Pivot Trail 429 Review
Pivot are the latest bike brand that we’ve picked up here at Steed Cycles, and we’re stoked to have them on board. Pivot have a reputation in the bike industry for producing high end drool-worthy super bikes that perform as amazingly as they look. As a high end bike shop in a premier mountain biking destination, we feel that Pivot are an awesome addition to our lineup of quality bikes and can’t wait to get our customers out riding them!
Pivot’s Trail 429 is their answer to the Santa Cruz Tallboy – an all-day every day trail bike. Short on travel but big on attitude, the Trail 429 rolls on 29″ wheels and has 120mm travel out back with a 130mm Fox 34 fork and an Enduro build option for a 140mm Fox 36 to turn it into a downcountry machine. With a lightweight build, full carbon frame and progressive trail geometry, the Trail 429 can do it all – from all day missions to burly singletrack and everything else in between.
Frame Details and Suspension
The Trail 429 is one of those bikes that’s incredibly well thought-out and has a ton of refinements and small details. The 429 has been in Pivot’s lineup in some form or other for some time now filling the niche of lightweight trail bike/XC whippet, and Pivot have the race pedigree and years of development behind them to really let this thing shine both in terms of small details and the big picture.
The devil is in the detail as always, and Pivot have really thought about it. The new Trail 429 follows their most recent formula with the vertical shock positioning, meaning there’s way more room in the front triangle for water bottles, a new tool mount and it really cleans the look of the bike up. As well as a tool mount on the underside of the top tube, there’s now also a tool dock and another tool mount underneath the BB, meaning endless storage possibilities without scratching the paint.
Keeping the bike nice and quiet is a chainstay protector with cutouts to allow a little movement and damp the chain slap, as well as a neat little rubber flap covering the lower link to prevent small rocks etc. from getting stuck in there. Covering the BB area of the downtube is a chunky rubber protector, because even small bikes like to get rowdy! The Cabling on the Trail 429 is all internal and uses some neat little cable ports that mean it’s easy to get the cables through and keeps them neatly tucked away.
The Trail 429 keeps things light with an optimised carbon layup and modern standards such as a Super Boost Plus 157mm rear axle spacing meaning a stiffer frame and rear wheel. This bike is also one of the latest in their lineup to adopt the Sram Universal Derailleur Hanger Standard. One that is becoming increasingly popular, thankfully! Bikes from Pivot, Santa Cruz and Specialized are all adopting this new standard, and that’s just the brands that we carry.
In charge of suspension duties on the Trail 429 is 120 millimetre’s of Dave Weagle’s finest DW-Link suspension, tuned by Pivot to be supple yet efficient. DW-Link is designed around as much anti-squat as possible. Anti-squat is how much the suspension resists compression whilst pedalling. This means that DW-Link bikes are by their very nature efficient pedalling bikes. Designed to be more progressive than previous iterations of the bike, the new Trail 429 ramps up towards the end of its stroke, meaning the beginning can be more supple with better small bump compliance and with better bottom-out resistance. An awesome all-round package then.
The new Pivot Trail 429 gets the longer, lower, slacker treatment without pushing it too far. Geometry is still relatively sensible, but thankfully the designers at Pivot have realised that it’s possible to give a bike fun geometry without sacrificing efficiency. At the same time, those designers also saw fit to provide a flip-chip to alter geometry from low to lower. Trail 429 rocks a slack but not crazy 66/66.5º head angle and a comfortable 75/75.5º seat tube angle. The BB height comes in at 340/347mm and reach in a size medium is 460mm with a 604mm stack and 432mm chainstays across the board.
These numbers put the Trail 429 at just half a degree steeper than a Santa Cruz Tallboy, with a slightly higher bb but longer reach, slightly lower stack and shorter stays. This should make the Trail 429 nice and nimble but still stable at speed with nice progressive numbers without being outrageous. A fun bike to ride then!
Pivot is a premium brand, and their spec levels reflect that with only carbon frames, no aluminum. Starting at $7,750 for the Race XT and Race X01 spec level with either a Shimano or Sram drivetrain, fox performance suspension and a DT Swiss wheelset. As we move up the spec levels, every bike gets a Fox fork and shock and 4-piston brakes. Moving up to the Pro spec level we get factory suspension front and rear and either a Shimano XT/XTR or a Sram X01 build kit with options for the Enduro fork upgrade, carbon wheel upgrade and Fox Live Valve upgrade. Top of the line is the Team spec with carbon Reynolds wheels only, an XTR or XX1 Axs build kit and options for Enduro and Live Valve for a true no expense spared build.
Back in 1996 I was first introduced to Todd “Digger” Fiander on a bike ride on Mt. Fromme. At the time all the good trails were the secret ones and Todd rode them all. I was lucky enough to get the invite on a few of these rides and knew Todd was going to be a […]