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  1. #1
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    Quick Mach 6 demo/comparison to HD

    I love my HD of 3 years but am curious about the whole 650b thing and the HDR leaves me dry. Not enough travel. The Pivot Mach 6 piqued my interest and I demo'd one a Large 6 today.

    Good:

    Geometry is dialed. They did have an 80 mm stem on which is just silly long in my book.

    Suspension is excellent. A bit more progressive than my HD which is appreciated. I blow through the entire travel too easily on my HD on jumps even with the proper 30% sag. I added 5 cc oil to my DHX Air but I should look into the Fox Volume Spacer kit to make it more progressive.

    650b is legit. First time I ever rode anything but 20" and 24" BMX (7 years), 26" MTB and 700c road (23 years). The improved rollover was noticed in chunk and chunder.

    Pedalling - every bit as good as my HD. DW link is perfect. I anticipated more pedal feedback in the granny gear as I believe the axle path to be more rearward on the Mach 6. This expectation didn't materialize.

    So-so:

    The cable management lived up to my negative anticipation. There were witness marks and clear evidence of prior rubbing around the shock yoke. They have since routed the cables with small standoffs in the zip ties and this seemed to alleviate that issue but I still think it would required a carefully contrived nest of zip ties to keep everything off the yoke and shock shaft and still moving smoothly.

    Somewhat ugly:

    The rear end/wheel stiffness seemed insufficient for my tastes. As a caveat, the bike was neutered with a silly Honey Badger tire on the rear. Combine that w/ the fact that the O'Neil demo doesn't have the terrain to blast berms or slam it into turns and to be fair I didn't notice it on the trail.

    But carving or small kick slides back on pavement and I could feel the rear end torqueing and winding up. I dismounted and pushed laterally on the rear wheel and it flexed fairly easily all the way to the seat stay. There were witness mark of prior tire rub. Mind you, this is even with that relatively narrow Honey Badger tire. As best I could discern visually, the flex was coming from both the wheel (relative to the rear end) and the rear end (relative to the seat tube).

    All in all I really like this bike and want to try another demo for a longer period and on rougher trails. At this point the downside of the rear flex outweighs the 650b advantage for me and I'm sticking with my HD but YMMV.

  2. #2
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    Thanks for the review. It might be on my test ride list for MTB4Her, but we'll have to see what's available at Sea Otter, Santa Cruz MTB festival, and other demo days locally.


    This would be a deal breaker for me:

    The rear end/wheel stiffness seemed insufficient for my tastes.
    Coming off a Ventana to the Ibis Mojo HD, which are both stiff bikes in the rear, this would be very noticable. I'm even thinking of getting the Lopes links if they didn't come with my bike, because the rear needs to be as stiff as possible.

    I still think the long travel 650B has a while to mature, but the shorter travel (100-140mm) is much more ready for market right now. But I think in the next year or two that will change.
    MTB4Her.com: mountain bike site for women, by women

  3. #3
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    My guess is that you were demoing on a bad wheel build/loose spokes. The rear wheel on my HD with the XT build kit was in equally bad shape when I first received the bike (~2.5 years ago). I immediately took the wheels to a reputable local wheel builder, and have been riding them since. Eventually, I will get those wheels rebuilt from scratch since the rear wheel still has an out of round wobble to it. Could be a similar issue with the Mach6 rear wheel. It's probably difficult to separate out wheel from frame flex unless you start with a known-good wheel. I know with my HD it was not obvious at first either aside from the creaking spokes when railing corners. LOL

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by dodger View Post
    The rear end/wheel stiffness seemed insufficient for my tastes.
    I agree with robertj....gotta be a rear wheel issue. Every Pivot I've ridden (Mach 5, 5.7, 5.7c, 429, and 429c) were all hella stiff in the rear end...can't imagine that they'd accept anything less from the their 6" travel enduro bike..... not that I'm trying to talk you out of your HD...

  5. #5
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    I felt zero flex from the rear end of the Mach 6 I tested. My Specialized Enduro on the other hand....

  6. #6
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    Im not in the market for a new bike, HD is still going strong, but I've been reading up on the 27.5's. Seems like Pivot really nailed what a lot of people want with the Mach 6 (although the cable routing does look funky and I like full length housings). Looks like many bike builders are going 140 or shorter travel and claiming the wheel size makes the travel feel like more. Perhaps it does but when I rode a short travel niner it still felt like a short travel bike with big wheels.

    The geometry of the Mach 6 looks good, long top tube, low BB height and plenty of travel. I really hope Ibis steps up by the time I'm ready to buy again-if the 26" is really getting phased out I'd prefer to have a 150-160 27.5 from Ibis. If not I'll bet we see more bikes with similar specs to the Mach 6 in the future, of course Turner is the only other one with the fantastic DW link so I'll probably be on one of these three.

    I"ve never heard a complaint of Pivots being flexy, biggest negative I've heard is that they are designed to ride more firmly and can lack small bump compliance. As other said I bet you had a crappy rear wheel on that bike.

  7. #7
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    There is a significant change in the small bump compliance on the Mach 6 vs other Pivots.

  8. #8
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    The Pivot folks somewhat flipantly chalked it up to the wheel. That said, the axle and spokes were all tight. This was with the stock DT 350 wheel that they spec the bike with. Side by side push the rear wheel laterally comparison with my 3 yr old HD and I'd estimate the Mach 6 to flex 50% more. I could see the stays flexing relative to the seat tube as well as the wheel flexing.

  9. #9
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    Probably the M1900 wheels..... if you've got 26" wheels on your HD, using ....say.... a 32 hole Stan's flow rim, then the DT Spline M1900 wheels should be noticeably less stiff based on the narrower rim (19mm int.), larger diameter wheel, and lower spoke count of 28.... that DT rim may not even be welded like a Flow is.

    ....again, not doubting your experience or trying to be argumentative... your HD probably was stiffer in the rear.... but there are several possible reasons why at least some portion of the flexiness you noticed was wheel related.

    Again, I haven't ridden the Mach 6, but EVERY other bike Pivot's made since their inception has been noticeably above average in rear end stiffness. Now if the rear end on a Mach 6 frame really can be flexed noticeably by hand, doesn't that give all the Ibis owners on MTBR free license to go start flaming the Pivot forum about how crappy and flexible their stuff is?? Turn about's fair play, right? .... just sayin'

    Seriously, I wouldn't advocate that. Both brands make the best of the best and I'd be happy riding any one of several bikes from either company.

    Dodger, isn't it nice though, when you go and try out something that everybody is raving about being the best thing since sliced bread.....and you end up liking your old faithful better anyway? I just had that experience on an Ibis Ripley vs my 650 Mojo.... great way to quell the bike lust!

  10. #10
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    and another thing
    I bet that rear end flex is nothing a Derby 40mm rim wouldn't fix!

  11. #11
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    It was the XT equipped bike and the wheels were the spec'd DT 1700s. The DT site rates those for AM use but doesn't give a rim width spec? A 1775g wheelset isn't particular lightweight these days. The larger diameter and smaller spoke count could definitely be at play, I don't have any experience with anything other than 26" to which to compare.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by doismellbacon View Post
    and another thing
    I bet that rear end flex is nothing a Derby 40mm rim wouldn't fix!
    I will give you a definitive answer on that in a few weeks!

  13. #13
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    I own a Mach 5.7c and an HD. Both bikes are stiffer than a school boy on prom night. I wouldn't base an opinion on one persons negative perception.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salespunk View Post
    I will give you a definitive answer on that in a few weeks!
    Yeah, until then I'll just be imagining how sick your Mach 6 is going to be.....let's see...take the carbon DW-Link Derby formula I'm already lovin', add an inch of travel, drop the BB, slack the HA a degree, add 2 bushels of stiffness....kinda gives me goose bumps.... I know you'll be good about posting porn-laden ride reports

    Good times to be a MTBer, kids!

  15. #15
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    Amen brotha!

  16. #16
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    Still wish they had done a better job of the cable routing, I still think Santa Cruz do this best, and the Bronson for 27.5 and maybe the Solo nail it for me, would love to test both back to back, can you get those into your stable as well SP and report back!



    had a top ride on my HD last night btw

    Short review M6 by Flow

  17. #17
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    I have access to one if you really want a comparison. Let me know and I will set it up.

  18. #18
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    And just because the Pivot forum is pretty slow a little Mach 6 action for you. This is my buddy doing things that I will never do


  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salespunk View Post
    I have access to one if you really want a comparison. Let me know and I will set it up.
    Definitely dude, would love to hear a comparison to the M6 v Bronson
    ideally similar spec fork if poss Pikes haha.

    Not that Im in the market, love my HD not changing it.
    But Im still a gear geek even if Im not a wheel size geek, be good to hear what you think of the Float X as well.


  20. #20
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    Quick Mach 6 demo/comparison to HD

    Haven't ridden the Mach 6 but all reports are suggesting the Mach 6 is slightly more downhill biased vs. Bronson and the Bronson slightly quicker on the up. I think I'm going Bronson from my HD because I still want to be quick on the ups. The shorter wheelbase on the Mach is tempting though. And at 6'2" I'm still debating the TBLT. Good decisions to be making

  21. #21
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    The Bronson will be setup with a Pike and XX1 so it should be a very direct comparison with my HD and then the Mach 6.

  22. #22
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    Awesome bud

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