It might have short-travel at the rear, but this new 429 isn't shy of technical terrain.

The latest Pivot 429 is more evidence to the debate that shorter-travel mountain bikes have become massively capable.

With this new 429, Pivot has set rear-suspension travel at 120mm, with associated geometry changes make for a bike that has a lot more capability than its numbers might suggest.

The 429 has transitioned from a top-tube mounted shock set-up, to a vertically orientated configuration, mounted above the bottom bracket. This lowers the 429’s centre of gravity and creates more convenient storage space in the front triangle.

You might not be able to fit a short-travel coil shock on the 429, unlike Pivot’s longer travel Switchblade, but for riders who seek the trail feedback of a 120mm bike, the new model could be quite compelling.

Read more: best trail bikes

A lot more reach

Both head angle and reach numbers have slackened and grown significantly with the 2021 429. Each of the five sizes now sit at a 66.5° head angle, down from 67.3°. A geometry adjustment chip can slacken that even further, to 66°.

To balance the slacker head angle on all sizes, Pivot’s design team have increased reach, lengthening the cockpit and aiding stability. On a size large 429, the reach has grown from 460- to 475mm. Not radically long by industry standards, but comparable to its 120mm rivals, in terms of geometry.

Where the Pivot 429 upgrade becomes noteworthy, is its Enduro build option. The range uses Fox’s 34, at 130mm of travel, for its standard factory fork specification. Riders who wish to ride an even slacker 429, with more front travel, can opt for the two Enduro build options, both of which run Fox 36 forks, at 140mm.

Bigger forks and a wider rear

Traditional mountain bike configuration logic would consider a Fox 36, in combination with 120mm of rear suspension travel, to be a classic case of over-forking. Pivot’s 429 makes this work, thanks to its new geometry upgrades and the use of a SuperBoost 157x12mm rear axle standard, which is wider than the 148x12mm configuration of most rivals.

With a SuperBoost rear axle there is adequate tyre clearance and a stiffer overall frame, which means the bike’s comparatively short shock travel, is never overwhelmed by the performance of its stout Fox 36 front fork.

Is the 2021 429 a trail bike or as  Pivot’s 140mm fork option would like us to believe, something approaching the epithet of ‘Enduro-lite?’

All 429s roll Maxxis Dissector 29×2.4” tyres and feature sizing appropriate Fox Transfer dropper seatposts. Pricing for the  new 429 starts at €6099 and peaks at €12199.