2013 All Mountain Bike Tests at Interbike – Part 2

26er 27.5 29er All Mountain Trail Enduro
Pivot Mach 6

As I mentioned above, I had been to the Pivot tent a couple times previously trying to score the much sought-after Mach 6 only to be turned back by huge lines and chaos or empty bike racks. With time running out I was determined to sit and wait as long as it took to get a chance to ride this new 27.5” 155mm travel phenom. As I got to the Pivot booth a way magically appeared before me and within minutes I was at the front of the line and asked the nice lady for a large Mach 6. She informed me that they were out again…… but someone had just turned in a medium. It was about then that I remembered that most Pivots I had ridden in the past ran a bit big for me in the large so I jumped at the medium.

This frame is truly gorgeous. Wow. I kept getting increasingly won over by each successive carbon vixon that I got a chance to see up close. Not sure now which is the beauty contest winner, but this Mach 6 has gotta be in the running.

This is just elegant, tight, stiff, carbon eye candy to me. Nice work Chris Cocalis. I’m sure this contributes to the Mach 6’s stellar lateral stiffness.

Out the expo area and up the road yielded the same floating-on-a-magic-carpet feeling that most of the bikes I rode gave me. What do the manufacturers do to make them feel like that? Sprinkle crack cocaine on the head tube or something? Wow. Very light, very efficient, very easy to wheelie. I’m getting serious bike envy despite having just built up my dream bike six months ago. The medium size felt really good. I suspect I could’ve fit fine on the large as well but the medium felt playful and compact without feeling cramped. I took to it immediately.

For this ride I noticed the shuttle was just getting ready to leave and there was still space on the back so I jumped on and hitched a ride. I stopped at the Park Tools tent at the top of the shuttle drop-off and pumped 35-40 lbs of pressure in the chewed up, whimpy looking Honey Badger rear tire and bolted for the fast, droppy Boy Scout descent. The wind had been picking up all afternoon from the West Southwest so the North by northwest heading of this trail lined me up with a rocking tail wind push. As the wind pumped me along, the bike just kept gaining speed and I kept expecting to have to rein it in as things got out of control on the rough and rocky trail but I never felt like I needed to put a halt to the fun. The bike just kept eating up everything the trail and speed were throwing at it and so I let it run. This was one of the those Wohoo moments of surprise and joy that you get every now and then on a particular trail/bike combination that just makes you smile all over (and makes you want to buy a new bike).

If you’ve been following these reports very long, it’s no secret that I’ve been lukewarm on the previous Pivot offerings I’d ridden at Interbike due to a lack of plushness in the rear end. Well, I’m not sure what CC has been brewing into his carbon molds but this baby flat out rips and does it in a very controlled, plush fashion. It felt as light and poppy as the Solo and as stable and capable as the Bronson. Amazing.

I was having so much fun I took it around the inner Caldera loop taking advantage of the tail wind push for another mile or so before beginning the long head-wind climb back out of the bowl. So I got a good chance to test its climbing and tech prowess on a few of the features here as well. All I can say is that it passed this test easily. The rollover on square edges was as smooth as any 29er I rode yet it stayed efficient on the less bumpy stuff between hits as well.

Like I’ve said before there’s always one bike each Dirt Demo that just blows away my expectations. The Mach 6 was it this year. It was my favorite bike of the show.

Seems like all the bikes this year were either black or neon of some hue. This one was carbon black/graphite and I thought it looked great.

Some bikes left me wishing for bigger, more favorable tread, but this one excelled despite whimpy Honey Badger rear and run-of-the-mill sized Nevagal rubber up front. Another impressive Fox 34 fork.

Sturdy, wide, comfy cockpit

These DT Swiss rims were stiff and light.

Maybe this new Fox Float X piggy back air shock was the secret? Hmm…

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  • beerhunter says:

    Krob,

    Thanks for the write up, it is very informative.

    I am also 52, ride too much and am in the market for a new bike. I ride rocky dry trails in the Blue Mountains (Aust) but also go away on big mountain MTB trips. By and lkarge I earn my turns. The pivot is high on the list, and I am sure will bomb descents, but I have a concern that it might be “too much bike” for everyday “trail” riding. Does to front end wander on tight switchbacks, and is it a slow climber?

    cheers,

    Beerhunter

    • KRob says:

      Well, compared to my 34 lb Chilcotin it was certainly not too much bike for climbing and tight switch backs. I thought it could bomb the rougher stuff nearly as well as the Chili as well….. to a point. I would just need to ride it more to find its limits are. I think with a 160 fork with 35-36mm stanchions it would come very close.

      Built like it was it was still very capable on the descents, but was super light and super easy to climb on. I wouldn’t worry about its climbing ability unless you’re comparing it to a 22lb hardtail….. and even then it’d beat it on more techy, steppy climbs.

  • Kevin Woodward says:

    Hey Krob … Mega thank you for your outstanding Interbike test ride stories 1 & 2. Very helpful, overflowing with insight not just on the bikes themselves but also components … great reading and much appreciated!

  • Guyute says:

    Great article! But I have to ask, if this was supposed to be an all mountain bike test why did you ride the Turner Czar and not the Burner or 5.Spot? The Czar is more of a xc bike, while the Burner and 5.Spot are meant for the type of riding you claim to be testing. I just don’t think you gave Turner a fair shot, but that just my thoughts on it. Anyways, thanks for the article. I’m jealous you got to ride so many mouth watering bikes.

    • KRob says:

      Talk to Francis. Not sure why they titled it AM bike tests. Probably because most years that’s what I ride at I-bike, but this year I did mostly xc/trail bikes with a few stretching into the AM realm like the Mach 6, Bronson, and Enduro 29.

    • Bill says:

      Guyute,
      I own a Burner and have ridden the 5 Spot extensively. I also now have ridden the Pivot Mach 6 many times. I think KRob is spot-on with the Mach 6. Super fun descender (mind blowing even), pedals incredibly well up hill (may not be the best, but its up there), is very light for its travel (heck, its even light for a bike with less travel). People talk about its $3k price tag, and I feel thats a bit of a bummer too, but there is more value in their complete build prices. I do wish Pivot would drop the frame-only price a bit. But, its carbon competitors are barely off that price for frameset as well.
      The only gripe I have of my Burner is its weight. At 30.5lbs with XTR and King wheels its at least 3lbs heavier than the Mach 6. The Burner can climb. The Burner is a great descender. Ive taken my Burner to Moab twice and I couldnt have gone faster bombing down Porcupine if I tried harder. It was incredible. If Dave would build a carbon Burner weighing a bit less he’d have a best of category contender.

      • KRob says:

        Thanks for the added perspective Bill. Yes, very light and very capable. Wow.
        At Guyute,
        I have ridden the Burner a couple times and owned a 5 Spot so am pretty familiar with those. I would agree with Bill’s assessment. The Burner is very good and would be a close competitor with the Mach 6 and Bronson even as it is…. probably would rate it even better with a 5.5lb carbon frame. I’m hoping that’s what Dave is working on for next year. 150mm travel Carbon Burner FTW!

  • stephen haslam says:

    Hey Krob,

    Great write up’s!

    Im 5′ 9″ and Pivot say that that size on there web site is the change over between the small and medium, would you say I should run a medium if I used a 50mm length stem

    Thanks Steve

    • Eamonn says:

      I am 5’9″ on dot and just bought a small 429c after riding small and medium. 80mm stem and the seat is pretty far back but feels completely dialed. Some good threads on this in the Pivot forum on MTBR

    • KRob says:

      I would say small based on how well the medium fit me at 5′ 11.5″ but you might be able to stretch onto a medium with a shorter stem. Get a ride on both if you can. That’s a very expensive frame to make a mistake on sizing.

  • Mehukatti says:

    Strange setup… Long XC stem, tons of spacers under it, and saddle all the way to the front.

  • Drean says:

    The Mach 6 looks great but did it really ride like a $3000 frame? For that price, it should be lighter or at least the same as the Bronson’s 5.5ish (Med size) weight. It would be great to see the frame on a scale.

    • KRob says:

      Are they that much? Wow, that’ a bunch. I’m quickly becoming a carbon snob after riding mostly carbon bikes this I-bike so would probably opt for the carbon despite the cost. It felt plenty light to me. YMMV.

  • Tim says:

    First, thank you for your awesome article. I am very excited about the Pivot Mach 6 and am planning on making a purchase this week. Like you, I am 5’11″ (okay you got me by .5″) and ride a large on most bikes (including 19.5″ Remedy and the large Bronson that I demo fit me like a glove). I am heeding your advice about this bike being very expensive to get the size wrong (referring to your response to Eamonn on Sept. 30th). My question is, based on the fact that you could have fit a L or M and after riding the medium Mach 6, if you could do it again, would you have chosen the medium still or would you have switch to a Large? Unfortunately there are no dealers in my area that has any Mach 6 in the show room for me to demo or test so I am hoping you can steer me in the right direction. Thank you!

    • KRob says:

      I also ride a large on most frames. My last three bikes have all been large and all the bikes I rode at Interbike except the Mach 6 were large as well. Tough call. If I were purchasing a Mach 6 I would have to ride the large before deciding but every Pivot I have ridden in the past felt (or would’ve felt) better in the medium for me.

  • klurejr says:

    I am not sure if you check these comments, but have you had the chance to ride the 26er Enduro? I am curious how it compares to the 29er. My local bike shop is only carrying the 29er with no plans to carry any 26ers. I currently ride a 2002 Enduro that I purchased brand new, so you could say I have gotton my monies worth out of that bike. I recently picked up a Specialized Big Hit for when I take it to the Mountain and ride the chair up. I want my new bike for both trail climbing and descending. Good pedaling, but it does not have the be the best, I don’t mind if I am slow on the climb.
    I replaced my Pyslo Forks with Revelations, so the 140mm’s up front helped slack the head angle a bit on my current Enduro, and I like the way it feels.

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