Then, last week, we went one better and got to see AND ride the real thing. With only three in the UK, we were very fortunate to have Rory from Upgrade Bikes bring two of them along to us for a closer look as well as a cheeky little ride, to grab a few riding shots. So, let’s have a look…
Here we have a Medium sized Switchblade frame, set up for 27.5″ Plus wheels and tyres:
And here we have it in Large, with 29″ tyres:
Suspension platform retains the DW-Link – apparently this is particularly good for rolling up and over the square edged boulders found in Arizona, where the bike has been developed.
Rory also says this allows the bike to be designed with a ‘category leading short back end’ as well as tons of clearance and and 135mm rear travel:
150mm Fox 36 fork, but can happily run a 160mm:
Set up with 1x but with a front mech mount, should you be that way inclined. Plus there’s room and mounts for a water bottle you can actually use:
The UK models feature this shorter stem – US models have a longer stem. Because everything in the US is BIG?
Internal routing, fashionable sliced font on the decals:
More neat, internal routing:
Extensive frame protection, plus port for battery for Di2, or whatever other electronic inventions may follow:
Internally routed dropper post:
Tons of clearance – 2.8in tyre here and room for fingers:
Wider than a wide thing – well, as wide as DH bike – 157mm rear hub spacing. Super Boost Plus. Not a new standard. Nope. It’s an ‘Optimisation of existing standards’.
Watch this Facebook Live video to hear all about this ‘Super Boost Plus:
[fbvideo link=”https://www.facebook.com/singletrackmag/videos/10153927527218612/” width=”650" height=”400" onlyvideo=”1"]
And finally, the arty headbadge shot. Because, y’know, Art:
Prices are from £5,300 – these bikes are so new they were still deciding the build kit options when Rory visited, but they’re now up on upgradebikes.co.uk. There’s only three in the UK at the moment – you’re seeing two of them here – and test rides can be arranged through the Pivot dealer network. Look, see, you can ride them as well as stroke them:
And now let’s play a game of Spot the Difference:
Did you notice? Well done. Yes, one of those riders was Hannah, the other was Barney. Hannah is the one with less beard.
And now another game of Spot the Difference:
One is closer, in one Hannah is far away? Well, yes. But to really mess with your head, those far away wheels are also BIGGER – that’s the 29er wheels swapped into the frame.
And if you want another look at the whole bike while hearing Rory’s explanation of the bike’s design and components, then look no further:
[fbvid[fbvideo link=”https://www.facebook.com/singletrackmag/videos/10153927508643612/” width=”650" height=”400" onlyvideo=”1"]p>Time was tight, so we’ve not ridden them far enough to comment on the ride, although Hannah was rather taken with the 29er set up. The plan is to get one in for a proper test once there’s enough bikes around for us to hold onto one, so watch this space and we’ll bring you our review later in the year.