Switchblade Aluminum

One Bike, Any Trail…

Every Budget

As soon as it hit the dirt, the Pivot Switchblade started racking up awards throughout the cycling media. Why? Because it’s an ultra-light, ultra-capable aggressive trail bike that punches way above its weight class. The only complaint we ever hear? Not everyone could afford one. So we took the same ultra-stiff frame design, the same 135 millimeters of super smooth dw‐link® suspension and the same thoroughly modern, long and low geometry… and crafted this new model from the most sophisticated, hydro-formed aluminum frame components anywhere.

Behold the new Switchblade Aluminum…It’s the same flavor of Switchblade kick ass, for less cash.

Rear Travel

Rear Travel

Wheel Size
29" or 27.5+"

Wheel Size





Quality Craftsmanship

We strive to build the best-performing cycling products in the world.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

Geometry & Sizing

We strive to build the best-performing cycling products in the world.

Geometry image


Read the latest on the Switchblade Aluminum.

Engineer's Corner

Get everything you need to know about the bikename.

Cutting-edge, hydro-formed aluminum frame

Compatible with both 29" and 27.5"+ wheel sizes

Class-leading mud and tire clearance

Ultra-short, 428mm (16.85”) chainstays make easy work of the tightest trails

Long-and-low geometry for a confident, stable stance

135mm of supple-yet-efficient dw‐link® suspension

Equipped with a burly Fox 36 160mm-travel fork

Front derailleur compatible

Fits riders between 5'4" and 6'2"+

3-year warranty

Small Parts Schematic Save tech spec
Dropper Fit Guide Save tech spec
Suspension Setup Guide Save tech spec
Pivot Owner's Manual Save tech spec

To ensure the best sizing, we recommend that you visit your local Pivot dealer to get a professional fit and refer to our geometry chart to check your measurements. However, we can provide a rough guideline:

Small: 5'4" – 5'8"
Medium: 5'8" – 5'11"
Large: 5'11" – 6'3'
X-Large: 6'2" +

We suggest that you pick your Switchblade Aluminum size based on your riding style. The Switchblade Aluminum features trail bike long and low geometry with both shorter seat tube and head tube measurements per size – this geometry means that most riders can go up or down a size and should base their choice on riding-style, reach and stem length preferences. Be sure to also consult our dropper post fit guide when making your selection. You can always reach out to us on Live Chat for additional guidance.

We make it easy to get the best ride out of your Pivot bike with a simple sag indicator already installed on your bike, and this follow-along video featuring our own Bernard Kerr:

Variables in frame size, discrepancies in scale calibrations, and method of weighing (with or without pedals and such) all lead to inaccurate comparisons, so we choose not to publish our bike weights. Pivot bicycles are among the lightest available, but the weight is only one of many factors that make a great bicycle. Other aspects such as frame stiffness, strength, durability, and ride quality are just as important as weight to our engineers when designing our Hollow Core Carbon and aluminum frames. Instead of comparing grams online, we suggest you visit your local Pivot dealer and see our attention to detail, smart, high value spec, and class leading features. Bring a scale if you’d like, but take just one demo ride and you’ll feel why Pivot Cycles are the most well-rounded, highest performing bicycles on the market and in many cases, yes, it’s the lightest as well.

The 27.5+ wheels with Maxxis Rekon 2.8” tires have a slightly smaller diameter than the 29” wheels with 2.5” Maxxis Minion DHF’s and 2.4” Minion DHR II’s. This difference results in a lower bottom bracket height when running 27.5+ wheels. To adjust the BB height, the Switchblade Aluminum is set up with two different lower headset cups: 29ers come with a zero-stack version and 27.5+ are built with a 17mm cup. When running the 17mm cup with 27.5+ wheels, the BB height is similar to that with the 29” wheels using the zero-stack cup. However, it is not mandatory that you use the 17mm cup with the 27.5+ wheels or the zero-stack version with the 29” wheels. Feel free to mix and match as you wish. If you like a lower BB height, you might find that you prefer the zero-stack with 27.5+ wheels. Some riders will just leave the 17mm cup in regardless of wheels size. Zero stack and 17mm lower headset cups are available for purchase through your Pivot dealer. Complete bikes ordered with both wheelsets, will come equipped with the taller 17mm cup installed and include the optional zero stack cup. If you install the zero stack cup and ever intend to use the 17mm cup, you need to make sure that you use at least 20mm of headset spacers when you cut the fork so that there will be enough steer tube to be able to go back and forth as you wish. If the fork is pre-cut for the zero-stack cup and additional spacers are not installed, you will not have a long enough fork steer tube to run the 17mm cup option. 

Switchblade Aluminum uses a 157mm rear hub spacing in a configuration called Super Boost Plus 157. The rear hub spacing is the standard 157mm spacing available from every hub manufacturer in the world so any 157mm X 12mm hub is compatible with the Switchblade Aluminum. Super Boost Plus 157 builds on the idea of wider flange spacing pioneered by Boost 148. Super Boost Plus spreads the flanges even wider (up to 14mm wider than a 142mm hub) and increases wheel stiffness substantially, which is a huge benefit on 29” and 27.5”+ wheels. Although any 12mm X 157mm hub can be used, the Super Boost Plus versions developed with Pivot, DT Swiss, Industry 9, and Reynolds makes for a highly optimized 29” and 27.5”+ wheel combination that takes wheel performance to another level. SRAM also offers a similar concept 157mm hub in their standard XO line.


Super Boost Plus 157 uses the existing chainline developed for DH bikes but uses standard trailbike BB widths and crank combinations to take 29” and 27.5”+ bike performance to the next level. 

The current Boost 148 standard moves the drivetrain out 3mm (providing 6mm more tire clearance) which is perfect for XC, trail, and 27.5” enduro bikes, but it did not go far enough to meet the rapidly evolving long travel 29” and 27.5”+ bike needs. Super Boost Plus 157 takes the concept further and optimizes it for long travel 29” and 27.5”+ bikes by moving the drivetrain out a full 6mm (with a 12mm tire clearance gain) while maintaining the same Q factor (crank width) and heel clearance of our Boost 148 equipped bikes. Super Boost Plus 157 is a highly optimized combination of existing standards and technologies with a totally ridiculous (but highly descriptive) name. The Super Boost Plus 157 idea has enabled us to build the Switchblade Aluminum with a level of performance previously unattainable with any other long travel 29” or 27.5”+ bike in the market.

The Switchblade Aluminum will accept all cranks designed for the Super Boost Plus (SB+) system and compatible with a press fit 92mm bottom bracket. The SB+ system is based on several standard cranks in the market. When you purchase your Switchblade Aluminum complete from Pivot, 1X PRO XT/XTR and 1X RACE XT level builds will feature a custom spindle Race Face Aeffect SL crankset to optimize chainline. SRAM equipped Switchblade Aluminum’s from Pivot come equipped with SRAM cranks with chainrings and/or spindles optimized for the 56.5mm SB+ chain line.

The standard Race Face Turbine and Aeffect SL 1X cranks with the Cinch chainring flipped is also fully compatible with the SB+ 157 system (although the chainline will be approximately 1mm outboard compared to the custom configurations provided with our complete bike offerings). One Up (Switch Spider and chainring system) and Wolf Tooth both offer SB+ spiders and/or chainrings to make standard SRAM GXP and DUB standard SB+ compatible.  One Up information can be found at: SRAM has also added some new SB+ specific crank options to their lineup.  

Additionally, most current DH cranks are compatible, although spacers will need to be used and you would not have the low Q factor (crank width) benefits of SB+. The Switchblade Aluminum will accept cranks with a standard Q factor measurement as low as 168mm and featuring a 56-57mm chainline. Several other crank manufacturers are working on compatible designs that will be available in the market in the very near future.

The Switchblade Aluminum will accept cranks with a standard Q factor measurement as low as 173mm and featuring a 56mm chainline. Several other crank manufacturers are working on compatible designs that will be available in the market in the very near future.

Pressfit BB92 bottom bracket

Sram does not currently make a chainring to achieve the proper 56-56.5mm Super Boost Plus chainline. If you purchase a complete Sram XO1 equipped bike from Pivot, it comes complete with the One Up SB+ Switch Spider and chainring system and a 32T chainring. This kit comes stock with a 32T ring but rings from 28T-34T are available to fit the Switchblade Aluminum. These rings and the special One Up SB+ Switch Spider can also be purchased separately directly from One Up.

There are limitations that each dropper post have for each frame size based on the rider’s saddle height, so it is important to check fit before choosing the travel and model of dropper post for your Firebird. Use the Dropper Fit Guide under the Tech Specs section to help identify the right post length.

We use a 1.5 thread pitch on the rear thru axle. You can order one through our online store.


34.9mm (or 35mm as some manufacturers call it)

An e-type side-swing style front derailleur - Shimano produces the e-type side-swing front derailleur in Deore & SLX for 10-speed drivetrains and XT & XTR for 11-speed drivetrains.

Yes. The Switchblade Aluminum features ISCG05 mounts on the frame. Most upper guides on the market will fit or some of the more compact versions that attach to an E-Type front derailleur mount will also work. For full upper and lower guides, we recommend the MRP AMG.

Zero stack (ZS) 44mm top and ZS 56mm bottom (or a Chris King Inset 2). 

If you are running the 17mm lower cup then it needs to be run in conjunction with the Pivot headset. You cannot press another brand of zero stack headset into the 17mm cup as the 17mm cup is the lower headset cup.

The Switchblade Aluminum was designed for forks lengths between 150mm-160mm travel.


29” or 27.5”+

You can fit 27.5”+ tires up to 3.25” on 37-42mm rims. For 29” tires, you can fit up to 2.4” on 25-30mm rims.


No rear brake adapter is needed for a 160mm rotor. If you would like to put a 180mm rotor on, you will need a direct mount post-to-post adapter.

Eye-to-eye: 7.875”

Stroke: 2”

You’ll need the proper shock mounting hardware. For the front of the shock, the hardware is 8mm x 22mm. There is no hardware on the rear of the shock, the spacer hardware and bushing will need to be removed as the strut mounts directly to the shock body. Some shocks may have a different spec then the Fox shock that comes on the bike and may not fit properly. Also, as we cannot test every shock on the market, therefore riders assume some risk if they choose a shock that does not fit properly or is not tuned correctly for the bike. The frame is designed around a large volume air can with medium compression valving and medium rebound damping.

Yes, as long as you order the correct eyelet size (15mm). Additionally, the fit of the Cane Creek into our strut is not as precise as the Fox shocks, so extra care needs to be taken to make sure that the shock is not able to rotate or move in the strut, as any sideways movement during riding can damage the frame.

You cannot run a coil-over on your Switchblade Aluminum. This bike was designed to work with the progressiveness of an air spring. A coil-over shock (even one with separate bottoming control) does not offer the progressive spring curve that the Switchblade Aluminum requires. Running a coil-over shock on the Switchblade Aluminum will result in hard bottoming and damage to the frame.

Yes, there are 2 water bottle cage mounts on the MD-XL Switchblade Aluminum frames. These are located on top of the downtube and underneath the downtube.

A detailed PDF of the torque specs can be found in the Tech Specs section.