Pivot Mach 5.5 Carbon – First Ride

May 18, 2017
by AJ Barlas  

Over the last few years, Pivot has seen some great growth as a brand, and claim that they've grown by more than forty percent in the last twelve months alone. Last summer’s release of their Switchblade and other recent bikes prior to this have been key to this growth, and now they’re releasing an update to one of their staple trail bikes, the Mach 5.5. Pivot's founder, Chris Cocalis, claims that the market for trail bikes is going to grow, and he sees the 130–140mm travel segment as a go-to bike for many. With a number of updates, the new Mach 5.5 is Pivot’s take on the weapon for this audience.

One of the key updates to note is the move to large volume, though not quite plus tires that we’re beginning to see from a number of brands. The 2.6" tire width seems to be gaining quite a bit of support within the industry, with its benefits being claimed extra traction without the amount of tire deformation that we see from plus tires. The new Mach 5.5 rolls on 27.5" wheels that are shod with 2.6" Maxxis treads, showing Pivot’s support for the move. It also features 140mm of rear travel and the Fox 36 up front is set to 160mm, but the bike can be setup with a 150mm fork without negatively altering the geometry.

Pivot Mach 5.5 Details
• Intended use: Trail, all-mountain
• Rear wheel travel: 140mm
• Fork travel: 160mm
• Wheel size: 27.5''
• 66.5º head angle w/ 160mm fork
• 12x148mm rear axle
• Di2 integration
• Sizes: XS / S / M / L / XL
• 5.2-pound frame (claimed for a medium)
• Integrated low durometer frame protection
• MSRP: $4,899–$10,199 USD (complete) w/ nine model options.
• MSRP: $3,099 USD (frame).
www.pivotcycles.com, @pivotcycles

Updating the Mach 5

Chris confessed that this update to one of their key bikes has been in the works for a while—the 5.5 model has been in the lineup since they launched in 2007. He states that the reason for this was that the Mach 6 pedaled so well they didn’t see a need, but now with things changing in the industry, he felt it a good time to move forward with the update. The new Mach 5.5 takes on the brand’s more stretched-out reach numbers, with measurements in line to that of their Switchblade, released only twelve months prior. Compared to the previous model, the Mach 5.7, numbers have grown from 20–60mm depending on where you are in the size range. They continue with the DW-Link, which is used across every dual suspension bike in their range.

Development of the updated model began two and half years ago when the team built the first aluminum test bikes using their in-house facilities—a year prior to this they began design and development. Cocalis states that more often than not, their suspension kinematics are good to go out of the computer, but they still test this on the alloy models. A key point to their aluminum testing protocol, and an important component for Cocalis, is getting the ride feel the same as what they expect from their carbon production models (once at that point of development). For the Mach 5.5, Pivot went through three rounds of prototypes to get the frame geometry and ride feel to where they wanted.

Pivot Mach 5.5
The XL is pretty long, with a 485mm/19.09" reach.

The Mach 5.5 continues to utilize the DW-Link without the need for the clevis seen on their longer travel options. This is achievable thanks to the shorter travel and the result is a shock that’s driven directly by the seatstays. Pivot found that the shorter travel models don’t require the control that the longer travel models do and it also allows the bike to be lighter, an attribute they feel is of high importance in this segment. The full cartridge bearing, upper DW-Link includes the move to a bearing for the shock mount, new for the 5.5, and the result is claimed added sensitivity off the top, which should increase traction on the trail.

On the topic of traction, the bike now comes fitted with 2.6” Maxxis rubber, with all models in the range coming with a Minion DHF out front and a Rekon in the back. Having key touch-points such as tires remain the same across the range is important to Pivot, enabling them to make sure that important components such as tires are reliable across their range. Pivot did a good amount of testing with tire and rim widths and arrived at the conclusion that a 35–36mm internal rim width is optimal with the 2.6” WT Maxxis tires. Many of their alloy wheeled models feature the DT Swiss M1700, which has an internal width of 35mm, and for the carbon wheel option, Pivot worked with Reynolds to develop a 36mm internal width carbon wheel, the first from the brand and not currently available aftermarket. The carbon Reynolds wheels are available on the top tier, Team models, or can be upgraded to on the Pro level for an additional $1,300 USD.

The 2.6 Maxxis Minion DHF up front.
The confidence inspiring 2.6" Maxxis DHF Wide .
The rear tire is a 2 6 Maxxis Rekon. The front and rear tires feature EXO casings
The rear tire is a 2.6" Maxxis Rekon. The front and rear tires feature EXO casings.

In developing the geometry for the new Mach 5.5, the team at Pivot stretched out their front end (440mm/17.32” reach on a size medium), but kept the chainstays short (430mm/16.9”), claiming that they wanted the bike to be stable, but still contain a lively, playful feel on the trail. Along with this, the head angle is slacker than many older trail bikes, at 66.5º, but not so slack that it encroaches on the more aggressive, all-mountain/enduro end of things. Pivot also worked hard on the ride feel of the frame, tuning it to provide a lively ride, with a stiff frame being the goal, but say they made sure it has enough flex to remain on line and not create a harsh ride.

A number of additional, interesting points of note; the rear brake mount is post mount 180mm, so there are no 160mm rotors allowed here. A water bottle will fit within the front triangle of every size model, with a Fox Float X2 shock—a $399 USD optional extra for the Team and Pro model builds. The rear axle is of the 12x148mm variety—no Super Boost here. Pivot note that there was no need to go to the Super Boost width on the Mach 5.5 and they were able to achieve plenty of clearance, both tire and heel, within the constraints of the 148mm spacing. The full bike is setup for internal cable routing, with Di2 integration and some points of integration for the upcoming Fox Live system which is claimed to have changed considerably since our first look at the technology, but Fox remains very tight-lipped. There are no internal tubes for the cables, but things are kept tightly in place through the entry/exit port clamps for the cables.

Pivot Mach 5.5 2017 geometry

An upgrade to the Fox Float X2 rear shock is available on the Team and Pro model ranges for an additional 399 USD.
An upgrade to the Fox Float X2 shock is available on the Team and Pro model ranges for an additional $399 USD.
Compact and stiff rear triangle and DW-Link suspension.
Compact and stiff rear triangle and DW-Link suspension.

Pivot also unveiled their range of Phoenix components recently and they had them on hand to discuss in some more detail. The new Mach 5.5 that we rode included many of the new parts as well, including their Pad-Loc grips that they worked on in collaboration with WTB. Aware that some riders were wary of the new bar/grip system, Pivot has been working with WTB on creating a cutting guide that will allow riders to cut the bars to length, but still have the wedge for the locking interface with the grip. The goal is to produce the cutting guide so that it retails at no more than $10 USD. They have also developed a plug for the end, for those that wish to run either the Phoenix Carbon bar or any other handlebar featuring the Pad-Loc system, allowing the bars to be used with regular grips.

They’ve also been doing some study on the stem interface and according to Chris Cocalis, this is where the steering on a bike can lack response with a weaker interface resulting in more twist and therefore making it harder to direct the front wheel precisely. With that said, Pivot has chosen to go with 35mm diameter bars and feel that they can improve shock absorption, steering accuracy, and weight of their cockpit by going this route over their 31.8 components. Their Phoenix Team Enduro/Trail stem comes in 10mm increments from 35mm–65mm and features 7-degree rise/drop. and their bar comes in one size of 20mm rise—it features 5-degree upsweep and 8-degree backsweep. Their grip is thick and soft and features a 32.5mm diameter, low durometer rubber that utilizes the Pad-Loc system.

The Mach 5.5 comes with Pivot s Phoenix components. 35mm-diameter 50mm stem and carbon bar
The Mach 5.5 is fitted with Pivot's Phoenix components. The 35mm-diameter, 50mm stem enduro/trail stem and carbon bar.

Pivots Phoenix Pad Loc grips feature a 32.5mm diameter and a soft durometer rubber.
Pivots Phoenix Pad-Loc grips feature a 32.5mm diameter and a soft durometer rubber.
An early version of the cut guide for the Pad Loc bars that Pivot are working on with WTB.
An early version of the cut guide for the Pad-Loc bars that Pivot are working on with WTB.

We hit the trails of Moab to see what this new mid travel bike from Pivot was all about. For anyone that hasn’t ridden in Moab, think square edges everywhere, lots of rock, and very physical riding with the climbs as tough as the descents. There’s not a lot of dirt, and when you do hit some, it’s more of the loose, sandy variety. A bike of this nature seems quite fitting for the environment and the 2.6” tires were no doubt going to help with traction in a number of scenarios, right?

Our first day was spent on the up and downs of Mag 7, Gold Bar, and a slew of others along the way and finished with Portal, and day two was spent on Amasa Back and Captain Ahab. The constantly changing terrain required a bike (and legs/lungs…) that was able to climb short bursts with relative ease and take on some deep compressions and high speed hits on the descents. I rode the XL Mach 5.5 and found the fit similar to my personal bike, with a 485mm reach, 624mm stack, and 50mm stem. The seat angle was a little slacker than I am used to, and the head angle a little steeper. The chainstay length is on the shorter side at 430mm (16.93”).

Pivot Mach 5.5 in Moab

My initial suspension setup was a little softer in the mid-stroke than preferred and I found the bike to sink farther into its travel too often, losing valuable momentum in the process. The simple addition of a volume spacer to the Float X2 in the rear and roughly 10psi more air in the fork remedied this, with the bike maintaining momentum out of compressions far better afterward. Traction remained really good on the loose-over-hard surfaces and cornering over varied terrain resulted in very few situations that saw the Mach 5.5 get out of sorts. The high volume of the Maxxis 2.6” tires definitely contributed to this as well and based on my size, Pivot had set my tire pressures to approximately 19psi front, 25psi rear—a little lower in the front than I would typically run, but I had no issues with tire roll on the trails.

The bigger volume Maxxis tires aren’t a great deal larger in appearance than some other tire manufacturers regular tires, but Maxxis have updated them to work better than their other tires with wider rims like the 36mm Reynolds rims fitted on the test bike. Traction on the tech, punchy climbs of Moab was great and anything short of completely mucking up a pedal stroke or lacking power would result in making it to the top. Under heavy braking was the first situation where the extra tread was most apparent, with a number of situations experienced while riding the trails for the first time, blind, being quickly diffused thanks to the tire’s ability to maintain grip when the XT brake levers were suddenly grabbed by the handful.

Dropping into some chunk the bike granted confidence to ride blindly into some ugly terrain.
Threading the needle into some chunk. The bike granted confidence to ride blindly into some ugly terrain.

When we got to Portal trail the bike really began to shine. The trail is littered with square edges, loose sandy spots and plenty of boulders trying to take you out (they succeeded, claiming one of our team members, who went home with a broken hand). Momentum on this sort of trail is your friend, and to do so required a lot of body English. The bike maintained momentum well and coming over blind rock gaps, drops and quirky channels with pedal catchers was no problem, as long as momentum was present. As soon as a mistake was made and that momentum was lost, it was easy to get hung up on the features. This is not to fault the bike and speaks more to the Mach 5.5’s ability to grant the confidence needed to go hurtling down such a nasty, awesome section of trail, blind. The combination of the big tires—not too big that they feel vague—and the suspension on the Mach 5.5 did a great job in muting the noise of the trail, allowing me to keep on trucking.

The rear of the bike felt quite stout, especially when slamming it into corners or through angled G-outs like those experienced when banking across a rock roll into a compression at the bottom. Pushing the rear into corners made it very apparent that the bike wanted to propel me forward and there wasn’t going to be a lot of give in the frame when doing so. Pivot’s use of short chainstays helped in some of the awkward corners that Moab is known for, making it easier to hang off the back of the bike a little and swing the front end around. The downside I found was that combined with a seat tube angle slacker than I'm used to, the two resulted in it being more of a challenge to keep the front wheel weighted sufficiently and tracking on steeper, more technical climbs. There was room to roll the saddle farther forward in order to compensate, which once done helped, but personally, I would have liked a seat angle at least a degree steeper if the stays were going to stay so short. For shorter riders this shouldn’t be much of an issue at all, but for taller riders like myself (193cm), I found my weight was too far out over the rear hub.

Moar climbing. Out of the saddle efforts are more common for me than anywhere else I ve ridden to date.
Moar climbing. Out of the saddle efforts are more common (for me) in Moab than anywhere else I've ridden to date. It was also required to help keep the front down in a number of situations.

Pivot’s Mach 5.5 is stiff, but it’s not harsh, and over the couple of days aboard it I never had it deflect off line. It appears that their goal of a balanced ride feel between stiffness and give may have been achieved, but more time on the bike would be necessary to confidently claim it so. The team has also done a good job of balancing the 20mm difference between the front and rear of the bike and it rode well during my time on it in Moab, working quite equally front to rear despite the difference. Initial impressions are that this is a great bike that can cover a wide gamut of riders. It felt light and nimble, but was down to get rowdy when it was required to do so.

The Mach 5.5 is available at your local dealer as you read this. The bike is available at three build levels, Team, Pro, and Race, with nine build-kits total. Full bike builds range in price from $4,899–$10,199 USD and the frame is available for $3,099 USD.

MENTIONS: @pivotcycles


  • 152 10
 "sees the 130–140mm travel segment as a go-to bike for many"

specs bike with a160mm fox 36 lol
  • 8 2
 and will this obsolete the Mach 06 ?
  • 2 0
 Mach 6.7?
  • 8 0
 @Lagr1980: compare the geometry numbers of the Mach 6 with the new 5.5. They are quite different. Mach 6 could be a tough sell moving forward.
  • 5 2
 @onlybirdman: i see what u did there mach firebird
  • 62 52
 @poah - to me that's a sign of intelligence on Pivots side. There's plenty of bros in enduro denial who will sell their 160 bike and buy 120-140 bike, cuz 160 is too much travel, not enough feedback, Enduro is fanny pack gay and all that gobshyte. Then the first thing they will do, they will throw away intermediate tyres, put on minions and fork the bike up to 160, basically getting the exact fkng same bike they had. Just with less rear travel. That bike will climb exactly like the 160 bike (heavy, slow rolling tyres + tall cockpit) but it will descend worse.

I got a shorter travel bike, I'm so edgy bro. How do I know? Cuz I've done that myself in 2012, before Anti-Enduro got cool
  • 86 11
 @WAKIdesigns: Do you actually know people doing this? Or are you just keyboard vomiting again?
  • 15 3
 @WAKIdesigns: I don't know why anyone in their right mind would trade to a shorter travel bike. You should ride the longest travel you're comfortable pedaling, and DW bike pedal pretty F'n good.
  • 5 2
 @McNubbin: Agreed. With regards to suspension, more is more. I've never understood this shorter travel down sizing trend...
  • 32 18
 @2bigwheels: I do. One of them had 160 Commencal, bought Kona Hei Hei, forked it up, beefed up tyres. He got a Stumpy 29 and I think he already ordered Enduro 29... how about shocks got so amazing these days that going short travel for pseudo pedalling performance is a nonsense. My Blur TRc was an awesome bike in it's own way, like Kona 111 or Fuel EX, as long as you equip them with according stuff, that is you keep 120-140 fork, lightweight wheels and intermediate tyres (HD, Aggressor) and ride that thing in a way that suits it's purpose. You do actual XC riding. These are beefed up XC bikes that descend much better than XC bikes. But not as well as 160 bikes. You do lots of pedalling up and down, you really focus on sprinting and getting on top of stuff with lots of body language instead of momentum. if you have trails like that, get a fkng 120 trail bike. it is fkng awesome.

BUT if you climb 30min+ to descend for 3+ minutes, only to do it again, on a trail that people used to ride on DH bikes in full body armor before Enduro got cool, get a fkng 150-160 bike and hide your stupid anti-Enduro pride. Only idiots are buying this game of yours. Just because you CAN ride down a super gnarly trail on a small bike, doesn't mean you are effective doing it and it deserves more credit than bombing down in style on 160-170 bike.

So 120 bikes are great second bikes for rich people, or first bikes for people in areas with little altitude difference and smoother trails. This Pivot sits somewhere in the middle so it is hard to tell, after all guys like Graves race 140 bikes on EWS, but I am not fkng Jared Graves. I am fully aware and in peace with limitations of my 36 year old office job body - I need margins. My Blur TRc could ride machine dug trails in Hafjell, it could ride through some natural trials, but error margin was next to NONE. One missed boulder, one nudge off the line, booooom! I'm in the chaos zone, desperately fighting to not get through the front door.
  • 7 2
 @2bigwheels: i know people doing it .
  • 23 2
 For the record, rear wheel travel is measured in a vertically, front wheel travel on the other hand is not. If you really want to match front and rear travel you are going to have to run more travel in the front, how much will depend on head tube angle of the bike.
  • 6 2
 @WAKIdesigns: what about the people who buy shorter travel bikes so as to be more engaging man! then discover they have bugger all technical skills and go back to the plough in the end.haha oh how we laugh.want engaging for this hardtails rule.
  • 4 4
 @2bigwheels: He's kinda right Smile
  • 14 3
 @WAKIdesigns: calm down
  • 6 3
 Would never buy it like that. 160 front and rear or go home
  • 11 5
 @jwrendenver: old waki is talking sense ,he is calm just loves debate.
  • 7 5
 @Specilaizedfuse02:Oh yes you are.
  • 38 1
 @WAKIdesigns: You woundn't have an office body if you would ride your bike as often as you argue on pinkbike
  • 5 8
 I think 10mm F/R differential is all any bike should have really.
  • 24 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Jesus cant even ride these days without the bike police lurking trailside making sure you have the correct travel. If a bike makes you happy is it really the wrong bike?
  • 11 0
 @WAKIdesigns: “Enduro is fanny pack gay and all that gobshyte.” WTF does that mean?
  • 9 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I think that was your most well-reasoned post ever. You feelin' alright bro?
  • 42 3
 @WAKIdesigns: I'm not trying to be rude man but I gotta say.. you are a little out of touch with whats going. I am not an idiot for the bike I choose to ride nor is anyone else and just because we like to ride them on brutal trails doesnt mean we are any more stupid either.

I dont understand why someone riding a 130mm bike is only doing it to be anti-enduro, tons of guys this year running shorter travel bikes at major races and doing very well.

I have owned a bike in ever travel category and the 130-140 range with a 150 fork up front really trully makes the most sense. It also seems to make a lot of sense to other riders in the pacific north west.

Look you are entitled to your opinion, and its very clear you know this but slamming on people and going off on your f*cking rants is getting tiresome.

Its sometimes hard to converse / argue with because you bounce around topics like a pinball... Hopefully I picked this one up right and replied correctly.
  • 2 12
flag McNubbin (May 18, 2017 at 9:59) (Below Threshold)
 @2bigwheels: I don't know who's out of touch. I know plenty of guys with 160mm bikes that love them, and would never buy into this bullshit. Most of the people I see racing it are killing it on their 160mm bikes. This pivot has all the angles and numbers of a bigger bike, with less travel. No sense.
  • 13 0
 @McNubbin: you are right lots of podium spots being taken by 160mm bikes. As well as podium spots being taken by bikes with 130-140 as well.

Many of the riders on 160 bikes I ride with love em as they should, just look how capable they are!

But to hear someone go off about how anyone riding harder trails on bikes with less than 160mm of travel are either gay anti-enduro idiots choosing to do this because they are trying to fight the norm of owning a long travel bike just for the sake of it is f*cking rediculous.

Bikes with a little shorter travel have really come into their own with the introduction of such great suspension and smart geometry in recent years so for many a shorter travel bike with maybe a little extra travel up front is what they want... Why is that a bad thing?
  • 13 32
flag WAKIdesigns (May 18, 2017 at 10:40) (Below Threshold)
 Oh did I step on someone's willy? No @2bigwheels, it is you who don't get it. I never wrote anywhere that certain amount of travel is bad. I meant that the trend is bad because many people traded 160 bikes for shorter travel bikes while they would be better off keeping them. And many were simply riding 120 bikes with components dedicated to 160 bikes. And that is the silly part. Why would you need Minions or Magic Marries and a 160 fork on a bike that feels best being ridden up and down frequently?! A bit contradictory priorities don't you think? I've been on that train, alright?

Actually the short travel trend is almost over. People are coming back to 160 bikes. It started 2 years ago, people got allergic reaction to Enduro and started buying 12-140 bikes. Because Enduro racing exposed that they are not that good. They sucked at XC, they sucked at DH, but hey we got a new format of racing. Now we will see who is an allround rider hah? For two years it's been cool, friendly talks on climbs and racing your friends down. BUt then it got serious... and inevitably people realized that they are not that allround... their trusted 160 all round bike was not that allround chilled out anymore. It carried the stigma of racing. So they found the last refuge for their inability to deal with own shortcomings in skill and fitness: bikes nobody wants to race on.

Ride406orDie Bite me: www.instagram.com/p/BUJtXSFh0-r/?taken-by=wakidesigns
  • 3 3
 @2bigwheels: No, these are what bikes used to be before they figured out how to make long travel bikes pedal well. It's 2010 all over again, but with bigger wheels and tires.
  • 2 0
 @mtnman4life: +10mm travel in front usually is about even with the rear when measured vertically.
  • 2 4
 How is a 160mm bike considered a plow bike? That's funny.
  • 4 20
flag WAKIdesigns (May 18, 2017 at 11:00) (Below Threshold)
 @jaydawg69: yes it is often considered this way. BEcause very few people ride DH bikes these days. You know what certain people were saying in 2011-2012? That they buy 160 bikes because DH bikes are too big and require less skill (yes I was one of those dummies, so was Mike Levy, writing an argument for short travel bikes - we change and learn all our lives). Exactly same story people started spreading a year ago about 160 bikes. "Too big"

What's next after 160 bikes become cool again? I tell you, the super elitist gravity people who know what real MTB is about will embrace plus bikes. As they should from the first go. I suspect eventual renaissance of long travel 29ers and 180mm 27,5 bikes like ENduro SX. But main AM/trail focus will go into plus, as soon as tyre makers start doing 1.5ply tyres, the second gen of plus full sussers will come and pros will release sick edits of extra fat tyres shredding trails, it will explode.
  • 2 1
 @WAKIdesigns: You kinda look like the Wolverine in that photo.
  • 1 0
 @ischiller: Calm down - he's being ironic.
  • 6 1
 @McNubbin: I traded to a shorter travel bike. I'm having way more fun. 130's where it's at bro...
  • 19 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Yeah bud you stepped on my Willy... Get over yourself. Yet again I must have missed what your true goal was with your rant, happens a lot when I read your comments...

See when you type things like this.. "I meant that the trend is bad because many people traded 160 bikes for shorter travel bikes while they would be better off keeping them. And many were simply riding 120 bikes with components dedicated to 160 bikes."

All I can think is, why does someone who can clearly type out something in a far more educated format always go for the nonsense keyboard vomit? I still think you have a hazy idea of the bike world at times, and that's fine maybe its because your comments are just so all over the place... But why not just use your clear ability to articulate educated thought into a paragraph to start possibly educated discussion?

For someone who seems to be the f*cking Farmers Almanac of mountain biking try creating more educated discussion on a forum full of just mental chaos.
  • 7 0
 @McNubbin: I went down from 150mm rear travel to 125mm rear ~ Love it, handles everything , just tires you out a bit more.... all depends on where you ride mainly I think FYI GT Sanction to a Transition Scout... Transition FTW
  • 12 14
 @2bigwheels: my brain is a mess. I love getting and spreading information, I love chat about sht, so much that I am unable to manage all of it. And there are many ways to step on my willie but I pride myself with a rather thick skin and good sense of humor about myself. I also like to fk with people... oh look I am a narcissist for writing about myself.

And well, we just talk about bikes, I would ride with you even on a fatbike... I like people.
  • 2 0
 @KeithReeder: oh okay ffffffhhh I'm calm now.
  • 1 4
 @WAKIdesigns: unfortunately I can thumb up post only once, it's always metter of skill, however not everyone flip from shores...
  • 2 6
flag McNubbin (May 18, 2017 at 12:58) (Below Threshold)
 @2bigwheels: Because at the end of the day this isnt really that important, it's an Internet forum, if your getting that butt hurt you need therapy.
  • 1 0
 @mtnman4life: exactly, what about hardtails? little more travel at the front is a good thing.
  • 2 0
 The worst part is that with a 66.5 HA with a 160mm fork, if you did want to run a 140-150mm fork, the bike wouldn't be nearly as rowdy. I wish they gone with a 65.5 HA with a 160mm, so that it'd still be sick with a shorter travel fork
  • 2 1
 @TerrapinBen: Progression in kinematics, designed for the ramp up of suspension, is the key factor why people are opting for less travel. Bike geometry and progressive suspension are at a hyper curve is manufacturing from what industry standards were. A bike done right this way, makes travel feel deeper and H.A. feel slacker than they actually are; making the lesser travel bikes more fun to ride up and down, with energy to spare.
  • 1 3
 @likeittacky: Yeah, right. People make precise, informed choices. Yhym.... Why would "I have had 160 bike for 4 years, let's try a different bike" be the case? It's normal, people get bored with one thing they have if they can afford another. It's cool. The silly part is the rationalization of the monkey worthy thinking process. It's called: post-purchase rationalization. At least in my opinion It has more to do with psychology than physics...
  • 4 0
 @glenno: I also went from a M5.7 to a transition Scout in the last month and LOVE it. Pivot really had nothing in this category and would love to have test ridden a M5.5 back to back against the Scout.
The Scout is like the hot-hatches of bikes. It handles the DH trails like a pocket rocket and powers the uphills like an XC.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: well thats just it. Some people have plenty of cash. Take any first world country for example.
You kill it on the seven inch enduro bike so why not get another bike with five inches of travel just because you can.
I own four built up bikes and two projects on the way.
About the bike . I like the fact that its built a bit on the stronger side versus trying to save grams.
3000$ for a frame? !!!!
I guess there are a few dentist that will pull out the platinum card for this bike.
Then there is a compleate built up bike for 4000$
Sounds like there some hefty profit margins being made if your can buy a compleate build for a grand.
  • 3 3
 @WAKIdesigns: ignore the haters waki I love you Wink keep treading on willies!
  • 1 0
 @Donalwho: so good eh ! although Im halve tempted for a patrol or a zeroed taniwha....
  • 1 1
 @jclnv: 100 mm rear travel XC bikes w/ 120 mm forks are pretty great. See: Rocky Mountain Element, Pivot Mach 429sl, Kona Hei Hei.
  • 1 0
 @PAmtbiker: Maybe because they're not slack enough with even travel.
  • 39 1
 Is it just me or does everyone seem to care way more about seat tube angles this year?
  • 2 1
 It's because reach has been extended by 40-50mm on some models and the seat needs to come forward to keep you within reach of the handlebars.
  • 9 0
 Because people are finally realizing you don't need to sacrifice pedaling on the climbs now that every bike in this segment comes with a dropper post. 73 gives you KOP on the flats. A steeper STA acknowledges that most people aren't intentionally doing all their riding on the flats. As soon as you angle the bike up a hill, you need a steeper STA to get you closer to KOP. If you did this on pre-dropper bikes, the seat is really sort of in the way for good cornering.

It's a whole system that works together for better ascending and descending. Slacker HTA > dropper post > steeper STA. (That's not a "greater than" I mean to indicate that one leads naturally to the other to get the most out of it)
  • 2 0
 well, when you see somebody climbing on a Mach6 a steep section, you will understand.. that bike is slack in the wrong tube man..and a really short tube as well...
  • 1 0
 It's the new head angle now. All bikes are mostly acceptable HA and reach wise now-a-days
  • 32 5
 This is the first pivot that actually appeals to me
  • 31 1
 It's the first Pivot that has cohesive decals!
  • 3 1
 @hifiandmtb: That was the first thing I noticed! Perhaps the Internet can calm down today as a result :p
  • 7 2
 Am I the only one who still not quite sure what the brand is? perhaps they could put more decals around for us to recognize.
  • 6 0
 For me it's always been that their top tube has a crazy amount of curvature. This is much more straight. I like it.
  • 5 0
 I think Pivot's have been looking good since the Mach 429 Trail. Now remove the stupid race stripe decals and it's spot on.
  • 3 8
flag maxlombardy (May 18, 2017 at 8:04) (Below Threshold)
 It's basically an Intense Recluse that has a slacker STA. I'd take the Recluse.
  • 3 1
 @maxlombardy: I'd just slam the seat forward and take the Pivot. Better suspension, probably stiffer knowing Pivot. STA should be steeper, but it's steep enough to work.
  • 25 2
 Looks decent until I saw the seat angle and eTT. IMO the way to make a nice long reach but then not feel too stretched out when seated a nice steep seat angle. That way you get long reach for the downs, but a comfy and efficient peddle position for the ups. They seem to have just taken 2013 geometry and stretched out the top and down tubes.
  • 4 1
 ^^^^^this.... they will keep away a lot of people with this. What will happen with the Mach 6 ? Will it be on the dual suspension s BMX section ?
  • 4 1
 @Lagr1980: yep, another bike with a STA that is too slack to balance the ride properly. Pivot, this is not a road bike, steepen the STA so the back end doesn't bag out on the steep climbs!
  • 3 0
 @bogey: mountain biking is more like time trial than road racing- many short punchy climbs are like sprinting.

Manufacturers could probably take all models to a 77 degree seattube angle and there would probably be no downsides.
  • 2 0

Pole bikes, Geometron, etc are years ahead on geo than mainstream. Give them 3 years.
  • 3 0
 @R-trailking-S: I agree that they can go steeper but 75 deg seems to be the limit IMO. I disagree that they can go do 77 deg without downsides. With a drastically steep seat angle like 77 deg, the reach needs to be far too long in order to avoid knee/handlebar contact on steep, switchback climbs. There is a balance to be had. I've owned a couple of bikes like this - nice steep seat angles but inadequate reach so constant knee bonking on shifters and bars. This is definitely exaggerated by my height at 6'5" though.

I'm a time trialist and a mountain biker and I rarely move around on my TT machine except when cornering. The steep seat angle is solely to allow me to get more aero (opens up the hip angle).
  • 1 0
 @bogey: See I think your frame is just too short for you- all the tall people seem to complain frames are too small. The last frame I had that did this was too short regardless of where I put the seat. I am below average height so a medium is pretty big for me usually.

I am always toward the front of the seat though. I am considering picking up a layback post and just flipping it.
  • 1 0
 @R-trailking-S: neat idea... do you think you can get enough tilt flipped?
  • 1 0
 @R-trailking-S: This is always a hot topic and every tall rider I know

My main two mtb rides are an XXL Tallboy 3c and an XL Honzo CR. Both are much longer than I've ridden in the past. The Tallboy is both longer in reach and slacker in STA (74 deg eSTA at my full saddle height) and I never have an issue with the switchbacks. My Honzo is a bit shorter in reach and has a 75 deg eSTA and I do bonk my knee on my shifter in some steep, tight switchbacks. This is also the nature of many of my favorite local trails.

To complicate matters, the shorter stem / wider bar trend doesn't help (although both are good things IMO). Over the past few years with the longer and slacker geo, my saddle to bar distance has hardly changed but the bars sure come back farther when I turn a steep, tight uphill switchback.
  • 29 2
 I'm not even reading reviews of bikes with 27.5 wheels anymore
  • 1 0
 Hahaha was thinkihg the same. Old geo on 27.5? Non 2019 Super McBoost?
  • 21 3
 Pivot has been on fire lately. Switchblade, then Firebird, and now a new Mach 5.5. Lookout Santa Cruz, Pivot is gaining rapidly in your market segment!
  • 19 4
 I can safely say the new Firebird is an animal and woud take it over a Nomad any day. Smile
  • 8 3
 @kennyken1015: The nomad blows compared to a fire bird.
  • 9 7
 I don't think SC has anything to worry about.
  • 5 1
 @seraph: lol lol lol lol. I live in an area populated by a LOT of SC's and I can safely say the quality of Pivots new range matches SC easily. Sure, they don't have the color range of SC and they don't have names such as Steve Peat, Ratboy etc (although lets face it Bernard is a feckin beast) but in all honesty, Pivot have serously upped their game. Attention to detail is awesome with quailty builds and frames. I had big bucks to spend on a SC honestly glad I went with Pivot for sure.
I wouldn't have said the Nomad blows compared to the Firebird though, the Nomad is a VERY capable frame for sure Wink
  • 3 2
 @kennyken1015: Santa Cruz is just such a bro bike. Like they are capable. But they are also super awkward. Sure they dont blow. But they definitely blow through travel like its nothing. Thats never fun.
  • 1 0
 @chillrider199: That is unfortunate Smile
  • 1 0
 @kennyken1015: Tis it is. But hey, what ever floats someones boat. Glad there are a lot of companies to choose from!
  • 1 3
 @seraph: I had the very highly over rated Nomad for last season. Good on the fast bermy jump trails but sucked on the steep tech. Constantly trying to avoid going over the bars. My Scott Genius LT is in a whole other league on the downhills, and climbs as well despite a much lower build spec.
  • 3 0
 Let's not forget that some people want to ride something different as well. Santa Cruz make awesome bikes and they are popular for a reason, but there are some pretty great alternatives out there and, in my opinion (but not everyone's), they are usually cooler for being rare. Pivot is one such example, but also Ibis, Evil and the like...
  • 2 0
 Better geo on the sc tho
  • 3 0
 @BryceBorlick: Except for their shitty sizing charts. And the Geometry to both a Firebird and a Nomad are almost the same.
  • 16 0
 I just love how they've stopped using Boost with bike description. Now it's just 148x12 Smile
  • 9 7
 I think the industry is just anticipating that one day they will move back to 142x12, because it makes the bike more lean while advancements in materials allow for a shorter axle while remaining the same strength of the very dated BOOST dimensions.
  • 35 6
 I see boost and I start complaining, I see 148x12 and I don't know what the fuck that means
  • 3 1
 It isn't Boost 20mm so it's already dated.

  • 14 1
 I'll wait for them to 29er/ super boost rear it cause why should I buy now and only for them change specs later? Waiting is the new game cause this bike is gonna be out of spec in 3months!!
  • 2 1
  • 10 0
 A minor detail, but a $400 uncharge for the X2 is overpriced compared to many. Then again, boutique companies tend to be a bit spend.
  • 8 1
 If you argue about bikes on the internet then your life has no meaning. Get out there and ride enjoy the trees and dirt. Be thankful you have a bike that lets you experience all the glory that mountain biking can offer.
  • 4 0
 Seems like a weird mix of travel and head tube angle to me. Either keep the head angle at 66.5 and go with a 150mm fork or keep the 160 and slack it out to 65. Once the bike is half way through its front travel on a braking descent, it will feel Iike you're riding a XC bike.
  • 6 3
 Size S has almost by milimeter identical dimensions (head angle, top tube length, chainstay, wheelbase) as Banshee Rune V1.5 of 2010 in M size.
35mm diameter handlebar for getting more stiffness and feel of control? Use 1.5" fork steerer tube in massive headtube and you don't have to think of another nonsense dimension like this.
  • 3 0
 Finally. A Pivot bike that doesn't say Pivot all over the place. Would love to see a stealth version. Also. Poo-poo on the cable routing that goes under the bottom bracket. One of the photos makes it look like it's going to totally snag on something.
  • 1 0
 100% agree. Any idea if it's the brake hose or the rear derailleur cable? It looks tidy except for this. I wonder if it could be routed another way.
  • 9 3
 Being Maxxis 2.6" tires, they're prolly actually closer to 2.3"
  • 4 0
 Nice bike! damn near identical geo as my new Banshee Spitfire and built for almost a 1/3rd the cost. oh well i'm good with aluminum here in the AZ rock Smile
  • 2 0
 I took my Mach 5.7 (carbon), put a X2 on the back, Fox 36 180 travel !! on front, Flow rims and its a beast. Love it!! Does everything excellently. I can climb, I can 'enduro', I can down hill etc etc. I think Ill have this bike/setup forever. Oh and of course its a 26 incher, as a 5.7 is. Love the long travel front end!!
  • 1 0
 Looks lovely, but the concern I have would be that STA. I'm the same height as the tester and the thought of too much weight on the rear whilst climbing brings a shudder to me. Swagged climbing is my preferred approach. I had it on a previous bike and it flopped and popped on every climb. The descents were great though. Worth a test ride without a doubt.
  • 5 0
 Finally! Somebody at Pivot fired their old decals designer!!
  • 10 8
 My 429 Trail has a 1* slacker STA and I have no problem on steep climbs. Maybe just buy the bike in the correct size rather than sizing up so you can use gumby stretch arms. Or stand up and pedal you pu$$ies! :-)
  • 4 0
 Bronson or Mach 5.5 now I can't decide. What the odds I can find both at the same demo?
  • 4 0
 I imagine you can't go wrong with either of those bikes
  • 2 3
 Hightower obviously.
  • 6 0
 SC uses threaded bottom brackets while Pivot press fit; pick your poison there
  • 1 0
 They're typically both at Outerbike. Yeti is too, just to make the decision harder.
  • 1 0
 @mooticous: I wouldn't let this decide the buy. Hope BB went into Firebird easily, and despite hitting jumps and giving the bike a beating, no issues. Yes it's more hassle to fit...but at the moment it's been fit and forget Smile
  • 2 0
 Just buy a Devinci Troy and be done with it.
  • 1 0
 Im a little late to the party.

I've been riding my Bronson 2.0 for 1.5 years and 4000 miles. It's an incredible bike for my style of riding. (Poppy numps, punchy climbs, sprints, pumping, all around riding).

Yesterday I was able to demo mach 5.5. Super playful, stiff, punchy bike. I would have liked a steeper seat angle and 1" more reach, but the mach 5.5 is one of the funnest bikes I've ridden. I encourage you to throw a leg over one and see what you think.
  • 1 0
 @AJ Barlas Did Pivot say why they are trying to design a cutting tool? I have the PadLocs on my bike and the adapter to fit the Park Tool cutting block is just $15. My shop bought it in a heartbeat when I asked. Why would an end user want to buy the tool when the shop would incur the fee?
  • 3 0
 The tool they're working on will be a stand alone, not a piece needed to work with another tool like the Park Cutting block. They feel the Park setup to do this job is too expensive and the goal for the one they're working on is to cost no more than $10 USD.
  • 7 2
 Can't believe these grips are actually bought by people.
  • 2 0
 @Crossmaxx: Dick thing to say unless you've actually ridden them. I love them. If they came stock on a bike and a shop offered to swap them out for any other grip, you wouldn't have an excuse to.
Don't hurt your car's paint or house paint.
Don't hurt you in a crash
Give extra grip if you want to rest your palms.
Don't twist
Get rid of that painful 2nd collar or the taller profile of an Ergon that tries to accomplish a few of the same things.
They're not earth shattering, but I won't go back if I don't have to.
  • 2 0
 @bizutch: to be fair the dmr deathgrips do all of that aswell, without a notch.
  • 2 0
 @warbird971: Then they are NOT the same. Deathgrip is just another single clamp grip. I can't really express what the PadLoc pad on the end of the bar does without making it sound overhyped. If someone used to like bar ends, they would enjoy the comfort of being able to rest their palms on the ends. If you're a DH racer or park rider doing countless laps, they are great to take the edge off the beating your hands take. They create a more firm and substantial perch than you would think and don't take up extra room like an Ergon. I would argue that you even can go back to a slightly narrower bar than other single and double lock on grips because the ends are useable, comfortable and yet are substantive, not squishy.
  • 3 0
 Im expecting a new mach 6 this year. I guess it will have similar geometry than the new mach 5.5 just a little slacker head angle, steeper seat angle and more rear travel
  • 1 0
 The top tube of the Mach 6 is a bit shorter than the 5.5 as well, so you'll get a tight cockpit for extra rowdy riding Smile
  • 2 0
 @ScottVlovesMTB: yea, but I expect pivot to release a v3 mach 6 this year with longer top tube and some other more aggressive numbers on the geometry. Something bigger than the 5.5 but not as big as a firebird.
  • 2 0
 Please update the 429sl to have a geo closer to this... obviously not a 66.5 degree HA, but maybe set it at 68.5 with a 120 mm fork, a longer TT, steeper SA, and shorter chain stays. Pretty please!!!
  • 1 0
 For sure. The 429sl is already behind the times. A hybrid between the Switchblade and the 429sl would be just about perfect.
  • 1 0
 So, this bike is built around these chubby 2.6" tires. How do these things feel?

I run Maxxis 2.3 tires, DHF/DHR and find they are great. Perfect traction to roll compromise. Tried the DHF in a 2.5 and it felt sluggish. I suppose the 2.6" tires have a different, thinner carcass? Do they tear easily?
  • 1 0
 "...steering on a bike can lack response with a weaker interface..." Give me a fk'n break. 35mm is just another excuse to make a new bar standard to force incompatibility with existing standard parts. 31.8 has never "lacked response". Show me a super slo-mo video of a 35mm stem/bar turning faster than 31.8mm. What a joke...
  • 2 0
 Despite my griping about boost, I think 35mm bars are worth a try. At least its a relatively cheap upgrade, especially if youre replacing bars anyway.
  • 2 0
 @BryceBorlick: Perhaps. I just can't wrap my little brain around the fact that over the 17 years of very aggressive riding I've done, I've never once thought my steering "lacked response" or that my stem was a weak point, or that my 31.8 bars were too flexy. Everything in the cockpit has always felt as solid as an anvil. Really seems like a change just for the sake of making something new to sell.

I've got 5 family members, 3 of which are still growing rapidly, and when parts like this start changing for sake of change alone, it really grates on me, because I end up with a parts bin of useless stuff, that doesn't fit with newer models frames or kits I try to build, to keep up with my families ever changing riding needs. I've got useless 1.5 forks, 1.5 stems, and now my 1 1/8 stem are going to be obsoleted by the bar circumference?! Ugh.
  • 14 11
 yawn...just another 140 mm 27.5. But this one is overpriced and comes with a dated geo so that's exciting I guess.
  • 16 3
 Dated geo? I'm guessing you did everything shy of actually looking at the geo chart?
  • 7 0
 @thebigschott: Rear centre too short, seat angle too slack, and at least a degree too steep considering the fork at sag.
  • 4 0
 @jclnv: RC looks spot on and I think their on to something sa wise considering that insanely long reach(imagine folks will slide their saddles forward on the rails anyways). As for the head angle and given the rear travel you'll probably run 15% sag on that 36. Puts that 66 and change Ha on par for course for progressive trail bikes these days. To each their own and what probably would work best for them and theirs terrain though.
  • 2 0
 @thebigschott: Insanely long reach? It's 10mm longer than Specialized and they're all too short.

For me 435mm is the minimum RC for a small let alone a medium/large.
  • 1 0
 @jclnv: My medium Enduro 29 was 420 and my MD Bronson is 426....both feel great. Again what works for you and your trails doesn't make a very progressive and very current geo bike "dated" because it's not absolutely ideal for you. I stand by my statement it's a insanely long reach because it is relative to most bikes out there.
  • 1 0
 @thebigschott: Have a look at these numbers. This is where we should be IMO. Ideally with 30mm fork offsets and 30mm stems.

  • 1 0
 @jclnv: 67 ha, 73.5 sa, 420 RC, 445(MD)reach... So pretty much the 55 with a slightly steaper ha? You'll be bummed about the move to 51 offsets on 27.5 forks too then.
  • 1 0
 @thebigschott: I was just talking about the reach measurement. The medium Pivot is proportionately long relative to the small/large isn't it? Compared to that Whyte anyway.

Yep I'm totally anti large offsets. Trail is so overrated. Especially when it's a purely cost cutting measure to just make one CSU.
  • 1 0
 @jclnv: Pretty big jump small to medium, yes. I'm curious to see how the long offsets play out. I've been impressed with them in the 29 platform. We'll have to wait it out for 275 I suppose. Having said all that I haven't been on a mtb with a 30mm offset. Sounds insane but I'd be open to try it
  • 1 0
 66.5 head tube angle with 160mm seems kind of steep . Maybe i dont know what category of bike this is but evil the calling seems like a better choice if you dont want a full on all mountain beast.
  • 2 0
 Such an awesome looking bike. Sounds like it's always down to have fun and get rowdy! This could just be my next trail bike Smile
  • 2 0
 66.5 head angle?
Needs some adjustment. Right now the new Altitude is my go to.
  • 6 2
 Aluminum version please!
  • 4 1
 Remember when the X2 was a DH shock?
  • 2 3
 Pivot designer #1: "People seem to be really big on long, low, and slack these days..."

Pivot designer #2: "Here, check this out..."

Pivot designer #1: "When they say slack, do they mean slack seat tube angle, too? F*ck it, let's go with it."
  • 1 0
 My only question is why they chose the burly fork (36/160). From the MTBR announcement, it looks like this was addressed by Chris in the launch presentation.
  • 1 0
 funny thing is.....looking back at this...everyone is doing something similar now haha...per usual...pivot is ahead of the game.
  • 2 0
 Time to boot project mk4 for this !
  • 2 0
 Love the new frame shape. Looks like it would age gracefully.
  • 2 0
 Looks rad. Pivot is making sick bikes
  • 2 0
 Every time you mention super boost, god kills a kitten.
  • 5 0
 Fine - I don't like cats.
  • 2 0
 Nice bike shame about the price?
  • 4 4
 I would love to know the real, measured width of that 2.6 Maxis rubber.
Also, what about 29er version?
  • 2 0
 I have a DHF 27.5X2.6. It's 2.5in on the knobs.
  • 6 0
 Its called a switchblade
  • 1 0
 @aperral: do you think it would be possible to put them on the narrower rims (25 mm)?
  • 2 0
 @JP199: I think he meant a 29er version of the 2.6 Maxxis tires?
  • 3 0
 @pakleni: sure, it would round out the tread profile and put the side knobs further down. You'd have to lean the bike slightly more on the corners to be able to reach the side knobs.. it may not really matter in real life however...
probably not worth the weight and price penalty(new plus sized maxxis rubber is outrageously priced)
  • 2 0
 2.55 inch/6.45cm front and rear measured on the widest point with the standard wheels on the Mach 5.5.
  • 12 0
 @pakleni: We recommend using our Wide Trail (WT) tires on 30-35mm inner width rims. They are measuring true to size on the optimal 35mm rim.

25mm rim width will round out the tire profile, meaning you'll need to lean the bike farther to engage the sideknobs. In the real world this isnt as big of an issue on tires like the Rekon and Forekaster that have healthy intermediate knobs but a tire with an open transition channel like the Minion DHF would have a larger dead spot between the center and side knobs.
  • 1 2
 remove pls
  • 1 0
 @Maxxis: Thanks Maxxis. Then I'll stick to the old 2.5/2.3 combo. Wink
  • 3 0
 @SonofBovril: I saw a 29x2.6 Rekon proto at the Whiskey Off-Road. It looked pretty sweet. They're not out yet though, but they will be coming.
  • 1 0
 Real users tire dimensions database:


Great German stuff, and you can add your own rim/tire combination in colaboration.
  • 2 0
 @pakleni: I don't know but if you do it'll be too round. The profile is already round with the 35ID rims.
  • 1 0
 @Maxxis: hang about, didn't you guys sat that WT was for 35mm ID and over?
  • 1 0
 @Travel66: WT is optimized around 35mm inner width rims but works well on 30-35mm inner. Above 35mm and the casing of the tire is going to be wider than the tread, below 30mm and the tire profile will be so round that it will affect cornering control.
  • 3 1
 Awesome looking bike!
  • 2 0
 Bravo Pivot!
  • 1 0
 Finally the bike I've been waiting for! I'll take a red one!
  • 1 0
 trail bike with enduro capabilities.
  • 1 0
 Where's all the whining about how expensive the bike is?
  • 1 0
 same as the recluse. Innovation Yo!
  • 1 1
 Pivot bikes are do overpriced. Why not save money and buy another big name brand with just as good of spec?
  • 1 0
 Love the art deco tow truck in the background. 48 Ford Flathead?
  • 1 0
 I'd take one if it had 29" wheels....
  • 1 0
 This or a 2017 Norco Sight C7.x?
  • 1 0
 What a bunch of whiney-ass people on this forum. Jesus Manesus.
  • 2 3
 What's the BB height like? Yet another rad new bike that is Pedal Strike City on technical climbs?
  • 1 0
 13.4 inches or 340mm.
  • 3 0
 340mm. Pretty normal these days. As long as the bike rides somewhat high in the suspension travel (like DW bikes often do) then it shouldn't be to terrible when it comes to pedal strikes.
  • 5 0
 The BB height is good and the DW-Link helps to keep peda strikes at bay. Even in the rock of Moab I only experienced a few.
  • 2 1
 @AJBarlas: The BB height is the best number on that bike.
  • 1 1
 If all DH bikes are going 29, why will 27.5 trail bikes still exist?
  • 2 4
 Just buy a nomad then you can ride any trail anywhere
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