First Ride: 2020 Pivot Shuttle eMTB

Updated wheel size, geometry, and a more

E-bike Pro Reviews

Larger wheels, a slacker head angle and an improved power system are some key updates to the 2020 Shuttle.

Though some will argue where e-bikes fit within trail management here in the U.S., it is obvious they are taking the industry by storm and will no doubt help to open the sport of mountain biking to more riders. As one of the leading brands in the boutique MTB market, Pivot is one of only a couple mid-sized brands to have jumped into the e-bike market and it seems to be serving them well.

For 2020, the Shuttle is in its second iteration with a few key changes and upgrades to the bike’s power system and geometry. Changes from the previous shuttle include the addition of 29” wheels combined with 160mm of front travel and 140mm of rear travel utilizing a dw-link suspension design. For 2020, the Shuttle also integrates an updated geometry to accommodate the change in wheel size, an updated Shimano STEPS power system with an integrated yet removable battery.

Related: Mtbr’s e-bike forums

Like the previous iteration, the latest Shuttle features a complete carbon fiber frame artfully crafted around the Shimano STEPS e-bike drive unit and battery system. Designed to keep weight low on the bike, the battery is integrated into the downtube while the motor sits between the battery and the bottom bracket. In addition to the low weight positioning, the Shuttle is touted as one of the lightest eMTB’s on the market with an advertised weight of less than 45lbs.

Utilizing a full carbon frame, the Shuttle integrates all the technology of a high-end trail bike into a sub 45lbs. eMTB.

2020 Pivot Shuttle Highlights

  • 140mm dw-link rear travel, 160mm front travel
  • 29-inch wheels (27.5+ compatible)
  • 65.2-degree headtube angle
  • Shimano STEPS E7000 or E8000 motor with 504 watt-hour battery
  • Full bike sub 45lbs.
  • 10-year frame warranty
  • Small to X-Large frame sizing fitting rider heights from 5’4” to 6’7”
  • Two build options: Team XTR ($10,499) and Race XT ($7,899)
  • More info: pivotcycles.com

Shimano STEPS System

STEPS stands for SHIMANO Total Electric Power System. The system is designed to ride like a normal mountain bike due to its small size that allows manufacturers to use similar geometry as non-eMTB’s. The system is low profile with an integrated protective cover and is designed specifically to handle the abuse of technical trail riding. Coming in at 6.2lbs the compact drive unit offers a relatively natural pedaling feeling while it’s compact design offers a comfortable level of ground clearance. The Shuttle utilizes an internally mounted 504 watt-hour lithium-ion battery designed to take up to 1,000 charge cycles with no loss in power. Though the battery is fully integrated into the downtube it can be removed in about 3-5 minutes by removing 8 T-25 torx screws and can be done on the trail unlike the previous version of the shuttle.

Shimano STEPS e-bike system supplies the power for the Shuttle and features an easy to use bar-mounted display.

Pivot Shuttle Build Packages

For 2020, Pivot added two build options for the Shuttle, giving consumers a more economical build option in addition to the high-end $10k+ top-shelf build. Another significant change is the departure from Shimano’s Di2 electronic shifting system. Opting instead for mechanical shifting, which is a welcome change in our opinion. The two build options, include the high-end Team XTR build retailing at $10,499, and the “cheaper” Race XT build retailing at $7,899 (tested here). Both include full Shimano drivetrain componentry and brakes, Fox suspension, and DT Swiss wheels.

Team XTR

Fork FOX 36 Factory 160 mm
Rear shock FOX Factory FLOAT DPX2 140 mm
Motor/Battery Shimano STEPS E8000 504 Wh
Drivetrain Shimano XTR 12 speed
Brakes Shimano XT four-piston 203/180 mm
Seatpost FOX Transfer 150 mm
Stem Pheonix Team 45 mm
Handlebar Pheonix Team Carbon 760 mm
Wheels DT Swiss EB1535 29″
Tires MAXXIS Minion DHF/DHRII 29×2.5″/2.4″

XT Race

Fork FOX 36 Performance 160 mm
Rear shock FOX Performance FLOAT DPX2 140 mm
Motor/Battery Shimano STEPS E7000 504 Wh
Drivetrain Shimano XT/SLX 11 speed
Brakes Shimano BR-TM520 four-piston 203/180 mm
Seatpost KS Rage 125 mm
Stem Phoenix Team 45 mm
Handlebar Pheonix Race Aluminum 760 mm
Wheels DT Swiss EB1935 29″
Tires MAXXIS Minion DHF/DHRII 29×2.5″/2.4″

The Shuttle is a Class1 e-bike, meaning the drive unit assists in the riders pedaling and is not actuated using a throttle. A Shimano E7000 drive unit and an integrated yet “removable” 504wH battery, the 2020 Shuttle offers a larger range over the previous offering.

Shuttle Geometry

The Pivot Shuttle's geometry is up to speed with modern trail bikes.

The Pivot Shuttle’s geometry is up to speed with modern trail bikes.

Utilizing a modern trail bike geometry, the Shuttle is designed around technical trail riding with a long, slack demeanor. Due to the changes in travel and wheelsize from the previous version, the geometry has also changed slightly. With a 65.2 degree head angle and 74 degree seat angle, positioning on the bike in an upright and comfortable position. Our large test bike has a 123cm wheelbase, highlighted with a 43.8cm chainstay length giving the bike a planted yet nimble demeanor. The biggest geometry change over the previous Shuttle is the BB height that has increased from 348mm to 363mm, for 1.5cm of additional clearance.

Pivot Shuttle First Ride Impressions

After a few initial rides aboard the new Shuttle, we can note that it is a true improvement over the previous version. The addition of 29″ wheels gives the bike a more planted and capable feel, while the slacker head angle and longer travel fork greatly improve the bike’s descending capabilities. Comfort is a key quality of the Shuttle and we’ve been impressed with the overall geometry of the bike, though the slacker headangle and longer travel fork do slow the bikes handling characteristics in slow-speed areas on the trail quite noticeably.

Climbing aboard the Shuttle is quite enjoyable and we’re excited to extend our riding zones and ride abilities aboard it in the coming months.

On our first few rides, the improvements in the Shimano power system have been noticeable and we look forward to testing and documenting the bikes range. We’re looking forward to putting many more miles on it to give you a full review in the coming months.

Share your thoughts: What are you curious about with the new 2020 Shuttle that we can help to highlight with more saddle time?


About the author: Jordan Carr

Having spent more than half his life riding all types of bikes at almost every type of cycling event, Carr loves the freedom two-wheeled travel has brought to his life. Having spent many years behind the stand at a bike shop, he’s tested mountain bike products for a number of publications. Follow Carr's adventures as they travel the country promoting trails and mountain biking on Facebook and Instagram.


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