Pivot’s Mach 5 is a fantastic trail bike but the new 5.7 offers some extensive and aggressive tweaks. Versatility is one of the Mach 5.7’s trump cards but that doesn’t do the fun factor justice. It offers lunatic descents and effortless climbs in a great-looking, lightweight package. It isn’t cheap but it’s a superb bike for the cash.
Ride & handling: Flattens out terrain that would have lesser bikes cringing
We ﬁrst tried the 5.7 on the racetrack-smooth trails of Bootleg Canyon, Nevada and it shone. On the rocky slopes of the UK's Lake District though, we were blown away. We were fans of the Mach 5 but this felt like a different animal.
With a shorter stem and wider bars fitted than the standard FSA combo, the custom tuned rear shock combines with the awesome dw-link suspension design and conﬁdence-inspiring fork to ﬂatten out terrain that would have some more aggressive all-mountain bikes cringing. Mud clearance isn’t great once the going gets sloppy though.
Despite its light weight, the Pivot munches along the top of tricky ground and carries speed superbly well. It’s not just point-and-shoot though – you’re involved throughout. Once into the corners, the slacker head angle and shorter back end plant you right in there.
We’d have maybe gone slightly slacker again for all-mountain hooning, but from a trail riding point of view it’s hard to fault. The 5.7 has been designed to work just as well around a 150mm (5.9in) fork, which would slacken things out. With the ProPedal platform damping set on the third setting, the dw-link is still one of the most efﬁcient climbing suspension platforms out there.
Frame & equipment: Lighter and stiffer chassis, plus SRAM's excellent X0 kit
The 5.7 might not look immediately different to the 5 but the changes are formidable. Travel is up to 145mm (5.7in) from 140mm (5.5in), frame weight has been slashed by 0.5lb and the diameters of the top and down tubes have been increased to improve stiffness. The head tube height has been raised and now comes in tapered format.
The back end has been reworked too, with shorter chainstays, a hydroformed cross brace and eight cartridge bearings in the lower dw-link. The upper is still formed from carbon ﬁbre and the Fox RP23 rear shock has been tuned for optimum ProPedal efﬁciency.
Our 5.7 came dripping in SRAM X0 kit. The shifting is bullet-fast – so quick that it’s easy to overdo it at ﬁrst. The X0 brakes do an impressive job, despite being mated to relatively small rotors, and handle heat build-up well.
The fact that they’re only hauling a bike weighing 12.1kg (26.7lb – without pedals) helps. The Fox 32 Float fork equipped with the FIT cartridge is truly superb. The only niggle was the 90mm FSA SL-K stem and carbon bar combo, which felt too long and ﬂat.