Pivot have got one hell of an attractive range of bikes. From the Switchblade to the Firebird, Mach 5.5, Mach 6 all the way through to the Phoenix DH beastie. They all look amazing. Looks aren’t everything but they do sell bikes, when you can combine this with a good ride feel it’s something to behold. Pivot nailed this with the Firebird but have they done it with the new Trail 429?

Specification

There are three build kits on offer here for the predecessor of the Mach 429. Ranging from £4750 up to the high end of the range at £8100. The carbon wheel upgrade is available on the Pro build for an extra £1000. The bike that we had here was the middle of the road Pro XT model. This comes in with the damper upgrade cost of £150 at £5749.

Pivot Trail 429 specification

Frame Pro XT/XTR 1x Trail 429
Rear damper Fox Factory Float DPS Evol
Fork Fox Factory 34 130mm 29”
Rear mech XTR 11 Speed GS
Shifter XT 11Speed
Crank Race Face Aeffect 30T XS, SM 170mm, MD-XL -175mm
Handlebar Phoenix Team Carbon 35mm - 760mm
Stem Phoenix Team Enduro 35mm dia. clamp Length: XS – 35mm SM - 45mm M, L, XL - 55mm
Grips Phoenix Team Padloc
Seatpost Fox Transfer (LEV Integra: XS and SM)
Saddle WTB Vigo Pro
Wheels DT Swiss 29 M1700 30mm w/ 36T star ratchet upgrade
Front tyre Maxxis Minion DHRII 29” x 2.4” TR/3C/EXO/MAXXTERRA
Rear tyre Maxxis Minion Rekon 29" x 2.4" TR/3C/EXO/MAXXTERRA

Technical info

The newly designed frame benefits from many of the same stiffness and strength-enhancing features found on Pivot’s longer-travel models, including a double-wishbone rear triangle, as opposed to the previous, single-sided one found on the old Mach429. There’s also the same Super Boost Plus rear spacing that can be found on the Shuttle and Switchblade. Pivot have also integrated ultra-wide suspension linkages and burly bearing assemblies this helps get the stiffness balance how they wanted it while improving the bike's strength and longevity.

The bike boasts 120 mm of DW-Link rear suspension, paired with a 130-millimeter travel Fox 34 fork. The Trail 429 is available in both 29 and 27.5+ options and has a 17mm headset extension for the 27.5+ wheel option to keep the geometry bang on. With a Pro XT build weighing in at 29lb 14oz or 13.54kg for a size Large it may not be Scott Genius territory but it is still light enough for any kind of pedalling excursion.

Shape and fit

With three sizes ranging from small all the way up to XL, the whole size range seems to be covered with Pivot claiming to accommodate 4’11” all the way up to 6’6”. The large that was chosen was a good size even if I am used to a larger bike normally. I would also fit a wider bar as a personal preference, the 760mm one specced was a bit tight for me.

A few numbers to crunch on the sizing now. With reach numbers of 463mm a headangle of 67.3 rear stay length at 430mm and a bottom bracket height of 343mm, this is a pretty up to date short travel trail weapon.

Feeling

The Pivot Trail 429 is such a short travel bike there was a definite fear of being under-biked but as we spent the morning pedaling uphill doing some short, snappy, flat and rooty trails, this did not even come into my mind. But hey, you could ride these trials on a hardtail so no big deal.

The Trail 429 did have a super-nimble and fast ride feel on this terrain though. The size L had a fairly good size to it but this was the point of the bike - not too long but still keeping a stable fun feel. With a fairly progressive feel to the rear damper this was most definitely the case, the 120mm travel is definitely well used.

After the pedal fest morning session, the chairlift was a blessing. The trails over in Winterberg had been well used the week before with the IXS Dirt Masters so there was some real chop to point down.

One of the main things that I noticed when trying to get this little Pivot out of its depth was that it really did not seem to relent. With plenty of hold and an aggressive enough shape, it was easy to push it down the toughest of tracks. Even some pretty tasty gaps were sent with no worries if the bike was up to the task. All in all the first impressions are pretty good.

Impression

With three specification levels, two colours and carbon wheel options, there is plenty of scope here. This little 29” trail bike punches way above its weight. The 34 does get a little out of hand and flexes when getting a bit loose on the Black DH tracks but this is not what it was designed for, it was just fun seeing where the limit was. All in all the carbon chassis feels great. Not to stiff that the body feels the fatigue so all day pedals would be more than welcome here.

£5,749 is not a small amount of money but this capable little scrapper really put a smile on my face. And to be fair, these Pivots do look the business!