Pivot Cycles hires John Pentecost in international sales and Ron Koch in media relations and content

TEMPE, Ariz.

MRP hires Rob Aguero as manager of sales and business development

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (BRAIN) — Mountain Racing Products has hired industry veteran Rob Aguero to its sales team.

Interbike registration opens; show announces new exhibitors

Show organizers say they have commitments from Cannondale, Pivot Cycles, KHS and other major bike brands.

Dirt Fest West Virginia attracts 900-plus riders

PITTSBURGH (BRAIN) — West Virginia’s Big Bear Lake Camplands was the scene for the Dirt Fest West Virginia mountain bike festival earlier this month. The event attracted more than 900 riders from 20 states and Canada

Ritchey International hires Jeff Lockwood as marketing manager

GRANCIA, Switzerland (BRAIN) — Ritchey International has brought Jeff Lockwood on board as marketing manager in Europe. Lockwood will be responsible for all aspects of marketing, branding and communications for Ritchey International

With high-profile absences, bike brands report busy Demo

BOULDER CITY, Nev. (BRAIN) — Chris Cocalis, president and CEO of Pivot, sent out 247 demos on Monday of OutDoor Demo, a company record. And he expected to do more on Tuesday, traditionally a busier day for retail traffic

Rotor appoints Lori Barrett as North American brand manager

MADRID (BRAIN) — Rotor Bike Components has hired industry veteran, Lori Barrett, as its North American brand manager. Barrett’s experience includes her tenure as national sales manager for Reynolds Cycling and experience as an independent sales representative and head of her own sales agency, representing brands such as Pivot Cycles, Pearl Izumi, and Skratch Labs. She has also provided consulting services to help launch other brands in the sports and outdoor channel

Pivot releases Switchblade 29er/27.5-plus mountain bike

PHOENIX, Ariz. (BRAIN) — Pivot’s new Switchblade mountain bike, designed for both 29-inch and 27.5-plus wheels, features the brand’s new?long and low geometry, ample tire clearance, and short chainstays

Rotor taps On the Edge for Canadian distribution

MADRID (BRAIN) — Rotor Bike Components has signed with Quebec City-based On the Edge for Canadian distribution, effective March 1. Rotor was previously distributed in the market by KHS Canada. “We are excited to add Rotor to our lineup of brands,” said Jean Philippe Da Silva, director of sales and marketing for On the Edge.

30,000ft up and back down again on the Pivot Mach 429SL

To say that I’m not a huge fan of climbing would be quite the understatement so when I hit the ‘confirm’ button on the registration page for multi-stage MTB race the Breck Epic, I had instant second thoughts. Why on earth was I doing a six-day mountain bike stage race across Colorado with nearly 10,000m (32,600ft) of vertical? 

Whatever reservations I had, however, were quickly erased when I suddenly remembered that all climbing comes with a lot of descending, and I quickly set to the task of laying out a bike to suit. This was going to be big-time fun.

  • The course: The Breck Epic, a six-day mountain bike stage race in the Colorado high country covering more than 400km (250mi) of distance and 10,000m (32,600ft) of climbing, all above 3,000m (10,000ft) of elevation.
  • The equipment goal: A full-suspension 29er that was suitable for hours of climbing but still tough (and fun) enough for lots of demanding, high-speed descending.
  • The horse: A custom-built Pivot Mach 429SL trail bike with Fox iCTD electronic suspension, a Shimano XTR Di2 2×11 transmission, wide-but-light wheels and tyres, and a KS carbon fibre dropper post


This was going to hurt – but it was also going to be extremely fun

It’s not just about going uphill

Long mountain bike races are invariably won on the climbs. They occupy the biggest percentage of the total time, they quickly separate the fit from the unfit, and they require the most preparation beforehand to do well.

That said, I knew that I wasn’t exactly going to be gunning for a podium spot. While normal logic would dictate maximising my vertical rate of ascent with ultralight gear, I instead started thinking about the grin on my face for all that descending. Breck Epic would serve up a whole lot of it, too, and in massively big, fat chunks. As long as I could get myself up there with enough left in the tank to enjoy the ride down, I’d be in good shape.

Ready, set… suffer!

The benefit of hindsight

One for your bucket list

Complete bike specifications:

  • Frame: Pivot Cycles Mach 429SL, 100mm-travel
  • Rear shock: Fox Float iCTD
  • Fork: Fox 32 Float 29 120 iCTD FIT, 120mm-travel
  • Headset: 1 1/8-to-1 1/2in tapered, integrated
  • Stem: Easton EC90 SL, 70mm
  • Handlebar: Easton EC70, 720mm
  • Grips: Specialized Enduro XL
  • Front brake: Shimano XTR Trail BR-M9020 with 160mm Ice Tech rotor
  • Rear brake: Shimano XTR Trail BR-M9020 with 160mm Ice Tech rotor
  • Brake levers: Shimano XTR Trail BL-M9020
  • Front derailleur: Shimano XTR Di2 FD-M9050
  • Rear derailleur: Shimano XTR Di2 RD-M9050
  • Shift levers: Shimano XTR Di2 SW-M9050 in Synchro Shift mode
  • Cassette: Shimano XTR CS-M9000, 11-40T
  • Chain: Shimano CH-HG900-11
  • Crankset: Shimano XTR Trail FC-M9020-2, 175mm, 36/26T
  • Bottom bracket: Shimano press-fit SM-BB94-41A
  • Pedals: Shimano XTR Trail PD-M9020
  • Wheelset: Shimano XTR Trail WH-M9020-TL
  • Front tyre: Specialized Ground Control Control, 29×2.3in
  • Rear tyre: Specialized Fast Trak Control, 29×2.2in
  • Saddle: WTB Silverado Team
  • Seatpost: KS LEV Integra C
  • Accessories: Garmin Edge 520, K-Edge computer mount, Incredibell Brass bell, Arundel Sideloader bottle cage
  • Total weight: 12.47kg (27.49lb, complete, as raced)

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