Last year the cult brand PIVOT Cycles from Arizona presented their Enduro flagship for the 2014 season, the Mach 6 Carbon. A high-quality carbon frame paired with 27.5″ wheels and 155mm of travel promises a lot of fun! Would the Mach 6 impress us on the trails, find out here.
In July last year, after a two-year development phase, Pivot founder Chris Cocalis presented the Pivot Mach 6 carbon. The heart of the frame is the DW-link suspension concept. It combines good response in the downhill, with high efficiency on the climbs. With the Mach 6 the suspension offers 155mm of travel.
Already on paper it becomes clear that the Pivot Mach 6 is not a thoroughbred race bike, but a bike for maximum fun on the trail. This is evidenced by the relatively short reach (415mm)for a size large, which in combination with the short 430mm chainstays results in a short wheelbase (1154mm). Agile handling should therefore be guaranteed.
The frame convinced us with an extremely high quality workmanship and lots of small, thoughtful details, such as the integrated downtube- and chainstay protector made of carbon, and the SAG-Indicator on the shock, which simplifies the setup of the bike.
We had one criticism, the untidy-looking cable routing, which in combination with the missing chain guide result in a high noise level over rough ground.
The Pivot Mach 6 Carbon Build
Pivot offers the Mach 6 in seven different spec versions and as frameset (incl. Damper) for a price of €3,300. The model we tested comes closest to the model Mach 6 Carbon XT / XTR PRO (€6,710). But, our test model had some different parts to the standard bike. These included the ZTR Flow wheels and the Kind Shock LEV telescopic seatpost. In addition, we changed the mounted Schwalbe Nobby Nic tires for some Onza Ibex and the 80mm FSA SLK stem for a 60mm Race Face model.
The Handling of the Pivot Mach 6 Carbon
Enough with the theory: How does the Pivot Mach 6 carbon perform on the trail?
Once you sit on the bike you immediately recognize the above mentioned short Rreach. As a 180cm tall rider the position is compact on the Mach 6 carbon in size L. Despite this rather relaxed seating position the bike accelerate very well.
With the Fox Float X shock in the open mode, you can still feel that the bike does not eliminate pedal feedback efficiently, but this ends when the climb mode is engaged. The rear offers a great combination of lots of efficiency, with very high levels of traction. In steep technical climbs the rear wheel always has sufficient grip, when it gets really steep the rider has to move forward on the saddle to prevent a rise of the front wheel.
In the downhill sections the Mach 6 shows what it is made for. The rear suspension in combination with the Fox Float X shock is sensitive over even the smallest bumps, and provides a lot of support in the middle range of suspension. Thus it feels like way more than the official 155mm of travel. The suspension always gives good feedback from the ground and despite to the plush response, encourages a very active riding style. Whether if you like to jump over the root section, or hit it with full throttle, the rear works perfectly in both cases – respect!
The compact geometry is also reflected in downhill ability. The handling of the Pivot Mach 6 can best be described as agile and playful. The bike masters tight successive curves with brilliant ease. If the trail gets more open, rougher and the speeds get higher, the bike acts slightly nervously. Racers want more smoothness on the hunt for seconds.
Thanks to the relatively high front, the slack head angle and low standover height, the Mach 6 handles very confidently, even on steep terrain. The Fox 34 fork stands high in its travel and keeps the geometry of the bike stable and balanced.
Anyone who is looking for an agile bike with top suspension, will find one with the Pivot Mach 6 carbon, a sweet ride! The American bike convinced with very good handling, superb suspension and fine workmanship. It is just perfect for the funny Trail Tour with friends. On the other hand racers may wish for slacker and longer geometry. But the high build quality has its price: €3.300 for the frameset (incl. shock) or €6,710 for the model which we had tested, are far from being a bargain.
For more information visit: www.pivotcycles.com
Words: Christoph Bayer Picturs: Vinzenz Bader / Christoph Bayer