Why We Like The Trail 429 Pro XT/XTR Mountain Bike
Blurring the lines between, trail, cross country, and enduro, the Trail 429 Pro XT/XTR Mountain Bike keeps on surprising us with its adaptability. 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.
Geometry is covered with the new 429, and the longer, slacker, and steeper treatment we see on bikes nowadays hits home with Pivot’s new ride. Already over a degree slacker than its predecessor, the enduro version is slacked-out another half-degree with a flip-chip and longer travel fork. 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-ready frame this bike is dedicated to the ascents as much as the descents. 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 new frame technology sticks with their esteemed hollow-carbon layup, but like the new Switchblade, now offers a unique layup for each frame size. 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. This proprietary tech means our smaller friends don’t complain about a stiff and harsh ride, and our larger friends don’t complain about too much frame flex or the bike feeling ‘noodly’.
- Pivot's short-travel 29er lives for spirited trail riding
- DW-Link travel provides a bottomless feel yet climbs efficiently
- 29in wheels offer the best possible rolling efficiency
- Flip-chip can make the bike more downhill ready
- Carbon frame with Super BOOST Plus rear axle for a responsive ride
- Live-valve ready frame is a next-level suspension upgrade
- Shimano XT/XTR drivetrain has a gear for every situation
- FOX Factory suspension offers top-of-the-line performance
- Room for a full-size water bottle on all frame sizes