What do you get when a high end suspension frame manufacturer releases a hardtail? The Pivot Les. Pun intended, this aptly named carbon hardtail is a unique take on a 29er cross country hardtail with its convertible dropouts to allow for a single speed setup if you wish.
1.13kg for the frame puts it squarely in that category of the elite racer, and a complete build of around 10-11kg is most certainly achievable with appropriate high end components. Our test bike with XX1 drivetrain, Stans ARCH EX wheels and Magura brakes tipped the scales at 10.3kg. Ditching the inner tubes and converting to tubeless would not only improve the ride in many ways, but would drop weight even further.
We can only begin to imagine how light one of these bikes would be set as a single speed, if pushing one gear around the trails if your thing, there would be few lighter than this guy.
The Swinger dropout system sets it apart from most carbon hardtails. We received a geared LES, but for around $300 a special dropout can be fitted with an integrated chain tension system, both neat and effective.
It’s a long bike, especially with such a long stem, top tube and wide bars. We’ll experiment a little with finding a shorter stem length to find a sweet balance between comfort and agility.
Pivot also do the LES in a 27.5″ wheeled version, but the smaller wheeled option loses the Swinger convertible dropouts.
Spec wise, this orange beauty came to us with the top-tier spec. SRAM XX1, a Kashima FOX fork, and the super light Magura brakes. If there was one element of the kit that concerns us, it would be the brakes, sure they are light but we’d happily trade a few grams for a Shimano or SRAM brake that exhibits a more solid feel and positive bite. But we’ll give a proper assessment after a proper testing term.
The LES is ready to rock, and our choice of race bike for the Port to Port MTB in a couple weeks. With a tubeless conversion, some tougher rubber and a shorter stem this bike will surely be fair game for the big climbs and speedy trails to come.
Stay tuned for more!