I decided to ride off road again because we have so many demo bikes available. Got to ride them while we’ve got them. They are not for the exclusive use of us at Quest Adventure but for anyone that wants to look beyond their current steed. I had to try the Scott Scale 29er Pro again as it is so different to anything else that I am riding.
Just like last time it seemed to transport me where ever with surprising ease and speed. I still can’t figure it out. I need to create a gear chart so that I can compare it with a 26″ wheel bike as I am in a lower gear yet, with those big hoops, I’m speeding everywhere.
There is some mud up there but most of the trails are drying out. Plan you route and you’ll have a good ride. The downhill to Coldharbour on Kithurst Hill was a joke (so muddy) but the climb out up to Chantry Hill was more or less rideable and the first gully section (unrideable most of the year) was nearly possible on the 29er despite the mess of mud and hoof prints.
Another feature of the 29er was its down hill speed. On the single track descent to Wepham Down Matt took the lead as he wanted to make up for trailing behind on all the climbs. He has a Whyte E5 (120mm travel) and was hammering down. On the 29er (hard tail) I kept up and freewheeled long sections as he pedaled to get away. This bike is awesome.
The set up of the bike is strange, it is very long (620mm top tube) but very high at the front, the effect is a very comfortable riding position, not very racy, I felt that when the summer comes around and we start winding it up I’ll need to cut the bar down and fit bar ends. Everyone has their own style. I ride very low, lower than most. Jimbo rides high, higher than most so you’ll probably fit nicely between the two of us. If you want a go make sure that we adjust it to suit you. We really need to try a medium!
All in all the bigger wheels seem to cope with the mud better than you’d expect. The bigger foot print and longer wheel base gives superior climbing traction. In these slippy conditions you just end up making less mistakes, less wheel spins and or front wheel popping (it devoured Cardiac Arrest). Despite some very muddy sections it never clogged up. My impression of the 29er is based on my current condition and rides. I am getting stronger thanks to my touring bike commuting and our rides are at an easy pace. One is bound to feel strong if you are riding at a low intensity and then resting at the top of each climb.
Here is the ride So nice to finish a ride in warm sunshine. Spring, please hurry!