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  1. #1
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    2011 Scott Genius 30 vs. Giant Trance X1

    Perhaps it's not apples to apples (the Scott coming in at roughly 1000 bucks more, if my math is correct), but if it's THAT much more bike, I'd consider it.

    I thought it was going to be a slam-dunk for the X1, until I saw pics of the Genius 30 and had to fetch my bib.

    What are the comparisons between the Maestro system and the Genius system? I'm wondering if all those on-the-fly adjustments just mean more things to possibly go wrong (Scott).

    Any and all suggestions/opinions welcome. Pound for pound, dollar for dollar, which one would you choose and why?

    Thanks, and happy trails.

    Steve

  2. #2
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    Indeed, the two bikes are not comparable, as the Genius is a long-travel marathon bike, and the Trance is a trail bike.
    In short: suspension-wise, the Maestro is years ahead of the Scott system, in every way (climbing, descending, out of the saddle efforts, small bump compliance). The same goes for the shock (damping&rebound consistency, weight, reliability, difficulty in setting it just right).

    In favour of the Genius, it has a very special feeling riding it, the Trance seems a bit dull in comparison, most probably because the genius is made from carbon?? Also the construction and finish of the Scott is actually light years ahead of the Giant. After just a few rides you could tell the wear on the Giant - the Scott looks as new even after a couple of bad crashes)

    My experience comes from riding a 2009 Genius 30 and a 2010 ReignX for about 60 rides each. I also did ride an older Trance model just for a short ride, but I understand that they share the same Maestro riding characteristics as my ReignX. I should also mention that I had two blown Equalizer shocks in that time, but with excellent service from the importer.

    I can't recommend to you one bike over the other, I know people that are happy with their Genius bike, it's all down to your needs and where you ride. Good luck with your choice

  3. #3
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    Hey, Midas,

    Golden answer....thanks....but I had no idea I'd be opening a can of words (in my head). All very useful stuff, but now it has me thinking about what I really want/need.

    I'm 50 (he bragged), but I can still push myself hard. Having a bike that is well-constructed is huge. I hate creaks and rattles and loose-fitting stuff. Easily scratched would also be an irritant. I heard that the finish on the Giant is much improved, and the X1 is a metallic silver finish, making me think it wouldn't be an issue.

    On the other hand, you say that the Giant has a superior ride in terms of climbing, descending, and overall suspension. Wouldn't that tough to achieve if the bike were rather clumsily constructed, relative to the Scott?

    Not being able to test ride either here in Korea, it's a lot of analysis paralysis until I gather enough facts/opinions to be able to make the right choice before forking out (MTB humour, eh) my hard earned pay.

    What was it that was unique about the Scott, other than a certain "feel"? I wonder how they were able to nail down construction and fit without attending to the very real issue of suspension. It is, after all, an all-mountain bike.

    Thanks for your input, and happy trails.

    Steve

  4. #4
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    Steve, it's not that the Giant is poorly constructed or suffers from any creaks, rather that it scratches and dents easily. Rocks that the front wheel picks up leave marks on the downtube - I've put protective tape since, but there's dents and an ugly hairline crack already there, probably nothing serious, but very annoying to see.
    The Scott on the other hand did land on a boulder and bounced 2 feet up in the air on an occasion, I thought that it was totalled, but there appeared to be only a minor scratch! On the toptube as well, which I doubt is as tough as the downtube.

    The Genius is NOT an all-mountain bike! It feels sketchy on the steeps! It places your weight too far on the front of the bike (for more efficient pedalling? I don't know) This is probably the most important thing to note when making your decision. It may feel like it has 'instant acceleration', or 'live handling' as you read in the mags, but to me it all translated to 'nervous handling'.
    I tried many things to rectify that behaviour, wider tires, wider/taller handlebars, shorter stem, more sag than recommended on the shock all to little effect, and then I test-rode a Reign (also with 150mm suspension travel)... my Genius was up for sale the same day!

    If the trails you ride are less demanding, or if your skills are up to it, then it (the Scott) could well be the better choice for you, just don't forget that it essentially is a long-travel marathon-racing bike.

  5. #5
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    @ Midas:
    That's wild, I've never heard of little pebbles denting a Giant's downtube at all, let alone cracking it. I've been riding my Reign for months with zero dents or dings. A few little paint chips (the biggest one is the size of a dot with a sharpie pen), but if your frame has a crack, there was obviously some sort of flaw there that caused the failure. I'd send it back to Giant through your LBS immediately to get it replaced. Gotta love lifetime frame warranties.

    @ Steve, I would warn you to be careful with carbon, as it hides its damage well, until it decides to fail completely. Little to no warning at best. While little rocks don't leave visible dents as easily in carbon, rest assured that damage to the fibers is still being done on a micro scale. Those broken fibers no longer can support load directly as designed to do. It then relies completely on the epoxy binder for its strength, which is a cause of carbons often violent breakage. If metal is dented, it can still usually offer some if not most of its original strength.

    I am a complete carbon whore, I'll admit it. I've been making things with carbon cloth tows, etc using epoxy and cyanoacrylate binders since the age of about 6 (under the guidance of my dad). After high school, I worked in a shop making $80,000 yacht sails for the America's Cup boat race using kevlar, carbon and spectra strengthening tows. I adore it. Sexy, super light, and so strong for its mass. But it's not much of a choice for me when I want a long-lasting bike frame. Not to negate the use of carbon though. It has a place in biking for sure. I just don't think that place is in the AM category quite yet. Approaching, yes, but not fully there. To me, Santa Cruz is the only maker that does a truly great job on real all-mountain carbon frames (up to this point, anyway). I personally would take my chances with dented metal than weakened carbon fiber any day of the week. The Genius isn't really as you say, an all-mountain bike. A newly converted road biker may feel it is, but as Midas said, it will feel very sketchy in comparison to something like a TranceX if going downhill, because of the leaned-forward body position of bikes of that type. Definitely an XC geometry. I'd shy away from it if you're working on getting more comfortable in rougher or steeper terrain.

    If you are starting to lean toward carbon, I'd check out something like a Santa Cruz Blur LTc. Extremely good bike for general AM riding. That VPP suspension is every bit as good as the Maestro to me, as well. If you want something bigger that will handle everything from steep climbs to big DH drops and everything in between, I'd look at a carbon Nomad. Very new, very pricey, but very very sexy. If those options are just too pricey, stick with aluminum. Tried, true, light and strong.
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  6. #6
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    i dont want to get into the whole validity for carbon an mountain bikes but they are covered in a very hard finish and i be very surprised if any kicked up pebles were actually breaking through to the carbon fiber.

  7. #7
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    Hey guys,

    Well, given the terrain here, and the relative degree of difficulty versus some of the trail descriptions of of the mtbr forum members, I'd say I shouldn't be too concerned about boulders. The odd ding I can live with, but cracks and anything that would compromise the integrity of the frame would have me looking elsewhere. I don't suspect I'm in that territory, though.

    I was curious about the terminology....pull versus compression. My guess is that the Trance would be more to my liking in that regard....a little more plush on nail-biting drops, and with the orientation further back, a bit more confidence inspiring. I'm starting to take more chances, but I still don't want to go to a forky downhill only bike.

    I'm actually not leaning toward carbon....no danger of becoming a whore (hey, how'd that pass the censors, huh?). I perhaps erroneously put the 30 on my wish list. I'd rather stay away from carbon for price reasons mainly. I know the premium (for me, at least) can't be justified. Weight savings, great. I might have meant to put up the 40.

    Moving from a hardtail, it might make sense to go with the geometry of the Scott, but, correct me if I'm wrong, but am I just moving to Anthem (to use a Trance vs Anthem analogy) territory by choosing the Scott? I don't see the need for the LT version, or its ilk, because I'm just telling myself to be a downhill-only rider. I just want the best all-round FS bike, that isn't racer-oriented (we just don't have miles and miles of contiguous trail here in Korea), but is still good for road, some tough climbs, descents with some drops (but no 2 or 3 foot drops), and single track.

    I know that it's tough to find a one-size-fits-all kind of solution, but there ya go....geez, it's 3 a.m. here....what the hell am I still doing up?

    Happy trailzzzzz

  8. #8
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    a pull shock is where the piston is pulled out of the shock body, dt swiss makes the equilizer for scott i think. a compression shock the piston gets pushed into the shock body. not sure which is more plush, any difference is probably due more to the linkage than the actual shock.

  9. #9
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    Thanks.

    The pull shock on the Scott looks a bit more cumbersome. A bit mean, but still bulky. Another poster had said that the Scott wins in terms of construction and fit, but the Trance in terms of suspension and overall ride. (If I'm summing his words up faithfully).

    My instincts are telling me that the Trance X1 is the one I'll go for. The Trance X2 fits the budget nicer, and I like the colour better, but wonder if I'll regret not getting the more responsive shifters, shock adjustability, and slightly lighter frame on the X1. The debate comes down to price alone.

    Happy trails.

  10. #10
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    i be warry of the equilizer only because it is a proprietary part.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by charging_rhinos
    That's wild, I've never heard of little pebbles denting a Giant's downtube at all
    A little misunderstanding there, I never said little pebbles, where I ride there's baby-head size rocks everywhere, loose rocks over rocks, rockgardens probably not the best environment for a Genius anyway(silly me for buying into Scott's categorization of the Genius as AM )

    I don't think there's something wrong with the bike because it dented: I tried to roll over a boulder, had a nasty contact with it, and that was it - even the bashguard looks very worn after a few months of riding. There's clearly a problem with the paint though - probably not common to all Giant frames - it chips away too easily, like it wasn't allowed enough time to dry or something. Send it back to the Giant importer in Greece??? That's a laugh!!! It took them two months to sort the problem with the wrong headset that came with the frame and that was only after I threatend with a lawsuit- it would probably take them a year to warrant the frame

    Happy trails, everyone

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by midas
    -snip-
    I don't think there's something wrong with the bike because it dented: I tried to roll over a boulder, had a nasty contact with it, and that was it - even the bashguard looks very worn after a few months of riding. There's clearly a problem with the paint though - probably not common to all Giant frames - it chips away too easily, like it wasn't allowed enough time to dry or something. Send it back to the Giant importer in Greece??? That's a laugh!!! It took them two months to sort the problem with the wrong headset that came with the frame and that was only after I threatend with a lawsuit- it would probably take them a year to warrant the frame

    Happy trails, everyone
    Yeah, I wondered if the swoopy downtube might get damaged where it can't be covered by a bashguard...

  13. #13
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    Hmmm....

    I find it curious that the Genius might NOT be considered all mountain, given its focus on flexibility of travel on both the front and rear suspension. I have a bit of trouble with the AM term anyway, as opposed to something considered more of a trail bike. Why not just call AM a downhill? Anyway, enough of semantics....

    The original reply was talking of the differences....bike geometry of the Genius being a bit sketchy on hills (both up and down). That made me ponder the efficacy of the suspension, more than tube angles. And of that, it seems very similar to the Trance. So what am I not getting? What would make the Scott the inferior bike over the Trance in them thar hills? Adjustability-on-the-fly aside, is their suspension system simply not as advanced and smooth as the Maestro's?

    Fit and finish, construction, dings and dents....my guess is there's pluses and minuses for aluminum and carbon....I would also think, as one of the posters opined, that today's carbon would be coated well enough that it would take a serious bang to break into the fibrous structure and cause frame integrity to be lost. Perhaps aluminum might hold up better in that regard.

    As I've said before, I want a capable all-round bike. I'm not going to the store for milk, and I'm not doing marathons, or serious ATV-like bombs over all kinds of terrain. I want the best bang for the buck most durable mtb for road, trails, go-up-and-go-down stuff, and increase my confidence in areas (specifically staggered series of drops, over roots, small rocks, etc.), since I'm using a HT with only 100 mm of travel. I would think that the Trance, with 125 mm would give me slightly more ability on the front, and the Maestro would help me sink down on the back end. The Genius just has that much more travel front and back, so why wouldn't it be superior? What am I missing?

    Thanks....and happy trails as always.

    Steve

  14. #14
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    Geometry:
    They are fairly similar, that's true. Especially with the new 2011 bikes. I actually went down to the local Scott dealer because of this thread just to check the genius out so I wouldn't be spraying false info. The head tube angle of the Genius is actually slightly more slack than that of the Trance, which seems due to the addition of the Talas fork on the front. But that seat tube angle, combined with the degree more slack head tube on the Scott seemed to make the Genius climb a bit strange. I think it felt better when the fork was brought down to a lower travel amount. Overall, it's construction is still seemingly more geared toward the light side of AM riding though. The ride felt more 'spindly', for a lack of a better word, than the trance. Maybe it had something to do with bottom bracket heights when riding, which i neglected to measure.

    Scott is trying hard to improve their image in the AM category, in which they have only had marginal success thus far. I totally respect that goal. The Genius is more AM than it used to be, for sure. I know others will disagree, but it still seemed like a road biker's AM bike more than a mountain biker's AM bike, if that makes sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve L. Knievel
    Adjustability-on-the-fly aside, is their suspension system simply not as advanced and smooth as the Maestro's?
    In a word, no. The Genius' suspension is not anywhere near as advanced as the Trance's. It is decent, and I don't want to bash it. But as far as pedaling efficiency and overall plushness is considered, well, there's no comparison. If you are worried that the Genius might be able to handle more varied terrain due to the larger amount of travel, don't be. A good suspension design will always trump one that has more travel (as you probably realize). I rode a custom DH bike once with 13" of rear travel, and it wasn't nearly as good as an 8" bike with a better suspension design.

    Regarding the bikes in question, on my test rides, I must again admit my Giant bias. I love 'em. But I did try to be as objective as possible, for what it's worth. I do love many things about Scott and their bikes, so I'm not a hater or anything. Ok, on to my impressions:

    Overall impressions: The Genius pleasantly surprised me. Nice and rigid frame (of course it was, it's got a great carbon lay-up). I did not, however like the rather jittery feel of the bike. The Giant was exactly as I suspected. Super solid performer up and down.

    Fast chop. The nemesis of many suspension systems. The Maestro tracked FAR better over choppy ground and felt much less like a rubber band than the Genius. Velvety smooth. Night and day difference. The Scott's back end felt a bit bouncey and harsh over hard chatter bumps and rocks while going fast.

    Small 2'-ish drops (one-hits on the suspension): Bigger one-hits were pretty smooth on the Scott. Nice damping. The Maestro felt similar on bigger hits.

    Climbing: The Giant did noticeably climb better than the Scott when I pedaled harder. The Scott started out climbing very well if I was pedaling lightly, but the harder I cranked, the bouncier it got. Adjusting the suspension couldn't get rid of it without adversely affecting the rest of the performance of the shock. The Trance's rear triangle progressively stiffened up more as I pedaled harder. Again, I admit my bias, but there was little comparison between the rear suspension of the two. Giant won that one.

    Lastly, I must say that suspension parts will eventually wear out. It'll be a LOT easier to replace something off the Trance than the Genius. Servicing that pull shock alone would seal the deal against it in my mind. There's a good reason most companies don't go with pull-style shocks any more.
    Last edited by charging_rhinos; 10-10-2010 at 05:37 PM.
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  15. #15
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    Rhinos,

    Thanks for yet another brilliant post. You fill in blank spaces with each response. I guess I needed it spelled out a bit more.

    As much as I think the Scott is clearly the better looking bike, I have found myself leaning toward the Trance. Is it because you write so well? Perhaps. I appreciate your unique insights and detailed responses. I've received plenty of glowing reports about the Scott, and my dealer friend here personally rides one....a 2007, I think. But if skittish is in the mix, count me out. Carbon's longevity relative to metal fatigue notwithstanding, I need to count rubles, and think of the drain of maintenance as well.

    Unless something else blows me away at the upcoming bike show here in Seoul (I'll be sure to bring the aforementioned bib), chances are I'll be riding a Trance before too long.

    Happy trails.

    Steve

  16. #16
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    steve i currently own a 2010 genius 10 and used to ride a 2010 trance. overall (which is what you seem to be looking for) the genius is the better bike in IMHO. i have owned a number of giants prior to purchasing the scott thus no bias whatsoever here.

    i have had no problems with the pull shock which is after all made by DT-Swiss. my bike is under warranty so if there is a problem with the shock i am sure it will be replaced. if it is out of warranty the cost of a new pull shock as far as i know is no more than of a new fox or RS. of course very difficult to find a second hand one. i suggest you make an effort if possible to ride both bikes, because the genius is under rated and if you read more around mtbr suspension design is one of many factors in choosing a bike.

  17. #17
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    Damn....my post disappeared into the ether.

    Thanks for your input.

    For me, suspension is 90% of the reason for the upgrade. Having something that plants firmly, tracks true, and doesn't bob and weave like Ali is what's on the shopping list.

    Availability of parts is important too, and having a dealer network. Here in Korea, I think both bikes are well represented.

    As for test rides, nope. Read mtb forums, blogs, go to the store and squeeze the brakes, sit on the seat, bounce up and down, make purchase.

    The last thing I want is to get my dream bike, get it out on the trails, and go SH#T!

    Hopefully the bike show in 2 weeks will answer a lot of questions for me. Here's hoping the light goes on in my head and I find the right one for me.

    Happy trails.

    Steve

  18. #18
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    Re: test rides.

    They simply are not offered or allowed here in Korea. Not when buying a new bike. And I don't know of places that really sell used, other than Craigslist and Korean sites, perhaps.

  19. #19
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    what about in the parking lot of the shop at least to give you a feel for each bike. surely when spending so much money your LBS would allow you to ride the bike even if it is to size it up. all i am saying is that they are different bikes and it comes down to the individual. i don't think one is better than the other for all people. just my 2c worth.

  20. #20
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    steve let me assure the genius carbon 'plants firmly, tracks true, and doesn't bob and weave like Ali'. hence, why i believe you need to test ride it because i am not sure what gave you that view. most good branded bikes (and the scott carbon genius is not cheap) that i have ridden no matter the suspension design plant firmly, track true, and don't bob and weave like Ali. i have many friends who can't even tell the difference in bob between single pivot, DW, maestro or VPP. and again 'planting firmly, tracking true, and no bob and weave like Ali' is not simply a factor of suspension.

  21. #21
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    Thanks, Rondet

    The Ali comment was my own....I was spinning off of a comment earlier about the Genius not having nearly the suspension of the Giant, nor tracking as well on climbs or being as capable on the downhills. Whether it's the reality for me or not I'll never find out. I won't buy both.

    Test rides, even in parking lots....being a foreigner here....or even if I were a local....I just don't know. If you've established a relationship with a LBS, perhaps you might be able to. Parking lots in Seoul are a rarity, unless under office towers. Sitting on the bike and getting a "feel" for it, is about all I can do. Return policies are non-existent. Customer service on the front end is exemplary here....absent after the purchase.

    Hence my posts. Doing as much "homework" as I possibly can. Thanks for your assitance.

    Happy trails

    Steve

  22. #22
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    in that case i feel for you as that is not a good environment to purchase an expensive bike, especially if you have a few in mind and never ridden either. research helps but it is no substitute. anyway, i would still insist on a short around the block test ride even if it is just to size up as that is a factor also. good luck and hope you make the right choice for you!

  23. #23
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    Thanks Rondet.

    I just got a reply from the Scott rep here in Korea. The 2011 Genius 30 won't arrive until Spring. The cost will be about a thousand more than is listed on the Scott USA site (3700 USD). That kinda sucks. I'm not sure if it puts it off the radar, but it just might. The bike looks so sweet. I just had one poster who was steering me away from the Scott (not trashing it, but singing the praises of the Trance).

    I'm sure both have their merits, and each to his own.....otherwise there'd be a one-size-fits all solution to all of our biking needs.

    I hope the Trance X1 is on the floor at the upcoming bike show....for side by side comparisons, I'm out of luck. I could compare the 2010 Scott with the '11 Trance. I'll either have to wait until March to see the new droolworthy 30, or just go with the Trance. Better than a kick in the nuts, either way.

    Happy trails

    Steve

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    I have the 2009 Scott Genius 50 which shares the same geometry with the 2011 Genius 30 (I have 150mm fork travel also). Looking at the spec below, why would the Trance be any better than Genius when climbing/descending? Everyone knows about the Equalizer shocks so let's put that on the side. Other than the rear shock, what else makes the Trance any better bike than Genius (handling wise... up/downhill).

    Thank you.
    **********************

    Spec: Scott (small)
    Head Angle 68.5
    Top Tube (horizontal) mm 555
    Seat Angle (degree) 73.5
    Wheelbase mm 1086
    Stem mm 80

    ****************

    Spec: 2011 Trance X1 (small)
    Head Angle 69.5
    Top Tube (horizontal) mm 559
    Seat Angle (degree) 73.5
    Wheelbase mm 1082
    Stem mm 70

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tjay
    I have the 2009 Scott Genius 50 which shares the same geometry with the 2011 Genius 30 (I have 150mm fork travel also). Looking at the spec below, why would the Trance be any better than Genius when climbing/descending? Everyone knows about the Equalizer shocks so let's put that on the side. Other than the rear shock, what else makes the Trance any better bike than Genius (handling wise... up/downhill).

    Thank you.
    **********************

    Spec: Scott (small)
    Head Angle 68.5
    Top Tube (horizontal) mm 555
    Seat Angle (degree) 73.5
    Wheelbase mm 1086
    Stem mm 80

    ****************

    Spec: 2011 Trance X1 (small)
    Head Angle 69.5
    Top Tube (horizontal) mm 559
    Seat Angle (degree) 73.5
    Wheelbase mm 1082
    Stem mm 70

    It's precisely the rear shock system that sets the new Scott apart from the TranceX, so you can't set that aside, really. The older Scotts were much more XC oriented bikes. The New ones are much more AM than they used to be for sure, and quite close in terms of frame measurements. But it's in the rear triangle where you'll find the performance gains of the Trance. The floating pivot linkage is simply superior in terms of absorption of rough terrain, and it climbs more efficiently than the Scott. You can tune the Scott to climb as well as the Giant, but you'll lose the bottomless feel that the Trance gets when descending. If you tune it for that side of the spectrum, you'll lose the climbing efficiency it can offer, and you'll either bob or rely completely on a platform valving system (the bike world's version of a band-aid fix). The Scott is a great bike. I just don't like it for the price.
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