I wanted to spend a little bit more time jogging down my thoughts of the scale whilst it is still fresh in my mind so bare with me. Currently i have settled for a tyre pressure of 17.5 psi up front and around 25 psi rear. I want to eventually run 28-29ish but it might be dependent on courses. On the awaba ride the tyre pressure felt fine. The front is perfect and the rear is ok too (maybe leaked a little towards the end of the day or was it me getting more tired?). After changing the fork to the sid world cup i noted on its first outing at the oaks ride that the pressure was way too high. I usually run 50psi on postive chamber and around 35-40psi in negative chamber but on that ride i ran 70psi in the postive chamber. As such the singletrack suffered a little. I felt my arms was abnormally sore even over a short distance of singletrack so i knew it wasn’t quite right. I adjusted the fork right after that ride and yesterday’s awaba ride was the first outing with the new setting.
After 1 lap i knew this setting is much closer to the “right” setting but there are still a little weirdness that i have to tune out. The fork ramps up quite a bit. On a few fast braking rut bumps i felt almost as if the fork bottomed out. However checking the travel ring on the stanchions tells me that i have only used about 80mm of the travel or so. I had a few small jumps here and there and i would have expected the fork to use closer to its 100mm of total travel. Atm the small bump is excellent but it feels like it is ramping up a little too hard. That seems to indicate that my postive chamber is still too hard but i am scared to go any lower as i dont want an unreasonable amount of sag in my fork upsetting the geo of the bike. QR15 is the bomb as well. That twang in the fork under hard braking whilst turning is gone and that is a good thing.
Position wise i have taken well to it. It is fairly aggressive so it does feel a little “edgy” when heading into technical features but something that has helped greatly is the narrower handlebars. I run 685mm handlebars on all bikes i have ridden but i have always known that it is too wide for my shoulders. On a Tech Tuesday feature it hit me why i can’t lean back easily over my saddle on most of my bikes. Simply put, when your bars are wider your arms have to be more stretched out. When your arms are more stretched out you have less room in your arms to use to move urself backwards. It might sound confusing but watch that vid on the link above and you will understand exactly what i mean. Once i watched the vid it was like a light bulb appearing before me. Thing is, i like the longer handlebars. I feel it gives me better leverage in technical terrain and it feels more “fun” for a trail bike. On the scott though my bars are 600mm effective (630mm but the ends are taken by barends) so what was the first thing i noticed? Moving back over the saddle is no probs. I also have a lot more room to move the bike around underneath my torso as my arms are in their optimal position and in a way that makes it playful too. I have two sets of the same bars on my yeti so i might cut one down to 640-660mm and try that and see how it goes. Hmmmm *makes mental note*
When i rode a mixture of firetrail/singletrack trails i didn’t see any comfort issues with my position over the scale but over 3hrs of singletrack riding revealed that my palms indeed gets sore more quickly. In this case the bar ends have become indispensable to rest my hands on or generally change positions to relieve pressure over my palms. Pleasant surprise.
How did it ride overall? I had a ball. Once i warmed up i felt like i could go really really fast on it. I rode slowly over the many switch back uphills and experimented with standing up during shorter and steeper efforts and it felt naturally good to stand up on a hardtail. There are a few things that stand out to me for the scale. Weight is one of them, comfort is another and finally the mixture of every one of its features combined together which really forms the personality of the bike.
Weight wise i can not emphasis enough how amazing the weight is. 8.4kg and about to head down to 8.2kg after the 2x swap. Still, i am a mtb rider first and a weight weenie second. When i found out the rotors were not good enough i swapped it out straight away. I really have nothing on my bike which compromises performance/reliability by any stretch of imagination believe it or not. Nothing really at all is weight weenie specific gear except the seat clamp and seat post. Seat clamp is not slipping any more after i applied a dab of loctite to the bolt and the seat post has being tested across my cannondale/voodoo for 1.5 years. The wheel/tyre combo has being tested on both trail bikes and xc race bikes and all the other components are just standard non weenieish gear.
What is most amazing to me is how well the scale takes advantage of the weight. The lightweight isn’t just useful going uphills though. Through chicanes the scale is amazing. The eagerness to change directions is the best i have felt on a two wheeled object. When the singletrack gets windy and you have skills to match, you will walk away from your friends. You would think a 8.5kg bike would bounce excessively yet it does not. Never have i ridden it and thought “holy crap i am bouncing around like nothing else i can’t control myself i need to add some weight”. People often ask me what the weight of my bike is and when i tell them they say “oh must be bouncy on the dh’s”. It isn’t. I think it ties in with the comfort part of my findings well.
I think overall it combines together to form a bike that is ultra eager “give me all you got” and really wants you to push it and yourself to go as fast as possible but still working on the side to ensure you have fun. It isn’t a bike that wants to kill you per se but more of a bike that will reward you when you ride it appropriately and from time to time surprises you into thinking that you are riding something other than a pure race bike. I think it is a race bike for people who like to ride trails too.