Pivot are entering our 2023 eMTB group test with an updated version of the Shuttle LT Team XTR, which retails at for € 12,199. The third iteration of the Shuttle LT combines 170/160 mm of travel front and rear, and comes equipped with a big 756 Wh battery. But does more travel and more Watts necessarily mean more fun?
With its unmistakable silhouette, the latest iteration of the Pivot Shuttle LT Team XTR is distinctly recognisable as a Pivot. With its straight lines and Pivot’s typical DW-Link rear suspension, it thoroughly follows Pivot’s design language. The Shuttle LT is modelled on Pivot’s analogue trail bruiser, the Firebird, which shares the same distinctive look and similar hard numbers, and has already secured several podiums at the Enduro World Series. Moreover, it’s intended for a similar use and was designed to blast down rough trails at Mach 10. In Pivot’s own words, it’s “more Shuttle than ever”. And rightly so! The latest descendant of the Shuttle LT dynasty features a bigger 756 Wh battery – the second biggest in this test field with a whopping 6 Wh more than a whole bunch of Bosch bikes – and more travel, combining 170/160 mm at the front and rear, respectively. Pivot’s engineers were obviously having one of those “more is more ” moments. Speaking of which, the development team of the Arizona-based brand has had a particularly busy year, creating not only the Shuttle LT but also the Shuttle SL Light-eMTB, which also took part in our huge 2023 eMTB group test.
For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best eMTB of 2023 – 30 models in review
More is more – What sets the Pivot Shuttle LT Team XTR apart from the competition?
For the Shuttle LT Team XTR, the American manufacturer relies on a proven 85 Nm Shimano EP8 motor. However, Pivot renounced the standard Shimano integration, relying on third-party suppliers as well as several in-house solutions instead. Darfon supply both the big 756 Wh battery and the small, discreet charging port. To remove the battery from the down tube you’ll have to undo two bolts. While the system is a tad more complex than some comparable solutions, it allowed Pivot to trim the saggy belly of the Shuttle LT’s little sibling, the Shuttle AM. The power button is positioned on the top tube, making it easier to power a mobile phone or bike computer using the integrated USB-C port while riding. A beefy skid plate protects the motor from nasty impacts and blends in nicely with the overall image of the bike.
As the name suggests, the Shuttle LT Team XTR comes equipped with a fancy Shimano XTR groupset. Upon closer inspection, however, you’ll realise that Pivot are using cheaper components for the brake rotors, cassette and chain. While this hardly affects the bike’s performance, it’s incredibly cheeky! The suspension consists of a top-tier FOX 38 Factory FLOAT GRIP2 Kashima fork and matching FOX Factory FLOAT X shock, both offering countless adjustment options. A small but awesome detail is the sloped rear end of the WTB saddle, which provides additional support on steep climbs. The only components that slow down the Shuttle’s performance a little are the MAXXIS ASSEGAI tires in EXO+ casing and hard MaxxTerra rubber compound, which don’t do justice to the potential of the Shuttle LT Team XTR. A bike in this league deserves robust tires with a tougher casing for better puncture protection and more trail performance. While we’re at it, we would also upgrade to the softer MaxxGrip rubber compound, at least at the front.
Pivot Shuttle LT Team XTR
Motor Shimano EP8 85 Nm
Battery Darfon 756 Wh
Display Shimano SC-EM800
Fork FOX 38 Factory FLOAT GRIP2 Kashima 170 mm
Rear Shock FOX FLOAT X Factory 160 mm
Seatpost FOX Transfer Factory 170 mm
Brakes Shimano XTR 220/200 mm
Drivetrain Shimano XTR 1x12
Stem Phoenix Team Enduro/Trail 40 mm
Handlebar Phoenix Team Low Rise Carbon 800 mm
Wheelset NEWMEN EVOLUTION SL A.30 29"
Tires MAXXIS ASSEGAI 3C MaxxTerra EXO+ 2.5/2.5
Size S M L XL
Weight 22.9 kg
Perm. total weight 149 kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment) 126 kg
Trailer approval no
Kickstand mount no
Tuning tip: Upgrade the tires to a more robust model with tougher casing like MAXXIS’ Doubledown and while you’re at it change to the softer MaxxGrip rubber compound at the front.
What is the Pivot Shuttle LT Team XTR capable of?
In typical Pivot fashion, the Shuttle LT Team XTR grinds its way up the hill with great eagerness, with the firm suspension making it the most efficient Shimano bike in the entire test field. The pedalling position is pleasantly comfortable due to the high front end. As a result, the Shuttle LT is one of the best tourers in the entire test field, ensuring a relaxed chopper feeling on level ground. When making your way to the trailhead on technical climbs, the rear suspension doesn’t sink into its travel, generating tons of traction while at the same time ensuring a high level of comfort. Even with nasty steps and bumps, the Pivot doesn’t try to buck you off the saddle. Despite the high front end, you’ll only have to weight the front wheel slightly on steeper climbs, which is possible thanks to the central pedalling position. The supportive curved saddle plays a major role too, preventing you from sliding off the back.
The firm suspension also has its perks when riding downhill, where the Pivot Shuttle LT Team XTR constantly encourages you to pop off ledges and pump through rollers to generate speed. At the same time, the suspension provides plenty of support and progression with hard landings. In flat corners, however, you’ll have to shift your weight forward and actively weight the front wheel to keep it tracking. A front tire with a softer rubber compound would already make a huge difference here! On rough, steep terrain, the high front end integrates you nicely with the bike, inspiring huge amounts of confidence. With its firm suspension, the Pivot provides plenty of feedback from the ground, feeling a smidge harsher than the Santa Cruz Heckler as a result. Experienced riders will appreciate the strong feedback, ensuring they always know what’s going on underneath them. Beginners, on the other hand, can easily become overwhelmed by this feeling. The rear suspension strikes an excellent balance between support and traction, making it easy to spontaneously change your line. At the same time, the Shuttle LT conveys a reassuring feeling of security on fast trails, where it can easily keep up with its direct competitors, the Yeti 160E and Transition Repeater.
Riding uphill, the Pivot Shuttle LT Team XTR converts every pedal stroke into efficient propulsion, allowing you to grind your way up the mountain in relaxed fashion.
Who should take a closer look at the Pivot Shuttle LT Team XTR and who should look elsewhere?
With the Shuttle LT Team XTR, Pivot have created an excellent all-rounder that appeals to a wide range of riders. Eager tourers will enjoy the relaxed pedalling position and efficient propulsion, whereby the latter doesn’t seem to affect the excellent level of comfort. The Shuttle LT Team is also a great choice for devotees of technical climbs, although here it can’t keep up with the more powerful Bosch bikes. Downhill, the Shuttle LT is tons of fun for both newbies and seasoned trail veterans. While the latter category can benefit from strong feedback and support, the former will appreciate the high fun factor on flowing trails and the huge amounts of confidence the Shuttle inspires.
The rear suspension of the Pivot Shuttle LT Team XTR provides plenty of feedback from the ground and always lets you know what’s going on underneath you.
Conclusions about the Pivot Shuttle LT Team XTR
The Pivot Shuttle LT Team XTR drifts into the new season not only with more travel and more power, but also with far better all-round capabilities. The comfortable riding position and efficient suspension make it an excellent tourer too. However, the Shuttle LT also convinces downhill, where it combines intuitive handling with very supportive rear suspension. As a result, Pivot’s concept really appeals to a wide range of riders, making the Shuttle LT one of the best all-rounders in the entire test field.
- Excellent, potent rear suspension
- Awesome motor system integration
- Integrated riding position inspires huge amounts of confidence
- Tires don’t do justice to the bike’s potential and intended use
You can find out more about at pivotcycles.com
The test field
For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best eMTB of 2023 – 30 models in review
All bikes in test: Berria Mako Hybrid GT LTD (Click for review) | Bulls SONIC EVO SL EN-1 (Click for review) | Cannondale Moterra Neo Carbon LT1 (Click for review) | Flyer Uproc X 9.50 (Click for review) | Focus SAM² 6.9 (Click for review) | Focus JAM² 6.9 (Click for review) | Focus Jam² SL 9.9 (Click for review) | Forestal Siryon Diōde (Click for review) | Giant Trance X Advanced E+ Ltd (Click for review) | Haibike Lyke CF SE (Click for review) | Ibis OSO (Click for review) | KTM Macina Prowler Exonic (Click for review) | MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 975 (Click for review) | Mondraker Crafty Carbon XR LTD (Click for review) | Moustache Samedi 29 Game 11 (Click for review) | Orbea Rise M-Team (Click for review) | Orbea WILD M-LTD (Click for review) | Pivot Shuttle SL Pro X01 (Click for review) | Pivot Shuttle LT Team XTR | Radon Deft 10.0 (Click for review) | Rotwild R.X735 Ultra (Click for review) | Santa Cruz Heckler MX XO1 AXS RSV (Click for review) | SCOTT Lumen eRide 900 SL (Click for review) | Simplon Rapcon Pmax TQ (Click for review) | Specialized Turbo Levo Expert (Click for review) | Transition Repeater AXS Carbon (Click for review) | Thömus Lightrider E Ultimate (Click for review) | Trek Fuel EXe 9.9 XX1 AXS (Click for review) | UNNO Mith Race (Click for review) | Yeti 160E T1 (Click for review)
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Words: Felix Rauch Photos: Mike Hunger, Peter Walker