Pivot Mach 429 Carbon Mountain Bike Frame $2,899.00
Evolution at mach speed.
When the Pivot Mach 429 showed up at trail heads, it was one of the first 29ers to arrive with the well-established, DW-Link rear suspension design. Already proven, with multiple World Cup wins, and possessing years of field testing and refinement, this approach to motion dynamics shook up the full-suspension 29er market. Fast forward five years from those early 429s, and they're stepping aside for the new age of the Mach 429 Carbon Mountain Bike Frame.
And while the Mach 429 soldiers on as an unfailing workhorse, the only things shared between it and the 100mm-travel, 429 Carbon are nomenclature and wheel size. The new 29er top-dog at Pivot features a revised DW-Link design, a fresh geometry, and a new carbon chassis that builds on the expertise gained from the groundbreaking Mach 5.7 Carbon.
Pleasing to the eye, this fresh chassis' sweeping curves and smooth tube junctures aren't the result of some industrial designer's whimsical drawings. Instead, after two years of development, it's a classic case of form following function. The shape is a result of Pivot's exclusive hollow box, high-compression, internal molding technology. This allows for greater compaction of the fibers and resin and smoother internal walls that produce a lighter, stronger, and highly optimized frame design. The end result is a focus on the revised DW-Link design for unparalleled chassis strength and stiffness.
The most obvious change to this iteration of the DW-Link is found at the upper link. It's now mounted lower, and it's packaged more compactly. This reduces flex in the link, and it lessens play from dimensional tolerances. But, the revised link plays a much greater role in the whole 29er picture. The tighter packed upper link permits a smaller, stiffer rear triangle and lower shock mounting. This effectively translates into chainstays that are close to a centimeter shorter, and a stand over height that grants an inch-and-a-half more breathing room. Because of these two changes alone, you'll experience quicker handling and livelier trail manners than with an alloy 429. In fact, some riders liken its behavior to that of a 26in wheeled bike. Adding to those positive characteristics is a millimeter shorter bottom bracket height, and a slightly slacker seat tube angle.
On the trail, the Mach 429 Carbon glides over rocks, roots, and ruts, yet still remains firm while hammering out of the saddle. This is due to the DW-Link suspension design having always focused on mitigating the natural squat tendencies of full-suspension bikes. When you're on a full suspension bike, the center of mass is somewhere near your belly button. Every time you pedal forward, this mass shifts rearward, loading the rear suspension. DW-Link counteracts this transfer to minimize impact on the rear suspension. This is why Pivot specs a custom tuned FOX CTD rear shock. It doesn't need the damping that other suspension designs demand in order to mimic the ideal balance of platform vs. compliance.
With the DW-Link controlling unwanted squat, the lightly damped shock can respond with ultra-sensitivity to the demands of the trail. As a result, the Mach 429 Carbon will soak up big, square-edged hits and minute trail chatter alike. Perhaps the best trait of the DW-Link design is how well it absorbs bumps while climbing at low speeds. This means comfort and traction when it's appreciated most.
There are a few other details that emphasize the efforts towards optimizing frame stiffness. One of the easiest to see is the wide, BB92 PressFit bottom bracket. The extra width in the shell does two things -- it allows Pivot to connect a massive down tube, and it increases the width of the lower link for enhanced resistance to torsional flex, while also adding support to the bottom bracket bearings. This bottom bracket shell is equipped with ISCG 05 mounts for the use of a chain guide, and you'll be using a direct mount front derailleur. The rear triangle gets a 142 x 12mm thru-axle, and a post-style disc brake mount for added simplicity and strength over IS mounts and standard quick-releases.
Connecting the two triangles is a forged, and CNC-machined, aluminum lower link that contains eight sealed cartridge bearings -- two at each corner. This increases the durability of a pillar component, stretches service life, and optimizes suspension function. The upper link is made of carbon fiber for strength and low weight, and since it sees less stress than its lower counterpart, Pivot relies on four bearings.
The Pivot Mach 429 Carbon Mountain Bike Frame is available in the colors Team Green, Matte Carbon/blue, and Matte Carbon/red. It also comes in four sizes from Small to X-Large. You'll need a 30.9mm seatpost, and the 429 comes with guides for a dropper post cable or hose. The tapered head tube requires a semi-integrated (Zero Stack) tapered headset with 44mm top and 56mm lower cup diameters. Pivot recommends a 100 to 125mm fork with the 429. The Mach 429 Carbon includes the rear thru-axle.
Please note that US Pivot dealers are prohibited from shipping Pivot bicycles outside of the United States and US territories.
|120mm Travel Fork|
Effective Top Tube
Head Tube Length
Head Tube Angle
Seat Tube Angle
Bottom Bracket Height
What community has to say
8 months of full-on trail thrash
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I'd second Scott's comments, even the Ripley observation. Something about the Pivot cockpit really suits me, and I've ridden 'em all (6-0, 180 lbs.). Have done everything from bike park to high country on the Mach 429c and altho I was late to the 29 game, this bike has it dialed for 80 percent of what I do. I miss a bit more travel on some drops, launches, etc. Hoping Chris & crew will come out with a Mach 629c, maybe 150-155mm and a Pike fork. More here: http://bikeintelligencer.com/2013/04/carbon-29er-comparison-ibis-ripley-and-pivot-mach-429/
Perfect blend- fast, nimble and DW link
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
It goes without saying to never buy a bike based on advertising and hype. Test ride it, compare it and make sure it's what you are looking for. What this bike does is combine great climbing prowess with excellent descending. Flickable for a big wheel bike with confident manners. I demo'd an Ibis Ripley ( full disclosure, I owned a Mojo sl and loved it) and could not shake the short top tube forward feel on downhills, (100mm stem on a large and I'm 5"11). I demo'd a SC tallboy Carbon, and could not get past the feel of the suspension both climbing and descending. I demo'd a Trek Sfly100, great climber, but the long history of breaking dissuaded me. I demo'd the Pivot... Ahhh Goldilocks! For me...YMMV, it was the sweet-spot. Long top tube, short chain-stays, DW link. If you want a full on trail machine you should look for more suspension and give up the climbing ability of the 429C. If you want a cross country racer there are shorter travel and lighter bikes out there. The reality is that there is no one bike to rule them all. You always give up something. The 429carbon seemed to give up less than others I tried.
Smooth Singletrack Shredder
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Ah yes, the Mach 429 Carbon. Trumpeted by my peers, Pivot, and numerous media mouthpieces as a ?do-it-all? trailbike, my anticipation to ride such a lauded bike was palpable. So, after parting the horde of onlookers at the Outerbike demo event in Moab this year, I was giddy to be gifted the opportunity to take the Pivot out for a brief hour spin on some intermediate-tech singletrack. After all, my weapons of choice usually fall into the Santa Cruz Tallboy LTc/Niner RIP9 RDO realm, and some a shade bit more nimble with similar geometry/capabilities sounded right in my wheelhouse.
Nimble it was - instant power transfer was synonymous with pedaling. The polyamorous union of shorter stays, rearward axle path, short travel, and light swingarm developed razor-sharp handling. The slacker head angle, long front-center, and big wheels kept the playful nature of the bike in check whipping through berms and flat corners. Unfortunately, the very aspects that make the bike fun also bled through when the going got rough. I?m not a bigger guy (150-160lbs), but have the riding finesse of a yak powered by a pro road racer?s cardio system...that likes to go airborne. The 429 was quickly overwhelmed in the rougher stuff and repeated small, fast bumps would cause the rear suspension to pack up and run through its travel at a fairly rapid rate. The often-spec?d Fox 32 was not quite up to the par for trailriding duties, suffering the same fate as the 4-inch rear end.
That said, the Mach 429 is a perfect alternative to many short-travel XC race platforms in the 29er world, and will likely delight anyone coming from a hardtail bike. The playfulness, low weight, and relaxed geometry makes it perfectly suited to areas with smooth trails and a general lack of technical features.
Unfortunately, Pivot claims to not have any longer-travel bikes on 29ers in development, and those looking for something more rowdy would be better suited investigating the Ripley, Tallboy LTc, or RIP9 RDO.