We recently got the chance to take on a custom mountain bike build for a woman who wanted the best of the best. The result, featured here, is an example of just what can happen when you throw caution to the wind and give in to your innermost two-wheeled desires…
The Frame: Pivot Mach 4 Carbon
Pivot’s fourth generation Mach 4 was the first production MTB chassis designed to work directly with Di2 in the industry. Besides boasting the best stand-over clearance in the industry (26.61″!), refined DW linkage suspension, contemporary geometry, and now standard 27.5″ wheel size, it’s the ingenious bolt-on frame ports, internal routing, and internal Di2 battery mount that best illustrate the evolution of the Mach 4. While the frame is technically compatible with every drivetrain on the market, the Mach 4 Carbon frame was literally built around Di2.
The Mach 4 Carbon was chosen for this build due in part to all of these attributes – standover clearance, Di2 compatibility, top quality frame construction, and perhaps most importantly the bike’s capability over mixed terrain. The Mach 4 Carbon’s updated geometry and increased travel combine to shift the bike out of the pure cross country race category and into the world of do-everything trail bikes. When paired with a 120mm fork, the head tube angle and low bottom bracket make the Mach 4 a stable yet responsive descender ready for whatever the trail dishes out.
The Drivetrain: Shimano XTR M9050 Di2
Simply put, XTR Di2 works better than anything else on the market. It’s fast, incredibly accurate, completely customizable, and looks amazing. Available in a single, double or triple chainring configuration, we opted for a 2×11 drivetrain setup with the optional Shimano Synchronized Shift, which allows for customizable synchronized front and rear shifting via a single FIREBOLT shifter. That’s right – take the simplicity of a single righthand shifter but add the gear range provided by an automatic front derailleur – and you have the best drivetrain setup money can buy.
Suspension: Fox Float iRD
Why stop with electronic shifting when you can opt to run Fox’s latest iRD (Intelligent Ride Dynamics) suspension platform? Having already built a Di2 Mach 4 for one of our team racers, we were thrilled to add Fox’s iRD electronic lockouts to the equation and further embrace the digital age of mountain bikes.
Fox’s 3 position iRD system gives the rider the ability to rapidly change from an open setting to the trail and climb (lockout) settings via an elegant handlebar mounted switch. The fork and shock integrate seamlessly into the Di2 system and rely on Shimano’s proven battery for unmatched performance. Battery life is long-lasting – estimated at 2.5 months per charge – and charging itself is quick and easy.
The important thing here is what instant access to your suspension controls provides the rider. Without removing your hands from the bar, the iRD system allows you to flick a switch and lockout or open your front and rear suspension simultaneously. On fast mixed terrain trails, that kind of control is an absolute game changer. Remember back in the day when you had to get off your bike and drop your saddle with a quick release seat post clamp? How often did you do it? How about now that dropper seat posts are essentially standard equipment? The iRD system seeks to revolutionize the rider’s relationship to their suspension in a similar way – by giving them instantaneous control over a huge aspect of the mountain bike performance.
The Wheelset: Industry Nine Torch Carbon
The I9 Torch trail wheelset takes a made in the USA, Reynolds-manufactured hookless, tubeless-ready carbon rim and mates it to Industry Nine’s own proprietary Torch hub and spoke system. The hub boasts some of the fastest engagement in the industry (3 degree 120 points) and is designed in conjunction with I9’s stiff, lightweight alloy spokes, available in a veritable rainbow of colors. The result – a sub 1400 grams tubeless wheelset with loads of lateral stiffness, exceptional responsiveness and tons of style.
That about wraps it up – although you’ll discover lots more details featured in the gallery below. Please let us know if you have any questions or comments about this build. Who knows, it may just inspire you to reach for your own custom bike love dreams….