The Firebird has been in Pivot’s lineup for some time now and has been at the receiving end of much praise. So Pivot made a new one with bigger wheels. The Firebird 29 joins one of the fastest growing market segments in mountain biking: long-travel 29ers.
There are some things that are obvious about the new bike: all build kits are based around a full carbon frame, it can take 27.5+ wheels, it has internal cable routing, the bottom bracket is press fit and the bike is only compatible with 1x drivetrains. Then there are some things that are less obvious.
First, the rear-wheel travel is 162 millimeters, serviced by the recognizable dw-link platform. If you are cross-checking against the 27.5er, you’ll notice that this 29-inch version has 8 fewer millimeters of travel. But don’t forget, big wheels usually make up for lost suspension. What will be more interesting to find out is how well the Firebird 29 climbs. We were impressed with the 27.5 Firebird, so the 29er already has a head start. And Pivot has always touted its bikes’ climbing prowess. But we will have to wait to ride one before we can make a definitive statement on that. This leads to the next point though.
A sure-fire way to help a bike with going uphill fast is to make a light bike. In the long-travel 29er market, this has proven to be tough. Nonetheless, Pivot gave it a shot, and complete bikes start at 29.7 pounds. A sub-30 pound, 160-millimeter 29er is impressive.
To make sure those big wheels have plenty of tire clearance (and to fit 27.5+) Pivot outfitted the Firebird 29er with 12 x 157-millimeter ‘Super Boost Plus’ rear hub spacing. Super Boost Plus isn’t new to the Pivot playbook, so this isn’t all that surprising, but the 27.5 Firebird just has regular old Boost, so this is a change. The Firebird 29 is likely to have a stiffer rear end and the new hub spacing gives it tons of tire clearance. It can fit up to 29×2.6-inch or 27.5×2.8-inch rubber.
The wider rear end has been paired with short 431-millimeter chainstays. Up front, the reach is Pivot’s longest yet at 475 millimeters for a size large, which is attached to a 44-millimeter offset, 170-millimeter travel fork.
Finally, on the list of less-obvious updates, is a flip chip located in the upper-link mount. The chip changes the bottom-bracket height by 6 millimeters and adjusts the head angle and seat-tube angle by half a degree. Pivot also sells an optional 17-millimeter headset cup that, when used in conjunction with the high geometry setting and 27.5+ wheels, matches the bottom-bracket height of the 29er in the low setting. Or you could use the headset cup to adjust the geometry even more than the flip chip offers.
And that about sums it up. But to put the icing on the cake, here are the geometry charts and build kits.