For years, riders have been wondering when Pivot would introduce a long travel 29er. Sure, Pivot has always claimed that their bikes ride like they have more travel than they actually do, but consumers still wanted more. Somehow, Pivot has managed to keep this a pretty close secret until now, but it’s official – that long travel 29er is finally here in the form of the new Firebird 29.
Like the Firebird 27.5 before it, the Firebird 29 is meant to be a supremely capable bike. Built with enough travel to tackle the gnarliest trails or days at the bike park, the bike is still meant to be pedaled to the top – maybe even more so than the 27.5 version. Equipped with 170mm up front and 162mm out back, the Firebird 29 is a unique bike worthy of its mythical name.
No big surprise – the Firebird 29 continues the use of dw-link suspension, managing to squeeze out 162mm of rear travel in spite of the big wheels. To ensure appropriate frame stiffness, the Firebird borrows from the Phoenix DH bike in the wider upper and lower links combined with a dual upright rear swing arm design. In order to maximize the performance of the Fox Float X2 rear shock, the frame uses a new mini clevis which allows for a longer Metric shock which has a longer stroke and more volume while also increasing bushing overlap for improved durability. The whole set up is supposed to make the suspension design lighter, more adjustable, and all with increased stiffness. The suspension set up does eliminate the possibility of a water bottle cage inside the main triangle, but you do at least get one on the bottom of the downtube on the armor plate.
Up front, the Firebird comes stock with a 170mm travel Fox 36 with a 44mm offset. If you’d like, Pivot endorses the use of a fork up to 180mm of travel as well.
While the Firebird 29 is designed around a modern long and low geometry, Pivot wanted to provide some additional options in the form of a flip chip. The chip allows for a low and high bottom bracket setting which will allow you to adjust the geometry, or swap from 29″ to 27.5+ wheels and tires.
The other part of that equation once again, is the 17mm lower headset cup extension which comes with the bike. Mostly, the cup is used in conjunction with the high BB setting for use with 27.5+ wheels and tires, but you could also choose to run it in any setting with 29″ wheels and tires if you wanted a slacker ride.
The two main geometries that you’ll see include the Low setting (or 27.5+ setting) with a 13.7″ BB height, or the high setting with a 13.93″ BB height. The chip also changes the head tube and seat tube angles by 1/2 a degree from 65 to 65.5º, and 74.5 to 75º. Built with their longest reach numbers to date, riders have the opportunity to buy a bike based on reach rather than just seat tube height. With S-XL frames, Pivot says the Firebird 29 should fit riders from 5’4″ to 6’2″+.
To go along with that opportunity to choose sizes, Pivot continues their quest for longer dropper posts with a short seat tube and deep post insertion. Even on a 29er with this amount of travel, I was still able to run a full 150mm length dropper which is not always the case for me.
Yes, it is 12 x 157mm Super Boost Plus. This bike, maybe more than any Pivot, highlights the benefits of the standard. Not only does the wider hub make for a 30% stiffer wheel than regular Boost, it also allows for massive tire clearance (29 x 2.6″ or 27.5 x 3.0″), all while keeping the same Q-factor and offering more heel clearance than Pivot’s 142mm pre-boost XC bikes. You have to run at least a 180mm rotor, but on a bike this big that should be standard anyways. The design also allows for short 431mm chain stays even with the massive tire clearance.
At this point most brands have hubs available for the standard and more are on the way, so finding compatible wheels is becoming less of an issue, but for the moment Pivot is still selling these as complete bikes only. The frames also require a crankset with a custom 56mm chainline, though you can get away with the standard Race Face cranks as long as you flip the chainring (which results in a 57mm chainline, but Pivot says it’s OK). This should probably be self explanatory, but the Firebird is 1x only – though it does come stock with a chain guide and features ISCG 05 tabs.
Complete frame weight is said to be 7 pounds (3.2kg), which makes complete builds under 30lbs a possibility. Equipped with the Pivot Cable Port system, cable routing is internal on the Firebird 29 with options for standard or moto-style brake configurations. While the frame does have the battery port for Di2 systems, the frame is not fully Di2 compatible as there is not a wire port from the front triangle to the rear, though you could probably make it work if you tried. Our guess though is that Di2 might be getting a true wireless upgrade in the future which would make this bike Di2 compatible as with the Trail 429.
Offered in two colors, the Firebird 29 comes in 8 configurations including both SRAM and Shimano drivetrains with 29″ wheels. Prices start at $5,099 for the Race XT 1x build, up to $9,199 for the Team XX1 Eagle. Bikes are in stock and available now.