The Takeaway: One of the best e-mountain bikes you can buy gets a functional update
- New Shimano EP8 motor is more efficient, offers more torque, and is 380 grams lighter than the previous motor
- Huge 726 watt-hour battery
- Updated Shimano XT/XTR build kit with stiffer 160mm Fox 38 fork.
Ah, how times have changed. When Pivot unveiled its Shuttle e-bike in 2017, it wasn’t available in the U.S. Back then, Pivot founder Chris Cocalis said, “In the European market, you’re not considered a legitimate mountain bike brand unless you have an e-mountain bike. But in the U.S., you’re not considered a core brand if you do.”
Three-plus years later, and it is a different story in the U.S. Electric mountain bikes are popular and (mostly) accepted. Core mountain bike brands either have an e-bike in their line or—if my usually reliable sources are correct—will soon. Otherwise, they’re leaving money on the table.
The Shuttle eventually made it to the USA and quickly gained a reputation as one of the best e-MTBs available. But you know how these things go. Even the very best bikes eventually get updated. Today, it is the Shuttle’s turn.
As updates go, this one may appear small. But you’ll see that it’s quite significant.
What’s the Same
At first glance, the V2 Shuttle does not look much different than V1. The frame profile is the same, as is the 140mm of DW-Link rear suspension. Geometry gets a few small tweaks—the head angle is 0.9 degrees slacker, the BB is 5mm lower—but it too is mostly unchanged. But even though so much is the same, the V2 Shuttle is still a new and different bike.
The v2 Shuttle is all new because it gets a new motor and a larger battery. e-Bikes are all about the motor so, even if nothing else is changed, a different motor will completely transform how a bike rides. And a larger battery provides more range or more time in full-assist mode. Again, this creates a different experience than a smaller battery.
The new motor is Shimano’s EP8 (or Steps DU-EP800 in Shimano speak). Due to its magnesium case, this motor is 380 grams lighter than the Shimano E8000 motor it replaces. Maximum torque on the EP8 is 85Nm, 21 percent more than the 70Nm the old motor put out. Other refinements include better heat management and less drag.
There are also software refinements. Most significant is a new Trail mode, which, unlike the other modes, does not use a set assist ratio. Instead, an algorithm continually varies the assist depending on the situation. The full 85Nm of torque is available in this mode when needed, but instead of getting a blast of torque when you’re trying to soft-pedal over some slippery roots, you’ll get a more subtle, controllable assist.
The V2 Shuttle gets a 726Wh battery, a significant boost from the V1’s 504Wh battery. A bigger battery and a more efficient motor mean more range. According to Pivot, “In-house testing concludes that an average rider using a combination of all three assist modes can easily ride up to four hours on a single battery charge.” Even with the assist, four hours is a long ride, so range anxiety shouldn’t be an issue on this bike. And if you’re into mega adventures, the battery can be quickly dropped and swapped by twiddling two bolts. I suspect that a spare 726Wh battery is frighteningly expensive, however.
A few smaller details may go unnoticed but should provide a better user experience. The charging port is up near the head tube on the right side of the frame, where it can be easily accessed, with the power button on the other side of the frame.
The V2’s build kit is a mix of Shimano XT and XTR brake and drivetrain bits, with Fox Factory e-bike-tuned suspension. For the V2, the Shuttle gets a stiffer 160mm Fox 38 fork (the V1 used a 36) for better handling. It’s priced at—hold on to yer knickers—$10,099. According to Pivot, the V2 Shuttle is available today. I hope to get a bike in for a full review. However, I suspect because of pre-sales and COVID, it might be awhile.
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