The Pivot Mach 5.5 has received a lot of praise in our previous reviews. To make it even better, for an additional charge Pivot now offers the bike with the brand new FOX Live Valve system. But does the bike need FOX’s high-end electronic suspension?

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best trail bike you can buy

Pivot Mach 5.5 | 160/140 mm (f/r) | 13.94 kg | € 9,899

When Pivot presented the Mach 5.5, it was greeted with a lot of frowns. A question many asked themselves is, does anyone need this bike? It’s no wonder; the American brand’s portfolio was virtually complete. But with 160 mm of travel up front, 140 mm at the rear and 2.6″ wide 27.5″ tyres, there was a place for the bike yet. At first glance, the Mach 5.5 hasn’t changed for 2019. In the case of our test bike, the componentry consists of a Shimano XTR/XT drivetrain mix, XT brakes and DT Swiss M1700 wheels. The high-end cockpit features a 55 mm stem and a 760 mm carbon handlebar from Pivot’s in-house brand, Phoenix. Unfortunately, none of our testers were convinced of the vague feeling PadLoc grips with their extra soft compound. The stand-out feature of the Mach 5.5 is the electronic FOX Live Valve system, which automatically adjusts the suspension to the terrain you are on.

  Comfortable as! The Pivot scores particularly well on long rides.

The Pivot Mach 5.5 in detail

Fork FOX 36 Factory Live Valve 160 mm
Schock FOX Live Valve 140 mm
Brakes Shimano XT 180/180 mm
Drivetrain Shimano XTR/XT
Seatpost FOX Transfer 150 mm
Stem Phoenix Team Enduro/Trail 50 mm
Handlebar Phoenix Team Carbon 760 mm
Wheelset DT Swiss M1700
Tires MAXXIS Minion DHF/Rekon 27.5″ x 2.6″
Weight 13.94 kg
Price € 9,899

Cable clutter
The additional cables of the Live Valve system make the cockpit look disorderly. Unfortunately, they regularly detach themselves from the clips and rattle around annoyingly.
On bikes that climb badly, the Live Valve system makes perfect sense. Since the Pivot climbs very well even without the Live Valve system, it seems unnecessary.
The PadLoc handles have an extra soft wedge on the outside for increased comfort and to prevent hand fatigue. Due to the soft end of the grips, however, the handling feels less defined.
Top class
The workmanship on the Mach 5.5 is flawless. The bike convinced us with its excellent finish and attention to detail, such as the fittings for the internal cable routing and the SAG indicator.

Geometry of the Pivot Mach 5.5

Size XS S M L XL
Seat tube 356 mm 394 mm 426 mm 457 mm 495 mm
Top tube 558 mm 584 mm 617 mm 639 mm 667 mm
Head tube 90 mm 105 mm 115 mm 125 mm 135 mm
Head angle 66.5° 66.5° 66.5° 66.5° 66.5°
Seat angle 73.8° 73.5° 73.5° 73.5° 73.5°
Chainstay 430 mm 430 mm 430 mm 430 mm 430 mm
BB Height 340 mm 340 mm 340 mm 340 mm 340 mm
Wheelbase 1116 mm 1143 mm 1177 mm 1200 mm 1229 mm
Reach 390 mm 410 mm 440 mm 460 mm 485 mm
Stack 582 mm 596 mm 606 mm 615 mm 624 mm
Helmet Bontrager Rally MIPS | Glasses Oakley Jawbreaker | Backpack Osprey Raptor | Shirt POC Raceday DH Jersey | Short POC Resistance Enduro Mid | Shoes Specialized 2FO Cliplite

The Pivot Mach 5.5 on the trail

Before riding, you switch on the Live Valve and select the desired sensitivity level. It defines at which level of impact and at which gradient the suspension opens and how long it remains open. With the Pivot Mach 5.5, we preferred mode one or two because the rear end is very efficient and any higher mode wasn’t sensitive enough. The riding position is comfortable, making the Pivot a good long distance bike that you won’t want to stop riding. However, getting going, it feels a bit sluggish despite the electronic suspension. The reason for this is its 13.94 kg weight. We also found that the otherwise active and super-sensitive DW-Link driven rear suspension loses its charm on the climbs because of the digital mode of operation. Without the Live Valve, we used to know exactly how the bike would behave on a climb, when hitting a root for example, whereas now everything seems somewhat unpredictable. Descending, on the other hand, you’ll hardly notice the Live Valve. The suspension feels as sensitive and plush as usual. It absorbs hits with confidence, but without lacking feedback or mid-stroke support. The 2.6″ wide tyres offer plenty of comfort, but active riders will want more precise and direct handling. The shallow tread of the Rekon tyre on the rear also lacks grip and puncture protection. Nevertheless, the bike masters even the most technically demanding steep trails with composure and predictable handling, always letting the rider know when it’s time to back off.

Tuning tip: save money on the Live Valve upgrade and invest it in higher quality wheels instead.


The Pivot Mach 5.5 is a high-end bike for those in need of a faithful companion for long trail adventures. It’s very comfortable for long days in the saddle, and the handling is easy and predictable. But don’t plan on setting your personal best times on the climbs or descents. The FOX Live Valve upgrade isn’t necessary, the bike climbs well enough without it.


  • easy and predictable handling
  • very comfortable
  • excellent rear linkage


  • rear tyre lacks grip
  • a little sluggish in acceleration
  • not made for rough, high-speed terrain





Value for money

More info at:

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best trail bike you can buy

All bikes in test: Canyon Spectral CF 9.0 LTD | Evil Offering X01 | Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29 | Ibis Ripmo | Pivot Mach 5.5 Pro XT | Propain Hugene Highend | Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt BC Edition | Santa Cruz Bronson CC X01+ | Scott Genius 900 Ultimate | Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper 29 | Transition Sentinel X01 | Trek Remedy 9.9 | YT Jeffsy 29 CF Pro Race

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