Drop dead gorgeous the 5.5 is a winner at the bike trend bingo.
With the Pivot Mach 5.5 the brand waited seven years before deeming itself ready to bring out the successor its most popular bike ever, the Mach 5.7.
Pivot Mach 5.5 Pro need to know
- Pivot’s new 140mm trail bike that slots in between the Mach 429 and the Mach 6.
- Geometry designed around a 160mm suspension fork and 27.5in wheels.
- Carbon Boost rear end capable of fitting up to 2.6in tyres.
- Available as frame only or in nine different complete builds.
- Generous sag means it rides slacker and lower than the numbers suggest.
Enter the Mach 5.5. It looks drop dead gorgeous but this isn’t just a face-lift, this is a bike aimed squarely at the modern trail rider.
It’s also ready to win at bike-trend bingo: 27.5×2.6in semi-plus tyres, tick. Boost dropout spacing, tick. Integration for Shimano Di2 and Fox Live, double tick. Space for a full-sized bottle in all frame sizes, tick. House!
Some things have stayed the same though; most importantly the Mach 5.5 retains Pivot’s signature DW-link suspension design. Delivering 140mm of travel this twin-linkage system endows the Mach 5.5 with impressive pedaling and climbing capabilities, without impacting on its ability when bombing through the rough stuff.
At the UK launch at the Forest of Dean, a fast lap of the red Freeminers trail found me forgetting about the lockout on the shock, even for the steep climbs.
Pedal feedback is so minimal even when stomping up hill out of the saddle, and it really does climb like an XC bike.
Being just over six foot I would normally opt for an XL Pivot, but the geometry on the Mach 5.5 has been tweaked so the size large now has a much more appealing 460mm reach, opening up the cockpit to a much wider audience.
On paper the relatively tall BB height should cause alarm bells to go off, but Pivot gets round this by opting for an increased amount of sag (the bike comes with a handy sag meter attached) on the rear shock. This approach makes the bike sit into its travel a little more, dropping the dynamic BB height to an acceptable level while slackening out the head angle further.
Typical to Pivot, the Mach 5.5 is available in an extensive number of build configurations spread over three levels; Team, Pro and Race.
The top two tiers come with a new wheelset that’s a combined effort between Reynolds and Pivot. The wheels use Industry Nine hubs for almost instantaneous pickup and the 36mm internal rim width means there’s no problem running 2.5/2.6in tyres.
The DW-link design on the Pivot really helps gets the most out of the 140mm of travel, small bump suppleness is superb and the mid-stroke is super easy to access.
The suspension also ramps up nicely through the remaining travel, so even on larger drops to flat, there’s no harsh bottom out. Combined with the 160mm Float 36 fork the Mach 5.5 encourages you to push harder than you feel you should on a 140mm bike.
In fact, it feels totally sure-footed pushing through typical trail centre tracks thanks in no small part to the grippy Maxxis Minion DHF/Rekon tyre combo.
As you can probably tell, I really enjoyed riding the Mach 5.5 and didn’t want to relinquish it at the end of the day. It really ignited my fun burners, but it also raised a major question; who it’s really aimed at? With a longer fork than most pure trail bikes and less rear-end travel than an enduro specific design, the new Pivot Mach 5.5 almost needs its own category.