Pivot Mach 6 Carbon
Mach Speed Up & Down The Trail
The Mach 6 is Pivot’s latest creation. It falls between the long-travel Firebird and the trail-savvy Mach 5. 7 in the Pivot line, and it ticks all the necessary boxes—
carbon frame, 27.5-inch wheels, and enduro-ready—to generate quite a buzz. After a brief introduction to the Mach 6 at
the release a few months back, we finally had a chance to put
it through a proper test to see if it could live up to the hype.
WHO IS IT MADE FOR?
The Mach 6 Carbon is designed for trail riders and enduro
racers who are looking to blitz the trail both up and down;
however, the bike is not limited to battling the clock between
the course tape. It is just as much at home underneath the
casual rider looking for an ultra-versatile, yet aggressive
WHAT IS IT MADE FROM?
Pivot went with the same “hollow box,” high-compression
internal molding carbon manufacturing process used to make
its other carbon offerings. In a nutshell, this process creates
very dense and uniform frame walls (internally and externally) that can handle impacts and are both laterally stiff
and lightweight. The frame features a Press-Fit BB92 bottom
bracket, tapered head tube, internal cable routing, ISCG-05
chainguide tabs, and rubberized leather frame protectors on
the downtube, chainstay and inner seatstay.
The Mach 6 uses a dw-link suspension design with 6.1
inches of rear-wheel travel. Impressively, Pivot was able to
keep the chainstays to a very-short 16. 9 inches, thanks to a
clever linkage design that uses an ultra-compact lower link.
Along with helping to tune the suspension curve, the
upper linkage design eliminates the need for the standard DU
bushing and instead transfers the load to two large cartridge
bearings at the seatstay junction. Pivot claims this design is
especially helpful in boosting compliance in small and
WHICH COMPONENTS STAND OUT?
Our Mach 6 Carbon came decked out in Shimano’s finest,
along with a host of other noteworthy components. Shimano’s
XTR 2x10 drivetrain with Shadow Plus is a versatile and
rock-solid drivetrain that helps the bike fulfill its go-anywhere
mission. It’s nearly impossible to go wrong with Shimano brakes,
and the XTR Trails are perfect for this application. Fox’s Float
34 CTD fork and Float X CTD shock proved to be standout
performers as well.
Pivot’s own carbon handlebar looks elegant,
and at 29 inches wide, offers plenty of
control. Pivot’s aluminum stem completes
the package. The KS LEV Integra dropper
post offers the same performance as the
standard LEV, which earned our five-star
rating, but gets internal cable routing.
HOW DOES IT PERFORM?
Moving out: Pivot makes dialing in
the Mach 6 fairly straightforward, in part
thanks to a handy sag meter found on the
Fox Float X CTD shock. With the sag set
to the indicator line in the rear, and at 30
percent sag for the fork, we hit the trail.
Even with the size large with over 6 inches of travel, Pivot
did a great job keeping the standover height low. The Mach 6’s
rider position is fairly upright but allows enough room in the
cockpit to move around without feeling cramped.
Pedaling: From the moment you turn the pedals on the Mach
6, you can tell there is something special going on. While it has a
similarly efficient feel to the dw-link-equipped Pivot bikes we’ve
ridden in the past, the Mach 6 offers a welcome touch of suppleness when the shock is left open in the Descend mode. It is most
likely due to a combination of the updated dw-link design, the
updated upper link shock mount, and the Fox Float X shock.
With a quick flip to the Trail or Climb setting, the bike felt as if
it had been transformed into the Mach 429 cross-country rig. It’s
Climbing: The Mach 6 isn’t a featherweight rig, but at 28
pounds, it is certainly respectable for an all-mountain or enduro
rig. With its efficient suspension design and ultra-stiff chassis, the Mach 6 is simply one of the best climbing 6-inch bikes
around. In fact, it climbs better that many bikes we’ve ridden
featuring less travel.
While the relatively slack head tube angle would suggest
some difficulty on steep ascents, that wasn’t the case. Moving
our weight forward enough over the bike to keep the front
wheel tracking was never an issue, thanks to a cockpit that
felt just right.
Cornering: Pivot nailed the balance of the rider’s weight
over the bike, which helps take advantage of both the short
rear end and the slack front end. The Mach 6 can whip around
180-degree switchbacks just as comfortably climbing at slow
speeds as when being flicked around on high-speed descents.
The Mach 6 also excels in sweepers when the speeds pick up.
The suspension’s ability to eat up small bumps helps keep the
bike tracking and confident through chatter. The spec’ed Kenda
Honey Badger tires provided adequate grip, but, most important,
they never took us by surprise by letting go early in corners.