Pivot Carbon 5.7 650b

Custom Pivot 5.7 Carbon 650b

Custom Pivot 5.7 Carbon 650b



Pivot Carbon 5.7 650b Convert

Let’s start with what leads you to shop 650b converts – performance and availability.

What about 650b production bikes?  Yes there are 650b production rigs.  Most of the early release chassis were banking on sales from simply existing.  There is a staggering amount of research, design, development, and refinement to bring a sophisticated chassis to market.   Remember how poorly the early 29” bikes handled?  Simply slapping the wheel in first and printing a clever name on the downtube doesn’t cut it.  Personally I am waiting for an introduction call or email from “SixFidyB” or “Twenty7Five” with a half-ass (or worse) executed frame.  Companies capable of producing great handling frames complimenting the middle sized wheel will likely make their announcements in spring – generally product begins to arrive for pre-orders in mid-summer and unless you are one of the first with a preorder you are looking late summer or fall for delivery.  Don’t get me wrong – awesome to preorder your dream rig – we do it all the time at our shop.  However if you live somewhere with a real “riding season” (here in Southern California we don’t enjoy/suffer seasons…depending on outlook) are you looking to sacrifice 2013 on something you’re not interested in?

So you want to ride a super handling, unique, refined bike as soon as you can?  Awesome plan – we each get only so many years to ride bikes at this level.


Custom 5.7 Carbon 650b with X-Fusion Fork

Custom 5.7 Carbon 650b with X-Fusion Fork

The Pivot Carbon 5.7 is a great handling “tweener” 26” chassis.  With new offerings in 34mm forks the “tweener” bike has larger terrain capacity as well as appealing to larger riders who want the extra front end stiffness from increased diameter stanchions.  These bikes appeal to riders looking for something more svelte than the typical 160mm chassis but with more trail capacity than smaller XC specific rigs.

Some major factors that led BikeCo.com to work with the 650b options were riding conditions and aspirations.  We found our rides developing into bigger mileage adventures while still incorporating steep, technical and aggressive descents.  Those who weren’t willing to move to the big wheels gave up speed across the flats and slight inclines (up or down).  Steep, technical descents take a special rider to rip through on the larger wheels.  Clearly we weren’t the only ones noticing this as you look at millions of dollars being pushed at 650b.  The Bike Company began independently testing platforms and theories to make the 27.5” wheel perform.  We spend nearly $50k wholesale on our development in 2012.

Pivot 5.7 650b featuring BikeCo custom tuned Marzocchi TST R - providing a wide array of capacity.

Pivot 5.7 650b featuring BikeCo custom tuned Marzocchi TST R – providing a wide array of capacity.

The Pivot Carbon 5.7 became a bike we were very interested in pursuing.  The DW suspension provides a plush downhill platform while maintaining an ultra efficient climbing personality.  The 5.7” of travel allow for a variety of build specs to tailor your final product to your exact riding style, experience and aspirations.  Pivot Cycles uses top of the line carbon fiber (believe us you can tell – flick cheap carbon with your finger it has a different feel/noise – compare your Easton or RaceFace bars with your cheap buddies no name China bars that are going to cost him teeth) Pivots attention to detail on design and machining of metal parts is superb.  We found the 5.7 had a speed capacity which 26” wheels found themselves a bit nervous for all but the most advanced riders.  Those factors mated with the geometry, potential fitment, and variety of build options where too much for us and we developed 27.5” 5.7 rigs.

We worked with the 5.7 paired to several different fork, rear shock, rim width, and tire specs.  We were able to produce personalities feeling like nearly a 7” bike (super plush, larger terrain capacity through the wheel than 26”, high speed THUMPERS) to ultra racy XC  (think enduro race course with several quick “S” switchbacks in a row – your 29” begins to hurt bringing it back up to speed over and over) and everything in between.  The 5.7’s rear triangle accepted a variety of tire options – yes there will be a maximum size tire you can run – no it’s not something that can be listed due to rim interface, exact size, etc, etc.  The reality is you’re not running a 2.7” 26” tire in it either – so if you’re looking for something that can run any rubber ever enjoy your snow bike…  We were able to run many 2.2” and some 2.3” rubber.   This bike offered more tire clearance than most of the conversions we produce which was a plus for any type of muddy riding.  The larger wheel helped settle the bike down at high speeds.  The 5.7’s bottom bracket height remains appropriate even with the larger wheels.  The bike doesn’t feel like it sits on stilts.  Having put miles on many different conversions the 5.7 offers perhaps the widest range of fun application.  Some conversion bikes will be a bit “course specific” – not the 5.7.  This bike was able to confidently tackle all of our favorite trails.

Nearly all of our staff felt that the 27.5” wheels gave the 5.7 a little extra – tipping it from the “this is a great bike” to “this is something I might HAVE to HAVE”.


A client who owns both a DW Carbon Fiber 160mm bike (with a proper spec and build from BikeCo.com) and a 650b Pivot Carbon 5.7 (also spec’d and built by BikeCo.com) spoke candidly with me regarding the bikes.  “My first ride on the 5.7 started with a descent.  The bike felt great to the point it worried me.  I was afraid that I had purchased the same bike twice.  The 5.7 was confident and fast without giving up the playfulness I enjoy.  Once we hit the flats and first climb I was blown away.  The 650b 5.7 blew away my 160mm rig.  Super fast, super efficient.   Awesome job…”  Since our conversation the 160mm bike continues to be his super steep, chair lift, and big hit rig while the Carbon 5.7 has become his after work ripper, longer mile adventure, Sedona type slayer.

So how do you know if the 5.7 conversion is right for you?  Are you looking for a bit more XC efficiency without losing the playfulness (flickability) of your 26”?  Is your 29” holding you back in the steeps?  Does a new feeling get you enjoying the trails more?

Your resource should take the time to discuss your riding style, experience, and aspirations.  A quality consultation begins with your resource listening far more than speaking.  Since 650b conversion demos will be few and far between your goal is to understand the basic platform’s characteristics and the 650b characteristics.  The reality is if you are looking at bikes at this level you have an idea of what you are looking for and how important it is to have it tailored to you.  Build equity with your resource and your riding development, 650b conversion or not, will go through the roof.  See you on the trails!  nate@bikeco.com

Remember with all conversions: It is critical you understand appropriate fitment for your riding conditions.  Suspension components may need to be modified for proper performance and safety.  If you are uncomfortable find a resource to work with.  Bike parts are cheaper than doctors…



  1. Please note that you must reduce the travel of the rear shock so the tire doesn’t come in contact with the frame. You need a 2″ stroke not the 2.25 that comes on the frame. If you do not change this, you will void the warranty of your frame!

  2. BikeCo.com also suggests modifying the shocks ramp rate as well to maintain your bikes designed personality.

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