The journey for the bike remains at 120 mm, and as with the previous version, riders can choose between riding 29 “wheels or 27.5” +. If riders choose to roll with a smaller wheel size, they will install a higher lower headphone cup to keep the geometry of the bike in check and the front end where it should be.
The new Trail 429 has more standing than before, while it still provides plenty of space to fit a water bottle inside the front triangle. There are five sizes, XS to XL, with XS suitable riders down to 4 ’11 “and XL serving riders up to 6’7”.
All models are carbon, and there are several different kits available at Race, Team or Pro levels. Each level has the option of a Shimano or SRAM set. Prices range from $ 5,599 USD for the Race XT build all the way up to $ 12,499 for the Team XX1 AXS Fox Live Valve construction with Reynolds / Industry Nine wheels.
Trail 429 transmits many updates seen elsewhere in Pivot’s line, and it throws a good deal of weight from the previous Trail 429, tipping the scale at 5.9 lbs, almost 3/4 lb lighter than before on a medium size. All frames are Fox Live Valve ready, there is internal cabling throughout, and everyone gets a full size water bottle. There are also two bolts on the bottom of the top tube that can hold a tool, such as Pivot’s own, or other accessories. There is integrated frame protection on the chain stays and the lower tube.
The distance 157+ Super Boost remains in place, in line with Pivot’s other more aggressive bikes. Riders can mount a 29 x 2.6 “or 27.5 x 2.8” tire with room to spare. Pivot maintains this distance, claiming that it allows them to build a better and stiffer frame with more rear wheel clearance, along with increased wheel stiffness. BB is PF92 for which Pivot was a pioneer, and although there are opponents, in our experience it has been proven that it is completely reliable.
For the barrier trailer, Trail 429 uses SRAM’s UDH, a welcome addition to all frames at this time. There is Live Valve compatibility on all frames, and although there is a Di2 battery port, there is no gap between the front triangle and the swingarm for Di2 routing. Riders can run the cable remotely, but not with the same integration as other Pivot frames.
All frames use a unique size-specific layout and hose diameter that correlates with frame size. Pivot does this to keep the riding characteristics the same on bikes, so that a tall rider has the same experience and frame feeling as a shorter rider would do. If we look at the hose, the large one has a similar diameter as the Switchblade, while the medium-sized and smaller frames clearly throw something from the previous iteration of the Trail 429.
Last but not least, it mentions and some applause that Pivot has done away with the Pivloc handlebar and grip system and has designed a new grip that does not require cutting your fancy carbon handlebar. The new “Phoenix Factory Lock-On Grip” is designed internally on the Pivot. It is specific to the left and right and has a tapered core that fits well with the bar. The ergonomic grip decreases from 30 mm to 32 mm and has a soft rubber compound that is designed to dampen vibrations.
Trail 429’s rocker llink has been reversed, but the amount of travel remains the same at 120 mm. The shock is a metric trunnion style, 165 mm long with 45 mm strokes. The suspension has been made more progressive, and the shock sits higher in its travel to keep the pedals snappy, and to prevent the lower BB height from causing too many pedal strokes.
While the Switchblade can be ridden with a spiral shock, the Trail 429 cannot; although the shock has a separate bottom control, it does not provide enough progression for the frame, according to Pivot.
The bike is available with a DPS or DPX2 shock, depending on the building. The more aggressive “Enduro” construction uses the DPX2 combined with a 140 mm Fox 36 fork compared to the standard building which has a 130 mm Float 34.
Geometry undergoes standard steeper, slacker treatment along with more range, but remember that we are still talking about a 120 mm trail bike here. For a size medium, in the lower setting, the Trail 429 now has a 66-degree HTA (1.3 slacker), 75-degree STA (1 steeper), 455mm range (15mm longer) and 432mm chain stays (2mm longer). The addition of a 140 mm fork in the Enduro package will reduce the head angle by approximately 0.5 degrees.
The bike is able to ride 27.5 “wheels with the addition of a lower headset cup that changes the numbers a bit. Riders can also choose to ride the bike in a” low “setting that folds everything up a little more by using the flip-chip in the tilt joint The chip can be rotated by simply loosening the screws and rotating it, which means that there are no parts to lose ground.
I’ve only had the new Trail 429 for a few days at this point, but I spent a lot of time on the previous Trail 429 and still have a Switchblade in the fleet, which helps draw some comparisons.
The biggest takeaway is the Trail 429’s increased efficiency from the previous model. The older bike was effective in the large arrangement of things, but I thought it was a bit covered, especially when it was set up against the last crop of shorter travel bikes. The new bike is light, nimble and fast. The reduced booklet is noticeable, and the suspension runs higher in its journey and with much more life.
The bike is easy to navigate up and over messy trails while holding a line, and it stays planted when it encounters off-camber chunder, while the suspension remains smooth and agile throughout the journey. On larger compressions, I struggled to find the bottom of the trip, which is not always the case on shorter travel bikes that provide good traction at the top end. The increased agility combined with more progression makes the new bike much more intuitive and easy to ride.
I will continue cycling for the next few months, hopefully I will log several miles when spring comes and the trails thaw. My first impressions of the Trail 429, or as I have begun to call it, “mini-Switchblade” are positive, and I look forward to seeing if that trend continues when I am able to put it to the test. For many riders, the new Trail 429 will be a more versatile version of the Switchblade that is friendlier uphill and easier to maneuver in tight quarters.