Off-topic post, but I suppose someone may find this informative (no, I'm not talking to you FoShizzle).
A local shop hosted a Pivot bikes demo day and I got there bright and early for first dibs on the medium 429 on my most familiar trail.
Fit & finish are 1st class. The pain was s a beautiful metallic red front & rear. The pivots are huge and the machined parts are impressive. I rode the medium which has a 23” TT but felt longer & a bit racier than my medium Sultan which has more of an “all-mtn” cockpit feel.
The tech set me up with 40% sag. I jumped on the bike and instantly bottomed it doing a parking lot bunny hop. The tech told me “full suspension bikes are supposed to bottom” at which point I promptly added 15 psi to the shock
This was my first real ride on a dw-linked bike. The 429 was equipped with an XTR/XT drivetrain, XT brakes, Fox 100 29er fork, front WTB Exiwolf and rear 1.95 Kenda Claw on light DT hubs and DT7.1 rims. My Sultan is stocked with a WB F135 fork and tubeless Panny Rampages on I-9 hubs laced to Stan’s Flows. Between the fork & wheels I guestimate the Pivot to be 2 lbs lighter than my Sultan and I think these differences contributed greatly to the feel of the 429.
The Pivot pedals really, really well and the suspension transitions into active mode extremely smoothly. I detected zero bob on the flats and the bike rocketed up ledgy climbs. In these regards it outperforms the Sultan. I liked the way the suspension reacted to a solitary square-edged hit but wasn’t nearly as impressed by its reaction to repeated hits. This may have been a shock setup issue (although I tinkered with the shock settings quite a bit) but after absorbing that first big hit nicely, the subsequent hits felt harsh and a bit uncontrolled in comparison. Perhaps the shock was packing up, although I doubt it as I kept speeding up the rebound to help compensate. In comparison, the Sultan’s suspension feels more predictable and far smoother on repeated high speed hits. The Pivot’s chasis is extremely stiff, and I’ll venture to say that it feels stiffer than the Sultan – which is no noodle by any means.
It’s difficult for me to draw many firm conclusions beyond this because the Pivot was setup significantly lighter & racier than my Sultan.
The Pivot was lighter, rolled on the flats faster and had sharper handling. I wouldn’t call the Pivot’s handling twitchy - as I’ve yet to ride a twitchy niner - but it definitely carved singletrack turns better than my Sultan. OTOH, the 429 required more input descending through the chunk. The wheel setup on my Sultan has more rolling resistance and weight but is substantially more stable coming down through the chunk. I also pinch-flatted the rear 1.95 Claw twice and I haven’t flatted my Rampage once in almost a year’s use. The Claw sacrifices a significant amount of traction and float compared to the Rampage for the sake of weight & rolling resistance. The Fox felt well damped and stiff but I missed the extra travel of the WB F135.
I found it amusing that the Pivot had a DT hub in light of the recent hub discussion. These types of hubs feel fine to be when keeping a steady cadence but feel broken when I have to repeatedly ratchet up ledgy climbs. To each his own.
Overall, Pivot has a winner with this bike. I’d like to ride this bike again with my choice of components and some Push magic to see if the rear’s ability to handle repetitive high speed hit could be improved.
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