Pivot Mach 6 Carbon – First Impressions

Photos Kaz Yamamura

The popular Mach 6 Carbon (aka the M6C) is Pivot’s 6″ travel, 27.5-wheeled do everything bike. Sliding in between the Phoenix downhill bike and the Mach 5.7, the M6C is designed to blend the best attributes of its immediate siblings. Many bikes out there promise to descend like a DH bike and climb like a trail bike but few deliver. Given that this is Pivot’s best selling bike maybe the M6C keeps that promise better than most.

With short sub-17″ chainstays, a low bottom bracket sitting at 13.6″ and a conservatively slack 66.5 degree head angle, the M6C doesn’t push the numbers too far. Everything looks good though and adding a Dave Weagle-designed suspension only boosts the on-paper promise.


The Pivot Mach 6C is a bike that’s chock full of neat details. From the well thought out cable routing, compact linkage and a carbon frame that looks ready to take a beating, Dress that up with XTR, carbon wheels and some fresh Fox goodies and you have a seriously drool worthy machine.

Like Brett Tippie in a Red Bull fridge, I was quite pleased when I took delivery of the top spec version of the M6C with new Shimano XTR, fresh 2016 Fox front and rear and a set of Reynolds Blacklabel carbon wheels. I went for the XL frame to get the reach I’ve grown to prefer. That is a size up from what I usually ride but after a few rides I think it was the right move. Built up like this the bike weighs in at 28.4lbs with pedals, which for such a large frame is pretty competitive.


Rear suspension is designed by Dave Weagle using his DW Link platform. The rear suspension was designed to tuck the linkage in tightly and maintain a sub-17″ rear chainstay. The short links and stout looking rear triangle give the sense that the frame should be nice and stiff. The frame will accept a direct mount front derailleur and the tab for that can be seen between the two linkages on the front triangle.


There are some fresh goodies on this bike and first up is the 2016 Fox Float X with the EVOL canister. The new air canister gives a clue that the shocks air spring has been tweaked and is touted to have a suppler start of stroke feel but give more support in the mid-stroke. From talking to Chris Cocalis, President and CEO of Pivot, the new shock should benefit riders of all levels.


There are not many of these XTR cranks in rotation with the Shimano 1x ring fitted so I was happy to get some time on them. Shimano is relying on the height and profile of the teeth for chain retention.


No narrow and wide teeth here. Time will tell if it holds the chain on as well as the competition.


A 2016 Fox 36 RC2 is the full meal deal when it comes to a front fork at this travel. With both high and low speed compression easily adjustable it should be easy to dial the fork into my riding style.


In case you are wondering, these are Pivot pivots. Quality hardware is used to keep the rear triangle connected to the front.


I usually ride a large frame but I jumped up to an XL on the M6C to get me the reach that I have come to like. The downside of this is a fairly long head tube so I am running the stem without any spacers beneath it. The Pivot branded bars are my favoured 800mm wide.


The new XTR brake levers and shifters have slimmed clamps to free up some more space on the bar. The carbon brake levers and shaved down housing save yet more grams from what was an already lightweight set up.


Bike jewellery anyone? Check out the finish on the XTR Trail caliper. More incremental improvements over the previous incarnation see the calipers gain some extra surface area to help dissipate heat.


This is our first close look at the Reynolds Blacklable 27.5 AM wheels. The carbon rims have a 31mm external and 23mm inner width and came set up tubeless. Apparently this is the same rim profile that the Pivot factory riders including “stoppie sunday” Bernard Kerr are riding.


This bike did not stay clean long. The Reynolds rims are laced up with bladed straight pull DT Aerolite spokes to DT 240 hubs making for a claimed 1525 gram wheelset, that’s damned light.


With a 32 toot front chainring and the XTR 11-40 tooth rear cassette my knees are complaining a little on the steep and technical climbs. There is a OneUp 45 tooth cog that may see its way onto this bike.


This build comes with a KS LEV Integra dropper post. This is a post that I have on my personal bike and I like the simplicity of the bar mounted lever. Plus it plays nicely with the Shimano brake lever.


The downtube is protected from the rockier elements with a must have area of protection. The bottom bracket is a pressfit model and the frame makes full use of the available width to support the bearings.


This ‘stealth carbon’ version of the frame mutes the M6C graphics a little for a more subtle looking machine. The internal routing is for the dropper post and derailleur cables, with the rear brake line routed externally under the top tube.

The Pivot Mach 6 Carbon is available in 8 different builds starting at $4,599 USD with a Shimano SLX build with a frame only option setting you back $2,999 USD. The build as seen here with the Reynolds wheel upgrade is a wallet melting $8,749 USD. Expensive for sure but the opportunity to get some proper time in riding the new XTR and the new Fox suspension is something that we could not turn down.

Solid build on a much-loved bike. Are you a Mach 6 Carbon fan?

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Got a Mach 6 last spring. Love this bike for tight forest techy riding. Climbs tech well. Very light and very efficient.

Bombs downhill with grace. I have my suspension setup on the firm/fast rebound side of things so my bike works best when I go fast.

I love a one-bike-to-rule-them-all rig without the need to mess with a climbing switch.

As we hammer down stupid rough steep trails - BC XC - I'm glad I got this bike.



Did you encounter any creaking sounds coming from the cassette? I have the exact same drivetrain on my bike and after two months of use my "bling, bling" cassette is making unbearable noises, especially on lower gears.



Worst cable routing eva!. Well not quite the worst, but right up there. I shall reserve a palce in hell for that designer right next to those designers that use 1.5mm allen key shit on mtbs.



I don't think any of the bike manufacture's have got the cable routing right. Which is rather unusual. Some of them are OK if you don't mind segmented cables, But here in BC I prefer the whole uninterrupted cable housing.



I have a 2015 Giant Anthem SX with internal cable routing I'm very happy with. You may want to take a look at Giant's 2015 cable routing.



I have a Mach 6 and have very few complaints, but ya the cable routing bites.

I pulled the rear cables/housing out of the frame and ran them conventionally. Works perfectly. Easy to maintain replace without messing with the shock and doesn't rub on the shock body.

Next time I replace the rear der cable I'll drill out the last cable stop and run full length housing. Running housing everywhere, but the last 12″ where the rear wheel is churning up muck is dumb.



I love my Mojo HD (-1.5 degree angelset, CCDBA, Pikes) and the way it storms down and can push it up the hills without much effort too. Looking to upgrade to a 650b and am keen on the Mach 6 (looks so similar to what I have….dumb eh?!) and HD3. How does the Mach 6 compare? Is the DW v5 on the Mach 6?



@Obsession bikes we sell both Pivot and Ibis. Ibis was the company that got us onto DW links and Pivot took us into 650B ( in a big way ). Bikes and bike companies evolve and The Ibis HD3 and the Pivot Mach 6 are both good examples of this. If you check out the Geo's the two bikes are very similar yet still there are differences. The Pivot is a slacker 66 , the Ibis 66.6. The reach per size - different. BB height and chain stay length are shockingly similar. The one spec that of course you can not read is the feel. I believe this has a lot to do with how the rear shock flows through its stroke and how the chain is impacted by the design of the rear end. These are hard points to quantify. I could blab on about feel to you but unless we are clones you would still have to take it with a grain of salt. You can test both yourself at Obsession as we have developed a test track in our hood which does a good job of defining a bikes handling and feel. We have dirt ready demos in Pivot and Trek.



James covered this pretty well below and I'm lucky enough to have ridden the Ibis HD3 a little too, so when the full review comes along I will have a good reference point. Lots of factors go in to how a bike feels but the DW Link bikes seem to all be blessed with an ability to hide their travel when needed and feel responsive to pedal inputs.



Thanks for those stunning, up close pics! What a perfect build.
Looking forward to the review of the new XTR group. Hard to believe Shimano could top its previous XTR.


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