Dirt Rag Magazine

Pivot gets in the 27.5 game with new Mach 6 and LES hardtail

By Karen Brooks and Adam Newman

Mach 6

Pivot showed off three new bikes at their DealerCamp oasis. First off: the highly anticipated Mach 6.

We’re at a point in mountain bike history when factors are converging to create a fresh bloom of creativity—namely, the enduro racing scene and the 27.5 wheel size. Pivot’s been working on a bike that takes advantage of “Goldilocks” wheels to dominate this new form of racing.

The Mach 6 has 6.1 inches (155mm) of dw-link travel with a new upper linkage design that allows maximum tuning flexibility. Chris Cocalis, the mad genius behind Pivot, said that they aimed to make a bike “that can descend like a full downhill machine and climb like an XC race bike.” Ambitious, yes, but it’s a bike that looks like it can deliver.

Some pertinent numbers: head tube angle is 66 degrees, bottom bracket is 13.6 inches high, and the chainstays are 17 inches (16.929” to be exact)—in short, low and aggressive.

The new upper linkage has a wishbone-shaped piece that goes from the shock around the seat tube, and short, almost hidden links that connect its two rearward pivots to the seatstays. There are bearings with offset races rather than bushings behind those big silver covers, to eliminate play and provide the smoothest travel possible. A custom-tuned Float X CTD or Float shock will provide the cushion.

As with other Pivot bikes, the finish and fittings are impeccable. For instance, the lower drive-side pivot points are inset to clear a front derailleur, but if you choose not to use one, a nifty plate covers the mounting point. The shift and dropper post cables are routed internally, and rubberized bits protect the lower down tube and drive-side chainstay.

Prices for the Mach 6 will depend on build kit, but will range from $4,700 to $7,600, and frames will go for $3,000.

 

Key features

  • 6.1” (155mm) travel next-generation dw-link suspension design with position-sensitive anti-squat that pedals, accelerates and handles like nothing else for aggressive trail riding conditions.
  • All new upper linkage design provides additional control over the suspension curve.
  • This new Mach 6 linkage design also eliminates the rear shock bushing; replacing it with two large Enduro max cartridge bearings resulting in a substantial improvement in small to mid size bump compliance and better traction in all conditions. It is also compatible with most shocks in the marketplace so it does not require a proprietary shock design.
  • The new Mach 6 linkage design was one of the keys to achieving short (even for 26-inch wheels) 430mm chainstays (16.9 inches) and 155mm of rear travel while clearing 27.5×2.35 tires.
  • Pivot-exclusive hollow box, high-compression internal molding technology allows for greater compaction and smoother internal walls resulting in a lighter, stronger, highly optimized frame design with the best stiffness to weight ratio in the class.
  • Pivot-specific, custom tuned Fox Float or Float X CTD shock technology: Increased performance and adjustment range allows riders to quickly and easily adjust for changing course or ride conditions.
  • Internal top tube shift cable routing and down tube dropper seat post routing keeps cables clean and running smooth.
  • Rubberized leather chainstay, inner seat stay, and down tube protectors for a quiet ride and higher impact resistance.
  • 142×12 thru-axle, ISCG-05 tabs, Press Fit 92 bottom bracket, direct mount front derailleur, post mount brake tabs. 

LES 27.5

We reviewed the 29er version of the LES (pivotles, get it?) in Issue #170 and fell in love with its high performance. The 27.5 version offers the same package with, you guessed it, 27.5-inch wheels. Building a bike under 20 lbs. is now within reach, and smaller riders can get on board with the Small and XS sizes. 

 

The LES 27.5 will share most features with its larger-wheeled sibling, including full carbon construction, internal cable routing, 142×12 thru-axle, and the chainstays are just 16.77 inches. 

Vault

 

This was another bike that looked ready to dominate races, the short but painful CX kind or the long-distance gravel kind. This carbon wonder is built with “longer, slacker, lower” geometry than a typical CX bike. So, very much the same as other gravel-specific bikes, but in the high-end, sharply finished fashion we’ve come to expect from Pivot.

 

The dropouts come stock set for 135mm spacing, but have removable inserts to convert to 130mm.

 

The bike can also swap easily between discs or cantis, with more clean fittings to cover evidence of either one you’re not using.

The full-carbon fork was carefully designed to offer a bit of compliance but without chatter. There’s a lot of room for tires in there, both front and back.

The full build offering will have Ultegra 11, TRP HY-RD disc brakes and Stan’s wheels for $3,599. Frames will go for $2,299.

 

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