What is a High Pivot Mountain Bike? Here’s The Answer!

Mountain biking is a thrilling and exciting adventure requiring top-notch equipment to make the most of your experience.

Surely no one will contradict me on this statement?!

One important mountain bike component that is gaining popularity among mountain bikers is the high pivot design.

Pivot what?

In this article, we’ll dive deep into what a high pivot mountain bike is, how it works, its advantages and disadvantages, and when it’s best to use one. You’ll also learn about some of the most popular high pivot mountain bikes and how they perform.

But before we get started, let me ask you a question: Have you ever wondered how a high pivot mountain bike can help you easily tackle even the toughest terrains?

If so, keep reading to find out!

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The Key Takeaways

We have characterized for you the High Pivot mountain bike in table form:

Suspension DesignVertical rear wheel path.
Chainstay LengthLonger, improved stability.
PriorityTraction, control, comfort.
Riding StylesDownhill, enduro, freeride.
MaterialsCarbon fiber frames.
AdjustabilityFlip-chip system.
Suspension TechnologyAir springs, adjustable dampers.

What is a High Pivot Mountain Bike and How Do They Work?

What is a High Pivot Mountain Bike? Here's The Answer!

In the next chapter, let’s address some elementary questions before we get into the pros and cons of a high pivot mountain bike.

What is the Pivot Point?

Do you know what the pivot point is?

The pivot point is a fixed point around which something rotates or moves.

In the case of a high pivot mountain bike, it is the point on the frame where the rear suspension pivots or rotates.

This pivot point is higher on the frame than on traditional mountain bikes, allowing the rear wheel to move more vertically. This improves traction, control, and comfort on rough and technical terrain.


Now let’s take a look at how a mountain bike works that has a high pivot point.

Rear suspension pivots and a distinctive design

The unique rear suspension system used in the high pivot design has its pivot point high on the frame, close to the back axle.

This enhances traction, control, and comfort by enabling the back wheel to move in a more vertical route.

Enhanced Control, Comfort, and Traction

Because the rear wheel is in contact with the ground for a longer amount of time and has more grip on loose and uneven terrain thanks to the high pivot design, traction is improved.

The rear suspension is more active and responsive, which gives the bike more control and enables the rider to maintain their line better and negotiate challenging terrain.

Also, because the high pivot design absorbs impacts more effectively, it creates a smoother ride and improves comfort.

Greater Impact Absorption and Enhanced Balance

Longer rides are possible with less rider fatigue because of the bike’s improved ability to absorb impacts from tough terrain.

Also, the bike’s distinctive design provides better stability and balance, particularly on challenging terrain where precise movements are essential.

Advantages of High Pivot Mountain Bikes

First, let’s take a look at the advantages of a High Pivot mountain bike:

Easily Navigating Difficult Terrain

The capacity of a high pivot mountain bike to easily navigate even the most difficult terrain is among its most important benefits.

Even in the trickiest parts of the terrain, the rider can retain speed and momentum because of the higher traction and control offered by the high pivot design.

Maintaining Speed and Momentum in Technical Sections

The high pivot design also enables the rider to maintain speed and momentum in technical trail sections where other bikes might find it difficult to maintain traction and control.

The rider can hold their line and move more readily through the terrain because of the increased responsiveness and activity of the rear suspension.

Enhancing Control and Reduce Rider Fatigue

The high pivot design’s enhanced traction and control help reduce rider fatigue, enabling longer and more pleasurable rides.

The bike’s improved stability and balance make maintaining control in challenging terrain simpler for the user.

High Pivot Mountain Bikes’ Drawbacks

Of course, there are some disadvantages you should know about….

More Complex and Weighty Design

High pivot mountain bikes have a heavier and more complicated design, which is one of their drawbacks.

The unique rear suspension system necessitates additional parts and engineering, making the bike heavier and more difficult to operate.

Not the best for maximizing speed and efficiency

Mountain bikes with high pivot points might be better for riders who value efficiency and speed over technical proficiency.

The high pivot design may increase weight and complexity, which could cause the rider to slow down and make it harder to maintain high speeds.

When is a High Pivot Mountain Bike a Good Choice?

It’s critical to comprehend how a high pivot mountain bike performs at its best if you’re considering buying one.

These are some situations in which a high pivot mountain bike would be a wise choice:

#1: A Difficult and Technical Terrain

Mountain bikes with high pivot points are made to navigate rough terrain easily.

A high pivot mountain bike can be ideal if you frequently ride on steep, rocky, or uneven terrain.

#2: Traction, control, and comfort are prioritized

A high pivot mountain bike can be the best option if you value comfort, control, and traction more than efficiency and speed.

The upgraded rear suspension design makes better traction and control on rocky terrain possible, and the vertical wheel path makes for a smoother and more comfortable ride.

#3: Downhill riding

High pivot mountain bikes are frequently used for downhill riding, where the rider needs the most control and stability to negotiate steep descents and challenging terrain.

The bike can better absorb shocks from jumps and drops because of the high pivot design, resulting in smoother and more controlled riding.

#4: Enduro Riding

The popular sport of enduro biking includes both tough uphill and downhill stages.

High pivot mountain bikes are ideal for this kind of riding because they provide stability and comfort on difficult downhill portions and improve traction and handling on steep uphill sections.

Want to know exactly what an enduro mountain bike is? Read our article!

Bike park riding and freeriding

Jumps, drops, and other technical aspects are part of freeride and bike park riding, which calls for a bike with good suspension and control.

Since they offer superior traction, control, and stability on tricky aspects, high pivot mountain bikes are an excellent option for this riding style.

This makes it simpler and safer to ride at high speeds.

In conclusion, if you frequently ride on tricky and difficult terrain, value traction, control, and comfort over speed and efficiency, or partake in downhill, enduro, freeride, or bike parks, a high pivot mountain bike is a perfect option. 

With a high pivot mountain bike, you can ride more comfortably and with greater control over even the most difficult terrain.

Popular High Pivot Mountain Bikes Models

If you are considering buying a high pivot mountain bike, we have summarized the most popular five models of this MTB type for you in this chapter.

#1: Pivot Firebird

High pivot mountain bikes like the Pivot Firebird provide an excellent blend of performance and adaptability.

It has a carbon fiber frame with a 170mm fork travel and a 162mm rear suspension travel.

In challenging terrain, the Firebird is renowned for its outstanding traction, stability, and control.

#2: Forbidden Druid

The Forbidden Druid is a high pivot mountain bike designed for enduro and all-mountain riding.

With a fork with 150mm of travel and a rear suspension travel of 130mm, it has a carbon fiber frame. Because of its high pivot design and effective suspension system, the Druid is renowned for its controlled and smooth ride.

#3: Devinci Spartan

The Devinci Spartan is a high pivot mountain bike for demanding trail and enduro riding. It has a 165mm rear suspension travel, a 170mm fork travel, and an aluminum or carbon frame.

The Spartan is renowned for its reliable handling of difficult terrain and effective pedaling abilities.

#4: Trust Message

The Trust Message is a one-of-a-kind high pivot mountain bike with a trailing multi-link suspension system.

It is made for trail and all-mountain riding and has 130mm of rear suspension travel. The Message is renowned for its outstanding handling, traction, control, and stability, as well as for being stable and predictable.

#5: Mondraker Foxy

The Mondraker Foxy is a high pivot mountain bike with a distinctive forward geometry design. It offers a 140mm rear suspension travel, a 150mm fork travel, and a frame made of either carbon fiber or aluminum.

The Foxy is well-known for its effective pedaling performance, outstanding traction, stability, and handling over tough terrain.

Current Developments You Have to Know

Here are some areas that have seen significant improvements in recent months, and where manufacturers are likely to continue to show significant leaps in quality in the coming months/years:

  • Manufacturers are increasingly using carbon fiber frames for high pivot mountain bikes, which offers a balance of strength and weight savings.
  • Some high pivot mountain bikes, such as the Forbidden Druid, use a flip-chip system that allows riders to adjust the bike’s geometry and suspension settings for different riding styles and terrain.
  • Advancements in suspension technology, such as the use of air springs and adjustable dampers, are also improving the performance and adjustability of high pivot mountain bikes.


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