Pivot Mach 5.5 Carbon Mountain Bike Frame - 2018 $3,099.00
The Rule Breaker
For being so free-form on the trail, the mountain bike industry sure loves categorizations, with head tube angles and suspension travel so often cited as the be-all end-all of what a bike can be used for. Lately, claiming to redefine categories—or defy categorization altogether—has also become a popular industry calling card, but few bikes manage to actually defy immediate classification like Pivot's new Mach 5.5 Carbon Mountain Bike Frame. Its ample 5.5in of DW Link travel and Switchblade-esque reach may suggest pure all-mountain bike at first, but the head tube angle rides the boundary of what we'd consider enduro slack. Maybe it's the fact that it clears 2.6in tires, or maybe it's the eagre pedal-ability of DW-Link suspension—or hell, maybe it's just that Chris Cocalis knows something we don't about mid-travel machines that like big hits—but whatever the case, the Mach 5.5 really does (ahem) defy categorizations.
The slack head tube and surprisingly deep-feeling travel reward aggression in chunky stuff, but our favorite part of the bike may be the rear triangle. Or rather, it's what's happening between the rear and front triangles; DW-Link may never have shined brighter than on the Mach 5.5. It combines the same pivot cartridge bearing featured on models like the Phoenix, but it ditches the clevis altogether. That makes for less weight, a tighter back end, and a light-off-the-top feel that stays glued to the trail—a trait only enhanced by the addition of mid-plus tires and a steep seat tube. We expect a bike with such a long cockpit and a 66.5-degree head tube angle to leave us stoked on descents, but the traction on loose and rocky climbs from the suspension and tire clearance mean that it makes us just as happy while earning our laps.
- A trail bike frame that climbs as well as it drops in
- 5.5in of DW-Link suspension with light-off-the-top DH pedigree
- Removable front derailleur mount tidies up a one-by
- Longer, lower geometry than the Mach 6
- Steep seat tube and stubby stays keep climbing on point
- Boost spacing stiffens the rear wheel and allows truncated stays
- Pivot's carbon expertise protected by rubber frame guards
- Clears 2.6in tires and a full-sized water bottle in the front triangle
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Bike size by rider height
|160mm Travel Fork|
Effective Top Tube
Head Tube Angle
Seat Tube Angle
Bottom Bracket Height
Reviews & Community
Quiver Killer? Yep.
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
This is honestly the bike that comes the closest to a quiver killer that I have ever ridden. I had the chance to ride it down in Moab, UT which offers a pretty wide range of riding styles, from smooth and sandy to chunky, rocky climbs and descents.
What Martina said is absolutely true, this is a bike that I would consider to be the Switchblade's little brother. It is a bit more nimble and quick than the switchblade, which to me felt like a "smash through things at high speed" style bike. It is a 27.5 wheeled bike, so the smaller wheel creates a smaller gyroscopic effect which makes it feel easier to move from turn to turn and maneuver in the air. At the same time, it runs the new 2.6" width, which gets you a wider contact patch without all the extra volume of a full on plus tire. I noticed much more grip without the sometimes vague and wobbly feeling often felt with full on plus tires.
The DW link suspension is incredibly planted and confident feeling, and feels nice and progressive with a solid ramp up to prevent bottom out on big hits. The way the rear triangle and links are designed lends an incredible amount of lateral stiffness, and prevents the rear end from feeling vague or flexy.
The slack headtube angle of 66.5 degrees combined with the sub 17 inch chainstays makes for a bike that is relatively easy to get the front end up for manuals or log hops. At the same time, the steepish seat angle of 73.5 degrees prevents front end lift on steep climbs, I did not find myself needing to get way over the front end on techy climbs. Running a Fox 36 fork with 160 travel, I was worried it would feel unbalanced, but I was 100% surprised in that it feels perfectly balanced, and having the extra squish in the front end really lets you open the bike up and hit things with reckless abandon.
Overall, the bike felt incredibly planted, confidence inspiring, and somehow still efficient. I'd highly recommend this bike to anyone looking for a true all mountain bike that pedals well, but still descends pretty much anything you could throw at it. I'm really strongly considering it as the next bike to add to my stable.
Please feel free to reach out to me any time, I would be happy to help out with questions or pricing on the frame, or we can also do frame up builds. 801.736.6396x2344