Warning, long post and endless dribble ahead. To summarise, i enjoyed my weekend of riding singletrack bliss at Yellomundee on my new bike and look at the pics and then close the page.
As you guys know, on Sat morning, i failed to getup and hence missed out on an awesome ride. Feeling not so good i decided to make it up by going to Loftus after work. Due to trail conditions though i just didn’t feel that satisfied. Instead i focused on getting along with the scale and returned back before dusk.
The first time i rode some of the best singletracks in Loftus i was surprised by the scale. Looking back though i shouldn’t have being so surprised. Entering blair witch i immediately overcooked a few corners because the bike simply arrives much faster than i anticipated. That was easy to explain since the combo of very fast rolling tyres + light weight = faster speed carried through singletracks. The bike corners extremely well too (in reference to how my other bikes have cornered) simply due to the fact that the more aggressive geo places more emphasise of weight on the front end of the bike which naturally = more front end grip. It still suffers in deep gravel sections or those shalestone sections where a more aggressive tyre tread is required. Captain obvious point. I also had some fun doing some small jumps over the water bars at the railway singletrack at loftus and the mere fact that i am even attempting to air the bike tells me that i must have a little bit of confidence with the bike. I still shy away from the bigger drops but i think that is due to my confidence in the bike and my arms overall. Maybe when i get more comfy with the scale and my arms i will do it. I will let it come naturally.
On Sunday Nelson and I rode Yellomundee and after the typical “aaahing” and “ooohing” about whether we should risk the weather (it was one of those typical it is about to rain scenarios) we decided at last minute to go for it and boy were we glad to have made that decision. Trail conditions was perfect and sunny and warm temperatures meant that i only needed to wear a long sleeve jersey.
So how was riding the scale at Yellomundee? I was a little apprehensive about the tech sections near the top of Yellomundee as i think it is on par with some of the sections at Appin/Md but i was keen to see how i would go. Due to recent rain (or maybe just my time off mtbing) it seems like every feature/drop has increased in size due to the rain eroding the terrain and i guess you can say the scale got a good workout. What worries/scares me about hardtails isn’t the unsuspended rear end of the bike. To me if the front end tracks in a technical section i couldn’t care less how out of shape the rear end gets as i know if i stay relaxed the bike will follow the front wheel. Nor do i really mind how hardtails climb technically. Yes, it gets hung up on ledges/steps more but the static BB height also means a more predictable pedalling height and that is an advantage for sure in tech climbs. To me the real difference with most hardtails is the geo it is blessed with. I already talked about how the front end is lower than any of my other bikes which increases its cornering prowess but the same aspect makes it much more daunting to ride the bike in technical sections/features. That usually is the biggest issue i have with hardtails.
I won’t lie. The scott required more attention and finesse in tech sections. No doubt. Yet, it wasn’t all that bad too. Certainly not as bad as i thought it could have being. To me the scott is pretty technically apt for a hardtail bike. I should be more scared than i am but for some reason i am not. I haven’t quite figured it out yet so i will delve into that when i have more rides at technical trails. All of this is also on an untuned fork. I literally pumped the fork up once to about 25% sag and have never tuned it since the first ride. Quite impressive. The rest of Yellomundee is fairly flowy singletrack that has corners of varying tightness and it was here that the teaser i got at Loftus was turned into a full show. The bike is a singletrack weapon. If you have the skills and the guts you could push this bike along to some insane speeds in the corners. Weaving in between trees and chicanes is almost effortless and the 70 degree HA vs 68-67ish on the yeti really shows with much less effort required to change directions.
The weirdest thing i kinda realise is it doesn’t ride like a 8kg race weapon. When i am riding through rougher terrain it does not in anyway bounce uncontrollably. It feels much more stable than the weight might suggest and that is a good thing. It feels like 8kg going up hill and accelerating out of corners but not 8kgs when it comes to the rough stuff.
Negatives? Not too much you can pick with a hardtail. I mean you know it is going to be a race orientated bike and suspension performance doesn’t factor into consideration so apart from comfort/weight/geo/versatility there isn’t really anything else to comment on. Durability is always a ? with carbon bikes but looking at Matt’s scott it has certainly handled races/crashes/events well so i am hoping mine will stay similar.
One of the best purchases i have made is my oakley radar path. Going on 4 years now and and the ear socks are getting a little loose/worn. Nelson got me new socks for the Oakley’s and suddenly they feel new again. One of the best investment purchases i have made i reckon.
I also managed to swap some parts for a set of XX brakes with matchmaker so i will be chucking that onto the scale. I will be still using the kcnc rotors which is surprisingly powerful now but have developed a god awful gobbling sound which is pretty annoying i guess. I am half afraid that it has chewed through the pads but i will confirm when i take the brakes off the scale. Annoyingly i will have to pry off the esi grips once again to remove the standard x0 shifter clamp. Times like these i wish i had lock on grips. I also have a xx derailleur that i am contemplating using on the scale for a 1×10 groupset with xx cassette + shifters but it isn’t a priority. I am going to try and do this slowly and enjoy the process. Next on the list of things to do is most likely an sid wc fork and to tune the fork in. I expect the scale to become even better with a fork tuned exactly to my liking.