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Interbike 2010: Pivot Cycles slims down, lengthens up in '11

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The revamped Pivot Cycles Mach 5.7 has more travel than before, is more stable at speed, and is lighter, too.

The revamped Pivot Cycles Mach 5.7 has more travel than before, is more stable at speed, and is lighter, too.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Enormous 17mm and 19mm axles mark each pivot of the Phoenix DH.

Enormous 17mm and 19mm axles mark each pivot of the Phoenix DH.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Liberal machining, revamped frame configurations, and newly forged rear triangle struts help trim a lot of weight from last year's Mach 5.

Liberal machining, revamped frame configurations, and newly forged rear triangle struts help trim a lot of weight from last year's Mach 5.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The Firebird-like top tube boosts front triangle stiffness and increases standover clearance as well.

The Firebird-like top tube boosts front triangle stiffness and increases standover clearance as well.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Part of the secret to Pivot frames' unusually high stiffness is the 92mm-wide press-fit bottom bracket shell and similarly wide main pivot geometry.

Part of the secret to Pivot frames' unusually high stiffness is the 92mm-wide press-fit bottom bracket shell and similarly wide main pivot geometry.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The Mach 429 is unchanged from last year but is continuing to gain in popularity - especially in Europe.

The Mach 429 is unchanged from last year but is continuing to gain in popularity - especially in Europe.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Interchangeable dropouts on the Phoenix DH allow for tunable geometry.

Interchangeable dropouts on the Phoenix DH allow for tunable geometry.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Pivot Cycles' latest Phoenix DH is aimed at full-blown World Cup-style downhill race courses.

Pivot Cycles' latest Phoenix DH is aimed at full-blown World Cup-style downhill race courses.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The Cane Creek AngleSet headset allows for up to 2.75

The Cane Creek AngleSet headset allows for up to 2.75
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The burly central chassis on the Phoenix DH is said to provide excellent front-to-rear stiffness.

The burly central chassis on the Phoenix DH is said to provide excellent front-to-rear stiffness.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Pivot Cycles again uses a dw-link suspension but in a more gravity-oriented tune for the Phoenix DH.

Pivot Cycles again uses a dw-link suspension but in a more gravity-oriented tune for the Phoenix DH.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The forged uprights on the rear triangle aim to keep the rear end tracking true.

The forged uprights on the rear triangle aim to keep the rear end tracking true.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The Mach 5.7 has a newly tapered head tube.

The Mach 5.7 has a newly tapered head tube.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Pivot Cycles head Chris Cocalis says the revamped Mach 5.7 frame has dropped 230g from last year's version.

Pivot Cycles head Chris Cocalis says the revamped Mach 5.7 frame has dropped 230g from last year's version.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Pivot's do-all Firebird model sports 167mm (6.6") of rear wheel travel and versatile geometry.

Pivot's do-all Firebird model sports 167mm (6.6") of rear wheel travel and versatile geometry.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Pivot has revised the ISCG setup on the Firebird for better chain retention when in the inner chainring.

Pivot has revised the ISCG setup on the Firebird for better chain retention when in the inner chainring.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Pivot beefed up the Firebird's carbon fiber upper link in mid-season to better handle the growing number of riders using coil-over shocks.

Pivot beefed up the Firebird's carbon fiber upper link in mid-season to better handle the growing number of riders using coil-over shocks.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The 2011 Pivot Mach 4 drops 300g (0.625lb) from the previous version while also boasting a claimed 20 percent boost in torsional stiffness for even more precise handling than before.

The 2011 Pivot Mach 4 drops 300g (0.625lb) from the previous version while also boasting a claimed 20 percent boost in torsional stiffness for even more precise handling than before.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The new Pivot Mach 4 gets a tapered head tube for 2011.

The new Pivot Mach 4 gets a tapered head tube for 2011.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Pivot's Mach 4 retains the dw-link rear suspension design but revised linkage geometry supposedly yields better ground tracking.

Pivot's Mach 4 retains the dw-link rear suspension design but revised linkage geometry supposedly yields better ground tracking.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The new asymmetrical chain stay yoke is heavily machined and the lower link gets a dose of carbon.

The new asymmetrical chain stay yoke is heavily machined and the lower link gets a dose of carbon.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Pivot still uses a seat stay bridge on the revised Mach 4 to retain rear end stiffness.

Pivot still uses a seat stay bridge on the revised Mach 4 to retain rear end stiffness.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Pivot fits the updated Mach 4 with a shorter-stroke shock than before.

Pivot fits the updated Mach 4 with a shorter-stroke shock than before.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The Pivot Mach 4 is also available in an XXS size for more slightly built riders.

The Pivot Mach 4 is also available in an XXS size for more slightly built riders.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Even though the rear shock is amply surrounded by heaps of metal, all of the adjustments are still easily accessible for tuning.

Even though the rear shock is amply surrounded by heaps of metal, all of the adjustments are still easily accessible for tuning.
(Image credit: James Huang)

Pivot Cycles' Mach 4 cross-country and marathon racing flagship has undergone a much needed diet for 2011, dropping a substantial 300g and bringing the total frame and shock weight down to a much more appropriate 2.5kg (5.5lb).

Even so, Pivot Cycles president Chris Cocalis says torsional frame stiffness has actually gone up by about 20 percent over what was already a remarkably true-tracking chassis.

Changes to the front triangle include a tapered 1 1/8"-to-1 1/2" head tube, a more curvaceous top tube shape borrowed from the longer-travel Firebird, and slimmed-down shock mounts and cable guides.

Out back the updates are even more extensive with newly forged uprights on the rear triangle, a much more dramatically relieved chain stay yoke, and asymmetrical chain stays, all whilst retaining the previous version's carbon fibre upper link, wide-format machined aluminum-and-carbon fiber lower link, and cartridge bearing pivots all around.

Cocalis says changes to the Mach 4 suspension geometry yields a more efficient ride, both in terms of pedaling performance and bump-eating capabilities. Shock stroke shortens across the board as compared to the 2010 version - making for slightly higher leverage ratios than before - but the Fox RP23's revamped valving supposedly makes for a more dynamic range of ride characteristics across the ProPedal adjustment range.

According to Cocalis, the changes will be most noticeable in the higher ProPedal positions where riders will notice similar resistance to bob as before but lower blowoff thresholds when actual bumps are encountered.

Last year's Mach 5 trail bike extends its reach a bit for 2011 with a slight 5mm bump in rear wheel travel and a subsequent name change to the Mach 5.7 (though it's a bit misleading as last year's Mach 5 actually had 5.5" of travel). As with the Mach 4, the Mach 5.7 also drops a sizeable 230g of weight from before and yet improves torsional stiffness - and thus handling precision - by a claimed 20 percent.

In comparison to its predecessor though, the more significant updates are the revised frame geometry - which now includes a 10mm-lower bottom bracket and slackened head tube for improved high speed stability - and the new rear suspension geometry that's designed to sit a bit further into the travel than before.

Again like the Mach 4, the new Mach 5.7 also gains a tapered head tube, a Firebird-like top tube, and a completely revamped rear triangle with forged uprights, heavily machined yokes, and asymmetrical chain stays.

Updates to the versatile Firebird all-mountain machine are more subtle, including a beefier carbon fibre upper link that more readily accommodates coil-sprung rear shocks - and the more aggressive riding styles that generally accompany them - and a revised front derailleur pivot mechanism that runs quieter than before.

The ISCG tab positions have been tweaked too, while an improved chain guide system offers better chain retention off the inner ring.

Finally there's the recently introduced Phoenix DH, which uses the same dw-link rear suspension design as on the rest of the Pivot Cycles range but with revamped pivot positions to yield 207mm of travel and an overall feel better suited to its World Cup downhill racing intentions.

Frame construction is suitably robust with healthily proportioned aluminum tube sizes throughout plus an especially stout central chassis that houses both the upper and lower links as well as the coil-sprung rear shock.

The 17mm and 19mm pivot axles plus dual-row cartridge bearings throughout keep flex at a minimum and despite the rear shock's tucked-in positioning, logically placed cutouts and openings still leave all of the adjustments readily accessible.

Geometry is highly customisable with interchangeable thru-axle rear dropouts that allow for tunable wheelbase and bottom bracket height and the front end with also come with a Cane Creek Angleset headset that can provide 2.75 degrees of head tube adjustment.

The Phoenix DH won't be available to consumers until January but the rest of the Pivot Cycles collection - which includes the unchanged Mach 429 full-suspension 29er - is currently in production and available for purchase now.