First Ride: Pivot's XC Race Ready 2020 Mach 4 SL

May 23, 2019
by James Huang  


Pivot Cycles has been on a bit of a roll lately, what with the Trail 429, Switchblade, Firebird 29, and Phoenix all receiving healthy doses of positive media and user reviews, plus healthy sales to match. But there’s been one category where the brand has been feeling a little off-the-back in recent years: cross-country. Pivot promises to remedy that now with the release of the new Mach 4 SL, which will replace the long-running Mach 429 SL as the company’s premier XC race bike.

First off, you’ll notice the name: it’s the Mach 4 SL, and not the 429. The original Mach 4 was shod with 26" wheels, and when Pivot switched to a size-specific 29/27.5" setup, that necessitated a badging change. But given how the XC market is now firmly in the 29er camp, Pivot decided to revert to the simpler Mach 4 moniker since wagon wheels are basically a given in that category these days.

Mach 4 SL Details
Wheel size: 29"
Rear wheel travel: 100mm
Front wheel travel: 100-120mm
Head tube angle: 67.5-68.5°
Chainstay length: 431mm
Rear hub spacing: 148mm
Sizes: XS-XL
Colors: Team Blue, Cherry, Stealth
Claimed weight: 20.9 lb / 9.48 kg (World Cup XTR kit, size M)
Frame w/ shock: 4.6 lb / 2.1 kg (size XS)
MSRP: $5,000 - $11,300 USD (complete builds), $3,400 USD (frame and shock only)
www.pivotcycles.com


Out back is yet another iteration of the dw-link rear suspension design that has adorned every Pivot full-suspension bike since the company was founded in 2007.
Out back is yet another iteration of the dw-link rear suspension design that has adorned every Pivot full-suspension bike since the company was founded in 2007.

Naturally, the new Mach 4 SL is made of carbon fiber, and also a given is the new bike’s 100mm of rear wheel travel, which continues on with a variant of the dw-link suspension layout that has marked every Pivot full-suspension bike since the inception of the company in 2007. It’s tuned more for pedaling efficiency than longer-travel Pivot models, of course, but it also differs in that the shock is now oriented vertically, tucked tightly in front of the seat tube instead of residing under the top tube as has always been the case with Pivot models.

It’s also very light, it’s compatible with Fox’s fancy Live Valve electronic suspension, it’ll supposedly clear a 2.5"-wide Maxxis Minion out back, and the progressive geometry further blurs the lines between XC and trail with a longer and slacker front end, shorter chainstays, and a steeper seat tube angle.


Pivot will offer the Mach 4 SL as a bare frame for $3,400 USD, or in one of 22 complete build kits, ranging in price from $5,000 to $11,300 USD. Every Mach 4 SL gets the same carbon fiber frame, and at least for now, there’s no aluminum version. But, continuing a most-welcome trend, it’s actually available right now.


Reaffirming the Mach 4 Storyline

The original Mach 4 was a distinct outlier when it was first introduced a dozen years ago. Although its 100mm of rear-wheel travel put it head-to-head with other cross-country bikes of the time, its crazy-stiff welded aluminum frame and more progressive geometry suggested it was meant for much more than just going uphill fast. Subsequent Mach 4(29) models have followed suit, and this latest Mach 4 is no different with geometry that focuses more on high-speed stability than low-speed, point-and-shoot agility.

Pivot will offer the Mach 4 SL with World Cup or Team build kits. The former is more race oriented with 100mm-travel forks and fixed seatposts while the latter comes with 120mm-travel forks and dropper posts.
Pivot will offer the Mach 4 SL with World Cup or Team build kits. The former is more race oriented, with 100mm-travel forks and fixed seatposts, while the latter comes with 120mm-travel forks and dropper posts.
Whereas many companies are moving to fully guided internal routing Pivot is sticking with bolt-on ports and open frame tubes. This makes it a little more of a hassle to get all of the lines run through the frame but it also affords more flexibility for different drivetrain and suspension setups.
Whereas many companies are moving to fully guided internal routing, Pivot is sticking with bolt-on ports and open frame tubes. This makes it a little more of a hassle to get all of the lines run through the frame, but it also affords more flexibility for different drivetrain and suspension setups.

Even when equipped in World Cup race trim with a 100mm-travel fork, the Mach 4 SL’s 68.5° head tube angle is the same as what Specialized uses on its more trail-oriented Epic Evo, which features a 120mm-travel fork. Nearly all Mach 4 SL complete builds will come with a 120mm-travel fork standard, though, which kicks the front out even more, down to 67.5° (which, somewhat remarkably, is nearly identical to Pivot’s much longer-travel Switchblade).

Chainstay length has also decreased substantially from the Mach 429 SL, from 445mm to a stubby 431mm, while the slightly longer reach dimensions are now borrowed from the current Trail 429. Bottom bracket height is the same as before, though, which is just fine since many already found it to be about as low as it could be without inducing too many pedal strikes. Seat tubes are steeper than before, but not outrageously so — it’s still a pedaling-intensive XC bike, after all.

Since the chainstay no longer has to clear a front derailleur cage Pivot positions it higher up so it can take a more direct path from end to end saving weight and increasing stiffness. Chain slap could be an issue at that point but between the clutched rear derailleur and the molded cover on the frame things run pretty silently.
Since the chainstay no longer has to clear a front derailleur cage, Pivot positions it higher up so it can take a more direct path from end to end, saving weight and increasing stiffness. Chain slap could be an issue at that point, but between the clutched rear derailleur and the molded cover on the frame, things run pretty silently.
Pivot is sticking to the PF92 bottom bracket and that wide format allows plenty of room for suspension hardware.
Pivot is sticking to the PF92 bottom bracket, and that wide format allows plenty of room for suspension hardware.

Shorter riders will be happy to see that Pivot has added a long-overdue extra-small size (without having to switch to 27.5" wheels), and Pivot says the five-size range will accommodate riders from 4’ 10" all the way up to 6’ 7". Clever repackaging of the rear shock — which is now oriented vertically instead of horizontally — means that even the smallest size has room for a large water bottle to fit inside the front triangle, while the XL size can handle two (and yes, there is a second set of mounts).

Standover clearance has improved across the board, too, and the shorter and straighter seat tubes used throughout allow for longer-travel dropped posts. Pivot only specs 150mm-travel posts on the XL size, but my suspicion is that many riders will be able to use those in on other sizes, too, depending on saddle height.


Yup, It's Light

Although the Mach 4 SL’s geometry paints it more as a trail bike, its showing at the scale is certainly more in keeping with the XC crowd. Claimed frame weight with the stock Fox Float EVOL rear shock is just 2,105g (4.64lb) — over 300g lighter than the latest-generation Mach 429 SL, according to Pivot, and about 700g lighter than a Trail 429. Granted, that Mach 4 SL claimed figure is for an extra-small frame size, and while larger sizes will obviously be heavier, there usually isn’t a huge amount of variation as you move up (and at least Pivot’s claim includes paint, which is surprisingly heavy). Claimed weight for a complete World Cup XTR build — in a medium size — is a paltry 20.9 lb (9.48 kg), without pedals.

Tube diameters on the Mach 4 SL are generally smaller than on other Pivot full-suspension frames all in the name of saving precious weight.
Tube diameters on the Mach 4 SL are generally smaller than on other Pivot full-suspension frames, all in the name of saving precious weight.

A lot of that weight savings comes from the use of higher-stiffness carbon fiber, of course, along with Pivot’s "hollow core internal molding" technology, which uses semi-rigid internal pre-forms inside of the frame instead of the old-school inflatable bladders. However, the tubes themselves are also a fair bit smaller in diameter on the Mach 4 SL than what Pivot uses elsewhere, which cuts down on the amount of material required in the first place. Both the front and rear triangles are more compact than what Pivot has used in the past, too, which cuts down on the amount of material required further still.

Pivot says that additional weight savings came from that vertical shock placement. Since there are no longer any suspension loads being transferred into the top tube, that part could be made lighter — and since the bottom bracket area is already heavily reinforced, no weight had to be added there. In addition, all of the suspension pivot bearings now rest in seats that are molded directly into the frame with no additional aluminum required.

Standard tooled rear axles leave a mostly flush finish.
Standard tooled rear axles leave a mostly flush finish.
Bearing seats for the suspension pivots are now molded directly into the carbon fiber whenever possible. The two suspension links are made of aluminum and comprise the vast majority of the non-carbon weight on the Mach 4 SL frame.
Bearing seats for the suspension pivots are now molded directly into the carbon fiber whenever possible. The two suspension links are made of aluminum, and comprise the vast majority of the non-carbon weight on the Mach 4 SL frame.


No to DI2, But Yes to Live Valve

Pivot was one of the first companies to partner with Fox on its fancy Live Valve terrain-sensing electronic suspension system, so it’s no surprise to see that the system will be offered on the Mach 4 SL. Dedicated wiring ports are included for the fork sensor, rear dropout sensor, and controller/battery unit, and the latter is neatly tucked away underneath the top tube.

Pivot tucks the Live Valve controller and battery underneath the top tube where the buttons are still readily accessible but the flashing lights aren t right in the rider s field of view.
Pivot tucks the Live Valve controller and battery underneath the top tube, where the buttons are still readily accessible, but the flashing lights aren't right in the rider's field of view.

Upgrading to Live Valve adds an extra $1,900 USD on top of the standard build kits, and adds about 220g (0.5lb). That’s a lot of money, but also a considerable savings over the $3,200 it’d cost to add the system after the fact — plus, the folks at Pivot HQ in Arizona will route all of those wires for you.

Pivot was also one of the first companies to specifically develop mountain bike frames to accommodate Shimano Di2 electronic drivetrains, but — like the Trail 429 that Pivot launched last year — you won’t find any compatible wiring ports or battery storage here. It’s widely expected that Shimano will release the second generation of that fancy electronic drivetrain sooner than later, but given the lack of wiring ports and the anticipated life cycle of this Mach 4 SL, Shimano is either moving to a wireless (or semi-wireless) format, or things are progressing slower than anticipated.

We’ll have to wait and see, but point being that if you’re already dedicated to Di2 and were hoping to use it here, you’ll have to get creative here. And yes, drilling holes will most definitely void the ten-year frame warranty.

Another bottle mount is located on the underside of the down tube. The small hatch further back is similar to what Pivot includes on the Mach 5.5 but it isn t for a Shimano Di2 battery. In this case it just provides access to help mechanics feed the dropper seatpost line up into the seat tube.
Another bottle mount is located on the underside of the down tube. The small hatch further back is similar to what Pivot includes on the Mach 5.5, but it isn't for a Shimano Di2 battery. In this case, it just provides access to help mechanics feed the dropper seatpost line up into the seat tube.


Clearances, BB Shells, Routing — And What About SuperBoost?

Can’t stand the 157mm-wide SuperBoost Plus hub spacing that Pivot uses on so many of its other bikes? Well, since the Mach 4 SL is only meant to be ridden with 29" wheels, Pivot has built the frame with plain ol’ regular Boost hub spacing instead. That said, Pivot says there’s still enough room between the stays to clear 2.5"-wide Maxxis Minions while running chainrings up to 38T.

The rear hub uses standard Boost 148mm-wide spacing but Pivot says the stays will still clear a 2.5in-wide Maxxis Minion tire.
The rear hub uses standard Boost 148mm-wide spacing, but Pivot says the stays will still clear a 2.5in-wide Maxxis Minion tire.
The new Mach 4 SL is designed specifically for 1x drivetrains which allowed for wider suspension links wider bearing spacing and neater routing for the rear derailleur housing.
The new Mach 4 SL is designed specifically for 1x drivetrains, which allowed for wider suspension links, wider bearing spacing, and neater routing for the rear derailleur housing.

Speaking of chainrings, Pivot is following the lead of the Trail 429 in that the Mach 4 SL is built solely for 1x drivetrains, which not only helps in terms of tire and drivetrain clearances, but allows for wider linkages and bearing spacing for a stiffer connection between the front and rear triangles. That 1x-specific layout even takes care of a long-standing criticism of several other Pivot frames: the loop of derailleur housing that dangles below the bottom bracket on the Trail 429 and Switchblade is finally gone, but the ISCG tabs stick around if you’d prefer the added security of a light-duty chain guide.

And speaking of bottom brackets, Pivot is sticking to its guns: the Mach 4 SL uses yet another PF86 press-fit shell. Before you crack out the torches and pitchforks, though, even I have to admit that Pivot seems to do a better job than most in terms of keeping the shell dimensions to proper tolerances. I still don’t like using a hammer when I have to install or remove a bottom bracket, but at least in my experience, press-fit seems to work as it’s supposed to on the Pivot frames I’ve ridden (and owned) over the years.

Moving the rear shock to a vertical orientation just in front of the seat tube left enough room in the front triangle for a large-sized water bottle even on the extra-small size.
Moving the rear shock to a vertical orientation just in front of the seat tube left enough room in the front triangle for a large-sized water bottle, even on the extra-small size.

Cable routing is internal throughout, using the same interchangeable port system found in other recent Pivot frames. Unfortunately, none of the lines are fully guided, but there are at least a fair number of sizable access holes to help fish things through, there’s a lot of flexibility in what can be run where, and the covers also lightly clamp the hoses, housings, and wires to keep rattling at bay.

And finally, from an aesthetic standpoint, let’s all maybe cheer the fact that the Mach 4 SL has been penned more with a ruler than a French curve, and that Pivot is sufficiently confident that it no longer feels the need to put a logo on every frame tube.


Even without the Live Valve system turned on the Pivot Mach 4 SL climbs with superb efficiency. Photo Cody Wethington.
Even without the Live Valve system turned on, the Pivot Mach 4 SL climbs with superb efficiency. Photo: Cody Wethington.

First Impressions

Press launches rarely provide a good opportunity to really get a proper feel for a bike, but Pivot conveniently chose to launch the Mach 4 SL in Fruita, Colorado, on trails that I not only know very well, but also happened to be on just three weeks prior. In typical fashion, Pivot put editors on one of the top-shelf builds, featuring Shimano’s new XTR group, DT Swiss carbon wheels, and the complete Fox Live Valve system.

This was admittedly my first time on Live Valve, but to be perfectly honest, it totally ruined me.

Fox Live Valve is an option across the board on the Mach 4 SL and it s absolutely incredible on the trail. That said there s still some time required to get the initial setup how you want it.
Fox Live Valve is an option across the board on the Mach 4 SL, and it's absolutely incredible on the trail. That said, there's still some time required to get the initial setup how you want it.

With the system turned on, the suspension is open and active when you want it to be, rigid when you don’t, and utterly settled and composed throughout with no other inputs required. There were also some unexpected benefits, such as incredible support on g-outs, and easier launches where you’d normally have to be more careful with your timing on the lip. You still need to exercise some care when it comes to matching the bump threshold setting to the ground type, but in essence, Live Valve is what the Specialized Epic aspires to be, but without the clunkiness and occasional confusion. Basically, it lets you ride like an idiot, and since that’s my default riding style, it’s a good match for me.

The 100mm of rear wheel travel says XC bike but the progressive geometry encourages you to run the Mach 4 SL harder than you might otherwise expect to do on a pure race bike. Photo Cody Wethington.
The 100mm of rear wheel travel says "XC bike", but the progressive geometry encourages you to run the Mach 4 SL harder than you might otherwise expect to do on a pure race bike. Photo: Cody Wethington.

That said, this is still a Pivot cross-country bike with a dw-link rear end, and it works extremely well even with Live Valve turned off. There’s minimal unwanted rear-end movement under power, excellent (albeit somewhat firm) bump control, and very good support throughout the range of travel, just with a slightly busier ride quality and more input required when approaching certain obstacles.

Frame stiffness isn’t quite like what you’d find on a Switchblade — or a burlier trail or enduro bike, in general — but it certainly seems competitive for the category, and balanced from front to rear. And the geometry feels spot-on, at least for the faster trails where we rode: stable and composed at high speed, but nimble enough for rapid-fire turns without requiring too much handlebar wrestling.

For now, my biggest criticisms lie with a couple of spec items.

Pivot includes 29x2.25" Maxxis Aspens front and rear on the more race-oriented World Cup builds, and the 29x2.2" Maxxis Ardent Race for the somewhat more versatile Team variants. They’re light and fast-rolling, no doubt, but the extremely low-profile tread designs aren’t the best for general trail riding.

For the dry-and-dusty trail where I live, I’d like to see something slighter meatier, at least up front. Likewise, all Mach 4 SLs come with 160mm-diameter rotors front and rear, instead of a more useful 180/160mm combo.
Carbon wheels features rims made by Reynolds.
DT Swiss carbon wheels.

Given how capable the Mach 4 SL chassis feels, both of those seem like limiting factors for what otherwise seems like a worthy opponent to the Yeti SB100. Granted, the argument can easily be made that the Mach 4 SL is supposed to be a race bike, and should be equipped as such. However, I’d argue that there are far more people who just want a fast and capable bike than ones who will specifically be buying this to race.

Or, then again, maybe it’s just me riding like an idiot. Either way, stay tuned for a more in-depth review once we’ve got a production sample in hand, and more saddle time on local trails.


229 Comments

  • + 191
 I don't understand the criticisms in this review. Meatier tires? Bigger rotors? "Not best for general trail riding"? If someone doesn't want an xc race weapon, and they want something best for general trail riding, then they shouldnt buy a bike designed to be an xc race weapon. This bike isn't supposed to be best for general trail riding, so the people that buy it for that have made a mistake. For the XC riders out there, we want to know how FAST AND LIGHT it is. Then we want to know how it corners/handles. Lastly, albeit still importantly, we want to know "how capable" (a buzz word that's way overused to say handling downhill stuff) it is.
  • + 33
 Agreed. Perhaps James is just trying to fit into the Pinkbike gravity-oriented mindset, where every bike needs to be slacker, burlier, better on descents et cetera no matter how well the bike accomplishes the designer's intentions.
  • + 7
 I had flashbacks as i read this article to Matt Hunter's interview in Seasons. "how long is it going to be until someone says 'feeding off each other' ". I thought, "someone is going to call this thing a RACE WEAPON at some point". First comment, feels like i won thursday.
  • + 5
 @usedbikestuff: Lmao. Thursday wins must be nice, considering its the world's biggest tease for friday.
  • + 22
 As is said- most people buying it aren't going to be racing. Not everyone lives out west and needs 130mm+ of travel.

A XC bike is their trail bike. Why do you think bikes like the Sniper, Ryve, Signal Peak, Oiz etc... are popular right now?

100-120mm is more than enough for a trail bike- heck a lot of people are riding more bike than they need. But alas this is Pinkbike where everyone is a downhill super star.
  • - 16
flag JohanG (May 23, 2019 at 5:28) (Below Threshold)
 I laughed at this reviewer as well. Buncha meatheads writing articles on this site!
  • + 8
 @tatchle1 I would like to know if this bike is certified for “down country”
  • + 5
 So you don't think you would ideally like to see this bike with a dual crown fork?
  • + 0
 That
  • + 21
 I think James says it well - “However, I’d argue that there are far more people who just want a fast and capable bike than ones who will specifically be buying this to race.”

He’s not asking for DH tires here - something with a little more tread and a bigger rotor up front would definitely add some versatility to this bike.

Look at the Yeti SB100 - that comes with a 2.3 Minion DHF / Aggressor combo. I know I’d much rather have that then a set of Ardent Race tires. If anything, the fact that these bikes are deserving of meatier tires and a bigger rotor is a testament to how much more well rounded they’ve become compared to the twitchy XC race bikes of the past.
  • + 19
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: I disagree. Most people buying 100mm superlight high-end bikes aren't trail riders. There are more super capable 120-140mm bikes that there is no reason for most buyers to get an XC race bike unless they are racing.
  • + 35
 @mikekazimer: One of the joys of an XC bike is speed. Slow tires take away from that. Watch the Albstadt XCO race to get an idea of what the truly skilled can do on a Rekon Race/Aspen combo. If people want to ride DHFs, they probably shouldn't be on a bike like this anyways.
  • + 8
 PB trying to be all things to all people, but not quite managing here, because their heart isn't really in it when it comes to XC. Why bother, basically.
  • + 16
 Yeah, can we keep our XC race bikes as XC race bikes and not try and make them into lightweight enduro bikes? How else are we going to justify buying like 8 bikes anyway?
  • + 6
 @mikekazimer: they made a good choice of tyres and rotors for an xc race bike. It seems that's what their intention was. Next time what about testing an xc race bike for it's intended use?
  • + 5
 @adespotoskyli, the riding in Fruita is about as XC as it gets. Don’t be fooled by James’ baggy shorts and big air.

And remember, this is just an initial look at the bike, not a long term review.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: you mean long mild undulations with some steep ups thrown in or lung busting steeps and tech followed by some steeps while spinning like been chased by a wild dog pack?
  • + 12
 @mikekazimer: The DHF/Aggressor combo is just pure overkill on the SB100. I certainly don't want an Ardent Race or Aspen up front, but either of those tires will work fine as rear tires. For playing to this bike's strengths, I could see putting a Rekon 2.25 up front, and just saving the second Ardent Race for the rear, since rear tires wear out so fast in the gritty, rocky terrain I ride in NV, CO, and AZ.

I don't think I would see myself ever using the DHF or Aggressor on the SB100. I'd maybe swap them to a burlier bike, but they just don't fit with the go-fast intentions of the SB100, especially for a xc-racer. By the time I'd actually need the grip of an Aggressor on the rear, I'd be far outriding the capabilities of the 100mm in the rear.

I am impressed with this Pivot though. Took them long enough to update their geometry.
  • + 2
 Yeah but a piggyback shock on an XC bike is pretty f*cking #downcountry though, dont you think?
  • + 3
 Agreed! I'm calling Bullcrap on those weight #'s though. XS frame at 4.6 lbs, the X01 version will be 25lbs with pedals...
  • + 15
 @mikekazimer: I could understand his criticisms if Pivot only offered the Mach 4 SL and the Switchblade. However they already have the Trail 429, which is their short travel 29" light/fast trail bike. It has all the changes he's asking for (bigger rotors/tires, a little more travel, still light). If the consumer wants those features they should just buy the correct bike. That's why Pivot has so many models, so they don't have to compromise their vision.
  • + 11
 Pivot offers two different families of build kit for this. The World Cup is meant to be the super-racy version, with a 100mm-travel Fox 32 Step-Cast fork, fixed seatposts, and those fast-rolling Aspens. The Team builds, though, are intended to be a little more all-rounders, with 120mm-travel Fox 34 forks, droppers seatposts... and still-fast-rolling Ardent Races.

I'm not asking for Minion DHFs here. My point is just that there are plenty of riding areas where a pure XC bike is the best choice overall (like when I used to live in SE Michigan). But it seems a little silly to me to have the Team builds still come with pinner tires that are of limited usefulness in day-to-day riding. At the very least, I would have liked to see the 2.35" Ardent Race up front instead of the 2.2" size at both ends. That tire is only 20g heavier than what's specced here and likely doesn't roll any slower, but would provide a bigger footprint and a little more forgiveness for general riding.

Same with the front rotor. If you're really going after it for XC races, sure, the 160mm rotor is fine. But even then, the 180mm rotor adds so little additional weight that I don't understand why it's not at least used on the Team builds.
  • + 3
 @iamamodel: You've clearly never ridden with me. I ride like an old man.
  • + 3
 @clink83: I think it's heavily dependent on your local trail conditions. There are still plenty of areas where a lot of riders prefer XC hardtails; a 120-140mm trail bike would just be overkill. Were I still living in Michigan, this bike would be perfect for my everyday rides (with a couple of minor changes).
  • + 1
 @LeDuke: For sure, and no question, the racers on the World Cup XCO circuit can make pretty much anything work. But there are a lot of tires in between a Minion DHF and an Ardent Race, and even the wider version of the Ardent Race just up front seems like it'd make a lot of sense to me, at least on the Team builds.
  • + 2
 @me2menow: That is the live valving on the shock. It is a standard DPS shock.
  • + 1
 @projectnortheast: this. it weighs what a 120mm Ripley 4 weighs LOL.
  • + 7
 @angryasian: re the tradeoffs spec'ing Ardent Races 2.35 and the 180mm rotor. That was a solid explanation - appreciated
  • + 6
 @mikekazimer: I have to concur. Personally, even on the most XC smooth and non-technical trails I would not ride anything smaller than 2.35 tire. In a battle for 17th place in the men's 45 to 50 class - it is better to have more traction - a la Yeti SD 100 and a little more breaking power. I am sure just like the Santa Cruz Blur 3 -most of us should give up 2 lbs for the more capable trail option. The GOOD news is that changing tires and a rotor is not going to kill someone that can afford this bike.

For a race such as the NIMBY 50 (last one this Weekend) this bike with the 120 SC, dropper - real tires and larger rotors would be the ticket. Most of us mortals need things to stay upright!

It all depends on what type of riding you do. its great to have options. In British Columbia - the average XC/Marathon event or a BC Bike race type event suits James' desired spec.
  • + 1
 @bngr8fl: ah, thought it was dpx2 based
  • + 6
 @rivercitycycles: Mine is setup downcountry AF: 120mm fork, dropper, chainguide, short stem, wide bars, and a DHR in the front. It's lit.
  • + 1
 @leelau: Sure thing. Sorry I didn't make that more clear in the article to begin with!
  • + 7
 If these are the biggest concerns they can come up with then it is probably a great bike. Everyone losing their minds because of a few local PREFERENCES, chill. What he says is actually a compliment because the bike is much more capable than just XC racing. You can run whatever tires and rotor sizes you like. It's not like he wanted to mount a 170 36 fork on it.
  • + 2
 @salespunk: Well put - minor tweaks with a set of tires and 160 mm rotor on the pinkbike Buy and Sell that's it......
  • + 4
 @BenPea: This is James Huang though, coming over from cyclingtips, and bikeradar before that. He reviews road bikes too. So not your average pinkbike 'downcountry is everything less than 160mm' type of dude.
  • + 1
 IDK, my XC race bike is also my "have fun" bike for tamer green and blue trails, and it's certainly more fun to have a meatier front tire and a 180 rotor. It's not gonna cost you any positions unless you're up at Cat1/Pro level (and probably not even then).
  • - 11
flag bigbobjoylove (May 23, 2019 at 15:11) (Below Threshold)
 Look at the guy doing a drop in the trail: TOTAL SQUID. How can you review a bike like this if you cant even ride. So bad! All of womens XC world racers ride bigger drops with more conviction. No wonder he thinks he needs bigger rotors and tyres, probably needs a chain guard aswell , to stop his skirt getting caught.
  • + 4
 @bigbobjoylove: What drop? That rock in the picture is like six inches high. But I'm definitely not going to argue with you that the top XC women are better riders than me. Have you ridden one of those courses? They're nuts! And to think that, not long ago, they were all highposting them on 27.5" hardtails with tons of handlebar drop. Ridiculous.
  • + 1
 @BenPea: The problem is PB, along with all other MTB media I've seen, panders to weekend warriors who don't understand the nuances of the sport.
  • + 1
 @angryasian: I do agree, but for most riders a spark 900 with 120mm is going to a better overall choice than the 100mm RC if they don't have an interest in racing. The same could be said for the old 120mm trek fuel EX vs the top fuel. There are hardtail with more "trail" geometry than "xc" too. A trek roscoe is probably a better choice than my Scale for most people looking for a hardtail.
  • + 2
 @salespunk: well said.. too many readers with endlessly, negative comments and an 'I'm right,
me me me' attitude. These articles are free too; I often feel sorry for the guys and girls writing these articles, their efforts criticized by the same annoying readers who think they know best.
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer: I somewhat agree with you. This is a short travel trail bike, not an XC weapon. Though it may be "capable" (there's that word again) to dabble. Back in the day we called this category marathon XC. But Pivot billed it as a cross country bike, I think Pivots spec isn't too far out. While an overall good and detailed review, Jamie's biases (and PB's for that matter) for a trail bikes are evident. Is it possible that an XC enthusiast should be reviewing an XC bike? Maybe that's Jamie and I'm just out to lunch. 2cents.
  • + 4
 @ninjaty: I'm fine with Pivot keeping the super-XC spec on the World Cup versions of this bike, but if Pivot is going to bother with increasing the travel up front and including a dropper post on the Team builds, that seems like a clear indication to me that those bikes are intended to be a little more all-purpose.

My hunch is that people who really intend to race will be more inclined to buy the World Cup bikes, while the Team ones will more likely end up with people who just want a fast short-travel machine.

For the record, XC is where my background in MTB lies, but I still believe that even those bikes should take into account how they're more realistically going to be used.
  • + 1
 Having demoed one today over a variety of terrain, I have to say I agree wholeheartedly with the author. The thing about this bike is that it is a very worthy trail bike--no compromises are noticeable in it being built for xc racing. It truly is the best of both worlds and gives up nothing in either. I love Rocky Mountains and demoed an Element the week prior and it was a great bike... but this was even better, both as a race whip and a general trail slayer. As such, the only thing I was wishing different was for some slightly meatier tread. I might slap on the faster rolling rubber on race day, but 95% of the time, you need the grippier paws to get everything you can out of this bike.
  • + 32
 @angryasian Nice to see your name on articles here on PB! I look forward to your wit and gummy bear adventures!
  • + 1
 Agree!
  • + 12
 +1 James knows bikes
  • + 4
 Thanks! And sadly, I think I've moved on from gummy bears these days Frown
  • + 2
 @angryasian: great to see you back at a site I actually read! I basically stopped reading Bikeradar after you left there and the reviews by your replacements just didn't have the depth I was looking for.
  • + 26
 "and controller/battery unit, and the latter is neatly tucked away underneath the top tube. "

neatly? really?
  • + 4
 Compared to some of the other places Pivot could have put the thing, definitely. I mean, sure, Pivot could have tucked it way down low or something, but it's still nice to be able to change the settings on the fly at times, without having to dismount. It's also smart that this thing is facing downward, so you don't have to deal with the LEDs flashing at you every time the system decides to turn itself on and off.
  • + 4
 It should be sitting in the downtube with the controls flush with the downtube. That would be neat hanging off the downtube I don't consider neat.
  • + 1
 @reverend27: True, but given how Fox has the battery mount set up right now, there's no way to do that without a system redesign.
  • + 1
 @angryasian: I get your point, but still wouldn't call that neatly.

What kind of leds are they using that are so annoying when they flash though?
  • + 2
 @m3ggi: They're just your stereotypical green/yellow emitters, but I'd imagine they could potentially get distracting if they were in your line of sight.
  • + 22
 If the only concern are the spec'ed tires and maybe rotor size, then it's a bloody good bike!
  • + 12
 @pbreviewers
Since boost became common and that hypasupermegaboost is a thing, can you always take the time to comment specifically on whether or not your heels were rubbing against the frame ?
Just state "no heel rubbing issues" or "no more paint on the chainstays after 1 week" , and the size of you feet.
  • + 3
 Fair enough, and I'll keep that in mind. FYI, I wear size 43.5 shoes and have no issues with heel rub, even on my personal Switchblade (and certainly didn't have any problems on this thing). But then again, my feet also generally point straight ahead. If I pedaled heels-in, it'd be a problem.
  • + 2
 I wear 45.5 shoes and use CB pedals with a ton of float. I have no rubbing after a week and about a 100 miles on this bike.
  • + 1
 @angryasian: That's what worries me about super boost. I pedal in a very heels in position, which is already extremely close to a boost chainstay and to my cranks themselves
  • + 2
 @neologisticzand: Then I'd say SuperBoost probably isn't for you, unless you opt for pedals with longer spindles or something similar.
  • + 0
 @angryasian: Sadly, I already ride either CB mallet E LS or shimanos with my cleats pushed in a good bit for a wider stance.
  • + 0
 I walk like a duck and have to heal rub issues on a switchblade @neologisticzand:
  • + 1
 @neologisticzand: The heal clearance on the Switchblade or any superboost bike is better than most boost bikes as there is more room to shape the chainstay. I have a Firebird 29" and before had a switchlade. I wear a 48 shoe and ride bulky 5.10 clip ins and have no issue with any heal rub.
  • + 1
 @btmason: the shoes size is not the only factor. it depends how you position your feet, how short the chainstays are and how they are shaped.
I originally asked this question because the problem is that a single parking test or riding for 5min a test bike does not reveal the problem. And buying online makes things even worse.

I trust that pivot have done their job and thought about it, but confirming it's a non problem can only be a good thing.
  • + 1
 Anyways, thanks for the answers, now I know what bike I will buy if I ever find a suitcase full of cash in front of my house
  • + 13
 Thanks early Live Valve adopters! I'll sit this one out until that stuff is hidden and a third of the current price.
  • + 5
 Not one post about how bad Padloc grips are? PB you're sleeping.

Pivot, please move on from the well conceived but horrible in practice Padloc setup. We don't want to be forced into WTB grips and stupid plugs and more likely buying a new bar if we want other grips.
  • + 1
 Can confirm this! Just bought a Trail 429 and the Padloc grips are woeful! Feel so mushy and vague on the edges. Had to swap out the bars and grips...which was a shame as the stock carbon bars seemed really nice otherwise!
  • + 7
 Wait, superboost is actually a thing? I thought it was just a classic pinkbike comments section joke
  • + 1
 it was named that tongue in cheek by Cocalis as if it were. but yes, it's a real thing. on the Firebird 29.
  • + 7
 Pivot nailed it on this bike...scott sparkish geometry with a DW link that doesn't need a goofy dual lockout. Take my money!
  • + 2
 I am a big fan of the Scott Spark - would prefer this so long as it is not too slack/lacy... Where I live it is singletrack - often narrow singletrack.... NOT Arizona, Colorado rocks and drops, etc... Woods with trails and a million short punchy climbs.. May order one of these if it is sharp enough. Likely the World Cup version will be.
  • + 4
 "Whereas many companies are moving to fully guided internal routing, Pivot is sticking with bolt-on ports and open frame tubes. This makes it a little more of a hassle to get all of the lines run through the frame, but it also affords more flexibility for different drivetrain and suspension setups."

Well done Pivot. As a Brit I really appreciate the option to route the rear brake on the right side of the headtube. No internal guides is also lighter and really not much hassle if you're a half decent mechanic. Unfortunately Pinkbike yet again is clueless to the issue Aussies, Kiwi's and Brits suffer on this.

"Cable routing is internal throughout, using the same interchangeable port system found in other recent Pivot frames. Unfortunately, none of the lines are fully guided"

Also the numbers look pretty good too. Maybe reach is 10mm short and the headtube a little long on the medium but I could live with both.
  • + 1
 Fair enough. I'll keep that in mind (along with my buddies who prefer moto-style brake setups in general).
  • - 1
 Or they could just skip the (useless to actual riders) marketing wank of internal routing and do like Canyon and GT: external routing in a covered channel. Can setup your brakes however you like, don't have to disconnect any brake lines to remove a brake, and still get the internal look.
  • + 0
 @just6979: I agree. That's a really slick setup for sure. Same aesthetic benefits, but none of the hassles.
  • + 1
 @just6979: I kind of agree but that Canyon guide gets full of dirt and the GT option is to me worse than internal as you have to undo 4 cable clamps on the downtube to adjust anything.

My favourite is what Specialized do with the current alloy Stumpies. You can do what ever you want in the downtube and there's a great big hole behind the BB that goes straight into the stays. It's bloody genius.
  • + 0
 @jclnv: Is the hole big enough to get a brake caliper through? No? Then GT's is still miles better. 4 clamps vs brake bleed? That choice is easy! (it's the 4 clamps, of course)
  • + 1
 @just6979: Yeah fair enough, I get what you're saying. I honestly don't mind bleeding the rear brake for that one time I install it. Internal does look clean. I just don't want internal guides.
  • + 3
 This was admittedly my first time on Live Valve, but to be perfectly honest, it totally ruined me... FINALLY another opinion on Fox's Live Valve. The cycling media has been remarkably silent since the big debut 9 months ago. Speaking as a nuclear power plant employee which is kinda like being a dentist.
  • + 3
 I like nearly everything I see for my XC needs. Just wondering if this is a bit slack for the wooded single track I ride/race. Not AZ, CO, CA, etc... Just midwest trails in the woods with 1000's of short but steep climbs... PinkBike would die if they knew I ran fairly narrow bars at 730mm - its what works in narrow trees.
  • + 2
 I still remember! Spent fourteen years scraping my hips on trees in SE Michigan on twitchy hardtails with 71° head tube angles (and man, I still miss those trails...). The 44mm fork offset helps, but I honestly don't know if this is the front-end geometry I'd want were I still living there. It still feels reasonably quick, but it's not THAT quick. Otherwise, the pedaling efficiency and general eagerness on steep climbs and sprints is pretty awesome. And yeah, the stock bars on this would definitely have to make friends with a hacksaw for squeezing through trees.
  • + 1
 Demoed one today. Steering was extremely precise and the bike was exceptionally nimble. That said, you can get it equipped with a 100mm fork vice 120, which steepens the headtube angle by a full degree.
  • + 2
 I think live valve on a well-executed DW bike is worthless. If you stuck a power meter on one, had a dozen different people ride it a dozen times each with 50/50 live valve on/off, and normalized the times via the power meter, I bet you would see 0 difference. If anything, that half pound would make the live valve slower.
  • + 4
 I wondered the same thing when I was testing this thing during the launch event, and did back-to-back laps with the Live Valve turned on and off. With the system turned off, the bike definitely *feels* like it climbs better: it's more settled, it's more composed, more planted. That said, it's still really good with the system turned off, and pretty much behaves as you'd expect from a short-travel dw-link bike. Would I expect any measurable difference in efficiency between a Live Valve version and a standard one? Probably not. But "feel" means a lot to people, and I can't deny that it felt way more different than I expected. Then again, non-Live Valve shocks will also be valved a little firmer, so it's not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison.

What I didn't expect was how good Live Valve would be going downhill. I could be way sloppier with my timing on jumps, there was no unwanted compression on g-outs, and it felt more responsive in general. I can't afford it, but I'm still sold.
  • + 2
 @angryasian: "*feels* like it climbs better" is usually really "feels stiffer/firmer". Is that the case, or is it that it actually feels like more traction and/or feels like you can put more power down before slippage?
  • + 1
 @just6979: It's weird. It's not so much that it's stiffer/firmer overall, but rather that it just doesn't move much at all from pedaling inputs. As soon as you encounter a bump, it moves just as you'd want it to. As far as traction is concerned, I don't think there'd be any downside. It *feels* like it's not moving at all, but there is actually *some* movement even when the valves are closed.
  • + 1
 @just6979: I took one of these out, first spending 2 hours riding the "acoustic" version then spending an hour on the live valve... and it's noticeable. The bike is already fantastic pedaller without the live valve, but somehow the live valve does make it faster, including on descents. It's the ability to have perfect efficiency when the terrain is smooth and you're standing up and mashing on the pedals, but soak up any bumps when they appear so you don't lose traction.

It feels kind of like having a bmx bike when you're pumping through rolling terrain, you can just pop off lips and build up speed more easily, but with the added advantage that as soon as you hit anything actually bumpy it softens up and saves you. It really feels like best of both worlds
  • + 1
 @BeRudeNot2: Kind of hurts a little to admit that, no? I didn't want to like Live Valve as much as I did. On a related note, Ford is using Live Valve shocks as OEM equipment on new Ford Raptors. OMG.
  • + 1
 @angryasian: 100% agree. I wasn't sure I was going to like it but it blew me away. I'd heard about the Ford's as well, it's an exciting time!
  • + 1
 I think it's good that someone is pushing the technology forward and offering/using Live Valve. That's how things evolve, get better, and the price comes down. However I've also been puzzled that Pivot is doing it as their bikes are some of the last that seem like they would really benefit from Live Valve's advantages. To get a good idea of its potential, you really want to use it on a bike with really supple suspension that doesn't pedal particularly well. That people say it's a noticeable improvement and give it positive reviews on a 100mm DW-link bike does make it sound extremely promising. For a true evaluation, I would like to see it compared with/without on something like a Transition or Specialized. (Doesn't fit with those companies' brand image, so it would have to be an aftermarket retrofit.)
  • + 1
 @Climbtech: I talked to Chris Cocalis about this exact subject. Live Valve should be looked at like any other advancement in shock technology. While bikes with inherently less efficient mechanical designs stand to benefit more from this sort of thing, the ones that are already really good are the ones that still get that much better yet.

Think about how platform valving changed things a few years ago. Single-pivot bikes were suddenly a lot more competitive, but the better suspension designs were just better, period.
  • + 6
 Pivot's website is crushed today.
  • + 4
 We broke the internet.
  • + 5
 Regular Boost?!?!... I'm out
  • + 4
 I love that Knee pads appear normal now in XC bike reviews. Downcountry mic drop
  • + 2
 There's so much rock out here in CO that I almost never ride trails without them. Just feels so... vulnerable.

There was one ride I did a few years ago on a plus bike I was testing where I didn't have the tire pressure dialed (too low), and ricocheted awkwardly off a rock at the edge of the trail. Ended up landing on my knee directly on the sharp edge of a rock. It still went through the pad I was wearing at the time (some super XCish Specialized Atlas ones) and it took me an uncomfortably long time to get the gushing the stop from the hole I ended up with, but I pretty much swore from that point forward that I was never going to go bare-kneed around here again.
  • + 5
 Turner called from 2013 and want their Czar back
  • + 28
 Because it's a xc bike with a DW link ? The Czar is ugly af, heavier and shorter

2013 called, they want their uninspired comment back
  • + 0
 @zede: all Pivot did was make the frame lighter using 6 more years of carbon technology improvements. The rest is a Turner Czar. As for esthetics, it's personal....
  • + 5
 @jcelli2013: Ummm. The Czar has different reach, CS length, and HT angle. Just cause it's a DW link XC bike doesn't mean it's the same thing.
  • + 2
 @jcelli2013: agreed with @drpheta. I have a 2013 Czar. The Medium Pivot has closer to the same geo numbers as my Large Czar but is a bit slacker in the heattube angle and steeper in the seat tube angle
  • + 0
 @drpheta: Reach is size dependent so you can always buy a larger or smaller size, HT angle is 0.3 degree slacker on the Turner so you can hardly call that different, The Mach 4 is nice, i do like it and obviously a little more modern but just think its a shame that it will get more attention and sales than a bike that did similar things 6 years earlier so giving Turner a should out.
  • + 1
 @maglor: you don't want a super long reach on an XC bike anyways, if you actually like to climb.
  • + 1
 @maglor: aye. Esthetics are also subjective. I personally like the square carbon tubes and routed cabling on my Czar
  • + 2
 @maglor: Can't change the CS length, though. That directly affect ride characteristics.

Reach, HT angle can be changed. Even effective ST angle to an extent. However, the two bikes are still different.
  • + 1
 @maglor: You have to go up to the XXL Czar to get the same reach as the L Mach 4. At that point you have a 23" seat tube. Good luck fitting even a 125mm dropper in there. They use a similar upper link and shock packaging, and have a similar HT angle, but that's about it. The Czar is in a desperate need of a geometry update, just like the 429SL was. All the Czars numbers besides HTA, have more in common with the Mach 429SL than they do with the new Mach 4SL.
  • + 1
 @leelau: I guess my point was not too much about geometry but more about frame design with a change in shock position for Pivot. This is where the rear suspension design is very similar to the Czar. Did not mean to start a war of opinions on 0.3 degrees differences in angles...
  • + 1
 @jcelli2013: I think we're all having a amicable discussion which is quite unusual for PB or any Internet fora. I have to admit that I've been tempted to drill my Czar frame to get an internal dropper on it so am prone to upgradeitis
  • + 1
 @zede: TBF Pivot uses bearings at least.
  • + 1
 @zede: actually I think it's a spin-off of the Seinfeld "the ocean called they're running out of shrimp."

Which would put in the 90s.
  • + 1
 I've ridden a Czar and liked it. Would have liked to have got one. I demoed this today and totally loved it. No comparison.
  • + 1
 Based on reading that the XL non WC version weighed 26lbs ... I am guessing a Large size WC XTR with the XCR carbon wheels and e suspension package will weigh around 23.5 - 24lbs. I cant help but notice that very similar to the auto industry - mountain bikes are struggling with 'content bloat' driving up both price and cost. I am a self disclosed sucker for it all - so, therefore, part of the problem. But I notice that my 2015 Scott Spark 29 (premium) with a few easy upgrades weighs an honest 20.9 lbs on the scale WITH pedals, cages, RtR... 2.5-3lbs is material on an XC rig.
  • + 1
 Scott Sparks have always been outrageously light. That company does a fantastic job of designing in carbon, no question. But that suspension design is also inherently lighter than something with two links and a lot more bearings, and having ridden that exact generation of Spark a ton myself, I can say without question that this Pivot pedals more efficiently (even without Live Valve).

By all means, don't take this at all to mean that I think you should get rid of your Spark. But weight isn't everything.
  • + 1
 If they can make a frame this light how come the Trail 429 weighs in around 30 pounds?
If they are sticking with super boost keep it on all their bike models so pivot owners can swap wheel sets..
I would like to see the future trail 429 a bit slacker and longer with a way steeper seat tube. (like all the new bikes) and with a lighter frame.
I know we are discussing a different bike but wanted to add my 2 cents.
  • + 3
 Looks like a pretty solid bike for it's purpose, Pivot usually makes pretty great bikes. And it weighs only 44 big macs, that's pretty sweet too.
  • + 4
 Should a XL and XS have the same length chain stays?
  • + 1
 Personal opinion? No. Taller riders invariably end up with their weight balance too far back. But hey, I'm just a bike media hack (and only stand at 5' 8") so what do I know?
  • + 1
 @angryasian: I'm 6'5 they definitely should be longer. We ride that way because the rear wheel is tucked way to close lol
  • + 2
 @gotflow: Sorry, should have been clearer in my comment. I should have added that the weight balance for taller riders often ends up too far back *because the rear wheel ends tucked too closely beneath them* since the chainstays are too short for the given saddle height.
  • + 1
 Also, should the XS and XL bikes both have 160mm rotors? Definitely not if you ask me but this is what we see in the industry.
  • + 0
 @bogey: depends how fast your are lol
  • + 1
 @gotflow: If you're fast you need smaller rotors. If you heavy and slow like me (brake too much), you need bigger rotors!
  • + 2
 Is syndicating articles from CyclingTips going to be common in the future? I love James' articles, so the more places they're posted, the better IMO.
  • + 3
 Thanks! I'm still mostly going to be spending time on the CyclingTips side of thing for the immediate future (there's more need for me there than here), but how things ultimately shake out is still TBD. Ultimately, it'll likely just be a matter of what outlet is most appropriate for whatever I'm covering, or if one of us is more conveniently located geographically for an event, etc.
  • + 3
 Despite my above comment, this was a really great article though. Thank you!
  • + 4
 I love my Pivot 429 Trail. Rock solid!!
  • + 2
 Good to know! I'm finishing up my review of that thing for CyclingTips, and am seriously considering buying one.
  • + 2
 Great to see James back. Your horse for a course 429SL contributed to my first Pivot. Does this one pedal as well w/o live valve as the 429SL?
  • + 1
 Ha, it's good to be back on the MTB side! But to answer your question, I'd say so, yes, although it's been long enough since I've ridden a 429SL that I can't say for sure. And even though I made sure to spend some time on this bike with the Live Valve turned off, LV shocks are still tuned softer in the open mode than non-LV shocks, so it's not a direct comparison.
  • + 1
 @angryasian:


Ahh so LV shock open is spfter tune. I am assume (and I think I read it someplace), that the non-live valve shocks got a firmer tune. 1900 is a lot to swallow for the LV, so I am hoping to read some non-live valve reviews from some good sources. Thanks!
  • + 4
 Satan called. He wants his Ardent's back.
  • + 4
 This bike is very downcountry.
  • + 2
 Wanted to say it. Downcountry as fuck!
  • + 6
 How did they write this article without saying downcountry?!?!
  • + 1
 it's more cross-hill I reckon.
  • + 7
 @schofell84: well, now that Bike magazine has a test of bikes called Downcountry, Pinkbike writers feel it must be passé.
  • + 2
 @schofell84: They avoided the elephant in the room.
  • + 2
 @schofell84: I'm still in my trial period here on PB. Give me a few more weeks Wink
  • + 4
 That chainstay chainguard looks pretty cool.
  • + 4
 And you know what? It works well, too. There were visible marks on the top after just a couple of days of riding (these bikes were brand-new), but I never heard or felt the chain hitting.
  • - 1
 The reach goes from 30mm shorter to 50mm longer than the chainstays. 80mm, 3 inches! Combined with the less-steep actual seatube angle creating a steep effective seattube angle for riders on the bottom of a size and a slack effective seattube angle for riders at the top of a size, the bike is going to ride quite different for that 4'10" rider vs that 6'7" rider. The tall rider is going to be wheely-ing up climbs and the short rider isn't going to have to work way harder just to get the front wheel off the ground.

Lots of bikes share rear-triangles between sizes, but when you specifically call out a quite large range of rider heights supported, the change in ride feel created by different chainstay to reach (and/or front-center) lengths _has to be_ discussed.
  • + 3
 Not to mention that on the XS, the seat at full drop is going to be level or below the wheel! What's the use of getting the seat out of the way if the tire is going to instantly buzz your ass as soon as you get back at all.
  • + 1
 Exactly my point. To many bike companies using the same rear triangle amongst all frame sizes makes for horribly awkward front center measurements
  • + 2
 Also: dear bike makers, please stop putting riser bars on XC bikes, esp in smaller sizes! wtf?
  • + 1
 @angryasian Those rims say DT Swiss... Does Reynolds manufacture the rims for the DT XMC wheels? If so, are they covered by similar warranty to the Reynolds carbon offerings?
  • + 1
 Yep, that was a typo. Should be fixed now.
  • + 0
 What are people thinking for sizing? I have the old 429SL in XL, but the reach and TT measurements have gotten longer, and according to pivot, XL is for 6'2" and above. I'm 6' 1.5". what do people think?
  • + 6
 I think that half inch will play a huge factor.
  • + 2
 @COnovicerider: Doesn't answer your question directly, but Chris Cocalis' interview on BikeRumor's podcast sheds some good light on Pivot's sizing philosophy, and bike design in general. Some interesting stuff all around.

bikerumor.com/2019/05/20/bikerumor-podcast-013-pivots-chris-cocalis-goes-off-about-mountain-bike-design
  • + 1
 @MTBrent: wow. Nice stuf! Thanks for sharing.
  • + 3
 Not running cables under the BB on this model. New thing for Pivot?
  • + 1
 Never understood why Pivot didn't route cables this way to start with.
  • + 2
 @drpheta: Because a lot of their bikes were still made to accommodate front derailleurs. There just isn't a lot of room in that area if you have to keep a cage in mind.
  • + 1
 Pivot finally figured it out and rerouted the rear derail. cable to not go under the bottom bracket. Thank you and hopefully they will do this for all of their bikes!!!
  • + 1
 It's a BIG improvement for sure. Cocalis said the change was facilitated by the 1x-only format of this bike (leaves more room in that area), but it still would have been nice if they figured that out on the Trail 429, too. To be fair, I haven't had any issues with that loop of housing snagging anything myself, but I definitely prefer it this way.
  • + 2
 Full enduro gear to test ride a 20lb xc bike on smooth singletrack?
  • + 1
 The pictures I included here don't really show it, but It's all loose-over-hardpack in that area, with lots of rocks everywhere. Traction is pretty limited most of the time, and then when the tires let go, they often let go hard.
  • + 2
 Good thing I can't afford Pivot bikes, I'd have like 3 of them at least...
  • + 0
 this bike is a copy of my spark rc 900... i stuck a 34 SC on it and its the best bike possible for my local trails, this bike actually looks pretty nice too
  • + 1
 Why buy the RC if you want a 120mm fork?
  • + 0
 Spark did nail it on geometry. Sincerest form of flattery here?
  • + 1
 Scott has definitely had the front-end geometry dialed on the Spark line for a little while now.
  • + 1
 This is cool, but I'm more interested in a new Switchblade. Crossing my fingers for one this year.
  • + 2
 James drinks the trust message koolaid. his opinion is suspect.
  • + 3
 Ha, Levy and I were just comparing notes on that fork the other day. There are definitely things that fork does better than competing telescoping forks, but things it doesn't do as well, too. It's not so much flat-out *better* so much as it's really, really different. Long story short, he and I are on the same page, but you'll have to wait for his video to come out to get the full story Smile
  • + 1
 @angryasian: totally fair. sounds good.
  • + 2
 geo from scott spark its progressive geo actualy today?
  • + 2
 Dang, and I just bought a top fuel Frown
  • + 14
 You're going to be kicking yourself in a few hours.
  • + 1
 @davidrobinsonphoto:

Last summer I finally bought my first enduro rig, Yeti 5.5, fun bike. Anyway, this was last June, before I pulled the trigger I had the owner of my lbs get his rep on the phone and pointedly ask him "what's changing later this summer with the new update?"

"Nothing other than tubes in tubes."

"That's it?"

"Yep. That's it."

So I ordered the bike. A few weeks later the 5.5 was discontinued and the 130/150 released. But hey, they actually did come with TiTs so he only sorta lied, right? Lol. The new Top Fuel is gonna be sick, vibes to Azowehn0...
  • + 2
 Not too fond of the 120/115, I bought the 2019 because I wanted an xc whip. Just have to wait and see what I missed out on with the Supercaliber
  • + 1
 @Azowehn0: Glad you're happy! Didn't mean to troll, it doesn't make your bike any less fun Smile
  • + 1
 @Bobo-the-Clown: Same thing happened to my cousin and his GF. Yeti 4.5 and 5.5 purchased after shop promised they were getting a deal (10% off msrp) because next year's was unchanged....two weeks later, BOOM, new SB130 and 150 released.
  • + 1
 Also, seeing James The Angry Asian back reviewing MTB - made my entire rainy spring better... .awesoome to see him back !!
  • + 1
 Ha ha, thanks! Don't know where you are exactly, but we're just emerging from a long and seriously crappy stretch of weather this morning. Finally seeing the sun again today!!!
  • + 2
 looks fast as hell. great job pivot
  • + 1
 XC race bike with rise bar ??? jajajajajaja
  • + 1
 $11,300... It just keeps creeping up more and more.
  • + 1
 Did Pivot beat the Athertons to an XC bike?
  • + 1
 stopped reading at $11,300. Is this a joke?
  • + 1
 wonder how those carbon bearing seats will work out long term...
  • + 1
 Provided they're never ridden with the hardware loose, I don't anticipate any issues.
  • + 0
 Cleaning the mud out from those gaps in the chainstay cover seems fun! Would still ride though.
  • + 1
 Is that a stock Wolf Tooth ring??
  • + 2
 I think not. It's the 12 speed Shimano version, optimized for their chain which apparently has a quick link that has a narrower inner diameter.
  • + 1
 @chsad: Agreed. But, I meant is the Wolf Tooth ring being offered as OEM on a stock build? That'd be pretty cool.
  • + 2
 @MTBrent: Yep, that's correct. The bike pictured here is 100% stock.
  • + 1
 WTF is a french curve?
  • + 1
 bike looks goooooooooood
  • + 1
 I'd rather have a Ripley
  • + 5
 The Ibis Ripley is a XC trail bike. This is a XC race bike.
  • + 6
 I'd rather have the Ripley look as nice as this bike :-(
  • + 1
 Having ridden both, I'd say this is far more race worthy than a Ripley AND more fun as a trail slayer. Best of both worlds, lighter, and more stable.
  • - 1
 Those headset spacers really offend me. Sweet bike though
  • + 2
 The bikes used at a launch are used by multiple people. James likes his set up low. While the next rider may want a different length stem and a spacer underneath. So, steertubes are cut long to accommodate the different requirements for everyone riding the bike.
  • - 1
 If everything is a phallic symbol in your mind you should see a doctor for that condition.
  • + 2
 @dan23dan23: I actually don't run my bars that low, at least when you look at the grip height relative to the saddle. I have pretty short legs for my height, so I often need to get the front end a little lower than usual.
  • - 2
 c-mon Pivot. Make a bike that will actually fit someone that's 6'5. 472 reach on the XL 120 bike. lame-ass-short
  • + 2
 If you want a XC bike with a long reach i hear the new Top Fuel is dropping soon. #hoping
  • + 1
 @nouseforaname: I just saw some rad stuff rolling off the Mondraker truck. Check the geo out on their XC Full Squish. Pivot is making heads turn with their geo,..... at the '96 Olympics.
  • - 3
 Looks like a Session...
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