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  1. #1
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    Mach 4 vs Mach 429

    Strictly for a XC race bike which bike is the better fit and why?

    I recently purchased a Mach 4 as I still feel more comfortable on the smaller wheels. I've noticed a very large conversion of guys going to the bigger wheels and it might be the majority on the local racing scene soon.

    I just wanted to see the 26" vs 29" debate for XC racing w/ a bit of a Pivot bias so please throw me your opinions.

  2. #2
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    Hi fatcamper, you should try to ride a 29er. I have ridden many years on all type of 26" bikes. The past 2 years i ride a 29er ti hardtail and recently i decided to build me a mach 429 as trailbike. I can not imagine to go back to the small wheels. But that is my opinion.

    what works out for me can be wrong for somebody else. You give already the answer that you like the 26" wheels more so stick to that and forget what the magazines write and what people may tell.

    As a pure racebike i would not pick the mach 429 because the frame is a little heavy. I would prefer a 29er hardtail for racing.

    Cheers.

  3. #3
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    I have a 429 but for an all out race bike the Mach 4 would be a better fit.

  4. #4
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    I have a Mach 429 and my mate a Mach 4. If the majority of the course was fire road I would beat him by miles but in single track that is tight and "race" mode the Mach 4 would be the pick.
    Strongy

  5. #5
    c'est la vie
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    Last year, I was able to compare the M4 and 429 when Pivot’s demo team came to town.

    The area where the DW Link really shines is rolling over the rough stuff; you are able to keep your momentum easier then say a horst link bike. While the DW Link is found on both models, this low rolling resistance effect was more prominent with the M4 than the 429. The 429 already rolls over a rough trail with ease, however compared to the M4 there was not as big of a difference as originally assumed.

    Regarding racing, at least on tight, weaving trails where you are slowing and accelerating repeatedly, I find I am faster on the M4. Simply put, the M4 feels snappier in acceleration then the 429.

    Mentally, I felt like I was not accelerating as quick on the 429 as I should; if I raced a 29er I would need to get past this feeling. Agree though that in wide open trails the 429 would be a good race weapon.
    "If I should die darling in your arms, what a lovely way to go..." Don Felder -All of You

  6. #6
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    Maluco I agree with what you said about acceleration. In my very limited time on a 29er I felt like there was some type of mental block for me, especially with regard to acceleration. The Mach 4 appealed to me as I don't think I have ever been on a suspension bike that accelerated so quickly with such little effort. The bigger wheels seemed to kill that a bit.

    I also have an unfounded deep-seeded hatred for 29ers.

  7. #7
    Rider and Wrench
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatcamper
    Maluco I agree with what you said about acceleration. In my very limited time on a 29er I felt like there was some type of mental block for me, especially with regard to acceleration. The Mach 4 appealed to me as I don't think I have ever been on a suspension bike that accelerated so quickly with such little effort. The bigger wheels seemed to kill that a bit.

    I also have an unfounded deep-seeded hatred for 29ers.
    Admitting your faults is half of the battle

    If your main ride is a 26" bike any 29er will take a bit of adjustment- and 29ers do not feel nearly as snappy especially if you hop back and fourth- but much like you felt on the Mach 4 compared to other little wheeled bikes the 429 feels to other big wheeled bikes-

    The 429 pedals great and could double as a weekend warrior race rig but there is no avoiding the frame weight it is on the heavy side for a dedicated race bike.
    I Just wish I could ride more!


  8. #8
    DLd
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatcamper
    Maluco I agree with what you said about acceleration. In my very limited time on a 29er I felt like there was some type of mental block for me, especially with regard to acceleration.
    It's not a mental block, it's physics.
    "Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion."-Jack Kerouac

  9. #9
    c'est la vie
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    Feeling that a bike is slower (or faster) does not necessary mean it is. As an example, back when Fox was making shocks for road motorcycles, we tried one on a Yamaha and all thought we were going slower at our first race practice. The reason, the higher quality Fox shock took much of the drama out of a fast lap. We stopped complaining when we found out we were several seconds faster. Without data, we would have never guessed we were going faster from just the sensation.

    Just for fun, I wonder if someone could do the following experiment:

    Using telemetry/GPS device like the roadies use, record a few laps on the same trail for the M4 and 429. Maybe a wide open trail and then a tight, twisty one for comparison.

    Hopefully, they could make the bikes set up as similar as possible as well as controlling other variables.

    Once you have the data recorded say on a Garmin, you can use the training software to make comparisons with time and speed.

    Likely, it will not meet scientific standards but should give us keyboard warriors more material to chew on till the warmer weather rolls around.

    Any takers?
    "If I should die darling in your arms, what a lovely way to go..." Don Felder -All of You

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DLd
    It's not a mental block, it's physics.
    Well, OK....

    http://nencycling.org/face_it%3A_26-inch_hardtail_dead

    It would be interesting to see a Mach 4 vs Mach 429 direct comparison like that one.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh
    Well, OK....

    http://nencycling.org/face_it%3A_26-inch_hardtail_dead

    It would be interesting to see a Mach 4 vs Mach 429 direct comparison like that one.
    I hate this test for this reason:

    " They were ridden in the same smooth-pedaling manner; riding out of the saddle created power spikes and was therefore avoided."

    I fully accept a 29er carries momentum better than its 26 inch counterpart. If you are "smooth-pedaling" this is fish in a barrel for the big hoops since you've taken the one advantage the 26er has away.

    I also think staying seated for the whole ride isn't realisitic to how most of us ride.

    I don't know which bikle is faster and it probably wouldn't matter at my skill level anyway, but I do dislike this test and seeing it used as any sort of evidence.

    I like the recent Sauser Epic test a lot more since he took two bikes out and rode them as hard as he could to get data. This seems more accurate to me, but of course no testing is perfect.

  12. #12
    DLd
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh
    Well, OK....

    http://nencycling.org/face_it%3A_26-inch_hardtail_dead

    It would be interesting to see a Mach 4 vs Mach 429 direct comparison like that one.
    Reading, a lost art... I specifically quoted the following by fatcamper:
    "Maluco I agree with what you said about acceleration. In my very limited time on a 29er I felt like there was some type of mental block for me, especially with regard to acceleration."

    and responded "It's not a mental block. It's physics."

    Which is 100% true. 29er wheels of the same comparable strength will be heavier, and even if they were the same weight, they would still accelerate slower for the same energy input due to the increased diameter. It's pure simple physics. No half-assed blog posting unscientific testing will change that. A 29er very well could be faster overall on certain courses, I don't dispute that, but that lame attempt at testing certainly doesn't prove anything. He tested the 26er HT and FS back to back over fourteen days, hopefully alternating which one he did first laps on, there may be some validity to that data. Then sometime later, ostensibly after more training since he races, he tested the 29'er. The results of his first test were published in the July issue of Velonews. Knowing the publishing schedule of major magazines, the article was likely written and submitted in May. The 29'er blog post with additional data was posted in September, after a whole season of racing. I would expect him to be faster by then. No mention of difference in course conditions either. Two of his other conditions skew the data also. His "no pedaling on the downhills" gives favor to the hardtails, as it diminishes the importance of the FS's enhanced control at speed, and his condition to "abstain from pedaling out of corners" diminishes the advantage of the 26er's with regards to acceleration. Despite that, you could take from his test exactly what he put into it. That a 29'er HT ridden moderately, not at race pace, in a test skewed to reduce the advantage of a FS (no pedaling on DH), can be faster if you insert a full season of racing and training between your testing of each bike.

    It would have been nice if he had re-tested the 26'er back-to back with the 29'er so that his data would have had some validity. Trying to match the power was helpful, but I know I'm certainly a better, more skilled rider after each season. Of course, he can test all he wants, but it won't change the simple fact that the 29'er will still accelerate slower, which is the only thing I had commented on in my first post anyway.
    "Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion."-Jack Kerouac

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DLd
    It's not a mental block, it's physics.
    It's physics... but at our level (and forgive me if you're a pro level racer), anyone that says they can tell the miniscule difference is fooling themselves.
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  14. #14
    DLd
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh
    It's physics... but at our level (and forgive me if you're a pro level racer), anyone that says they can tell the miniscule difference is fooling themselves.
    I wish I was a pro level racer sometimes. I'm not saying 29ers are bad, but acceleration is their one definite downside relative to a 26er. There's plenty of other areas they excel. I don't think you need to be a pro level racer to notice the difference, it's quite noticeable, but perhaps you need to be a racer to care. Either way it's just acknowledging that there are tradeoffs, deciding if the advantages outweigh the disadvantages for your terrain and riding style, that's all I'm really saying I guess. Some folks seem to not want to acknowledge any downside at all to 29er's and take any criticism as an affront to all of 29er'dom. The 429 is an awesome bike, but that doesn't mean it's better for XC racing than the Mach 4, although it could be for some riders and on some courses.

    Back to the OP, I think he was just asking which would be the better dedicated race bike. For most XC courses I would think it would be the Mach 4, there's probably a reason it's Pivot's best selling bike. If he was racing something like the AZT300 or some of the MonsterCross races where the condition of the trail can be quite primitive and there are also some long stretches of fire road, I would think the 429 would be the better choice, it certainly could be on some other XC courses as well, especially depending on the rider. I think I agree with the spirit of your reply though, that most of us would be ****-eatin-grin-on-the-face-happy with either one.
    "Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion."-Jack Kerouac

  15. #15
    c'est la vie
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    24 Hours in Old Pueblo

    Thought the results of 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo should be added as the Pivot duo team won on a 429 and M5:

    http://www.speedgoat.com/News.aspx/NewsIndex

    A few quick observations:

    1) note lap times 429 vs M5, hard to judge riders’ performance and skills but not much difference in times, many laps were near identical in time
    2) expected the 429 to have a clear advantage in this wide open trail (but the M5 set fastest lap time) –not a scientific comparison by any means though
    3) Expected this of the 429 but the M5 appears to be another great choice for enduro races
    4) Clearly it helps to win if you are on a Pivot….
    "If I should die darling in your arms, what a lovely way to go..." Don Felder -All of You

  16. #16
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    Acceleration is not that important in a race unless you are so top-level that you are actually competing with other people.

    Most everyone I know racing 100s rides pretty steady-state up all the hills at their own pace, either governed by a pulse or wattage goal. No acceleration at all. Only the very elite deal with breakaways and having to meet accelerations by those around them.

    That said I also have no idea about 429 vs 4. I ride a Mach 5, but do x-country hundreds and so at some point want to add a 2nd bike. So far Mach 5 has been perfect for me, just a tiny bit heavy compared to many people's CF 21 lb bikes.

    One thing I'd be curious about - on the Mach 5 I can turn circles at high rpm on rougher ground than the Mach 4/429 folks, we should remember to take that into account as well.

  17. #17
    Always pushing harder!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maluco
    4) Clearly it helps to win if you are on a Pivot….
    It does...I have raced my Mach 4 on 6 races already and placed on podium on all of them...maybe its my training, but having a Pivot helps me outclimb everybody!!!

  18. #18
    WheelDancer
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    I won't weigh in on the physics of 29 vs 26 but I started riding 29 a little over three years ago and haven't looked back. I don't race (just lost half the readers) but do ride with former racers and am nearly always near if not at the front. I may be slower on the start but the added momentum that causes the slower start may well come in to play on carrying the energy forward; you can't just look at half the equation and get the whole picture.

    All I know for certain is I don't have trouble staying ahead of the 26 riders and I like the 29er ride better. I suspect the best metric would be to look at what's winning races and then compare that to what's entered. That would be the real world comparison that would take out any bias. Perhaps someone has already done this.

    I just do this for fun and expect most of y'all do as well...
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