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  1. #1
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    Finally got a 29er: Scott Scale!!

    Well here it is (with an Easton Carbon Haven zero offset seatpost):


    I checked out a Specialized Demo at the end of last summer which was the first time I was able to ride a 29er to see what they were all about. Even though I am 5'9 w/ 32" inseam I immediately felt completely comfortable and right at home on the Medium Carve Expert and S-Works Stumpjumper Carbon HT. Both bikes just felt great round my home trail system and ever since then I've been desiring a 29er!!

    At this point in time I had become pretty much tired of my 2011 Hardrock Disc 26er. It's a good bike, but after realizing the benefits of a 29er in rolling resistance, momentum, and rolling over things it was time for a change. That and I never felt completely happy with the fit/geo.

    I did really enjoy the Carve's geometry but they are out of my price range and I thought they felt heavy (mostly in rotational). Also I didn't want to spend much this year as really i'm waiting on a better year to spend on a FS rig and when 650B FS machines to become more prevalent and refined.

    After reading Bike Radar's Bikes Under $1000 my sights had been set on the Scott Scale. What stood out about the scale was weight (overall and rotational), and how it's geometry was mirrored off of it's carbon race bike sibling instead of being tweaked to be "more comfortable". The geometry has been praised in every review I've read about the Scale which made me really interested. The sacrifice was the fork (Suntour XCR). However the fork can be changed a lot easier than geometry.

    Scale Geometry highlights (medium):
    Chainstays: 440mm
    Top Tube Length: 600mm
    Wheelbase: 1097mm
    Headtube Angle: 69.5
    Seat tube angle: 72.5
    Stem: 80mm
    Bar Width: 700mm

    I did sway away from the Scale for a while as I looked at other things and I test rode 3 other bikes: Giant Talon, Trek Mamba, and Specialized Hardrock Disc. I wanted to test ride a Rockhopper but they didn't have one in my size at the time.

    The Talon was an interesting setup. I knew it was the lightest in rotational weight and 2nd lightest overall Bike Radar's roundup and I could feel that. However the bike was too "comfortable" and upright. I immediately thought about riding bike paths on it which is not what I want a trail bike to feel like. I think most of this is attributed to the total amount of rise in both the stem and bars. I don't agree with this setup and I think the bike could be better with a different cockpit arrangement. The other thing I didn't like was that there was a lot of flex in the front end.

    The Trek Mamba was also interesting. That bike has a long wheelbase, it's a long bike. That made it feel interesting for handling obstacles. It also felt playful in a trail sort of way (tossing the bike around etc.). For some reason I hated pedaling on it though, I just couldn't get over it. I think I was set too far back on it. I could kinda feel the G2 out in the parking lot but not really, it was interesting to think about. I'm not really a fan of the long wheelbase though.

    I only tested a Hardrock because they didn't have a Rockhopper in my size and I wanted to contrast with Specialized's approach. I rode this right after the Trek and I liked it immediately. Right away you could feel the difference in wheelbase, the Hardrock is much shorter with a steeper HT angle. I thought the bike was a lot of fun and I wanted to go out on trails with it. I wish they had a Rockhopper in my size for me to ride, I may have bought one lol.

    Finally I tested a Scale 970. It all went by so fast but the bike just felt right in geometry and cockpit fit. It already felt like my bike before I even bought it. I remember thinking "wow this feels like it can really tackle anything in a fun and aggressive manner".

    I think what stands out is the balance of it. It has the shortest chainstays of the bikes I tested with a slack HT angle and a wheelbase that's not too long. It reminds me of the Specialized's aggressive geo on the Carve and Stumpjumper but with a slacker HT angle that guides you through corners and descends in a slightly more pleasant way. It feels great to go fast on it, the faster the more fun it is, it makes you want to go fast yet at the same time you're comfortable handling obstacles and other technical stuff.

    The frame seems to be new for 2013 at this level, but is still hydro-formed 6061.. Compared to previous year it has seatstay and chainstay bridges. The dropouts are also new yet still drop forged and CNC machined (as they state) but look more solid. The seat tube's bend is lower down which I imagine allows for you to drop the seatpost down further. The 1 1/8 steerer looks kinda smallish in the headtube when compared to my hardrock (whose headset dimpled btw after just over a year).

    Overall the frame seems pretty tough and rigid. It was actually pretty chatty when I got it, even more so than my 26er which was surprising. It was cold out out and maybe I just needed to break in everything to get it normalized. I've since swapped in an Easton Carbon Haven seat post to absorb some of it and it does seem to help.

    The bike comes with the Deore groupset. The brakes are fantastic, better than one of the sets on one of the Spec' bikes I demoed. The rear der needs a little adjustment though.

    I see a fork, wheels, and carbon bars in the future for this bike. I'll probably do the carbon bars first but not sure if i'll do the wheels or fork first. The front is pretty stiff so i'm not toooo bothered by the fork (especially with carbon bars).

    The wheels though, I fully know what weight does there. Compared to the 26er I can definitely feel those bigger gyroscopes and they have a huge affect on how the bike feels. A 29er does feel like a bigger bike overall than a 26er. I also know I can shed some weight with a good fork too, so it just depends.

    I don't have much experience with the Rocket Rons though. They seem to get pushed side to side more easily than what i'm used to on my 26er. I don't know if that is a 29er thing or a Rocket Ron thing.

    Overall I'm pretty happy. I really like the geometry and seem to enjoy it more, the more I ride it....and I can't wait for this mud to dry up!!!!!!!!!!! I also want to say when you are bike shopping compare then via test rides and demos!!!! These bikes vary quite a bit in feel and character!!!

    Update 1: I do have a zero offset post and my saddle is a bit forward. Finding the right position seems to be a lengthy process. I did have it all the way forward but since had to move it back. For right now it feels pretty good. I went out on an 18mile pavement ride Sunday and it felt pretty good, zero pain anywhere. Before I had some hand pain at one point but I think that was early in the process of dialing it in. The other thing is that I'm new to the carbon post thing, I've been trying to make slight adjustments to get it to not slip. I might need to clean out some more grease though.

    Update 2: Bike Weight: 29.2lbs (no pedals)

    Dropouts:
    Last edited by zephxiii; 03-12-2013 at 04:33 PM.

  2. #2
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    Nice ride! Enjoy!

  3. #3
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    great ride man! Have fun!

  4. #4
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    Nice! I love my 960.

  5. #5
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    Awesome bike, congrats man!

  6. #6
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    I love this bike's geometry and the cockpit stance. I just rode my old Hardrock for about 10 miles then hopped on this real quick. It just makes you wanna go tear up some trails!! And I love the way it carves out corners! The Hardrock kinda feels like a rollerskate with its short wheelbase and steep HT angle. The 29er version feels the same way, just bigger. Nothing wrong with that as I liked it, but the Scale is different in a pleasing way.

  7. #7
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    Congrats on the new bike!

  8. #8
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    Thinking of getting the same bike. I noticed the prices went up from 2012 to 2013, yet the features went down - for example the 2012 seems to have direct post mounts for the rear caliper, but that's missing in the 2013 (unless you upgrade to the 960). Any idea what else changed? How is the bike holding up?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by catamounts View Post
    Thinking of getting the same bike. I noticed the prices went up from 2012 to 2013, yet the features went down - for example the 2012 seems to have direct post mounts for the rear caliper, but that's missing in the 2013 (unless you upgrade to the 960). Any idea what else changed? How is the bike holding up?
    Yes the 970 frame is different from the typical aluminum Scale frame. The seat tube is bent lower down which allows u to drop the post down further. The dropouts are different and the brake caliper is mounted onto them instead of the chainstay. I'm actually pretty impressed by the dropouts, they look stout and awesome. The frame is probably a lil heavier than the normal Scale frame but the bike still clocked in the 29s in weight which is still good for that class of bike.

    Yes the price did go up and it still only has the Suntour XCR fork. BikeRadar said this bike was only 1 component away from being IT, which is the fork. Buy a different fork later, the XCR will work fine for the time being. I have an X-Fusion Slide RL2 on it now though. However that XCR isn't all that bad and I kinda miss it due to the A2C being 10mm longer than the Slide and seemed to have more trail. Er what I mean is i miss how that fork was slower on steering and more stable at high speeds, it was just sweet how the front end of that bike guided you around. The X-Fusion made that bike steer way faster, I'm thinking on having it converted to 120mm to get some of that slack head angle back.

    Now that it has been 2 months since I've originally posted this write up, do I have any second thoughts about my decision? ....No. There is no other hardtail I want other than the Scale....well...the only other hardtail I'd want would be the carbon version of the Scale which I would imagine to be one epic machine. I just simply love the Scale geo too much. Short chainstays + slack HT angle is dope. Everytime I get on the bike it just feels great. Last night i was loving how efficient it seemed to pedal on it. For comparison i have 2 other bikes, a 2011 Spec' Hardrock 26 and a 1999 FSR Comp. I love the Comp's geo and cockpit too but I could never love the Hardrock. I want to get my 10c back on the A2C on the Scale though.

    In the end you'll have to decide what u want to ride, what makes u happiest is what matters the most.
    Last edited by zephxiii; 05-01-2013 at 08:19 AM.

  10. #10
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    OH I forgot to mention. The reviews said the ride was chatty, and it is. The first thing that should be replaced is the saddle as I found it to not really have any compliance at all, it may as well have been solid aluminum! I put a Charge Spoon on it which is lighter, more comfortable, and cheap and I could feel how it was more compliant right away.

    The other thing i can't wait to do is put some carbon bars on it which do a great job at dampening out the front end.

    And when u go fork shopping, u should consider converting the front end to 15mm thru axle (which requires a new wheel) because 29er are flexy in the wheel department.

  11. #11
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    Oh I should add a photo with the X-fusion:


  12. #12
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    nice ride! shred dem trails

  13. #13
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    Cool-blue Rhythm I gotta ask,

    I got the Scott Aspect 940, on sale $586 plus tax, It weighs 3.75 Lbs more than the Scale and I would assume the Scale has far better components but, If I would have spent the $1,100 or so plus tax would I have gotten a ride that was twice as good since I would be spending twice as much ? My Aspect rides great and the geometry seems almost identical. SCOTT Aspect 940 Bike: Retail $689
    Mine was $586
    Chainstays: 450mm
    Top Tube Length: 585mm
    Wheelbase: 1094mm
    Headtube Angle: 69.5
    Seat tube angle: 72.5
    Stem: 90mm
    Bar Width: 660mm

    Scott Scale: Retail
    Chainstays: 440mm
    Top Tube Length: 600mm
    Wheelbase: 1097mm
    Headtube Angle: 69.5
    Seat tube angle: 72.5
    Stem: 80mm
    Bar Width: 700mm............................................. ............ As for the component sets, they seem so similar ??? Finally got a 29er: Scott Scale!!-img_20130323_160022_018.jpg

  14. #14
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    I also have the Scott Aspect 920. The component specs are almost identical. The geo is the main difference. The chainstays are 10mm longer on the Aspect and the top tube length is 15mm shorter but this is partly offset by a 10mm longer stem. I have since put a Reba on my Aspect but must admit to having some buyer regret on not getting the Scale but in fairness they didn't even have them in stock when I bought the Aspect. I read nothing but positive reviews about the geo of the Scale. I think the standover height is lower on the Scale by about 30mm which would definitely help me (being a short ass). Just wondering what else I'm missing (geometry wise?)?

    Finally got a 29er: Scott Scale!!-20130422_213119.jpg

  15. #15
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    Yeah the difference in geo between the Aspect and Scale is interesting. It seems that would move the frame back more in relation to the rider in comparison. I'd like to ride an Aspect to feel the difference. The Aspect still has that slack HT angle though. I also rode a Hardrock 29er with the same chainstay length as the Aspect and liked it.

    All that really matters is if you like the bike when riding it!!

  16. #16
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by zephxiii View Post
    Yeah the difference in geo between the Aspect and Scale is interesting. The Aspect still has that slack HT angle though. !!
    Ok I'm diggin' the stuff I'm learning.. One more ? If I may, "slack HT angle",,,,,whats the "handling" difference between more 'Slack' and Less slack HT angle ???

    What would I feel if I got on a Scale ? considering the Aspect Is my first proper entry into modern off road bikes and I don't know squat about this kinda stuff......

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Osco View Post
    Ok I'm diggin' the stuff I'm learning.. One more ? If I may, "slack HT angle",,,,,whats the "handling" difference between more 'Slack' and Less slack HT angle ???

    What would I feel if I got on a Scale ? considering the Aspect Is my first proper entry into modern off road bikes and I don't know squat about this kinda stuff......
    Ok from one Noob to another. The Scott Scale and Aspect both have 69.5 headtube angle which is considered 'slack' compared to other makes like Giant that have a steeper 71 degree headtube angle. The slacker headtube angle is more suited to downhill, all mountain, trail riding whereas a steeper headtube angle is more typical of a traditional XC racing setup. Think of a roadbike with a much steeper headtube angle designed for speed vs a chopper type design for handling/downhill.

    In summary Trek and Scott bikes are considered to have slacker but better trail handling geometry vs other steeper XC brands.

  18. #18
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    The slacker head tube angle is going to slow down steering but give it more high speed stability. It won't be as nimble and responsive at low speed tight cornering situations, but at higher speeds it will be more stable. It should also flow around longer corners nicer, in a way that guides you around. The Scale really feels alive when you get it up to speed.

    I've been on steeper HT angled bikes like the Carve and S-Works Stumpy. The front end is very responsive and funnish.

    Really this is all a personal preference so get what YOU Like.



    --------------

    Onto another Scale update:

    I picked up some Race Kings on ebay that were a take-off from a new bike for 61 bux shipped with a tube. I wanted something that was going to roll faster on pavement, that and the Rocket Ron was getting worn out fast in the rear. The internet suggested that the Rocket Ron's were going to be lighter than the Race Kings. However once I got the Race Kings mounted and hit up the trail, they seemed to feel lighter as I could throw the bike around in turns and spin them up easier.

    When I got back I looked at the Rocket Rons again and noticed that they had wire beads. I weighed them in at approx. 672g where as the Race Kings weighed in at 622g. That's only a 50g difference in rotational weight per tire but still noticeable. Rotational Weight is everything!! I could go even lighter with other tires. I think the next thing though is replacing the rotors with lighter models. The front one clocks in at 200g.
    Last edited by zephxiii; 05-06-2013 at 05:33 PM.

  19. #19
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    Good stuff. I'm actually starting to lean more toward the Scale 960 over the 970 for the better fork, frame, and seat. While the 970's looks great overall, I have to question what seems like a downgrade in the frame compared to last year's 29 comp. Hmm.. decisions decisions.

  20. #20
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    Great write-up!

    And that's a great looking bike....it'd go great with the Ridley CX bike I just bought, lol. Very similar color scheme.

    I have a XCR on my '11 Trek 6000 (26'er) and it's really not bad. Plenty of travel, I haven't bottomed it out yet that I know of, and a lot of the terrain I ride is very rocky and technical. I was going to upgrade the fork right away, but was advised by some members here to ride what I have for a while to see how I like it.

    Like you, I really want a 650B FS bike, so I decided at this time I didn't need to spend the money on the fork. Although, since then Suntour has rolled out their upgrade program, so that IS tempting!

    And I like how you were so clear about how you bought the bike that "felt" right. A lot of the threads I see get too wrapped up in what components a bike has, and not enough about riding them and seeing how they feel. Especially when mail order bikes come up.

    Have fun!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by catamounts View Post
    Good stuff. I'm actually starting to lean more toward the Scale 960 over the 970 for the better fork, frame, and seat. While the 970's looks great overall, I have to question what seems like a downgrade in the frame compared to last year's 29 comp. Hmm.. decisions decisions.
    I would get the 960 so that you won't have any regrets. I was actually caught off guard with the 970's frame because I didn't know they changed it for 2013 until after I had brought it home. Oh well, this is mostly my learn 29ers bike before I go to FS so it's no big deal. That and I kinda like how I spent less initially then upgraded the fork to X-Fusion Slide RL2, that was a learning experience in itself. So consider that as well. The main difference between the two frames is weight. And compared to other bikes in its class (at least in bike radar's 1000 dolla roundup) it was still the lightest.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by StuntmanMike View Post
    Great write-up!

    And that's a great looking bike....it'd go great with the Ridley CX bike I just bought, lol. Very similar color scheme.

    I have a XCR on my '11 Trek 6000 (26'er) and it's really not bad. Plenty of travel, I haven't bottomed it out yet that I know of, and a lot of the terrain I ride is very rocky and technical. I was going to upgrade the fork right away, but was advised by some members here to ride what I have for a while to see how I like it.

    Like you, I really want a 650B FS bike, so I decided at this time I didn't need to spend the money on the fork. Although, since then Suntour has rolled out their upgrade program, so that IS tempting!

    And I like how you were so clear about how you bought the bike that "felt" right. A lot of the threads I see get too wrapped up in what components a bike has, and not enough about riding them and seeing how they feel. Especially when mail order bikes come up.

    Have fun!
    Yeah feel is really important. Getting wrapped up in derailleurs and what not can be silly if you are ignoring the geo, fit, and feel of it.

    The XCR isn't all that bad primarily as it does have fixed rebound dampening. You also have a little control over compression so it's nothing like the XCT which is just a pogo stick. I could tell the difference between the two right away.

    Now here is what I do recommend for you: Carbon Bars.

    I actually can't wait to get carbon bars onto my Scale. I have carbon bars on my other 2 bikes, one of them having the XCT Pogo stick still on it. Carbon bars is what made me live with the XCT fork lol. Even with the X-Fusion fork I am still missing the dampening of the carbon bars on my other 2 bikes...they really do help.

  23. #23
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    This thread inspired me to get the Scale 970. Thanks for the great write up and info Zexphii.

    Here is a picture of my new baby. Upgrades Reba fork, Henge saddle and pedals and an 80mm stem to replace the stock 70mm stem. Everything else stock. Maiden trail ride tonight and it feels fantastic.

    Finally got a 29er: Scott Scale!!-20130824_152313.jpg

    Finally got a 29er: Scott Scale!!-20130824_170455.jpg

  24. #24
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    Long Term update:

    I've got over 1000 miles on this bike now so far. I've been running the X-Fusion slide RL2 at 100mm which is 10mm shorter Axle to Crown than the XCR that came on the bike. The loss of 10mm A2C steepened the front too much in a way that I hated which resulted in me running the fork at 100psi which rode harsh. I finally got the fork converted to 120mm and WOW the bike feels back to normal! The front end feels like it's back where it should be, I got my slack HTA back, it tracks so nicely in corners now, I can run 20psi less and it rides so much better, and I flipped my stem back to negative and it feels correct. The geo feels great again!

    AWESOME!!

    I should have had it converted earlier but I wanted to spend time with it at 100mm to really soak it in....BUT there came a point where I was not going to ride it again with that fork at 100mm!


    I also upgraded the wheels to Stan's Arch EX which dropped a total of 1.86lbs of rotational (with Race Kings, XT Cassette, SLX Rotors, tubeless). I'm having issues with the Stan's hubs having play though .

    Bike weight is now down in the 26lbs range.

    Final Conclusion of this post:

    If you want to do a fork upgrade or change, make sure u compare axle to crown of both forks.

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