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  1. #1
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    Moots Mooto XZ versus Pivot Mach 429

    A true “embarrassment of riches” question here as I decide between these two great bikes. Has anyone done a true comparison of these two bikes - other than the recent Interbike review posted here: http://reviews.mtbr.com/interbike/29...on-shootout/2/? Essentially I’m looking for a current Moots Mooto XZ owner who went through the process as I am and who then chose the Moots to tell me why they did what they did (and conversely I’m thinking of posting this in the Pivot forum to get the opposite conclusion).

    I’ve read all the glowing reviews of the Pivot Mach 429, but I’m not getting a consistent read on the Moots. MBAction was unkind to the Moots in Sept 09 (attached) and the Dream Bike posting (http://www.dreambike.com/mooto-xzprototest.htm) was less than an glowing. I’ve not ridden this bike myself and cannot see that happening given how rare the bike is (absent calling Moots to see if they would let me come up and demo a bike or have them send me demo – anyone done that??). I’ve got a Seven road bike so I’m a TI fan from the get go.

    I’m 5’10”, 175 lb rider, upgrading from a ’01 Specialized S-Works FSR (a true XC racing machine but not very plush) – I’m not likely to do XC (anytime soon) or DH (ever) races – I’m simply looking for the “holy grail” of bikes: one bike to make me really really happy riding up, down, side to side. My “base of operations” is Park City, UT to give you an idea of the terrain I’m riding. I appreciate that there are other bikes out there, that Moots can be expensive, etc. but this is where I am right now.
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  2. #2
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    You could try seeing if moots would send you a demo. You may have to pay shipping but for the price of the bike it might be worth it to try before you buy.

    I know of at least one guy in park city with the moots. I have also ran into a couple other guys on the trails riding them but it's rare that anyone complains about a bike once they have dropped that much money on it.

    I would maybe talk to the guys at Dharma Wheels Cyclery because I think they are the dealer and every guy I have run into riding one has been wearing their kit so they might have some good first hand experience. I don't have any connection with that shop and have actually never even been in there or even heard anything about it so I can't speak as to what kind of information you might get out of them.

    I like the moots but am interested in a lenz due to the weight and size of the moots.

  3. #3
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    Unfortunately I've been unable to test a Moots, I've heard nothing but great things. I have had the opportunity to demo a Pivot and absolutely love it. Actually in the process of building one with new 2010 Black frame. The best advice I can give is not always the easiest advice but try and do whatever it takes to demo these bikes. With these kind of price tags you def dont want to be second guessing

  4. #4
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    I'm fairly sure I'll get slammed... but I've talked to a few manufacturers/bike builders that say for a FS application go with aluminum alloy. I love the "Ti ride" but they say that when you're riding an FS bike the suspension should be working well and hard. I was told a Ti or carbon post and handlebar on an aluminum alloy frame is the way $$$ to go. If you want/need the bling Ti is hard to beat.

    For the record I currently ride a 29er Dean Colonel Ti hardtail and an Ellsworth Evolve FS rig. The only Moots I've ever owned is a YBB SL and it was fast, light and wicked pretty.

    I'm interested in the DW link as the latest "holy grail", but must admit I'm letting others be the guinea pigs.

  5. #5
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    It seems like every review I read about the Mooto-XZ hates the initial setup that they were given, and once it has been dialed in (typically the stem) they seem to love it. Now I can't speak for the Mountain bike Action review (as I can't find the Sept. issue anywhere and your pdf only has the first page of the review). If this is the case then it seems if they sent you out a test bike you would then experience the same issue with the faulty (?) setup as the other test bikes (a too steep of a stem).

    I am really curious about this as I am seriously considering getting a Mooto-XZ as well...

  6. #6
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    I have the Moots Xz 29er and LOVE IT - LOVE IT - LOVE IT!

    Most of the reviews I found on the Moots didn't like the initial setup (Dream bike review), so I spent most of my time working out the various parts I wanted. I decided to go with the Fox fork, Easton flat bar, Easton stem, and Easton post. I also sprung for a good mix of XTR and XO components. For wheels, I went with Mavic and the Kenda Karma is a great tire for my area trails.

    The XZ climbs like a monkey and goes where you point it. You can't go wrong with this bike if you have it set up for your style of riding.
    I was in the pain cave and I had dropped the flashlight, so it was pretty dark at that point. I was just hanging on.

  7. #7
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    I, too, am choosing between these 2. I had demoed a Niner Rip 9 last yr, and was underwhelmed. Earlier this yr, when the Pivot demos were here, I tried a 429, and got a bad case of the grins!!! I've been reading about the Moots also. This weekend, I got a chance to sit a Mooto XZ, and ride it for about 5 minutes. WOW... what a steady, solid, comfortable ride it seems to be!! Now I'm in trouble, as I gotta find extra $$! Though, I'd still like a longer demo of the Moots, I'm sure I would not be unhappy w/ the bike.

    I'm 5' 8-1/2", about 160-165, and in my early 50s. And, I too live in Salt Lake.

  8. #8
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    I just did two good rides on a XZ demo. I ride a SJ FSR and a Engin/Ventana and was blown away with how well the XZ handled and climbed.
    I did ride a 429 on the same trails and that also was a very nice bike.
    If it was me I would get the Moots because of the fit and finish plus it is USA made.
    Cant go wrong with either. If you truely want a bike monster bike then get the moots.

  9. #9
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    I rode the XZ back to back with a 429, and the 429 is a nice bike, but it isn't in the same league as the XZ. I did a long term test of the XZ and liked it so much I bought one! Lately I have been playing around with the suspension and have bumped it up to 120mm on both ends, mostly for fun!

    Refer to:
    http://www.gramslightbikes.com/2008/...-mooto-xz.html

    http://reviews.mtbr.com/interbike/29...sion-shootout/

    http://reviews.mtbr.com/interbike/moots-mooto-xz/

  10. #10
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    And after test riding both bikes, we have a winner: Pivot Mach 429

    So what happened? In the most simplistic terms possible it came down to this: the Pivot just felt "right" from the moment I got on the bike and started to ride; whereas the Moots just underwhelmed me and didn't give the same warm feel.

    Here's the down and dirty on the two tests:

    Pivot: I went to AZ, went to Pivot and had a great experience from the pre-visit phone calls to being set up on the right size bike, to having the right sag in the front/rear suspension, to being sent out to a local trail that would help me evaluate the bike. Rob and Brien at Pivot earned my immediate respect and gratitude for taking the time to make my experience worth the effort I made in getting there.

    The M429 was just easy and fun - it felt like "my" bike with little effort to adapt to the larger tire size, the DW-link and active rear, etc. No technical jargon here: just a good ride that made me happy. It climbed well, it descended well, it rode well. Nothing felt off and everything seemed right - and remember, this was a demo bike which means with more time/effort, this will only fit better. My only complaint was a feeling of lost momentum when in some soft sand but that was a tire selection issue that we discussed post-ride. Other than that, I left with the bar pretty high for my Moots ride.

    Moots: I called Moots to demo and they said to have my LBS in TX order a demo bike and they would ship it there. I did all that and that's when the experience went from excitement to feeling not so much excitement. I went to pick up the bike and had a trifecta of things annoy me from the get go: 1. the response to my question about what the appropriate sag/setting should be for the rear: "uh, I don't know - you can figure that out when you ride", 2. the initial response to the seat height not being just right: "uh, you have a multi tool, right?" and 3. the response to being told that the bike from Moots had come with a tire out of true: nothing done. But I really wanted this to work so off I went.

    Everything said above about how the Moots demo bike set up can mess up the ride is true: bars too wide, rear susp was off a bit, front suspension was off a bit, stem was too long, etc. I had to make a bike that was not right for me fit me. But even with those strikes against it, quality is quality: the bike was solid, could be made to fit right and was a fairly easy ride (with the exception of some handling issues on tight turns that may very well be due to the set up). Another issue that was troublesome: I had the 18" frame and with my approx 30" inseam - the top tube was snug - way way snug up on my crotch - when I had to unclip to dab a toe, I did more than dab a toe. (disclosure: I asked for the 18" because that's what seemed to be the right size based on paper specs). With the propedal engaged, it climbed ok and descended alright - with it off: Hello Mr. Bob. But man oh man, this bike was beautiful and I just wanted a Moots for all the reasons that people want a high quality custom bike and I wanted a Moots more than I wanted a Pivot!! So I rode a second day and nothing changed.

    In the end, budget unlimited, this Moots was just not the right bike for me - too much effort to make this work when everything about the Pivot was easy and right. Throw in a poor LBS experience and the rest is now history - I'm building up a M429. I'll be posting this in the Pivot forum soon so that folks looking at Pivot can hear from someone who could get whatever they wanted and chose to get a Pivot.

    All of the above being said, I'm not turned off by Moots or dismissing Moots at all - in fact, I'm going to look at a Cyclocross YBB as another bike to have later. But the point of my own experience is that in the end its about fit and feel - and in those all too important categories, the Pivot was the winner.

  11. #11
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    Wow interesting. Me and couple of other people have jumped off the Pivot 429 wagon.

    Not to say it's a bad bike it just did not fit my need. My gripe is it's not XC enough and it's not trail enough at the same time.

    Pro:
    great climbing!
    very stiff!

    Weakness:
    Sizing, I Large is too big and I'm 6ft and a bit more with shoes and cleats.
    Harsh down hill, very firm suspension to begin with but if you get into wash board stuff it would just pack up and flat out too harsh. I played with shock every possible way and it's a no go. Maybe the new LV shocks would help with this.
    Frame is is 7.5lbs and I put every XTR bits on it possible and still can't get it down to 27. Bit too heavy for xc racing.

    Hope you enjoy your your pivot more so than I did. Never tried the XZ but where Moots really shine is their hardtails and YBB stuff.

    All the issue you had with the XZ is fitting issue. I don't expect others to setup my suspension for me 100%. I don't expect others to have correct fitting for me. Do you really expect people to setup the seat height for you? Or right bar width to your taste? Pivot just got lucky with the fitting from the sound of it.

    But I would say the Pivot is hands down one of the best climber out there period. The XZ does have large shoes to fill when comes to climbing comparison.
    "Didn't your doctor tell you to stop smoking and drinking?" George Burns "Yes but they all died"

  12. #12
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    Duke777 - to each his/her own. I think we'd all be curious to know what you're riding now that you've tossed your M429 to the side in favor of some other ride (along with your friends).Clearly you and all of your posse have found the grail: pray tell, what is it?

    As for the fit/seat height/shock set up/etc.: yes, I expect some help in setting up a bike I've not ridden before - certainly the Pivot folks thought it important enough to get it right up front and in the rear and on top (wow, that reads far more racy than it should!) - it was the the "you're on your own w/ the $7k+ bike" attitude I found disappointing. I forgive and forget the general set up (bar width, etc) b/c the demo bike is the "one size has to fit all" kind of thing that you expect - the LBS service part is not. I feel bad for you if you've not had the good experience I had w/ Pivot in being made to feel like your demo was important enough to pull out the shock pump and allen wrenches or like today, at the Pivot dealer where they were all grins at the thought of setting up my new ride and actually wanted to check on options for me. I agree that Pivot got lucky w/ the set up - but like I said - it was a feel issue in the end and Pivot won out (in a game of inches).

    I rode conditions like you described and didn't have the same experience - hence the "to each his/her own" start to my reply - so I can't say what went wrong (or if the bike is simply not for you - which appears to be what it was).

    I do agree that Moots is best known for their ti setup on the ybb and hardtails - and that's where my love affair started - note my road bike choice is a ti seven - and that's where i'll ultimately wind up w/ my next bike.

    Take the above in stride and with no ill will - I'm sure we can agree on this: at this level of quality and technology, we're arguing the difference between liking the prancing horse, the charging bull, the stalwarts from stutgart,etc. - all super vehicles and all designed to invoke a different response in different folks.

  13. #13
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    Have I found the Holy Grail? No I'm still on the quest and the quest shall continue. If the quest happen to end for what ever reason then it would be a sad day indeed. I have tried almost every brand and model of 29er FS bikes and still haven't find the one. My next on the list to try is the tallboy....if I can find a deal.

    Yeah the 429 simply not my cup of tea because it straddle too much in the middle of what I want plus the harsh down hill(for me). Everyone's riding style and condition is different so definitely to each their own. Like I said I hope the 429 would serve you well.

    Actually I have absolutely no interest in the XZ. IMHO Ti isn't the best for suspension frame because of it's natural spring to it. Just like a race car the chassis should be as stiff as possible to best utilize the suspension. I could be wrong of course.

    Seven is definitely another FINE frame maker that puts Q in Quality. Definitely check out their ID 8. One of their classics and for a good reason and I could attest to that.

    I do agree we are arguing between benz and bmw, there are people I know will kick my ass on 200 dollar bikes any day and any where. But hey why not is my answer, help make the work day go by and economy go around.

    As far as bike project goes I have a X YBB in route so I'm quite excited about that. Suspension bike/fun bike I'm going to keep my DW 5spot....for now.
    "Didn't your doctor tell you to stop smoking and drinking?" George Burns "Yes but they all died"

  14. #14
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    You and I are on the same page - I started off looking at the Mach 5 versus the Turner 5 Spot and wound up with Mach 429 - and that's largely b/c my current bike is not in the same league as those - its a 5+ year old S-Works FSR - shorter travel up front and behind - but still a whippy great XC racer (w/ no more races left in this body). Had I started where you are, I would have a YBB X on order, too. I stumbled onto the Mooto XZ when the reviews comparing both were found - I just don't think they compare (sorry to those who do).

    I think I agree on the use of ti on F/S - the give that makes the YBB possible would appear to be an issue when you're trying to divert all force to the shocks - but that's engineering stuff way above my pay grade - but you're not the first to raise that issue, which played in my mind given my personal experience with Ti in a road bike.

    When you find the grail (or anything resembling it w/ 2 wheels) please be sure to let us know!!

  15. #15
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    It was my understanding (having never ridden either bike) that Moots addressed the Ti issue with their full suspension frame by using Aluminum for the rear triangle. Thus keeping the stiffness where it it needed. It is easy to dismiss the Ti aspect of the Moots, however the Aluminum aspect of the Pivot, while making it stiff, does nothing for its weight.

    Man, it is really disappointing that moots cannot seem to get out a decent demo bike.
    Again, every review speaks to how the initial setup is horrible. Which I guess is the problem with demoing a bike that can be as custom as one of theirs.

    You spoke about comparing BMW's and Mercedes which would be fare. However another analogy is that you can make a Porsche ride like a Cadillac, but you can't make a Cadillac handle like a Porsche. Now what I want to know is the Pivot so stiff it that on downhills it becomes too harsh? Or can can the Moots just not live up to anywhere near the performance of the 429?

    From what I have heard, for those who spend the time to dial in the Moots it can be a godsend. However no matter what the Pivot will always be fast, stiff almost harsh ride. I love to ride, and I may occasionally race but the idea of the next epic ride is what is making me salivate for that moots...

  16. #16
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    Go back to the start of this thread where I refer to this "choice" as an embarrassment of riches - there is no wrong choice here - but rather what's right for you (or in this case, me). I could have spent the time and money to dial in the Moots (probably or maybe not) or I could opt for the Pivot which hit the mark earlier and with less fuss - the former would have made me happy as did the latter, but I made my choice on the initial feel.

    The Moots is an awesome bike - too bad the set up was so off for me - but there's lots of folks who buy them based on that build and even less if they can't demo. Yes, the rear end of the Moots is aluminum and the rest of the ti frame is tuned to the bike so flex is probably not be an issue - but I did not get that far into riding the Moots to hit that (if it actually exists) - I'll leave that to others to debate in the Moots forums - but I doubt its a real issue in practice.

    And having owned a Porsche, Audi, BMW, Mercedes, etc., I can say that what we're discussing here is the top of the top and there will never ever be agreement on what makes one better than the other - which is why I'm going w/ Pivot - it hit me right and if, long term, I'm unhappy, options abound. I could easily have thrown the new Titus Rockstar into the mix or Specialized or Niner or etc.

    Again - my current FSR is pretty darn harsh and is nowhere near as plush as the Pivot so by comparing it to the Pivot and calling it harsh as compared to the Moots, I'll offer this: an older 911 was state of the art but the newer models are a heck of a lot less jarring than those - but in some people's minds, its still stiffer than a M3, S5 or SL63 - but would anyone really quibble over driving any of those cars???

    Its nice to have choices and even nicer still to know there are no wrong ones to make at this level - other than to not buy one of these darn bikes!!!

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