Mountain Bike 2018 Cannondale Trigger 3 and Pivot Mach 5.5

Philpug

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Demo day.

Cannondale Trigger 3 and Pivot Mach 5.5
IMG_3343.JPG


@Tricia and I spent the morning on the on the Pivot Mach 5.5 and Cannondale Trigger 3, and we both had a great time. We headed down to Carson City to the Clear Creek trail with a friend that lives nearby; this trail is a gradual climb for a couple of miles. Part of this experiment is to see if we do want e-bikes or if a modern "all-mountain" one-by will be enough to get us out riding. Both bikes are mediums, which seems to work for both of us: Tricia is on the smaller end of the medium range and I am on the larger end. For a comparison, Tricia took the Trigger small out a couple of days prior and it felt too small, and I had tried the Monterra (similar geometry) in a large, and it just felt cumbersome. Another point of reference is that the Specialized bikes I had in the past were 18" or medium.

Tricia started the day on the Pivot and I on the Cannondale. About 3 miles in, we switched without discussing our experiences; after another couple of miles, we stopped and compared notes. It really wasn't an apples-to-apples comparison in that the Cannondale has a list price around $4K and the Pivot is over $7K. In reality, the Pivot is not an option for us based strictly on price; if the Mach had blown either of us away, we would look at a lower-priced version such as the Mach 6. There is no question that Pivot makes a great bike, and the Mach is no exception, but price aside, the feel of the Pivot didn't resonate with either Tricia or me the same way one brand or model of ski doesn't float someone's boat. It felt heavy and a bit more disconnected than the Cannondale. The ride position was also a little different in that the seating position was a bit more upright with the pedals feeling a little more under my feet, and I felt it took a bit more to pedal both comfortably and efficiently.

The Cannondale Trigger felt perfectly comfortable from the first pedal stroke. I had tried the Jekyll, which had just too much slack in fork, and then I tried the Habit 6 (but a lower-priced one at $2K), and it just felt like a bike. The Trigger was fun and responsive more like a 90mm ski versus a 100mm ski. The shorter rear stays on the Trigger made the bike extremely responsive, and both Tricia and I had the same opinion of the Trigger and agreed that if we had to buy something today, we would be happy with a Trigger.

Where does this leave us and e-bikes? Well, they are absolutely still on the table, as are other options. Additionally, we have been talking to bike manufacturers to get more bikes to review. We are starting with those that are both ski and bike brands so we can help create awareness. In September, we will be going to Interbike to preview the following year's bikes and have reports from the floor like we do at SIA. So, expect more bike reviews and talk here as we are looking to host bike discussion that mirrors what we do with skiing.
 
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Philpug

Philpug

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I bet they don't climb as fast as an electric bike :)
Sadly, and it was not for lack of effort.
Apparently I have missed some stuff on this thread! Phil and Tricia are now bike testers? I want in on this action. Envious. Enjoy.
This little demo was for our own needs, we are looking for new bikes and trying to get some different ideas.
 
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Ken_R

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@Tricia and spent the morning on the on the Pivot Mach 5.5 and Cannondale Trigger 3 and we both had a great time. We headed down to Carson City to the Clear Creat trail with a friend that lives near by. The Clear Creak trail is a gradual climb for a couple of miles and part of this experiment is to see if we do want e-bikes and will a modern "all mountain" one-by will be enough to get us out riding. Both bikes are mediums which seemed to work for both of us, Tricia is on the smaller end of the medium range and I am on the larger end. For a comparision, Tricia took the Trigger small out a couple of days prior and it jsut felt too small and I had tried the Monterra (similar geometry) in a large and it just felt cumbersome, another point of reference is the Specialized I have had in the past were 18" or Med so the size feels right.

Tricia started the day on the Pivot and I was on the Cannondale. About 3 miles in we switched without discussing our experiences after another couple of miles we stopped and compared notes. It really wasn't an apples to apples comparision in that the Cannondale has a list price arounf $4K and the Pivot and list of over $7K. In realilty the Pivot is not an option for us based strickly on price and if the Mach did blow either of us away, we would look at a lower price version of the Mach like the Mach 6. There is no question that Pivot makes a great bike and the Mach is no exception but price aside it was the feel of the Pivot that didn't resonate with either Tricia or myself the same way one brand or model of ski doesn't float someone's boat. The Pivot felt heavy and I wouldn't say cumbersome but a bit more disconnected than the Cannondale. The ride position was also a little different in that the seating position was a but more upright with the pedals feeling a little more under my feet and I felt it took a bit more to efficiantly actually comfortably pedal.

The Cannondale Trigger felt perfectly comfortable from the first pedal stroke. I had tried the Jeckyl and that had just too much slack in fork then I tried the Habit 6, but a lower priced one at $2K and it just felt like a bike. The Trigger was fun and responsive more like a 90mm ski verses a 100mm ski. The shorter rear stays on the Trigger made the bike extreme responsive and both Tricia and I had the same opinion of the Trigger and agreed IF we had buy something today, both Tricia and I would be happy with a Trigger.

Where does this leave us and e-bikes? Well they absolutely still on the table as are other options. Aditionally, we have been talking to bike manufacturers to get on more bikes so we can review them. We are starting with manufacturers that are both ski and bike brands that we can help create awareness. In Setpember we will be going to Interbike to preview the following year's bikes and have reports from the floor like we do at SIA. So, you expect more bike reviews and talk here and we are looking to host bike discussion that mirrors what we have going on with skiing.
I recently went through the process of getting my first MTB in many many years. I had a few solid multi day demos and ultimately choose the Santa Cruz Hightower LT mainly because of how the fit/geometry felt and the way it handled the trails I wanted to ride and was going to ride the most ( the one's closest to where I live). I actually demoed two Hightower LTs of the same size, one was the very expensive model with Carbon Wheels and top end everything and the other a mid range model. They both had the same tires and honestly both bikes felt quite similar on the trail. I also demoed he Yeti SB5+ and the rear susp. felt great but overall the fit did not and it did not feel as confident descending (on the same trail and conditions) than the HT LT (which I demoed on the same trail just a few hours before) but its a superb bike just didnt fit ME that well.

I am not a great rider so wanted a bike that could help give me confidence on the loose and rocky descents which oh so common around here. If the bike could handle some lift accessed park trails that would a bonus. The HT LT can certainly handle those!

There are so many bike options its a bit overwhelming.

Regarding e-bike VS. non... that is a tough one. If you can afford the top end e-MTB-bike models I would get one. The lower end models have a ways to go still IMHO. Might not be bad to just wait till e-bikes get much lighter and just get a regular MTB now and ride lifts whenever you can :D
 

Tricia

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I know this group doesn’t talk much about Giant/Liv but if you can get on some I’d highly recommend and least trying them.
I was just thinking, I haven't tried a Giant in a very long time, and they've been off my radar for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is, I didn't really like any of the Giants I tried 10 years ago. I guess its time to revisit them.
 

Rod9301

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@Tricia and spent the morning on the on the Pivot Mach 5.5 and Cannondale Trigger 3 and we both had a great time. We headed down to Carson City to the Clear Creek trail with a friend that lives near by. The Clear Creek trail is a gradual climb for a couple of miles and part of this experiment is to see if we do want e-bikes and will a modern "all mountain" one-by will be enough to get us out riding. Both bikes are mediums which seemed to work for both of us, Tricia is on the smaller end of the medium range and I am on the larger end. For a comparision, Tricia took the Trigger small out a couple of days prior and it jsut felt too small and I had tried the Monterra (similar geometry) in a large and it just felt cumbersome, another point of reference is the Specialized I have had in the past were 18" or Med so the size feels right.

Tricia started the day on the Pivot and I was on the Cannondale. About 3 miles in we switched without discussing our experiences after another couple of miles we stopped and compared notes. It really wasn't an apples to apples comparision in that the Cannondale has a list price arounf $4K and the Pivot and list of over $7K. In realilty the Pivot is not an option for us based strickly on price and if the Mach did blow either of us away, we would look at a lower price version of the Mach like the Mach 6. There is no question that Pivot makes a great bike and the Mach is no exception but price aside it was the feel of the Pivot that didn't resonate with either Tricia or myself the same way one brand or model of ski doesn't float someone's boat. The Pivot felt heavy and I wouldn't say cumbersome but a bit more disconnected than the Cannondale. The ride position was also a little different in that the seating position was a but more upright with the pedals feeling a little more under my feet and I felt it took a bit more to efficiantly actually comfortably pedal.

The Cannondale Trigger felt perfectly comfortable from the first pedal stroke. I had tried the Jeckyl and that had just too much slack in fork then I tried the Habit 6, but a lower priced one at $2K and it just felt like a bike. The Trigger was fun and responsive more like a 90mm ski verses a 100mm ski. The shorter rear stays on the Trigger made the bike extreme responsive and both Tricia and I had the same opinion of the Trigger and agreed IF we had buy something today, both Tricia and I would be happy with a Trigger.

Where does this leave us and e-bikes? Well they absolutely still on the table as are other options. Aditionally, we have been talking to bike manufacturers to get on more bikes so we can review them. We are starting with manufacturers that are both ski and bike brands that we can help create awareness. In Setpember we will be going to Interbike to preview the following year's bikes and have reports from the floor like we do at SIA. So, you expect more bike reviews and talk here and we are looking to host bike discussion that mirrors what we have going on with skiing.
I would recommend more time on a slack head angle bike, something like 66 degrees.
You will get used to it on the way up, and it will be incredible on the way down.
 

davjr96

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In regards to the Giant/Liv, I ride a reign and have demoed the trance/stance. I absolutely love my bike but it is not "exciting" compared to other brands I've demoed. It may be my setup or riding style (although I felt the same on the other Giant bikes) but I just have trouble with line choice. I've had the opportunity to demo some Treks, a Santa Cruz 5010, and Ibis Ripley. All different types of bikes but each one I felt was more playful and went where I wanted. The reign almost chooses a line for me and then laughs because it can handle anything. It's not necessarily a bad thing, in fact it might even been considered good and confidence inspiring, but just a trait I have noticed in my personal experience - though once again others may have had a different one.
 
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Philpug

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When I replaced my Specialized Epic 29, the Trance was the winner in that demo round but my budget limited me to getting a demo. Now demos can be a good deal, and like with skis they can be hit or miss, this bike was a miss. It was ridden hard and put away wet and the bike just never felt right. This experience put me off from riding for a while..I know it shouln't have but it did. I woudl like to get out and try the new Giants along with some Scotts and with Rossignol getting into the bike market, they will be on the list of bikes to try.
 

Ken_R

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When I replaced my Specialized Epic 29, the Trance was the winner in that demo round but my budget limited me to getting a demo. Now demos can be a good deal, and like with skis they can be hit or miss, this bike was a miss. It was ridden hard and put away wet and the bike just never felt right. This experience put me off from riding for a while..I know it shouln't have but it did. I woudl like to get out and try the new Giants along with some Scotts and with Rossignol getting into the bike market, they will be on the list of bikes to try.
I would to the list of demos the Santa Cruz Hightower LT 29er, the 5010, the Yeti SB100, SB4.5 and any other SB including the SB5+ (27.5 plus). All superb bikes, but different.
 

Ron

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Bikes are like ski's for the most part: None are bad, they all have a difference feel, balance and handling (I dont care at all for Intense bikes) they are even more specific to the setup and dial-in than ski boots though. Always carry a shock pump when demoing and make sure the damping/rebound settings are somewhat setup for your preferences and don't be afraid to play with them out on the trails. A bike can feel substantially different (good or bad) if the settings are off for where you are riding and your style. I typically run my fork at a lower than recommended psi for instance.
 

Erik Timmerman

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True, setup can make a huge difference in a bike feeling muddy and heavy. Some bikes are gonna just naturally be more tolerant though, I'd expect a single pivot bike to feel more snappy when setup wrong that a multilink bike that is off by the same amount. Feeling faster and being faster aren't the same thing either though.
 

elemmac

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I woudl like to get out and try the new Giants along with some Scotts and with Rossignol getting into the bike market, they will be on the list of bikes to try.
I found a perfect match with my Scott Genius Plus bike...god she’s a beaut. I have last year’s model, and they’ve changed up the geometry and rear linkage, but from what I hear it’s even better than before.
 

Ron

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Feeling faster and being faster aren't the same thing either though.
VERY TRUE! for me, (shock/fork setup) I focus in on small bump compliance and how it handles roots and moderate rocks especially when climbing. We are pretty flowy ere but have a lot of tree roots and smaller rocks you need to efficiently climb over without having the bike kick back or be too soft and get stuck in the cycle. Same goes for descending switchbacks where I dont want my fork to be too sluggish and dive. The same goes for brake dive too. @epic knows far more about bikes than me though!
 
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Philpug

Philpug

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Funny, feeling faster and being faster ARE different. The Pivot felt faster (but not quicker) to me but @Tricia kept up better with my on the C-Dale.
 

Ron

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Funny, feeling faster and being faster ARE different. The Pivot felt faster (but not quicker) to me but @Tricia kept up better with my on the C-Dale.
that really doesn't surprise me based on those 2 different Geo's and setups (esp. the 5.5 not feeling as quick). if its flowy non-tech trails with decent conditions, that DHF is overkill and can become very draggy. I love the Rekons though. I run them in 120 tpi, 2.6's F/R at 18/20R. Again, something as simple as different tires on any bike can make a huge difference in feel and performance
 

Monique

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The Pivot felt heavy and I wouldn't say cumbersome but a bit more disconnected than the Cannondale.
I didn't demo a Cannondale, but I also felt that way about the Pivot I demo'd. In fact I think I was on that bike when I got so frustrated that I turned around on my planned out and back. But I didn't try to fiddle with the setup - the shop did all of that for me with each demo, so I figured it would be fairly consistent.

Last time I did a 5-hour ride I had epic leg gramps afterwards.

Any of you suffer from leg cramps after a long hard ride? They usually hit me later at night and I sometimes wake up in some fairly intense pain.
I can only think of one experience like that. I rode a good bit before stopping for a snack and sitting on a rock with a good view. After riding so much and then going straight to sitting for at least a half hour, I stood up, and it was like having a million bee stings on my butt. Terrible! And it wouldn't go away. Eventually I just sucked it up and got on my bike, and it cleared up pretty quickly.

A vote for the 5010. I am still loving mine now in my second season.
I rode it around the neighborhood and couldn't wait to get off of it. Didn't even get to a trail demo. Just goes to show - different bikes for different riders.

Demoing high end bikes is so expensive and time consuming that it's hard to try a lot of bikes unless you have a ton of time and can remember ride feel months apart. Once I rode the SB5 and enjoyed it so much, it was hard to motivate to demo much more. That's at a time when my company was shutting down, so I had an unusual amount of free time in which to ride. And of course, the credit from the demo only applies if you buy the bike from THAT shop. Or you can wait and hope that you can demo the bike you want at factory events. The SB5 didn't descend *quite* as well as some of the other bikes I tried, but ultimately it was good enough, and its climbing performance sealed the deal. But after plenty of rides on that SB5, and a clinic with lots of drops and jumps, I have no concerns about its descending ability. "Good enough" relative to some of those other bikes is still "way plenty for what I ride."
 

Ron

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good summary! Thats how I felt getting on the Yeti as well. After demoing about 8-9 other bikes, this was love at the first pedal stroke. I dont ride crazy stuff but the SB5 handles rocky stuff with a foot or so of drops with ease. the Suspension is more than adequate and works very well keeping the bike stable. I love the balance on this bike descending switchbacks; it flows.

The bike brand I just didnt get along with were Intense bikes. Just felt the CS's were too short and made the rear feel unbalanced. It was also setup with too narrow of tires so the ride was much more harsh. With the 2.6's (first ridden on the Ibis) the ride smooths out and you can feel the added traction on the climbs
 

Ken_R

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I didn't demo a Cannondale, but I also felt that way about the Pivot I demo'd. In fact I think I was on that bike when I got so frustrated that I turned around on my planned out and back. But I didn't try to fiddle with the setup - the shop did all of that for me with each demo, so I figured it would be fairly consistent.



I can only think of one experience like that. I rode a good bit before stopping for a snack and sitting on a rock with a good view. After riding so much and then going straight to sitting for at least a half hour, I stood up, and it was like having a million bee stings on my butt. Terrible! And it wouldn't go away. Eventually I just sucked it up and got on my bike, and it cleared up pretty quickly.



I rode it around the neighborhood and couldn't wait to get off of it. Didn't even get to a trail demo. Just goes to show - different bikes for different riders.

Demoing high end bikes is so expensive and time consuming that it's hard to try a lot of bikes unless you have a ton of time and can remember ride feel months apart. Once I rode the SB5 and enjoyed it so much, it was hard to motivate to demo much more. That's at a time when my company was shutting down, so I had an unusual amount of free time in which to ride. And of course, the credit from the demo only applies if you buy the bike from THAT shop. Or you can wait and hope that you can demo the bike you want at factory events. The SB5 didn't descend *quite* as well as some of the other bikes I tried, but ultimately it was good enough, and its climbing performance sealed the deal. But after plenty of rides on that SB5, and a clinic with lots of drops and jumps, I have no concerns about its descending ability. "Good enough" relative to some of those other bikes is still "way plenty for what I ride."
My local shop let me demo 2 bikes for free. PM for details.
 
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