2019 Pivot Trail 429 Pro XT/XTR 1X

Vital Rating:
Where To Buy
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
Free U.S. shipping on orders over $45.
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
The All-New 2019 Pivot Trail 429 Takes on One of Moab's Hardest Rides
Sporting a fully redesigned frame, major geometry updates, more travel, and Super Boost Plus, the new Trail 429 also hints at improved carbon technologies while taking on rowdier descents.
Vital Review

Pivot's Mach 429 Trail was born from cross-country roots with a hint of some big bike influence. During a previous Vital MTB Test Sessions it wowed us with its incredible sense of efficiency and playful, spritely, rocket ship feel, but it often fell behind when trail conditions got hairy.

New for 2019, Pivot has redesigned the frame with a ground-up approach and a clear focus on making the bike more capable. They've tweaked the name as well, and it's now simply referred to as the Trail 429. So, what's different? What's better? We break down the details and give our impressions from an adventure on Moab's ultra physical and rocky Mag 7 to Portal ride.

Trail 429 Highlights

  • Full carbon frame featuring Pivot's proprietary, hollow core, internal molding technology
  • Compatible with both 29 and 27.5+ wheel sizes
  • 120mm (4.7-inches) of dw-link rear suspension
  • Designed to work with 130 to 140mm forks (130mm / 5.1-inches stock with 51mm offset)
  • Metric-sized Fox DPS and DPX2 shock options
  • Pivot Cable Port system with internal routing
  • PF92 bottom bracket with ISCG05 mounts
  • Clears 29-inch tires up to 2.6-inches wide and 27.5+ tires up to 3-inches wide
  • Shorter 430mm (16.9-inch) chainstays
  • DH inspired links and double upright swingarm supports
  • 12x157mm Super Boost Plus rear axle spacing
  • Low durometer rubberized frame protection
  • 180mm post mount rear brake
  • Colors: Steel blue with sky blue accents and crimson with bright red accents
  • Claimed frame weight: 6.4-pounds (2.9kg, size medium with shock)
  • Measured bike weight: 29.5-pounds (13.4kg, size medium without pedals)
  • Five frame sizes
  • Ten year frame warranty

"Versatility is what made the original Mach 429 Trail our most popular bike. Our goal here was to retain that awesome range while improving the bike's descending abilities. People are pushing trail bikes harder and harder. The Trail 429 hits that sweet spot." - Chris Cocalis, President and CEO of Pivot Cycles

Pivot's 2018 Mach 429 Trail
The all-new 2019 Trail 429

Old Geometry

New, More Modern Geometry

Much like Pivot's other recently reworked bikes, including the Switchblade and Mach 5.5, it's clear the Trail 429's geometry has evolved with the times. "We shortened up the bike's rear end while increasing its reach," explains Cocalis. "The overall wheelbase grew in length, which adds stability, but it's not so long that it takes away the bike's versatility. The shorter chainstays actually add to the Trail 429's ability to quickly accelerate and keep the bike nimble in tight conditions."

In many regards, the bike's geometry has seen some serious changes. Specifics include a drastic 14mm reduction in chainstay length, major 25-45mm increase in reach (depending on the size), 0.2-degree slacker head tube angle, 0-30mm shorter head tubes, 1.2-degree steeper seat tube angle, 18-25mm shorter seat tubes, and 24-38mm improvements in standover height. Interestingly, bottom bracket height has increased by 8mm – something done to allow it to work better with 27.5 plus wheels.

Those looking for a slacker front end can bump up from the stock 130mm fork to 140mm, and/or get a further 0.6-degrees slacker by using the included 17mm lower headset spacer – something originally intended to facilitate the change from 29 to 27.5+ wheels.

New for 2019, Pivot has added an XS size. Though Pivot has always had impressively low standover heights, this micro-machine will bring the various benefits of bigger wheels to even more riders.

The XS uses a short 35mm length stem, 740mm bars, and 100mm travel dropper post. All other sizes come with 45mm stems, 760mm bars, and 150mm droppers (save the medium, which gets a 125mm). Pivot's grips effectively add ~10mm to the bar width.

Impressively, every size accommodates a large water bottle – even those obnoxiously big ones that have been collecting dust in your cabinets for years.

Suggested sizing:

  • XS: 4'11" – 5'4"
  • Small: 5'4" – 5'8"
  • Medium: 5'7" – 5'10"
  • Large: 5'10" – 6'2"
  • XL: 6'2" – 6'7"

Increased Suspension Travel

In addition to creating more stability through geometry updates, Pivot upped the rear travel from 116 to 120mm (4.7-inches). The revised linkage layout features a longer 190x45mm metric shock compared to the previous 184x44mm. Better bushing overlap and improved air spring tuning are among the biggest benefits in Pivot's eyes.

Tuning of the rear shock is set up such that the FOX Float DPS EVOL shock can be adjusted to the Open 1 setting for light 140 to 150-pound riders, Open 2 for 150 to 180-pounds, and Open 3 / Medium for 180-pounds and up. There's also an upgrade option to the Float DPX2 shock, which offers further refinement on compression settings.

While it was suggested to pair the Mach 429 Trail with 120-130mm forks, the new Trail 429 is best suited to the 130-140mm range. Both bikes come with 130mm stock, however.

For our test ride we added a volume spacer to the fork at FOX's suggested air pressure for a 175-pound test rider. Rear sag was set to Pivot's "Trail" setting on their very handy sag indicator. The indicator also features a firmer "Race" setting.

Stiffer, Shorter, Wider, 1X-Specific Rear End

This is an entirely new frame, and with it comes some big changes to the back end of the bike. Notably, it features Pivot's Phoenix DH inspired double upright swingarm design, 12x157mm Super Boost Plus rear axle standard, and is no longer front derailleur compatible.

This combination allowed Pivot to shorten the chainstays considerably, increase mud/tire clearance from 2.3 to 2.6-inches for 29-inch wheels and 2.8 to 3.0-inches for 27.5+, and widen the main suspension pivot by almost a full 1-inch (25.4mm) for greatly improved rear end stiffness.

In addition, the rear wheel gains a 30% increase in lateral sitffness over 12x148mm Boost thanks to wider spoke flanges. Cocalis indicated Super Boost Plus is gaining steam, and that we're likely to see it on several competitor bikes in the not-so-distant future. Back before they introduced Super Boost Plus, Pivot conducted an extensive heel clearance study to ensure there were no rubbing issues. One downside is that it effectively limits the bike to a 180mm rear rotor – though you're not likely to need more on a trail bike like this. For those looking to learn more about Super Boost Plus, reference our Switchblade feature for additional detail.

With a major portion of their Mach 429 Trail sales still occurring with 2X drivetrains, Cocalis pointed to upcoming drivetrain component releases as one many reasons why they made the switch.

Finally, the new suspension layout allows for straighter seat tubes, which means it allows for deeper seat post insertion and longer travel dropper posts across the size range.

Carbon Only & Hints of Manufacturing Advancement

For the foreseeable future, Pivot is only making the Trail 429 frame in carbon. Cocalis cited rising aluminum alloy costs and longer development time as reasons why. Why does an alloy frame take longer? That's due to the special hydroforming processes required to make the complicated tube shapes Pivot uses. They did just release an aluminum Switchblade, however, so anything is possible with time.

Looking at the stats, we noted an increase from 5.9 to 6.4-pounds on the frame weight with a shock. We'll consider the extra 0.5-pounds (0.2kg) as assurance that the carbon will hold up to years of ride time – especially since it's now made to get a bit zestier on the way down.

The previous generation Mach 429 had external cable routing along the downtube with zip ties. This was done to keep costs reasonable both for Pivot and riders while not having to switch to an inferior carbon material.

"With this one, though, we've made some changes in our manufacturing. All the post-machining is done on a CNC machine. The frames go on a machine, and it's on a gimbal, and it basically machines every pocket and hole in one operation. So it's actually less expensive now for us to do the internal cable ports." - Cocalis

Having observed Pivot's rapid self-improvement process over the last five years or so and hearing Cocalis just casually mention some wild new way to CNC machine their cable ports, we knew to ask what else Pivot had improved in their manufacturing technologies. The answer was intentionally vague, but we gathered that they've made some notable improvements to their carbon manufacturing. Cocalis went on to divulge some details:

"I can tell you one thing that's kind of cool. It's not on this bike, but the frame that Bernard won the Red Bull Hardline on – he raced one frame all season including the Hardline – none of the bearing pockets were aluminum. Other than a couple thread inserts, it was all molded carbon machined pockets in his entire frame. If we can get a frame to be no metal, we can build better, more consistent product where it's lighter and the areas around the bearings are smaller... just build better structures."

Watch for the company to release details on these improvements in the future.

Other Updates

The frame has a port on the downtube that allows you to both access internal cables for easier routing, as well as store a Shimano Di2 battery. Pivot has was among the first brands to include routing options for the electronic Di2 drivetrain, prompting questions when it was observed that the new bike doesn't include these provisions. Wireless systems to come, perhaps?

Pivot recently added a linkage guard to cover the lower pivot on many of their models, preventing the odd chance of rock crushing from happening.

Finally, understanding the benefits that wider tires and rim widths can bring to bikes like this, Pivot opted for wider 28/30mm inner rim widths and 2.4-inch Maxxis Wide Trail tires on the 29er version – a combo that provides loads of traction and some small-bump relief. Pivot paired the brand new Maxxis Rekon WT rear tire with a burlier DHR II WT tire up front to give the bike reasonably quick rolling speed and plenty of confidence in the front end. We rode the 29-inch version in Moab.

Trial by Fire: Moab's Mag 7 to Portal Ride

When it comes to Moab routes, this ranks among the most physical and skill-demanding ways to get from way up there all the way to the river. The combination of trails includes a brief amount of some of the best "flow" in Moab, enters some fast rocky bits, a tricky-to-keep-your-speed-up flat and pedally rocky portion, some high-speed slickrock descents, a few demanding climbs, thousands of huck opportunities, and requires you to make countless trials-like moves and bursts of power if you want to ride it well. If you know where to look, there are also options for some bigger alternate lines that'll have the majority of riders questioning their skillset. It caps off with an exposed and super rough final descent down Portal trail – one that challenges even the best to do it quickly with bike and body unscathed. And yeah, it's freaking awesome.

Having ridden the previous Mach 429 Trail on some comparably rowdy South Mountain trails in Phoenix, Arizona, the Moab ride would serve as a great way to suss out improved/changed ride qualities on the new steed. Is this bike a home run? Pivot has certainly been on a good streak lately...

First and foremost, the new Trail 429 is still very quick to respond to rider input, especially of the pumping and hopping variety. One particular section stuck out in our minds when we were able to put in a few good cranks and pumps before hopping over at least four large rock g-outs in a row, skimming the tops and maintaining a ton of speed. This was a move that required very quick reaction time by both bike and rider, and something we haven't felt inspired to do on any other bike before. Provided you've got the speed going in, jumping and pulling up for natural rock doubles come naturally on this bike.

Progression from the linkage/shock combo is greatly improved, frame and wheel stiffness gains keep it from getting squirrelly coming out of big compressions, and it's now able to track a straight line through the rough stuff without pinging side-to-side along the way.

One key quality we've come to love about many Pivot bikes is their ability to fly through terrain littered with square bumps and rocky bits. Unfortunately performance in these instances just wasn't the absolute home run we've come to expect, and flatter, rocky sections really emphasized this. At times it almost felt as if the bumps were pulling us back, sucking up speed and requiring more energy.

Having tried the Pivot-set compression setting on the FOX DPX2 shock, we were able to improve performance by reducing the shock's low-speed compression damping by nearly 10 clicks before we were in a range that felt more comfortable and efficient. The bike performed much better in Moab's relentlessly rocky terrain with far less compression and was still every bit as pump/jump-able, but still wasn't quite up to the superior level we've known on other Pivot bikes.

Pivot did make some great improvements in the bottom-out support and chassis stability departments. Progression from the linkage/shock combo is greatly improved, frame and wheel stiffness gains keep it from getting squirrelly coming out of big compressions, and it's now able to track a straight line through the rough stuff without pinging side-to-side along the way.

Where it gets a bit overwhelmed is when there are multiple big hits in a row. It did admirably for much of the ride, but jostled us to bits on the rowdier portions of Portal Trail. Have previously ridden this route a few times on a first generation 116mm travel Transition Smuggler and 120mm Evil Following, we know other short travel 29ers are more up to the task when it comes to really rough terrain – although they come at tradeoffs in other ways.

Build Kits, Pricing & Availability

The Trail 429 is available now as a complete bike ranging from $4,699 to $8,699 USD. There are six builds to chose from in both 29 and 27.5+, including Race, Pro, and Team level options with both Shimano and SRAM drivetrains to suit your preferences. A FOX Float DPX2 Factory shock upgrade runs an additional $125 for Team and Pro builds, and Pro bikes can be upgraded with a Reynolds carbon wheelset for $1,300.

  • Race XT 1X - $4,699
  • Race X01 - $5,199
  • Pro XT/XTR 1X - $5,699 (Tested)
  • Pro X01 - $6,799
  • Team XTR 1X - $7,799
  • Team XX1 - $8,699

View Race build specs | View Pro build specs | View Team build specs

What's The Bottom Line?

In many ways, both good and bad, the new Trail 429 feels like a different world from its XC-inspired predecessor. It is no doubt more stable and capable in testing situations, but loses a bit of that explosiveness that made the last version so awesome.

In the end, perhaps Pivot's choice of riding Mag 7 to Portal wasn't the best for the updated Trail 429's debut. It left us thinking we'd want to at least swap the stock 130mm travel FOX 34 fork for a 140/150mm travel FOX 36, ante up for a burlier Double Down rear tire, and play with some more involved rear suspension tuning if it were to be a typical ride on this bike. Then again, it's very rowdy and at the extreme end of the bike's intended use range. Given the Trail 429's performance on intermittent bits of Moab flow, we know anything a bit smoother will be a blast in the stock trim.

Pivot's advancements in frame technology, reduced costs for the consumer, greatly expanded size range, continued obsession with the little details, and recent move to a generous ten year warranty are all things that stand out on the new Trail 429.

Visit www.pivotcycles.com for more details.

Vital MTB First Ride Rating

  • Climbing: 4 stars - Excellent
  • Descending: 3.5 stars - Very Good
  • Fun Factor: 3.5 stars - Very Good
  • Value: 4 stars - Excellent
  • Overall Impression: 4 stars - Excellent

About The Reviewer

Brandon Turman - Age: 31 // Years Riding: 16 // Height: 5'10" (1.78m) // Weight: 175-pounds (79.4kg)

"I like to have fun, pop off the bonus lines on the sides of the trail, get aggressive when I feel in tune with a bike, and really mash on the pedals and open it up when pointed downhill." Formerly a mechanical engineer and Pro downhill racer, Brandon brings a unique perspective to the testing game as Vital MTB's resident product guy. He has on-trail familiarity with nearly every new innovation in our sport from the past several years and a really good feel for what's what.

Photos by Jens Staudt


Post a reply to: The All-New 2019 Pivot Trail 429 Takes on One of Moab's Hardest

In reply to by bturman

In reply to by kidwoo

In reply to by bturman


Pivot Trail 429 Pro XT/XTR 1X
Model Year
Riding Type
Sizes and Geometry
XS (29", 27.5+)
S (29", 27.5+)
M (29", 27.5+)
L (29", 27.5+)
XL (29", 27.5+)
Wheel Size
Frame Material
Carbon Fiber
Frame Material Details
Pivot’s hollow core, internal molding technology
Rear Travel
Rear Shock
FOX Factory Float DPS EVOL, Metric
FOX Factory 34
Fork Travel
130mm (compatible with up to 140mm)
Head Tube Diameter
Pivot Precision Sealed Cartridge
Phoenix Team Carbon, 35mm diameter, 760mm width
Phoenix Team Enduro, 35mm clamp diameter, length: 35mm (XS), 45mm (S), 55mm (M, L, XL)
Phoenix Team Padloc
Shimano XT M8000
Brake Levers
Shimano XT M8000
Shimano XT, 11-speed
Front Derailleur
Rear Derailleur
Shimano XTR GS, 11-speed
Race Face Next SL, 170mm (XS, S), 175mm (M, L, XL)
Race Face, 30 tooth
Bottom Bracket
Pressfit BB92
Shimano XT M8000, 11-46 tooth, 11-speed
29": DT Swiss 29 M1700 wheels, 30mm inner rim width
29" Upgrade: Reynolds Blacklabel Enduro wheels 29, 28mm inner rim

27.5+: DT Swiss 27.5+ M1700 wheels, 40mm inner rim width
27.5+ Upgrade: Reynolds Blacklabel 27.5 Plus wheels, 40mm inner rim width
29": DT Swiss 29 M1700 wheels, 36 tooth star ratchet upgrade
29" Upgrade: Reynolds Blacklabel Enduro 29 wheels with Industry Nine hubs

27.5+: DT Swiss 27.5+ M1700 wheels, 36 tooth star ratchet upgrade
27.5+ Upgrade: Reynolds Blacklabel 27.5 Plus wheels with Industry Nine hubs
29": DT Swiss 29 M1700 wheels
29" Upgrade: Reynolds Blacklabel Enduro 29 wheels

27.5+: DT Swiss 27.5+ M1700 wheels
27.5+ Upgrade: Reynolds Blacklabel 27.5 Plus wheels
29": Front: Maxxis Minion DHRII, 29"x2.4", TR/3C/EXO/MaxxTerra, Rear: Maxxis Minion Rekon, 29"x2.4", TR/3C/EXO/MaxxTerra

27.5+: Maxxis Rekon, 27.5"x2.8", TR/3C/EXO/MaxxTerra/Silk Shield
WTB Vigo Pro
KS LEV Integra (XS, S)
FOX Transfer (M, L, XL)
Seatpost Clamp
Standard single bolt
Rear Dropout / Hub Dimensions
Super Boost Plus 12x157mm
Max. Tire Size
29" tires up to 2.6" wide
27.5+ tires up to 3" wide
Bottle Cage Mounts
Crimson or Steel Blue
Ten years for carbon frames from the date of the original purchase at retail.
Paint, finish, and bearings for one year from the date of the original purchase at retail.
Size medium frame weight with shock: 6.4-pounds (2.9kg)
FOX Float DPX2 Factory shock upgrade is an additional $125
With DT Swiss wheels: $5,699.00
With Reynolds wheels upgrade: $6,999.00
More Info
What do you think?
Where To Buy
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
Free U.S. shipping on orders over $45.
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.

More Products

The Latest


The Latest