35 years ago, Chris Cocalis planted the seeds that would eventually give rise to Pivot Cycles. Only back then, it was with a fledgling bike company started by Alan Vaughn called Sun Eagle Bicycle Works. It was here that Cocalis would learn how to build frames with help from Vaughn, which yielded the Sun Eagle Talon.
At the time, the frame was (and still is) a wild design with elevated chainstays that essentially connected to the head tube, and a top tube that didn’t actually reach the head tube. The pink frame shown above is production frame #2 according to MOMBAT, and was built by Alan Vaughn and Chris Cocalis.
After taking in the neon pink tubes, you notice the whimsical mountain bikers painted all over the frame. As the story goes, Chris had the frame powder-coated pink and then handed it off to Dino at Zooloo Graphics (who also did some of the finish work for Fat Chance at the time). Chris didn’t have any idea what to expect, and Dino surprised him with the cyclist cartoon characters.
Built in 1989, this particular bike has been down the waterfall at South Mountain more than 100 times according to Chris, who rode it daily before school (the thought of riding this bike down the Waterfall is frankly terrifying). This same bike has also been hit by a Camaro, leading Chris to angrily shout, “Where’s my Oakleys!?,” before realizing that his ankle was severely broken. We’ve all been there, right?
Somehow, the bike is still in one piece though it was just a frame and fork until recently. After deciding to create a special edition Switchblade, Cocalis decided it was time to rebuild the frame into a complete bike. Fortunately, they found a brand new 1989 Fuji that had just been traded in at Absolute Bikes in Salida, CO. The Talon is still running the original Fat Chance fork, but most of the build kit was sourced from that Fuji.
35th Anniversary Talon (Switchblade)
But we can’t all have our own Sun Eagle Talon, so to pay homage to the original bike, Pivot is offering 300 limited-edition Switchblades.
Available in Team and Pro Builds in both SRAM or Shimano and all with carbon wheels, the Talon 35th Anniversary bikes carry a $200 premium over the standard build which works out to retail prices of $9,199 to $11,599.
If you miss out on one of those 300 bikes, or don’t want to spend the $10k, you can still get your Talon fix with a limited-edition hat and water bottle. If you want the matching hip pack and shades, you’ll have to get those straight from Wave or Pit Viper.
For more on the history of Pivot Cycles, this piece written by Richard Cunningham is a must-read.