Pivot Trail 429 Review | A Premium Trail Ripper With Big Bike Ambition

Howdy folks it’s Wil here from Flow Mountain Bike  
and welcome to this video review 
of the all-new Pivot Trail 429

yes indeedy this is an all-new third 
generation Trail 429 this is Pivot’s go  
fast trail bike so it sits between the 
Mach 4 SL the 100mm travel xc race bike  
and the Awitchblade the 142mm All Mountain bike 
the Trail 429 splits the difference with 120mm  
travel out back and a 130 or 140mm travel fork 
up front now that puts it into similar territory  
as the Santa Cruz Tallboy the Ibis Ripley the 
Norco Optic and the Specialized Stumpjumper  
as per usual the full review of the Trail 
429 is now live over at flowmountainbike.com  
click the link in the video description below 
and that will take you through to the full review  
of this bike right here in this video i’ll be 
giving more of a broader overview of the Trail 429  
i’ll be going to some detail about what’s changed 
on the new bike then i’ll be talking about how  
it rides on the trail what this bike does well 
what it struggles with and ultimately what kind  
of rider it’s best suited to the latest Trail 
429 gets a brand new carbon fibre frame with  

vertical shock layout that we’ve seen on the 
Mach 4 SL the Switchblade and the latest Mach 6.  
Pivot’s built it around a trunnion mounted shock 
which actually squeezes the same stroke into a  
smaller package and that’s allowed the engineers 
to build a more space efficient frame design  
there’s more standover clearance greater 
compatibility with long stroke dropper posts  
and there’s room for a large size water bottle 
on all frame sizes including the extra small the  
frame itself is still a carbon only affair however 
pivot has employed more expensive higher modulus  
carbon fibers to help reduce weight pivot claims 
the new Trail 429 frame comes in at just 2.7kg  
including the rear shock joining the swing arm to 
the mainframe is a dw link suspension design the  
two links are manufactured from cold forge 7000 
series alloy and they feature big pivot bolts and  
large diameter enduro max bearings with the new 
frame Pivot has updated the geometry on the Trail  
429 with the changes you’d probably expect the 
head angle is over a degree slacker at 66 degrees  
the seat tube angle is a lick steeper at 75 degrees 
but the biggest change on this bike is in the  
reach measurement on the medium frame here it’s 
grown from 439 millimeters to 455 millimeters  
essentially going up a whole size the bottom 
bracket sits a little bit lower there’s a 33  
millimeter BB drop and the rear centre has 
been kept nice and short at 432 millimeters  
the new Trail 429 does carry through the 
wheel size adaptability of the original model  
so while complete bikes do come with 29 inch 
wheels this bike will take 27.5+ wheels  
you can even set it up as a mullet bike with a 29 
inch wheel on the front and a regular 27.5 inch  
wheel on the back adding further adjustability 
pivot has built in a two position geometry chip  
the bikes will come shipped from the factory in 
the low position but flipping that chip into the  
high position will lift the bottom bracket height 
by six millimeters and steepen the angles by half  
a degree on top of that pivot will be offering the 
Trail 429 in a race build with a 130mm travel Fox  
34 fork and a Float DPS shock and enduro builds 
with a 140mm travel fox 36 fork and a Float DPX2  
shock with the race and enduro builds Live Valve 
and carbon wheel upgrade options there’s a total  
of 20 different spec options available in the 
Trail 429 range now pricing will start at $8,499 AUD
for the Race XT build and it will go up 
to $18,999 AUD for the Team  
XX1 AXS Live build which comes with all of the 
batteries the bike that i’ve been testing here is  
the Team XTR build retail price on this is $13,499 AUD
for your money you’re getting a  
Fox Factory series fork and shock a Shimano XTR 1×12 drivetrain with carbon Race Face cranks XTR  
four piston brakes with 180 mil rotors front and 
rear a Reynolds Black Label carbon wheel set and  
2.4 inch Maxxis Dissector EXO tires confirmed weight 
for our medium-sized test bikes set up tubeless  
and weighed without pedals is just 12.4kg now 
at 175 centimeters tall i’ve been riding a medium  
size in the Trail 429 it’s worth noting though 
that the new bike is considerably longer than  
the old bike that millimeter reach is long for a 
medium and the seat tube angle while it is steeper  
it isn’t as near vertical as what we’ve seen from 
some other trail bikes on the market and that does  
mean that your weight is distributed quite evenly 
and comfortably across the cockpit though i will  
say for anyone who’s normally used to up sizing to 
get a longer reach take a very close look at the  
geometry chart because this bike is quite a bit 
longer than before thanks to the low slung top  
tube and the compact suspension design pivot has 
actually made the seat tube quite a bit shorter on  
the new Trail 429 so while our medium size comes 
with a 150mm travel Fox Transfer dropper post  
there’s actually room for me to run a 175mm 
dropper if i wanted Pivot takes care of the  
rest of the finishing kit on the Trail 429 with 
a 45 millimeter long stem and 780 millimeter  
wide riser bars overall it gives a purposeful 
and efficient riding position like an XC bike  
but with the broader footprint and stability of 
a longer travel trail bike as with every other  
pivot we’ve tested suspension setup on the trail 
429 is an absolute doddle thanks to that clip on  
sag guide for my 68 kilo riding weight i put 160 
psi in the rear shock and that got me to the blue  
line on the guide now if you do want a slightly 
plusher setup you can run more sag just aim for  
the red line on the sag guide Pivot has fitted 
the largest volume spacer inside the DPS shock  
and that means the suspension is quite progressive 
out of the box i got along with it just fine but  
less aggressive riders and anyone who’s struggling 
to reach full travel may want to downsize to a  
smaller volume spacer now without doubt one of 
the most impressive attributes of the Trail 429  
is just how efficient it is to pedal there is a 
little bit of shock movement initially and when  
you’re cruising along on the road you’ll be able 
to see that rocker link oscillating in rhythm with  
your weight shifts the trunnion bearing mount 
large volume air can and progressive leverage  
rate means the initial sensitivity on this bike 
is absolutely fantastic now you can tune out some  
of that movement by using the blue compression 
switch on the rear shock flip that into the firm  
position which isn’t quite a full lockout but it 
is suitably firm for riding on bitumen and smooth  
fire roads the reality is though that not a lot 
of energy is wasted when pedaling on this bike  
there’s quite a firm mid-stroke platform that 
engages around the sag point as soon as you  
step on the pedals the linkage tightens up under 
chain torque propelling the whole bike forward with  
the kind of get up and go attitude that you’d 
expect from a race bike like the Mach 4 SL even  
with the shock set in the fully open position this 
bike feels energetic and spritely whenever you’re  
on the gas what’s really impressive though is the 
rougher and more technical the terrain the better  
the pedalling performance gets the dw-link design 
is really impressive at separating pedalling inputs  
from what the rear shock is doing the way that 
it keeps feedback to a minimum is dead brilliant  
and allows you not only to maintain but actually 
build momentum when pedalling over rock gardens  
helping here is the Trail 429’s relatively tall 
ride height there’s very little wallow from the  
rear suspension and the bottom bracket also sits 
quite high to begin with i measure the static bb  
height at 338 millimeters off the floor which 
is a little bit higher than the Optic and the  
Ripley and notably higher than the Tallboy and 
the Stumpjumper this makes it very unlikely to  
stall on the crux moment of an awkward tech climb 
certainly on those 50/50 climbing sections the  
efficient pedaling performance and the generous 
ground clearance meant that my chances of making a  
clean run were drastically improved the impressive 
technical trail control extends to the descents  
with that newly endowed front center the Trail 
429 has a really solid footprint on the trail  
which promotes greater high speed stability than 
its predecessor despite the sub-13kg weight it  
does take quite a lot to get knocked around while 
riding this bike bump control is fabulous given  
there’s only 120mm out back and while it doesn’t 
hover like the longer travel switchblade it does  
absorb a wide range of hits both efficiently and 
effectively the progressive suspension design  
gives a load of high speed control and it manages 
its travel really well in fact i’m still yet to  
bottom out the rear shock completely up front 
the 34 is equally impressive but having ridden  
the GRIP2 version of this fork i must admit that 
i did miss that buttery plush performance here  
the GRIP2 damper does offer more adjustability 
better high speed poise and it’s more sensitive  
than the FIT4 damper however it is more expensive 
heavier potentially harder to tune and it misses  
out on the lockout too so i can see why Pivot 
has spec’d the FIT4 fork on the Race build  
and the reality is those who are chasing plusher 
performance for riding more technical terrain  
will naturally gravitate towards the enduro build 
which comes with that 36 GRIP2 fork and the DPX2  
shock despite the extra length and stability the 
Trail 429 still has a lot of pop and playfulness  
about it thanks to the low weight and responsive 
carbon chassis it’s an easy bike to flick about on  
the trail the predictable suspension behavior 
is also a significant contributing factor  
because the rear shock doesn’t seem to get bogged 
down it means that weight distribution on the  
front is more consistent that said you still have 
to ride the front wheel more assertively than the  
old bike and after all that added stability 
doesn’t come for free if you’re feeling a bit  
tired or lazy and you’re riding off the back of 
the bike it’s more likely to understeer and wash  
out on tighter corners what helped here though was 
flipping the geometry chip into the high position  
now of course that lifts the bottom bracket 
to give you a little bit more ground clearance  
and it steepens the effective seat tube angle to 
75.5 degrees and that improves the seated climbing  
position more importantly though it also steepens 
the head angle by half a degree and that naturally  
pushes more weight onto the grips and down into 
the front tire this setup allowed me to initiate  
turns more naturally and it also allowed me to 
carve tighter and twisty trails more easily too  
helping here is the Trail 429’s short rear center 
length which facilitates quick changes of  
direction however it’s the stiff chassis and the 
stout back end that ensure the rear wheel doesn’t  
wander offline through high speed berms there’s 
certainly a very strong connection between the  
handlebar and the rear wheel i’ll also say that 
the Maxxis Dissectors are a great match for the  
Trail 429s handling these tyres are faster rolling 
than a Minion DHF but they’re also more versatile  
and they offer more cornering grip than a Rekon 
they’re certainly well suited to my local dusty  
rocky hard pack trails though there is a slightly 
unnerving traction gap between the center tread  
and the cornering blocks once you commit and 
lean the bike over they do hook up nicely  
and if you do push past the limits of surface grip 
they engage in quite a nice controllable drift as  
for the rest of the components on the Trail 429 
it’s all performed well and it’s a very high  
quality package as you’d expect for the price it 
hasn’t been totally immune to issues though we had  
some cable rattle from one of the entry ports of 
the head tube which needed some electrical tape to  
snug it down and of course Shimano’s finned brake 
pads make the usual rattle i’d recommend replacing  
those with non-finned brake pads once the originals 
wear out otherwise the full piston XTR brakes are  
fantastic with huge controllable power and the 
shift quality has been rock solid throughout  
testing as well the Race Face carbon crank set is 
quite light and they look lovely too and they’re  
paired to a custom Enduro bottom bracket which 
has deeper insertion cups and double row Enduro  
MAX bearings there’s lots of other nice details 
on this bike too like the 3D chainstay protector  
and the option to fit Pivot’s tool dock system 
i also really like Pivot’s lock-on grips which  
have a nice tacky compound and a tapered profile 
which gets thicker to the outer end of the bar  
and i also dig Fox’s dropper lever 
which has a nice machined alloy paddle  
which sits a little bit further off the grips 
making it an easier and cleaner target to hit  
and lastly i will say that the Reynolds wheels are 
absolutely superb these are quite light they came  
in at just 1540 grams on our scales and with their 
low profile asymmetric carbon rims bladed spokes  
and that buzzy Industry Nine freehub they provide 
excellent acceleration with a nice and whippy but  
well-tuned ride quality that suits the Trail 429 
well and that my friends brings us to the verdict  
of the new Pivot Trail 429 i will say that this 
isn’t just the best looking iteration yet it’s  
also the best performing trail bike to have ever 
worn the pivot cycle’s name by reworking the shock  
layout Pivot’s engineers haven’t just improved 
the overall packaging of this frame they’ve also  
improved the dynamic performance on the trail it 
offers more stability and rough terrain control  
over the previous bike though it maintains agility 
thanks to the responsive carbon frame and that  
short and stout back end add in the adjustable 
geometry the wheel size adaptability and the  
impeccable pedaling performance and there are 
no doubts this is one of the most versatile and  
well-balanced trail bikes currently on the market 
now if you’d like to read the full review of the  
new Pivot Trail 429 make sure you click that link 
in the video description below to take you through  
to the full review over at flowmountainbike.com 
if you’ve got any questions for me about the Trail  
429 make sure you drop those into the comments 
below and make sure you give us a thumbs up  
if you enjoyed this video otherwise that’s 
it from me guys and i’ll see you next time

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