Bike Set Up
My Pivot Mach 4 is a 2010 model in size L. I am 5′ 11′” and the bike fits me quite well, although a little roomy. I tried a Pivot Mach 5.7 in large but it seemed a different fit, being more cramped. Component wise, my bike has all XT drivetrain as well as brakes. There is a DT 240 wheelset with Schwalbe tires.
Ride & Handling:
My initial impressions were how pedal power is transferred into forward motion very directly and with minimal power loss compared to other mountain bikes I have been on. Setting the rear suspension to 30% sag eliminates the need for Pro-Pedal and will cause very little bob unless you are climbing with a choppy motion. There is a little bit of bob from all out sprints but not if sitting down. It really flies when you are up to speed though with the rear suspension smoothing out the trail chatter and 28 psi in the tires making the bike feel like it is floating along effortlessly.
The bike is well built and rides quietly. The design and structure is stiff and confidence inspiring over rough terrain and on downhill runs. If the Pivot were a car it would be a well built Japanese machine like a Nissan 370z.
Steering is quick with the 70 degree head angle but stable at speed and not twitchy. With its 4 inches of suspension it handles drops of 1-2 ft without issue, but remember it is not an all mountain machine. The cockpit is a little more upright than a race bike but it is very balanced and will keep you riding in comfort on all day events.
If you want a bike that you can ride on rough single track, enduro rides, enjoy going long and riding as fast as possible then this is the bike for you. There are faster bikes for closed XC circuits where speed and power transfer is critical but very few capable of efficiently delivering a rider over a long course faster. The bike is a great balance of power, speed and comfort.
I have the black anodized version which shows dirt even after a through washing. Plan on at least a bottle of Pedros Bike Lust a year to get it looking like new. This bike is a bear to clean while we are at it. A problem with all dual link bikes I assume. Price to pay for great suspension. Cable routing around the shock gets a little busy, and noisy if you don’t zip tie em down.
The great thing about mountain biking is how everyone has their idea of how a bike should ride. It keeps campfire chat interesting. On a recent group ride I saw Ti, plastic, steel and Al. Hardtail, 4” and softtail. 29 and 26 inch wheels. We all traveled the same speed. Personally I want a bike that is as efficient as possible that rails at speed, is steady on descents, and buffs out embedded trail chatter, all in a reliable all day package. I think the Mach 4 delivers. It was good enough to carry me to a sub 9 hour Leadville Trail 100, and podiums at local XC, 6 hour solo and 12 hour team events. Just what I was looking for. If you want a bike that rips down more gnarly trails then I would recommend the Mach 5.7 but if cross-country is your thing and you want to go fast then you shouldn’t go past the Mach 4.