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  1. #1
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    Another what bike pivot 429 trail, Santa Cruz hightower, yeti sb130

    Try to decide between the pivot trail 429, Santa Cruz hightower or Yeti SB 130. I live in Northeast Arkansas, but ride NWA often. Will ride flats to lots of chunk and a few smaller drops. I like a fast playful bike. I've got an Orbea Occam AM which I love , but wanting an all around 29". I recently got to test a Pivot for a few miles which felt great and tested a hightower over a year ago, which also felt good. I really would like to try the yeti, but never rode one. Decisions decisions. Help me out.

  2. #2
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    Personally Iíd probably take the Hightower. But you should find a way to demo a yeti, otherwise you will always second guess your choice.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony_76us View Post
    Try to decide between the pivot trail 429, Santa Cruz hightower or Yeti SB 130. I live in Northeast Arkansas, but ride NWA often. Will ride flats to lots of chunk and a few smaller drops. I like a fast playful bike. I've got an Orbea Occam AM which I love , but wanting an all around 29". I recently got to test a Pivot for a few miles which felt great and tested a hightower over a year ago, which also felt good. I really would like to try the yeti, but never rode one. Decisions decisions. Help me out.
    you can read my 3 day demo review of the SB130 over in the Yeti Forum as it may help you with some insight. I've ridden the Hightower in the past but not the Pivot. I can tell you that the SB130 is very unique as it rides so capable like a traditional 150mm rear travel bike but is lively and climbs efficiently like a 120mm rear travel bike even with it's slack numbers. It's pretty mind blowing with how that bike can excel so well up and down.

    I've also ridden or owned these Mid Travel 29'ers with the SB130 and Ripmo being Best
    Evil Following
    RM Instinct non BC
    Ripmo
    SB4.5
    SB5.5
    Trek Fuel EX9
    Devinci Django
    Tallboy 2
    Yeti SB130
    Yeti SB100
    Yeti SB5.5
    Trans Sentinel
    Ibis Ripmo
    Yeti SB4.5
    Orbea Rallon
    Devinci Spartan
    Devinci Troy

  4. #4
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    How did you arrive at your list?

    I had an original 429 and loved the bike. But with modern geometry, I can't imagine going back to a bike like that, so I'd knock that off the list compared to the HT and 130.

    I demo'd the HT and came very close. I also demo'd the 429T and Switchblade. I didn't really like the SB and the 429 was predictable and familiar. However, circumstances forced me to wait in buying a bike, fortunately, and I was able to demo the Sentinel and Smuggler. I got to ride a Ripmo , too, in a M, and I ride a L, on just a parking lot ride, so not really a valid comparison, but I did like how it felt.

    I bought the Smuggler. It's a better climber than the Sentinel - and, in fact, probably climbs as good as my 429.

    If I were looking for a bike like this today, my short list would be Ripmo, SB130 (but see the Yeti forum and the rear end issues popping up), Evil Offering and, of course, the Smuggler. And possibly the Process 153 (I am in Bellingham, after all. But I'd want to swap the standard fork to a reduced offset fork, most likely). Oh, and the Firebird 29, but that may be just too much bike for my needs. Process, too, in that aspect.

    Of the three you listed, though, on paper, at least, I'd go for the SB130 (pending resolution of the complaints I'm seeing in the Yeti forums) and the HT second.

  5. #5
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    The SB130 and Ripmo are on my short list as well but I can't get over how long these bikes are which has me looking at something like the Pivot 429 Trail for the agility even though it will ultimately be less capable in the rough. I also like a fast and playful bike and I've sort of become hooked on the speed of the 29" wheels and would prefer not to go 27.5.

    When I rode a Hightower, it wasn't really fun and agile but more plowing and straight line fast which is also fun if you have the right terrain to ride it in.

    Skinnybex, since you have ridden so many of these bikes and seem to have a pretty unbiased opinion, how would you compare the newer geometry bikes like the Ripmo and SB130 to your SB100 in terms of agility on tight twisty singletrack, switchbacks, and just generally fun trail riding looking for the fun lines?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by yagr68 View Post
    The SB130 and Ripmo are on my short list as well but I can't get over how long these bikes are which has me looking at something like the Pivot 429 Trail for the agility even though it will ultimately be less capable in the rough. I also like a fast and playful bike and I've sort of become hooked on the speed of the 29" wheels and would prefer not to go 27.5.

    When I rode a Hightower, it wasn't really fun and agile but more plowing and straight line fast which is also fun if you have the right terrain to ride it in.

    Skinnybex, since you have ridden so many of these bikes and seem to have a pretty unbiased opinion, how would you compare the newer geometry bikes like the Ripmo and SB130 to your SB100 in terms of agility on tight twisty singletrack, switchbacks, and just generally fun trail riding looking for the fun lines?
    Ripmo is more lively and agile and the SB130 is a better climber and transfers power to the ground a bit better and surprisingly is more confident in rough chunk and steep terrain.
    That last 20% travel is really good as well.

    The Ripmo gives up its travel a bit easier on big compressions but itís amazing pumping terrain and the rear end pulls through tight stuff better. itís only the endstroke that is a bit off but maybe Volume spacers because small bump and midstroke are spot on. The bike is really good in the air and Iím not the best jumper.

    The SB130 rides bigger than its travel numbers and has no right being so damn good on climbs as well as downs. The BB is really low so it stays planted and is real good on buffed out berms but it badly needs 170mm cranks and extra attention in rocky pedal sections.

    The SB100 is a freakishly great bike. It is really the most unique bike Iíve ridden Yet because it excels well above average at everything that counts for trail riding but with only 100mm of travel.

    It reminds me of the 2015 RM Thunderbolt BC 27.5 bike that was in a class of its own at that time.

  7. #7
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    With all things considered Iíd recommend the Ripmo assuming your not 215 plus pounds unless your prepared to spend some time and money on the rear suspension. The Ripmo has so many positives as well as great tire clearance and the best customer service in the industry. That bike can be built up right around 27 pounds with a Fox 36 and aggressive tires and Carbon wheels with about a 7k budget. Yeah thatís a lot of money but the bike is really close to Quiver Killer territory

  8. #8
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    So, I own the new Trail 429 a couple of Yetis and have owned recent Santa Cruzes. IMO suspension on Yeti, Ibis and Pivot are better overall than SC. Just as good a pedaling platform with more overall support. Not saying SC is bad, but DW Link and SI are better.

    I havenít ridden the 130, so I canít comment, but Skinnyís review sounded pretty honest and comprehensive when I read it. Sounds like a really good bike.

    The Trail is a really, really good trail bike. With a 140 fork I would be comfortable taking it on most single track. Our terrain in Central Texas is pretty much rock over top of other rock and it handles the chunk pretty well. Bigger drops to flat I tend to land slightly front wheel first to let the fork take the initial hit, but the bike doesnít seem to mind however I land. Itís the first bike Iíve ridden that definitely feels laterally stiffer than others and you can really drive through rear wheel on turns. I think it uses its 120mm of rear travel as well as the Hightower does its 135. Personal opinion of course. The new geo is more nimble than the old 429T, but also weighs a bit more.

    Unless youíre doing big drops or jumps, I think the Trail can handle it. If you really need or think you need more travel, definitely try out the 130. Or, try it anyway. I bet itís worth the demo fee. Iím probably going to take my own advice on that at some point.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the input guys, I'm only 155 lbs in riding gear so I worry about muscling a bike around more than blowing through travel. In reality, I could likely make the SB100 or T429 work on 90% of my normal trails but having a bigger bike for trips and light bike park stuff is pretty appealing.

    I can demo the 429 at an event this weekend. Ripmo and 130 will involve some driving and demo fees but it's probably worth it. I have a lot of nice parts to swap over which makes the Ripmo/130 a bit more appealing than buying a full T429, replacing parts, and building superboost wheels even though in a few years all 29'ers will likely be superboost anyway I guess.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh View Post
    How did you arrive at your list?

    I had an original 429 and loved the bike. But with modern geometry, I can't imagine going back to a bike like that, so I'd knock that off the list compared to the HT and 130.
    OP said Trail 429 (updated geometry), not Mach 429 Trail. I also own the 429 Trail, and I demo'ed the Trail 429. The updated geometry (longer reach, shorter chain stays, and higher BB) is noticeable.

  11. #11
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    Wouldn't the Switchblade be a more comparable Pivot-equivalent to the SB130 or Hightower?

  12. #12
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    I demoed the switchblade and really didn't like it.

  13. #13
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    Any reason in particular? Maybe looking at bikes like the Smuggler or Tallboy would be more in line with what you're after?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by David R View Post
    Any reason in particular? Maybe looking at bikes like the Smuggler or Tallboy would be more in line with what you're after?
    Reason I didn't like the Switchblade?? Too me it didn't climb well and didn't feel playful and natural. I was ready to jump back on my Orbea Occam. I thought about the smuggler, but seen a few reviews about it being heavy, long and didn't climb well. Might have to look at it. Honestly it's hard to go by anothers review. Too many variables. Probably very few bad bike choices. Too many bike choices and not able to ride them or on a familiar trail.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puzman View Post
    OP said Trail 429 (updated geometry), not Mach 429 Trail. I also own the 429 Trail, and I demo'ed the Trail 429. The updated geometry (longer reach, shorter chain stays, and higher BB) is noticeable.
    429 Trail... Trail 429. Either way, they did the longer, lower updates, but it's still not the same as the Ripmo/SB130/Smuggler changes, with reduced offset and steeper SA. The Firebird 29 has those, though, in the Pivot family.

  16. #16
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    Iíve ridden the SC Hightower and Hightower LT and itís a great bike. I havenít been on the pivot 429 trail. After a bunch of demos I purchased a Yeti SB 130 a few weeks ago and it freekiní rips! It definitely is stable through the chunk like it has more travel but climbs really well. I havenít had any of the rear end tire rub problems that are mentioned on the yeti forum. Supper happy with my choice.

  17. #17
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    Thanks I just did a parking lot test ride on an SB5, smuggler, ripmo, and instinct. I liked the sb5, waiting on the shop to get in an sb130. The sb130 and 429 trail are at the top.

  18. #18
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    Honestly everyone says get the bike they have. I have a Hightower and do like - I do endurance races and take it to Moab. BUT I would get the one you can get the best price on-bottom line!! I get good pricing on Santa Cruz but I am sure I would like any bike on your list with some tweaks. They all make good bikes (just like skis). I think it is extremely hard to to get on a demo and say Ďthis is the bike.í Crazy as it seems I didnít even demo the HT, I just knew I wanted a bike of that genre.

  19. #19
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    I agree with the previous poster that most people recommend the bike they have, since they are invested in their decision. Few people are able to take the time to properly fit a bike, and dial in suspension on numerous bikes to give an accurate review. I agree that all the bikes are damn good these days. I'll throw out my choice, which was based entirely on price and value. Intense Primer. I was able to afford a better build than the bigger brands and have been very satisfied with my decision. Tons of great reviews. YMMV.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by skinnybex View Post
    Ripmo is more lively and agile and the SB130 is a better climber and transfers power to the ground a bit better and surprisingly is more confident in rough chunk and steep terrain.
    That last 20% travel is really good as well.

    The Ripmo gives up its travel a bit easier on big compressions but itís amazing pumping terrain and the rear end pulls through tight stuff better. itís only the endstroke that is a bit off but maybe Volume spacers because small bump and midstroke are spot on. The bike is really good in the air and Iím not the best jumper.

    The SB130 rides bigger than its travel numbers and has no right being so damn good on climbs as well as downs. The BB is really low so it stays planted and is real good on buffed out berms but it badly needs 170mm cranks and extra attention in rocky pedal sections.

    The SB100 is a freakishly great bike. It is really the most unique bike Iíve ridden Yet because it excels well above average at everything that counts for trail riding but with only 100mm of travel.

    It reminds me of the 2015 RM Thunderbolt BC 27.5 bike that was in a class of its own at that time.


    Do you perchance work for Yeti? Or live with someone whom does?

  21. #21
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    Thanks for all the comments. I did a parking lot test of pivot today and it felt great,but after I hit some 5-7 drops on my Orbea Occam and decided to bite the bullet and ordered the yeti. I really liked the black. Hope I like it, since I have not rode one 🤔.

  22. #22
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    I received my yeti from competitive cyclist. My frame looks like shit from the cardboard rubbing on the flat black. Is this normal? And is there any way to get it out or do I have to send it back?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Another what bike pivot 429 trail, Santa Cruz hightower, yeti sb130-img_20181109_172729.jpg  


  23. #23
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    Well--that sucks---think how that paint will hold up after you ride it a bit--you may have a bigger issue than what you see --hopefully Yeti does not have another issue with these new bikes. I assume you tried rubbing this out with some car wax to make sure it is really wear and not just on the surface

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony_76us View Post
    I received my yeti from competitive cyclist. My frame looks like shit from the cardboard rubbing on the flat black. Is this normal? And is there any way to get it out or do I have to send it back?
    Iíd contact the seller and have them replace it. I have a black sb100 and numerous other black Yetis and Iíve never had any issues with the finish. Sorry about your luck on this but itís an awesome bike. No issues with mine like those referred to in the yeti thread either.

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