There are plenty of good enduro-style e-mountain bikes on the market. This one is great.
Pivot’s Shuttle LT pedal assist e-bike showcases Shimano’s EP8 system, the only drive unit claimed to be specifically designed for mountain bikes. It uses a removable, 756-watt, Shimano-certified battery, 160 Float X/170 E-MTB 38 29″, 44mm offset, GRIP2 Fox suspension, and the geometry and the kinematics of Pivot’s Firebird 29.
I hopped on this bike at the top of Monarch Pass – around 11,000 feet in altitude–the morning after arriving in Colorado from sea level. I pedaled out of the lot and up the double track with the support of this bike’s full boost power behind me. When I turned off onto the first stretch of rooty and rocky singletrack, I bumped the power down a notch to Trail, and had more than enough support and all the maneuverability I needed. The bike absorbed the chunder and steered with precision letting me pick my line around chunky rocks, and charged through steep switchbacks with powerful control.
To smash or to finesse–that is always the question for me when I ride e-bikes on technical trails. The Shuttle LT let me do both. The bike was lively, playful and it pedaled efficiently without the heavy feeling of most other enduro e-bikes whether I was pounding through rock gardens or trying to carve through them. It was nimble in technical terrain.
Blasting through a crash pad of rocks and roots descending Green Creek off Monarch Crest, baby head boulders, and steep sections of slippery dirt, the bike went where I pointed it, sailing smoothly. The ride wasn’t so plush it got boring, and the harder I pushed the bike the better it rode. Pivot’s DW link felt balanced. I never needed to lock the shock to climb, and the bike didn’t squat under power. Shimano 160mm cranks kept me from rock-striking–which is even more important on an ebike. I could power through the chunder thanks to the bike’s low center of gravity and short cranks. I felt settled in on the bike, in control of the ride, and despite the shorter cranks, I never felt like I lacked torque.
At 49.8 pounds, the bike is competitive in weight with others on the market. But it rides light. Part of it might be psychological. The Shuttle LT has a trim downtube that was made possible by a 726-watt, Shimano-certified battery. Pivot didn’t like the shape of existing batteries so it worked with Darfan to develop one using the same cells found in a Tesla. The slimmer tube takes ebikes one more step towards looking like a traditional bike. While the battery isn’t proprietary, Pivot is the first to use it– and Shimano will handle any warranty claims worldwide.
Shimano’s EP8 drive unit provides the assist. Power delivery was smooth and seamless, without any jerky engagement or disengagement. In the Shuttle LT, it also allows for battery placement lower in the