Last week we brought you a first look at Pivot’s Mach 429, the company’s 100mm full suspension 29er. Now we’ve ridden it a little, here’s our first ride impressions.
Pivot Mach 429 on the trail
It’s early days yet, we’ve only just logged a couple of rides on the Pivot, and we had to make some changes to the setup before we felt at home on it. Firstly the stem and bar came off and on went a shorter Sunline stem and Ragley’s Wiser bar, this changed proved a dramatic improvement and the Mach 429 now feels more at home on our local trails.
It’s easy to set the suspension up, using the provided sag guide on the Fox RP23 shock we quickly got the right level of sag front and rear. There’s two attributes you notice when riding the Pivot, the efficiency of pedalling provided by the dw-link and the bigger wheel advantage, they roll over just about anything and everything.
On rough terrain the Pivot pedals with incredibly fluidty and stability, with barely any discernable bob or bounce no when pedalling, and momentum along smooth level trails and up climbs is astoundingly good. It eats up the distance, and is really quite a joy to pedal fast, as it makes it so easy.
The dw-link really impresses, all of the time. As such the shocks ProPedal lever was left off (though we did try it on several times) as this seemed to be the best approach to get the most from the suspension design. It’s action over smaller bumps, combined with the shallower angle of the large 29in wheels, goes a long way to how it manages to ride so fast on the smoother fireroads and elsewhere.
Geometry on the medium Mach 429 we’re tested is 71.20 degrees for the head angle with a 73 degree seat and 17.95 chainstays. It’s a slightly steeper headangle than the recently ridden Santa Cruz Highball but that suits the character of the bike, with a faster turning through corners and generally racier feel, and the longer chainstays give a stable feeling when the going gets faster.
With our change to the front end, combined with that short head tube, handling is agile and responsive through the twists and turns of the singletrack on our test loop. It offers a ride not that dissimilar to the Santa Cruz Highball we rode last week in fact. The Pivot isn’t all that light, though our bike does wear a mid-level spec of SLX and Hayes brakes that resembles what might be a typical build by most potential customers, value and durability over bling.
We still need to put a lot more riding time into the Pivot to get a reall feel for it on a range of trails, and will report back soon. We also want to swap out the supplied tyres for something a little faster rolling and gripper in the corners, so watch this space.