Pivot Mach 6 Carbon - Review

Aug 29, 2016
by Vernon Felton  




Pivot Cycles introduced the Mach 6 Carbon in late 2013 as a bike aimed at all-mountain/ enduro riders. Pivot founder, Chris Cocalis, was looking to build a machine that pedaled like a trail bike, yet could tackle much more aggressive terrain. And Cocalis had some numbers in mind; numbers like 155 millimeters (six inches) of rear-suspension travel, 430-millimeter (16.95-inch) chainstays and enough room out back to squeeze in 2.3 or 2.4-inch tires. The Mach 6 Carbon was the result.

Pivot Mach 6 Carbon Details

• Intended use: All-mountain/enduro
• Wheel size: 27.5
• Head angle: 66°
• Carbon front and rear triangles
• Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL
• Weight (size L w/o pedals): 27.56 pounds (12.50 kg)
• MSRP: $5.899 USD
www.pivotcycles.com / @pivotcycles

But that was a couple years ago, which, these days, might as well be an eternity. Times and standards were changing fast, and so Pivot unveiled this 2nd generation Mach 6 Carbon last fall. We'll get into all the new-and-improved jazz in a second. In the meantime, it’s worth noting that Pivot offers the Mach 6 Carbon in 12 different build options, ranging in price from $4,299 to $9,899 (USD). Not feeling the plastic fantastic? There’s also an aluminum Mach 6 that sells for between $2,899 and $6,299 as a complete bike. Our mid-tier carbon iteration with its XT/XTR 1x kit has a price tag with $5,899 (USD) stamped on it.


Vernon Felton Testing the Pivot Mach 6 Carbon in the Columbia River Gorge WA.
Some of the cable routing on the original Mach 6 carbon was a bit awkward. It's all well executed this time around.
Vernon Felton Testing the Pivot Mach 6 Carbon in the Columbia River Gorge WA.
Interchangeable port covers give you plenty of cable-routing options, as well as the option to run Shimano's Di2 electronic shifting system.


Frame Details

Our Mach 6 test bikes features an all-carbon frame that registers (2.75 kilograms) six pounds on the scales. While impressively light, it’s actually a hair heavier than the first-generation bike. That’s not the way progress usually shakes out, but in this case, Pivot was aiming to burly up the bike a bit and if that meant adding a few grams, so be it. To that end, the bike gained an entirely new double wishbone rear end with Boost 148 spacing. The goal was to create an even stiffer package with more breathing room for bigger tires. Pivot reworked the moving bits as well. The upper and lower linkages both grew wider and stiffer; they also now pivot on suspension-specific, Enduro Max cartridge bearings. Durability gets a boost there.

The first Mach 6 carbon featured a bit of wonky cable routing—there was an offensive bit riding along the rear shock. The newer Mach 6 carbon tidies up the internal cable routing. The frame is also compatible with Shimano’s Di2 electronic shifting system if you’re well-heeled and down with the whole robot-in-my-bicycle thing. Though plenty of riders have sworn off front derailleurs, there’s a very slick, removable front derailleur mount that meshes with Shimano’s side-swing front mech. If you’re staring at the bottom bracket, you’ll see it's a press-fit affair (PF92). You’ll also see chain guide tabs. More importantly, you’ll notice that, dang, the pipes on this thing are huge. The cross-sections on the carbon downtube are beefy. It ain’t the sleekest-looking frame; it looks more like a brawler. Because it is.

Vernon Felton Testing the Pivot Mach 6 Carbon in the Columbia River Gorge WA.
The 2nd-generation carbon Mach 6 features Boost 148 spacing, which Pivot claims improved rear-end stiffness while allowing for healthy-sized rear tires. There's room out back for most 2.4 tires.
Vernon Felton Testing the Pivot Mach 6 Carbon in the Columbia River Gorge WA.
We opted for the single-ring setup. The Mach 6 Carbon, however, features a removable front derailleur mount for anyone feeling the need for another chainring.

Vernon Felton Testing the Pivot Mach 6 Carbon in the Columbia River Gorge WA.

Suspension Design

Pivot Cycles has long used Dave Weagle’s DW-Link system on its bikes and the Mach 6 carries on in that tradition. To wit, it’s a short, dual-link design that seeks the holy grail of suspension. In other words, it’s supposed to pedal efficiently, while remaining supple enough to keep the wheel tracking over rocks and roots on climbs. Square-edged bump performance is, per usual, supposed to be awesome as is suspension performance while braking.

I say “supposed”, not because the Mach 6 doesn’t do these things (we’ll get there in a bit), but because just about every brand says their own suspension design achieves the same results… with varying degrees of actual success. I’m not an engineer and won’t pretend to be. I’ve yet to meet anyone who can really parse out in plain speak, what sets DW-Link apart (in theory) from other short, dual-link designs. This doesn’t mean that isn’t something unique in the way that DW-Link combats suspension squat. I’m going to refrain, however, from regurgitating the marketing literature as if the patented aspects of the design made sense to me.


Geometry

Enduro was suddenly becoming “a thing” when then the Mach 6 debuted. Bikes were getting much slacker and longer. The Mach 6 bucked the trend then and continues to do so today. With its 66-degree head angle (actually 66.25 degrees in a size Large), the bike is appropriately slack for the genre, but its reach is shorter than what is becoming the norm in a longer-travel bike. Our size Large frame, for instance, has an effective top tube length of 607 millimeters (23.9 inches). If you’re into Reach figures, the Mach 6 has a reach of 414 millimeters. For comparison’s sake, A size Large Santa Cruz Bronson has a reach 445 millimeters. A Large Specialized Enduro 650b? 450. A Large Giant Reign? 458. A Large Kona Process 153? 475. You get the idea--the Mach 6 is, comparatively speaking, a bit short in the cockpit.

Pivot Mach 6

Conversely, the Mach 6’s shorter reach also makes it an attractive option for vertically-challenged riders. The Mach 6 comes in five different sizes, with an XS option that fits riders as short as 4’11” (150 centimeters). The Mach 6’s stubby front center and chainstays also add up, no surprise, to a short wheelbase. While many of the latest six-inch travel bikes sport sprawling wheelbases approaching 48 inches, the Mach 6 measures a very tidy 115 centimeters (45.3-inches) from axle to axle.


Specifications
Specifications
Release Date August 2015
Price $5899
Travel 155 millimeters (6.1 inches)
Rear Shock FOX Float X Kashima
Fork FOX 36 Factory 27.5" 160mm Kashima
Cassette XT M8000 11-42 11Spd
Crankarms Race Face AEFFECT SL 30T
Bottom Bracket Shimano BB92
Rear Derailleur XTR 11Spd GS
Front Derailleur NA
Shifter Pods XT 11Spd R
Handlebar Phoenix Carbon Riser 780mm
Stem Phoenix Trail Enduro
Grips Phoenix Lock-On
Brakes XT 8000
Wheelset DT Swiss XMC 1200 Spline 27.5
Hubs DT Swiss 240
Tires Maxxis High Roller II 2.3s
Seat Pivot WTB Vigo Race
Seatpost KS Lev Integra
Vernon Felton Testing the Pivot Mach 6 Carbon in the Columbia River Gorge WA.






Set-Up

My general approach with an all-mountain bike is to aim for 30 percent sag, front, and rear. Our Mach 6 actually came with a handy-dandy sag indicator zip tied to the rear shock’s air sleeve, which made proper setup dead simple. And, kudos to Pivot, the indicator proved spot on.

Our Mach 6 Carbon is equipped with a Fox Float X EVOL rear shock. Tuning is fairly straightforward. You can add volume spacers to the large-volume air sleeve get a big more ramp out of the end stroke. You get the usual three position Open-Medium-Firm settings and you can vary the level low-speed compression damping in the Open mode as well. After a bit of experimenting, I set the compression damping in mid position and rode the shock in open mode 90 percent of the time. Up front, I ran the Fox 36 with 28 percent sag, dialed in a few clicks of compression damping and, as with the rear shock, largely rode it wide open.



Vernon Felton Testing the Pivot Mach 6 Carbon in the Columbia River Gorge WA.

Climbing

The Mach 6 climbs like a trail bike. A very efficient and speedy trail bike. In some respects, that makes sense. The bike registers just 27.5 pounds…with a droppr post and healthy tires and a stout fork worthy of a descending machine. The six-pound frame and the featherweight carbon wheels, no doubt, help in this department, but still, the bike’s tendency to motor uphill is impressive all the same.

While I may not be able to pinpoint the unique aspects of Weagle’s link shape, location, and action in relation to a rider’s center of mass, I can say that the guy has yet to turn out a clunker in the climbing department. True to the hype, the Mach 6 can be pedaled up long, crappy climbs with the shock wide open. Admittedly, I wound up adding a bit of extra compression damping to the Float X’s “Open” mode, but still, damn. Moreover, traction is excellent when you’re pedaling hard through loose and chunky sections of uphill.

The Mach 6 has a fairly slack seat tube angle of 72.3 degrees, which doesn’t usually equate to awesome climbing performance on longer-travel bikes. But despite the fact that your weight is slightly rear-biased on the Mach 6, the bike rides high in its travel when you’re pedaling on seated climbs. As a result, the steering doesn’t feel overly slack and sloppy. I’m not sure what the special sauce is in this kinematic recipe, but it works well.


Vernon Felton Testing the Pivot Mach 6 Carbon in the Columbia River Gorge WA.

Descending
With the Mach 6, Pivot was purposefully steering clear of making the kind of long and low bikes that were becoming the norm. This was the point when so many six-inch travel bikes shifted away from being jack-of-all-trade all-mountain bikes and towards something akin to scaled-down DH bikes. To that end, the Mach 6, with its tight wheelbase, isn’t as stable at high speeds as a bike with a longer wheelbase. There’s no getting around that fact. When you're tearing down wide-open, uber-chunky sections, the Mach 6 simply doesn’t feel as planted and confident as bikes possessing more breathing room between the axles. If you are all about finding a dedicated mini-park bike, there are better options. Pivot’s new Firebird, the Santa Cruz Nomad, the Giant Reign or the Yeti SB6c all come to mind. That doesn’t mean, however, that the Mach 6 isn’t a capable descender.

The upshot of having a tight wheelbase is that the Mach 6 makes a lot of those ultra-long enduro machines look downright clumsy on downhills filled with tight corners. Feel like charging into terrifying territory? The Mach 6 is more than up to the challenge; there's damn little in the way of flex from this chassis and the Fox/DW suspension is up to the task, sucking up small and big hits alike. What sets the Mach 6 apart from many of the latest enduro bikes is that it retains a playfulness under pressure. And, yes, it can climb for days.

In short, whether the Mach 6 lights your fire on the descents largely boils down to what your descents actually look like: Wide open courses? The Mach 6 can feel skittish at Mach Chicken. Super tight and hacked out downhill trails? The Mach 6 is a hell of a weapon for that kind of work. Take your pick.



Vernon Felton Testing the Pivot Mach 6 Carbon in the Columbia River Gorge WA.
Our test bike is shod with DT Swiss' XMC 1200 wheelset. The hoops weigh a mere 1,410 grams yet proved surprisingly rugged. No wobbles, dents or complaints to date.
Vernon Felton Testing the Pivot Mach 6 Carbon in the Columbia River Gorge WA.
Pivot didn't skimp on the fork. The Fox 36 Factory fork comes with all the bells and whistles (Kashima coating, FIT4 damper, etc.). Lightweight, burly...it's a good match for the rest of the bike.

Component Check

• Fox 36 Factory Float fork/Float X Kashima rear shock: Set it and forget it. Sure, you have the ability to tweak the compression damping on both suspension units, but after setting the rear extra-volume shock's sag at 28 percent, matching the fork's sag and dialing in the rebound, I didn't feel the need to futz with either product again, which is good since the rebound adjuster on the Float X is nearly inaccessible to anyone who doesn't possess toddler-sized digits. Fortunately, you generally set rebound once and then forget about it for ages. Minor gripe aside, the front and rear ends feel remarkably well balanced and just...right. It's very good spec.

• Shimano XT brakes: Shimano brakes have a whole lot of advocates. I've never been a huge fan of their actual feel: There's a ton of dead band in the stroke and then the pads eventually hit the rotor and it's suddenly game on, Servo Wave style. But disc brakes are surprisingly subjective. A lot of people love what leaves me cold about the way Shimano brakes feel at the lever. What was always indisputable was their reliability. Shimano brakes always worked. You could count on them. These XT brakes, however, haven't proven as consistent as past iterations. The point in the lever stroke when the pads actually engaged the rotor varied during some rides, which led to some "OhCrapOhCrap!" moments aboard the Mach 6. If the brakes had a more effective contact point adjuster, this would be less of a problem, but the Free Stroke adjuster screw does relatively little to change the bite point in the lever throw. To date, I've had mixed experiences with several XT M8000 brakes--some proved as reliable as XT models of yore, others a bit fickle like these on the Pivot. It's a head scratcher.

• Shimano XT-XTR 1x: Shimano came to the single-ring game late, but with XT they've created a proven drivetrain with consistent, solid shifts. It's been about six months since these photos were shot and in that time, I've legitimately abused the Pivot. The largely-XT drivetrain (the rear derailleur is an XTR unit), however, has proven immune to the spring mud and summertime dust. Pivot also added a RaceFace Aeffect SL crank to the mix. No problems there either.


Vernon Felton Testing the Pivot Mach 6 Carbon in the Columbia River Gorge WA.

Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesFor a bike with this much travel and a take-no-crap frame, the Mach 6 Carbon is surprisingly playful. In a way, the bike is a bit of a throwback to when all-mountain bikes were less mini-DH sleds and something closer to all-purpose rigs for people who loved big descents. The Mach 6 is the quintessential, light-yet-burly all-rounder. If long top tubes and wheelbases are your thing, however, you'll want to consider running one size larger than usual. - Vernon Felton



Visit the high-res gallery for more images from this review

MENTIONS: @pivotcycles / @vernonfelton


About the Reviewer
Stats: Age: 44 • Height: 5'11” • Inseam: 32" • Weight: 175lb • Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
In 1988 Vernon started riding mountain bikes—mainly to avoid the people throwing cans of Budweiser at him during his road rides. At some point, roughly when Ronald Reagan was president and Hüsker Dü was still a band, he began loving mountain bikes on their own terms. Vernon Felton spends most of his time riding bikes, thinking about bikes, thinking about riding bikes and then riding some more around Bellingham, Washington. If it has a greasy chain and two wheels on it, he’s cool with it. Except for recumbents. Well, okay, maybe those too. Nah, forget it. No recumbents.





146 Comments

  • + 72
 I don't think the shorter reach "makes it an attractive option for vertically challenged riders." In fact I think it's quite the opposite, as you end up having to size up to get the proper reach and you end up with a seat tube too tall for current droppers, and less standover than you would get if the sizing was appropriate.

Even Pivot has finally updated the geometry on their newest models.

TL/DR Good bike held back by poor geometry.
  • + 14
 Couldn't agree more. When I look at the firebird I see a modern bike. Here... It teminds me the geo of my 2009 Slayer. And though it lookes aces, I'm teally I don't have it anymore.
Time for an update Pivot!
Your suspension works great so I was reallly pumped to see a new Mach6, but not, it's not a new version Frown
  • + 1
 @EnduroManiac: it rides great though I've tested it on local trails and pedals and defends like you would want a mountain bike to
  • + 1
 even if it looks old and new colors and some new specs would've looked nice
  • - 2
 @EnduroManiac: The new firebird is literally a copy paste of the Gen 3 nomads geometry
  • + 11
 Mach6 needed new molds...cockpit is cramped and the seat tube is too slack. Bike wants to wheelie up climbs.
  • + 6
 The reach on their Large Mach6 is 1/5 of an inch longer than the reach on their new size Small Switchblade. Oops!
  • + 5
 I agree. I demo'd a Mach 6 and the short cockpit on a size Medium was very noticeable. I'm 5'7", so going to a large would have made for a very big bike for me. I felt much more comfortable on a Pivot Switchblade, which has a longer cockpit.
  • + 11
 Geometry shmeometry...this bike needs Super Boost
  • + 4
 @jrocksdh: Agree, I had the same issue with the original Mach6 which was a pain when riding up steep climbs. In hindsight, the way the geometry is set you almost needed to go a size larger than what you would typically order. Also I hope they have sorted out the lateral movement of the Weagle’s DW-Link which in the original (or the two frames that I had) caused it to rub against the seat -tube which was a BIG problem.
  • + 10
 ehh slack seat tubes just ruin long travel bikes, especially if you're tall - your weight just ends up too far back over the rear axle, and the bike sucks at steep climbs as a result. Slack seat tube + seat a long way up + short chainstays = get off and walk as soon as it gets steep/tech. No amount of pedal efficiency compensates for a front wheel that isn't on the ground. Have to say I'm a bit disappointed to see the geo numbers on this, might have bought one if it was a little more up to date.
  • + 2
 Maybe they had the molds for the frames ready before somebody came and told them that short bikes are not cool anymore!
  • + 6
 m.pinkbike.com/video/419949

www.pinkbike.com/video/373707

These guys look really unhappy and sketched out from all the short geo.
  • + 4
 @Socket: I've got long 33" pant's inseam and love the slack STA on the M6. Since the front centre isn't crazy long you don't have any problem climbing steep tech on it. I've never gone over backwards or had a problem with steep climbing. In fact I'd say that was a strength of the bike.
  • + 5
 @gdnorm: tbh if you look at the video without paying too much attention Jeff Herb looks like riding a BMX bike LOL... not that there is anything rong with that... ride what you like.. but the bike is shortish..
  • + 3
 The large mach 6 runs at a similar size and rider position to my medium reign X from 2009, which as a 5'11" rider was physically painful to ride as a trail bike. I don't know what pivot was smoking when they chose the geometry for this thing.
  • + 4
 @gdnorm: yeah, that is because there is nothing sketchy about those trails. All I saw was a giant pump track which the Mach 6 is perfect for.

I had one for a while. Nice bike, but not nearly as capable as as the current crop of big bikes. Doesn't climb steep tech well while sitting due the slack SA and does not inspire as much confidence on rough downhills due to the short reach.

It is a great transition bike for riders coming from bikes like the first gen HD or other long travel short wheelbase bikes. It is a tweener from those days. I am just surprised that they didn't update it while they had the chance.
  • + 2
 @gdnorm: Its not that you can't ride a bike with this geometry - but if I am going to spend this kind of money ($4200 - $10,000) on a bike, I'm gonna damn well make sure its got the geometry sorted out.
  • - 1
 @gdnorm: but the whole point is progression. Other companies have progressed and are producing longer bikes, Pivot haven't. It's not like it makes it sketchy, it's still capable, but if you were going to drop this amount on a new bike wouldn't you want the geometry as up-to-date as possible?
  • + 1
 deleted double post
  • + 2
 @salespunk: Yeah their lack of confidence is alarming.
  • + 1
 @gdnorm: videos also didnt show em slogging up climbs...but who wants to watch that.
  • + 38
 unable to determine climbing ability, as there were no references to the IASCCS (Internationally Accepted Scalded Cat Climbing Scale.) Please update review to include a 0-1 rating of how many scalded cats it climbs like.
  • + 28
 DAAAAAAANG @vernonfelton look at you and all your fancy clothes with your fancy bright colours and what not! damn guuurl moving up in the world!
  • + 30
 They are borrowed clothes. My actual clothes tend to consist of smelly t-shirts and whatever shorts I can find the quickest. My chamois, however, is always fresh.
  • + 2
 I for one appreciate the fact that his kit matches the bike. I never quite trust reviewer who are all unmatchy matchy! At least they could do it get a pair of gloves that match their helmet!
  • + 2
 @vernonfelton: And that backpack;huge. What IS in there, it looks a lot for a photo-shoot ride.
  • - 1
 Vernon, you can really write but please less cut and paste from the second most badly written press release of this season
  • + 22
 I love my M6. I guess I'm a fan of the short top tube and have no desire to go back to the plow bike geometry of yesteryear. The M6 climbs great and eats up chunky descents while keeping a nimble and playful demeanor. With this geometry I am always in a position of balance and never have that "get up out of the sofa" feeling. Great review, and so glad we have choices!
  • + 13
 Couldn't agree more. Love my M6 as well. Sometimes reading through some of the comments here I actually wonder how many people actually spent some time on the saddle of this bike.
  • + 8
 Me as well. I have the original Mach 6 and as much as I'm the type to cycle thru bikes, the Mach 6 has lasted the test of time for me. I've demo'd the SB6C and the Ibis HD3 and while they were great bikes as well, I didn't find the "fun factor" nearly as high as it is on my Mach 6. As Vernon talks about in his review, this bike climbs great and for somebody descending at speeds less than mach 3, it handles everything I throw at it just fine. I have a riding buddy that actually bought the HD3 but then sold it and bought the new Mach 6 V2 after riding my V1 model.

Bottom line...if my Mach 6 was stolen tonight, the V2 version would lead pack as a replacement.
  • + 7
 After 3 seasons on my Mach 6 I am looking forward to 3 more! Smile
  • + 10
 Me too, Mega Reach isn't for everyone. How many riders are actually shredding the steep knar most of their rides? All around bikes that can still rock the fast & chunky when needed should still have broad appeal...
  • + 0
 I owned one for a while. Decent intermediate step between old school geometry and the newer gen stuff. It definitely makes you work for steep technical climbs since you have to fight to keep the front wheel down due to the slack seat tube. Feels crisp on the pedals, but is not actually any faster than the current crop of bikes.
  • + 5
 @ vernonfelton:

Love the rock garden descent fish face complete with the John Lennon shades...keepin it real.

the other day, my brother posted a photo of me in my riding gear (mtb shorts completed with a tucked in old baggy dress shirt: better airflow, sun and fall protection)

practicality wins out every time.

Cheers to us old guys who dont give a caca.
  • + 2
 The face thing...it's a soul crusher.
  • + 1
 @vernonfelton: s'all good, its the face we all make when mad dawging the trail like we goin to ownzit
  • + 5
 Glad to see someone finally call out the M8000 XT brakes for what they are instead of parroting the common refrain that they are the standard by which others are judged. They are very inconsistent and the QC on them seems to be lacking. Also, the garbage rotors that most bikes come with stock doesn't help. Also, Race Face Aeffct cranks are junk and don't belong on a bike this expensive.
  • + 3
 I've seen 2 sets of SLX and 2 sets of XT brakes (basically all my family's bikes) come out of the factory with contaminated pads and rotors that squeel worse than any of the Avids ever did, and in need of a bleed for that matter too Frown
  • + 5
 Aside from the feel of Shimano brakes which some like it and others not; these brakes actually had a bad batch, many reviews say the same about the bite point not being the same and in MTBR there's a thread about it. Looks like they fix it now but there's a lot of faulty models around. I had these brakes but never installed them, I didn't want to try them to see if they were fine or not, so I sold them to a guy before even try them but never heard of him again... So I guess mine were fine, or the guy is dead, I don't know lol
  • + 4
 I had the same experience with the latest generation of XTR brakes. Hopefully they have fixed the problems by now.
  • + 3
 Yep, I'll add my negative XT M8000 experience to the log. Lever throw was inconsistent during a ride, you never knew where it was going to engage making for exciting lever-to-the-bar moments until I just gave up and adjusted them way out to compensate. Bled the damn things 4 times, both front and back were the same, couldn't make them better. I finally swapped them for Guide RSCs from my old bike... Better now. I know Shimano has huge support for their brakes, and the religious won't accept there are problems with M8000, but my experience was horrible.
  • + 5
 Look at Richie Rude. He's 5'11" and on a medium SB66 with has about the same effective top tube as a large M6. He runs a 60mm stem. This has not slowed him down. I ain't no RR but at 5'11" I run a large M6 with a 60mm stem (and 780 Renthals) and its the perfect do it all bike.

The shorter TT makes this bike super maneuverable in the tight stuff, but its slack angles keep it stable on the steeps. I've got real long levers and built like a lollipop and never feel endo-prone on this rig.

Admittedly the bike has a DH bias and to me, rides like a DH bike, albeit a nimble one. It's amazing how this rig rails the corners.


This bike is amazing and come the closest to the "one bike" I've ever had. My M6 has been with me from three years now and routinely does every thing from trail riding, to AM, to lift assist. Just returned from Trestle where it tackled nearly everything on the mountain for a week straight, and also still allowed this low lander to go on a trail ride and pedal at 10,000 plus feet. With a change of tires it will be my trail/AM pedal bike soon as I unpack it.

The original Float X seemed to be under-damped on the LSC. Probably to make it feel nice in the parking lot. Sorry I waited so long but had mine PUSH'd with added LSC and the bike is way better. Far less mushy/springy, and more controlled. I almost never take it out of Open mode now.


If I had buy another bike right now it would be the updated M6. Speaking of which, I'd be willing to trade a like new, large, HD3 for an M6 if interested Smile



Yeah the Firebird looks nice, but I've got a real DH bike, and our local mountain would be too much for even the Bird.

My biggest gripe is the original black carbon look with understated red graphics was classy and timeless. Wish they would have kept that.
  • + 2
 The ETT may be the same, but the reach isn't. Richie's size M SB6C has a reach of 426 mm. This is the same as a Mach6 in size XL.
  • + 1
 It just looks like it has a long top tube because the seat tube is so ridiculously slack. That inflates the top tube number, however in practice it just means you have to run your seat farther forward on your post to get your position right relative to the BB which negates that increased length. That's why you have to look at Reach, because ETT's can be all over the place due to different ST angles (and virtual STangles for bikes whose seat tubes don't intersect the BB)

ETT is not a good way to size bikes, as you inadvertently point out.
  • + 1
 At 5'11" it probably does fit you pretty good. For me at 6'1", I'd have to run an 80mm stem to get a similar fit to you, or step up to the XL, and probably not have room to run a 150mm dropper.
  • + 8
 Since when is xtr mid level???
  • + 49
 Since SRAM launched their new Hawk XXXYVZ111 1x14 drivetrain. Smile
  • + 2
 probably price.wise compared to the xx1
  • + 9
 @doe222 The XTR rear derailleur (the only XTR component on the bike) is certainly not mid-tier. The bike is mid tier for Pivot in that there are a dozen build options and this one is near the middle, price wise.
  • + 5
 Soooooomeoooooones got XTR on their bike...
  • + 4
 How is this review completely different to:

www.pinkbike.com/news/Pivot-Mach-6-Carbon-Reviewed-tested-2014.html

The review praises the descending capability as well as the spot on geometry. Has the MTB world gone so mad in only 2 years that we are to believe that the refreshed M6 is obsolete and just a trail bike with outdated geometry, therefore you need something with "modern" geometry to enjoy the downhills...
  • + 1
 The answer is "yes".
  • + 3
 Just bought my 2nd mach 6. Upgraded the rear end to an eleven six and went with m70hv wheels. I can't say it has even felt super twitchy at speed. As a bit older guy, I am not sure my back could handle a long day on the firebird. After 4 hours or so on my tr500 (which has a shorter reach than the FB) my lower back is getting pretty tight.
  • + 3
 I spy riding at Syncline in SW WA. Vernon charging on Hidden Canyon and Little Maui trails. A great winter retreat from the pacific west side storms before the poison oak and rattlers take hold in late spring and summer. Love to see my "backyard" trails. Thanks for posting
  • + 3
 People should just ride that beast instead of comparing numbers chart. This bike ride like crazy. I own one. The fun can't be described by crappy numbers ; the recipe of this bike is just working perfectly. GO RIDE IT BEFORE TALKING CRAP
.
  • + 1
 Hey @patpero, how tall are you, what size you got?
  • + 2
 I rode this at Outerbike Moab this spring. While it was the plushest bike I rode there (could have been shock setup), a size large like I usually ride was too short for me. When rolling over some rocks/tech gnar, I felt like I was at the "tipping point" of either going over the bars, or staying rubber side down. It didn't feel like the bars were in my lap, but it definitely wasn't right for me.

I could have tried a longer stem or the XL to see if it was any better. I have a couple of friends that love their's, but I like a longer TT. Nice bike though, and a ton of build options is nice. It's pretty light for the travel too.
  • + 5
 Since when did we need to have super long bikes to be comfortable descending fast?
  • + 4
 Feel like all I see anymore is Fox X2s. Nothing against them, but aren't they technically a dh shock? Nice to see something different in that aspect.
  • + 0
 There's a reason people run them though, and yes, they are meant for both DH and enduro
  • + 11
 Downduro shockWink Insanely tunable, plus new climbswitch means you'll see more and more on smaller travel bikes. Just like what happened with the CCDBA (CS). Love my X2 on the Process! Hop on one if you can.
  • + 3
 @EarthEater: I wish i could
  • + 2
 Hey Vernon, your last highlighted comment made me wonder. Do you think sizing up would give you the best of both styles of enduro/trail bikes. Long and slack, but a little more playful than its already long and not overly agile competition... maybe? It could even be a sign of the next tweaks to the overly stable bunch...if they could decode why it is so playful...or long and playful/nimble just won't be possible, who knows.
  • + 1
 You have to wonder who is this bike for now? There is too much overlap between this and the new Firebird and I'd venture to say most would choose the Firebird or move down to the 429 trail for their unique differences. I'd expect to see this bike gone from Pivot's line up in the coming year.
  • + 5
 I don't really agree. A bike like this is for certain trails - tight twisty ones and ones that have less of an outright high speed DH slant, whilst still being very capable. The Firebird looks awesome, but it is too slack to be good at anything other than high speed, full on trails - I'm picturing rolling hills being it's nemesis. You can chuck a 180mm fork on it and that says it all! I'd love one as a second bike, but not as my only one. I also think from a marketing point everyone has to have a 160mm enduro frame or they'll be accused of being behind the times... The 429 is on a more xc slant.
  • + 12
 Hey, @hellbelly, thanks for asking. The Firebird is a whole lot more bike--the travel difference isn't vast, but geo on the Firebird is definitely in keeping with the Long and low thing. For example, the Small Firebird has a longer reach than the Large Mach 6. I was able to ride the Medium Firebird for a single run at Whistler and it fit well. Likewise, I fit on the Medium Switchblade. On this Mach 6, however, I definitely needed the 60-mm stem, as opposed tot he 45 or 50-mm stem I'd normally run. The wheelbase on the Firebird is also considerably longer. I'll refrain from giving a Firebird preview here, other than to say it was awesome in the bike park, a surprisingly capable climber and, at times, a ton of fun on a rowdy descent that will not be named. However, there were times on that descent, quick corners in succession, when I would have really dug the tighter wheelbase of the Mach 6. The current Mach 6 has its place. It's not going to be the right choice for bombing bike parks, but as a burly do-it-all bike in tight singletrack conditions, it's a ridiculously fun bike.
  • + 1
 @slimboyjim: Pivot has the 429 trail in the Enduro category for those looking for something more Katana than Battle Axe. www.pivotcycles.com/bike/mach-429-trail
  • + 1
 @vernonfelton: I suppose I could see this mirroring Santa Cruz's Bronson/Nomad dichotomy if I may simplify things. Personally, I'd land in the Firebird territory, but for the time being my Banshee continues to serve me well.
  • + 2
 @hellbelly: It's the short travel bikes can ride everything argument again isn't it! I thought the 429 indicated 4" of travel and 29" wheels, so I'm sure there are more 'enduro' capable bikes out there, but I still say it's a little more trail based if not xc. You can ride crazy tracks, but you've less margin for error and probably wouldn't but stuff as hard for that reason. Unless you are called Kerr... :-)
  • + 1
 @slimboyjim: I certainly have never argued that anyone needs a big travel sled, trail, AM, or whatever kind of bike. A good bike handler on rigid single speed will out ride a mediocre rider on a carbon wonder bike every time. Ride whatever turns you on. However, I demoed both the 429 Trail and the Mach 6 last spring back to back on the same route as my own bike. I preferred the 429's more spritely feel, versus the more aggressive Mach 6. However, I prefer generally more aggressive smashers to ride and my current rig (Banshee Rune V2) was stronger in that department than the Mach 6 without giving up too much to the 429 in handling or climbing ability. In the end, "Temet nosce."
  • + 1
 Hey @vernonfelton, you mentioned in the section about the suspension design that the bike is 'supposed' to handle square edge hits well, while also performing well when braking, but you didn't elaborate on it at all in the climbing or descending sections. What was the issue there?
  • + 2
 Ah, I was trying to encapsulate that bit in the "eats up hits small and large alike". The rear suspension is stellar on this bike. Weagle/Pivot did good work on this one.
  • + 1
 Just bought one last week. Ridden 5 times. Not sure what all the negatives are about. Bike goes uphill like nothing I've ever ridden. And the uphills here are all steep and technical. No issue keeping the front wheel down. I'm on a large and am 6'2". And down seems pretty awesome as well. I was worried the bigger wheels would equate to a less capable ride on the steep north shore tech descents but the shorter wheelbase means this thing navigates even the tightest corners. Haven't ripped fast at whistler yet so we'll see how it does at speed. Anyway so far I love it. Now to be fair I'm coming off a 2012 Intense Uzzi which at 40 lbs was a pig to climb with. I'm cleaning sections up that I used to walk. So maybe anything new would seem great.

As for reliability my close friend has had one just over a year and rides 3-5 days a week all in all weather here in North and West Vancouver and he has had no issues with maintenance. Hence my decision to follow with one of my own.

So I'm liking it.
  • + 1
 I guess most folks are happy with a 150 dropper but while the short reach is the reason I didn't go for this bike, it gets big points for a non interrupted/non kinked/non pivot in the top third of the seattube so you can run a 175 dropper or soon 200 when they start coming available. Try that on some other brands :-(
  • + 3
 @vernonfelton Just to be clear, that XMC 1200 wheelset is an extra-cost upgrade over the $5899 list price, correct? If not, that is a hell of a deal.
  • + 1
 Was hoping someone else would catch that. Yes, I'm a Pivot dealer and you ain't gettin' carbon hoops for that price. Retail with the XMC upgrade is smig past 7k.
  • + 1
 @vernonfelton Would be great to get your impressions on the new Firebird right after you rode the M6. My concern is that the Fireird is not a trail bike at all - Plus pushing 170mm long wheelbase bike on NE trails is going to be a chore. The beauty of Mach 6 - like you said - is that it shines at slow speed tech and chunky trails and can be used as a trail bike on tight and twisty forest trails.
  • + 2
 While the Firebird climbs better than it has any right to, it is definitely more gravity oriented than the Mach 6...in the same way that the Nomad is more gravity oriented than the Bronson. The Mach 6 would be a blast on tight northeastern trails. That, in essence, was what I was attempting to convey with the review. Long and slack can be awesome, but it boils down to where you ride. There are still bikes like the Mach 6 and the Ibis Mojo HD3, which hew closer to the all-mountain mold of a couple years ago...and that's not a slight. They are very good all-rounders.
  • + 1
 I demoed a few bikes in the beginning of this year, including a mach 6. I'm 6'3", and in all seriousness the xl Mach 6 felt a lot smaller then a large nomad, which was the biggest size Santa Cruz had with them. I bought an xl nomad, and back to back rode it with a mach 6, and for me, the nomad blew the mach 6 out of the water in both climbing and descending. It seems like Pivot's combination of the mach 6 and the new firebird is kind of like Santa Cruz with the Bronson and Nomad, so I think a Bronson would be a good bike to compare to the mach 6. I think that with a few geometry and reach tweaks, maybe a lower top tube, and an in frame bottle holder, the mach 6 could be one of the best without a doubt.
  • + 1
 same experience here...ended up with an xl nomad and couldn't be happier. I agree that the M6 felt more aptly compared to the bronson, not the nomad
  • + 1
 Love Pivot's bikes. @vernonfelton : regarding the feel of the XT brakes, I have also noticed them change as they heat and cool and have had similar moments when contact did not occur when I expected. They seem to do this much less with a really good bleed -- some people say they are easy to bleed, but I find that it still takes time and following their procedure exactly. My one bike with a really good bleed seems way more consistent. It's a messy, tedious job, but at least it's just mineral oil.
  • + 2
 Carbon is all the rage these days but for the average rider aluminum is just fine...nice to see pivot has the option and it puts their bikes at a good price point...
  • + 0
 All these bikes look the same now. Anyway at least the journalist took a stab at shimano and said something negative in a 6k bike review. Even if Shimano brakes are by far the best brakes you can buy, and for good reason. they work.. gald to see Fox comming back also. Sram makes absalute garbage and clearly paid off the bike industry to pedal their pike and guide stuff. Boom!.
  • + 2
 Have a friend who has a Mach 6, formerly on a giant reign. He loves his, took his time in test riding many bikes, so this bike is definitely worth trying out
  • + 1
 Looks spot on, for my local woods I've found 66 degrees to be spot on as you can I weight the bike and change direction while still having decent stability
  • + 1
 Agreed!
  • + 2
 "There is room out back for most 2.4 tires"?! ...so most means like not all, or...?
  • + 2
 @mazze While you might think that one company's 2.4-inch tire would measure the same as the next company's 2.4-inch tire, they never have. Tire size is, mind bogglingly, abstract. It shouldn't be, but it is. Thus, you can fit some 2.4s on the back of this thing, but I can't say that this is true of every 2.4.
  • + 0
 @vernonfelton: Thanks.. I know about differences in tire widths but you hear more andmore about plus sizes and 3.0" tires lately and by the sound of it you are lucky if you manage to fit a 2.35 Schwalbe tire into this 2017 frame while it's even sporting boost standard. Not impressed to say the least.
  • + 3
 Hot damn Drool Dream bike right there!
  • + 1
 ^this guy has wack taste Wink

I think I'd love the bike more if they integrated the seattube brace and toptube... looks heavy in that junction
  • + 1
 @theminsta: clearly you havent learned that this is where you store the emergency tube and tire repair kit! Wink
  • - 1
 Who needs that when you can have.... PROCORE! Same weight, but are you using it or not? Hahahaha
  • + 3
 our bike shop has one and let me tell you its a BEAST
  • + 2
 Great bike. I got one in 2014 and still love the beast. It's a perfect one-bike-to-rule-them-all machine. Smile
  • - 1
 Out of date geometry, sized to small... poor build quality from bending linkages to press fit headsets which literally fall in.. bearing life is shocking!! as well as bearings which just push into the frame and some linkages by hand!.. lacquer problems with paint coming off. possibly the worst bikes I have worked on in 15 years of working as a bike mechanic!! unfortuanatly have worked with these bikes for two seasons of rental and have been by far the worst made and poorly thought out bikes in a decade!! oh and massively over priced
  • + 2
 Gorgeous bike. Does this have water bottle mounts? If not, that's a strike against it.
  • + 1
 One bottle mount.
  • + 3
 I have one of these. Super stoked every time I ride it.
  • + 1
 Funny fact, the rims are pretty narrow by today's "standards" but there was no complain to be had on them with 2.3" tires

(which seems to match my experience)
  • - 1
 is it just me or the whole geometry craze is getting a bit old. while it does matter, i just wanna know how the bike rides and if its fits the riding style the bike is trying to achieve.

geometry matters, but its second to ride. #allgeometriesmatter #stopjudgingabikebyitsgeometry
  • + 7
 I think geometry is a perfectly acceptable way to judge a bike. It's an important set of variables that strongly affects how the bike rides. The frame is really the only thing made by most "bike companies" so it makes sense to focus on the geometry in these reviews since the other parts are largely interchangeable. I think he did describe how it rides, too, and how this was related to the geometry, e.g. good in the switchbacks, a little less stable than some other bikes at speed, etc.
  • + 7
 Uh, but the geometry and suspension performance tell you how the bike will ride, and they do a far better job than an inherently subjective reviewer. Looking at the Mach 6, even before you ride it I can tell you it will feel shorter than most bikes, with correspondingly quick but unstable handling and performance. It's anti-squat and leverage ratio curves will tell you that it will pedal extremely well, but with the progressive-regressive linkage and somewhat excessive pedal kickback it will be rather harsh on big hits. Lo and behold, go for a demo ride, and that's exactly what you'll find out about it. It's a long-travel trail bike, good for all-day rides on your local trails, but not a pure enduro speed demon. That's not a bad thing, it is what it is.
  • + 3
 That looks pretty kick A$$
  • + 1
 5899$ !!! ONLY???? The price here in europe will be more like 8000€ for this bike... Fck
  • + 1
 Well my 2015 m6c was stolen this am, 5am...so i'm driving 3 hours to buy my new 2017 m6c. FML
  • - 2
 I always giggle when people have complaints about Shimano brakes. I tried some guide ultimates for two months this summer. GARBAGE!!! Modulation my ass, more like, whens the power coming? All sorts of OH Shit moments on those, and I attribute a couple crashes to them. It's like Sram paid off the entire Bike mag crew and their pushing that Kool-aide on everyone. Shimano are always reliable, have tons of bite, and feel amazing at the lever.
  • + 5
 Well that's just like, your opinion, man.
  • + 2
 Pressfit? Why
  • + 11
 I've had the same PF BB in my Mach 6 for 3yrs now. Zero issues. No noise and still spins smoothly. That's after a fair bot of PNWet liquid sunshine.
  • + 3
 @vikb: You are one of the exceptions , not the rule. Over time press fit BB's make noise. This has been experienced from the 80's BMX bikes up thru modern MTB's. Press fit is a lazy way to make lesser expensive frames on the manufacturing side of things
  • + 0
 @bman33: It kills me that a company will charge upwards of $10k for a bike and skimp on the bb. Even if you are charging 3K for a bike it should have a threaded BB. But if they're gonna be that cheap then just make MSRP a little more and give us want we want. I'm really into the new firebird too but the pressfit on it is was a deal breaker.
  • + 6
 @bman33: I am on year 3 also on my mach six. Hundres of days. No creaking. People forget how much threaded bottom brackets used to creak back in the day too.
  • + 0
 OK, let me ask this to all the Pressfit advocates out there, why are more companies like Specialized and Niner going back to threaded BB? Obviously there have been more issues and complaints from home and shop mechanics that these manufactures are dumping Pressfit. I love companies that have said no to it like Santa Cruz, Ibis, Knolly, Canfield, Banshee just to name a few. Hopefully, more will show up on this list.
  • + 3
 @bman33: Who cares what happened in the 80's it's 2016. I'm not hearing complaints from people I know actually riding PF BB's. Personally I am not a PF BB fan boi, but if a bike I want has a PF BB that won't stop me from buying it and so far my actual experiences with PF BBs has been as good as threaded BBs.
  • + 0
 @vikb: did you read my statement? 80's up to modern MTB. Modern meaning up to date. Obviously plenty of people care, including Pinkbike staff. Therefore all the mentioning of it and many manufacturers going back to threaded of some type or another. If you have a great pressfit bb with no issues, excellent. But after two bikes with pressfit, especially carbon, I will never use one again and many on this forum feel exactly the same way. It's just a cost savings measure for the frame makers and they tried to spin it as 'the next best thing'. It crap and lazy.
  • + 2
 I hear about this creek and maybe i'm just lucky to have no bad noises or experiences. No matter what type of bb a bike has it wont stop me from getting the bike and throwing a chris king in there. I wonder if that helps having a good quality bb to? I do keep up on maintenance since ck makes it so easy to lube up the bb i simply do it every time i bleed my brakes even though it may not be necessary (maybe every 5-6mths) but with a squeeze of a grease gun why not.
  • + 1
 @vernonfelton What shoes do you run on mate?
  • + 1
 Those Hipster shades gotta go!
  • + 0
 Step 1: Search review for "press fit"
Step 2: If a result comes up in the spec, scratch bike off list
  • + 2
 can't wait for the 26'er
  • + 1
 Mach 6 or Bronson 2.0 and why. Ready, set, go!
  • + 5
 As someone who has ridden both and works at a pivot/Santa Cruz dealer I'd say it depends on your trails and riding style. The pivot pedals slightly better but isn't as plush, it's also a really comfortable bike on steeps and tight terrain. The Bronson feels equal to the pivot during seated climbing but lacks when you are standing up. The Bronson edged the Mach 6 on fast decents and feels a little more natural jumping. That's what I've concluded.
  • - 1
 Mojo Hd3 because it is prettier :-)
  • + 0
 @slimboyjim: Ah, the Mojo is gorgeous!
  • + 3
 @WasatchEnduro: I'm lucky enough that I got run over (!) and bought one on close out (just before the boost frames came out) with the compensation! I'm not rich and would never have otherwise afforded it so it was fate! My mate, having just come from a Santa Cruz demo day said it felt quite Bronson-like when he swung a leg over it only it's got a little more travel. I love it, and the weird thing is that people who know nothing about bikes, like my wife, have commented on how good it looks...
  • + 1
 Hi have owned both. The Mach 6 is a nice bike but I feel the Bronson is better. The rear triangle on the Mach 6 is a noodle. You can actually see the rear triangle twist when you hold the rear brake and stand on the pedals. The new boost frame is very similar. The Bronson rear triangle is solid and doesn't move. You can feel the rigidity between the two on hard turns. The Mach 6 is twitchier. This helps with tight switch backs but the Bronson excels on broader turns and is more stable on rock gardens. I feel the Bronson is built better. I like the threaded BB over the press fit and I have had to warranty the Mach 6 frame twice in a year and a half from cracks on the lower pivot joints on the carbon front and rear triangles. Hopefully they fixed that with the new boost frame. The Mach 6 feels more plush than the 2017 Bronson with the rock shox shock. Switching the Bronson shock to a float X2 puts it on par with the Mach 6. The Bronson climbs better. Mach 6 with its slack seat tube angle puts your weight far over the rear wheel when your post is up that causes the front wheel to feel light and wander. If you are looking at a Mach 6, I would suggest getting a size larger because the reach of the frame is very short compared to other bikes. Hope this is helpful if you are looking at buying one of these bikes.
  • + 1
 @biker2121: Thanks for the input! Good summary. I'm gonna try to get on a Bronson rental on my trip down south this spring.
  • - 1
 Does not look like a Session, so... no good
  • - 3
 I am really glad the obession with skinny tires has ended. It never made sense to me to use pizza cutters for an all mountain/enduro bike.
  • - 2
 anyone know where the trail is?
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