Pivot Mach 5 and the Yeti 575
Here it is, if you are interested; my completely biased and skewed review of the Pivot Mach 5 and the Yeti 575. As you know, I am a Chris Cocalis groupie from way back. Chris built my first Titus FCR hardtail in 92 and I’m still riding it. The other six Cocalis era Tituses in our garage also continue to be ridden and loved. The Motolites, however are tired, hence the exploration into their eventual replacement. Believe it or not, the 99 motolite is my first ever FS bike so my knowledge consists of Horst link suspension and what I hear or read in the magazines or online. Chris lives where we live and rides where we ride, mainly South Mountain. He was building long travel trail bikes 10 years ago long before everyone was doing it, because that’s what our mountain calls for. Of course I was excited when he teamed up with Dave Weagle to design the Pivot. Pete and many others urged us to also check out the Yeti 575.
Both bikes feel very comfortable. The Yeti did seem a bit tall in comparison, although L’s spreadsheet tells us the BB heights are comparable. In spite of the tall feel, I hit my cranks many times on the Yeti test ride; random? or due to pedal bob? One trick of the pivot is that they went with an internal headset that significantly lowers the front end height; kind of cool if you like to run tall forks like we do. The Pivot did feel a tiny bit quick steering and I did feel like I was looking over the front of my wheel on the waterfall. They had a 110 stem and and 32 Talas on there, so I think this will be corrected by my 90mm stem, 150mm fork. The yeti steered kinda slow with a 32 talas and 90mm stem. Might be slower with the marz 55 or Z1 that we will run. I think L calculated a 68 HA on the pivot with our forks and a 67 HA on the yeti.
The Yeti rode kind of like the motolite only better. It climbs great and soaks up all the bumps large and small. It did bob slightly but noticeably. I suppose I could’ve turned the pro pedal on, but I never remember to do that sort of thing anyway on a ride. On the descent we were a little surprised that it felt a bit harsh. We had heard all about its plushness, but did not experience it. I did get a bit of bucking bronco feel, which improved somewhat when I slowed down the rebound. Still I was underwhelmed by its descending feel. I was using all of the travel, so less air probably not an option. In the air, the yeti performs like the 4 bar; you have to really compress and preload to launch. In the air, we thought the frame felt a little long. Landings were fine.
The Pivot has a totally different ride. It feels the worst on the fire road; it seemed like I felt every small bump. Not quite as harsh as a hardtail, but definetly more harsh than ML or 575. On the trail, this feeling disappears and the bike becomes a climbing machine. I had read about the rearward axle path of the DW link rolling over the square edged bumps and its for real. The yeti and moto have a dead feel over these bumps but the pivot rolls on up. I do a lot of standing to climb and this bike does that great. There is no bobbing whatsoever, pro pedal in off position. Seated climbing good too. We got to the top thinking party over; it climbed so well it will have to suck on the descent. To the contrary, I had more fun coming down Natl on this bike than I think I have ever had, FR bike included. The bike seems to just fly down the trail, but in total control; The bike seemed to disappear from under me on the rough stuff. I literally could not feel the rear suspension working, because I could feel nothing (but the harsher fox AIR fork). Popping it into the air was effortless and it was easy to place it back down where I wanted and continue on. Very flickable. The Pivot felt feather light and the YEti just felt heavy, even though both weighed in at about 27 lbs. The Pivot rides like no other bike I have ever ridden. It feels like cheating. Pivot says the production frames sport a fox shock with softer valving than the proto demo. It should ease up the small bump compliance. I cant wait to ride it with my Z1 on it.
Yep, they are on order ;)