Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ride Review: 2012 Pivot Mach 429 Alloy

Uhhhffffsshhh.  A bike review?  Really?  What's next, a race report?

Hey!  Ask, and ye shall receive. (Part 2 can be found HERE)

Oh man this bike kills.  And not just because it's mine.  Not just because I'm awesome.  Not just because I ride like a boss (I don't).  As a matter of fact, this bike kills because it inspires.

The reviews don't lie.  Numerous in quantity, precise in praise, the proverbial shit-storm of awesomeness that follows this bike around is easy to find and hard to deny.  How can SO MANY people say SO MANY nice things about the same bike?  I'll tell you how: It's all true.

2012 Pivot Mach 429
Overlooking Palos Verdes.  Catalina Island lurks in the clouds.
Quick Specs:  I went with the XT build.  Full XT with the Fox RP23 Kashima coated shock and the the Fox Float 29 120RLC Fit fork (with the Kashima coating).

Weight: 28.32 lbs. minus bottle and seat bag.

The XT group is clutch.  Smooth, smooth, smooth.  The direct mount front derailleur is nice and will make future adjustments simple.  The shifting is really sharp and, coming from the road with a full Ultegra set-up, reminds me of the quiet precision that I have grown fond of when using Shimano.  A relatively low "clack" is all that's heard as I find the needed gear.

And now, I present to you: The DW-Link.

This linkage owns.  Many people will comment that this link is the most successful suspension system in the UCI Downhill World Cup.  I don't know about any of that.  I just know that it works well, descends well, and that it makes climbing that much sweeter.  The pedal-bob barely exists, even on the steep, gotta-hunch-forward climbs (of which there are many on the Peninsula of Palos Verdes).  I never had the opportunity to test out the climbing settings on the fork and shock.  Leaving the settings to "trail" mode, I climbed and descended well and with compliance.

Compliments of the best bike shop in San Diego: ITSA Bike Shop
Descending is a real treat on this bike, given that this bike is considered to be a "trail" or "cross-country" rig.  What you really have is a super compliant, super plush bike that feels light.  This bike can be whipped around like a fully-suspended 26" racer.  It just feels lighter than it is.  I have yet to test the fork and shock on their respective "descending" settings, but my next trip to Malibu will rectify that problem.

"29ers are stupid," said the 29er hater.  "Those wheels are so big and flexy.  They probably just wobble around like warble-warble.  And they make your climbing suck.  Dumb!"

"You're dumb.  I hate your face, and this bike looks sick."

Seriously though, wheels are wheels, flex is flex, and I am not about to regurgitate the bike industry vocabulary in this blog.  This is for using classy, sophisticated vocabulary like, "Your face looks like testicles."  There ya go.

I'm 6'1, 175 pounds, and this bike is money.  Size Large.  It fits well, it climbs well, and Lily (oh ya, I named this bike) descends with a stiff, balanced, controllable feel.  I cannot wait to race this bike in some 50 miler, 6 hour, 12 hour, or 24 hour events.

I will continue to update this page after I make a trip out to Malibu and Noble Canyon.  The runs in these areas will put the bike through a true SoCal test and give everyone a better idea of how much I suck at writing "industry-friendly" reviews.  But I did use the word compliance.  And stiff.


This bike continues to soar and kick ass and make me understand that I totally suck at riding bikes, specifically mountain bikes, down hills.

I feel cliche and more cliche typing this but honestly, the DT Swiss 29r 350 CUSTOM W/DT 470 rims do a severe amount of dominating.  I really like the way they roll and the way they complete the whole package.  For stock wheels, with a guy who asks a decent amount from a build package, they really tie the whole deal together.  Not only that, but you can feel safe that they're not going to wobble.  I'm not the smallest guy, but they keep the bike tight.

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