Pivot Cycles LES 27.5 2015 Mountain Bike Review

Pivot Cycles LES 27.5 2015

Reviews / XC Bikes

Pivot Cycles 59,986

At A Glance

Subtlety has never been a strong point of mine, but at least you always know where you stand, something that is shared by the lime green LES 27.5. From the moment I opened the box I could tell this bike wanted to be ridden, and ridden fast. Pairing the bright paint job with a solid build and still coming out below 23lbs, the LES 27.5 is strong enough to give you trail confidence, yet light enough to race with the best of them. With just a few small tweaks you could easily take this pedigree racer sub 20lbs.

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On The Trail

I think the fact that I rode the Pivot LES 27.5 until I was lost and was then in no hurry to find my way back, is a testament to how much fun this bike is and how easily the power is transferred, both as a result of the short rear stays and 27.5 wheels, giving this bike great potential for marathon racing, all-day adventures, as well as more light-hearted racing.

I’m a big fan of the growing number of XC race bikes coming with 27.5-inch wheels, it suits my style of riding and the places that I like to ride, not to mention my 5 foot 7 height! I like tight, technical trails and to be able to jump my bike around, whatever I’m riding I need it to be flickable, something that the Pivot certainly lived up to, but is lost when you upsize to a lot of 29ers.

The LES 27.5 handled the tight twists and turns of the trail centre well, outshining the sometimes cumbersome 29ers that are now common place on the race circuit. When the trail veered upwards, the punchy racing pedigree shone through, the bike monstered up the climbs, transferring the power so well, that it was only once I was really tired that I even realised I had a front mech! On the descents the bike is equally as capable. Flowing down the trails I was constantly catching riders on longer travel trail bikes, only loosing out when the trail got rocky and the 100mm travel of the Fox 32 forks was a little outpaced. With some extra time on the bike I’m sure I could adjust my style to use the bikes nimble nature in place of its travel.

The Detail

The Pivot LES 27.5 has a lot of great features that are carried across from its bigger brother, the LES 29. Small things like using threaded inserts in the rear disc post mounts that add up to create a great bike that really stands out from the crowd, even if you do choose one of the more subtle paint finishes.
The internal cable routing is another area that gets the Pivot approach of user-friendly tweaks. A task that brings about more swearing and frustration than almost any other on a bike, is made slightly less painstaking thanks to an access panel under the bottom bracket.

The short chain stays, matched to a 142x12mm bolt thru axle makes the bike quick and easy to get up to speed and also helps the bikes manoeuvrability when the trail gets technical.

Tech Head

As expected by the less than catchy model name, the XT/XTR Pro model, is fully Shimano equipped, with XT handling all but the rear mech duties. The quality of the shifting and stopping power live up to the high standard of the frame, allowing you to clip in and start eating away at those miles.

The Kashima coated Fox 32 100 FIT CTD Trail adjust forks tamed the trail up front, with the climb function really coming into its own on the fire roads.

I would like to see two minor tweaks to the build though. Purely from an aesthetics point of view, I felt that the FSA SL-K stem looked a little on the anorexic side when matched up the frames beefy head tube junction. That’s down to personal taste though and can’t detract from the bikes performance, with fit and reach feeling spot on.

I would also opt for a 1x10 set up, thanks to the frames superb power transfer, I very rarely felt the need to leave the big ring. A single ringed 36 tooth set-up, as apposed to the 38/24 fitted would more than cover all of the gears needed, not to mention shave a few more grams off, which, in the world of XC racing, is the holy grail. If you are racing somewhere steeper, having a spare 34-tooth chain ring in your toolbox won’t break the bank either

Pivot LES 27.5 XT/XTR Pro

Seat tube: 444.5mm
Effective top tube: 599.4mm
Head tube: 108mm
Chain stay: 426mm
Wheelbase: 1089.4mm
BB height: 301.8mm
Head angle: 69.25°
Seat angle: 72.5°
Reach: 412.8mm
Weight: 22.3lbs

Overall

A very flickable 27.5 wheeled race machine that makes putting in the miles a joy, just watch out that you don’t lose track of time and get lost, although finding your way back will be fun and fast on this bike!

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This review was in Issue 31 of IMB.

For more information visit Pivot Cycles

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By James Cornford

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