Long Termers: Benji’s Pivot Mach 4

November 29, 2010

Trying to sort the lengths.

Pivot Mach 4
From: Upgrade Bikes
Price: £1,599
(frame only)

After a few more spins on the Pivot Mach 4 I’m still tweaking things.

Somewhat predictably I’ve removed the 90mm stem as I just couldn’t get used to riding a bike with a stem that “long” anymore. It was nice for putting my weight a bit more forward on seated climbs but when it came down to out-of-the-saddle contouring or descending I just didn’t like where it placed me in relation to the front wheel. I’d much rather put up with the mild inconvenience of having to consciously place my weight forward on climbs than have a bike that felt a bit limiting on the fun/fast stuff.

My “usual” stem is a 65mm long one. The stem I’m trying on the Pivot at the moment is a Race Face Atlas 50mm. Steering wise it feels fine. It doesn’t feel too twitchy or flip-floppy. It does seem to have made the bike a tiny bit too short-feeling though. I’ll keep it on for a couple more rides to see if I get used to it.

A more significant niggle I’m having is that the fork doesn’t quite suit the frame. The fork is a DT Swiss XCM100. The modest 100mm travel isn’t the issue, the bike doesn’t feel too steep at the front at all. It’s just that I don’t seem to be able to get the fork to feel/react the same as the rear shock. It’s hard to explain but basically the rear feels like it has more than 100mm of travel and a very consistent feel throughout its stroke. The fork feels like it has no-more-than-100mm of travel and ramps up in spring rate for the last 1/3 of its travel. I think this mismatch in suspension makes it harder to consistently and predictably “work the terrain” when riding the bike.

So I’m on the lookout for a different fork to try. I’m not sure whether to go for a 120mm fork as I’ve really like the handling of the bike with a 100mm fork up front. But is there a 100mm fork out there that matches the feel of the Pivot Mach 4’s back end?

Answers on a postcard (on in the comments field below)…

Read previous Long Termer updates here – http://www.singletrackworld.com/reviews/category/long-termers/

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