Pivot Cycles Mach 6 Carbon XO1  2014 Mountain Bike Review

Pivot Cycles Mach 6 Carbon XO1 2014

Reviews / Enduro Bikes

Pivot Cycles 59,986

At A Glance

Chris Cocalis and the team at Pivot have been working on this new 27.5 bike for the last two years. Since the launch of the Mach 5.7 it has arguably been one of the most anticipated bikes they have launched. We’ve seen it and drooled at shows, and even swung a leg over it in a car park. When the box arrived and it was finally ours to get properly muddy we were pretty excited!

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It’s based around a DW Link suspension platform and has a specially tuned rear shock from Fox that has been designed to offer the bike the utmost performance possible. With 155mm of rear wheel it’s been billed as the ultimate enduro bike, needless to say we were keen to find out if it was.

Tech Heads

The Mach 6 features a full carbon frame, which utilises their exclusive hollow box, high compression internal moulding technology, which improves the compaction of the carbon and creates smoother internal walls. This means the frame is lighter with less excess resin on the inside. It also makes the frame stronger and gives the best stiffness to weight ratio in its class.

There is a tapered head tube up front and an internal BB, internal top tube cable routing, internal dropper post routing and ISCG 05 tabs. The DW link is the latest development of the suspension platform from Dave Weagle that Chris has been working on as well especially for this bike.

Suspension is catered for up front with a Fox 34 27.5 FIT damper with CTD 150mm Trail Adjust Kashima coated fork. The rear end features the custom tuned Fox Float X CTD Kashima shock.

The drive train is a SRAM XO1 affair with 11 speed shifters an X-1 GXP Crank with 30t chainring and an XO-1 11 speed type 2 derailleur an XO-1 10-42 11 speed cassette finishes it off.

Brakes are a SRAM XO affair as well with 180mm rotors up front and a 160mm rotor on the rear end.

The wheels are DT-Swiss 27.5 350 Spline One XM XD Tubeless 15mm front and 142x12mm rear they have been shod with a Kenda Nevgal 2.35 on the front and a Kenda Honey Badger 2.2 at the back.

A Phoenix Carbon Riser 740mm bar is held in place with a FSA SL-K 70mm stem, coming from Upgrade in the UK our test bike was fitted with an X-Fusion HiLo dropper seatpost with 100mm of travel and a Pivot WTB Vigo Race saddle.

Pivot Mach 6 Carbon M

Seat tube 444.5mm
Effective top tube 599.4mm
Head tube 108mm
Chain stay 430.5mm
Wheel base 1153.9mm
BB height 345.4mm
Head angle 66°
Seat angle (effective) 71.5°
Reach 401.6mm
Stack 591.3mm

Weight w/o pedals 27.1lbs

On The Trail

Swinging a leg over the Mach 6 you’ll notice one thing immediately; the bike feels super stiff and stable. The carbon frame is rock solid and the back end has hardly any flex at all. This lends it well to point and shoot riding, especially with the capable suspension set up that will swallow all the bumps you throw at it.

Pedalling the bike uphill on technical climbs the rear end is exceedingly taught, there is no movement from pedal bob whatsoever, and that is still true with the custom tuned shock wide open in the descend mode. This is perfect for forgetful folk like me and in fact I’ve just left the rear shock in that setting and not worried about it. I’ve never felt the need to stiffen the rear end up at all even on the longest of climbs.

At speed and over rough terrain the shock compresses and you find yourself in the sweet spot of the travel. Small bump sensitivity is good and the suspension is progressive and swallows the bigger hits with aplomb.

The cockpit on paper is quite long and low, yet it still ‘feels’ compact. Even with the long stock 70mm stem everything feels within easy reach and you don’t feel too stretched out. The stem really comes into its own on the more technical climbs and perhaps if you are a more gravity-orientated rider you would run a shorter one. As an all rounder though it actually works really well, it’s still on the bike in fact, which is a testament to its capabilities.

You can see the Mach 6 has been built with a racers spec in mind, the Kenda Honey Badger rear tyre offers grip in the corners, but lacks a little in straight lines for braking and especially when climbing in the mud.

The wheelbase isn’t overly long on this bike and that combined with really short chainstays allows you really chuck it round corners and gives it an advantage on tight twisty single track. You still get stability at speed though with the stiffness of the frame and the larger wheels offering a good margin for error with line choice.

The components on this spec do an excellent job and we really enjoyed the 11 speed set up, not once were we missing the granny ring, although a 32t chain ring up front may suit our needs a little better, the fitted 30t soon got overwhelmed at speed.

One thing you can’t ignore with this bike is the achingly good looks; with a stealth seat post fitted the finish would be even more startling. Perhaps our one gripe, and it seems silly, but the rear derailleur cable isn’t fully covered and on the rear seat stay the outer splits and the design of the bike means you have to run a naked cable. Not great for the winter months of mud slogging, but certainly not the end of the world on what is otherwise a fantastic bike.

For

The Mach 6 is fast, it’s quick up the hill and back down, the suspension set up is really dialled in and offers minimal pedal bob no matter the terrain. The 27.5 wheels offer fantastic speed and an element of forgiveness and while the bike is clearly specced to win races it will inspire confidence in the weekend warrior who is looking to improve their riding.

Against

Not many complaints from us, the rear derailleur cable split is an annoyance, and perhaps the routing for the cable and brake hose could have been more integrated into the length of the frame.

Overall

Fast, nimble and very fun to ride, the Pivot Mach 6 is going to be exciting riders the world over during the next year or so. If you want a super capable enduro race bike then look no further, equally if you want a bike that will allow you to get away with a few errors and make you look good on the trails with a forgiving tone then it fits the bill perfectly.

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This review was in Issue 27 of IMB.

For more information visit Pivot Cycles

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By Rou Chater
Rou Chater is the Publishing Editor of IMB Magazine; he’s a jack-of-all-trades and master of none, but his passion for bikes knows no bounds. His first mountain bike was a Trek 820, which he bought in 1990. It didn’t take him long to earn himself a trip to the hospital on it, and he’s never looked back since. These days he’s keeping it rubber side down, riding locally and overseas as much as possible.

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