PIVOT Les 29“er : Out Of The Box: by Thomas Hebestreit & c_g

And here comes another exciting bike for review on TNI. After having had the pleasure to ride their Mach 429c  last year (here)– one of the best and most versatile 100 mm dual suspension 29″ers we know, we have the privilege to ride their only other 29″er – the PIVOT Les hard tail.


PIVOT Cycles  is a pretty small, but highly innovative company out of Phoenix, Arizona and has made themselves a reputation for always working on the cutting edge of what is possible and doing so with the utmost attention to detail. Something we are keen to look into with the Les as well. Grannygear and c_g paid them a short visit in ´13 (here). Of course the premium carbon frame is the No. 1 feature of the bike. It is executed in a elaborate and state-of-the-art Double Mold Technology which allows them to control over compaction and provides super smooth surfaces inside and out.








At about 1150g (2.53lbs) for the bare frame, it is very light yet Chris Cocalis said it is intentionally not built to the very limit, because it is not only intended as a race day frame but also to be ridden hard on a day to day basis. Another indication for that claim is that it is officially eligible for forks up to 120 mm (!).


Looking at the PIVOT Les it does not appear to be very forgiving, yet PIVOT claims it to be one of the most comfortable hard tail frames existing – thanks to the clever construction and purposeful carbon lay-up. This is something we will certainly keep a keen eye on, as that is a claim we have heard just too often.

9-PIVOT-Les-SS-Ausfallenden-e1397828008285When designing the Les PIVOT wanted something super versatile. A pure breed XC-racer? Yes! A all around fast bike? Sure! A trail hard tail? Well, that, too. Maybe even all of the above in a clean single speed version? Since you are asking – even that is included in the in Les´ design. Which brings me to mention another highlight of the LES frame: Their patented „Swinger Adjustable Dropout System“: In our geared frame you have to look twice to even recognize the full carbon X12 thru-axle dropouts as being separate units, but they can be exchanged (e.g. in case of an accident).

Super clean looks for sure. For turning the frame into a specific single speeder, the dropouts can be swapped with a set of alloy adjustable quick release ones. By integrating the post mount disc mounts right into the dropouts, the chain tension can be adjusted without the need for further adjustments. A special feature of these adjustable dropouts is an indexed tension screw, which makes for an easy alignment of each side by counting clicks.3-PIVOT-Les-Swinger

Good stuff, even though it adds quite a bit of weight (if I recall correctly in the range of about 100g). To make the lines of the LES really clean when in single speed use, all cable ports can be tidily sealed and PIVOT provides an anodized and laser etched cap for the front derailleur direct mount tab.


The geometry seems to be right in the middle with all measurements – no extremes in any way, which should play well with the bike´s versatility. By knowing Chris Cocalis´ attention to handling we are confident to not find any surprises in this department, but riding will show. One thing tough is worth noting – despite its shortish chain stay of only 434mm, there is plenty of room for tires up to 2.4“ tires.


When visiting PIVOT we wondered about the 30.9 seat post diameter, with more and more hard tails going for the more supple 27.2 mm diameter, and the answer had been that this has been primarily to keep the Les compatible with the available dropper post designs (… yes, even that is within the Les´ range of use :)). But if you desperately wanted to run smaller posts, you can always insert a shim and be happy ever after. Of course the frame has all the stiffness enhancing details like a tapered steerer tube, PF92 press fit bottom bracket (which, by the way was co-designed by Chris Cocalis) , direct mount front derailleur and x-12 thru axles (at least with the geared dropouts).8-PIVOT-Les

Shift routing is all internally and here all really means „all“. While most internal routings, exit under the bottom bracket for a bit of exposed housing before continuing on further, PIVOT has designed a different solution. Through a large „service port“ on the underside of the bottom bracket one can access to redirect the cables to their further ways within the right chain stays or behind the bottom bracket. Once closed the cables run perfectly sealed for the full length. And with the cleanest possible looks. Once more kudos for the extra hassle to combine function and looks on such a high level.

For real perfection I am missing a device to keep the bar from spinning around and potentially damaging the top tube in case of a fall (It can be retrofitted by a corresponding head set), but other than that I cannot think of anything I would go and change on this frame. Besides, when doing the ping-test, it sounds like wall thickness on the top tube is not on the fragile side anyway. Speaking of appearance, the frame is available in three color versions – two nude carbon finishes with either blue/white or red/white decals and one bright orange team finish – either way you get a frame that is so heavily branded, that there is no angle the onlooker cannot immediately tell the maker of the frame ;).


The 2×10 cranks with 24/38t should be covering a wide range of uses and terrain and the XT brakes have been a favorite of ours for long. Being a lightweight rider and racer, I would have done with a 160 mm disc up front, but we see why a 180 mm would be okay and welcome the few extra grams for the average rider. I am not so sure, how the longish 110 mm FSA-Afterburner stem fits the cockpit, but if not, that will be an easy fix.

I have already been riding the PIVOT Les XT out on the trails for the last few days, so expect my first ride impressions to come your way soon.


Thomas Hebestreit & c_g