I went to a demo yesterday and had the pleasure to ride both of these bikes.
Pivot: the riding position is much more upright than I am used to and I got that perched on top of the bike feeling, which diminished the longer I rode it. The demo location makes you pay the gravity tax as the only way to go is up once you start pedaling. This bike will climb, grudgingly. It will move you up and forward but it makes you work. Once the initial climb was over it was time for a nice technical loop. Rocky sections, both uphill and down, drops and jumps and a little bit of flow in between. This bike handled it all well. My bikes are all 29ers and I did notice the smaller wheel size on occasion but generally it wasn't an issue. Once the loop was done I took a different way back with a steep rocky descent followed by some flowy single track. Man this thing descends with ease. Totally confidence inspiring and stable.
Specialized: I lucked out once I got back and had only a short wait for the enduro. Once underway I felt more at home with the riding position as it felt more XC than upright. The wheels felt big at first, but quickly faded back to normal within 100 hundred yards or so. This was the S-works version and had the xx1 drive train. Very nice, though I could have used one lower gear it worked fine. I quickly noticed the larger wheels rolled over stuff the pivot got hung up on and the riding position made for an easier climb. Once at the techy loop this bike performed great. Exceptional agility in a long travel 29er. On the way back I took the same way back as I did the Pivot and the steep rocky descent is where I noticed a big difference. The enduro did fine but was definitely not as planted on the downhill. I mean I think I heard that pivot laughing at that steep section where as the enduro gritted its teeth and dealt with it.
Overall for me I would take the Enduro as I found the riding position and climbing chops more to my liking. I. Would have to swap the crappy Avids for some XT brakes though. If you are more interested in pointing your bike downhill than the Pivot was hands down the better machine for that.
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