Country Roads, Take Me Home: Pivot Launches $9990 E-Vault Gravel Electric Bike
After setting the bar for the eMTB class with the launch of the Shuttle, Pivot is setting its sights on the emerging “gravel” class bike market with the launch of the new E-Vault e-bike for 2021. It’s sort of like its premium Vault gravel bike — just, you know, electrified. But don’t assume that Pivot has just repurposed the same components it’s using in the shuttle, however, because that would be underestimating both Pivot and the E-Vault.
Pivot turned to the Shimano EP8 drive system and its 86 Nm of Torque for the Shuttle eMTB we covered back in December. Since Pivot is primarily known as a mountain bike company, it could’ve probably gotten away with using a similar drive system in its E-Vault, leveraging some economies of scale to keep its costs down. That’s not the way Pivot seems to do things, though, and the company has opted to build its new, gravel-focused e-bike around Fauza’s Evation 2.0 system, which offers a number unique advantages for road/gravel bikes. The first advantage the Fazua unit offers is that, thanks to its more compact motor design, the new Pivot E-Vault doesn’t shout “e-bike” to casual observers. Second, both the battery and the drivepack can be removed from the bike and it can still be ridden with minimal weight penalty (an optional down-tube cover to prevent the battery “pocket” from getting dirty).
With that 252Wh battery and 250W Evation drivepack in place, the Pivot offers up to 55 Nm of electric power, good enough to get you to a pedal-assisted top speed of 28 MPH. It’s just a bit slower than a Honda Metropolitan 50cc scooter, in other words, and you can ride it into your office or living room for an extra bit of security and peace of mind, if you don’t have access to secure e-bike parking.
That doesn’t mean Pivot’s turned its back on Shimano. The new E-Vault still uses the Shimano Ultegra HG-800 cassette as well as the GRX 815 Di2 11-speed derailleur and shifter, and GRX 810 two-piston brakes. The best way to look at the choice to use the Fazua is that Pivot feels it’s a better fit for the gravel and road bike segment. The same could be said for the Reynolds carbon wheels — which, frankly, are the type of kit I used to only dream of back when I was in my twenties (which was — sigh — a long time ago).
As for the E-Vault’s price, Pivot bicycles don’t usually come cheap, and at a starting price of $9990, the E-Vault is no exception. That said, it doesn’t seem like a totally crazy price for a bike of this caliber, and there’s certainly an argument to be made that there aren’t many bikes that come to mind that are both better and cheaper. Whether or not it’s worth the price of a used car is up to the prospective buyer, I guess. While you think that one through, check out this quick “fly by” video, below, then give your take on Pivot’s latest creation in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
Pivot E-Vault Fly By Video