First Ride – Pivot Trail 2021 429

In 2018, we saw Pivot’s 120mm trail bike go through some major updates, enough to warrant a name change from 429 Trail to Trail 429. By 2021, the bike has once again undergone a number of changes, especially in geometry. department, and the shock is now oriented vertically in the frame, as has been the case with other bikes that Pivot has released over the last 18 months.

The bike’s travel is kept at 120mm and, as in the previous version, riders can choose between running 29 “or 27.5” + wheels. If riders choose to ride the smallest wheel size, they will want to install a taller lower headset cup to keep the bike’s geometry in check and the front end where it should be.

Pivot Trail 429 Details

• Wheel size: 29 “/ 27.5+
• Rear travel: 120 mm
• 130-140 mm fork
• Full carbon frame
• 66 ° head angle (lowest setting)
• 75 ° seat angle
• 608mm stack / 455mm reach (medium)
• 432 mm chainstays
• Weight: 27 pounds (Pro X01 build, medium size)
• Price: $ 5,599 – to $ 12,499 USD ($ 8,499 as tested)

The new Trail 429 has more support than before, while also providing plenty of room to fit a water bottle inside the front triangle. There are five sizes, XS through XL, with the XS fit riders up to 4’11 “and the XL duty riders up to 6’7”.

All models are carbon and there are several different construction kits available in Race, Team or Pro levels. Each level has the option of a Shimano or SRAM kit. Prices range from $ 5,599 for the Race XT build to $ 12,499 for the Team XX1 AXS Fox Live valve build with Reynolds / Industry Nine carbon wheels.

Frame details

The Trail 429 carries many updates seen elsewhere in the Pivot lineup and throws in good weight from the previous Trail 429, tipping the scales at 5.9 pounds, almost 3/4 pounds lighter than before at a midsize size. All frames are Fox Live Valve ready, there is internal cable routing throughout, and they all receive a full size water bottle. There are also two bolts on the bottom of the top tube that can hold a tool, like the Pivot’s, or other accessories. There is frame protection built into the chainstays and the down tube.

The 157+ Super Boost spacing remains in place, in line with other more aggressive bikes from Pivot. Passengers can fit a 29 x 2.6 “or 27.5 x 2.8” tire with room to spare. Pivot clings to this space, claiming it allows them to build a better, stiffer frame with more clearance for the rear tires, along with increased wheel stiffness. The BB is the PF92 that Pivot pioneered, and while there are naysayers, in our experience it has proven to be completely reliable.

For the derailleur hanger, the Trail 429 uses SRAM’s UDH, a welcome addition to each and every frame right now. There is Live Valve support on all frames, and while there is a Di2 battery port, there is no hole between the front triangle and the swingarm for Di2 routing. Riders can run the cable externally, but not with the same integration that other Pivot frames have.

All frames use a unique arrangement of specific size and pipe diameters that correlate to the frame size. Pivot does this to maintain similar riding characteristics on bikes so that a tall rider has the same experience and feel in the frame as a shorter rider. Looking at the tube, the large one has a similar diameter to the Switchblade, while the medium and small frames clearly shed some weight over the previous iteration of the Trail 429.

Last but not least, it’s worth mentioning and applauding that Pivot removed the handlebar and Pivloc grip system and engineered a new grip that doesn’t require cutting your sleek carbon handlebar. The new “Phoenix Factory Lock-On Grip” is designed internally in Pivot. It is specific for the left and right and has a tapered core to fit comfortably on the bar. The ergonomic grip narrows from 30mm to 32mm and has a soft rubber compound designed to dampen vibrations.


The Trail 429’s llink rocker has been flipped, but the amount of travel remains the same at 120mm. The shock is metric trunnion style, 165mm long with a 45mm stroke. The suspension has been made more progressive and the shock sits higher in its travel to keep pedaling fast and to prevent the lower height of the bottom bracket from causing too many pedal strokes.

While the Switchblade can be run with a coil damper, the Trail 429 cannot; Even if the damper has a separate bottom control, that doesn’t provide enough progression for the frame, according to Pivot.

The bike is available with a DPS or DPX2 shock, depending on the build. The more aggressive “Enduro” build uses the DPX2 in conjunction with a 140mm Fox 36 fork versus the standard build which has a 130mm Float 34.

The geometry undergoes the steepest and loosest standard treatment along with more reach, though keep in mind that we’re still talking about a 120mm trail bike here. For a midsize, at the lowest setting, the Trail 429 now has a 66-degree HTA (1.3 looser), 75-degree STA (1 steeper), 455mm reach (15mm longer), and chainstays. 432 mm (2 mm longer). The addition of the 140mm fork in the Enduro package will reduce that head angle by about 0.5 degrees.

The bike is capable of running 27.5 “wheels with the addition of a lower steerer cup that alters the numbers slightly. Riders can also choose to run the bike in a” low “setting that makes everything go a bit steeper. using the flip chip The chip can be turned by simply loosening the bolts and turning it, which means there are no parts to lose along the way.

Travel impressions
I’ve only owned the new Trail 429 for a few days at the moment, but I spent a considerable amount of time on the old Trail 429 and still have a Switchblade in the fleet, which helps make some comparisons.

Most importantly, the Trail 429’s greater efficiency over the previous model. The older bike was efficient in the grand scheme of things, but I found it a bit overbuilt, especially when faced with the latest crop of shorter-trip trail bikes. The new bike is light, agile and fast. The reduced weight is remarkable and the suspension moves higher in its travel and with much more life.

The bike is easy to navigate up and over messy bits of trail while maintaining a line, and remains planted when facing a chunder out of bend, the suspension remains smooth and flexible throughout its ride. On larger compressions I struggled to find the bottom of the travel, which is not always the case on shorter travel bikes that offer a good amount of upper end traction. The greater flexibility coupled with greater progression makes the new bike much more intuitive and easier to handle.

I’ll keep riding the bike for the next several months, hopefully logging more miles as spring rolls around and the trails unfreeze. My initial impressions of the Trail 429, or as I started calling it, the “mini-Switchblade” are positive and I’m looking forward to seeing if that trend continues once I can put it to the test properly. For many riders, the new Trail 429 will be a more versatile version of the Switchblade that is friendlier on climbs and easier to maneuver in tight spaces.


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