Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Ride x+1

Some obvious thoughts about the 29er vs 26er:

I was riding w/ my brother in Cape Cod at the Otis Airforce base. I know the area fairly well.  Lots of crisscrossing trails which can be somewhat confusing but they mostly have the same feel: sweepy turns w/ punchy climbs in a well drained pine forest.  I was again somewhat struggling w/ my Scott, especially in the turns and in the one rock garden that is present there.  Just could not get the center of gravity for the bike quite right.  Then, just for fun, I switched bikes w/ my brother who rides a Niner Air 9. We set the bikes up right and took a 3 mile spin.  I was and felt noticeably faster on the Niner, and had my brother dropped pretty quickly.  The steering was much more crisp and fast and the bike did not feel like the front end wanted to wash and wonder off.  Even in the punchy climbs the bike felt like it had more grip and needed to be weighted down less. After the ride, my brother also commented he felt the front end of the Scott felt vague and that the bike had "truck" like feel to it. So my struggles w/ getting used to a 29er might not, obviously in hindsight, be w/ the 29er per say, but rather w/ the slack angle of the Scott at 69% and how the bike is balanced out.  I have wondered why Nino Schurter was not racing the scott scale 29er but that is most likely the reason why.   It's just not a racy bike!

I also took my Specialized Epic 26er out for a night ride.  It took a couple of miles to get back into the handling of it but it came back pretty quickly.  Specialized really nailed the suspension w/ their development of the "brain".  It is such a fun bike and I was quickly trying to find the lines over everything instead of around, like I have been on the 29er.  I struggled a little w/ the real narrow bars I have on the bike and did wish for some slightly wider bars even at the end of the ride.   Also I could certainly feel the loss of traction on the steep uphills and spun out once where I normally make it up w/ the 29er.  But overall, the bike felt much more right than the Scott.

This leaves me w/ a Scott Scale I really want to like, but sadly just don't. So I will have to most likely ebay it!  I have been looking at the Air 9 but since my shop doesn't carry it, I 'll have to shell out full retail for it, which is going to hurt!  Also I would need to make sure I scoop up a Scandium frame before they are gone:  A nice Vana white frame w/ a red Chris King headset and red seat colar, a white Sid XX and white AM xc wheelset...full X.O drive train, white & red marta sl brakes, and ec 70/90 post/stem/handle bars... yum....

Addendum:  This post seems to be the most read post on my Scott Scale experience, so I wanted to post the link to the follow up on the bike:

1 comment:

  1. It's got to be said Niners have getting some really good reviews. They seem to have an idea on geometry set up which sadly by the sounds of things is not the case with Scott!
    Love the look of the Jet and Jet rdo.