Pivot has dropped this inbetweener AM model into the Shuttle range. Carrying the 'all-mountain' tag, it promises to split the difference between the lightweight SL and hard-hitting LT.
Finale Ligure, Italy, the outdoor region famed for its 1000km trail network all within riding distance of the picturesque coastal town. The ideal place to launch an uplift dodging e-bike? Pivot certainly thinks so, as it reimagines the Shuttle AM.
Need to know
- Full carbon 29er e-bike with Bosch Performance CX motor
- 148mm rear travel, 160mm (optimised) fork travel
- 750Wh integrated batteries on Pro and Team models
- Optional frame mounted 250Wh Bosch range extender
- Claimed weight 21.7kg (Team model)
- All models use SRAM T-Type Transmissions
- Frame mounted Pivot/Topeak Tool Dock option
It pairs a 160mm travel fork to 148mm rear travel, which uses a reworked DW-link suspension design. In fact it’s the final Pivot bike to receive the updated vertical shock layout that’s now a signature feature across the range.
It also blends some traits from Pivot’s analogue bikes. The geometry is pretty close to the Firebird, but with travel numbers and the poppier nature of the Switchblade the Shuttle AM retains a more dynamic ride characteristic.
And the vertical shock layout isn’t just about continuity in Pivot’s design language. It also creates more space within the front triangle for a full size water bottle, or the aftermarket 250Wh Bosch PowerMore range extender. Which takes the total battery capacity of the Shuttle AM Pro and Team to a whopping 1KWh.
Motor and battery
In the UK the Shuttle AM will be offered in Pro and Team builds and both get the larger 750Wh battery. The Team bikes also gets Bosch’s CX Race spec motor with its lighter casing and Race mode with extended overrun. Both models get the new wireless MiniRemote. This does away with a screen of any kind, with your selected mode being indicated by a change in LED colour on the control unit that’s integrated into the top tube. And while it’s definitely a step in the right direction, it pales in comparison to the Mastermind TCU displays that Specialized has on its latest e-bikes.
Also, for some riders, the integrated battery will be a deal breaker. Mondraker uses a similar approach to great success on the Crafty Carbon to keep the weight in check, but you’ll need power where you store the bike just to keep the LEDs on.
The size range on the Shuttle AM runs from S to XL, with reach numbers that stretch from 435mm to 500mm respectively. Regardless of the frame size the chainstay lengths remain consistent at 444mm, so not crazy short. The frame has a flip-chip and the head angle sits at a stable 64.5º in the high position, where dropping it to the slow setting knocks the head angle back to 64.1º and lowers the BB height by 5mm to 345mm.
The frame also has a 200mm direct mount for the rear rotor, so there’s now the option to go up to 220mm if extra stopping power is needed. And I was happy to see that Pivot has finally ditched the Galfer rotors, as the stock Shimano rotors are way better at dissipating heat, and offer more consistent braking performance as a result. A move that’s also been implemented on the Shuttle LT.
How it rides
And now for the important part. It was obvious even after the first couple of trails that the Shuttle AM is very similar to its analogue stablemates, at least in the way it holds pace even when off the pedals. The DW-link suspension platform provides a strong base to allow riders to be able to pump and work the bike through flowing terrain easily, without coming up short when the going gets rough, confidently eating larger hits and keeping its posture.
When it comes to initiating a turn, e-bikes can often feel cumbersome. That is not the case here. The Shuttle AM has the impressive ability to completely mask its weight and wheel size. As such, it’s eager to change direction in a way you’d expect from a bike with a smaller rear wheel. Bike test ed Muldoon had a similar experience on the Shuttle LT, so obviously it’s a trait that’s baked into the carbon DNA of these bikes.
With its relatively slack 64.1º head angle (low setting) the steering is predictable, but gently pushing with your heels while making a light adjustment to the handlebar can have the bike dancing through the turns. And even with the high degree of lateral stiffness that’s inherent with twin-link designs like the DW-link suspension, the Shuttle AM doesn’t kick back or skip over flatter turns. Instead, it’s easy to carve smooth arcs across the landscape, wherever you aim to draw them.
The top quality rubber really helps you leave your mark on the landscape too. With a Maxxis Minion DHF up front paired to a DHR II on the rear, both in EXO+ casings, traction is good, even if hard chargers will be happy to suck up the weight penalty of a Double Down casing tyre on the rear for increased puncture protection. Armour that will also help protect the DT Swiss rims fitted to the Pro build.
I was impressed by how well this tyre combination reliably provided great traction while still being able to fend off the Finale rocks without qualm. Testament to how well the suspension works. Yes, there were times when I winced, fearing the worst, but my day on the Shuttle AM remained puncture free. And for anyone familiar with the region they will understand that’s quite an achievement.
And it’s not lost on me that the weight penalty of heavier casing tyres is the main reason for Pivot’s choice, the top end Team build, complete with Newmen carbon wheels, weighing in at an impressive 21.7kg in size medium.
Being an e-bike, the added weight of the battery and motor are easily masked by the extra power they provide while climbing. However, the Shuttle AM climbs with an air of confidence I haven’t felt for some time, even by e-bike standards. It finds traction on loose gravel, square edge rocks and roots, where other bikes would probably spin out. And the seat tube angle isn’t crazy steep, at 76.4º (in the low setting) it places you in a neutral position for turning the pedals, leaving the rear suspension to find traction and propel you forward without any kicking or screaming. As such it’s a great point-and-shoot climber even over jagged, technical terrain.
Pivot has traditionally flown the blue Shimano flag, but with the switch to Bosch motors all models in the Shuttle AM range use SRAM’s latest direct mount AXS Eagle drivetrains. Taking full benefit of the improved shifting under load. The SRAM XO kit mounted to the Pro build moved with a firm reassuring clunk as you shift up or down the massive 10-52T cassette. It remained faultless all day and alongside the Bluetooth mode selector from Bosch, the cockpit area is freed of another cable, providing a very tidy appearance.
When the trails start to head in a more gravity fed direction, the Shuttle AM strides with confidence into terrain that its travel numbers might raise an eyebrow at, but it consistently comes out on top.
The revised DW-link is a marvel, and gives the rider plenty of confidence to raise speeds without fear of being beaten into hamstring burning submission. The suspension feels smooth throughout the stroke of the Float X shock and it’s a bike I can see performing equally well both in bike parks and longer, exploratory days out in the saddle.
My only disappointment then was that with over 45k of singletrack beneath the wheels, I never felt like I had reached the limitations of the Shuttle AM, so it’s a bike I’d love to spend more time on.
Pivot's latest generation Shuttle AM embodies the true spirit of all-mountain riding. From sessioning the bike park to long haul all-day epics it's an engaging and confidence inspiring e-bike that slots neatly into the three model Shuttle range.