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PIVOT M4X FRAMESET | WEAR AND TEAR

Here’s the thing. It’s been a dream of mine for a long time to test a ‘4X’ dual suspension bike. You know what I mean, a bit of squish front and rear. Four–crossers only ever race hardtails…this is strange, but true. It’s something to do with the snap out the gate and manuals down the track (and the fact that most UK 4X tracks are as smooth as a baby’s backside). 

DIRT ISSUE 128 – OCTOBER 2012

Words by Steve ‘the Butcher’. Photos by Tom Gaffney

According to Pivot the 4X is the ‘choice of professional riders and legends’. Wow wee. What a thing to say. A bold (and possibly brash statement), but one that filled me with trepidation (as I’m neither a pro or a legend).

HEY GOOD LOOKING

The Pivot M4X is a great looking bike. It’s low, sleek, black and sexy. Think dark haired Russian model turned Olympic gymnast that can pivot this way, then that.

DINNER DATE

When you see something (or someone) you fancy the first thing that springs to mind is a three course dinner. Everyone who looked at the Pivot fancied it as a starter, main, then desert, but would the it leave our diners feeling full and satisfied or would they be scrambling around for a box of Rennies?

FIELDS OF DREAMS

We took the Pivot to two or three different fields. One was littered with jumps and berms. The other was littered with roots and rock, and the last was rock hard and completely artificial (it was actually a BMX track). The Pivot worked like a dream on two out of three of the fields, but on the field that had a surface that had been wacker plated and was as hard as iron (BMX track), the Pivot turned into a nightmare. It wasn’t an X–rated nightmare, but one which carried a 15 certificate.

WHITE MEN CAN’T JUMP

Thankfully the pivot 4X is black (the opposite colour to white). It jumps with ease. In fact it’s one of the most balanced and confidence inspiring bikes on take–off we have ever ridden. It even works well at the trails (which we never thought we would say about a bike with rear suspension) and if you do case something the Pivot takes the sting out of it. Bzzzzz…

TOO FAST, TOO FURIOUS

If you are in a hurry this is when our Russian gymnast comes to life. If you’re rippin’ through tight turn after tight turn, left then right, the Pivot can actually become (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) too fast! It just encourages you to keep going faster and faster until you find the limit and hit the deck. This leaves you feeling not so fast and a little furious…but in a good way.

LAYER CAKE

A great tasting cake has nothing to do with the amount of layers the cake is made up with. The Pivot that we had supplied by distributors Upgrade had lots of expensive layers in the form of 831 Fox forks, Kashima coated Fox RP23 shock, and Shimano XT groupset. Now that’s one ‘blinged’ up cake, and great stuff, but because of the nature of how this bike should be ridden (with the suspension pretty stiff front and rear) a bit of Kashima here, and Kashima there, wouldn’t make a blind bit of difference to how this here cake would taste. Honest.

SON OF RAMBO

We threw everything we could at the Pivot, we cased small stuff, big stuff, ploughed our way through braking bumps and smashed through root sections and yet our little black and green hero kept coming back for more…Rambo is hard, but his son (the Pivot) is ‘one tough bastard’.

THE BANK JOB

You may well have to pull one (bank job that is) if you fancy a Pivot 4X. The frame alone is just shy of two grand (£1849.99), which we found a little crazy. Let’s put it this way, a cake bought from Drukers doesn’t necessarily taste better than one out of Firkins. Think about it…

THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY

The Pivot is loads of fun. It rails turns, pops over jumps, manuals (in a fun way, not a fast way) and makes you feel like every bit an action hero. That’s the good. This is the bad…our test bike was too small. The lady 4X testers loved the sizing but the ‘apes’ amongst us all felt it was a little cramped.

The shock could do with a bit more mid–stroke compression damping to help eliminate squish whilst manualing. This is difficult to achieve, but do–able. Our leading man (like most ‘A’ list actors) doesn’t come cheap. With a price tag on the frame being that of what (many) a complete 4X hardtail bike would cost, you gotta ask yourself, ‘do you feel worth it’?

WHAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF

Some dreams are better than others and some are just ‘downright’ ridiculous (for what they cost anyway). If you ride and race 4X and are ‘in it to win it’ then our Russian gymnast is not for you. But if you are out there for the fun factor and jumping at speed is your thing (think Sea Otter dual slalom course but with roots and rocks in it) then the Pivot could be the dream you are looking for (but an expensive one at that). However some dreams (in other words tracks, particularly here the UK) just never become a reality. But keep on dreaming anyway…

Price £1849.99 (frame)

Sizes: Short or Long

Upgrade 01403 711 611

www.upgradebikes.co.uk

Find more 4X specific gear through the links below:

STANTON BIKES 4X FRAMES HAVE LANDED

Fox 32 831 4X/Dirt Jump Fork | Hammered

Dickon Hepworth’s Santa Cruz Blur 4X | Industry Bikes

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