Long Term Update – Pivot 429
It’s time to change the sprockets. These have been on this Pivot 429 since it was new. Not exactly sure of the mileage, but somewhere around 9000 – a long way for a set of chainrings, especially in the mud, dirt and other action a mountain bike gets.
This bike has been awesome. I have to hand it to Chris at Pivot for an amazing job on the design and execution. Super fun to ride, very predictable, great handling, super impressive — Still.
Pivot has newer (and better) bikes now, of course. I’ve ridden the newer ones and they have to wipe the drool off when I finish, but that’s for another story.
Our first big event with this Pivot 429 was Sea Otter 2012, where we had several people demo WickWerks chainrings on this bike. Since then, many other shows, race events, and a few on-the-spot demos like in Moab. It has been ridden to the top of a 14,110 foot peak, and dipped a wheel in the ocean. Even used as a shield from a Rattle Snake!
The bike has been in many U.S. states, ridden all kinds of epic trails, been demo’d by numerous people at shows and events and bike shops all around the country, won a few XC races (raced in even more), but most of all, ridden! — all on one set of WickWerks chainrings!
9000ish miles, 5 chains, 2 cassettes, 4 sets of tires (5 rears), 2 sets of brake pads (front and rear), and now 1 set of chainrings. I did not expect ‘rings to last that long. They’ve taken their bruises, have a few missing teeth (being used as a bash guard a time or two). Yet the shifting performance has been great throughout.
This is a Mountain Triple — old school by many standards — but perfect for the application. You can see in the images where damage has been done to the shift ramps and the teeth due to wear and tear. You can tell it’s been shifted a lot (it is, after all, a shift demonstration bike). I’m sure one of the reasons for long life is continual cleaning of the drivetrain. Of course, it gets quite dirty, but it doesn’t stay that way. It gets adjusted, cleaned and lubed regularly.
One great feature of the WickWerks chainrings is the True Hard Anodize on the rings. It’s there to help with wear — to make the rings last longer. On this Pivot 429, it seems to have done it’s job, and then some. Look at the image, there are remnants of the anodize still between the teeth — indicating that the wear has not gone through in those areas.
The Pivot 429:
How to describe a bike we really like? Sure, lots of cliche’s and accolades come to mind, but they don’t quite describe it. How we really feel about the Pivot 429 might be best described in actions – because this is the go-to bike for long rides, technical rides, . . . . well, just about all the rides! (I think the other bikes in the stable have been jealous for a long time.)
The other really nice thing is this bike has been relatively trouble free. Of course the first thing we did was replace the crank and chainrings with an upgrade to the Carbon RaceFace Next and WickWerks chainrings. Also, very early on we replaced the stock tires – Slant 6 were just not up to the task (WTB Bronson – Oh so much better!). The front derailleur came loose (had to be remounted), the rear derailleur got mangled (replaced it), and the lower suspension bearing failed — causing damage to the link (link and bearings replaced). The fork and shock have also been rebuilt, and derailleur cables replaced (a couple times). Add in general maintenance and that’s still a pretty short list for a bike with this resume. And the one repair – mangled rear derailleur – was certainly no fault of the bike!
I’ve ridden lots of bikes on all sorts of terrain. Some make you feel invincible, some feel sketchy. The Pivot 429 is just comfortable all the time. The geometry and feel of the bike give confidence – whether in tight switch backs, or high speed descents, or attacking knarly, techy terrain. The suspension is active when needed, but relatively quiet when climbing. I used to play with the adjustable fork travel, but after a while, it just got left at 130 mm, the slacker angle making it always perform perfectly.
What more can we say? An awesome bike, and one we’re still really happy with – after more than 3 years. Everyone here loves to ride it. Thank You, Pivot!
We’re Not Done.
Just because we’ve written the Long Term Update does not mean we’re done with the bike. The Pivot 429 now gets new chainrings and a complete overhaul, but it’s job is far from over. I expect this one to be around for a good while longer as we push on to more fun in the winter and next year.
I wonder if the Pivot 429 will out-live another set of WickWërks chainrings?