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Even before the first PIVOT Mach429 Trail lands in Europe, I can already test it out on the trails here in the States…

PIVOT Mach 429 Trail – Out of the Box: by c_g

Sometimes circumstances are favorable and two things coincide well. In this case it is a family vacation to Oregon and the new Mach 429 Trail, which PIVOT CYCLES just introduced about 2 months ago with this cool video linked here. The bike is a new trail oriented iteration of the well established Mach 429 with some interesting touches to it. If you go to their website you will see loads of details about the new carbon frame explaining way more than we can do here, but essentially the Trail is a longer, slacker and meaner version of its XC sibling. By going for 116 mm on the rear and a suggested travel of 130 mm on the front the bike gets a good amount of extra travel, but the key ingredient is how this travel is achieved and the geometry that goes along with it.

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The typical frame shape for Pivot, but with significantly less “Nascar-style” stickers .

The typical frame shape, but significantly less “Nascar-style” stickers – but also does not affect the blue frame really cautious.

As usual for the PIVOT bikes, the Mach 429 Trail gets a ultra stiff virtual pivot rear end designed by Dave Weagle, hence the name DW-Link. The 429 Trail is a new iteration of that which PIVOT calls Mid Travel Linkage. It gets a boost of stiffness by its special pivot design as well as the high end carbon rear triangle, which incorporates the new 148 mm Boost rear end. Yep… another new standard for many 29er bikes in 2016 it seems, which will hopefully put an end to anyone complaining about 29er wheels being too flexy (no, it was not me ).

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The kinematics is the latest interpretation of the DW-links, with very large bearings for maximum stiffness and durability.

The geometry is way slacker with a 67.5° head angle a steep 75° seat angle and a decently aggressive reach and stack. For more details simply go to the bike’s homepage.

Anyhow, even before the first PIVOT Mach 429 trail ever gets into any other Euro tester’s hands, I have the privilege of riding one for this personal holiday time and telling you about it. While this means I will be riding the bike on formerly unknown trails, it also means I will be riding it a lot in the coming 2 weeks and should be able to give you a pretty decent verdict after.

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As a regular reader you may know that I have a sweet spot for trail bikes with not too much travel and an aggressive geo and the Mach 429 Trail claims to fill that bill perfectly.

Looking at the beautifully sculptured carbon frame it becomes obvious that it is a very contemporary frame with only one trait some will scoff at – fully external cable routing. Yes, it may look like a bit of a step back in time, but then again in times with different dropper posts, drive train routing options and other variables, it looks like a good idea to keep things simple at least by keeping all lines outside and easy to access. I for my part like that and think it’s an asset more than a drawback. Besides, not everything is running externally; the shifting cables run internally long the chain stays as well as the internal dropper post routing entering the frame just in front of the bottom bracket.

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The Mach429 Trail shows that an external wiring may still be contemporary.

16-PIVOT-Mach-429-TrailIn good old PIVOT fashion the routing is multifunctional and incorporates every possible configuration, down to DI2 and the up and coming side swing front derailleurs by SHIMANO – a feature I have come to love when reviewing the SHIMANO XTR group set on another bike. Another nice touch is the detachable front derailleur mount, which makes for a very clean look when running a 1×11 drive train.

When talking to PIVOT about this review, they asked me all kinds of questions: My body’s dimensions, what saddle to bar dimensions I prefer, where the bike will be ridden and if I had any other specific preferences. The results of that was the bike I received was tailored to me in terms of cockpit dimensions as well as other nice details. As such my sample bike came with a KS Integra dropper post, a MAXXIS High Roller II front tire and as another nice treat, a set of DT-SWISS’s newest XMC1200 carbon wheels with a decent inner width of 24 mm. Anything but the HR tires is an upgrade option offered directly by PIVOT.

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Barely introduced to the public, the DT-SWISS XMC1200 29er Carbon wheels with a 24 mm internal width.

The rest of the components are the “XT/XTR Pro 2x build kit“ featuring a 2016 2×11-speed SHIMANO XT drive train (upgraded by an XTR rear derailleur), XT M8000 brakes, plus some nice PIVOT bars and a WTB Vigo saddle. All in all a very high-tech bike with nothing too fancy, but also no cheapo build. All in all the bike comes in at USD $6929.00. Without the dropper post and carbon wheel upgrade the bike would come at USD $5399.00.

Also on board are the brand new 2016 suspension  components by FOX – a 130 mm Float 34 Factory Wide fork (meaning it has a 110 mm axle) and a custom valved FOX Float DPS Factory shock – both with KASHIMA coating and the new Open-Adjust compression damping logic. It is good tradition with PIVOT to not keep the customer guessing about the setup and so the shock has a little set-up guide helping you to get it just right – even with two indicator lines helping to get it firmer or softer.

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We will probably soon have to get used to 110 mm wide forks/hubs across many brands, the new standard for 29er forks. Boost…it’s here to stay.

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The new Fox Float DPS damper with its own PIVOT SAG-Guide – with the rubber ring on the blue line it is called “firm”, at the red line, it is more sensitive.

PIVOT claims that the 116 mm of travel are so well balanced, that they feel almost as efficient pedaling as the 100mm Mach429 SL but still giving you as much suspension performance in the rough that it nearly rivals the Mach6 in this regard. I will soon find out how much if this claim really is noticeable out on the trail. Having already been on a Mach 429 Carbon and a LES 29er my expectations are very high.

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With 116 mm of suspension travel at the rear, the Mach 429 trail marks a middle ground between the Mach 429SL and the Mach6.

I am also very interested if the benefits of the wider BOOST rear end (and front end for that matter) really can be noticed in terms of stiffness and steering precision. It may not be the prime objective of the Mach 429 Trail but PIVOT says the 29er bike would also be B+ compatible and take 27.5 tires of up to 2.8“ width. Unfortunately I will not have the opportunity in this review to try that side of the bike..

As it is, the PIVOT Mach 429 Trail comes out at 12.35 kg (or 27.2 lbs without pedals) – keep in mind, that is with a dropper post and meatier front tire, but also with lighter set of wheels.

So much for the intro of the PIVOT Mach429 Trail, which I will be shredding the trails around Bend, Oregon with in the coming 2 weeks. Due to the limited time, you will hear back from me rather soon with my first impressions – stay tuned.

RIDE ON,
c_g