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Thread: 429 trail & Sl

  1. #1
    17j
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    429 trail & Sl

    Looking for a north east bike (roots and more roots) for weekend rides and mid week XC races.
    Was looking at 429 sl but wasn't sure everyone experience with pedal strikes (Especially in NE)
    I experienced some strikes and wasn't sure how much was being sacrificed from 429 sl to trail On paper, weight is very close, (both around 27lbs at 5-6k) but trail has higher bottom bracket and of course travel

    Is sl pedal strike an issue?
    Is the small sacrifice in speed worth the comfort of the trail

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    The way I see it, as an SL rider that also owns an AM bike, the SL is an XC race bike and an FS bike for those that live in relatively flat or tame places or just don't intend to ever get very aggressive, but I don't think it's the bike for everyone. There'll always be people that own and ride these in what I consider "AM bike territory", and that's fine, nothing against that at all.

    I can't say pedal strikes have been an issue, I've ridden it in very rocky Texas at RTR, which is basically all solid gnarly rock with lots of step ups/downs, drops, etc. That wasn't the best place for the bike, as the terrain was a little gnarlier than I'd want an XC bike on, but I was on vacation and could bring only one. On the other hand, for long XC rides, even super-rooty stuff like we have here, I found it to be great, in fact, better at some of the rooty climbs and obstacles than my big 160mm travel AM bike, simply because of the combination of the wheelsize (29er), the weight, and the efficiency. When you put the power down on the SL, it just goes in my experience. Hard to get bogged down by obstacles.

    Fast guys are fast on just about any bike, up or down. The bike makes a minimal difference usually in terms of time, but time adds up so what wins is what you are fastest on during the flats and climbs. Both of those bikes are great. I think the 429 Trail is right for most people when comparing these bikes, even the occasional racer. The SL is right for the racer types that want every possible advantage. I think you are right in pointing out that the increase in travel on the trail comes at a fairly slightly cost.

    Something to think about is that the 429SL pairs well with a 100mm fork, of which there are a few that will allow you to get your weight down to 22-23lbs, which is pretty darn light. While you can put more travel on the front, like 120, it'll get hard to meet those weight targets with stanchions at 34mm, given the weight of those forks. With the Trail, that's going to be best with around 120 or 140mm of travel, which with the additional weight of the frame means reliable builds around 25lbs if you throw some good money at it, the trail would also make more sense with a dropper post, not that you can't do it on the SL, but with more front travel and rear travel the Trail is a more versatile bike and the dropper post would be a natural for it IMO, which means the weight goes up a little more. So I think the SL lends itself to a race-y build around 23lbs, give or take a pound, whereas the Trail lends itself to around 25-26lbs, still a great bike, but a slightly different intention IMO. Maybe "lends itself" isn't quite the right word, but "capability" seems a little closer. The capability of the SL is to build up in the light 20s for racing, even though everyone may not choose to do so or build it like that.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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    If you get the SL with a 120mm fork, the weights can get fairly close, assuming no dropper post, at the same price. Pedal strikes are not an issue on the SL with a 120mm fork anymore than they are on the Trail. The biggest difference is gonna be in the head angle: 69.3 for the SL vs. 67.5 for the Trail. I found the Trail hard to haul ass on in tight, twisty, rooty trails. The additional travel, front and rear, is noticeable but not huge IMO. At least not as noticeable as the HTA riding at race-pace through singletrack. If you run the 100mm fork (Step-cast), pedal strikes will be more of an issue unless you run the 17mm lower headset cup that Pivot supplies with the Trail and Switchblade. That's what I do, saves a pound of weight and gets the head angle less steep and raises the BB up a bit.
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    I own a Mach 4 Carbon with 120mm fork and it has a higher bottom bracket than the SL with 100mm. Are you running a 120 mm fork on the SL? Peddle strikes have never been a problem for me.
    Why do people never consider the Mach 4 Carbon anyway?

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    17j
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    I am not running anything as of yet, but would run a 120 fork if purchased.
    However, your bike with a 120 is the same bottom bracket, not higher than a 429sl with 120...on paper.
    but, it doesn't matter because I prefer 29" wheels.
    My area, the Northeast is know for much rougher terrain than most of the country. A 325 bottom bracket may work in CA, TX or Fl but there is no way you would enjoy it here. That said, botom bracket t is a major consideration here if you want to spin.
    Thanks

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    As Jayem pointed out the SL is a very XC oriented bike. If you had of said occasional xc race instead of weekly I would have said trail hands down. Much plusher ride for the areas you will be riding and the extra travel will come in handy, but the SL is certainly the better xc race bike choice. I can't say if the SL is noticeably faster, but I can say the Trail IS noticeably plusher on the ride quality. Most people I've talked to went Trail, a few mentioned that if they were mainly xc there were better choices out there compared to the SL. Grain of salt, I was looking for more AM option and ended up going even bigger with the M6. I would have grabbed the trail, but it was significantly more than the same equipped alloy m6.

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    I have had my SL for over a year now riding in similar terrain here in Michigan, lots of roots and rocks. Never really had any issues with pedal strikes. I only race a couple times a year so my bike is setup more as a trail bike and outside of of real downhill stuff have never really felt under biked. And the SL climbs fast whether locked out going up smooth climbs or running it open on rocky root infested technical climbs.
    2015 Pivot 429sl XX1 build

  8. #8
    17j
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    Antone know what the trail weights out of the box, real world at the 6k price point?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 17j View Post
    I am not running anything as of yet, but would run a 120 fork if purchased.
    However, your bike with a 120 is the same bottom bracket, not higher than a 429sl with 120...on paper.
    but, it doesn't matter because I prefer 29" wheels.
    My area, the Northeast is know for much rougher terrain than most of the country. A 325 bottom bracket may work in CA, TX or Fl but there is no way you would enjoy it here. That said, botom bracket t is a major consideration here if you want to spin.
    Thanks
    I live on the east coast and I don't understand why people ride 29ers here because it's so twisty, rooty and filled with short quick climbs. I always thought 29ers they were for people out west who went in straight-lines over rock gardens.

    I tested both a trail and SL before I bought the 4c. The front end wandered too much on the 29ers and they felt to slow in the twisty stuff. I liked the SL more though. I didn't try the trail with 27.5+ wheels and I suspect that would have made me like it a bit more, but I don't want a 27.5+ bike.

    I spin fine, but I guess it's years of learning to watch my pedals and know were they were when I was riding. I can do the quick back pedal and then pedal forward thing that helps you through rocky and rooty sections.

  10. #10
    17j
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    Braids, it seems you want to bang on the anti 29 drum. If you are happy with your 26, 27.5 that's 110% fine but that wasn't the topic. In regards to your expertise with spinning, the term is called timing & ratcheting but I prefer to just spin without stopping Believe it or not I have found some bikes with higher bb allow that....Its more fun, and faster,,,,, just like 29ers. But thats just my opinion after 30 years of riding & racing mtb. If anyone owns a 429 trail or Sl and would like to chime in on OP that would be great

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    I have a 429 SL, rode the trail and didn't prefer the slack front end. My SL is set up more for trail rides also. I've ridden my SL in St. Louis (Chubb and Greensfelder), as well as the somewhat gnarlier stuff in my area, the SL does well, feels like it has more travel than it does. Pedal strikes do happen, but not a ton. 3 and 9 is your friend, pedal placement is key to focus on.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Braids View Post
    I live on the east coast and I don't understand why people ride 29ers here because it's so twisty, rooty and filled with short quick climbs. I always thought 29ers they were for people out west who went in straight-lines over rock gardens.
    Interesting. I have extremely rooty trails here in the boreal forest. There are massive root-complexes where you have to try and punch through and get the traction necessary to keep pedaling, lots of places to stall out, etc. I find that my 429SL does a better job at rolling through this stuff than my 160mm travel enduro bike. Although the enduro bike might be plusher and more comfortable, if I want to hook up on the roots and not stall out, the 429SL is the better weapon. So that might have something to do with it.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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    Quote Originally Posted by 17j View Post
    Braids, it seems you want to bang on the anti 29 drum.
    Used to be me until I picked up a 429 Trail for an all day rider. The thing rocks.

    Quote Originally Posted by fillyo View Post
    Pedal strikes do happen, but not a ton. 3 and 9 is your friend, pedal placement is key to focus on.
    Second this. I rarely have pedal strikes these days.

    I just scored a 429 Trail recently and I love it. I also have a Mach 6 Carbon. In my opinion the trail rides a lot like a short travel Mach 6 and when you look at the geo that makes sense. Pivot said this was one of their aims when they built the Trail and I think they've pulled it off. It's a super fun bike that can be an all day rider or a pretty good trail beast. I can't see either of them being a frequent pedal striker though.

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    A properly set-up 429SL (with 120mm fork) and 429Trail should have no issue with pedal strikes. Only if you use a 100mm fork on the SL does the BB get a little low vis-a-vis other comparable bikes. I've extensively ridden all 3 versions in rocky, rooty terrain. We don't have mountains in DFW, but we got a lotta rocks. Especially just west of here.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BmanInTheD View Post
    A properly set-up 429SL (with 120mm fork) and 429Trail should have no issue with pedal strikes. Only if you use a 100mm fork on the SL does the BB get a little low vis-a-vis other comparable bikes. I've extensively ridden all 3 versions in rocky, rooty terrain. We don't have mountains in DFW, but we got a lotta rocks. Especially just west of here.
    I had no problems at RTR with my 429SL and rocks. Obviously it's not the optimal bike for going downhill there, but it'd be hard to justify owning an AM bike in Texas for just those couple areas.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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    Friend of mine just gog medium SL with F34 120. Bike looks great in matte black but I noticed that down tube is very thin and soft compared to my Trail.
    You can easily squeeze it and it flexes.

    Down tube guard is also pretty small and I'd be worried that some stray rock would put a hole in it. Trail has beefier layup, bigger guard and cables on the downtube for added protection, so if you're after more aggressive bike, Trail everyday.

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    ^^^ What? You can easily squeeze it and it flexes? That bike is nearly as stiff as the Trail, IDK what bike your friend has. I've ridden mine all over rocks all over the Southwest and it has been bullet-proof. If you want slacker with a BIT more travel, then the Trail. But to imply that it's weak or paper-thin, well that's just not right. It'll hold up just fine in any terrain the Trail will.

    I've ridden both a TON. Bottom line: if you want a little slacker, more comfy ride, get the trail. If you wanna go as fast as possible (between these 2 bikes), get the SL.
    You can't buy happiness. But you can buy a bike. And that's pretty close.

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    What level are you racing and how serious? If just for weekday fun I'd say Trail is fine. If you were really serious XC racer SL is "Trail" worthy as is.

    Cat 1 XC racer in PA on my 3rd season on an SL which I love. Run 100mm up front for racing and often a dropper+120mm in off season, though lately riding dropper+100mm year round. PA trails can be super rocky or really smooth, but fairly hilly where I think the SL shines.

    I think the 429c/SL was pretty early on the XC race bike trend getting slacker (Scalpel, Scott etc). One bike to perform trail and XC race works.


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    Lol...a carbon frame easily squeezes and flexes? SL is one of the beefier XC race bikes.

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    Downtube is very thin and you can squeeze it and feel it buckling, not that the frame itself is soft or flexy...

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    i have a 2017 429Trail that i have had since late last year (300+ miles on it) and i love it! i am running the head spacer and 27.5+ wheels. i came from two 29er bikes and demo'd the bike with both 29 and 27.5+ wheelsets and really liked the way the bike handled with the plus wheelset. i had a couple pedal strikes early on but don't have the issue any longer. I ride in the southeast and find the bike to be very capable on what i ride (pinhoti, tanasi, chicopee) and like that it also climbs well. i have the dropper post, race effect pedals and a mbr bash guard and the total weight of the bike is 29lbs (running tubeless reynolds carbon). best bike purchase i have ever made!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarinCRO View Post
    Downtube is very thin and you can squeeze it and feel it buckling, not that the frame itself is soft or flexy...
    Whatever you do, never EVER try to squeeze the downtube of a race bike. Heck, don't ever go and try to push on an aircraft wing for that matter. Of course you can flex the tube, you can flex any mountain bike frame tube.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

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    I have a '17 429SL (120mm fork). I live/ride/race in Co...plenty of rocks and roots. I cant say pedal strikes are an issue. Seems to me the rider has as much influence with this issue as the bike...

    This bike is so good.

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