Pivot Cycles has continually worked to push bike design in a sensible, no-nonsense way. Driven by the spirit of competition and fortified by invaluable insights from their elite riders, Pivot is not only making waves in professional racing but also continues to craft bikes that stand for excellence in design and performance. The latest Shuttle AM is a testament to this commitment. Birthed from the DNA of their Switchblade model, the Shuttle AM is envisioned as an e-bike that's equal parts robust and sleek. The past generations' polarizing aesthetic has been artfully reimagined with a vertical shock layout and continuous frame lines, resulting in an all-mountain e-bike that effortlessly marries form and function. Balanced in its take on the ride and not over-emphasizing either the descent or the climb, the Pivot Shuttle AM is set to become a familiar sight within e-bike circles.
For our First Ride, we took the Shuttle AM into backcountry terrain, an environment where a bike bearing the all-mountain designation should truly shine. The landscapes we explored through Crested Butte, Colorado, were diverse, reflecting the different terrains that such a bike should be adept at navigating. From rigorous steep inclines and lengthy downhill paths to raw, undulating singletracks laden with pillows of dust, the Shuttle AM handled our abuse with shining results.
- Full carbon frame
- 148mm (5.8 inches) of rear wheel travel // 160mm (6.3 inches) fork travel
- Updated dw-link suspension design
- 29-inch wheels (mixed wheel compatible)
- Two-position flip-chip adjustment
- 64.1/64.5-degree head tube angle
- 85Nm Bosch Performance CX motor (CX Race motor on Team build kit)
- 750Wh or 625Wh battery (varies by build kit)
- 250Wh Bosch PowerMore range extender available separately (starting in October 2023)
- Pivot exclusive Topeak on-the-bike tool system
- Super Boost 12x157 rear spacing
- Sizes: S-XL
- MSRP: 8,999 – $13,999 USD
Pivot's Shuttle AM slots between the svelte Shuttle SL and the burly Shuttle LT models. Unlike the Shuttle SL, the Shuttle AM and LT are full-power e-bikes. There is as much as a 30% difference in available torque between the lightweight Fazua motor in the SL and the Bosch motor in the new Shuttle AM. While Shuttle SL best suits individuals who prioritize lightweight and efficiency to cover distance, and the LT is happiest on the most technical descents, the AM is designed to be taken anywhere. Best put: a full-power e-bike for all mountain riders.
The second-generation Shuttle AM shares many similarities with the inaugural model and seeks to satisfy the same riders. Subtle updates have been made to the geometry and rear travel amount, but the most noteworthy updates are the switch from Shimano to Bosch e-systems and a new dw-link suspension layout.
Bosch Performance Drive System
The new Shuttle AM now flaunts Bosch's Performance line of motors instead of Shimano's EP8 system. The Pro build we rode was equipped with the Performance CX motor, while others had the limited edition Performance CX Race motor. Only 500 CX Race models will be available globally, so potential buyers will need to act fast to get their hands on one. The CX Race motor features a cast magnesium body, improved internals, and a race mode with greater output than the traditional boost mode. It also can deliver an extra burst of power once you stop pedaling for those moments when additional momentum is needed (i.e., racing).
Both motors provide 85Nm of torque, but the CX Race version delivers 400% of support compared to the standard CX motor at 340%. The CX Race motor is also lighter, weighing 6.1 lbs (2.75kg) compared to the CX motor at 6.4 lbs (2.9kg). The Shuttle AM comes in two battery sizes depending on the build kit. The Team and Pro builds feature a 750 Wh battery that weighs 9.5 lbs (4.3kg), while the Ride build comes with a 625 Wh battery that weighs 8lbs (3.6kg)
In the past, Bosch's displays were quite busy. The previous generation had a rat's nest of wires and awkward displays. The latest iteration has done away with the clutter in exchange for simplicity. A wireless dual-button remote allowed us to modulate power delivery, and the lights on the top tube illuminated battery availability in five-bar increments.
The modes for power delivery are adjustable in the Bosch Flow app (turbo, e-bike, sport, and tour+ come standard). The Performance CX Race motor replaces the Tour+ mode with the powerful race mode. Bosch does not provide Ant+ connectivity, so many cycling computers will not connect to the system. We appreciated the clean cockpit, but the lack of ant+ struck us as odd.
Unsurprisingly, the new Shuttle AM uses a dw-link suspension design with a vertically mounted shock. The last e-bike in Pivot's lineup to receive the latest layout, the design utilizes a virtual pivot point and a dual-link system to optimize performance. It also has allowed Pivot to accommodate a full-size water bottle inside the front triangle on all frame sizes.
The beauty of dw-link lies in its ability to balance pedaling efficiency with active suspension characteristics. By carefully managing factors such as anti-squat, anti-rise, and the leverage ratio, the dw-link minimizes unwanted suspension movement during pedaling, allowing riders to efficiently transfer power to the pedals while climbing or accelerating. Simultaneously, it provides excellent traction and control by remaining active and responsive to bumps and obstacles encountered on the trail. Throughout our test, the Shuttle AM provided the level of composure and refinement that we have come to expect from Pivot. The ride was nothing short of spectacular.
In classic Pivot fashion, we found the bike fit and feel "neutral." The greatest commendation we could grant a bike is its ability to fade into the background during the ride. In our opinion, this bike has accomplished that goal impressively. We were equally composed and comfortable, ascending as we were on the descent. We rode the Shuttle AM in the "high" position, which set the head tube angle at 64.5° with an effective seat angle of 76.8°. The "low" position would bring the head tube angle to 64.1°. A 444mm chainstay length is used across all sizes and remains unaffected by the flip-chip adjustment.
If one is so inclined to try a mullet setup, it can be done. Though, it is not offered as a build kit by Pivot. Setting the flip-chip in the "high" position is sufficient for maintaining enough bottom bracket height to rock a 27.5-inch rear wheel.
The Shuttle AM is available in two colorways (blue Neptune and Willow Green), three build kits, and sizes from S to XL. Builds start at $8,999 USD with the entry-level Ride build (sax/tx) and max out at $13,999 for Team XX builds. The Shuttle AM comes with Pivot's 10-year defect warranty and a one-year paint, finish, and bearings warranty.
The Ride build feature FOX Performance suspension, while the Pro and Team builds feature FOX Factory suspension. The range-topping Team build features SRAM's new XX Transmission, Shimano XTR brakes, carbon cranks, and carbon DT Swiss wheels.
The Ride model uses the same motor as the Pro but a smaller battery (625wh vs. 750wh) and mechanical Shimano components.
Cruising in Crested Butte
The highlight of our testing terrain was the lofty peak of Teocalli Ridge and the Deadman's trail system, offering scenic beauty and a quintessential Colorado backcountry singletrack experience. The series of trails proved to be a fantastic testing ground for an all-rounder such as the Shuttle AM.
Our recent experiences with Pivot regarding fit have been drama free, and the Shuttle AM was no exception. We were pleased with how the bike felt right off the bat. The large size placed our 5'11" stature in a comfortable and poised position. We did have the bars cut to our preferred length, but overall we didn't feel like we had to fuss with much to get the feel we preferred.
There were plenty of climbs that provided an excellent chance to test the Shuttle AM's climbing abilities. Steep moto chutes with loose rocks and ruts were accomplished with relative ease. The ability of the suspension to remain high in its travel while not being hampered by excess damping resulted in one of the best climbing e-bikes we have had the pleasure of riding. We rode the AM without the bias or preconceptions of seeing a geometry chart. We would have guessed the bike had a steeper seat tube and longer chainstay than it does, which goes to show the power of catering suspension kinematics to affect the climbing abilities of an e-bike positively.
Traction was provided in spades, and we never felt like we needed to make any drastic position changes to clear even the techiest ascents. Over our two days of riding, the ceiling of climbing potential was not realized on the Shuttle AM. We would not be surprised that, in a head-to-head competition, the Pivot Shuttle AM would rank as one of the best climbing e-bikes on the market today.
During our brief time aboard the Shuttle AM, we never felt disadvantaged riding the Performance CX motor with others on the CX Race edition. Power generation was fluid and natural. The noise generation was reasonable, especially for a full-power e-bike. Despite plenty of time submerging the motor through creek crossings, there wasn't a single mechanical issue among our entire media crew. The motor was dependable and provided the performance that we would expect from Bosch.
The trails in Crested Butte presented periods of challenging and difficult terrain, yet at no point did we feel overwhelmed on the Shuttle AM. The suspension performance was outstanding, offering a perfect blend of stability and balance without necessitating excessive compression damping. Much like the fitting experience, we didn't find it difficult to attain the performance we desired.
The seamless suspension performance didn't take us by surprise, but the bike's frame compliance did. Many e-bikes we've ridden have a stark contrast between a stiff front triangle and a rear end exhibiting the expected amount of flex, which often results in a disjointed feel. Pivot, however, opted for an integrated battery in the downtube to avoid any compromise on the structure of the front triangle— a decision we wholeheartedly agree with. The front triangle flexed harmoniously with the rest of the frame, creating a ride sensation akin to a well-thought-out, non-motorized bike. The enhanced traction and ride feel was particularly discernible when leaning into corners and riding through high-speed braking bumps.
Unfamiliar trails and only a few days on the Shuttle AM are not enough to make a definite conclusion, but the bike proved to be an impressive companion on all but the most demanding terrain.
What's The Bottom Line?
Pivot has exceeded the norm, engineering an e-bike that transcends the usual expectations. Unlike most of its competition, very few e-bikes can showcase such a seamless blend of uphill agility and power with downhill precision. It's important to note that the Shuttle AM is not designed to be an enduro bike (that's where the Shuttle LT takes the stage). We find it refreshing and commendable that Pivot has constructed a bike that does not solely focus on pushing the limits in a singular dimension. Instead, the Shuttle AM performs splendidly across the board, thanks to its accompanying geometry, balanced suspension kinematics, and tuned stiffness. The final outcome is an e-bike that can confidently take on the widest variety of trails and terrain with exceptional poise.
For more information, please visit pivotcycles.com
View key specs, compare e-bikes, and rate the new Pivot Shuttle AM in the Vital MTB Product Guide.
About The Reviewer
Greg Montgomery - Age: 30 // Years Riding: 20 // Height: 5'11" (1.8m) // Weight: 150-pounds (68kg)
When he's not winning pro-level trail running races, Greg is hammering the trails of Idaho and the Rocky Mountain region on his mountain bike. Fit, fast and knowledgeable, he's also a mechanic for his friends, where he gets his hands on all kinds of different cycling products. For fun, he'll pedal his regular bike up moto trails, keeping up with his friends on e-bikes.