Pivot Cycles has unveiled a new carbon fiber version of its popular Mach 5.7 trail bike with the same 145mm (5.7in) of rear wheel travel and low-slung geometry but now with a claimed frame weight of just 2.27kg (5.0lb) – a drop of about 270g (0.6lb) versus the alloy version.
Pivot is using carbon fiber for both the front and rear triangles of the Mach 5.7 Carbon and while a composite frame was perhaps long overdue, the company has reaped the benefits of recent technological developments including the use of internal molds for more precise control of tube wall dimensions and material compaction.
Careful selection of fiber types and lay-up schedules help protect the frame from impact but Pivot has also incorporated "rubberized leather" protectors on the down tube underside, chain stay, and inner seat stay.
While the new frame is lighter, Pivot marketing manager Tim Jackson says the benefits of switching to carbon go beyond just weight.
"It's not a vast weight difference," he told Cyclingnews. "The difference is in the ride characteristic of carbon – it's a bit stiffer, has the lower vibration of carbon and with the integrated frame protector, it's mighty quiet, too."
Pivot has also added a 142x12mm thru-axle rear end to the new Mach 5.7 Carbon – including an elegant forged 7075-T6 aluminum derailleur hanger with integrated threads for the skewer – a high direct-mount front derailleur for easier positioning, direct 160mm post mount rear disc caliper tabs, and extra routing for a dropper seatpost.
The fully enclosed carbon fiber rear triangle is attached to the carbon main frame with two stout links - one aluminum and one carbon fiber
As with the alloy Mach 5.7, the new frame will also feature a tapered head tube with internal cups, a 92mm-wide bottom bracket shell with press-fit bearing cups, a notably compact front triangle for extra standover clearance, and the same low and slack geometry that's expected to deliver similarly agile and stable handling. According to Pivot, the Mach 5.7 Carbon is optimized for use with 140-150mm travel forks.
Naturally, Pivot has endowed the Mach 5.7 Carbon with the same dw-link rear suspension design, too, with built-in anti-squat geometry (that supposedly minimizes pedal strikes despite the low 335mm/13.2in bottom bracket height). Based on test rides of Pivot's existing range, we also expect the new Mach 5.7 Carbon to provide superb pedaling performance as well.
Pivot is apparently quite confident in those pedaling characteristics themselves as the Mach 5.7 Carbon will come with a Kashima-coated Fox Racing Shox RP23 Boost Valve rear shock will go without the company's latest Adaptive Logic feature, instead sticking with the traditional full-open and variable ProPedal-on switch instead of the variable ProPedal-on and full lockout settings.
Unfortunately, though, Pivot currently has not included any provision for a chain guide on the Mach 5.7 Carbon so while we expect it to be an outstanding trail bike, more rigorous downhill performance may have to wait.
"At this time, it is not possible to use a chain guide," Jackson admitted. "That could change with a revision in the future, but not at the moment – similar to Mach 4." Pivot will offer the new Mach 5.7 Carbon in five sizes and three colors beginning this October with complete bikes ranging from US$4,299 with Shimano SLX/Deore XT up to a SRAM XX build for US$7,399. Bare framesets will run US$2,599 with the rear shock and 'frame kits' will cost US$3,379 with a Fox 32 Float 150 RLC Kashima 15QR fork, Pivot headset, and bottom bracket.
This article first appeared on BikeRadar