SOC16: Pivot LES 29 gets lighter, stiffer, and can get fatter

Pivot LES 29 hard tail plus di2 carbon hard tail race bike actual weightIMG_3452

What do you do to an already fast carbon hard tail to make it better? If you are from the Cocalis school of bike design, you make it lighter and better performing at the same time as making it more versatile. Carbon hard tails certainly appeal to the racer crowd, but now with the addition of plus size tires, that same bike all of a sudden provides and interesting mix of build combinations…

First introduced 3 years ago, the Pivot LES (get it, pivot-less?) was due for an upgrade. According to Chris Cocalis, “the new bike incorporates a lot of things we pioneered on the original bike. Things like the slack (at the time) 69.5º head tube angle.” Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 10.42.11 PM

That makes for a race bike with a 69.5º HTA, 72.5º STA, and 17.1″ chain stays at their shortest setting. Calling it new school World Cup geometry, Pivot and their racers maintain that it allows them to ride more aggressively on tricky sections of the course while still racing up the climbs.

Pivot LES 29 hard tail plus di2 carbon hard tail race bike actual weightIMG_3436 Pivot LES 29 hard tail plus di2 carbon hard tail race bike actual weightIMG_3438

Pivot LES 29 hard tail plus di2 carbon hard tail race bike actual weightIMG_3440 Pivot LES 29 hard tail plus di2 carbon hard tail race bike actual weightIMG_3439

Pivot LES 29 hard tail plus di2 carbon hard tail race bike actual weightIMG_3443 Pivot LES 29 hard tail plus di2 carbon hard tail race bike actual weightIMG_3441

In addition to squeezing 50g out of the frame from the previous model, the new bike incorporates Pivot’s Cable Port system that allows easy internal cable routing for 1x, 2x, and mechanical or electronic drivetrains. For the latter, it also adds their battery port to the bottom of the downtube to tuck the Shimano  Di2 battery into the bottom of the seat tube. You’ll still find a PF92 bottom bracket and Zerostack headset, and the fame includes all of the caps, ports, and plugs.

Out back, the frame is equipped with Boost 148 dropouts through their Swinger Dropout II system. The bikes will come stock with the adjustable dropouts but in a fixed position. Pivot will sell single speed hardware kits to allow for the adjustability, but since the new kits include fewer pieces, the pricing drops to around $50 for the kit. As Cocalis puts it, “this is the easiest and most secure single speed system on the market.” To back that up, each side has a single adjustment screw with indexed clicks and no need for jam nuts or other parts. The detents allow you to count the clicks to get perfect wheel alignment as well.

 

Pivot LES 29 hard tail plus di2 carbon hard tail race bike actual weightIMG_3456 Pivot LES 29 hard tail plus di2 carbon hard tail race bike actual weightIMG_3453

Pivot LES 29 hard tail plus di2 carbon hard tail race bike actual weightIMG_3455 Pivot LES 29 hard tail plus di2 carbon hard tail race bike actual weightIMG_3447

The 2x capability it built in with a removable front derailleur mount that includes a stealthy port cover when not in use. The FD mount includes ports for electronic derailleurs and Shimano Sideswing. At the rear the frame will have the option of standard or direct mount rear derailleur hangers and is 148x12mm thru axle for both geared and single speed use (Boost single speed hubs are on the horizon?).

Pivot LES 29 hard tail plus di2 carbon hard tail race bike actual weightIMG_3446

Pivot LES 29 hard tail plus di2 carbon hard tail race bike actual weightIMG_3450 Pivot LES 29 hard tail plus di2 carbon hard tail race bike actual weightIMG_3448

Another big advantage to the Swinger Dropout II system is that it allows for chain stay length adjustment so the frame can accommodate 27.5 x 2.8″ tires. Given the Mach 429 Trail’s ability to do just that it’s not incredibly surprising that the LES would include this ability. Shown with a 2.8″ Ikon, there is enough clearance around the stays to make it work comfortably.

Pivot LES 29 hard tail plus di2 carbon hard tail race bike actual weightIMG_3468

Better still, the new LES has already been on the top step of the podium, piloted by Stan’s Notubes-Pivot racer Rose Grant at the Fontana Pro XCT. While Rose mentions she sometimes chooses her Mach 429 over the hardtail for certain races, her winning LES is set up with Shimano Di2 1x, Stan’s Valor wheels, and Maxxis Ikon 29 x 2.2″ tires.

Pivot LES 29 hard tail plus di2 carbon hard tail race bike actual weightIMG_3458 Pivot LES 29 hard tail plus di2 carbon hard tail race bike actual weightIMG_3459

On the scale, a medium frame with the single speed dropout system which is heavier than the geared dropout weighed in at 1390g, while the complete bike pictured with mechanical XTR 1x and carbon DT Swiss wheels was just over 20 lbs at 20.11 (9.11kg). Pivot claims that a small built with XX1 comes in somewhere under 20 lbs, with the small frameset with all the parts measuring 1295g.

Available with a whopping 10 build kits in 29″ alone with prices starting just under 3k with a Fox Step Cast fork, Pivot will also have at least one plus build for the bike available in the future (no Step Cast for plus).

pivotcycles.com

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

15 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Collin
Collin
6 years ago

Any word on price? I really like the old frame, but the price is crazy compared to so many other carbon hard tails on the market. The interchangeable dropout configuration can’t cost that much.

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
6 years ago
Reply to  Collin

There’s builds around $3k, it’s at the bottom

Groghunter
Groghunter
6 years ago

Alright, either bike manufacturers are being dumb(certainly possible) or I’m missing something: with so many crank manufacturers going to 30mm spindles, why would you keep building bikes with 41mm BB shells like BB92? Heck, they’re even running a 30mm spindle crank on this bike, & the bearing life on 41mm shell to 30mm spindle is known to be severely compromised, not to mention that there’s no room for a thread-together BB. I just don’t get it, why wouldn’t you start basing your bikes around one of the standards that has a 46mm shell?

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
6 years ago
Reply to  Groghunter

I don’t like the idea either. I’ve been successfully running a 30mm spindle on a BB92 TT bike for over 5000 miles and it’s been fine but I’m expecting it to fail but maybe it won’t?

Groghunter
Groghunter
6 years ago
Reply to  Veganpotter

Part of what seems insane about it to me, is it’s a completely different thing to change to 30mm as the user, than it is to spec it on a bike you’re selling. somebody fries those tiny BB bearings quickly, both the manufacturer that specced it & the shop incur cost.

The other side of the equation being, if you can’t spec 30mm cranks, even last year, but especially this year, options are getting slim. Race face makes one crank in 24mm. all FSAs new stuff is 30mm only. Heck, you’ve got a case here, where they have next cranks on this bike, because they’re hugely desirable when you’re shaving pounds on an XC bike, but their either not going to sell them this way, or they’re gambling on having to warranty a bunch of BBs. Just seems crazy.

IJuan2Believe
IJuan2Believe
6 years ago

You know what ??? LES is MORE !!! 🙂 I might just have to ride a fattie !!! 😉

Ryan
Ryan
6 years ago

Wow. It’s not often that I see a bike or frameset and immediately want it, but this one falls into that category. Geometry isn’t too radical. Multiple build options. This is cool…

OneLegDuck
OneLegDuck
6 years ago

As for the BB92 w/ BB30 spindle, FSA uses same size balls as their BB30 BB. They do not press bearings in a shell since the shell is the bearing. When it wears out you replace the entire BB. As far as I know, their BB 392EVO is not having wear issues. However I could be wrong since I have not heard anything. I think it’s a non-issue.

Groghunter
Groghunter
6 years ago
Reply to  OneLegDuck

Hmmm, I wonder. I know that I see VERY few BB92 bikes specced with 30mm spindles from the factory. Devinici, for example, either uses RF’s one 24mm spindle(aeffect) or SRAM GXP stuff. I think my biggest objection is it means you can’t go to a screw-together BB if you have creaking issues.

Less of an issue for me, as I’m not that fussed if I can’t have a 30mm axle crank, while it might be nice to try one of the new RF or FSA options, SRAM keeps making every crank in a GXP version, & I’m good with that. If I decide to go carbon, those new Descendant carbon cranks at 587g will float my boat just fine.

But I still can’t help asking myself: what’s wrong with 46mm BB shells that keeps these guys on BB92, when everything is going 30mm? Surely 46mm seems like the more compatible shell?

missedthepoint
missedthepoint
6 years ago
Reply to  Groghunter

Well, a 46mm shell leaves 5 less mm for chainstays than a 41mm shell…

I think a lot of brands go 30mm cause it’s much cheaper to work with alloy than it is with a 24mm cro-moly spindle, especially when it comes to making those threads and splines. Think it’s just a mfg cheap out…

OneLegDuck
OneLegDuck
6 years ago

As for this new frame, the 27 Plus w/ a dropper post would make this a pretty sick ride up and down the trail. Too bad they will rarely be in stock when bring them in. Come on Chris, beef up your stock sucka. I’ve tried to buy a Pivot twice in the last three years and gave up since they were never available. End up going to your competitors and have not owned a Pivot yet.

Joey B
Joey B
6 years ago

@OneLegDuck – larges & mediums are available now! Small & XL available at the end of April/first of May. Go to your local Pivot dealer and order one. Best riding hard tail out there:)

packfill
packfill
6 years ago

And Pivot continues to make frames with reach dimensions from 15 years ago…

Glen
Glen
6 years ago

They made the SS for a hub that’s not even out yet? And for the price I would expect titanium bolts throughout…those M8’s in stainless are heavy.

Mayo
Mayo
6 years ago

Onyx has SS specific hubs in boost width. The alloy shell versions should be shipping now, as well.