Thursday, February 22, 2024

First Experience! New Pivot Mach 4SL makes XC far more a laugh


The new Pivot Mach 4SL is a progressive XC motorcycle in essentially the most understated manner. Its predecessor was once additionally a ripper, giving the logo a much-needed aesthetic replace whilst handing over decent efficiency. However that was once 4 years in the past, and motorcycles and classes have persisted to adapt towards the rowdier, extra competitive finish of the cross-country spectrum.

So Pivot advanced, too.

riding action of pivot mach 4SL xc mountain bike

The longer, decrease, slacker remedy that such a lot of trendy motorcycles have is right here, and the geometry felt dialed. Suffice to mention that throwing myself into blind prime velocity corners and un-recon’d rock drops by no means felt (too) horrifying, since the motorcycle felt as much as it.

Dealing with is dialed for XC racing, and with the longer journey Staff XTR fashion I rode, the motorcycle felt in a position to “downcountry” exploits, too.

That means, it’s completely fitted to marathons, epics, level races, and different speedy ahead adventures.

However the true spotlight is the suspension and it’s talent to shapeshift to suit any path and any rider.

riding action of pivot mach 4SL xc mountain bike

The brand new 4SL’s multi-travel, multi-mode suspension is good in its simplicity, and brilliantly efficient. Via swapping between 40mm or 45mm stroke rear shocks, and settling on one in all two higher mount positions, you get 4 distinct journey modes. Sure, you’ll wish to switch the forks, too…perhaps.

For those who’re beginning with the longer journey fashions, shortening the rear journey whilst protecting the 120mm fork might figure out simply superb. However you wouldn’t wish to move the wrong way, striking the longer stroke (and thus getting longer journey) surprise at the International Cup fashions with their 100mm forks.

For many riders (and Pivot is aware of this, with gross sales forecasts pronouncing 97% of riders will go for the lengthy journey motorcycles), the Staff, Professional and Experience editions would be the ones you wish to have, providing 106mm or 115mm of journey relying on the way you turn the chip.

riding action of pivot mach 4SL xc mountain bike

We rode Phil’s International trails in Cortez, CO, which introduced the easiest checking out floor. Quick punchy climbs and sustained ascents confirmed off it’s mountain climbing prowess, and lengthy float trails and rocky technical drops and descents confirmed it will move down simply as smartly.

I rode more often than not within the longest journey mode, which stored issues cushy off the end for higher small bump compliance and a extra comfy trip. Having a look down, pedal bob was once minimum, however by no means felt find it irresistible was once robbing power.

riding action of pivot mach 4SL xc mountain bike

In truth, Pivot’s model of DW-Hyperlink could be very efficient at moving energy to the bottom, clawing its manner into the terrain for very good traction over virtually the rest.

And that was once a large objective with this new motorcycle. Pivot’s founder Chris Cocalis stated “tractability” was once prime at the record for efficiency objectives, and I’d say they succeeded. The rear tire, aided by way of just a little of anti-squat, bites into the bottom and motors thru chunder with out skipping a beat.

When switched into the shorter journey mode, the motorcycle turns into markedly racier. It’s no longer simply that it loses 9mm of journey, all of the kinematics exchange to make it take a seat upper and less attackable.

Pedal bob all however disappears totally, however so do the comfortable landings.

riding action of pivot mach 4SL xc mountain bike
Crushing lengthy miles is not any downside at the new Mach 4SL (Pictures by way of Matt Jones for Pivot Cycles)

I’ve by no means felt a motorbike exchange so dramatically with any such easy adjustment. Whilst it’s no longer one thing you’d do right through a Quick Monitor or XCO match, it truly does take handiest 60 seconds to turn the higher surprise mount to the opposite place, so it’s simple to take a look at each, and one thing that you must do level by way of level or phase by way of phase on much less intense races.

And you continue to have the lockout, despite the fact that I’d argue this motorcycle (and lots of others) truly don’t want it. However, Pivot is a world logo and Germany desires its lockouts, so the truth that the longer journey motorcycles “handiest” include a rear far off lockout and no longer each (just like the shorter journey International Cup fashions) was once the concession Pivot and their German vendors may agree on.

(Hilariously, to me anyway, it sounds as if an XC motorcycle is “unsellable” in Germany and not using a lockout. However Germany buys a LOT of motorcycles, too, so…Germany will get what Germany desires on this case).

closeup details of 2023 pivot mach 4sl xc mountain bike

The disadvantage to this, for me, is that it rather locks me into the use of the Rockshox TwistLoc. Which, admittedly, is among the best possible remotes for locking out a rear surprise, however it just about locks you into the use of their spouse grips, which don’t seem to be my favourite. And that’s as a result of all fashions of the Mach 4SL include a dropper submit, in order that lever sits underneath the bar the place it will have to…and takes up the spot for lever-based far off lockouts.

Instead of that, the spec at the Pivot Mach 4SL lineup is truly just right. Their housebrand carbon bar was once just right (in that I didn’t understand it, which, once more, to me, way it’s compliant and damping like a just right carbon bar will have to be), which is vital as a result of that’s continuously one of the most first issues I glance to switch.

rider holding the pivot mach 4SL xc mountain bike out with one arm
It’s mild. Or I’m sturdy. Or each.

Granted, I rode the top-level XTR motorcycle, and it’s incredible, however down the road Pivot provides each Shimano and SRAM provided fashions at every value level, letting you select which one you favor higher. And, for now, that implies you’ll nonetheless get a truly prime finish mountain motorcycle with mechanical moving, which is good.

General, the updates (did I point out the body is nearly a pound lighter?) are welcome and make for a dramatically higher motorcycle. Which is pronouncing so much taking into account how just right the remaining one was once.

Test the overall release tale for tech main points and closeup pics of the motorcycle’s options.


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