pivot les sl
(Photos/Patrick Ribera-McKay, Pivot Cycles)

Pivot’s New LES SL Hardtail: One of the Lightest MTB Frames Ever

The latest Pivot LES SL arrives after years of R&D, creating one of the world’s lightest production hardtail frames.

The most aggressive full-suspension mountain bikes with the latest technology soak up a lot of attention. But a well-engineered hardtail is still the weapon of choice in some areas. The format’s inherent simplicity and light weight make for a great rig, from trails to pump tracks.

Pivot’s new LES SL fits the bill. The new bike’s frame weighs just over 800 g in a medium size. The brand wants to give racers critical weight savings to shave off seconds and save energy.

pivot les sl

Engineers at Pivot cut a full 300 g off the LES SL’s predecessor (same name, different bike). Ten kg is a benchmark weight for a hardtail frame — 800 g is the gold standard.

Hardtail vs Full-Suspension MTB
Hardtail vs. Full-Suspension: Mountain Bike Smackdown
Itching for a fight? Start a thread on social media asking which is better: hardtail or full-suspension. I decided to cut through the rancor and get some cold, hard data. Read more…

Pivot LES SL Design

Carbon layup optimization helps the bike stay light and gain improvements in speed, ride feel, and performance relative to the previous generation.

The LES SL’s geometry looks to deliver a lot of power to the ground while offering racy handling and liveliness with enough vertical compliance to keep you on rails and feeling fresh over the long haul.

It uses a more extended reach (about 17.5 inches in a medium) and a slacker seat angle (74.5 degrees on most sizes).

pivot les sl

Pivot CEO and bike designer Chris Cocalis spoke to the central challenge the design team sought to solve: improving a simple machine without adding embellishments.

“Our LES SL really shows our commitment to innovation,” said Pivot CEO and bike designer Chris Cocalis. “There is no place to hide with a hardtail — the simplest machines are often the most elegant and most challenging to design.”

“Taking this bike to the next level required an extra measure of commitment from our team. They really nailed not only the weight, but also the performance, and the ride quality is absolutely amazing.”pivot racing hardtail

Weight Estimate and Availability

Pivot says the new mountain bike weighs in at around 20 pounds, for a complete build to its XTR Team spec at a size medium. But with a lot of sizing and equipment options, builds could vary in weight along a pretty broad spectrum.

pivot les sl

The Pivot LES SL is available now in black sunset or blue ribbon, from sizes XS to XL.

Six complete bike configurations are available, and customers can mix and match carbon wheel options. Pricing ranges from MSRP of $5,000 to $9,800.

Sam Anderson

Sam has roamed the American continent to follow adventures, explore natural wonders, and find good stories. After going to college to be a writer, he got distracted (or saved) by rock climbing and spent most of the next decade on the road, supporting himself with trade work. He's had addresses in the Adirondack Mountains, Las Vegas, and somehow Kansas, but his heart belongs in the Texas hill country.