Pivot has long made it a priority to build lightweight bikes — and not just for cross-country racing models.
Pivot’s Mach 5.5 Carbon weighs about 28 pounds (ultralight builds actually duck 27 pounds) while delivering 160 mm of front suspension and 140 mm in the rear. That’s an impressive squish-to-weight ratio. It earned the Mach 5.5 legions of devotees who love its balance of uphill/downhill capability. It’s trim enough to feel sprightly on climbs yet plush enough to buffer punches during technical descents.
With the Shadowcat, which replaced the Mach 5.5 for spring 2022, Pivot got even more ruthless about slashing grams. The lightest Shadowcat builds now approach 26 pounds, making it a contender for the lightest trail bike on the market. But does that weight loss compromise the bike’s authority on descents?
The Mach 5.5’s genius was its do-it-all balance. I questioned whether the featherweight Shadowcat would feel more like prey than predator during technical downhills.
I pushed the Shadowcat on a month-long test in Colorado and Utah, including a 5-day stint on the 140-mile Kokopelli Trail linking Fruita and Moab.
In short: The Shadowcat proved itself to be a true do-it-all trail bike. Its few tradeoffs aren’t likely to dissuade riders looking for a light, leg-sparing rig that can conquer long-mileage rides over technical terrain.