Pivot Mach 5

Trail: It’ll Play; $3,699.

Pivot Mach 5     Photo: Photograph by Inga Hendrickson

The Mach 5 is a great illustration of why trail bikes—those loosely defined as having five inches of travel—are the right choice for 75 percent of riders. "Set up for comfort and success," said one tester. "Stays stiff on the climbs, softens the landings. No back pain. No issues." Our bike came with the most price-conscious parts this boutique builder offers for the aluminum Mach 5, but our testers found the mix of Shimano SLX and XT components and Fox 32 Float R fork to be solid and dependable. Bonus: The Kenda Nevegal tires had a perfect tread for our desert test loops. 28 lbs (medium); pivotcycles.com
CLIMBING: 4.4 DESCENDING: 4.2

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