The era of lightweight ebikes is truly upon us and everybody seems to be coming out with new lightweight bikes with better and better integration, Pivot being one of the latest competitors. Enter the Shuttle SL, the smaller sibling of the full-power Shuttle LT. Because the Shuttle SL uses a smaller motor and battery system, Pivot were able to fit it into a much smaller and lighter package, culminating in an ebike that's more playful and manoeuvrable for those that don't need or want the higher power and associated weight penalties.
We honestly think the Shuttle SL might just be the best looking of the bunch right now; if one rode past you on the trail it would be really hard to even tell that it's an ebike, the integration is just that good. Add to that a sensible amount of travel, reasonably progressive geometry and a great spec, the recipe starts looking pretty damn good.
Pivot are known for their unapologetic approach to high-end bike manufacture, and so the Shuttle SL, much like the rest of their lineup, is available in carbon only with no aluminum models. Pivot have clearly put some time into making things look nice with a moulded chainstay protector, extremely tidy cable management and some purposeful looking downtube protection. The Shuttle SL serves up 132mm of DW-Link travel through dual 29" wheels on super-boost 157mm hub spacing.
The lines on the frame really work well, with the top tube flowing into the chainstays and giving the rider a big standover to work with without leaving a really noticeable amount of seat tube. Despite having a battery stored in it the downtube doesn't look any fatter than anything else we've come to expect these days with downtube storage becoming the norm. The squared off front triangle tubes look somewhat industrial without standing out like a sore thumb and the shock tucks neatly towards the seat tube leaving plenty of space in the front triangle for a full sized water bottle.
The heart of Pivot's Shuttle SL is of course the drive system. Where the Shuttle LT uses a full-power Shimano system with the EP8 motor, the SL uses Fazua's lightweight Ride 60 system. Weighing in at 4.2kg for the complete battery and motor system vs 5.8kg for a Shimano system, the SL immediately drops 1.6kg or 3.5lbs over its full power sibling. Maybe even more important however is the form factor of the motor, where the casing around the crank spindle is barely bigger than a 30mm BB shell and so means a really discrete BB area and importantly, lots of room for pivots and shorter chainstays while minimising structural carbon, making for a lighter bike.
Despite the drive system being smaller and lighter than many competitors, the output numbers are pretty damn impressive. The motor puts out 60Nm of torque and a maximum 350W continuous power output and a peak output of 450W while the battery can store 430Wh of capacity. Compare that to the Levo SL where we're looking at 35Nm torque, 240W peak power and 320Wh storage capacity at roughly the same total bike weight, that's seriously impressive. A neat little trick that the Fazua motor has is drag-free pedalling, meaning if you're having too much fun and run out of juice, the bike can still be pedalled easily.
Suspension and Geometry
Not only does the Shuttle SL toe the line of lightweight and power really well, it also has a really well balanced suspension and geometry package, serving up 132mm of DW-Link driven rear suspension with a 150mm Fox 36 fork up front, it's an ideal bike for all-around trail riding, capable of most things BC can throw at you, save for those super gnarly lines and massive features. Known for its pedalling efficiency DW Link delivers a supple yet progressive ride perfect for a bike like this where suspension performance is more important than on say a bike with more travel or a bigger motor.
In terms of geometry, the Shuttle SL uses Pivot's Progressive Trail Geometry; slack enough to inspire confidence without having a ton of wheel flop. Long enough to be stable but still corner well. We're looking at a 65.5º head angle with a 76.5º seat tube angle and a flip chip to make thing lower/slacker if needed bringing that head angle down to 65º and seat tube to 76º. Reach is a roomy but not crazy 469mm in a medium and 482mm in a large. Chainstays measure between 430mm and 436mm depending on size.
Sizes and Spec
The Shuttle SL comes in four sizes (SM-XL) with two colours and four spec levels to choose from. Starting at the Ride SLX/XT build level the bike gets a Fox Performance ebike 36 fork and Float X shock, Shimano SLX drivetrain and brakes with an XT derailleur, Praxis cranks, E-Thirteen Vario dropper post and DT Swiss M1900 wheels. The spec seen here is the Pro X01 build and gets Fox Factory 36 and Float X suspension, a full Sram X01 mechanical drivetrain, Shimano XT brakes, Fox Factory Transfer dropper post Rotor Kapic cranks and DT Swiss XM1700 wheels. Moving up to the Team XTR spec it upgrades to a full Shimano XTR drivetain and brakeset with carbon Reynolds Blacklabel wheels with Industry Nine Hydra hubs.
Top of the line is the World Cup XTR build that aims to reduce weight by speccing a Fox Factory 34 fork, DPS shock, XTR drivetrain and brakes, Ks Lev Ci carbon dropper and the same Reynolds/I9 wheels. All bikes get a Maxxis Dissector tire combo whereas the World Cup build gets Maxxis Rekons for maximum speed and efficiency. This build comes in at around 36lbs whereas the more practical Pro X01 build shown here comes in at a more realistic 38lbs.