It has been raining for 60 hours with a day’s break in the middle so the trails were not exactly pristine. Despite the conditions I was really keen to try the Scott Scale 910 and whimping out of the Tuesday session meant that I was raring to go. The dog didn’t seem as enthused as me but she is a lot closer to the ground and I would be cruising high up on those 29” hoops.
As for my route, I simply followed my nose trying to avoid mud. Despite all the rain bike and I did not get too dirty and I clocked up a fair bit of single track. The trails were slippery but it was more the fear of slipping than any loss of grip that was my problem. I was trying the bike because it was a medium. Now, as a bike fitter, you would expect me to know what fits when it comes to my own bike. Well I do for the road, down to the last millimetre and did for my 26”. However, mountain bikes are different and your body position on the bike changes quite dramatically with the variations in terrain. There are ups, steep ups, downs and steep down, fast flat and bumpy flat, slippery and gloopy. The best position is the most comfortable where your control is at its best depending on the sort of riding that you do. So your perfect climbing position could be hell downhill. You are looking for the best compromise that most suits your final aim. Mine is to ride the South Downs Way flat out so my set up will need to cope with very fast descents, loads of climbing and as comfortable as possible. If your aim is to get the KOM on the Blue Run or Whiteway’s descent then your speeds will be slower but handling and grip will be far more of an issue. It’s all about compromise.
For me, finding the ideal balance is made harder by the fact that I am used to riding just
about anything. Too long, too short I just adapt. However, I have been convince since riding 29ers that I have been on bikes that are too long, my position looks stretched in photos. Often people come to me for a fit and are more or less happy with their position but it looks wrong and power and comfort are compromised. However, they are used to it. Typical of this is the woman that has always had a hand-me-down bike from a spend thrift partner. Get her on one that fits and sometimes she doesn’t like it because she is used to an over long ex-husbands bike. Being used to something does not mean that it is right although, with anything, being used to it helps.
I found climbing on the Scale fine even having to control the power to avoid slipping in the gloop, the compact cockpit seemed to help. I looked for some steeps to test it some more: no problem. Downhill was an issue. Was it just my lack of recent experience, had I lost the feel for the trail, was the bike too short/low at the front, was it the Rocket Rons, was it just all in my mind or was it just too damned slippery? So many questions without any answers. At least I didn’t crash. Does that mean anything? I need another ride and the forecast for the rest of the week is looking good. But after the last few days anything is going to look good.
No Strava record. Believe it or not you can ride without a GPS. I will write up a full review when it has had a proper ride all I can say at the moment is that at 10.10kgs/22.27lbs it is sweet.