The Pivot Mach 4 is perhaps their most versatile machine. If you consider that you can use it as a full blown cross-country race bike this weekend and roll through hidden backcountry trails with a backpack and an attitude for adventure the next, you'll know what we mean. The key to its utility is the 100mm (4") dw-link rear suspension.The Mach 4 is a super-efficient race machine because it pedals well without inducing strange or wasted motion in the rear suspension. At the same time, it has deceptively plush travel that just makes it a fun bike to ride. Though these characteristics might seem to be mutually exclusive, the dw-link suspension makes it all possible because of its anti-squat characteristics. By virtue of Newton's Third Law of Motion, when something accelerates, its mass is transferred rearward. The dw-link counteracts this transfer to minimize your impact on the rear suspension. This is why Pivot is able to get such a lightly damped tune on the 7.25" x 1.75" Kashima Coated RP23 rear shock from Fox. With the dw-link controlling unwanted suspension squat, the lightly damped shock can respond with ultra-sensitivity to the demands of the trail. As a result, the Mach 4 delivers a comfortable ride and awesome climbing traction. It floats over rocks, roots and ruts, yet it still remains firm while hammering out of the saddle. In short, the Mach 4 adapts to virtually any situation you throw it in.The great rear suspension would be nothing without being hung on a flex-free structure. Pivot builds the Mach 4 frame from hydroformed 6000 series aluminum tubing and 3D hollow aluminum forgings. The production processes for these raw materials both help to align and strengthen the grain structure of the alloy. The result for the Mach 4 is that it's light enough to build a complete bike at 22 pounds or so, yet the front and rear triangles are unyielding to the stresses from the trail. This gives you stability and precision enough to inspire the confidence you need to attack the climbs and bomb the descents.There are a few key details that emphasize the efforts towards optimizing frame stiffness. One of the easiest to see is the BB92 pressfit style bottom bracket. The extra width in the shell does two things -- 1) It allows the frame designers to spread the forged lower seat tube yoke and increase the width of the lower dw-link, increasing stiffness and resistance to torsional flex in the link. All this comes without sacrificing front derailleur functionality. 2) It also provides better support for the bottom bracket bearings. Speaking of sealed cartridge bearings, the forged and CNC machined aluminum lower link contains eight of them -- two at each corner. This increases the durability of this workhorse component, stretches service life, and optimizes suspension function. The upper link is made of carbon fiber for strength and light weight, and since it sees less stress than its lower counterpart, Pivot relies on four bearings here to do t
Strengths: Stiffness, Quality, DW -Link, Components, and overall Fit and Finish.
I have had this bike for 5 months now and have ridden it extensively. It is a 2012 SRAM X9 (2x10) 120mm fork build with the blue anodized paint scheme. I live in the Northern Utah, which is a lot of technical climbing and of course many rocks. Prior to this bike, I had a Trek Ex-5 and was looking for a great overall trail bike. I do not race or participate in XC, but I wanted a great bike for the relentless climbs here and a bike that is competent on the downhills.
I was initially considering 5-6" bikes, but after extensive self-evaluation of my riding style, talking to many people at the local shops, and heavily researching bikes, I found that having more than 5" of travel is really not necessary for the type of riding I do. Unless you plan on doing 5 foot drops and bombing down the ski resorts, the extra travel will simply not be utilized and it will make climbing more difficult. I wanted a great overall trail bike that can climb great, be fast on trails, and handle the technical descents well.
The Pivot Mach 4 is the answer! Initially, coming from an all-mountain bike, I was a little hesitant on the bikes prowess for downhills, but read many reviews that praised it's descending prowess. I have to say that this bike does it all! First, it climbs better than my Trek 3900 Hardtail. The DW-Link is a fantastic suspension design that allows you to climb, trail ride, and descend without fiddling with the lock-out features of the suspension or fork. There was nothing more annoying on my old bike (Trek EX-5) than constantly locking-out the suspension and trying to figure out when I should open it up again. A bike where you have to lock-out the suspension for climbing is just not practical for everyday trail riding. There are so many trails that have climbs and descends and deciding when to lock-out the suspension interrupts the flow of riding. The Pivot Mach 4 is a set it and forget it bike.
Second, the bike descends MUCH better than my Trek EX-5! It is very stiff on the climbs and holds that stiffness in the descents but absorbs the rough trails beautifully. I am over 200 lbs, and I really try and push the limits going downhill with this bike. It never disappoints. I am much faster and confident on this bike than I was with the EX-5. I have only bottomed out the suspension once when I took a 3 foot drop landing on the front wheel moving at a fast pace.
Third, the fit and finish on this bike is great. It fits me extremely well (I'm 5' 9" and ride the medium frame) and is simply a comfortable bike to ride. The quality of the anodized finish not only looks great, but is durable as well. Pivot makes all of their bikes with great components, even their least expensive one. I have the SRAM X9 2x10 with Avid Elixir brakes and couldn't be happier with it. I am a person that shifts under heavy climbing fairly normally and I have never missed a gear or dropped a chain.
Finally, the quality of the bike is fantastic! When you take the bike for a ride you can immediately feel how solid the bike is. It is the quietest bike that I have ever ridden with virtually no chain slap and the attention to detail is amazing. From the amazing frame design, component match, and ergonomics, to the tapered head, solid bottom bracket, headset, and tires they match it with, this bike is awesome!
Overall, I would highly recommend this bike to anyone looking to buy an amazing trail bike. It handles everything you could throw at it with ease. It has made me a much better rider and I enjoy mountain biking a lot more since I have such a great bike! Also, I purchased this bike directly from Pivot Cycle's demo bike sale and got a great deal. Check their site before paying full price as these bikes can cost up to $6,000 or more retail.
Similar Products Used: Trek EX-5, Trek EX-9, Yeti SB-66.
Bike Setup: 2012 Mach 4 Medium Frame, SRAM X9 (2x10), Avid Elixir Brakes, Fox RP-23 shock, Fox Evolution Fork (120mm), blue anodized frame.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: September 13, 2012
Strengths: Perfect cross-country rig for mountain bikers who like going fast - uphill and down. Even better, you don't see many on the trails, and you're not lining Specialized & Trek's coffers any more. Metal, hopefully more durable than carbon.
Weaknesses: Despite the hype, you won't beat hardtail 29'ers on the climbs, all things being equal. Suspension action is one of the best - but still has a flaw. Heavier than much of the competition.
My size Large frame paired great with a Fox 120RLC - the extra inch of travel and slacker HT angle really helps with the nonstop rock gardens on my trails. I built mine up with XT, XTR and XX and it still weighs ~26 pounds, hardly lighter than the 9 year old, 4" travel bike it replaced. DW Linkage keeps pedal bob down, but its still there unless you kick in the ProPedal. For getting to the park, and smooth climbs, I lockout the fork (low blow-off threshold) hit ProPedal #2, and the bike is surprisingly well balanced and snappy. My biggest gripe would be that the suspension, which likes to ride in the middle of its travel (recommended sag is 30%) quickly blows through the rest of the travel on bigger hits - and I don't drop or huck. For all the "custom tuned Fox shock" copy, I wish Pivot, DW and Fox would have worked on this a bit more. Its a common observation on the Pivot forum.
Similar Products Used: Titus Racer-X, Hammerhead 100X, Santa Cruz Blur XC Carbon & Superlight, K2 Razorbacks
Bike Setup: XT shifters, XTR front & Shadow Plus rear mechs, SRAM XX Powerdome 11-36, Race Face Turbine cranks and Next SL bar, Magura Martas, Thomson stem & post, Gobi Ti saddle, custom 1,455g wheelset with Circus Monkey hubs and Sun Black Flag rims.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: September 1, 2012
Strengths: Confidence factor: This system puts you in control of up/down/side/slide - it's the perfect platform for expansion to customize your preferential riding style. I have ridden in every imaginable condition (no, really) and it rides like a luxury sports car crossed with a Land Rover. SOLID - killer suspension. If your axles ever break, replace them with original parts. Do not go to the cheap junk - you will feel it.
Weaknesses: None. I did customize the peripherals of this ride so it is extra sick and reliable. LOVE THIS BIKE.
I went from KONA to SC BLUR to PIVOT and I will never change brand again.The rear suspension on this bike gives me the confidence to ride in ANYTHING, down, up, slow, fast. And what a head-turner. If you have an ego left, be ready to hear praises shouted at the trailheads.
Strengths: Amazingly stiff, no flex whatsoever. No pedal bob under hard acceleration yet rear suspension remains active the whole time. Welds are all absolutely immaculate, the bike looks nice and rides even better.
Weaknesses: Could be carbon to stiffen it up a little bit more and make the frame weight more similar to other bikes in it's price range. For a ww it may be a little heavy.
Wow, thats all I can say. I waited so long to pull the trigger on a new bike and I chose this bike after 2 years of looking for the right bike for myself. It definatly lives up to all its hype and amazing reviews, I'm just adding another one to the list :) So far I cannot find one thing I don't like about the bike, its an amazingly supple trail bike for the longer rides yet when you throw the hammer down the thing just takes off without any hesitation. It climbs crazy well and descends like no other. My only complaint would be the expense for an aluminium framed bike, with an xtr build and lots of light bits on it though, it weighs in at a healthy 23.2 pounds.
Strengths: Tight single track - weapon, looks all mean and tough, all day comfort, pedaling efficiency, 142x12 rear, eats carbon for breakfast!
Weaknesses: Weight maybe if you are a WW, advertised as 5 pounds with shock but mine was 5.5 in size small, 1.5 heavier than carbon peers but didn't notice on the trail except on steep climbs
Coming from a Santa Cruz Blur xc the bar was set high. This thing made me emotional, steering was quicker, tight single track was like carving on a wave, rocky downhills I used to be cautious on turned into fun speed runs. The only negative was on a technical steep uphill which I normally clear but couldn't even after a couple of runs. Got this to replace my 5 yr old Blur mainly for fun long rides and marathons. For this purpose it excells. Probably not as fast as my 29er hardtail in a straight line but not in the same class for fun.
Bike Setup: Xtr, Stan's podium MMX with 142x12 rear and 15 mm front fox Terralogic 100
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: May 27, 2012
Strengths: I built this up recently from the build kit on my '09 Giant Anthem.
I got a good deal on the frame, but was a little sceptical about any performance improvement over the Anthem. I needn't have worried. While the frame is a little heavier than the Anthem (my Mach 4 is the earlier model frame) there is a huge difference in the rear triangle stiffness, something that is a Maestro weakness IMO. To illustrate the point, with the rear wheel out you can squeeze the chain stays together quite a long way between your thumb and fingers on the Anthem but very little on the Pivot.
The Mach 4 steers way sharper but also manages to be much more confident on downhills. I suspect the former is due to the frame stiffness and the latter to the fact that it carries its weight more rearward than the Anthem, effectively slackening the head angle.
Riding the Mach 4 is compelling. I have three other bikes in my quiver (Giant Anthem X29-1, Haro Mary XC and GT Force 1) all of which have their strengths but the Pivot is now the firm favourite. I believe it flatters my riding ability and I can certainly use that!
I have installed a dropper seatpost which may seem a little odd on a short travel bike but this also helps in tight sections and downhills.
All up, a very happy customer.
Weaknesses: A little heavy but this is well outweighed by its performance.
Just another 5-chili rating for the Mach 4. I must say that this bike is just awesome. I call it "The Rocket." It accelerates quickly - just step on it and it GOES! The faster you go, the better the suspension works and the better it feels. It truly does climb like a XC hardtail but descend like a 5-inch trail bike. I find that I am significantly faster on this bike than the Stumpjumper, which is a fast, lightweight bike. The suspension is tuned to be efficient rather than plush. However, it is very stable and is comfortable to ride for long periods. It has never given me any maintenance issues whatsoever - it just works. I have ridden a 29er HT and a 29er FS, and find that I still prefer the Mach 4. Perhaps if I lived in the mountains I would prefer more travel, but then maybe not.
Mine weighs in at 26.5 lbs at the trailhead with pedals and computer. It can be built up really light but I have not felt the need to spend any extra cash. You won't notice it on the trail. I don't notice the extra 2.5 lbs over the Stumpjumper at all, and average maybe 2 mph faster on the Pivot. The frame on current models will be 10 oz. lighter than mine anyway. Rotating weight is the most important, so the lighter wheel option might be a good idea, but the 340s have the reputation of being bulletproof, and so far that has been the case.
The Pivot people are really nice and very helpful on the phone. Frank's build of this thing was just perfect as well. I had zero complaints.
If riding mountain bikes is your thing and you can hack the sticker price, I recommend it for anybody. Try it, you'll like it. It's everything I ever wanted.
Similar Products Used: Specialized Rockhopper and Stumpjumper HTs. Tested Giant Anthem X2 and Anthem X 29er, Cielo steel 29er HT.
Bike Setup: 2010 XT model with DT Swiss Custom 340 wheels. Stock except for Nobby Nic tires, Chris King headset, and Specialized Phenom saddle.
a Cross Country Rider
from Auburn, CA
Date Reviewed: January 19, 2012
Strengths: DW-link; Fox Float RLC fork; frame / rear triangle stiffness; XX group; DT Swiss wheelset;
The greatest strength for this bike is it's versatility. It's light enough to race, but quite capable as an all day trail machine. There is very little, if any flex, I can detect and, while this is a 4 inch bike, it truly does feel like it has more travel than this. I find myself riding the Mach 4 in cases where I was riding my Blur LTc. The Blur, by comparison, has 6 inches of travel. The pedaling efficiency on this bike is the best of any bike I've ridden short of a hardtail single speed. That said, it the trail gets rough, the Mach 4 has the advantage there as well.
Weaknesses: I don't really see any major weaknesses. The blue anodized frame is harder to clean than a painted or powder coated frame. I've also found that it will scratch and chip. My heels occasionally come in contact with the rear triangle and that has scuffed and scratched the coating. However, this is more a weakness related to anodized frames in general and not unique to Pivot in my opinion.
This is a great bike! I bought one of Pivot's "demo" bikes after test riding a Pivot at my LBS. I was super impressed with the pedaling efficiency. This bike is very versatile. I wouldn't hesitate racing the Downieville Classic on this and there are very few 4 inch bikes I'd say that about. With the XX build kit and medium frame, my bike weighs in at 24 lbs even.
With a change in saddle and tires, the bike will easily come in at 23.5 lbs and you could build up this bike under 23 if you went with the Rockshox XX fork and changed the wheelset but that would add $$$ and I don't see it as necessary. This bike absolutely flies on singletrack and you will find yourself grinning ear to ear and riding sections much faster than you thought possible.
Similar Products Used: Specialized Epic; Intense Spider, Intense 5.5; Santa Cruz Blur; Gary Fisher Sugar;
Bike Setup: Pivot Mach 4 blue anodized medium frame; Pivot's XX build kit; DT Swiss 240 wheelset; WTB saddle; Specialized Captain tubeless tires; Crank Brothers egg beater 2 ti
a Cross Country Rider
from Baltimore, MD, USA
Date Reviewed: November 21, 2011
Strengths: Climbing ability, handling, nimbleness, fit
Weaknesses: It will reveal your shortcomings. If you suck on this bike, it's you.
Can't say much that others haven't already said. Just wanted to give another 5 to the Mach 4. I've got the bike at 27.65 lbs. When I get the cash and change out the parts I'm not happy with it will probably be around 26.5.
I don't use pro-pedal much on this bike. I feel some extra speed with it turned on over smooth trails, but it slows me down in the bumpy stuff.
I switched to this bike from a 6" travel AM rig because I started to think it was only a matter of time before I killed myself bombing rocky downhills at 30mph. The Mach 4 handles descents really well, but you certainly can't just point it straight downhill and let go of the brakes. If it's rocky, you have to have more brains than balls.
I like this bike. A lot. I'm not taking away a chili for value like some others have. The price is right in line with everything else out there.
Bike Setup: 2010 frame, Size M - Stan's ZTR Arch w/ Hope Pro II's - Reba Race Dual Air - 3x9 x.7/9 - Race Face Evolve XC bars/stem/seatpost/cranks
a Cross Country Rider
from hunter, ny
Date Reviewed: April 23, 2011
Strengths: This bike flies!!!!super responsive- Climbs like a mountain goat,descends like my DH Glory, agile like a cat. no pedal bob, I mean none- instant acceleration.
AWESOME bike!First ride on it started out feeling really wierd, like I was on top of it rather than in it, but quickly got used to it (different geometry ? I dunno!)and never looked back- Hopped back on my Anthem the other day and it felt like an old ladies beach cruiser. This bike is so much faster . Also customer support at pivot Cycles is great, I ordered an extra derailleur hanger, FedEx lost it and they called me back and sent another one out express mail within 10 minutes of receiving my email.Bottom line- I LOVE my Mach 4. This bike is so fast and so much fun to ride, I can't wait to race on it!
Similar Products Used: Giant Anthem, Kona Lisa DS, Specialized Stumpjumper
Bike Setup: Fox RL fork, Fox RP23 shock, Xt cranks, XTR deraillers,ZTR race rims, Avid elixer brakes
a Cross Country Rider
from Southern California
Date Reviewed: March 20, 2011
Strengths: Light weight frame: 5.25 lbs in size small. Stiffness. Excellent suspension design: DW-Link with Fox RP23, no pedal bob/efficient pedaler, active suspension with right amount of plush. Fast. Climbs well with good traction. Good handling on descents. A+ Welds (the stack of coins look). Paint scheme of the white/black frame is nice.
Weaknesses: None that I can find but If Pivot comes up with a Carbon version of the Mach 4, I might find some weakness in my aluminum 2011 Pivot Mach 4.
The frame purchased itself (without build kit) comes with a Shimano XTR BB92 bottom bracket, it would be better if Pivot allowed customers the option of either Shimano XTR or Sram BB92 to come with the frame. I use a Truvativ Crankset, so I had to purchase the Sram bottom bracket separately. I guess I'll keep the Shimano XTR BB just in case I ever use a Shimano Crankset.
The 2011 Pivot Mach 4 performs as advertised and reviewed by many magazines, websites, and other cyclists who own a Pivot. I had the opportunity to Demo the 2011 Pivot Mach 4 twice in Nov and Dec of 2010 in Southern California. The 2nd Demo I did on the Mach 4 sold me when I rode the bike at Bonelli Park in San Dimas, CA. This bike handled very well on climbs and descents over rough and technical terrain, tight/narrow single track, fire roads, switch backs, berms, rock gardens, roots, hardpack, sand/loose gravel. It even rides fast, comfortable and smooth on pavement. No pedal bob/efficient pedaler, accelerates well, active suspension design, good lateral torsional stiffness, perfect geometry design, DW-Link works as advertised. The bike handles well with good traction and is stable on descents especially with a 120 mm travel fork. A good bike for cross country / trail riding where 4 inch rear suspension travel is all that is needed and can also do double duty as a xc race bike built with the right components.
Pivot Customer Service is excellent - everything from the Demo Rides, Emails, Phone Calls, etc.
Similar Products Used: GT Zaskar Hardtail, Specialized, Gary Fisher Sugar 1, GT I-Drive XC 1.0, Turner Flux, Titus Racer X, Everti Tirant Titanium Hardtail, Titus X. Demoed a Santa Cruz Carbon Blur.
I've owned/used Hardtails, Single Pivot Designs, GT I-Drives, FSR suspension, demoed VPP designs. For my type of riding xc/trail, the DW-Link on the Pivot Mach 4 works for me.
Bike Setup: Rock Shox Reba RLT 120 Travel, Mavic ST Wheelset, Truvativ Stylo OCT Crankset set up with 3x10 paired with Sram 1070 Cassette, Shimano XTR 10 speed rear derailleur, Shimano XT 10 speed right shifter, Sram X9 front derailleur, Sram X9 left shifter. Avid Elixir CR Disc Brakes, Easton EC 70 riser bar, Thompson Masterpiece seatpost, WTB Rocket V Ti Saddle, Specialized Captain Tubeless Tires, FSA Stem, Ergon GA1 grips, Crank Brother Pedals.
Bike Weight: 24 pounds.
Strengths: Where do I start...handling, stiff, light, DW Link, and looks of course...and I know I'm forgetting some!
Weaknesses: None yet!
Just another perfect rating for the Pivot Mach 4! This bike just "begs" to go fast...and it does! Climbs as good as any XC bike and handles the downhill and single track like the best 5" trail bikes! I haven't even had to use the propedal on the Fox shock for climbing yet...really don't need to except maybe for climbing/sprinting out of the saddle. Well done Pivot!!! BTW, the guys at Pivot were ALWAYS more than willing to help when I had a question while I was building the bike, and I really appreciated that!
a Cross Country Rider
from Sunshine Beach, QLD, Australia
Date Reviewed: August 25, 2010
Strengths: Not to flashy, built to last, everything just works, light compared to most bikes that will last more than a season, stiff, great out of the saddle when climbing, Rides like a hardtail but much more comfortable.
Weaknesses: Hard to clean around the DW link, quite expensive in Australia.
This bike improved my riding out of sight. It has the ability to absorb any punishment I have thrown at it on rocky single track descents, wide open downhill fire trails with switchbacks, climbing super steep technical out of the saddle and free flowing single track with berms. It does everything well with great balance and confidence. Feels really stiff and solid. No creaks or groans. The XTR kit works beautifully on it and enhances the overall experience.
It is not flashy and thus doesn't stand out in the carbon high gloss crowd, which I prefer. Especially when I'm smashing past them on the track! People who know will come and ask about the bike as they recognize good kit when they see it.
I bought a bike for the long term (5-10 years) and I have no doubt that it will last that long. Would I buy this bike again? Without a shadow of a doubt. It has been so much superior to anything else I have owned or ridden....
Strengths: Super stiff all over and good geometry.
Weaknesses: The weight weenie in me wishes the frame were a little lighter BUT I don't find that it negatively affects the performance of the bike.
I am really liking this bike. Took me a little while to get the suspension set up/broken-in but this thing is getting better everytime I ride it. I run it with the Pro-Pedal turned "on" on setting number 3 which is the stiffest setting and I am never finding myself wishing for more cush. I've tried it with the propedal switched off and I get too much bob for my liking and I only weigh 163 pounds. All in all I am finding this bike to be a really fast XC race rig and the steering seems telepathic. Overall I'm really impressed with the Mach 4!
Bike Setup: XTR Crank, Stan's ZTR 355's w/Hope ProII hubs, Marta Magura Magnesium SL Brakes, Fox Fit RLC w/15QR, X0 Twistes/X0 Rer Der, XTR frt der, PG 990 cassette, Easton Monkey Lite Bar, Syntace Post/Stem, Larsen TT Rear and Racing Ralph Front.