The latest addition to Pivot’s rapidly burgeoning stable of models, the Mach 6 Carbon is a formidable machine on paper, but after putting it through its paces, it proves to be just as impressive on the trail.
The brainchild of industry veteran and Pivot Cycles founder, Chris Cocalis, the Mach 6 comes to the table with three years of design work under its belt.
“Four years ago we asked both Fox and RockShox to make a 150-160-millimeter 650B fork, and got shot down at the time,” Cocalis relates.
Forced to experiment instead with a long-travel 29er format, Cocalis and company prototyped several bikes, but were simply not sold on the compromises necessary, still feeling that the 27.5-inch wheel platform was much better suited to the 6-inch travel segment.
So as soon as the industry began to embrace the new wheel size with dedicated component offerings, Pivot was off to the races with their original design parameters.
The resulting bike, the 155-millimeter-travel Mach 6 is then truly an exercise in telling compromise to kindly see its way out the door.
“We tuned in on the feel and balance of the suspension pretty quickly as we had both the Mach 5.7 and the Firebird as benchmarks. The Mach 6 is a near perfect middle ground between those two bikes,” Cocalis acknowledged.
“The biggest thing was getting the bottom bracket height and head angle tuned in. We kept lowering the BB until we achieved a level where a skilled rider could still pedal through technical terrain but the center of gravity and cornering capabilities were maximized.”
This low bottom bracket, when paired with a relatively slack head angle (66 degrees when paired with a 150-millimeter fork, 65.5 degrees when paired with a 160-millimeter fork) allows the Pivot Mach 6 to retain a highly composed demeanor when the trail turns downward.
When tasked with climbing duty however, the Pivot leans on the anti-squat characteristics of its dw-link suspension to make sure you don’t pay for the descending prowess in the form of clipped pedals and poor low-speed handling.
And, of course, that’s to say nothing of the new Mach 6 upper linkage design which eliminates the rear shock bushings, replacing them with two large Enduro cartridge bearings. Resulting in a substantial improvement in small to mid size bump compliance, it also aids traction in all conditions.
A big part of the equation is the close relationship that Pivot maintains with Fox Racing Shox, allowing for the involved custom tuning found on both the Fox Float and Float X CTD-equipped Mach 6.
However, that’s not to mention anything about the biggest part of the equation—the end result. Here though, the Pivot Mach 6 doesn’t disappoint, offering one of the most well balanced long-travel packages on the market.
The faster you push the Mach 6 down technical terrain, the more the bike truly shines. And, as much as the ‘E’ word is used these days, we can’t help but call the Mach 6 one of the most potent enduro options on the market.