First ride 2013 Large Pivot 429C impressions
26.4mi, 3577 gain'. Jeep trail and singletrack, damp hard pack, lots of embedded rocks. Ran 12mm of sag, otherwise exact same setup as 2011 429 alu that we just switched from.
I've done lots of bicycle and automotive R&D so try to go in not thinking about the bike. Just ride and let things surprise me. Overall, the bike is incrementally improved in several areas. No huge differences.
It was hard to notice the shorter chainstays. I could feel it was a little easier to manual over rocks when descending. More noticeable when pumping tight radius bermed turns. Part of this better tight radius handling was the lower BB. Stability was stellar with the alu frame so the carbon didn't have much to gain. Felt like it tracked a little better during forceful direction changes at speed. Definitely stiffer torsionally but not night and day. Most of the torsional stiffness gains seem to be in the back, despite the tapered HT and general beefiness up front. Maybe I imagined that:confused:
Probably the biggest difference between the 2011 alu 429 was the new CTD shock. Climb - Trail - Descend. Riding it, you can tell the low speed compression damping increases as you click towards climb but it's the high speed compression damping difference that stood out. The 2011 bike would kick a bit when smacking 2-3" embedded rocks at high speed. The CTD on "D" soaks them up almost completely. Big gains there. What was a surprise to me was how well it climbed in D. The softer low speed compression allowed it to react quickly to little embedded rocks while climbing seated at low speeds (4-8mph). The only time I really wanted the Trail or Climb damping preset was on the paved ride to the trail head or if I had a long out of the saddle climb on smooth fire road. IOW, I ran D setting for pretty much the whole ride. What was also nice about the D setting was it's better absorption of those 2-4" ledges when you have to deliver a brief 500w burst and trials/crawl over stuff. If you have ever climbed on a triple chainring 6" bike you know what I'm talking about. Get a little momentum and the stuff that stops most short travel XC bikes doesn't phase the 429C with the shock on D, almost like 6" bike.
I didn't touch the drivetrain after the shop gave it to me. The old frame had the special Pivot e-type FD mount. The 429C uses a direct mount FD. It wouldn't shift to the big ring under full power, half power or less was fine. Nit picking I know but the old frame would do it at 400w+. I'm gonna guess it just needs some adjustment and won't proclaim that as endemic. I also got a few derailleur slaps in the smaller half of the cassette, which I didn't get with the old bike. XTR shadow long cage. Once again, I'm going to guess it just needs a little adjustment love.
Within seconds of rolling out I noticed the lower BB. Well, I should say that the bars felt high. I wondered what the shop did then the lightbulb went off. They matched my old BB to seat measurement (very good shop) but the new BB is a few mm lower. Suprised it was so noticeable but I definitely like it. Others here mentioned catching pedals but I never did. To quantify that, I run 180's Egg Beaters and pretty much pedal through everything.
Again, the old bike was awesome so not a ton of room for improvement. I did notice the rear tracked better when seated powering over rough stuff in a low gears. I put that down to the new rear end and 142mm through axle. I didn't expect that so it was a pleasant surprise. The next I'll say is that it just seemed to be a few watts more efficient in every climbing scenario. More than the some of it's parts in this case. Definitely goes up hill and pedals just a wee bit better and I'm not I fully understand why. Don't care either, just reporting the impression.
Would I do it again? You bet. Besides, more carbon is always better.
Dirty Bike :)