Pivot Mach 5.5 Carbon first look | Brand new for 2017

Introducing the brand new Pivot Mach 5.5, launched today.

Jamie spent the afternoon with the UK Pivot team at the Forest of Dean to learn all about it.

What you need to know:

  • Pivot Mach 5.5 Carbon
  • 140mm travel
  • Carbon frame
  • 27.5″ with clearance for 2.6″ tires
  • Built around DW Link suspension
  • Designed to run up to 160mm fork
  • Available in extra small up to extra large sizes
  • Frame weights start at 5.2lbs
  • Prices from £4950 to £9000 (yep, you read that right!)

Surprise …

And here’s the new Pivot Mach 5.5 then.

I’ll be honest – I didn’t know what to expect when Pivot announced they had a new bike to show us. Their line up is already pretty well stacked and with a new trail bike launched at Eurobike 2016 I’d assumed they were well sorted for aggro pedal-up, shred-down bikes.

Little did I know, Pivot have a brand new bike in the mix – the all-new-for-2017 Mach 5.5. Mid travel, middle sized wheels, carbon, light weight, loads of tire clearance. A bike Pivot are calling “the quintessential trail bike”.

A rainy trip to the Forest of Dean (sworn to secrecy on pain of death till the big launch) gave me a chance to check out the bike, meet the UK team and get to know the new Mach a little better.

Mid-travel, mid-sized wheels but not mediocre. The new Pivot Mach 5.5 looks like a real blast to ride. Stick not supplied.

Mid-travel but not middle of the road

“The quintessential trail bike” is obviously a pretty bold claim.

What that means is an updated, overhauled and modernised Pivot Mach bike – taking inspiration from the classic Mach 5.7 and rolling it into a the mid-travel, mid-wheel-size and a much more modern do-it-all full suspension.

The Pivot Mach 5.5 is build around Dave Weagle’s well known DW Link suspension platform, teamed up with 2018 Fox suspension. There’s 140mm rear travel and up to 160mm out front which suggests lots of fun on the downs without too much hassle getting up.

Tire clearance is smart – the mach 5.5 runs 27.5″ wheels with cavernous clearance. You can run anything up to 2.6″ tires meaning loads of choice for skinny/fast or fat/grippy set ups as you see fit. Great news for the weekly ride when you want something sensible and easy to pedal and also for those summer trips to the Alps when the DH tires get slapped on.

There are also lots of nice details that show real thought. The cable routings are made to be neat and silent. There are sizes extra small through to extra large. All sizes accommodate a bottle cage inside the frame. There’s a special internal space for a Di2 battery. There are tough, smooth bearings in the top pivot rather than a DU bush. The list goes on.

What I like about the new Mach 5.5 is that it doesn’t try to be too wild with geometry, suspension platforms or wheel sizes. It brings together a heap of really good, really sensible design choices and puts them in one good looking package.

TLD A3 Helmet

Many of today’s trail bikes make compromises leaving you wishing for that little bit more here or a bit less there – more tire clearance, roomier geometry, the ability to run large rotors, less weight, less unsightly bumps and lumps. A bottle cage. More reliable bearings.

The Mach 5.5 tick all those “I want that” boxes without chucking in anything claiming to be “the next big thing” through gimmicks or changes for the sake of it. No complaints here.

Smooth lines, carbon and no unsightly lumps or bumps. The Pivot looks great in our books.

Pivot Mach 5.5 geometry:

The geometry looks good without being crazy. The large version has 460mm reach with 430mm chain stays and a 1200mm wheel base. Head angle is 66.5 with a 160mm fork. Seat tube length is 45.7 with a BB height of 34cm, suggesting decent stand over and room to shift around on the bike.

None of those numbers are particularly controversial but sit nicely alongside a heap of very modern, capable do-it-all bikes we’ve tested recently.

Fine details. The Mach uses a bearer rather than a DU bush on the top pivot for reliability and supple performance.

Is the mach for you?

Looks don’t make a bike sure, but the Mach 5.5 is a beauty. Long and low, beautiful carbon lines and just chunky enough to look tough without looking over weight. And that red colour … pretty nice huh?

Whilst I didn’t get a chance to throw a leg over the bike, I’m already hassling UK distributor Upgrade to get one sent over. All the numbers look spot-on for aggressive up-along-and-down trail riding. It isn’t a big, long, slack monster but it’s not meant to be. It’s been built to fly up climbs, charge singletrack and – of course – go hard on the downs. We’re looking forward to a proper test on the bike.

To me it looks absolutely spot on for the sort of riding we do here at Wideopen. Lots of climbing to reach fun, gnarly trails. Steep, slow speed stuff and flat out, mellower singletrack in equal measure. Riding that needs a real all-rounder that doesn’t compromise too much in any one department.

Neat, tidy and silent internal cable routing. Because a quiet bike is a fast bike, right?

Want one?

There are 3 versions of the bike available – Team (poshest), Pro and Race with various build kits offered under those. The Team bike has five build kits available with Eagle, Di2 and XTR set ups. The Pro comes in Eagle, XTR and XT options.

The eye watering £9000 Team XTR Di2 2X comes bejewelled with Factory Fox suspension, XTR Di2 and Reynolds carbon wheels. There’s one option available in the (slightly) more down to earth Race version, clocking in at £4950. Frame sets are also available for £3300.

There will be Pivot demo days all summer, starting at the Enduro World Series and TweedLove. You can learn more about those over at Pivot’s UK distributor’s website, Upgrade Bikes.

You can learn more about Pivot here.

… Do I get a prize for not calling this story “the return of the Mach”?

More fine details. All sizes of frame will take a bottle mount. High five Pivot, all bikes need these.