Under Test: Pivot Mach 5

chris cocalisChris Cocalis, formerly of Titus Cycles, launched Pivot Cycles, a brand focused on high-end full-suspension mountain bikes using Dave Weagle’s dw-link, at the 2007 Interbike trade show. With the 2009 Interbike show just around the corner, I’d have to say that in two short years Pivot has built a solid reputation as a, dare I say, "boutique" mountain bike brand. Back in issue #139, Justin Steiner reviewed the Pivot 429, their 29" XC dually, and came away impressed. Now I’ve got the Pivot Mach 5, a 26" rig with 140mm of front and rear travel, between my legs. Oh what fun!

My test began a few weeks ago when I met Chris Cocalis at Laurel Mountain in southwestern, Pennsylvania, where he was attending a Pivot demo event sponsored by Speedgoat Bicycles. Chirs took the time to set up my Mach 5 test bike prior to my maiden voyage and gave me a quick run-down on the bike. Then I set out to rip through the rocks that exist in abundance on Laurel Mountain. The next day Chris stopped by the Dirt Rag world headquarters to spend some time talking about the Mach 5, and Pivot bikes in general, with the entire staff. Then we showed Chris the sweet trails out our backdoor. Personal service, with a smile and a group ride. Sweet!

My test bike is a 2010 model and it has the new high volume Fox RP23 rear shock with Boost Valve technology.  Instead of having one level of compression damping over the entire stroke, the Boost Valve allows softer damping in the first 60 percent of the stroke and firmer damping in the final 40 percent of the stroke. The idea is to enhance plushness, while keeping the bike from feeling wallowy. This is the first dw-link bike that I’ve ridden, and I’m going to save the detailed ride report for my Dirt Rag print review, but so far the Mach 5 has performed as advertised. I’m impressed with the bike’s pedal-able plushness. The dw-link rear suspension pedals well (minimal bob) with the platform switched off, and activates over the smallest of bumps. And the bike gobbles up big hits and square-edged bumps with grin-inducing plushness. I’ve had the Mach 5 on several road trips in search of rock and roots, and I can’t wait to put more miles on this rig, in the name of thorough product testing. Think nothing of it.

In an effort to "keep it real" we ordered my test bike with Pivot’s entry-level parts kit. That put the msrp at $3699 which, while not peanuts, is reasonable for a boutique frame with solid components (see list below). After talking with Chris, and learning about the well-thought-out design features and advanced manufacturing techniques that combine to make the Mach 5 frame stiff yet lightweight—I’d say this puppy  is worth the asking price. But I’m going to save the rest of that story for my print review. For now, I’ll just say that the bike feels solid, tight and well made. Rock and roll!

pivot mach 5

Click on thumbs below to enlarge :

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Make: Pivot
Model: Mach 5
Model year: 2010
MSRP: $3699
Weight: 27.5 lbs. (w/o pedals)
Country of origin: Taiwan
Wheel size: 26”
Rear travel: 140mm
Frame material: Aluminum alloy
Suspension description: dw-link
Rear shock: Fox RP23 high volume with Boost Valve
Fork: Fox Float R 32 with 140mm travel
Handlebar: Ritchey Pro
Stem: Ritchey Pro
Headset: Ritchey Pro
Bottom bracket: Shimano XTR
Crank: Shimano SLX
Pedals: N/A
Saddle: WTB Silverado RC
Seatpost : Ritchey Pro
Front hub: DT Swiss 370 custom 15mm axle
Rear hub: DT Swiss 370
Front derailleur: Shimano SLX
Rear derailleur: Shimano XT
Shifters: Shimano SLX
Cassette: SRAM 970 11-34
Brakes: Hayes Stroker Trail
Rims: DT Swiss 370
Tires: Kenda Nevegal
Sizes: XS, S, M (tested), L, XL
Colors: Anodized graphite grey, anodized cobalt blue, painted white with blue/grey
Company website: www.pivotcycles.com

pivot mach 5