If the Pivot Mach 6 Carbon is the brand’s answer to the enduro-crushing, all-mountain playbike, the Pivot Mach 429 Carbon slots squarely in the pedal-until-you-flat-out-can’t-pedal-anymore category. Fast enough for race duty, and capable enough for all-day backcountry marathons, the Pivot Mach 429 takes full advantage of it’s 29-inch wheels, pairing them with 100 millimeters of supremely efficient dw-link suspension.
As with all of Pivot’s carbon models, the 429 relies on ‘Hollow Core’ internal molding, a method that utilizes solid, internal forms during the lay-up and molding process. Allowing for more controlled resin placement, the resulting frame is free of the imperfections common with inflatable bladders. The result, a better stiffness-to-weight ratio and much more control over the ability to tune the frame’s ride characteristics.
The Mach 429’s carefully designed upper and lower links are beautifully engineered puzzle pieces that allow for an incredibly space-efficient integration of the front and rear triangles, allowing for significantly shorter chainstays and a more optimal shock placement. Additionally, they do an extremely good job of maintaining an impressive level of lateral stiffness in the frame—which becomes readily apparent when you throw the Mach 429 into unforgiving, rocky terrain.
Due to the nature of Pivot’s dw-link-based suspension design, Pivot worked closely with Fox to develop a custom tuning profile for the Mach 429 Carbon’s Fox Float CTD shock—the 429 Carbon pedals so well that the sort of pedaling platform built into most shock tunes simply isn’t necessary.
Pivot machines all of its aluminum linkages in-house, not to mention all of the frame hardware—right down to the bolts—as well. Bonus points to anyone who can name another bike brand with the same level of attention to detail. (Hard, huh?)
When you combine the Pivot Mach 429’s short chainstays, the impressive amount of anti-squat and 69.3-degree headtube you get a surprisingly balanced package. The anti-squat properties of the dw-link, when paired with a set of wagon wheels allows the 429 to climb with the best of them (especially up particularly rocky climbs), while the short chainstays are quick to send feedback, providing a firm reassurance that the 429’s rear end is never just ‘along for the ride.’
And, with a 69.3-degree head angle—that is relatively relaxed for a bike in this category—the Pivot feels extremely confident and relaxed in more skill-taxing terrain. In fact, the Pivot’s confidence can actually get you into trouble, drawing you into situations that are best served with a bit more suspension.
So what does Pivot itself have to say about the Mach 429?
“Two years dedicated to designing and testing the all-new geometry and revised dw-link suspension design make this bike handle and accelerate like a 26-inch-wheeled bike”
Well, we can’t help but agree. The Pivot Mach 429 does indeed take the handling characteristics of it’s small-wheeled brethren, pairing them with all of the advantages that bigger wheels bring. Ever since the rise of the 29er, the search for the perfect compromise between the two has been sought. Well, rather than bend to compromise, Pivot found a solution—it’s called the Mach 429 Carbon.