Chris Cocalis is never one to leave well enough alone. His company, Pivot Cycles, has been iterating at a rapid pace across the entire lineup of bikes. As one of the original adopters of Dave Weagle’s dw-link suspension platform, Pivot has ridden the design to new levels of popularity. A wise business decision, I would say.
When the Mach 429C was introduced just a few years ago, the industry was buzzing with excitement. If my mind serves me correctly, it was the first carbon 29er to use the dw-link suspension design. Others have since followed, but as the original, the Mach 429C maintained one of the top spots since being introduced a few years ago.
Now, that benchmark is being set even higher with the new Mach 429SL. While it’s not an entirely-new frame, it will certainly act like one. Why? Well, dropping a half a pound and optimizing the carbon layup will do that to any bike. But, for the Mach 429SL, a great bike will only be better.
My time aboard the Mach 429C so far has been limited, but memorable. There’s something special about the dw-link design and the Mach 429 just rolled through anything with the utmost smoothness and efficiency.
To get the weight down on the new SL model, Pivot has utilized a proprietary hollow-core molding process to reduce excess resin and materials. Similar processes are used by other high-end brands yielding similar weight reductions.
Going forward, Pivot will only offer the new Mach 429SL and it can be had for $2999 for the frame only or with a variety of complete builds.
Another major innovation with the 429SL is the Cable Port System that’s specifically built to handle Shimano’s forthcoming XTR Di2 electronic drivetrain. Like it or not, battery-powered shifting is not going away and Pivot is the first mountain bike manufacturer to accommodate the new system (with the first being the new Mach 4).
Wiring ports for the electronic drivetrain are carefully routed from the front triangle to the rear triangle — something made more difficult in a full-suspension frame. Also, the battery is secured inside the lower portion of the down tube and into the seat tube and accessed via a dedicated port. If you’re going electronic, Pivot certainly has you covered.
Pivot Mach 429SL Features:
- 100mm travel dw-link® rear suspension with race and trail tuning
- 1/2lb (226g) weight savings: Frame weight from 5.3lbs (2.4Kg) and Sub 23lb (10.4kg) complete
- Full carbon frame featuring proprietary hollow core internal molding technology
- 29 inch wheels for the fastest laps and best rollover
- Full length internal cable routing and Shimano Di2 integration via Pivot’s exclusive, easy-to-maintain Cable Port System
- Full internal dropper post compatible routing
- Cold forged alloy linkages with Enduro Max Cartridge Bearings
- Fox Float Kashima Factory shock, performance tuned for the Mach 429SL
- Highly durable rubberized leather downtube and swingarm protection
- Price: $2999 (frame only), completes range from $4599 – $10,400
The Bottom Line
The original Mach 429C was a stellar bike that received tons of praise. Dropping the weight by a half pound will do wonders for the new 429SL and the accommodations for Shimano’s electronic Di2 drivetrain will put this frame in a category of its own.