First Impressions: Scott Scale 910 Review

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By Nathan  Collier

For the last four years I have raced a Giant XTC Advanced. It was a great 26 inch carbon race bike, but 2013 is going to be a big year so I needed a big wheeled bike to accommodate. The only experience I’ve had with 29ers is riding around my friends’ bikes, and doing an XC race on one. From doing some research it looks like the common thoughts on 29er vs 26er is that 29ers roll over terrain better, they climb a little worse (based on my own opinion because of the extra weight and rolling resistance), they descend better, and they are not as quick handlers. In this review, I plan on touching on all these subjects and measuring up how the Scale 910 performed.

Testing facility:
North Table Mountain is right outside my neighborhood and offers a little bit of everything: steep loose rock, fire road climbs, long singletrack climbs, tight/twisty singletrack, twisty downhills, steep technical descents, and everything else that makes it a great place to test a bike.

Scale 910 Review

The Bike:
2013 Scott Scale 910 size Large 

Handling:
I really thought that I was going to make a sacrifice here over my 26er, especially since the Scale has a pretty slack head tube angle of 69.5 compared to other manufacturers that are running 71 or 71.5. The Scale does have a shorter chainstay than some the others at 17.2 inches though. Also, the tapered head tube and 15mm thru axle I’m sure helps. As I entered the first section of some tight/twisty stuff I was impressed. The bike was amazingly snappy! Where the Scale really shined was in switchbacks. On the 26er I would slow down and really concentrate making the turn. On the Scale I was able to plow right through them! It was so easy to make slow, tight switchback turns on this bike. The Scale is definitely the best handling 29er I’ve been on, and beat out my old 26er hands down.

Climbing:
Climbing is what wins races here in Colorado, and being a great climber was my number one priority when buying a bike. Because I thought a 29er couldn’t possibly climb as well as my 26 did, it my biggest concern. It was a huge relief and surprise to find that on non-technical climbs the Scale climbed just as well as my 26er. It was on the loose steep stuff (which there is a lot of in Colorado) that it killed the 26er. I wasn’t too surprised there with the Scales short chainstay, and a slack seat tube angle of 72.5 which tucks the wheel right under you. I purposely rode in the loosest gravel on a steep fire road and got out of the saddle a couple of times. The Scale dug right in, and if the wheel did brake a little it was much more controlled and less power sapping then on the 26er. It’s a much better climber than my 26er.

Descending:
With a short stem, wide bars, long 44 inch wheelbase, and big wheels the Scale did not disappoint on the downhills. There is a particularly steep, rocky, loose descent on North Table that I dreaded a little every time I did it on my 26er because it would just beat me up. The 29er just crunched this descent! It rolled over the big rocks like they were nothing. In fact, I’m pretty sure I felt more confident on the Scale than on my Giant Trance X1 5-inch travel full suspension 26er. On the non-technical flowy downhills it was fantastic, but no surprise there. I’d like to say that races aren’t won on the downhill, but they can certainly be lost. I used to scare myself to keep up with the competition on the descents. Now I can scare myself to beat the competition on the descents!

Conclusion:
I really really hope no one buys this bike… because if they line up on race day against me on the Scale I know I’m going to have some competition! This bike is definitely going to make me a faster racer in all aspects. The Shock Damping System that Scott uses on the Scale, and the 29 inch wheels makes for a smooth ride. I found myself sitting a lot more than I would on the 26er over rough terrain. It’s also a competitively light carbon frame. Not only was it an amazing race bike, it would also be a great choice for anyone looking for a trail bike as well. Two thumbs up from this happy racer!For the last four years I have raced a Giant XTC Advanced. It was a great 26 inch carbon race bike, but 2013 is going to be a big year so I needed a big wheeled bike to accommodate. The only experience I’ve had with 29ers is riding around my friends’ bikes, and doing an XC race on one. From doing some research it looks like the common thoughts on 29er vs 26er is that 29ers roll over terrain better, they climb a little worse (based on my own opinion because of the extra weight and rolling resistance), they descend better, and they are not as quick handlers. In this review, I plan on touching on all these subjects and measuring up how the Scale 910 performed.

Original Source: http://nathancolliermtbr.blogspot.com/2013/02/first-impressions-2013-scott-scale-910.html

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