Long Termers: Benji’s Pivot Mach 4

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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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Comments (0)

    I’d go for a 120mm fork personally. The ramp up on a 120mm will make the fork feel more like a 100mm + a bit more. I run a Fox F120 on my hardtail thats designed for a 100mm fork. I kept feeling like I was blowing through the travel on 100mm but 120mm feels great and although 20mm isn’t much the slightly slacker front end is great.

    Gotta be worth trying an Fox F100 if the rear shock is Fox? I think you may be running into the problem I always have on FS bikes, in that I feel the rear end is way more effective than a fork of a similar travel. My Hemlock with 140/120 feels more balanced than when I’ve tried it, or indeed most other, equal travel bikes.

    why don’t you try the forks off ed’s tranny, as the pivot is more of an all day bike- and from your review recently of 100mm forks, st suggested the corsa?- would suit a more enduro/trail bike more than just an xc 100mm from fox, rockshox etc- as it’s plusher in it’s travel, and keeps your bike with 100mm front and rear.

    Drop the travel down to 100mm in a Fox 32 Vanilla. 😉

    I’d definitely give the 120 a try…the DW bikes sit up more in their rear travel most of the time so adding 15mm (after sag) probably won’t make the bike feel too slow or slack at the front. and maybe run the 120mm with a bit more sag than you would a pure xc fork. this option worked on the dw link flux i had and i had no issues xc-racing it.

    My Nicolai CC feels way better with 130mm up front and setting the rear travel to 116mm as opposed to the full 129mm.
    Maybe a 120mm fork may be the way forwards

    As mentioned on a recent thread, On my hardtail (Crush) I run basic Float R’s with 40% sag, which has the fork tracking the ground very well indeed. It never feels as though its ramping up sharply, it uses full travel, but never feels as though its bottoming out or diving too much. It always feels well damped and controlled. In fact, it feels very much like a decent coil fork.

    I’ve fannyed around a lot with them to get them feeling right, and found that any less than say 35% sag and I’m not getting full travel.

    Having ridden Rockshox (totems) and Marzocchi (55’s)recently, it seems as though the manufacturers have got it in their heads we all want “bottomless” travel. In my experience, the end result is that a lot of air forks and shocks seem to ramp up quite suddenly. What this equates to on the trail is forks that don’t use their travel very efficiently. All in my opinion, of course.

    i’m the same with stems – i used to ride 90mm stems on all types of bike

    now 70mm feels xc long and i started using 50mm ones now

    Marzochhi Corsa would be ace on this bike 🙂

    It’s at the office.

    UPDATE: A suitable fork has been found. And the bike has been weighed.

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