Pivot reworks its Shuttle e-bike with more travel, lighter weight and ‘cheaper’ models
Can the Pivot Shuttle match the Specialized Turbo Levo on performance? And what does spending a staggering £9k on a bike get you?
Pivot Shuttle need to know
- Shuttle is the Pivot e-bike with DW-Link suspension and 140mm travel
- Bigger up front, with a 160mm travel Fox fork and 44mm fork offset
- Shimano Steps E8000 motor with external battery concealed inside frame
- Two models, Race for £6,999 and Team at £9,099
Pivot Shuttle first ride review
The Pivot Shuttle is one of the most expensive e-bike we’ve ever ridden. At £9,099 for the top-end Team version, it’s only matched on price by the range-topping S-Works Turbo Levo from Specialized.
First up though, some Pivot Shuttle facts. The bike isn’t strictly new, it’s really a reworked bike, after Pivot first launched it two years ago. The original bike also cost around £9999 but it came with 27.5in Plus wheels and tyres. The new Shuttle comes with 29er wheels, although you could slide Plus in there if you like.
Why change? Pivot says it has listened to feedback from the market and performed a little nip and tuck. They’ve ditched the Di2 electric shifting the old bike boasted and, together with the wheel size change that means Pivot has lopped 600g off the weight, which was already super lightweight for an e-bike.
Which brings us to the first advantage spending £10k gets you — the lightest e-bike available… nearly. This Team version is 20.29kg, Pivot says, while the Specialized Turbo Levo S-Works is a claimed 300g lighter. We’re splitting hairs there though, this is one impressively lightweight bike.
The Pivot Shuttle’s power comes from Shimano, and this Team build here features the E8000 motor and drivetrain. This is a proven and reliable system, and the latest Shimano switch unit is a joy to use with its simple up and down soft-touch buttons.
The Shuttle’s frame is a work of art too, with the 500Wh external battery hidden cleverly inside the downtube, just as Intense did with the Intense Tazer. Pivot houses the battery behind a big carbon plate that’s secured with eight bolts, meaning it’ll take you a while to swap out the battery — not great if you’ve invested in a second battery for long rides.
It is a good move for saving weight though, Pivot says, because the external battery is in fact lighter than an internal battery. The faceplate is integral to the frame and makes the bike stiffer, it’s claimed, while the frame also uses Super Boost plus, with 157mm rear hub spacing that delivers a really stiff ride. That’s 30% stiffer than conventional boost, Pivot says.
Still, it’s a shame not to see a fully integrated battery system with a custom design when you’re paying this much money.
If you don’t want to pay £9k for a Shuttle, you’re in luck, Pivot now makes a Pivot Shuttle Race version for £6,999. The US brand says part of the feedback it received was that the price needed to come down, so the Team version sports the same frame and 500Wh battery, just with cheaper Shimano E7000 components and Fox Performance suspension instead of Factory. It’s hardly a budget option though, at £7,000 the Pivot Shuttle Race is still one of the most expensive e-bikes we’ve tried.
It’s the DW-link suspension platform though where Pivot really hopes to differentiate itself from the competition, and drive a wedge between it and the Turbo Levo. The bike gets 140mm travel, which is pretty meagre for an e-bike and for an enduro bike, but that doesn’t hold it back — this bike is smooth as butter descending. Climbing back up the hills, Shuttling if you like, feels really efficient too.
The Shuttle uses a DPX2 shock with a custom e-bike tune — this basically means they’ve changed the compression damping circuit to allow for the extra weight. Perhaps too much though — I was unable to get full travel on the shock, with the correct air pressure. It’ll take some more fettling with volume reducing spacers and setup time to really figure out the Shuttle then.
There are no such niggles up front though, the Fox Factory 36 suspension fork is a great addition to the bike, taking travel up to 160mm from 150mm.
What else do you get for £9k then? Shimano XTR drivetrain, a 10 year frame warranty, a good spread of sizes — I rode the biggest, size XL with a 484mm reach that’s my ideal size for an e-bike.
It’s mega light, looks stunning and the build spares no expense. Is that enough to outclass the Turbo Levo? Probably not, the Specialized has more power, but if you’re looking for a rare and exotic bird, the Pivot Shuttle is a beautiful choice.