2018 Pivot Mach 5.5 Carbon Pro XT/XTR 1x

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Playful ripper that can climb

Rating: Featured Member Review
The Good:

Super playful and versatile. Good climber and even better descender.

The Bad:

It's not cheap. Wheels are heavy and 2.6" tires may not be for everyone.

Overall Review:

Not sure how much I can add to Vital staff’s already stellar review of the Mach 5.5, but I thought I’d add in a layperson’s perspective and a somewhat long term review. I’ve been on this version of the Mach 5.5 for over a year now. I tried a few 29er’s but for the fun factor I keep going back to 27.5 as my main ride.

First let me just say that I really love this bike. It’s super fun and a ripper. It’s light enough to take on long rides and has enough brawn that the only thing holding me back on DH type trails are my bravery and skills. So if you’re considering this bike, let’s dive into the details.

The suspension: I really like Pivot’s execution of the DW Link. The 140mm feels like more that its numbers, and it’s not too firm. It doesn’t sit too high in the travel and settles in to feel really balanced between pedaling efficiency and traction. The stock DPS evol is pretty nice if you’re riding smooth flow trails and holds its own on tech as well. I like to ride a lot of tech in the PNW so I sent mine to Avalanche with fantastic results (but that’s for another review). If you’re wanting more of an enduro chunder blasting machine and don’t go the custom mod route, I’d opt for the X2. I just picked up one that I’ll try out just for kicks as I like to tinker with setups (I know, I know, the grass is greener…). The Fox 36 is a great match for this bike and doesn’t feel unbalanced at all. It’s a fantastic fork.

Frame details: The Mach 5.5 has room for two water bottle mounts, but I don’t use the underside location. So hip pack users you’re covered. Contrary to my initial feelings about the exposed cable routing under the bottom bracket, I haven’t had a single issue ever. It seems wildly impractical still, but so far so good. It’s quiet too. No cable rattling at all. If you’re switching shocks the mounts are a little finicky and not as quick to do as other frames, but that’s a minor annoyance. The DI2 compartments are cool, but I’m not throwing down the extra $$$ for that so it’s not a selling feature for me. I have the matte red finish and it looks even better in person, imo. In addition, it’s a super durable finish and has held up with no chips in the usual spots (downtube, chainstays). I hope they keep this finish for future frames. There’s no clearance concerns/issues between the chain and chainstays and chain slap is not an issue. There’s also ample tire clearance for mud even with a 2.6” rubber, which brings me to the tires.

Tires: Everyone has their preferences about tire size, but I think Pivot made a solid choice with the DHF and Rekons for this frame. I was prepared to hate and immediately remove the 2.6’s but to my surprise I like them. My only real issue is that the Rekons are not a great tire for winter and rain so I switched to the 2.4” DHR 2. But I’m still keeping the 2.6 DHF up front. For me this is a great combo for the Mach 5.5. It’s also drops the Bottom bracket height a little (down to 13.2”) which makes this bike a cornering beast.

Geometry: Regarding the rest of the geometry, after riding the stock 66.5* HA for 8 months, I threw on a Works -1.5* angleset. Love this setup. I initially felt a little front end wandering, but I adjusted quickly and no longer feel the sensation. The gains are worth it for me as the performance in the steeps have improved greatly. But honestly the 66.5 never held me back, I just feel more confident now. At 73.5 or the newly measured 74.25, the seat angle could be a little steeper but I’m not going to complain. It works fine. I have short legs and on a small frame so if you’re tall it might be a different situation. The chainstays are short and snappy and the reach is right in the middle for a modern bike.

Wheels – I didn’t get along with the stock DT1700’s. They rode heavy and made the bike feel sluggish so I upgraded to some NOBL hoops. A huge improvement in my opinion.

The Ride: This is a fun and versatile bike. It maintains a nice balance of maneuverability with the ability to handle bigger lines than its 140mm of travel would suggest. At my current setup it’s sitting at 30.4lbs. It could easily lose another 2lbs with lighter tires and cranks, but I’m happy where it’s at. It climbs as well as you would expect for a 30lb bike. It’s not going to beat a dedicated XC bike up, but it holds its own and in my experience is around the top of its class with regards to climbing. The Mach 5.5’s DW Link doesn’t sap your energy but it’s also not the firmest iteration of it. If you’re looking for maximum output, you can up the low speed compression or hit the climb switch. I prefer to keep my settings open. Descending is a ripping good time as you would expect. The suspension works very good in the chop and with a low bottom bracket is an amazing cornering bike.

Improvements: Not much. I could see Pivot extending the reach a little and steepening the seat angle in the next iteration. Maybe dropping ¼ or ½ a lb of frame weight as they tweak carbon layup. But as-is, I think it’s a fantastic frame.

Conclusion: No doubt this is an expensive bike, and there are now more options than ever to get a great ride at a lower cost. But if you want one of the best 27.5 trail/AM bikes out there imho, (and especially If you can pick up a very lightly used demo like I did) it should absolutely be on your short list.

Specifications

Product Pivot Mach 5.5 Carbon Pro XT/XTR 1x
Model Year 2018
Riding Type Enduro / All-Mountain, Trail
Rider Unisex
Sizes and Geometry
XS, S, M, L, XL View Geometry
Size XS S M L XL
Top Tube Length 557.8mm 583.9mm 616.7mm 639.3mm 667.0mm
Head Tube Angle 66.5° 66.5° 66.5° 66.5° 66.5°
Head Tube Length 89.9mm 104.9mm 115.1mm 125mm 134.9mm
Seat Tube Angle 73.8° 73.5° 73.5° 73.5° 73.5°
Seat Tube Length 355.6mm 393.7mm 425.5mm 457.2mm 495.3mm
Bottom Bracket Height 340.4mm 340.4mm 340.4mm 340.4mm 340.4mm
Chainstay Length 430mm 430mm 430mm 430mm 430mm
Wheelbase 1116.3mm 1142.5mm 1176.5mm 1200.4mm 1229.4mm
Standover 685.8mm 690.4mm 690.9mm 691.6mm 711.2mm
Reach 389.9mm 410mm 439.9mm 460mm 484.9mm
Stack 582.4mm 596.4mm 605.5mm 614.9mm 624.3mm
* Additional Info Geometry with 160mm fork
Wheel Size 27.5" (650b)
Frame Material Carbon Fiber
Frame Material Details High modulus carbon, hollow core internal molding
Rear Travel 140mm
Rear Shock FOX Float Factory DPS EVOL
Fork FOX 36 Factory, 110mm quick release
Fork Travel 160mm
Head Tube Diameter Tapered
Headset Pivot Precision Sealed Cartridge
Handlebar Phoenix Team Carbon, 35mm x 760mm
Stem Phoenix Team Enduro/Trail
Grips Phoenix Team Padloc
Brakes Shimano XT M8001
Brake Levers Shimano XT
Drivetrain 1x
Shifters Shimano XT, 11-speed
Front Derailleur N/A
Rear Derailleur Shimano XTR GS, 11-speed
ISCG Tabs ISCG 05
Chainguide N/A
Cranks Race Face Aeffect SL, 175mm
Chainrings 30 tooth
Bottom Bracket PF92
Pedals N/A
Chain Shimano
Cassette Shimano XT M8000, 11-46 tooth, 11-speed
Rims DT Swiss M1700 27.5" x 35mm wheels
Upgrade option: Reynolds 27.5" x 36mm Carbon wheels with Industry Nine hubs
Hubs DT Swiss M1700 27.5" x 35mm wheels
Upgrade option: Reynolds 27.5" x 36mm Carbon wheels with Industry Nine hubs
Spokes DT Swiss M1700 27.5" x 35mm wheels
Upgrade option: Reynolds 27.5" x 36mm Carbon wheels with Industry Nine hubs
Tires Maxxis Minion DHF WT 27.5" x 2.6" front, Maxxis Rekon WT 27.5" x 2.6" rear
Saddle Phoenix WTB Vigo Pro
Seatpost FOX Transfer: 125mm (S/M), 150mm (L/XL), LEV Integra: XS
Seatpost Diameter 30.9mm
Seatpost Clamp 34.9mm standard single bolt
Rear Dropout / Hub Dimensions Boost 12x148mm
Max. Tire Size 27.5" x 2.6"
Bottle Cage Mounts One in front triangle and one under downtube
Colors Black, Red
Warranty 3 years frame
Weight N/A
Miscellaneous Mid-travel specific linkage
180mm rear post mount disk brake
Pivot Cable Port system with Di2 integration
Front derailleur compatible with stealth E-Type mounting system
Low durometer rubberized frame protection
Price $6,199
More Info

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