a Weekend Warrior
from leics, uk
Date Reviewed: October 7, 2008
Strengths: rides lighter than it actually is. fast and sprint like. stable on technical terrain. rear shock is superb, initially not convinced with handle bar mount travel adjustment...how wrong, it is a real asset when tackling rapidly changing terrain. looks good in black carbon, quite understated but quality.
Weaknesses: seat post at 34.4mm rather fat and restricts upgrade options. top tube a fraction short intially but now tuned in and early nervey twitches and falls in control. shock did need considerable efforts to get set up right...has had to be changed.
worth the cash...puts a smile on my ugly face every time and on every trail. if you want a versatile, fast and exciting machine, this is for you
the 2009 model looks orgasmic especially with equalizer shock and tweaked geometry....maybe in 3 years time.
Similar Products Used: stumpy expert, giant trance x0, giant nrs
Bike Setup: as bought.
a Weekend Warrior
from bedford, UK
Date Reviewed: September 1, 2007
Strengths: Strong (I am definitely a clydesdale). Unbelievably responsive (last bike was a tricked out Spec Epic, and this is way quicker). Looks the nutz in carbon black. Stops on a dime, uncanny balance under braking. Shock/ Fork combo is a winner ONCE SET RIGHT. Saddle is light and adjusts easy. Factory pedals are usefully double sided (flats/Shimano) and the shifters are Ace! (I went for the rapid fire versions, it also comes in the flappy paddle version if you happen to like them). Frame mounts are sweet. bAgs of ground clearance.
Weaknesses: Fork/Shock rig is waaaaaay complex. First 4 rides were a shocker (too active, too rigid ... etc) then I got the balance right and it flew. So - take the time and RTFM to get the settings right. For once, the online manual is a winner when trying new settings.
The cockpit is short and the front stem long - so take care on the first few hard harepins downhill or you will tumble as I did. Once you realise you should adjust your seat and move your butt more on decents that sharp handling is a wonder.
Tiny points: nowhere to mount rear light (if you have to cross roads on way home from trails at night remember that this bike is BLACK and you are already covered in mud so do not reflect well :-) ) Also no easy place to mount emergency pump, so take a pack. LOTS of places for mud to hide ... but the finish is so shiny that simply hosing it down clears 99.9% of all crud. Oh, also impossible to mount Crud Catchers - so expect to get filthy :-)
Looks so good, you will NOT want to scratch this. Which means buying a work frame to do anything on it. It also, oddly, made me more nervous of falling. Step over height is huge, and at first you seem to be "way up in the air", but that soon becomes an advantage.
(price note: USD collapsed against GBP - wish I had bought this in the US!)
This bike has made me try new sections, new downhills, new rooty bits, mud, sand, and roads. I've extended my fave weekend trails from 15 to 22 miles and still feel fresh on this bike. It is so good that I have booked in on an advanced skill course so I can begin to use some of its talents. Basically: this is a way better machine than I am a rider!
Similar Products Used: Spec Epic. Spec Rockhopper. Trek 9.0
Bike Setup: As standard - cannot see myself changing anything except tyres and brake pads for a few years yet
Date Reviewed: April 20, 2007
Strengths: Above all, lovely to ride. A neutral position allows comfy cruising and all mountain endurance rides are a pleasure. Component choice is fair for the budget. Climbs nicely, and the option to lock out the front and rear suspension is helpful on big climbs. The middle "traction control" suspension setting, which limits travel, works well, helping to maintain grip by following the terrain, but reducing bob, helping you climb more efficiently. Weight is reasonable. Very reliable suspension units front and rear. Position and ride just feels well thought out; bar width is perfect and geometry feels right under pretty much all circumstances for me. This is an iteration of an existing product which Scott have taken the time to perfect over a period of years, and that shows in the bike's performance. Cable routing is good, no ghost shifts.
Weaknesses: stock marzocchi forks can feel a little flimsy when pushing it in the livelier downhills and the LX hydraulic disks run out of stopping power a little quicker than I'd like, but these are more issues with my use of the product and component budget than real weaknesses. Saddle is comfy but flimsy. Big, fat downtube provides large target for big, fat rocks (around the bottom bracket) and I have several reasonable dents, but this doesn't seem to have led to any problems. Bottom bracket may be a little low for some. You adapt your riding style to it, but at the beginning I found that I clunked it a few times when I didn't expect to and the pedals can end up lower to the ground than you may be used to sometimes. I sheared the head off one of the lightweight alloy bolts by which the swingarm is attached with very little effort. I am not sure the weight gain justifies the fragility of the part and it was a pain to extract the headless bolt...
I have previously owned a Specialised FSR. The FSR was, frankly, disappointing. Good when it worked, but due to bad implementation, reliability was not something you could take for granted. I lost a lot of riding time because of it.
The reason I chose the Scott was because it used the same principle as the FSR (Macpherson strut), which, when it worked, worked well. The Scott uses the Genius shock which has proven itself to be extremely reliable and maintenance over the last 2 years has been minimal; everything still works, no play in the bearings and no component failures. The shock is due for a service, but this is preventative maintenance rather than to remedy a fault.
It is very important to take the time to get the suspension set up right. The infinite adjustability of the front and rear air shocks is a strength, and they work well, but the key to unlocking the bike's real potential is getting everything set up right for your weight and riding style and getting the front and rear suspension to work together. You can feel when it's right, but it takes a little time to get there. Experiment with different settings and take the time to understand how the changes you make affect what happens to the handling and ride.
It is not a freeride bike; the components are not up to that. What it is is a very capable all-rounder, climbing very acceptably for a big travel full bounce bike and allowing you to have a lot of fast fun on both firetrail and more technical descents. You can set the supension for lazy, armchair comfort, or tweak it for some outrageous hooning, all in the same package. I ride big hills (regular positive 2000+ metres in a ride) in alpine or rocky terrain, sometimes fast and sometimes to admire the view, and I have never been disappointed with the Scott in 2 years of use.
Similar Products Used: Specialised FSR. Decathlon Rockrider 9.2.
Bike Setup: Stock except for Hutchinson Barracuda tyres which I find work well on the dry(ish), very rocky trails on which I ride. I will be upgrading the brakes shortly (Hope mono M4s which are currently on another bike). I also put some stubby bar ends on to give more positions in big climbs (not too chic with riser bars, but never mind).
a Cross Country Rider
from London, UK
Date Reviewed: December 12, 2006
Strengths: Great riding position. Very stable. Suspension is brilliant. Frame is light.
Weaknesses: Components - but at least the frame is top notch so can always upgrade the components. Saddle is naff.
Took the bike to Moab and Vail in August 2006. Wow - what a great ride - could handle anything I threw at it. Makes me ride faster. Doing 40mph+ downhill in Vail - and stops in an instant (without feeling like it's going to pitch you over the bike). Stable at any speed on pretty much any terrain. Thought the tyres (correct English spelling ;-) ) would be naff but they are great for all conditions, slick rock, sand, english mud - brilliant roll and grip. Although I mainly do cross country in the UK this was great for downhill in Vail and freeriding in London. Great all round bike - get it if you want to do everything (but mainly XC).
Bike Setup: Changed rear dereileur to XTR (after I crashed the old XT into a rock). Saddle changed.
a Cross Country Rider
from South Australia
Date Reviewed: June 15, 2006
Strengths: Excellent brakes, suspension, riding position. Feels like a motorcross bike. A very stable platform and compliant over bumps, carbon frame absorbs jarring shocks and doesn't transmit them through. Light weight is excellent for level of suspension performance and strength. 3 way rear suspension excellent and intuitive to use, though I don't use the "locked out" position often. Likewise Fox Talas on front also very good. Very comfortable bike for endurance events. The bike doesn't bob when climbing as long as you are seated. The standard riding position is very central and neutral so it inspires confidence on technical sections and won't spit you over the handlebars! After a year of heavy use nothing has broken. Looks like new after a wash too!
Weaknesses: Would like higher spec crank and front derailleur (but LX still good)
A very versatile bike - fast in races, a great climber, but also very comfortable and confidence inspiring for endurance and fun rides.