First look: Pivot Mach 429 and Firebird

29er and all-mountain models with dw-link suspension

Last week we brought you news of Pivot Cycles’ new Phoenix downhill bike, and now we’ve got our hands on two new frames that use the same dw-link suspension platform – the Mach 429 and Firebird.

Mach 429

The 100mm-travel Mach 429 is the company’s first foray into the 29er market. Pivot reckon it won't be long now before 29in-wheeled bikes ‘crack’ the UK, as they see big-wheelers and British trails as a perfect match.

The company's Rob Aguero was keen to point out the lengths to which frame rigidity has been optimised on the Mach 429. Pivot were the first frame manufacturers to use a 92mm-wide bottom bracket shell, allowing for better support of bearing cups, a wider stance for the pivots and use of a wider down tube.

To further cut flex, the carbon fibre upper link is a one-piece affair and it runs on four Enduro MAX bearings riding on 7075 alloy hardware. Tubes are triple-butted, hydroformed 6000 series aluminium, and cold forging is used on every part of the frame, apart from the head tube, for a stronger, lighter chassis. RRP $2199.00 for frame, rearshock and BB.

Pivot Firebird

The $2,199 Firebird (UK price TBC) is Pivot’s all-mountain weapon, built to climb as well as it descends. This versatile beast is made from oversized, triple-butted, hydroformed 6061 aluminium, has 6in of rear travel and is designed to take a 160-170mm fork. It can be set up with a single ring and chainguide or a double or triple chainset.

Pivot have developed a patent pending floating front derailleur mount and inner chainguide plate that allows the front mech to move as the bike's suspension compresses and rebounds. This apparently keeps the chain perfectly positioned in the “sweet spot" of the derailleur cage.

Here's the front mech in normal shock-not-compressed mode

The mech in shock-compressed mode

Unlike other dw-link bikes such as the Iron Horse Sunday, the Firebird has a fully 'floating' rear shock – it’s not attached to the front or rear triangle, instead mounting to the carbon rocker and lower (dw) link – which provides a constantly variable shock rate.

We're going to sling our legs over Pivot's new machines soon, so keep an eye out for an upcoming review on BikeRadar.

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