Pivot Mach 5.5 Carbon trail bike

140 rear and 160 front for this rowdy trail bike made for 2.6 tires

27.5 All Mountain Trail
Pivot Mach 5.5 Carbon

Business in the back and party in the front. Photo by Jens Staudt

Introduction

Pivot has been on a roll lately with a 43% jump in sales from 2015 to 2016. In a year where the bike industry has struggled even to stay flat, Pivot has managed to hit a few out of the park with bikes such as the Switchblade and the Firebird. They’ve done it by introducing timely, relevant bikes where every detail is dialed.

Pivot invited us to ride their new bike on the rugged trails of Moab at Mag 7 to Portal trails and the Hymasa/Captain Ahab loop the next day. What they showed us is their new trail bike, the Mach 5.5 Carbon. It is a 140mm rear, 160mm front travel bike rolling on 27.5 wheels. It is meant to be a fun bike that can be climbed on big rides and then taken on the most challenging descents. It replaces the old Mach 5.7 which has been out of production for two years.

Pivot Mach 5.5 Carbon

2.6 tires are the shoes of choice. Photo by Jens Staudt

Trail bike made for 2.6 tires

One of the most intriguing aspects of this bike is it is designed specifically for 2.6 tires. If you’re unfamiliar with this new size, we discuss its merits here as a tire that is very wide but not quite to the level of Plus tires at 2.8-3.0 size. It is a tire size that learns from the benefits of Fat and Plus in terms of cushioning and traction but without too much of the squirm and bounciness of Plus tires.

Pivot Mach 5.5 Carbon

Room with a 2.6 Recon tire. Photo by Jens Staudt

Ample tire clearance is provided so 2.6 tires can be accommodated with room for mud clearance. And Pivot, subscribes to Maxxis’ philosophy of maintaining outer diameter between their 2.35, 2.5 and 2.6 tires and varying just the width. Thus ride height is not affected too much as riders choose between these tire options.

Pivot chartered Reynolds composites to build them a 36mm internal carbon wheel for this application and a DT Swiss M1700 alloy wheel will be used for lower price points.

Pivot Mach 5.5 Carbon

Ready for the first ride on the Pivot Mach 5.5 Carbon on the Mag 7 to Portal trail. Photo by Jens Staudt

Of course the Mach 5.5 carbon can be ridden with 2.35 and 2.5 tires but each will be sold by Pivot with 2.6 tires. Minions in front and Rekons on the rear is the stock spec.

Unlike the Switchblade, the Mach 5.5 will be available as a frameset as well. No aluminum versions are planned at this point.

Pivot Mach 5.5 Carbon

Chris Cocalis explains why he chose a 160mm fork instead of 150mm after many rounds of testing.

Mach 5.5 Carbon Features
  • 140mm dw-link rear suspension with Pivot’s mid-travel specific linkage design
  • Designed for forks up to 160mm travel which is spec’d on all builds
  • 27.5” wheels with extra clearance for larger tire sizes
  • Designed to fit 27.5 X 2.1” to 2.6” tires. Complete bikes spec’d with new Maxxis 2.6 Wide Trail Tires on 35mm wide rims
  • Features Pivot’s new long and low geometry similar to the Switchblade and Firebird
  • Short 430mm (16.9”) chainstays
  • 12 x 148mm Boost rear spacing for maximum stiffness and control.
  • 180mm rear post mount disk brake
  • Every size clears a full size water bottle inside the front triangle
  • Available in 5 sizes from X-Small to X-large
  • Pivot Cable Port system for easy internal routing of shifters, brakes and droppers and full Di2 Integration
  • Front derailleur compatible with Pivot’s stealth E-Type mounting system
  • New ultra quiet low durometer rubberized frame protection
  • Frameset price is $3099
  • Complete bike price is $4899 for XT 1X to $8999 for 1×12 Eagle
Pivot Mach 5.5 Aluminum

Aluminum prototype of the Mach 5.5 has the same stiffness and weight.

Frame design

There are several things that make the new Mach 5.5 Carbon stand out. They’ve evolved the mid-travel link design, by utilizing the same rear shock pivot cartridge bearing design found in their longer travel clevis designs (such as the Firebird and Phoenix), to give the Mach 5.5 Carbon excellent small bump compliance and traction.

Pivot also made a compact frame that is lightweight. The Mach 5.5 Carbon matches Mach 6 Carbon durability while achieving Mach 429 SL Carbon weights. The frame’s carbon structure features their hollow core internal molding process combined with a highly optimized lay-up design, utilizing lighter weight, that save up to a pound (.45kg) over other trail/enduro bike designs. We weighed a medium Mach 5 frame at 5.9 lbs with, seat collar, derailleur hanger and bottom di2 battery cover.

Geometry

Geometry takes after the long and slack Switchblade and Firebird

Trail Geometry

The geometry of the Mach 5.5 Carbon is tuned to support its well-rounded trail bike personality – the optimized long and low geometry with a 66.5-degree head angle provides high-speed stability, contributing to its descending capabilities. Combined with short 430mm chainstays a 73.5-degree seat angle, it performs well on steep climbs.

Pivot utilized the Maxxis’ new Wide Trail 2.6” Minion DHF/Rekon tire combination mounted on 35mm wide rims for control and fun in a wide variety of conditions. This wider 2.6” tire option delivers traction and rollover advantages with nearly the speed of a full on enduro race tire set up. The Mach 5.5 Carbon can run any 27.5 tire combination, from 2.1-2.6, so the rider has a wide array of options.

Build Kit 1

Team and Pro builds

Pivot builds

Wheels: Pivot bikes include the best wheel technologies available. DT wheels include the 36-tooth Star Ratchet hubs for immediate engagement off the line and the friendliest, most reliable tubeless system in the sport, with easy setup and inflation. Reynolds Carbon wheels feature industry leading composite materials and proprietary resins that give Reynolds rims the perfect balance of stiffness and ride-feel. These Pivot-exclusive 36mm Reynolds wheels are the perfect complement for your new Mach 5.5 Carbon.

Continue to page 2 for the Mach 5.5 FAQ »


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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  • Highway Star says:

    NO 26″, NO SALE.

  • david says:

    wonder if you can run 2.35, 2.4, 2.5 tires on the aluminum rim that comes with the bike? Or are the rims too wide for those?

  • Geoff says:

    Not sure how this bike fits in their line up. While in the market for a new bike, I’m not sure this separates itself from the Switchblade or Mach 6. Tire size alone won’t do it.

  • sloonz says:

    It’s practically a carbon copy of the Ibis HD3.

  • Gator says:

    I might need to go with the 5.5 since ” frame only” not available on switchblade that is totally Ridiculous. I never buy complete bikes, some people know exactly what they want!! Get it together PIVOT!!

  • Saris Mercanti says:

    @Gator

    If I had to guess, Pivot doesn’t offer the Switchblade as a frame only because of the Super Boost rear and cranks. While their are lots of components on the market that work for those standards, there’s bound to be people who would be confused….Just a guess.

    The 5.5 is also a fun bike!

  • Gator says:

    It’s really not that hard to get any of the parts, I called my dealer got the Race Face F300037 143.5mm spindle for my Next sl crank. Called my wheel builder got a 12×157 DH hub, the so called super boost with the flange moved out a few MM is a joke.
    I guarantee no one in the world can feel the difference between super boost hub and a Onyx 12×157 rear hub with the same carbon hoop “28 hole” with Sapin CX ray spokes. The rim makes the biggest difference!! It’s all about educating your dealings so they can relay the correct info the the customers, really simple!!
    If the Mach 5.5 climbs better than the Switchblade on the rocky East Coast it may be my next bike!! I need to demo both bikes to decide, my gut tells me Pivot will come through soon!!

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