Mach 5.5 Carbon Race XT Mountain Bike
It wasn’t long ago when we as mountain bikers had to choose between a bike that rockets you to the top of a big climb, or a bike that mocks rock-gobbling descents for miles on end. Thanks to the modern trail bike we can have both of these things, although there aren’t many that can match the level of trail-competence provided by Pivot’s Mach 5.5 Carbon. Slightly longer, slacker, and lower geometry matched with the DW-link’s intuitive tracking abilities amount to an astonishingly capable rig for extended backcountry excursions and rowdy trails in steep and unforgiving terrain. This rig is a worthy choice for riders who require the ability to dance through low traction rollovers and ledges on the ascents and hammer down rock rolls and off-camber roots on the way down.
The Mach 5.5 Carbon retains the sought-after attributes of the DW-Link suspension platform, namely the ability to claw up the steepest, chunkiest climbs and soak up square-edge hits with unbelievable composure on the way down. Once you've reached the summit after a lengthy climb, 5.5 inches of rear travel gobbles up loose rocks and smooths out successive square-edge hits when you're bombing downhill at high speeds. It's all party up front, with 6 inches of travel instilling confidence for rallying over rough sections littered with boulders, loose rocks, and speed-impeding root sections. This 20-millimeter disparity between front and rear travel gives you a bit more efficiency for pedaling, but with extra plushness up front for cleaning notoriously technical stretches of trail.
Realizing the industry is ever-shifting, it makes perfect sense to see the Mach 5.5 Carbon with a slacker, longer, and lower geometry for riders seeking unflappable composure at high speeds. The 66.5-degree head tube angle offers stability on descents, without being overly slack or wandering excessively on sustained climbs with steep, punchy sections. Just a tick shorter in the front than the notoriously long and slack Firebird, the Mach 5.5 Carbon's long top tube gives you ample cockpit room, which is especially welcome if you have a longer reach. This longer front end is complemented with snappy-short 16.93-inch chainstays. Shorter chainstays provide greater maneuverability for cleaning tight corners and uphill sections, as well as lifting the front up and over trail obstacles.
A few key details make the Mach 5.5 Carbon a truly stand-out trail bike. Delving into its carbon frame construction, Pivot employs their proprietary hollow core internal molding process with an optimized lay-up of high-modulus carbon for the lightest weight possible. This method produces a feathery-light frame (claimed as low as 5.7lb) that approaches Mach 429 SL Carbon territory, but with the strength and stiffness of the enduro-bred Mach 6. In the rear triangle, both the seat and chainstays clear tires of 2.6 inches, which is a nice benefit for riders seeking added bump compliance and cornering grip of high volume trail tires.
This particular build enjoys the crisp shifting and ultra-light capability of Shimano's XT 12-speed drivetrain with a Race Face Ride crankset for stiffness in the front. This new 12-speed drivetrain features a massive 10 to 51-tooth cassette for plentiful low-end when you're spinning up steep climbs and pedaling across long stretches of trail with undulating terrain. The FOX 36 Factory fork is impressively stiff, lending precise tracking for picking apart rough sections of trail and plunging into steep descents.
- Pivot's enduro-to-trail steed gets a new paint job and 12-speed
- 5.5in of bump-gobbling, edge-smoothing DW-Link travel
- Fox 36 fork up front conquers rowdy descents and rough terrain
- 27.5in hoops provide nimble handling and a playful feel
- Progressive trail geometry is longer, lower, and slacker for efficiency
- High-modulus carbon frame is lightweight and rigid for versatility
- Tire clearance to 2.6 inches is ideal for high traction on technical trails
- Shimano XT 12-speed drivetrain offers massive 51t bail-out cog