All-new Pivot Vault gravel bike lets you customize your seatpost flex

The Pivot Vault is Pivot’s all-rounder drop bar bike, tasked with covering gravel, cyclocross and road. Thus far, it’s been just that, something that worked for everything without specializing in any one. Now, for 2020, it finally finds its focus: Gravel.

And it does so in a very unique way, giving the rider the ability to tune the ride feel, and mount more things to the frame. But not too much, this is, after all, meant to race.

“Unrivaled Gravel Speed, Uncompromising Versatility”

The all-new Vault features a host of improvements over the original. Tire clearance is significantly improved with provision for 700c x 45mm and 650b / 27.5″ x 2″, and “pro-caliber” power transfer with ride-tuned frame compliance come together for what Pivot claims, is “the fastest thing to hit backcountry roads”.

Adding to the bike industry’s favorite C word – Compliance – is Comfort, which comes courtesy of Pivot’s patent pending “ISO Flex” technology – think isolation of the seatpost from the frame and you get the idea.

Pivot claims this tech alone will provide a noticeable measure of comfort over dreaded washboard / corrugations – experienced gravel cyclists are well aware of this nasty dirt and gravel road phenomenon.

Key Features of the all-new Pivot Vault

“Next-generation” CX / gravel / road geometry is claimed to benefit riders across any road surface.

The increased tire clearance comes in let from a dropped driveside chainstay, which adds the ability to clear sub-compact chainrings, traditional road gearing and 1x systems. On the other side is clearance for most crankarm-based power meters such as Stages.

The dropped stays are connected to the massive BB386EVO bottom bracket junction, which handily jams one’s power into the drivetrain.

In keeping the frame looking neat and tidy in 1x mode, the front derailleur mount is removable with an integrated cover. Also neat and tidy is how Pivot deals with Di2 internal battery installations.

The traditional internal seatpost battery position is shifted to the bottom of the frame, accessed through an oversized battery port beneath the bottom bracket, which also comes in handy for the routing of cables.

All cables and hoses running to the back of the frame are internal, using their own ports to hold everything tight.

The Vault’s full-carbon tapered steerer tube fork receives the internalized treatment, too.

Above and below, it wouldn’t be 2019 / 2020 if brake calipers weren’t flat mounted And wheels didn’t use 12mm thru axles. The Vault gets both.

No matter the parts spec (there are two, more about that below), the Pivot Vault hits the skids with 160mm brake rotors front and rear.

About that “ISO Flex”

The Pivot’s “ISO Flex” technology supports 27.2mm or 30.9 seatposts, including support for a dropper seatpost.

Pivot accomplishes this with the choice of two differently sized rubberized seattube inserts.

In a nutshell, the insert is positioned into the seattube of the frame, and secured in place with a lockring compatible with Shimano’s Hollowtech II bottom bracket tool. Then, a seatpost clamp slides over the top of the insert, and finally, the seatpost slides into position.

With the seatpost isolated from the frame but taking away none of it’s claimed stiffness where it counts, a rider can enjoy less of a gravel beatdown on the road less traveled.

Much of the Pivot Vault’s stiffness comes from its full-carbon frame featuring proprietary hollow core internal molding technology – high stiffness to weight – and a claimed weight of 998 grams (assuming the smallest sized frame).

The Vault’s “ISO Flex” technology isn’t the only culprit smoothing out the ride – specific tube shapes and carbon layups help mitigate the bumps and keep the Vault stable.

The Vault also features hidden fender mounts and mounting points on the top tube for a compatible bag of your choice. The Dark Speed Works Speedpack 483 happens to be my preferred choice.

Looking from atop the downtube.
Fender mount behind the fork.
Mounting points for the removable fender mount are discreet!
The Vault is suspension corrected, shown with the Fox AX fork.
Proper clearance, no need for a spacer around the bottom cup.

Video with Ron of Pivot Cycles


Pivot Vault Build Specifications

Pivot Vault Ultegra – $US 5,199 (Frame / Fork is $US 2,699)

  • Front Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra 8000 Mechanical
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra RX Mechanical (features a clutch that can be turned on and off)
  • Shifters: Shimano Ultegra R8020 11-speed Mechanical / Hydraulic Braking
  • Brakes: Shimano Ultegra R8020 Disc Calipers
  • Brake Rotors: Shimano XT RT81 Centerlock, 160mm Front and Rear
  • Crankset: Praxis Zayante M30, 48T/32T Chainrings, 172.5mm
  • Chain: Shimano CN-HG600 11-Speed
  • Cassette: Shimano 105 R7000 11-32T
  • Wheels: DT Swiss CR 1600 Spline, 22mm internal width
  • Tyres: Maxxis Rambler 700c x 40mm TR Skinwall with Stan’s Sealant
  • Handlebar: Easton EC70 AX
  • Stem: Phoenix Team 31.8mm
  • Saddle: Phoenix WTB Race Volt
  • Seatpost: Phoenix Carbon 27.2mm
  • Colours: Slate Blue and Sandstone
Shimano Ultegra / Praxis 2x Drivetrain

Pivot Vault Force AXS eTap – $US 6,699 (Frame / Fork is $US 2,699)

  • Front Derailleur: N/A – 1x
  • Rear Derailleur: SRAM Force AXS eTap 12-Speed
  • Shifters: SRAM Force AXS eTap
  • Brakes: SRAM Force Disc Calipers
  • Brake Rotors: SRAM Centerline Centerlock, 160mm Front and Rear
  • Crankset: SRAM Force 1 DUB 36T, 172.5mm
  • Chain: SRAM Force 12-Speed
  • Cassette: SRAM Force XG-1270 10-33T
  • Wheels: Reynolds ATR X Carbon, 23mm internal width
  • Tyres: Maxxis Rambler 700c x 40mm TR Skinwall with Stan’s Sealant
  • Handlebar: Easton EC70 AX
  • Stem: Phoenix Team 31.8mm
  • Saddle: Phoenix WTB Race Volt
  • Seatpost: Phoenix Carbon 27.2mm
  • Colours: Slate Blue and Sandstone

Reynolds ATR X Carbon Gravel Wheels
SRAM Force eTap Shifters

Pivot Cycles

Article first appeared on Gravel Cyclist. Jayson O’Mahoney is the Gravel Cyclist: A website about the Gravel Cycling Experience.


  1. I don’t see how the seat tube arrangement would be patentable.

    Not a fan of the cheesy looking graphics, but the use of BB386EVO is awesome.
    The front center distance is fine for road tires, but too short for off road tires.

    Why are we seeing a lot of frames with cable ports on both the side and top of the top tube? Why have ports in both places?

  2. The blue is pretty nice.

    The nested seat post design is pretty clever. What’s the expected longevity of the rubber (elastomer?) used in the seat tube insert? Will there be spares available?

    • When running a smaller diameter post, the extra space inside the seat tube is taken up with a thicker elastomer insert, which has more “squish” available for vibration damping and compliance. In addition, the smaller post will intrinsically have more flex (as in the post flexing like a diving board), which applies to all bikes, not just this one, and is why Cannondale downsized to 25.4 posts on their road bikes several years ago.

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