When we decided to test the revolutionary XX1 build kit from SRAM
, we didn't just want a stock bike as a platform. We decided to go all out, and design a project bike with some of our favorite bits. What we ended up with was a 29-pound, 6.7-inch travel super bike, which we're reviewing for the June issue. Keep your eyes peeled for the full writeup, but for now, check out the finer points of our Pivot Firebird
DT Swiss helped us with the wheels, which are the EX1550 Carbon
model, with an upgraded Star Ratchet system with twice the engagement points as their normal hubs. We chose to test the XX1 kit with a little extra chain management, even though our testing suggests the system doesn't really need it. Still, the MRP lower roller system proved to be quiet and problem free. The HT magnesium
pedals are among the lightest we've ever tested, and we don't mean just for a flat pedal.
Cane Creek helped us in a big way by providing our favorite rear shock, the Double Barrel Air.
This is by far the most adjustable shock we've ever tested. Unfortunately, the stock carbon fiber Firebird rocker doesn't have the clearance to run the DBair, so we had to go with the aluminum version instead. The XX1 drivetrain is simply stunning looking, but also proves its mettle on the trail. The Cage Lock system makes on the trail flat tire repairs a breeze.
With any project bike, you have to add a personal touch. The X0 trail brakes have provided trouble feel stopping power, even when pushed to the limits on huge descents.
might be new to the handlebar game, but their stems and seatposts have always been favorites of ours. The new Downhill bar measures 780 millimeters wide, which is our favorite width for a heavy-duty trail bike. The geometry of the Firebird is pretty perfect out of the box, but we couldn't help tinkering a little. We found our sweet spot with a Cane Creek Angleset to kick out the head angle 1 degree.
The wrecking crew strives to put as many miles on each test bike before we write a full review. Watch for the full write-up on this bike in the coming pages of Mountain Bike Action.