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Pivot Mach 5.7/Shimano XT/SLX Complete Bike $0.00
Shimano's SLX components have proven themselves worthy alongside the likes of XT and XTR. Like a smart little brother, SLX gets a lot of trickle-down know-how from the more expensive groups, and it's a perfect solution for serious mountain bikers on a budget. The Pivot Mach 5.7/Shimano XT/SLX Complete Bike marries this workingman's build kit with 145mm (5.7") of dw-link rear suspension that glides over rocks, roots and ruts, yet remains firm while hammering out of the saddle.
It's all possible thanks to the anti-squat characteristics of the dw-link suspension. When you're on your bike, the center of mass is somewhere near your belly button. Every time you accelerate (ie. pedal forward), this mass shifts rearward, loading the rear suspension. The dw-link counteracts this transfer to minimize your impact on the rear suspension. This is why Pivot is able to get such a lightly damped tune on the Kashima Coated RP23 rear shock from Fox. With the dw-link controlling unwanted suspension squat, the lightly damped shock can respond with ultra-sensitivity to the demands of the trail. As a result, the Mach 5.7 is capable of soaking up big square edged hits and minute trail chatter alike. Perhaps the best trait of dw-link rear suspension is how well it absorbs bumps while climbing at low speeds. This means more comfort and better traction.
Compared to the Mach 5, the Mach 5.7 has a few key differences that push it towards all-mountain capability. It has a more relaxed head angle, from 69° to 67.6° here. This makes the Mach 5.7 more stable at speed, and dropping into steep rocky chutes is a simple point-and-shoot affair. And because it's intended for steeper terrain, the head tube is a bit taller as well. Getting your bars higher will give you more control on the downhills, and if you're worried about the climbing position, we'd recommend a travel adjust fork. Problem solved. The Mach 5.7 has a flatter spring curve. So even though the difference in travel between the two bikes is fairly small, the 5.7 has a plusher ride and a more bottomless feel at the end of the stroke.
Pivot frames are known for being stiff -- all the better as a platform for high performance suspension. They build the Mach 5.7 from hydroformed 6000 series aluminum tubing and 3D hollow aluminum forgings. The production processes for these raw materials both help to align and strengthen the grain structure of the alloy. It's stiffer than the Mach 5 in part because it gets bigger diameter tubes in the front triangle. The rear end also gets two c-shaped struts, one on each side. This adds stability so that the rear wheel tracks perfectly through gnarly technical sections of trail and through tacky, sweeping turns. A resultant benefit of the double braced rear triangle is the removal of the seat stay bridge for better tire clearance.
There are a few other details that emphasize the efforts towards optimizing frame stiffness. One of the easiest to see is the BB92 pressfit style bottom bracket. The extra width in the shell does two things -- 1) It allows the frame designers to spread the forged lower seat tube yoke and increase the width of the lower dw-link, increasing stiffness and resistance to torsional flex in the link. All this comes without sacrificing front derailleur functionality. 2) It also provides better support for the bottom bracket bearings. Speaking of sealed cartridge bearings, the forged and CNC machined aluminum lower link contains eight of them -- two at each corner. This increases the durability of this workhorse component, stretches service life, and optimizes suspension function. The upper link is made of carbon fiber for strength and light weight, and since it sees less stress than its lower counterpart, Pivot relies on four bearings here to do the job of keeping the suspension operating smoothly.
The build kit consists of parts from Shimano's SLX and XT groups. SLX gets the nod for the cranks, shifters, and front derailleur, and an XT rear derailleur handles shifting duties out back. You'll get rolling on Sun Ringlé Charger Comp wheels and Kenda Slant 6/Nevegal tires, and Magura MT2 brakes get you stopped. FSA supplies the Comet Alloy Handlebar, OS-150 Stem, and XC225 Seatpost. Phoenix Lock-on Grips and a WTB Rocket V Sport Saddle top it all off. A Fox Float 150 RL FIT Fork handles the front suspension and offers rebound damping adjustment as well as a lockout on the crown.
The Pivot Mach 5.7/Shimano XT/SLX Complete Bike is available in anodized Black or White powdercoat. It comes in five sizes from X-Small to X-Large.