An ultra-strong and insanely stiff, shaped aluminum frame and superb dw-link suspension design takes the Pivot Mach 4 where other 4" bikes would only dare, mixing laser-precise reflexes and fantastic pedaling performance with a supple and well controlled feel over small, big, and squared-edged bumps alike, plus awesome climbing traction on tricky ground. Handling is on the quick side with a 100mm-travel fork, but pleasantly neutral with a more trail-friendly 120mm one—slap on an adjustable model for the best of both worlds.
Swami gripe: The 6lb+ frame is heavier than some, but still easily builds to a flickable 25lb or as little as sub-22lb depending on your budget.
Swami like: Versatile personality lends the Mach 4 to race or do trail duty with awesome toughness in either situation so you can leave the burden of worry at home.
Price: $2,000 (frame only)
From the Spring 2010 issue