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  1. #1
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    New Rider: Mach 429 - alloy or carbon?

    Based on extensive reading of this forum and Internet reviews, I think I've finally settled on the Pivot Mach 429. As a brand-new rider, I really had to lean on the experience of others as test-riding several bikes (Satori, SB95, Tallboy LT, Mach 429 alloy) did not nudge me in any particular direction due to my own lack of experience. They all felt good to me.

    I want to invest in a good quality bike that will last me at least 5 years, something that will not discourage me from the sport. Hence the mid-to-high-range assortment of bikes I've been looking at.

    The price premium for the carbon Mach 429 is actually quite reasonable, especially compared to some other brands. But would it be the right choice for me? As a new rider, I assume spills and drops (as in dropping the bike) will take a toll on the frame. Am I safer with aluminum? Would the merits of carbon be totally lost on me during my noob period?

    I know the carbon provides better stiffness and less vibration, and a little bit of weight savings. The aluminum is cheaper, more proven over time, and frankly looks better (cosmetically) from my perspective in the case of the 429. Love the industrial look of the anodized alloy Pivots. Don't care for the silly swoops and doohickeys Pivot plasters all over many of their bikes, including the carbon Mach 429. I think their graphics cheapen the brand.

    Too bad they aren't just decals (on the carbon models) that can be peeled off.

    Another downside to carbon: being the "brand new guy" on a fancy carbon bike. No one likes that guy.

    So which way would you go?

  2. #2
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    Yeah their graphics are overdone. I wouldnt worry about being to new guy on a fancy carbon bike though. If you are going to keep that bike for 5+ years carbon may fair better.

    Heres a quote by Chris Cocalis from flow magazine:
    "Itís 0.3 of a pound lighter, 5-7% stiffer, but when you look at the durability, thatís the big difference. I mean, we donít have warranty problems with our aluminium bikes, but the tests we put the carbon bikes through, thereís no way an aluminium bike would survive them! When it comes to fatigue life and impact, carbon is a different league."

  3. #3
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    New Rider: Mach 429 - alloy or carbon?

    Quote Originally Posted by micgills View Post
    Heres a quote by Chris Cocalis from flow magazine:
    "Itís 0.3 of a pound lighter, 5-7% stiffer, but when you look at the durability, thatís the big difference. I mean, we donít have warranty problems with our aluminium bikes, but the tests we put the carbon bikes through, thereís no way an aluminium bike would survive them! When it comes to fatigue life and impact, carbon is a different league."
    I read that yesterday. I must admit I was surprised. Better impact durability?

    I can get an XT alloy build for the price of an SLX carbon build. The XT alloy build would actually be lighter.

    *sigh* Buying a car or house seems less complicated than buying a bike these days.

  4. #4
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    New Rider: Mach 429 - alloy or carbon?

    The frame is a relatively protected part of the bike from impact. The seat, bars, wheels, fork, pedals, etc. make it far less likely to experience any impact let alone one that can actually damage it. If you crash hard chances are the bike will fly and the last thing to hit the ground is the frame. You typically have to hit some kind of protrusion which depending on where you ride may not be very common. The other thing to keep in mind is that with brands like pivot crash replacement costs are very reasonable, you can call them and ask but I think it's in the $4-600 range for a triangle. Not all brands do this though, Specialized apparently charges 90% of msrp which is actually no discount at all.

    Who is going to know you are new but your friends? Who cares what random people think? Buy the bike you want and will be happy with.

  5. #5
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    Recently made the same choice and went with the alloy frame. I was at my budget limit and did not want to give up the SRAM xx1 for the carbon frame.

  6. #6
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    If considering the Pivot 429 You should really only consider the 429c IMVHO (not the alloy 429) because it is only ~$400 difference and it is NOT just a carbonized 429. Its geometry has been fined tuned, shorter wheel base, shorter chain stays, BB a tich higher, it is stiffer overall, the rear triangle is stiffer and yet allows for more room for rear tire (a big complaint on the alloy). I think the 429c is an amazingly capable and versatile platform. I have read where other have built race machines in the 22-23 lbs... (For lots of $$$) I have built mine up a little more trail than race with and mix of components and weighs in about 27 lbs for a reasonable price, others are putting 34mm 140s on. In fact I just saw this article ...and review of the 429c dual capabilities / flavors. Also find and read the MTB UK article...that article really rings true to me... I put on some custom wheels (240s with Arches hand laced) and a slightly shorter stem.

    I have nearly 900 miles on mine lots of varied condition including rock bouncing chunk and I have very little wear and no dings to show for it. I clean it with a brush and damp rag and it looks good as new.

  7. #7
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    New Rider: Mach 429 - alloy or carbon?

    I had a good conversation with Aaron at Pivot. Great customer attention. For my needs he suggested the alloy with the better component set. I was leaning that direction anyway, so his advice sealed the deal. Thanks everyone for your responses.

  8. #8
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    Glad you got it sorted to your satisfaction. My inclination was the same, alloy 429 and better components. Unfortunately, the alloy frame I had on hold got sold out from under me! I wasn't too happy about that but the manager stepped up and got me into a demo'd carbon 429 for a smoking deal. I could find no issues with that frame, so my build although delayed, is well under way. I'm stoked for the day I pick it up, should be awesome! This will be my first carbon frame, so I hope I wind up liking it.

  9. #9
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    I went alloy for my 429 after running a season with a Trek Superfly 100 Elite. I find that carbon was just not personally up to my standards. I was racing then so that helped but I like the feel of alloy, if that makes sense.

  10. #10
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    I tested an alloy model over the summer, but just ordered a carbon today. It was less the material and more the geometry changes that made me order the 429C.

  11. #11
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    New Rider: Mach 429 - alloy or carbon?

    I think the better tire clearance for the carbon version is a big deal.

  12. #12
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    New Rider: Mach 429 - alloy or carbon?

    Quote Originally Posted by litany View Post
    I think the better tire clearance for the carbon version is a big deal.
    Yeah, that factored into my decision as well.

  13. #13
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    I bought a used (in extremely good condition) alloy 429 a bit over a year ago. It's been fantastic. At that point, although I was already an experienced rider, I still felt nervous about going with CF. Now, I am fairly sure that I will indeed go with CF when the day comes to replace my alloy frame. I hope that day never comes but if it does,...

    I think going with the alloy was a wise choice for a new rider. The 429 is a superior frame no matter what material it's made of.
    fee-fy-fo-fum...

  14. #14
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    Fortunately the relative homeliness of the carbon frames makes the decision that much easier. When I see this:

    New Rider: Mach 429 - alloy or carbon?-matcar.jpg

    I can't help but see this:

    New Rider: Mach 429 - alloy or carbon?-rv_image-30-20100521092248.jpg

    New Rider: Mach 429 - alloy or carbon?-winnebago.jpg

    Name:  rv-solar.jpg
Views: 919
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    Random graphical elements fail.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails New Rider: Mach 429 - alloy or carbon?-img_4831_0.jpeg  


  15. #15
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    I fail to see the relevance between the RV's and a 429 Carbon except in the vainest of light but...to each his own. I'm more into function than fung chewy!

  16. #16
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    New Rider: Mach 429 - alloy or carbon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deep_Six View Post
    I'm more into function than fung chewy!
    Wouldn't it be great to have both?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bvader View Post
    If considering the Pivot 429 You should really only consider the 429c IMVHO (not the alloy 429) because it is only ~$400 difference and it is NOT just a carbonized 429. Its geometry has been fined tuned, shorter wheel base, shorter chain stays, BB a tich higher, it is stiffer overall, the rear triangle is stiffer and yet allows for more room for rear tire (a big complaint on the alloy). I think the 429c is an amazingly capable and versatile platform. I have read where other have built race machines in the 22-23 lbs... (For lots of $$$) I have built mine up a little more trail than race with and mix of components and weighs in about 27 lbs for a reasonable price, others are putting 34mm 140s on. In fact I just saw this article ...and review of the 429c dual capabilities / flavors. Also find and read the MTB UK article...that article really rings true to me... I put on some custom wheels (240s with Arches hand laced) and a slightly shorter stem.

    I have nearly 900 miles on mine lots of varied condition including rock bouncing chunk and I have very little wear and no dings to show for it. I clean it with a brush and damp rag and it looks good as new.
    My experience reflect bvader's thoughts. I demoed the 429a in 2012 and preferred other bikes. Although a great bike, the 429a has not confident enough on the descents for me. In 2013 I demoed the 429c and ended up buying one. The carbon is a different bike, stiffer, playful, and more poised on rough descents and at high speed. It gained many of the attributes of the Pivot 5.7 carbon, which was the best 26er I demoed. Add that to the amazing climbing and pedaling capabilities of the 429a/c and the 429c really shines.

  18. #18
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    Crap, now you guys are swaying me to the 429c. My wife is not going to be pleased.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedHotFuzz View Post
    Crap, now you guys are swaying me to the 429c. My wife is not going to be pleased.
    Too bad! You can't have one ...plus they're too 'Winnebago' for you, even if it is a top notch ride.

  20. #20
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    Just got the 429c. Amazing ride. Go for it. Beats the Al in all dimensions. Read the various Chris Cocalis interviews online to read what he claims they have done with Carbon over Aluminum. Get the SLX build if that's what your budget calls for, it comes with an XT rear deraillueur, upgrade the wheels when you can.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deep_Six View Post
    Too bad! You can't have one ...plus they're too 'Winnebago' for you, even if it is a top notch ride.
    Fortunately the blue version does a fairly decent job of camouflaging the RV graphic design.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedHotFuzz View Post
    Fortunately the blue version does a fairly decent job of camouflaging the RV graphic design.
    Yep...I think. That's the version I have coming my way. Too bad you can't peel off some of those graphics...it could probably do with a few less.

  23. #23
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    Just picked up a 429C last week. Bikes is amazing to ride. I spent a lot time looking and riding different bikes. Niners and Sc tallboy mostly. 429c was the right choice you want be disappointed. Now my problem is I got the XT/XTR pro model, I now want to change the xt parts out to xtr. So if you get the SLX version let me know I will make a killer deal on some xt parts that are about brand new. good luck with your choice.

  24. #24
    Long Live the Gorn!
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    I clearly have my priorities mixed up.

    When I am flying down the trail I have my chin and eyes up and down line and drooling from my ear to ear grin...maybe I need to start staring at those distracting stickers....

    Here I will hurt your eyes some more ... oh the humanity....

    New Rider: Mach 429 - alloy or carbon?-img_0429_0329_1-copy.jpg

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by bvader View Post
    I clearly have my priorities mixed up.

    When I am flying down the trail I have my chin and eyes up and down line and drooling from my ear to ear grin...maybe I need to start staring at those distracting stickers....

    Here I will hurt your eyes some more ... oh the humanity....

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0429_0329_1 - Copy.jpg 
Views:	207 
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ID:	829660
    lol i dont like stickers so here is my Stealth 429c

    New Rider: Mach 429 - alloy or carbon?-1280824_10200589239397921_442312066_n.jpg

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