Pivot Mach 4 Carbon and Phoenix Carbon - first look

Fresh and tasty cross-country and downhill rigs

BikeRadar took a quick trip to the Welsh borders to see Pivot's new cross-country/fast-trail bike, the Mach 4 Carbon – fresh out of the shipping container – and have a cheeky look at the firm's new DH frame, the Phoenix Carbon.

Mach 4 Carbon

The Mach 4 Carbon looks to be a versatile, quality piece of kit, if you’re looking for a bike to rip round race courses or your local trails. The carbon frame is built to take 27.5in wheels (29er fans still have the Mach 429 C), and the Dave Weagle-designed DW link suspension system gives 115mm of rear travel. Up front the Mach 4 is designed to take forks from 100 to 130mm of travel.

The Mach 4 Carbon employs the DW Link suspension system to give 115mm of rear travel

As its name suggests, the bike is made from carbon, with what Pivot calls ‘hollow box internal molding technology’ – this gives a smooth internal surface that reduces stress risers and helps keep internal cable routing easy to use.

Some areas of the frame feature a 3k weave on the inside surface of the tubes to make releasing them from the moulds easier than it would have been if unidirectional yarns had been used at the surface.

With clean lines important aesthetically, the Mach 4 Carbon comes with full internal routing, including a design ready to take stealth-routed dropper posts. Even Pivot’s sponsored rider Matt Page uses a dropper post on his race bike – we reckon the weight penalty is worth it for all but the least technical XC courses.

There aren’t any internal sleeves for the cables. But the entry and exit ports are generously sized, so it looks as if it should be easy enough to get a little finger or a bent spoke in there to fish outers through.

The head tube is relatively long, giving a high-ish front end. Internal cable routing keeps things neat

Where the Mach 4 Carbon differs from many race-ready frames is that it’s fully Shimano XTR Di2 ready, with a dedicated battery mount in the down tube and easy electric cable routing. The front derailleur mount is also ready to take the new XTR Side Swing front derailleurs.

We only had a short ride on the bike, but we came away with positive impressions. The DW link suspension is taut and efficient, giving excellent climbing and more than capable descending. The 68/72 degree geometry with a (reported) 622mm top tube isn’t groundbreaking but is more than acceptable on a bike like this. We’re going to spend more time on the bike soon though, and there’ll be full reviews to follow.

The frame-only price from Upgrade Bikes is £2400 (or $2899 in the US), and various build kits will be available with Shimano SLX/XT, XT and SRAM XO gearing. A Di2 XTR build kit will be available when that comes to market too – expect eye-watering prices!

Phoenix Carbon DH

While we didn’t get a chance to ride the bike, Upgrade and Pivot bought along their new carbon DH weapon, the Phoenix Carbon.

With DW Link suspension and a carbon build, the Phoenix should be rapid when pointed down a hill, and features the now de rigeur 27.5” wheels. The Phoenix provides 204mm of rear wheel travel controlled by a Fox DHX RC4 coil-over rear shock.

DW link suspension gives 204mm of travel on the Phoenix Carbon DH

Full internal cable routing should keep you from snagging too many branches and twigs, while interestingly the frame is also compatible with stealth-routed dropper posts.

Pivot reckons that a full build with Fox 40 forks, Saint gearing and Maxxis DH rubber (although not the very burliest model) should come in at around 33.5lb – a fair weight for a full on DH bike.

The Phoenix Carbon DH will set you back £2700 ($3299 in the US).

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