The 429 is Pivot’s entry to the ever-growing 29er market. It’s one of the few big-wheelers that manages to look ‘just right’, and we discovered it's a lot more capable than its lightweight cross-country guise lets on.
Ride & handling: Stiff and sprightly, with incredible traction
Our test bike weighed in at 12.9kg (28.5lb), which isn’t as light as the benchmark Santa Cruz Tallboy, but is a respectable weight, and the bike could go below 25lb with the right build. But that doesn’t really matter because it rolls so damn well.
Long drags are noticeable, but the 429 is surprisingly sprightly when you give it a bit of welly and is certainly not slow in the handling department. The 71-degree head angle allowed quick response and worked well with the bigger wheels.
Great traction is always an upside of 29ers, but when the big wheels combine with the excellent DW-Link suspension on Pivot bikes, the traction produced is incredible – we found ourselves cleaning wet techy climbs we have trouble with in the dry! Pivot’s Chris Cocalis has his bike design well and truly down.
The 429 is one of the stiffer 29er frames we’ve ridden. The wheels were adequately stiff too, but not quite stiff enough to make the most of that frame stiffness. We found that we were pushing the wheels to the limits, but not the frame. We’d love to try the 429 with some Easton Haven Carbons for the ultimate stiff and light combination.
The ﬁnal thing that had us amazed was just how stable this frame is – the 12.8in bottom bracket height (well below the wheel axles) kept the bike incredibly stable and planted in the corners. We were riding fast, technical downhills with the saddle at full height, staying on the wheels of those on 150mm (6in) bikes with the saddles slammed. This bike rails and is far more capable than its lightweight cross-country guise lets on.
Frame & equipment: Quality chassis, with finishing kit to match
Made from 6000 series aluminium, the 429’s tubeset is triple-butted and hydroformed. Up front there’s a zero stack head tube that accepts internal 1.125in bearings and bigger 1.5in external cups for tapered steerer tubes.
A BB90 bottom bracket takes huge internal bearings – keeping the proﬁle low, but allowing for bigger welding contact, and increasing stiffness. Dave Weagle’s DW-Link system is in place, complete with trick carbon links and red anodised bolts.
Our test bike was built around a Shimano XT 10-speed transmission, using Hayes Stroker brakes to slow it down. A Fox F29 120RL fork adorned the front of the bike, and a Fox RP23 shock kept good form out back.
Rolling stock consisted of DT Swiss 29er custom 350 wheels with Kenda Nevegal tyres as stock, but we swapped them for lighter Maxxis Beavers for our stodgy test period. The ﬁnishing kit included a WTB saddle and FSA bar, stem and matching seatpost.
This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine.