First Look: Pivot Switchblade

"This is the year of the plus-size mountain bike. Case and point: fully half of our bikes for the 2017 summer Buyer’s Guide test are coming equipped with mid-fat wheels. Over a recent long weekend in Sedona, Arizona, I sampled five of the latest, and the Pivot Switchblade is the finest of the bunch.

I’ve been a plus-tire proponent since Surly unveiled the original Krampus, and I’ve been on 27+ since Rocky launched the Sherpa and Specialized shipped pre-production hoops and tires to try on their Enduro. By 2016, we had 10 plus-size models in our annual test. Which is to say, I have some experience on this wheel size.

The traction of the bigger tires is exceptional—like a true fat bike without all the weight. I love how hard I can lean into turns. Even if the tire cuts free, which is rare, I know it will catch long before I crash. And the cushy tires, combined with super-refined modern suspensions, makes for an extremely plush ride."

Aaron Gulley