The Pivot Mach 429 should be stamped -- High Speed Approved -- somewhere on its anodized aluminum tubes. While it looks like it could simply be the race-proven Mach 4, only revamped and optimized for 29" wheels, the truth is more complex. It was designed expressly for big wheels, and that meant a thorough reworking of the geometry that extended from tube lengths and angles to the actual layout and size of the links for the 100mm (4") dw-link rear suspension. But like its smaller-wheeled brethren, the Mach 429 is versatile enough to line up in your local expert class cross-country event or to simply carry you down an unseen singletrack faster and farther than ever before. The Mach 429 is a super-efficient race machine because it pedals well without inducing strange or wasted motion in the rear suspension. At the same time, it has deceptively plush travel that just makes it a fun bike to ride. Though these characteristics might seem to be mutually exclusive, the dw-link suspension makes it all possible because of its anti-squat characteristics. By virtue of Newton's Third Law of Motion, when something accelerates, its mass is transferred rearward. The dw-link counteracts this transfer to minimize your impact on the rear suspension. This is why Pivot is able to get such a lightly damped tune on the 7. 5" x 2.0" Kashima Coated RP23 rear shock from Fox. With the dw-link controlling unwanted suspension squat, the lightly damped shock can respond with ultra-sensitivity to the demands of the trail. As a result, the Mach 429 delivers a comfortable ride and awesome climbing traction. It floats over rocks, roots and ruts, yet it still remains firm while hammering out of the saddle. In short, the Mach 4 adapts to virtually any situation you throw it in.While many 29ers are too flexy, Pivot made it a point to improve this aspect of the frame. Pivot builds the Mach 429 frame from hydroformed 6000 series aluminum tubing and 3D hollow aluminum forgings. The production processes for these raw materials both help to align and strengthen the grain structure of the alloy. Compared to the Mach 4, the tubes in the front triangle are bigger around, though also shaped differently, to add torsional stiffness. The rear triangle also gets a new structure. It does without a brake bridge on the seat stays, and it gets a vertical strut on both sides between the links. This gives the Mach 429 the same kind of stability and precision as the 26" bike.There are a few other details that emphasize the efforts towards optimizing frame stiffness. One of the easiest to see is the BB92 pressfit style bottom bracket. The extra width in the shell does two things -- 1) It allows the frame designers to spread the forged lower seat tube yoke and increase the width of the lower dw-link, increasing stiffness and resistance to torsional flex in the link. All this comes without sacrificing front derailleur functionality. 2) It also provides b
I will start by stating that I dislike 29ers. That being said I love this bike! I never thought I would buy a bike with this wheel platform. All the 29ers I have tried handled clumsily, sure they rolled over trail obstacle a little easier than 26ers, but they lacked the nimbleness I have always enjoyed in a mountain bike. Originally I wanted the 5.7 but the shop I went to was out at that moment, and had a single 429 that happened to be on clearance, and my size. I took the 429 out for a spin, instantly I knew this bike was different, the nimble handling of a 26er, the smooth roll of the 29er. The DWlink suspension does its job brilliantly. When out of the saddle hammering the pedals it never robs you of power. This bike builds confidence, begs for speed, and snakes through technical sections like a ferret on fire. The Mach 429 is a great bike for anyone who pedals up before they descend (xc, trail, and all mountain). Pivot Didn't change my view on all 29ers, just the ones they make.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: November 19, 2012
Strengths: Everything, this bike is the most amazing mtb I have owned bar none.
This bike can race xcr and marathon events, and all day endurance rides. This bike ascends and descends like nothing I have ridden before. 29er wheels and DW link is a winner!
Strengths: Very Efficient suspension, lighter than my Pivot Mach 5 with similar build, goes the distance
Weaknesses: Spendy, stock RP23 a bit fickle to set up for a lighter-weight rider, poor rear tire clearance
I've now had this bike since the first of May and I've put a few bikepack rides in (100+ mile, overnight, tons of vert, backcountry rides), daily Phoenix chunk rides (techy climbs and descents on South Mountain, super chunky climbing and descents on the west McDowells) and tons of Flagstaff rides (buff singletrack, tight swooopy bits, etc). I generally ride between 70-100 miles a week.
This bike has one design weakness: Very Poor rear tire clearance...which is typical for a Cocalis bike. Other than that, I love this bike. I am a previous Pivot owner and still have my 2009 Mach 5 and this 429 carves better than the Mach 5 and matches it very nearly on the descents...it climbs better in that the very first week I had my 429, I started cleaning climbs I've never cleaned before.....and it holds it's own on endurance types rides which figure heavily in my yearly schedule....I wish I had had this bike with me on the AZT300 this year! Making the transition from a 26'r to a 29r, I was worried about a loss of nimblness in the bike....to my surprise, this bike is more nimble than my Mach 5.
The initial limitations I found are directly related to the wheel size and were easy to overcome with a change in riding style. Changing my climbing style/tempo up a little bit elicited gains within a week or so. Descending took a bit getting used to since the reduction in travel on this bike from my Mach 5 was obvious...but I've quickly forgotten about it.
The only big and persistent limitation here I see is the very poor tire clearance which coincidentally, is probably what contributes to the great carvability of this bike. As a bikepacker, this will limit where/when I take this bike bikepacking....if I'm looking to get into any mud I will have to consider another bike. Lucky for me, I live in AZ and mud is a rarity....but still a concern.
As in my Mach 5, I found my light weight and the bikes RP23 are a funny combination....the bike is either too harsh or too wallowy. One thing I did on my Mach 5 was send it off to PUSH to get tweeked as per my preferred riding style/modus. I anticipate doing the same with this bike as well to remedy the problem. I don't really consider this a weakness of the bike per se since this is perhaps more an indication of my riding style and preference....so I'll leave it at that.
Strengths: Stiffness, incredible geometry for climbing ANYTHING, easy to manuever, rolls and rolls and rolls
Weaknesses: lack of clearance between rear wheel and bottom bracket of D-Link suspension could cause issues on a really muddy day.
I have been riding a 2007 GF 26" HiFi Pro for the past five years and finally decided to switch to a 29er. Based upon everything that I read, demo'ing a SC Tall Boy, a Specialized Epic, and the 429, and taking into account my normal riding - all XC, Leadville every year since 2007 - I bought the 429 and could not be happier. 2012 429 full XT build. I have not weighed it nor do I intend to. I'm 5'10" and 190lbs with a 31" inseam. I have a medium which fits perfectly. The stiffness, manueverability, and stability on climbs, are all as advertised. This bike is a blast to ride on singletrack. And on technical parts of trails with rock gardens and loose soil, it blasts through it. My lone concern with the bike is the minimal clearance between the lower part of the D-Link suspension and the rear wheel. there is almost no room for error there. I have yet to ride on a really muddy day but that may not be too fun. This is a perfect bike for Leadville and for flying around my local trails in MD - Schaeffer Farms, Holyes Mill, Black Rock, Watershed. If you are considering a 29er and are more into XC and singletrack, you cannot beat this machine.
It's an expensive bike (hence the 4 out of 5 chillis) even with the ridiculous deal I got on it (brand new for $3,500.00 versus $5,000 from CO shop or Speed Goat) but its many strengths and fun factor to ride made it a 5 out of 5 no brainer for the overall rating. Buy one. You'll love it!
Strengths: Stiff Frame, Rear travel great in both small rocks and medium drops. Stock components.
Weaknesses: Hard to find in stock.
I really like the 2012 changes to a 142mm rear axle, Kashima Shocks, and Full 2012 XT/XTR component setup. The 429 felt so stiff, it was like I was on a BMX bike as a kid again. I am 190ish with gear. No Flex. It is accelerates fast, corners well, and feels confident downhill and off drops. Great all around bike for Arizona desert. Compared to the stumpjumper, I liked the DW link better the the brain. Not a fan of how specialized matches components and over all a better value (to me). Compared to the Santa Cruz Tallboy. Pivot 429 rear shock seems to take drops better and had the 142mm rear axle. Otherwise pretty close.
Similar Products Used: 2011 Stumpjumper FSR Expert 29er (1year), 2012 Santa Cruz Tallboy (a couple of months)
Bike Setup: 2012 XT/XTR Pro kit. DT Swiss 350/XR400 rims tubeless with Specialized Captain F&R.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: May 28, 2012
Strengths: Climbs effortlessly, descends better than my Gian Reign, Rolls through single track and holds it's line fantastically
Weaknesses: Lack of Dealers in Wellington, Price vs Carbon
Absolutely love this bike - first 29er I have owned, I have tested a couple Jamis and Specialized 29ers but this bike has given me so much more confidence and I'm riding quicker than I have ever ridden - I didn't believe a bike would make that much difference until now! This bike doesn't have a very high profile in NZ - However I would 100% recommend it - I Dealt with Chris at Revolution Products - who was great
Strengths: A versatile, well balanced MTB that holds its own in both AM/XC categories. DW-link nearly eliminates pedal-induced feedback (suspension bob) better than advertised and thus, this MTB climbs better than any other bike I have ridden over the past 25 years. Yet, the suspension behaves very well in the rutty, rocky type technical descents. The geometry is spot on so despite the bigger 29-inch wheels, its an excellent handling bike. IMHO, the 120mm fork improved an already great ride characteristic.
Weaknesses: Just a few nuances that I would propose Chris consider in the next version. My biggest issue has been inadequate rear tire clearance. Getting caught in a monsoon inevitably leads to carrying the bike out because of mud clogging betwen rear wheel and rear suspension. I recognize it is difficult to squeeze in the linkages and front derailler while maintaining the correct frame geometry etc but this issue has been problematic for me. ONly other improvement I would suggest.... which we know is coming (as evident by the upgraded 5.7) will be to enhance the rear travel slightly (4.7-inches?) while lightening the aluminum frame ( I am opposed to carbon frame). Lastly, the front end geometry might need to be tweaked since I am required to run ALOT of spacers AND a high riser bar to achieve a setting of equal bar and saddle height.
I test rode the Specialized Epic, Santa Cruz Tallboy, Gary Fisher, Ellsworth etc and for my riding style and location (Rocky Mtns), purchasing the Pivot was a no-brainer. I was actually suprised how far superior the overall performance (climbing, descending, handling) of the Pivot was compared to the other MTB FS 29er options
Strengths: Quality of build, suspension performance, super stiff frame, geometry/head tube angle feels more all mountain than cc.
Weaknesses: No carbon option.
Been riding for more than 15 years and had all 26" until now including Salsa a la carte, Airborne, Ellsworth Truth, Intense 6.6 and the 2012 429 has been the most fun since I started riding. I do more long cross country rides and endurance races but love to hammer the most technical line I can find. I have been riding it for 6 months and now that the front range in CO is open I am killing all the technical stuff that used to give me trouble on my previous bikes. Plus, like others have commented the climbs are also better - I was looking for "the one" bike and now I have found it. I test rode the Tallboy C, Lenz, Salsa Spearfish, Niner Rip, RDO - all very nice bikes as well but obviously the 429 felt the best.
Bike Setup: X0, Chris King, Stans Crest, Easton bars/post, Magura MT8
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: April 17, 2012
Strengths: Suspension, handling, durability,
I have only ridden hard tails up until purchasing this bike. I decided to go big, or go home. Sure, the fork has a lockout and the rear shock as 'pro pedal' mode. But in reality, you don't need it. The dw linkage design takes care of it. Just set the shock pressures, and ride. This bike climbs like a mountain goat, and shreds through single track like it's angry. I could keep writing and tell you about how it handles like a 26er, has zero frame flex, etc - but everyone else has already said that.
Keep in mind, these bikes run large. I went from a 19" Trek Cobia 29er to a Medium Pivot 29er. A side by side measurement shows them to be nearly equivalent, except for the handle bars. The handle bars on the Pivot are much larger.
If you are serious about spending this much money on a mountain bike, this is the bike you want.
Strengths: Climbing. Descent. Handling. Paint. Suspension.
Weaknesses: Rider Mortality
This thing climbs better than anything I've ridden. I'm 37 and have been riding quality bikes for 22 years. Going down hill I find myself aiming for the bigger obstacles so I can feel the suspension working them over. It handles like a smaller bike, without feeling like you're on a smaller bike. I have 80mm of front suspension instead of the recommended 100mm, so that could be part of the explanation. The anodized black paint not only makes the bike look like it was something developed in a secret government laboratory, but it is also very hard to bang up as well. The DW link suspension is perhaps the most incredible feature on the bike. It actually feels like it is propelling you forward as you flex it over terrain. In comparison, I have ridden other FS bikes that feel like a tractor bouncing straight up and down as you ride. This bike feels more like a sling shot throwing you forward from the obstacle that you just left in your wake. The Pivot decal is as understated and serious as the bike. This brings me to the weakness I listed: Rider Mortality. I will never be as good as this bike, limiting its full potential. When I'm at my best, flying down a narrow, rocky singletrack with my heart in my throat and glutes at full pucker, I feel like the bike is putting out the most minimal effort. It is bad.
Similar Products Used: Nothing comes close to this, not even the Mach 4 and Mach 5.
Bike Setup: SRAM XO and X7.
Lefty Speed front shock thanks to a Project 321 adaptor.
a All Mountain Rider
from GAINESVILLE, GA, USA
Date Reviewed: March 20, 2012
Strengths: Stiff, agile, 26er feel, very well built
Weaknesses: a bit on the heavy side
This bike is probably one of the best over all bikes I have ever owned in the 12 years of my cycling career, Last I counted was 9 different bikes. Overall, the DW link suspension is wonderful. Very stiff and very responsive. I guess the only thing that is quirky is the suspension set up. The DW is very sensitive to changes in the air pressure of the shock. After spending some time learning it, I love it. My bike is knocking on 30 lbs but the bike rides like a 25 lb 26'er. You really do not notice the weight. The bike carves single track very well and climbs very well. It smoothes out the chatter very well. Over all I am very very pleased with this bike....and I have been on it for two full riding seasons and this summer will be my third. My bike has about 1,500 miles on it. I tore it down last week to service the bearings and pivots and the wear is minimal. This really testifies to the quality of the Pivot brand. The 429 design has not changed in a couple of years and my bike is essentially the same as you would buy now.
a Cross Country Rider
from Hadera, Israel
Date Reviewed: December 29, 2011
Strengths: Great Handling, Pivot are right- it has a 26er feel!, amazing pedal efficancy in any condition. fast, climbes great. very plush ride, but yet a lot of feedback from the trail.
Climbes even better when fork set to 120mm!!! you instantly feel its easier to climb for some reason!
Weaknesses: Color schem could be more creative...
If you are a trail rider, doing lots of singletrack and long rides every 2nd weekend - You owe yourself to test it before you decide on any other bike!
Favorite Trail: "The Sugra Trail", near the Dead Sea.
Duration Product Used: 6 months
Purchased At: Matzman, Local Pivot
Similar Products Used: Gary Fisher Hi-Fi Pro 29er.
Bike Setup: Full X9, SRAM Carbon 2X10 Crank, Fox Talas RLC 95-120 fork. American Classics MTB Wheelset. Chris King Headset.Hope mono mini brakes.
Thomson elite stem & seatpost. Cranck Brothers Iodin 11 carbon handlebar, 680mm, low rise.
Specialized phenom Expert seddal. Specialized The Captain Control 2Bliss tires.
a Cross Country Rider
from Conroe, TX, USA
Date Reviewed: November 21, 2011
Strengths: Great handling in tight switchbacks and technical terrain, great climbing ability (no front wheel lift & no rear wheel grip issues), no gyroscopic feeling in the front wheel when turning (common to 29ers), large frame was sized perfect for 6'-2" rider with 34" inseam.
Weaknesses: The lock-on grips that came with the bike were too thin for my big paws. I immediately bought some Oury lock-on grips. Really other than that I cannot think of any negatives. This bike far exceeded all the others I test rode.
I bought the bike while on a 10 day mountain biking trip in Steamboat Springs Colorado (Bike Town USA). I had never heard of Pivot before and I bought the bike on the spot without any further research (it felt that good). I spent several days in town test riding several different bikes back to back on the local trails. I test rode the following bikes before settling on the Pivot Mach 429 (Rocky Mountain Slayer 50, Trek EX9, Giant Trance X2, Yeti 575, Specialized Epic, Specialized FSR 29er, Specialized FSR, Yeti 575, Salsa Spearfish, Ellsworth (Full Susp.), Specialized FSR S-Works)
Weaknesses: A little on the heavy side for XC racing
I have about a dozen rides on this bike so far and I think the suspension is just beginning to break in. This is my first FS 29er and first DW link bike. Great suspension design! You know they have something great when the bike pedals almost identically with the propedal setting on and off. My last FS bike was a single pivot Yeti and that bike rode great, but it was like two different bikes with propedal on and off. I have this bike set up with 120mm fox and I don't notice it handling sluggish or anything at all. It would probably handle like it's on rails with 100mm up front though. I was torn between building a 5-6" 26er or the 429. It's just preference, but I like the way the big wheels feel under me. I can tell you if I was to consider a 5-6" 26er the pivot 5.7 would be top on the list after riding this suspension. I don't think I will have a need for it though since the 429 has comfortably handled everything I've thrown at it so far. This bike is super stable at speed and inspires confidence going thru rocks. You don't really notice the DW link rear moving, but it is always working. Climbs are a breeze on this bike especially rocky ones since the DW eats up everything and doesn't penalize you with pedal feedback. I feel like it is a little more forgiving with a sloppy spin and mashing uphills than other suspension designs. I recently got to do a side by side comparison to my buddy's tallboy last week. Very similar rides. Both suspensions work great, but I would give the DW a slight edge. The 429 is stiffer. I'm not sure if this is because of the carbon, but the tallboy definitely dampens small chatter better than the 429. Last thing is the tallboy is almost 2lbs lighter. I can see how people would consider the 429 too heavy to XC race, but lucky for me I don't race anymore and just enjoy riding a great bike. I think a lighter carbon version of the 429 would put a dent in tallboy sales for sure. Overall the 429 is a great bike that does everything well. Go try one out.
Similar Products Used: Lynskey pro29, Santa Cruz tallboy, yeti asr,
Bike Setup: 2011 medium frame, 2012 fox 120RLC kashima, stans ZTR arch 29er, formula K24 brakes, ritchey carbon bars & stem, 1X9 drivetrain (XT cranks, XT rear cassette, Sram X9 rear der)
a Cross Country Rider
from Fort Smith
Date Reviewed: November 13, 2011
Strengths: The frame stiffness is unbelievable for a full suspension bike. Absolutely no pedal bob! I feel like I'm riding a full hard frame when climbing and soak up every inch of the downhill without realizing it! Absolutely AMAZING!!!!!!!!
Weaknesses: They are definitely proud of it and the price shows, but for good reason. Pivot could use some better color schemes.At least more options. Other than that, I can't find another bike to even come close in efficiency from every aspect of a mountain bike as far as the frame goes.
SHOW ME A BETTER BIKE and then I'll shut up about the performance of this one!!! First of all, I was completely against 29ners, thought it was just a fad that would fade away. I loved my 2010 Stumpjumper Elite, until I rode this. The only reason I would want to ride it these days is if I somehow messed the Pivot up. But I don't see that happening, its bombproof in every way. I'm 210 lbs. and consider myself strong and aggressive when a big hill comes my way, and when I'm on the Pivot I cannot stop smiling. I can pound my way over anything and never worry about wasting energy. For example, today one of my riding friends stalled out on a tough hill, he watched me go by and when he came to the top he commented, " That bike is ridiculous, you were pounding and it was like you were riding a rigid." Enough said. Bottom line, if you can afford it, ride one, if you can't don't get on it because you will sell everything own to get your hands on one. Hats off to Pivot and the Mach 429!