Why We Like The Trail 429 Pro XT/XTR Live Valve Mountain Bike
Built to rethink what a trail bike is really capable of the Trail 429 Pro with XT/XTR and FOX Live Valve suspension has us hitting lap after lap with speed and precision. Modeled after its world-cup winning and cross-country driven Mach 4 SL, the frame redesign drops 300g off a size large frame compared to the previous generation of Trail 429. We don’t want to get caught in a trap of "climbs like a goat, descends like a demon" cliches, but with the new 429, it's hard to describe the feeling in a simpler way. This version of the Trail 429 gets Fox Live Valve treatment, which is best described as an automatic system that adjusts our suspension to match the trail, faster than we humans can even think.
Geometry on the new 429 is dialed and built to respond to the demands of modern-day trail riding. Already over a degree slacker than its predecessor, the bike can be further slacked out thanks to an integrated flip-chip. The seat tube is also half a degree steeper than the previous model, and for us out here in the mountains or down in the desert, we couldn’t be more thankful. The steep seat angle allows us to pedal hard up steep gradients without getting out of the saddle, and the DW link works overtime to make sure every watt is transferred onto the dirt.
New to the 429 is a vertical DW link, and with the FOX Live Valve suspension, this bike is equipped to handle the climbs as well as the descents. Live Valve works by electronically changing the suspension to match the terrain, so on big descents we're running wide open and long climbs has us putting every watt in the pedals. Even with 120mm travel rear and 130mm front suspension set-up, this bike is efficient. We’re half tempted to throw some XC-specific tires on here and snag some up and downhill KOMS on our local cross-country loops. And we can certainly do that, but with this bike being equipped with knobby 2.4in Maxxis tires, it begs to smash down descents at wide-open speeds.
Pivot's Trail 429 may come at a cost, but the enjoyment and speed we're getting make it all worth it. Pivot uses their esteemed hollow-carbon layup and their proprietary design features mean better riding. For instance, a size small frame is no longer just a carbon copy of a size extra-large, as the tubes use less material to compensate for the added stiffness of naturally shorter tube lengths. Likewise, on an XL frame with longer tube lengths, the frame is beefed up to maintain an appropriate level of stiffness. We're riding the best laps of our life aboard the 429 and leaving old PR's in the dust. Treating ourselves to a bike this capable only comes once every lifetime and we're more than happy to take the leap.
*Due to unprecedented demand in the global supply chain and the bike industry over the last 18 months, material weight and exact components are subject to change. We are working diligently to keep tech specs updated, and any adjustments will be minor. If you have any questions, reach out to a Gearhead by chatting online or calling 1-888-276-7130.
- Pivot's short-travel 29er is efficient yet plenty capable
- DW-Link travel provides a bottomless feel yet climbs efficiently
- 29in wheels offer the best possible rolling efficiency
- Geometry flip-chip can make the bike more downhill ready
- Carbon frame with Super BOOST Plus rear axle for a responsive ride
- Live-valve equipped suspension handles varying terrain with ease
- Shimano XT/XTR drivetrain offers top-notch shifting performance
- Room for a full-size water bottle on all frame sizes