A new bike has been received and this year, as previously mentioned, it’ll be a Scott Scale 29er Expert. Being a marathon/enduro winter I’ve decided this is the best type of bike for the job, at this point. Whether this is true is yet to be established and will be found out, through experience, throughout the year.
To the bike itself. It’s not an ultra high end model. In fact, it’s Scott’s base level carbon frame 29er, based on their much more expensive and much lighter “RC” model and using a cheaper carbon type which adds around 150g to a frame. Straight from the box it’s a solid mix of Shimano SLX/XT, heavy DT wheels and basic alloy cockpit components weighing in at 10.8kg for a large bike (Scott claim 10.5kg). I don’t generally do “straight from the box” and this bike is reasonable but too heavy for suffering 98km into a marathon.
First up and most importantly are the wheels. These being rotational weight account for much more of the bikes feel and ride quality and are singularly the best change you can make to any bike. This will be explained in future articles but basically the lighter your wheels, the easier you make it for yourself. I’ve gone for some “Wheels by Bosch” (www.wheelsbybosch.com) which are custom built for your needs either from scratch, or using your own supplied parts. Simply doing this has saved a massive half a kilo of rotational weight! Looking forward to hills again…In time these new hoops will be for training, with some lighter “race only” wheels on the way too, saving another 200g.
The group set has been swapped out for something a little more racey, namely Shimano’s top of the line XTR group. While this does save some weight, i’m more interested in the shifting and braking performance on offer. The new brakes really are something with the short lever blade a welcome change. Hydraulic brakes have never really needed the long levers as they have enough power for single finger braking.
The basic alloy parts have been swapped out for more weight friendly, stiffer carbon bits, only really to add bling and nothing else.
The downsides I’ve noticed on building: The tapered headset is using a sealed bearing in the top, but an open bearing in the bottom. For a bike of this level I would have expected better, but I’ve done my best to future proof it using waterproof grease to hopefully keep elements at bay. If purchasing this bike I would make this request with a view to upgrading the headset further down the track.
The seat post I think is made of granite but it’s oversize 34.9mm diameter means it’s not an easy swap as choices are limited. There are a few options out there but nothing on the value side so while it’ll save you some weight it’s an upgrade to be made once you’ve considered everything else.
As it stands the bike with a slightly weighty but easy to use Fox RLC FIT QR15mm fork (1680g), XTR pedals and plastic Elite bottle cages weighs in at just under 10kg. With an aim to dip this below 9kg I’ve got some work to do!