Pivot Cycles: New Pivot Mach 5 All-mountain Bike


Pivot Cycles is “new” on the scene for 2008. I say “new” while doing finger quotes because the company is headed by industry veteran and Titus Cycles’ former founder, Chris Cocalis and is utilizing the proven DW-Link suspension design from Dave Weagle–these guys know bikes. Currently, Pivot has two bikes on the market for 2008: 1) 4-inch travel Pivot Mach 4 and 2) 5-inch travel Pivot Mach 5. While 4-inch travel bikes don’t particularly light my fire, once you get into 5+ inches, that sparks interest.

2008 Pivot Cycles Mach 5 Mountain Bike

Pivot Mach 5 Mountain Bike

The all-new Pivot Mach 5 sports a sexy DW-Link frame with, as stated above, 5-inches of travel. The patented DW-Link suspension design is named for it’s inventor, Dave Weagle. His designs have previously been found primarily on Iron Horse is widely recognized as one of the top suspension designs on the market today. It is one of the three big dogs in patented suspension designs with Horst and VPP being the other two. You can read more about the 7 advantages of the DW-Link design.

Pivot Cycles owner, Chris Cocalis has used plenty of suspension designs over the years. He knows his stuff and has chosen to work with and refine the DW-Link for his new bike line. he has put his touch on the travel to ensure it rides just right.

Check out the following image, showing the intricate and downright sexy lower pivot axle with integrated bottom bracket and derailleur mount. Nice!

Pivot Cycles Pivot Axle and Integrated Bottom Bracket/Derailleur

How does the Pivot Mach 5 Ride?

Though I didn’t get a chance to ride the Mach 5 at Interbike 2007, I can imagine that the Mach 5 will be a stellar all-mountain steed. Looking at the angles and overall design leads me to believe it will be a trusty trailbike that can handle all-day epics and whatever else–short of DH courses–you can throw at it. Hopefully I can swing a leg over one in the coming months and post my thoughts.

If anyone has any actual saddle-time on the new Pivot Mach 5, please chime in below!

I’ve also heard that a 6-inch travel version is in the works, so stay tuned.

Pivot Mach 5 Features

  • Price: $1900 (frame only) to $5800 (XTR Complete)
  • Sizes: XS (14.5), S (16.5), M (19), L (21)
  • Colors: Blue or Black (Anodized) or White (Powdercoat)
  • Refined wheel path that initiates slightly rearward to smooth square hits
  • Integrated bottom bracket and front derailleur mount provides proper chainline
  • Suspension linkages pivot on 8 HUGE bearings to provide smooth travel
  • Fox Talas 32 forks (RLC or R)
  • 140mm fork provides a 69-degree head angle
  • Three all-mountain build kits: Shimano XTR, XT or SRAM X-9
  • Visit www.pivotcycles.com for more details

Buy Now: Find a Pivot Cycles Dealer

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.


  1. Quoting Chris Cocalis:

    The ride: The “5” inch travel segment covers some pretty broad territory. You have bikes from 4.75 to almost 6” falling within the realm and ride goals that are even more varied. This is the category where bike companies are trying to design the “one” bike that can do it all. Unfortunately, you can’t do it all. To us, a 5” travel bike that is super plush kills off the entire epic, long ride, go anywhere focus of what a 5” travel bike should be. If you lean towards the ski resort/north shore/ more extreme type of riding, then get a 6” travel bike and build it up light. The Mach 5 has 140mm (5.5”) of travel and is meant to cover the spectrum of 24 hour racing to all day in the saddle rides, with the ability to devour technical descents. As was noted from the parking lost test ride, this bike doesn’t bob under power and it isn’t real squishy feeling (we like highly technical terms like squishy).

    What you can’t tell in a parking lot is that the Mach 5 absolutely comes alive at speed (even in rock gardens which we have tons of in AZ). We have tested this bike from South Mountain’s National Trail to Moab’s Porcupine Rim. There are certainly longer travel bikes that are plusher, but it’s all about controlled travel. The Mach 5 holds its line at speed and always seems to have extra travel in reserve for big hits, big drops, and even the occasional big jump. Look at the Pivot site in the not too distant future and we will expand on what makes this bike such an incredible peddler yet allows it to really soak up the bumps and drops at mid to high speeds.

    Also, just as a couple other points of reference. The head angle with the fork at 140mm travel is 69 degrees. This is a nice stable number for handling very technical terrain. When the fork is dropped to 120, the head angle is at 70 degrees which puts the bike in stable handling XC to moderate technical territory. Additionally, with the DW Link and the shock we are using (2.25” stroke on a medium frame), it is imperative to run 30% sag (.675”). Most people are used to running less because other bikes need to have more air to keep from bobbing. NOT THIS ONE! The Mach 5 is all about achieving a balance in what we believe to be the perfect combination of incredible pedaling efficiency and frame stiffness with a controlled feel throughout the stroke and enough travel to keep our customers grinning from ear to ear in even some of the most technical terrain.

    Welds: The Mach 5 uses a combination of traditional welds and smooth welds. The smooth welds on some bikes are polished out after being completed (a la Cannondale). We like the flat bead look of the smooth weld as it is laid down. We use it near on the top tube shock tab area to keep things smooth and snag free and on other areas because it actually reduces stress risers and makes for a nice strong joint.

    Headset: We tend to agree that integrated headsets are not necessarily the best choice for a mountain bike. They have proven reasonably durable, but if anything does go wrong, your frame is the headset race and it can take a beating without easy replacement. The Mach 5 and Mach 4 do not use an integrated headset. It uses a zero stack standard headset. This headset takes cups just like a normal external 1.125 headset. However, the head tube is significantly larger in diameter and the entire headset cup fits inside. We did this for a couple of good reasons. First, as forks get longer and tires grow bigger, the front end heights continue to skyrocket. This is not such a problem for a 6 foot tall person, but for just about everyone else (particularly the under 5’ 8” crowd), this headset design reduces the front end height by over 1” because the cups are inside.

    It works great on the Mach 4 and Mach 5 and will prove to be a huge benefit on a future 29er as well. The second reason is that a big diameter head tube is that it is simply stronger and allows more surface area to weld to. It’s a nice secondary benefit that really makes the front end of the bike look nice as well. The zero stack design is available in headsets from Cane Creek, Ritchey, FSA, and others. They make it in their top models with the same bearings that are in the external headsets. The cups press in and/or remove just like a traditional headset. We have even spoken to Chris King about this standard and unlike his stance against integrated headsets, he finds this route much more appealing. We have to agree.

  2. I got the chance to demo both the Mach 5 and Mach 4 at the Scott 24 Hour in Canberra Oz-traylya. Ive tried a bunch of duallies to replace my hardtail as Im getting older and Australian trails are getting much more vicious.
    This is on the Mach 5 – which I would not have been interested in at all had I needed to base my decision on the quick carpark-style roll around the transition area.
    On tarmac – albeit not set up at all for my weight and on those obnoxious Kenda big block tyres – it felt sluggish, especially as I’d just jumped off my sub 11 kg hardtail.

    Once the fork and shock were dialled and I was on the trail – it turned everything into one big bag of fun. Seriously. I smashed my fastest laps of the event. To my suprise (seeing Im ex-hardtail) the bike responded to pedal input without any mushiness the suspension rolled smoothly over any of the filthyness that the trail had to offer. One of the things I noticed was that I was all over Yeti ASR’s and Epics at the pointy end of the group on the climb and just completely dusted them on the decent. This is a biggie for me, as Im used to whiteknuckling my downhills just trying to keep my ride pointing forward – be it my hardtail or any duallie Ive ever ridden. Both the Mach 5 and Mach 4 were sublime under braking – something I found myself noticing as I climbed all over the riders in front of me, waiting for them and their skidding rear ends to get out of my way.

    The odd technical switchback was a bit sketchy, (the Mach 4 was better here) especially with the Kendas being a bit skittish in the Australian dust/gravel and the more relaxed head angle – but in retrospect it was more down to the fact that I was carrying so much more speed into the turns than what I was used to.

    As has been mentioned by proper reviewers, it feels a bit heavy to lift (about 12.5 kilos with the XTR build), but to ride, it felt super light and repsonsive, to the extent that I was passing team riders on hardtails at the top of climbs…which is nice.

    In closing, Im keen on the Mach 5, super-impressed with its abiltiy to hold a strong railing line through rutted and rocky trails and by the way you still know what you’re riding over, even though you can hardly feel it. Its fast, and to me thats all that matters.

    Never thought I would be, tried not to be, but now Im a fan-boi of the Mach 5. Damnit.

    (Thanks to the Jet Black lads at the Scott. Ive got one on order.)

  3. Thanks for your ride report on the Pivot Mach 5 all the way from Down Under! My saddle time on the Mach 5 at Interbike was also solid, but it seems like the shock was set up with too little air, so I didn’t get the full effect. I was blowing through the travel and bottoming out a lot.

    However, the ride quality was still superb. I love DW-Link bikes. They are that much smoother than VPP designs. You pay for it though as DW bikes are more expensive than comparable VPP designs from Santa Cruz.

    Still hoping to get on a Mach 5 here in Utah. We’ll see.

  4. first time in moab. been riding since early 1980’s when no one had any thought of suspension. just got back into mtn biking last year with trip back to crested butte… here in moab rented a Mach 5 at Poison Spider Mtn Bike Shop and hit Porcupine Rim. I was lown away. the only limitation on the bike was this 46 year old out of practice. hitt’n again tomorrow!

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