Pinkbike: Bike of the Year

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Both the Pivot Switchblade and Transition Patrol Carbon have made Pinkbike’s short list of “Bike of the Year”

Transition Patrol Carbon. Why it’s nominated:

How the hell did Transition create a 155mm-travel all-mountain monster that, despite being designed to sit at 35-percent sag and be as capable as any rider would need a bike to be, doesn’t feel like an intoxicated tractor with a flat tire when the trail isn’t fast, steep, or rowdy? It might be the bike’s smart geometry, or its killer suspension design, or even its 27lb weight, but it’s actually all three of those things combined that create what could be the best mid-travel bike on the market.

The Patrol Carbon 1 is the bulldog that can win an agility contest; the Motorhead fan who secretly knows how to dance the salsa. Sure, the recipe to make a mid-travel bike that shines on rowdy descents is relatively straightforward these days, but few companies have figured out how to bake-in the kind of all-around versatility that Transition have given the Patrol without taking away from the bike’s abilities when things get rowdy.

Pivot Switchblade Carbon. Why it’s nominated:

Talk about a suitable name. Pivot’s new Switchblade is a 135mm-travel bike that offers grade-A performance with multiple wheel sizes and during differing types of riding. Despite sporting 428mm chainstays – some of the shortest in the biz – the Switchblade can accept some seriously large rubber; either 29 x 2.5” on up to a 27.5 x 3.25”, and all with a ridiculous amount of clearance. And a front derailleur. And with either a 150mm or 160mm-travel fork up front.

What’s so controversial? To make all of the above possible, and the chassis rigid enough, Pivot decided to go with 12 x 157mm axle spacing, something only seen on the back of downhill bikes. Did they really need to do this? ”To make this bike? Yes,” says Pivot’s Chris Cocalis. ”We’ve been working on this bike for five years now and kept shelving it. They rolled over things well, but the prototypes weren’t satisfying to us. Mainly, they weren’t stiff enough. Neither the frames nor the wheels.” Why did companies stop at 148mm? Why not just use downhill rear wheel spacing? And that’s what Cocalis decided to do by mating DH bike axle spacing to a trail bike drivetrain. It takes some cojones to employ a different hub ”standard” in these days of understandably jaded and bitter consumer market, but the result is a damn good machine.

What do you think? We think you can’t go wrong either way! Read the full article here.