Compare-O First Look: Pivot Mach 6 Carbon

27.5 Enduro Enduro Compare-O 2014

This article is part of the Mtbr’s Enduro Compare-O. See all the stories in this special section here–http://reviews.mtbr.com/category/enduro-compare-o-2014

Pivot’s aggressive, new 155mm-travel Mach 6 Carbon appears to be a bike of destiny for the engine-that-could builder from Tempe, Ariz. With each new model, the company’s execution of the much-celebrated dw-link suspension has improved, and on the Mach 6, that progression not only continues, but coincides with big gains in carbon manufacturing experience, as well as what appears to be a deft adaptation to the new 27.5-inch wheel size.

The frame’s sculptural form and burly-yet-refined demeanor garnered the Mach 6 no small amount of oohs and ahhs from our test crew and, combined with its neon yellow-on-matte black graphic package, makes it an instant attention-grabber.

We should note that the Pivot is the only bike in our test built from the frame up. While most of the bikes in the Compare-O came as completes, we’ll be using the Mach 6 as a test mule for all manner of componentry over the next year. Its build most closely resembles Pivot’s XT build, but there are a few deviations we’ll note below.

Geometric Considerations

A look at the Mach 6’s numbers says its travel numbers fall in the “just right” range with 155mm in rear travel intended for pairing with a 160mm in the front, which in our case, comes in the form of a Fox Float 34 CTD Kashima. Rear damping falls to the ultra-capable Fox Float X CTD that also comes Kashima coated.

Pivot takes a slacker-is-better approach to the head tube angle which measures 66 degrees—a tad more relaxed than the 67- and 68-degree head angles we’re seeing on most of these bikes. It should make the Mach 6 super stable at speed, though we’ll have to see what it does to low-speed cornering.

Also not cookie-cutter is the slack 71.5-degree seat angle which is positively old school compared to the new crop of bikes. Basically the steeper 74- and 75-degree angles we’re seeing are designed to put the rider in a more forward pedaling position for better climbing while countering the wandering nature of a slack head angle. The Pivot’s fairly traditional seat angle puts the rider rearward, making a zero-offset dropper post—like our Crank Brothers Kronolog—ideal for this setup.

The Mach 6’s bottom bracket height of 13.6-inches is a happy medium between the stable cornering of a low center-of-gravity, and supplying enough ground clearance to keep you from hanging up on big rocks. Though not as low as many of the bikes we’re seeing when static, the Pivot has a very active rear suspension that sags fairly deep in its travel for a “virtually lower” BB.

The Pivot’s form factor is positively sculptural, with molded internal cabling ports that enter and exit the frame cleanly. We liked the details as well, like its integrated downtube armor and a built-in, rubberized chain stay protector. While we generally like the Mach 6’s graphics, a little restraint might class it up a bit—not only is there a few too many Pivot logos, but things like wheel size—listed as both 27.5-inches and 650b—amount of travel, and suspension technology might be better in a brochure or hangtag than the frame itself.

The smaller-than-29-inch wheel size allows the Mach 6 plenty of tire clearance, as well as room for Pivot’s industrially elegant execution of the dw-link suspension.

The sculpted frame of the Pivot employs big tubes and handsome angles. The cable exits are molded in the frame for a finished look.

The cable routing of the Mach 6 is a bit of a challenge as it’s close to the shock and has no natural bend in it. Cables bow laterally under compression which Zip ties are carefully employed to keep the cables away from the shock and Pivot supplies a zip tie and jacket kit to take care of this neatly.

2014 Pivot Mach 6 Key Specs
  • Weight: 26.43 pounds complete, 6.4 pounds frame only (size medium)
  • Wheel size: 27.5
  • Frame Material: Carbon
  • Travel/Suspension: 160mm front/155mm rear; Fox Float 34 CTD front, Fox Float X rear
  • Drivetrain: Sram XO1 1×11, 32t chainring, 10-42 cassette
  • Brakes: Brake Force One system
  • Seatpost: Crank Brothers Kronolog
  • Wheelset/Tires: Bontrager Wheelset with XR4 tires
  • Bar/Stem: Spank 740 mm bars and 50 mm stem
  • Head Tube Angle: 66 degrees
  • Seat Tube Angle: 71.5 degrees
  • Chainstay Length: 430 (16.95 inches)
  • Bottom Bracket Height: 13.6 inches
  • Bike MSRP: $6100 (XT Build)
  • Frame MSRP: $3000

For more information visit www.pivotcycles.com.

Read our Bottom Line Evaluation of the Pivot Mach 6 Carbon here.

This story is part of Mtbr’s 2014 Enduro Compare-O. Check out our intro story here for all the ground rules and goings ons.

Compare-O First Look: Pivot Mach 6 Carbon Gallery
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Pivot Mach 6 Carbon First Look Cover

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Pivot Mach 6 Cable Routing

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Pivot Mach Cable Optional Front Der Mount Cover

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Pivot Mach Cable Routing and Front Der Mount Cover

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Pivot Mach 6 Carbon Frame

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Pivot Mach 6 Carbon Head Tube

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Pivot Mach 6 Carbon Clearance

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Pivot Mach 6 Carbon Multi

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Pivot Mach 6 Carbon First Look Thumb

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About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.


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  • Roger says:

    $4699 with the SLX kit, that’s $1400 difference w/ XT? Proof that money grows on trees!

  • Fred says:

    Why do you insist on saying that seat tube angles place a rider forward or rearward on a bike??? You know you can adjust the saddle position relative to the BB very easily. Seat tube angles are chosen for many reasons, but saddle position, and thus rider position, isn’t one of them.

    From the look of the Mach6 , I’d bet the slack seat tube angle serves to make room for the shock. Steeper seat tube angles are typically chosen for tire clearance throughout the suspension travel, but the DW-link design doesn’t bring the wheel forward as much as it travels up, so a slack seat tube works just fine.

    • Andre says:

      I agree with you 100%…
      Francis sees only one explanation of a steep vs relaxed STA on a bike, which is grossly misleading and incorrect.

  • Roger says:

    BTW, I see your picture bike has ENVE WHEELS and X1 COMPONENTS!!! Where is the bike that you have LISTED SPEC on your COMPARE-O? SHIMANO XT and SRAM X1 components, ENVE WHEEL AND BONTRAGER ARE not the same!!

  • JMichael says:

    Additional to what Roger has to say, I’d be interested in knowing how much the $9000+ build shown in the photos weighs in at!

  • Joe Millionare says:

    Why did the review team put a Walmart seat dropper on a high end bike. Makes no sense.

  • dre says:

    thats a diff spec build altogether ah well got 9k to drop on a bike then by all means

  • iansettlemire@yahoo.com says:

    The cable routing is hideous. The factory routing isn’t great around the rear shock, but at least it doesn’t bow outward and look like a 13-year-old did it. Yikes. MTBR, take a look at how it should really be done and then repost pics so people don’t think this is how to do it.

  • LJ says:

    Tough crowd here! For every 2 people that complain the components are too nice, another complains that the dropper post isn’t good enough, and then they complain that the components are not exactly like they spec’d from the factory.

    Why does everybody have to be so negative about these guys trying to do a cool write up of some of the best bikes around? You wouldn’t expect them to be doing a big write up about a bunch of low-end bikes with $hitty components, right? Stop complaining and being such no-it-alls and enjoy the awesome free content!

    Agree that the cable routing needs some work though!

    • Mountain Biker says:

      Amen LJ!
      We are talking about what we love here – BIkes. Enough with the negative nancy attitude. This bike LOOKS FUCKING AMAZING by the way.

  • John says:

    LJ, agree 100%.

    Thanks for the review and for running a killer site, Francis!

  • Jim says:

    Looking forward to hearing your impressions after riding it. Any guess when that will come out?

    +1 for LJ

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