Greater than the sum of its parts.
When we were growing up, we were always told not to judge a book by its cover, and while we try to stay true to that mantra, sometimes we jump ahead of ourselves. The 2018 Pivot Mach 429 Trail 29 Race X01 Eagle Complete Mountain Bike is a bike that gives us that friendly reminder again, with a ride that doesn't match up to its numbers, offering 4.5-inches of suspension that feels deeper on the descents, and stubby chainstays that hammer up the climbs like a cross-country race rocket. We won't try to tell you that you're going to mistake the 4.5-inches of travel for a full 6-inches of enduro-rig squish, but we will say that the combination of mid-travel designed DW-link suspension and updated geometry give the bike a ride that feels truly deeper than its numbers may read, and offers forgiveness when you get a little too deep into the chunder.
The 429 Trail's DW-Link suspension takes a handful of queues from the Mach 6 and Phoenix, teasing a virtual depth out of the 4.5in of travel that feels closer to a proper 5in trail bike. The canny cyclist may spot elements of Pivot's DH clevis and enduro lower linkage in this model, but the new upper linkage translates those big-hit designs to the traction-focused language of a trail bike. By bringing the 429SL's small-bump compliance and race-worthy trail-contact into conversation with the Mach 6's terrain-erasing capabilities, the 429 Trail defines the crossroads where XC speed meets fearless enduro aggression.
The frame itself benefits from Pivot's hollow-core internal molding process for uniform, controlled wall thicknesses and material distribution. This process virtually eliminates inconsistencies and resin pooling, increasing structural integrity while targeting areas for weight loss. The frame emerges from the molding process with a 67.5-degree head tube angle and relatively stubby chainstays, making it slack enough to challenge lines across rock gardens but nimble enough to pick its way through enduro-grade terrain—all while sticking climbs and roosting berms in the manner that made us fall in love with its immediate predecessor, the 429SL.
The wide PF92 bottom bracket anchors the stiff Boost axles, accommodating wider pivot placement for longer life in the suspension's bearings and a stiffer rear triangle. We suspect that the PF92/Boost 148 collaboration is also responsible for the room to slam the rear wheel up and shorten the chainstays, making for even more power-transferring efficiency and the nimbleness described above.
- A trail-ready ride that pedals like a dream, and descends like a boss
- 4.5in of DW-Link suspension feels bottomless but stays responsive
- Geometry sits on the slack side of moderate to clean bigger lines
- Carbon construction and boost hubs provide a responsive ride
- External cable routing reduces cost and simplifies maintenance
- SRAM's X01 and GX Eagle come together for a massive gear range and crispy shifting