The past few years have seen big travel 29ers advance from mere pipe dreams to industry leading reality, and Pivot continues to raise the proverbial bar with the 2017 Pivot Switchblade Carbon 29 XT Pro 2x Complete Mountain Bike. Kitted out with plush FOX squish, a mix of Shimano XT and XTR components, KS LEV dropper awesomeness, and DT's star ratchet freehub, this bike sets a new standard for what a 29er can do. If you were to start at this root lattice devourer's own roots, you'd highlight the number nine first, as in: The Switchback's Super Boost Plus 157 rear axle adds 9mm to standard Boost axle spacing, bringing it up from 148 to a gravity inspired 157mm. This change's most tangible on trail effect comes in the form of the number 12, as in: The Switchblade's Super Boost rear axle nets 12 additional millimeters of tire clearance. That lets Pivot shove the rear wheel up even more than a standard Boost axle, chopping the chainstays down to a mere 16. 85in while accommodating 27. 5 or as is the case here 29ers and preserving a Q factor on par with typical 5in bikes. The Super Boost axle's additional real estate also makes for a still stiffer spoke bracing angle for the DT hoops, which conspires with a double wishbone rear triangle and Phoenix inspired clevis to stiffen both the pedaling interface and the linkage design. This makes the rear triangle more resistant to torsional flex, which increases pedaling efficiency and decreases the stress put on the pivot bearings. It's easier on your legs and on the hardware you rely on to bail you out of situations where overly ambitious line selection lands you in water that's just a little too deep. The rest of the geometry is similarly capable. Where the concise back end makes for a sharp knife while dicing rooty sections, the relatively steep head tube and low bottom bracket height make for a slack, low chassis that further contributes to DH stability. Despite the frame's big line parachute qualities, its seat tube...