Pivot Mach 5.7 – a quick spin….

The Pivot Mach 5.7

I’ve been very aware of the hype surrounding the Mach 5.7 so when The Bike Tree let me know they’d got one I could test, I took off my pinny, switched off the hoover, put Jeremy Kyle on record and headed out sharpish.  All the talk in the biking media was of incredibly well sorted suspension, superb build quality, of a do-anything bike, so expectations were unfeasibly high.

Which is sometimes a dangerous starting point for a review.  However, first impressions were good.  The bike looks a million dollars in anodised black and the immediate impression is of serious engineering.  The red detailing on the dw-link doesn’t just look the business, it conceals double bearings on every pivot for maximum durability.  The dw-link is claimed to be plush in the mid stroke while maintaining Pivot’s reputation as a stable pedalling platform, a tall order.

DW-link - looks the business and does the business....

Having set the bike up using the cunning little sag indicator on the Kashima coated RP23, I was ready for action and headed out into the Peak District.  Bearing in mind I only had a short time on the bike, several things immediately became apparent.  On tight twisty trails, this doesn’t feel like a nigh on 6 inch travel bike.  The combination of stability and stiffness ensures that the bike flicks through changes of direction like a politician avoiding questions about expenses – it’s as slippery as an eel.  I was immediately reminded of the Yeti 575, another bike at the upper-end of the trail bike travel scale that handles flat turns and berms with alacrity.

It’s equally confident on rocky downhills, particularly where there’s repeated medium sized, square edged hits when the combination of that plush mid range performance, Kashima coating and a comparatively leggy 67.1 degree head angle combine to reduce chatter to a pleasant buzz.  This doesn’t mean it’s no fun though.  There’s a deal of pop in this bike and it doesn’t take much encouragement to get airborn.  I was perhaps running with too little damping making for some hairy moments, but given time and tuning, this bike would really tickle the adrenal gland

Climbing was, how can I put this, interesting.  For the first time I can remember, I found pro-pedal almost redundant when tackling rocky climbs.  The bikes anti-squat abilities are simply astonishing and climbing would have been a joy but for one thing  – a wandering front end.  With the comparativley slack head angle and 150mm fork, I was left with the impression that this bike was crying out for travel adjust such as the Fox Talas or Rockshox Dual Position.

The Pivot's got some 'pop', almost too much for the author, obviously....

Overall, I was left wishing I’d had more time to investigate the bike.  Running with the prescribed 30% sag I was left with the distinct impression that I could have run 35% or even 40% yet still have the required platform for efficient climbing.  The dw-link is more than capable of being plush without turning into a marshmallow on technical climbs, a neat trick.  With more time to experiment, I would have increased sag and damping and found that sweet spot where the bike is still lively without compromising comfort or climbing ability.

This is a serious trail machine with more than a hint of all-mountain about it.  Mind-bogglingly quick on tight, twisty singletrack, it turns effortlessly into a downhill missile when required.  Sure-footed and nimble, with the kind of durability that should cope with a British winter, it should become a more common sight on British trails.