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  1. #1
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    Mach 5 - how hard to push it safely - AM/Downhill?

    Now that I'm sort of opening up into what a full susp bike can do I'm wondering what the limits on a Mach 5 are.

    I realize that the Firebird is for AM / Downhill kind of stuff, but the Mach 5 is what I have and most of what I do is Trail and the Mach 5 is certainly perfect for 90% of what I do.

    Okay, but I am now doing trails like Braille in Northern California Soquel-Demo which offers repeated 3 foot drops, some 4s and tons of, well, what certainly seems like downhill to me, AM at the very least.

    I had the o-ring on the rear shock come off the back once, but otherwise it was usually about 1 - 3 mm from the end.

    Is the Mach 5 up for, lets say, 10 3-foot drops and overall downhilling once a month?

    Where would you not use it? Repeated 4 foot drops?

    I do have Minion 2.5 inch tires which certainly helps in these conditions. Its funny in the same week going from RaceKings to 2.5 inch Maxxis downhill tires.

    What happens when the o-ring comes off? Does bottoming the shock hurt it? Is it meant to be bottomed, or is the idea only to get the o ring onto the last mm? I know push has a nice elastomer you can put in for final big drop capability.

  2. #2
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    Reputation: swinkey's Avatar
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    I've ridden Braille (on my Firebird) and you should have no problem with that type of trail on your Mach 5.

  3. #3
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    It has a 135mm rear axle. That is made first to keep a bike light and nimble. Keep in mind you are ony going to be able to hang-it-out so much with a QR wheel. Otherwise you have yourself a very, very aggresive trail bike.

  4. #4
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    I have a 150 Talas front shock with 15qr and the DT thru-bolt rear thingy with Tricon 1550 wheels, so no quick releases here!

    It makes the bike extremely versatile, amazing... I can put on road tires, and 2.5s fit really well... (21 mm internal width on the Tricons)

  5. #5
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    Currently, my Mach 5 is my one "do it all" bike. I have two sets of wheels for it - one for my XC and endurance races and one for my more aggressive riding, which includes the lifts at Big Bear and Mammoth. I have a 150 mm Revelation Team U-Turn and adjust it accordingly.

    The bike does not shine at the extremes, but it does fine. It does excel on anything in the middle - from normal trail riding to Super D races.

    I am considering switching out to two bikes - an XC racer (new Mach 4 or Blur XC) and a 6" All-Mountain bike (Firebird or Chilcotin), but I cannot get myself to leave my Mach 5 and certainly cannot justify having 3 bikes.

    The Mach 5 handles 3 to 4 foot drops no problem. I have mine set up with 30% sag and only on the biggest hits do I drop the ring off the bottom of the shock. As long as you are not bottoming out hard, I do not think that it is a problem using the entire travel.

    I used to get nearly all of the travel on my Revelation, but I recently had it serviced and I am only getting about 90% on the big hits now even though I am running the same settings and sag. Maybe there is a bit too much oil?

    Overall, I have been very happy with the bike. It sometimes has a bit of an XC bias, but I can live with that since it is such an efficient bike. I demoed a ton of bikes before I bought my Mach 5 and tested them all on the same 10 mile singletrack loop that I ride all the time, which includes well over 1,000 ft of climing and some 3 foot drops and everything else in-between. The bottom line was was that the Mach 5 was faster (for me) than any other bike that I demoed- 5 Spot, Mojo SL, Tracer, Blur LT and Stumpjumper.

  6. #6
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    If you are running the suggested sag with the stock shock and have only knocked the o-ring off once... you are gonna be fine man.

    Remember, Lopes was setting record runs with his 140mm travel Mojo on A-line.....
    "It looks flexy"

  7. #7
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    Is the Mach 5 up for, lets say, 10 3-foot drops and overall downhilling once a month?
    That can't be a real question...

    Ride the bike until something breaks. When that happens, you will know what the bike can take and can't take with you riding it.

    As far as 3 foot drops go? My Schwinn 10 speed from the mid 80's can handle 3 foot drops all day long. I don't see why the Mach 5 wouldn't. It's 3 feet.

    Yes, steel is most certainly stronger than aluminum EVERY time.
    ~Frosty Struthers

  8. #8
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    Well, for a 22 yr xc-only guy, 3 feet took a bit of nerve to do the first time. If you are ever in the SF area give Braille a run, its amazing. If you brake something, give us a post. I mean bones, not bike parts .

    I went from a hardtail last year to a 2010 Mach 5, so that is quite a change.
    Last edited by LightMiner; 02-12-2011 at 12:11 AM.

  9. #9
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    12x150mm is the biggest axle a frame is built for & 12x135mm is more stout, much better than the std. 135mm axle. Either/or once you start putting your bike through the paces seat your axles before rides as a routine.
    If you are wondering if you should change and get a full-face helmet to ride a chair-lift with the bike -- I'd be conservative and tell you not to take it to a DH park. If you have trail that flows like DH runs, go for it!

    As the bike weighs 26lbs as is, it is light.
    As my Iron Horse 6POINT weighs 37.74lbs, I am jealous.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by LightMiner
    I have a 150 Talas front shock with 15qr and the DT thru-bolt rear thingy with Tricon 1550 wheels, so no quick releases here!

    It makes the bike extremely versatile, amazing... I can put on road tires, and 2.5s fit really well... (21 mm internal width on the Tricons)
    I have the same setup and have ridden all the trails in the Demo Forest. Your bike will handle it all day long with no problems.
    Because, one is never enough.

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