Is Pace's new RC429 hardtail the most versatile MTB around?

Pace RC429 Trail Edition
(Image credit: Pace / Nick Hill ~ NM Design)

Pace has released a new steel hardtail designed for ultimate versatility, the RC429 blurs the lines between hardtail mountain bike and gravel bike

Pace says the RC429 finds a sweet spot between general trail riding and bikepacking, although the bike leans more toward the trail/downcountry duties. Pace offers the RC429 three build options; T Pack (Trail) and D Pack (Downcountry) mountain bike builds, plus the G Pack (Gravel) which comes equipped with a drop bar and rigid fork. 

Designed in North Yorkshire, the frame is built from Reynolds 853 steel with geometry based around 100mm to 130mm (or a suspension-corrected rigid fork) and 29er wheels. Modern geometry sees the head angle sitting around 65 degrees with a 130mm fork (sagged) or 66.5 degrees with a rigid fork. Seat tube angle is around 75 degrees and the reach on a medium is 453mm. There is a healthy amount of bottom bracket drop at 70mm and the chainstays measure 440mm. The frame comes in small to extra large sizes, catering for riders between 5ft1 and 6ft4.

The frame features a UDH / T Type compatible dropout and features a range of mounting points for luggage including seatstay mounts for racks, guards, or lights. There is also internal dynamo light routing through the top tube as well. If specced with Pace's rigid carbon fork you also get fork leg mounts for more cargo capacity.

Pace RC429 Gravel Edition

Shred the trails or shred for days? (Image credit: Pace / Nick Hill ~ NM Design)

Pace offers a bunch of different component specs in the three build options. The T Pack and D Pack come with either a suspension fork or carbon rigid fork and can be specced with either Shimano Deore, Shimano XT, or SRAM GX AXS T-Type. The T Pack comes with a RockShox Pike 130mm fork and the D Pack features a RockShox SID 110mm fork.

The G Pack extreme gravel build can be built with either a Pace Rigid Carbon fork or a RockShox SID Select SL/DT SWISS F232 100MM fork if your gravel is particularly gnarly. All the gravel builds feature gravel drop handlebars and Shimano GRX drivetrain.

Pace RC429 Downcountry Edition

Downcountry builds feature a 110mm fork and short travel dropper (Image credit: Pace / Nick Hill ~ NM Design)

The RC429 comes in Moss Grey, Sid Blue, and Rioja Red. Pricing starts at £899 if you are looking for the frame only, rolling chassis starts at £1,734 with a rigid fork and £2,459 with a suspension fork. Full builds start at £3,879 for the T Pack, £3,799 for the D Pack, and £4,199 for the G Pack.

Medium and large frames and bikes are expected in March 2024, with small and XL sizes following in June. For more details or to pre-order your RC429, head over to Pacecycles.com.

If you don't fancy waiting until March or even June for the Pace, we have selected some excellently discounted bikes over on our New Year bike sale bargains article. You'll find not only bikes, but our carefully selected best mountain bike deals that we've found in the January sales so far, on a wide range of kit from the best mountain bike helmets to clothing and consumables.

Graham Cottingham
Senior reviews writer, Bike Perfect

Graham Cottingham is the senior tech writer at Bikeperfect.com and is all about riding bikes off-road. With over 20 years of riding experience, he has dabbled in downhill, enduro, and gravel racing. Not afraid of a challenge, Graham has embraced bikepacking over the last few years and likes nothing more than strapping some bags to his bike and covering big miles to explore Scotland's wildernesses. When he isn’t shredding the gnar in the Tweed Valley, sleeping in bushes, or tinkering with bikes, he is writing tech reviews for Bike Perfect.

Rides: Cotic SolarisMax, Stooge MK4, 24 Bicycles Le Toy 3, Surly Steamroller

Height: 177cm

Weight: 71kg