This summer, Pivot finally upgraded their LES hardtail into a properly lightweight XC race bike…at the expense of their Swinger II adjustable dropouts. That meant no more singlespeed option with what was arguably one of the best sliding dropouts on the market. Until now. The new LES Singlespeed gets the same new SL frame, but brings back the Swinger II dropouts for a fully modern, and much lighter, one-geared mountain bike. And you can still add a derailleur…
What’s new? What’s not?
Really, the LES SS is simply the LES SL frame with different rear dropouts. That means the frame has dropped a couple hundred grams using the same metal-removal strategies as the SL. As in, they took out any metal that didn’t need to be there. No alloy sleeve bonded into the bottom bracket shell, very few alloy parts at the cable ports, and a recessed carbon headset cup that holds the lower bearings directly in the frame.
Even the Swinger II dropouts minimized the metal by using the carbon frame as the back plate for the slider.
The frame keeps all of the cable ports, hiding everything inside. There’s room for a remote dropper seatpost, the rear brake, and even derailleur cables or Di2 wires because…
You can bolt a derailleur hanger onto the Swinger II dropout if you want to convert this to a geared bike. There’s even Shimano Sideswing front derailleur cable routing…just in case. The Swinger II dropout holds a Boost 148mm spaced hub with standard threaded thru axle. The axle’s position is held with two oversized bolts on either side, and you change it by loosening them and turning the indexed positioning screws on the back of each dropout.
The benefit of the this design is that it doesn’t change your BB position relative to your saddle as you tension the chain. It does change the chainstay length slightly, and should have enough swing to accommodate a 3-4 tooth spread on the rear cog before you need to add/subtract chain links.
What’s the Pivot LES SS spec?
The LES SS comes in one build only, and only as a 29er. It gets Stan’s NoTubes Crest wheels with Maxxis Ardent Race tires (2.35″ up front, 2.20 in the rear comes stock, but max rear tire clearance is 2.35″). The drivetrain is a Race Face Aeffect R alloy crankset with 32-tooth CINCH 11-speed chainring, paired with an 18-tooth Wolf Tooth Components cog with metal spacers to position it. It’s using a Shimano 11-speed chain, which helps save weight over the wider, burlier chains often found on singlespeed bikes. This means it’s narrower, so there should be less “wiggle” on the cog, which should reduce system wear and help keep the chain from dropping.
It gets a carbon Pivot handlebar and rigid seatpost, alloy Pivot stem and non-twistable lock-on grips. XT M8100 2-piston “race” brakes, a WTB Volt saddle and Fox Factory 32 Stepcast fork with remote lockout round out the package.
Claimed frame weight is 2.96lb (1,346g) for size medium. It’s available in S/M/L/XL. Retail is $4,699 for the complete bike, or get a frame-only for $2,099 or frame kit (frame, fork, headset) for $3,099.