Pivot Mach 4 SL Review – A Bikepacking Rocket Ship

So I`ve had the privilege of testing out Pivot`s full suspension XC race bike.
The bike now comes in two versions, a World Cup Race Rocket built around 95 or 103 millimeters of rear travel, which is easily adjusted via a flip chip on the rocker link, which also comes with a hundred millimeter fork.
And their Trail Build built around 106 or 115 millimeters of rear travel with a 120 millimeter fork.

The Trail version is, well, made to up the fun level while still maintaining that quick nature of the World Cup version.
And the Trail version was the version I tested and I kept it at 115 millimeters of rear travel throughout my whole test period.
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pivot mach 4 sl review

I fall right in the middle of Pivot`s size chart for a medium bike.
My wheelhouse is usually in the 450, 460 millimeter reach range on a full suspension bike.
So, Pivot ended up sending a medium and after pedaling it, it was clear that this bike is indeed a rocket ship.

One of the fastest, if not the fastest, full suspension bikes I have pedaled.
My forearms and wrists had so much pressure moving forward that I basically felt like I was gonna go over the bars.
So, I ended up pedaling the bike for a month or so on and off, but I still really couldn`t get over that feeling even after swapping two wider bars.
So, I told Pivot I wanted to test the large, and I know this was a big ask, but I`m thrilled I did because I instantly felt better, especially after I put wider bars on and swapped the 60 millimeter stock stem for a 50.
I just felt much more in the middle of the bike and perhaps the medium World Cup version with that 450 millimeter reach would`ve worked for me, but I really wanted to test the less racy version, so I went with this large Trail version.

Alright, so one of the defining features of the Mach 4 SL is how it maintains that quick responsive feel through challenging climbs and made quick power moves essentially more efficient, increasing my confidence on this bike.

Climbing technical rock features with step ups or rough rock obstacles is certainly more doable thanks to the lightweight nature of the Mach 4 SL, the DW-link, and the position the geometry puts me in.
The bike track`s so well giving me all of the confidence in the world to power up a move and pedal knowing that that rear tire will continue to grip and move me forward.

However, one thing that I did notice was despite the bike usually kind of sitting higher in the rear travel from time to time, if I was between two technical sections with pretty low speed, I found it would kind of get stuck in the travel, lowering the travel, and I would hit my crank arm.
So, while power moves are one thing just as important and something that ups the fun factor is having a bike that can confidently handle high speeds up or down.

While the Mach 4 SL is certainly no Hayduke LVS, it does offer enough length to certainly keep my speed up while maintaining adequate control through corners and (indistinct).

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