Pivot claim their 429 Trail is their most popular bike - and we've had a ride on their latest model to test that claim.
Anyone who has ridden a Pivot 429 Trail has exclaimed how they really liked the ride. Trail bikes have been evolving, and what we wanted out of a trail bike a few years ago has changed. So Pivot went to work to make sure their most popular bike kept up with the times.
The adage of longer, lower, slacker certainly is part of that. The reach has been extended, the head angle has been slackened, the seat angle is a little steeper to help climbing, and the chainstays have been tightened up to a crazy short 429mm.
Pivot have also introduced their Super Boost (that's 157mm) spacing, like on their Switchblade. This is partly why they can get the back end tighter, and it also means you can swap out between 29" or 27 Plus wheels - just like the Switchblade. You do need to tune some spacing with the headset cups - but you don't need to buy a new bike.
Super Boost does limit what crank sets you can run, and the 429 Trail is a dedicated 1x only bike.
Out back the DW Link delivers 120mm of travel, via a Fox DPS or DPX2 shock, depending on the model. The DW Link is said to combine climbing traction with downhill stability. The back end is matched with a 130mm travel Fox 34. Pivot are happy for you to pull the fork out to 140mm, but don't recommend longer than that. The BB shell is ready to go with an ISCG mount, and is designed around PF92.
The full carbon frame means the weight is on-point for a bike that can still hold its own on the burliest lines - and it's this sense of balance that Pivot wanted to bring to the new 429 Trail.
Jetblack will have eight build options here in Australia:
Race XT $7,299
Race XO1 $8,199
Pro XT/XTR $9,199
Pro XT/XTR w/ Carbon Wheels $10,899
Pro XO1 $10,499
Pro XO1 w/ Carbon Wheels $12,699
Team XTR $11,999
Team XX1 $13,499
But the big quesiton is - how does it ride?
ON THE TRAIL
After a brief run down from International Sales Manager John Pentecost on the Trail 429, what the ‘Super-boost’ is and why it makes the bike so great, we set up suspension and cockpit and were off to hit the trails. A side note for one of our favourite things about Pivot bikes, the Trail 429 is equipped with a handy ‘Sag-o-meter’ so the rear end was a breeze to set up and means you can check regularly and even on the trail without hassle. A wonder other manufacturers don’t include these.
First up we had a climb to tackle, a DW Link point. Thankfully there were no surprises here, the Trail 429 springs forward like a jackrabbit both sitting and standing. Being shod with Maxxis DHR II tyres we were really impressed how light and fast the bike felt, a set of Ikons or similar XC Tyre would turn it into a real rocket. The other thing that jumps out immediately is that rear end. Pivot weren’t lying it’s SO stiff! A great advantage for climbing, you really can place the bike with millimetric precision over rocks and roots and choose your line without the bike trying to fire you off somewhere else.
Now we’re at the top, this is where things really start to get interesting. Jumping into the first line at Old Man’s Valley we felt instantly at home. The stiff rear end is so confidence inspiring, we were hitting all the gaps and black runs first time in. It’s pretty rare to feel so comfortable on a bike so quickly, really a testament to how well balanced the Trail 429 is. As you wind down the short but fast descents at OMV, that Fox DPX2 really brings the bike to life. This thing is more composed than some Enduro brawlers we’ve ridden! Paired with the short 429mm chainstays the Trail 429 maintains the poppy and flickable we love so much on the old bike. A golden moment came while Chasing EWS Pivot Factory Rider (James Hall/Cannonball/James ‘Cannonball’ Hall) down OMV’s ‘local-lines’ I was wooping and shouting the whole way, hucking everything I could. The progressive rear end, unbelievable frame stiffness and outstanding DPX2 shock inspire so much confidence in the bike that you find the limit of the Maxxis Tyres even before the limit of the bike while at the same time totally forgetting it’s rather short sounding 120mm of travel.
The trail 429 is looking like a force to be reckoned with. No longer do pivot need the Switchblade or the Mach 5.5, honestly this thing is that good on the descents. At home on all day adventures, local trails, marathon XC events, and with 10mm more travel up front you could even rally the Trail 429 at an Enduro event with no issues – it’s a seriously versatile ride and we can’t wait to spend some more time on it to truly put it to the test on our favourite local trails.