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New Pivot Shuttle Team XTR 2021 with a 726 Wh battery and Shimano EP8 – True to its word?

For 2021, the new Pivot Shuttle Team XTR comes equipped with a Shimano EP8 motor and a large 726 Wh Darfon battery. There have been updates to several details and the geometry has seen some changes too. Can Pivot improve on the weaknesses of last year’s model? We’ve got all the details on the new bike for you.

The predecessor to the Pivot Shuttle 29 Team XTR had to measure up to the best eMTBs in our 2020 group test. In it, it scored with direct and light-footed handling, as well as its comfortable riding position. However, it couldn’t keep up with the competition on the downhills. That wasn’t helped by the small disc rotor at the rear, the short dropper post and the dated battery concept. The US brand has overhauled the latter in its newest iteration of the Shuttle Team XTR, equipping it with the new Shimano EP8 motor and a 726 Wh battery.

Pivot Shuttle Team XTR | Shimano EP8/726 Wh | 160/140 mm (f/r)
€ 10,999 | Manufacturer’s website

What’s new with the Pivot Shuttle Team XTR 2021?

The motor has been updated to the new Shimano EP8 and is powered by a 726 Wh Daforn battery. This is fully integrated into the down tube with the battery cover fixed in place by two screws. The opening is positioned relatively far up the down tube, meaning it’s necessary to thread the battery through the fork to remove it completely. We’re interested to find out how well that works in practice and whether the Kashima-coated fork will stay unscuffed in the long run. One thing is clear: for all those who want to charge the battery off the bike, this solution isn’t the most optimal.

The new Shimano EP8 turns the Pivot into a Shuttle.
The battery cover is positioned far up the down tube.
To remove the battery, you have to thread it through the fork.

The Daforn battery doesn’t just have significantly more juice than Shimano’s 630 Wh BT-E8063 battery, it is also 4 cm shorter. That could help improve the centre of gravity and in turn handling, but it’s not possible to make any blanket statements. To tell you more, we’ll first have to do a thorough test of the Pivot Shuttle. The charging port sits on the right side of the frame behind the head tube. On the other side, you’ll find the power button. Both also act as cable clamps on the main frame. The previous model stood out with its excellent cable management and was particularly quiet in our group test with no rattling cables to be heard. We’ll have to see in a test whether the new clamps do just as good a job, but with the clunking of the Shimano EP8 motor, the new Pivot Shuttle 2021 won’t be silent anymore.

The charging port does double duty as a cable clamp.
The power button also doubles up as a cable clamp.

The smooth organic shaping and prominent down tube of the carbon frame have remained the same. The down tube is protected by a two-part guard and the chainstay protector remains the generous item that damped noise effectively on the bike’s predecessor. An additional metal plate is designed to protect the chainstay from your chain.

The tubeset of the full carbon frame follows flowing lines.
The down tube protector is split into two parts. The battery cover is at the top section of the down tube.
The chainstay guard is generously dimensions and the metal plate has also been inherited from the predecessor.

The components of the Pivot Shuttle Team XTR

The Pivot Shuttle will initially be available in just one spec. The parts fitted to the € 10,999 ebike are high-end and leave few desires unfulfilled. Up front, the previous FOX 36 fork has been replaced by the current FOX Factory 38. It delivers 160 mm travel, has an updated and eMTB-specific tune of the GRIP2 damper instead of the FIT4 cartridge from last year. The 140 mm travel at the rear is controlled by a FOX Factory DPX2 shock. Regarding the rest of the spec, the Shuttle Team XTR, it’s only partly true to its word. Obvious parts like the four-piston brakes, shifter and 12-speed derailleur are Shimano XTR. However, the cassette, cranks and rotors are Shimano XT items. While there’s a 203 mm rotor up front, the 180 mm disc fitted at the back is still too small in 2021. We didn’t like this on the previous model either. Similarly, the travel of the FOX Factory Transfer dropper post is only average at 150 mm for sizes M and L. In size XL, Pivot has improved things, with a 175 mm travel dropper fitted for 2021.

The FOX 38 Factory fork fitted to the Pivot Shuttle is tuned specifically for eMTBs.
The 180 mm rotor at the rear is too small.

Pivot Shuttle Team XTR

€ 10,999

Specifications

Motor Shimano EP8 85 Nm
Battery Darfon 726 Wh
Display Shimano SC-EM800
Fork FOX 38 Factory eMTB 160 mm
Rear Shock FOX FLOAT DPX2 Factory 140 mm
Seatpost FOX Transfer Factory 125 – 175 mm
Brakes Shimano XTR BR-MT9120 203/180 mm
Drivetrain Shimano XTR 1x12 10–51t
Stem Phoenix Team Enduro/Trail
Handlebar Phoenix Team Low Rise Carbon
Wheelset DT Swiss EB 1535 29"
Tires MAXXIS Assegai/Minion DHRII EXO+ 2,5"/2,4"

Technical Data

Size S M L XL

The geometry of the Pivot Shuttle Team XTR

The Pivot Shuttle Team XTR will be available in four sizes from S to XL and, according to Pivot, should suit riders between 160 and 200 cm tall. Amongst the small tweaks to the geometry, the most noticeable change is that the 358 mm high bottom bracket has been lowered by 5 mm. In 2020, the bottom bracket had risen by 15 mm due to the change to 29″ tires, which led to feeling poorly connected with the bike on the downhills. Pivot clearly noticed the problem and have improved things for 2021 – only a test will show whether the 5 mm change has done the job. The head tube angle has slackened by a further 1-degree.

SizeSMLXL
Seat tube396 mm427 mm459 mm496 mm
Top tube620 mm620 mm640 mm667 mm
Head tube110 mm120 mm130 mm140 mm
Head angle64,3°64,3°64,3°64,3°
Seat tube angle74°74°74°74°
Chainstay length441 mm441 mm441 mm441 mm
Bottom bracket height358 mm358 mm358 mm358 mm
Wheelbase1,187 mm1,211 mm1,236 mm1,265 mm
Reach420 mm440 mm460 mm485 mm
Stack614 mm624 mm633 mm642 mm

The battery concept was previously a thorn in the side of the Pivot Shuttle, but this has been completely redesigned for 2021. The Shuttle has also had further optimisations and modifications made to it. However, it’s hard to say on paper whether the ebike has developed a completely new character or whether the changes only amount to a facelift. The modifications to the geometry, in combination with the higher weight resulting from the significantly larger battery, will no doubt have an impact on the handling. We are looking forward to testing the new Pivot Shuttle Team XTR. Then we’ll see if the eMTB can deliver what it promises.

More information at pivotcycles.com


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Words: Rudolf Fischer Photos: Pivot

About the author

Rudolf Fischer

In his previous life Rudolf was a dab hand at promoting innovation, putting his brain behind big-ticket patent assessments that easily ran into six-or-seven-plus figures. These days, the self-confessed data nerd’s role as editor at DOWNTOWN and E-MOUNTAINBIKE is no less exciting. Given his specialism in connectivity, Rudolf’s often placed on the front line of future mobility conversations, but he’s also big into testing new bikes–both on the daily as a committed commuter and intensively for our group tests. The business economist graduate is as versatile as a Swiss penknife, and that’s no hyperbole. Away from two wheels, his background in parkour means he’s a master of front, side and backflips, plus he speaks German, English, French, Russian and a touch of Esperanto. Japanese remains woefully unmastered, despite his best home-learning attempts. Good to know: Rudolf’s sharp tongue has made him a figure of fear in the office, where he’s got a reputation for flexing a dry wittiness à la Ricky Gervais... interestingly, he's usually the one laughing hardest.