climbing, though range will depend on rider weight, mode, etc. If you want more range, the bike will be compatible with the Fazua 210Wh range extender, which should be available sometime in 2023.
Compared to other e-bike motor systems, the Ride 60 drive unit is tiny — though not as small as the Tq motor, it seems. It also disengages when not in use for quiet, drag-free riding. The Shuttle SL is classified as a Class 1 e-bike and will cut off the pedal-assist at 20 mph.
While the torque figure is limited to 60Nm, it seems like it could be a worthy tradeoff for the weight. Maximum power is claimed at 450 W, which the rider can deliver via the new Boost function, which offers 4- or 12-second boosts of the total 450 W at the push of the Ring control.
While it may look a bit like a throttle, the Ring Control is a multifunction remote that allows you to change assist modes while also engaging Boost or Walk mode. The simple LED panel on the top tube indicates your mode (Breeze, River, or Rocket) and how much battery life remains. You can even pop the panel up to find a USB-C charging port to charge other electronic devices if needed.
The Pivot Shuttle SL is ready to ride, but additional controls and updates can be managed by connecting your smartphone using the Fazua app. The bike offers Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity. The app dashboard will allow you to fine-tune the power, support, and ramp-up settings, among other details.
You’ll find a charging port in front of the bottom bracket to charge the battery. Charging a completely dead battery is said to take just 3.5 hours.
Both wiring and cable routing are internally routed using the Pivot Cable Port System. The system helps keep areas like the rear speed sensor super tidy.
In typically fine-tuned Pivot fashion, the Shuttle SL User Manual provides thorough detail on how to set up and maintain your bike.
Pivot Shuttle SL Frame Details
After all that, it’s almost easy to forget that we haven’t even talked about the frame yet. Built around a 135mm travel dw-link platform, builds will include the option of a 140mm Fox 34 fork and DPS rear shock for the (lightest) World Cup spec or a 150mm Fox 36 fork and Float X rear shocks on the Team, Pro, and Ride level builds.
The Pivot Shuttle SL will roll on 2-inch wheels and tires, with Super Boost 157 x 12mm spacing at the back. Pivot lists tire clearance at 2.4 inches, and all complete builds ship with 29 x 2.4-inch Maxxis tires.
One of the more notable frame details is the integrated battery design. This means you will have to remove the motor from the frame before removing the battery.
According to Pivot’s founder, Chris Cocalis, the fixed battery position “allowed us to build the frame with wall thickness similar to our analog bikes ([like the] Switchblade) and also identical stiffness numbers. We estimate that we saved over a pound (about 0.6kg) by this and have better frame stiffness without the removable battery. It is also quieter than the battery with the release mechanism because there is no latch rattling or movement.
“Finally, it enables the bike to look very traditional (not like an e-bike), which was important for us,” he concluded.
Running a slightly slacker head tube angle than the Trail 429, the Pivot Shuttle SL offers size-specific chainstay lengths for the four frame sizes. A flip chip allows riders to raise the bottom bracket and steepen the head tube angle in the high setting.
As usual for a mountain bike, the frame design accommodates dropper posts. How long of a dropper can you run? Pivot put together an excellent chart that gives both the lowest and maximum saddle height, taking the guesswork out.
Additional frame details include a SRAM Universal Derailleur Hanger and an integrated upper chain guide.
Pivot Cycles Shuttle SL Models & Pricing
Pivot offers Ride, Pro, Team, and Team WC builds; each will be available in Desert Sage Green or Blue Denim.
Pricing starts at $8,299 for the Ride build and tops out at $11,999 for the Team WC. The Pivot Shuttle SL is available now at key Pivot Dealers.