Over the past few years, we've seen axle width standards diverge into an anything but standardized whirlpool of super stiff, super beefy spacing options. With tire choices going the way of a bored herd of bunny rabbits in a late fall cold snap, we're not exaggerating when we say that we thought we'd seen every axletire combination possible. Pivot's never been satisfied with following conventions though, so it's no surprise that it's pushing boundaries and expectations again with the 2017 Pivot Switchblade Carbon 27. 5 XT Pro 2x Complete Mountain Bike. Dressed up in a mix of Shimano XT and XTR componentry, a KS LEV dropper, and rolling on plush Maxxix Rekon tires, this Switchblade brings ample frame clearance and trail smoothing squish to amp up the party on any run. There's a lot going on with this bike, but the key element lies in the introduction of what Pivot is calling Super Boost Plus 157, a new rear axle standard that adds an additional 9mm to the rear axle and 12mm to tire clearance. It essentially combines a DH chainline with a typical 5in bike's Q factor and heel clearance. The introduction of a gravity sized rear axle has serious implications for an aggressive enduro rig, and these implications go well beyond the increased rear wheel stiffness of the more acute spoke angle. The main effect of the Super Boost rear hub is that the Switchblade enjoys the clearance to run traditional 29ers or, as is the case here, add an additional element of forgiving, save your butt squish with 27. 5 wheels and tires. Either way, the extra wide spacing allows Pivot to get freaky with chainstay lengths, chopping them down to 16. 85in by moving the rear wheel up towards the seat tube. That's a dimension that makes standard Boost axles blush, and it pairs with a Phoenix inspired, double wishbone rear triangle to stiffen both the pedaling interface and the linkage design. The rest of the geometry is similarly capable. Where the concise back end makes for a sharp knife w...