Should I be on an XC? Do I look fat in these Lycra shorts?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    Should I be on an XC? Do I look fat in these Lycra shorts?

    Just digesting MBA's February magazine...buyer's guide...hmmm...

    I've been into mountain bikes for a good while...more then a decade. My ride has always been hardtail and I can remember owning a bike or two with a solid front fork.

    I ride trails...technical stuff...Chicopee Woods, Gainesville College...Georgia Mountains. The trails are tight single track, rough, plenty of roots and rocks. I bounce along pretty well and can average 9-10mph on a good day.

    My primary ride is a Scott Scale equipped with XT, Mavic, Easton, Thompson...good stuff.

    According to MBA's "Buyer's Guide" on page 56-57 I belong on a Dual Suspension Trailbike. They classify the hardtail rider as one who rides "urban bike paths"... is that like my driveway?

    If you look on page 48, MBA defines the "Cross Country" hardtail as a racing platform which is light and designed for "bunny hops" and "moderate technical terrain". MBA says these bikes are not crash worthy or durable.

    My how things have changed! I rode a steel hardtail, no suspension on black diamond trails in my younger days!

    I was out for a while, and then got back in. I bought what appeared to me to be what I was raised on...only a little lighter...a little cooler...the bike I wanted when I was 19.

    What's your thoughts here? I ride my Scale on the same trails that most people are riding with full suspension. Am I going to end up breaking this bike? I've got a chunk of change into this bike...and I've been eyeing up the Trance for 6 months now.

    My current bike, in my opinion is "done, finished"...meaning I wouldn't change a thing because I like the way it performs. My concern here is that I am going to twist this thing into a pretzel...my moto has always been "you can go over anything as long as you hit it hard enough" ... your thoughts brothers?
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  2. #2
    EDR
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    MBA sucks gonads.

    You ride your ht on trials most people ride their fs bikes because most people ride fs bikes...well, everywhere. Myself included.

    Enjoy your ride. Get a bigger stronger bike if start hitting obstacles and drops/jumps or if you are looking for a change. Change is fun. Change is good.

  3. #3
    Seeeriously easy Livin
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    The hardtail is not dead, check out the post up your hardtails thread for proof, that bike doesn't apear to have any questioable lightweight parts on it, the wheels and the frame probably won't last more than a few seasons if you really ride like you say, but they shouldn't outright fail on you. I sugest you ride the snot out of that bike, and in the mean time keep an eye out for any demo trailers heading your way to see if you can get some trail time on some full suspension bikes with modern agressive geometry, to see if they tickle your fancy.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by eatdrinkride
    MBA sucks gonads.
    Gonna echo this one, its a point worth reiterating. MBA really does suck gonads. Like fat hairy dude in speedo's thinking he's "euro" but is really sh!tty white trash hairy gonads.

    Hardtails are rad. I like full suspension more. I love bikes. Its a matter of preference, I can climb and descend faster on a trail FS bike then on a hardtail. I can do bigger stuff on a FS bike. I can have twice the amount of fun, and be forced to pick my lines with way more care with a hardtail. I have a 3-5K dollar high end botique DH bike. The other day I did a run of my local DH on my roommates 75 dollar used low end haro DJ bike with a broken rst fork (the chassis was ok), and had an absolute blast.

    Bikes are fun. That scott looks great, ride it and enjoy.

  5. #5
    Big Gulps, Alright!
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    Everything printed in MBA should be taken with a grain of salt. e.g. the editors need to get off their knees when it comes to reviewing bikes and maintaining advertising dollars.

    I can't tell from the photos and dont know much about the bike, but if the frame is carbon, you might want to change your motto or get another bike. Otherwise, carry on riding. Another instance of marketing making a rider feel their bike is inadequate (it's what they do).

    EDIT: Nice ride, by the way
    Axle Standards Explained

    Founder at North Atlantic Dirt, riding & writing about trails in the northeast.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flystagg
    The hardtail is not dead, check out the post up your hardtails thread for proof, that bike doesn't apear to have any questioable lightweight parts on it, the wheels and the frame probably won't last more than a few seasons if you really ride like you say, but they shouldn't outright fail on you. I sugest you ride the snot out of that bike, and in the mean time keep an eye out for any demo trailers heading your way to see if you can get some trail time on some full suspension bikes with modern agressive geometry, to see if they tickle your fancy.
    Maybe I should stop reading MBA...

    I've been allover the hardtail thread. I wanted your opinion...the All Mountain, FS guys.

    I didn't think for a minute about aluminum frames when I bought this bike...I've been hearing "weak" and "thin metal" way too often now.

    Maybe it's the internet that's ruining everything...I remember guys breaking frames, scratching their heads and buying the same bike again. It seems nowadays everyone has an opinon and it's hard to figure out who is correct.

    I think I'm getting quirky in my old age. You know...its like you should never use a flat head screwdriver in a phillips head screw...even if it will fit...cause its not meant for that screw...I feel like I'm using the wrong bike. Do I make sense here?

    MBA says hardtails...I am assuming they are referring to the new lightweight aluminum...are for urban bike paths...more or less BMX tracks and combed XC. There's none of that where I live.

    Anyway...thanks for the replies. I seem to be attracted to the full suspension bikes but I haven't worked up the cahonies to make the switch.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkley
    Everything printed in MBA should be taken with a grain of salt. e.g. the editors need to get off their knees when it comes to reviewing bikes and maintaining advertising dollars.

    I can't tell from the photos and dont know much about the bike, but if the frame is carbon, you might want to change your motto or get another bike. Otherwise, carry on riding. Another instance of marketing making a rider feel their bike is inadequate (it's what they do).

    EDIT: Nice ride, by the way
    It's not carbon...I bought the Scale 70 because I liked the team paint scheme. I stripped everything off the bike except the rear derallier and replaced it with what you see.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by William42
    Gonna echo this one, its a point worth reiterating. MBA really does suck gonads. Like fat hairy dude in speedo's thinking he's "euro" but is really sh!tty white trash hairy gonads.

    Hardtails are rad. I like full suspension more. I love bikes. Its a matter of preference, I can climb and descend faster on a trail FS bike then on a hardtail. I can do bigger stuff on a FS bike. I can have twice the amount of fun, and be forced to pick my lines with way more care with a hardtail. I have a 3-5K dollar high end botique DH bike. The other day I did a run of my local DH on my roommates 75 dollar used low end haro DJ bike with a broken rst fork (the chassis was ok), and had an absolute blast.

    Bikes are fun. That scott looks great, ride it and enjoy.
    Thanks for the response...very cool!

    I think you're right...I forget how much fun I have riding everytime I put the bike in the garage. It's raining, cold and very muddy here...has been for the last month. Maybe I just need to suck it up and ride in the mud so I can remember why I got this thing.

    Thanks!

  9. #9

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    Your bike looks like it will take what ever you throw at it.Enjoy it!!!
    iI run a carbon scale and its sheer bliss.Fast Responsive and goes where i point it!!
    Ive tried a full sussa in the past it wasnt for me but each to his own.
    Here,s a picture or two of mine.although new pictures are needed as its got lots more new parts fitted...

    http://liverpoolfc.pinkbike.com/album/my-ride/

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by crankmeister
    Your bike looks like it will take what ever you throw at it.Enjoy it!!!
    iI run a carbon scale and its sheer bliss.Fast Responsive and goes where i point it!!
    Ive tried a full sussa in the past it wasnt for me but each to his own.
    Here,s a picture or two of mine.although new pictures are needed as its got lots more new parts fitted...

    http://liverpoolfc.pinkbike.com/album/my-ride/

    Sweet Scale!

  11. #11

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    Cheers Sally....So wheres these lycra shorts HA!!!

    Only thing i would consider changing on your bike is those wheels they are extremely heavy for an XC bike.
    My Mavic Crossrides will soon be on ebay they are just to heavy!!!

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by crankmeister
    Cheers Sally....So wheres these lycra shorts HA!!!

    Only thing i would consider changing on your bike is those wheels they are extremely heavy for an XC bike.
    My Mavic Crossrides will soon be on ebay they are just to heavy!!!
    I ride road too...my friends make fun of me because I wear tights and road shorts on the trail...I've got my seat post up in the air...but HEY! I can spin up a climb like you would not believe!

    I agree on the wheels...when I was putting this bike together I bought OE take offs and looked for discount parts. These wheels came new, complete with Kenda Nevegel tubeless for $375 shipped. I thought it was a great deal!

    I'm working a road build for the spring so I will have to wait for more funding before I buy new wheels.

  13. #13
    Ride Responsibly
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    Ride what YOU enjoy. screw those who tell you otherwise. One good reason to switch to full suspension is if your back is sore after rides, rear suspension takes a lot of beating away from the ride. In my opinion, there are plenty of cross country full suspension bikes that can come close to hardtail efficiency while providing the benefits of a softer ride. Articles telling newbies what bikes to ride have there place in helping to decide a ride, but the one mentioned in the Op sounds a little narrow minded.
    Try out a bunch of different bikes, buy a Superlight, turn the Scott into a singlespeed.

  14. #14
    Doctor
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    Yeah, ..where's those lycra shorts?

    jeff

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    Im still running tubes (Conti supersonics) one day i will try the tubeless route.
    With you paying dollars for your wheels i take it your in the States? north or south??
    I,m in England UK (near manchester) winter has set in and its bloody freezing! But that doesnt stop me riding my bike!!
    Ive also joined the gym too, so im hoping when summer does arrive i have the strength and stamina to leave my friends eating my dust!!

    Road bike?? hmm what you got in mind? Ive just sold my Scott S40.i much prefer MTB even on the road!! but that again is my preference which doesnt suit everyone.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkley
    Everything printed in MBA should be taken with a grain of salt.

    EDIT: Nice ride, by the way
    I agree.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  17. #17
    Ride and Smile
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    As long as its fun

    Riding a hard tail was fun. Then fs came, then long travel xc, then all mountain enduro. Each bike I got ended having more travel and was more fun and to my surprise the weight didn't matter. My riding changed, comfort and enjoyment level went up. I just spent 3 months riding in Moab on a 6" bike weighing 35lbs and had more fun than I've ever had on a bike. I can also do things on this bike I could never do before.

    I do see the issue of weight on the climbs, but I don't think I'll be riding any sub 30lb bikes. Currently I'm putting together a 7" bike that should weigh the same as my 6" bike. I believe you can ride any bike and have fun. I also believe there is a reason most people ride fs bikes - for most people, they are more fun. For me it is way more fun! Try a Trance, Try a Reign, if you are curious, find out. What have you got to lose? perhaps only early fatigue and pain!

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by crankmeister
    Im still running tubes (Conti supersonics) one day i will try the tubeless route.
    With you paying dollars for your wheels i take it your in the States? north or south??
    I,m in England UK (near manchester) winter has set in and its bloody freezing! But that doesnt stop me riding my bike!!
    Ive also joined the gym too, so im hoping when summer does arrive i have the strength and stamina to leave my friends eating my dust!!

    Road bike?? hmm what you got in mind? Ive just sold my Scott S40.i much prefer MTB even on the road!! but that again is my preference which doesnt suit everyone.

    Southeast...Georgia. I rode a Speedster S20. The seat stays cracked and I was upgraded to a newer frame. I am supposed to be getting a 2009 CR1 Pro but I am trying to shmooze my way onto an Addict SL. Either way this will be my very first carbon bike.

    I've got a spin bike in the office too...I ride at least three times a week for an hour on that...cold and wet here too.

  19. #19
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    Mountain Bike Fiction

    I also like how the magazine is written for people in cali and swUSA. 17" travel FS "trail bikes", with MASSIVE high volume Kenda Small Block 8 tires. Hey MBF, not everyone lives on the mesa!I live on the east coast and OUR trails are like you georgian trails, tight, twisty, and dark. I ride a multitide of bikes including, oh my, a RIGID ss. It's amazing I can even make it back to trailhead with such a simple bike.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by gop427
    Mountain Bike Fiction

    I also like how the magazine is written for people in cali and swUSA. 17" travel FS "trail bikes", with MASSIVE high volume Kenda Small Block 8 tires. Hey MBF, not everyone lives on the mesa!I live on the east coast and OUR trails are like you georgian trails, tight, twisty, and dark. I ride a multitide of bikes including, oh my, a RIGID ss. It's amazing I can even make it back to trailhead with such a simple bike.

    LMAO!

    Those single speed guys are sick!

    I'm still looking at this rag...the front cover reads "150 Bikes for you to choose" and then pictures 6 big dollar full suspension bikes. I would think that if you were doing a buyers guide you would focus more on luring people into the sport with reasonable bikes.

    My God...there is even a DS 29'er on page 104. Man I thought 26 inch wheels were big when I traded my Haro Master in!

  21. #21
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    But in all fairness, that MBA article does say that trailbikes and bikes designed for black diamond stuff could include hardtails. But aside from all that, it sounds like your Scott is a great choice for the type of riding you do.
    "Caught my first tube this morning....sir!"

  22. #22
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    It looks appropriate to me. There's super twitch ultralight XC hardtails, but the scale isn't one of them. Scales are nice bikes, just don't go looking for the biggest jumps you can find and it will be a nice light stable XC bike that should hold up fine. You just can't categorize all bikes in 5 categories, and MBF is full of crap whenever they do that.

    A 4-5" travel dually trailbike might suit your riding better, in theory, but if you're happier riding a hardtail, then the dually is totally wrong.


    Sweet bike, i'd ride the wheels off it, but it's not 'all mountain.'
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
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  23. #23
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    look MBA just wants to sell you shiet...it's not about what kind of bike you got but how you ride your bike
    "He can make even a global summit meeting seem like a kegger." M. Dowd, NY Times, 19 July 2006

  24. #24
    Huh?
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    I read this thread for Lycra shorts. I feel the same way now as I felt when I saw "To Kill a Mockingbird."

  25. #25
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    Those wheels aren't crossrides, those look to be the new 2009 crosstrails.

    Quote Originally Posted by crankmeister
    Cheers Sally....So wheres these lycra shorts HA!!!

    Only thing i would consider changing on your bike is those wheels they are extremely heavy for an XC bike.
    My Mavic Crossrides will soon be on ebay they are just to heavy!!!

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkelley383
    Those wheels aren't crossrides, those look to be the new 2009 crosstrails.
    You're right...these are the new Crosstrails...

    I missed that comment...

  27. #27
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    all i have to say is dont listen to any one but your self if you love you bike ride it hard if you brake it buy one that you think is what you need and like if you think you can take a hardtale on a DH trail go for it if you think you need a FS bike for a XC trail than go for that it is completely your preference

  28. #28
    squish is good
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharpbrick
    all i have to say is dont listen to any one but your self if you love you bike...
    Especially if it's MBA that is telling you your wrong... yah, they suck.

    I have a hardtail that would boggle their mind...
    Bike good, work bad.

  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sally Scale
    You're right...these are the new Crosstrails...

    I missed that comment...
    OOPS sorry for that comment on your wheels i thought they were cross rides
    Ive never run cross trails so i cant comment on there performance.they have to be much better than the cheaper crossrides.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by William42
    Gonna echo this one, its a point worth reiterating. MBA really does suck gonads. Like fat hairy dude in speedo's thinking he's "euro" but is really sh!tty white trash hairy gonads.

    Bikes are fun. That scott looks great, ride it and enjoy.
    I like MBA but damn that's hilarious!!

    Agree with the general point being made - don't worry if your bike isn't in the right MBA "category," just ride whatever feels good & enjoy yourself. MBA's suggestions probably work well for people shopping for their first bike, but those of us who've been riding for a while should trust our own opinions before MBA's.

    Your scott looks pretty sweet to me. Imagine you'd probably enjoy that Giant you discussed too.

    I've got a hardtail & a f/s. Tend to ride the f/s more than the hardtail & occasionally find myself staring at the hardtail & thinking about selling it. Then I'll ride the hardtail & love it cuz it's so fast & light. Still have the hardtail (cannondale f600 w/fox f120rlc) & doubt I'll ever get rid of it but still tend to ride the f/s more.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by B-Mac
    I like MBA but damn that's hilarious!!

    Agree with the general point being made - don't worry if your bike isn't in the right MBA "category," just ride whatever feels good & enjoy yourself. MBA's suggestions probably work well for people shopping for their first bike, but those of us who've been riding for a while should trust our own opinions before MBA's.

    Your scott looks pretty sweet to me. Imagine you'd probably enjoy that Giant you discussed too.

    I've got a hardtail & a f/s. Tend to ride the f/s more than the hardtail & occasionally find myself staring at the hardtail & thinking about selling it. Then I'll ride the hardtail & love it cuz it's so fast & light. Still have the hardtail (cannondale f600 w/fox f120rlc) & doubt I'll ever get rid of it but still tend to ride the f/s more.

    I agree. My hardtail has not been riddin in months. But i will never get rid of it. I have been thinking of making it a SS.

    If you have your heart set on a F/S then buy a used one off craigslist or something and ride it for a while. If you like it, ride it or sell it and get a better one. If you don''t like it sell it and you wont loose any money.

  32. #32
    Maaaaan
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    The Scale is not well known in the States, but it's a solid bike. I have built a few a couple of years ago, when I worked at a local shop.
    I wouldn't worry too much about MBA's sometimes strange statements.
    While I prefer my 140mm San Andreas, I sometimes take my 96, rigid framed, Trek 820, cromo bike to Bootleg. It's not as fast, but it's still fun once in awhile. Mostly the axles tweak on the Trek with an occasional bottle cage break. It's just old school.
    A good short travel dually is faster in rough terrain, but there is nothing wrong with your hardtail.

    If your happy, that's the bottom line.

    MBA is weird. I just read a great article on staying warm in winter that happened to be good advice, but then I read other things that are insane.
    The Dec. 08 issue was actually pretty good.
    Communist Party Member Since 1917.

  33. #33
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    I almost thought i knew you... You started saying you rode a scale in North georiga, younger, riding tens years...i know a guy by the same criteria...weird. Chicopee is definatly a trail for hardtails as it is a smoother trail, and very flowing, but Bull and Jake mountain will kick your ### on a hardtail, I'm impressed . A lot of the guys I race with in North georgia ride hardtails, but i couldn't do it on some trails we ride.. Nice bike btw. A scale is probably my next mtb.
    Dont wait, procrastinate now!

  34. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by spartan034
    I almost thought i knew you... You started saying you rode a scale in North georiga, younger, riding tens years...i know a guy by the same criteria...weird. Chicopee is definatly a trail for hardtails as it is a smoother trail, and very flowing, but Bull and Jake mountain will kick your ### on a hardtail, I'm impressed . A lot of the guys I race with in North georgia ride hardtails, but i couldn't do it on some trails we ride.. Nice bike btw. A scale is probably my next mtb.

    Cool!

    Which way are going? Carbon or Aluminum?

  35. #35
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Hardtails are cool, and I have one myself, but your rig looks like an XC racing rig to me. For the longest times, magazines and dealers and everyone in the sport pushed XC racing rigs as the "top drawer mountain bike". If you wanted to be serious about mountain biking, you had to get an XC racing rig.

    Unless you're out there doing lots of XC races, I doubt that bike is the right bike for you in the long run. You can surely have a hardtail, but that bike is probably overkill for XC in terms of riding position, weight, and components. You could have a lot more comfort on a hardtail and not sacrifice any speed, heck a 29er may even gain you some speed, even though it will be heavier. People seem to be drawn to a bike that is a few pounds ligher, thinking it's going to give them some sort of tangible advantage. It's still 98% the rider, and if you are 98% of what a racer is, be it XC, DH or whatever, then you might need a top-drawer bike to be competative. Some riders are strong, some are weak. A less than strong rider shouldn't choose a bike because it's a bit lighter...it's intangible 99.9% of the time.

    Sorry to be the downer in this thread, but everytime I see bikes like that I wonder if the person really utilizes them, and if not then why they aren't on something a bit more comfortable/suitable? Yeah, MBA's definition of a hardtail as an "XC racing platform" is complete BS...but that bike IS an XC racing platform, whereas other hardtails aren't.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  36. #36
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    Nice Scale you got there.

    My first 'real' MTB was a Scale 50, 2005 model - so I've only been riding seriously for nearly 4 years (seriously being a relative term). The Scale is without a doubt an XC bike - the geometry is specifically setup for that. Which is why the guys that race XCO in the World Cup for Scott are on Scales (albeit carbon versions that weigh a buck-oh-five). Some are moving to the Spark I've noticed, but that's pretty much a Scale with a bit of travel out back.

    Anyway, I was extremely happy with my light & responsive aluminium framed Scott, and even as my riding started leaning more towards rougher, rockier trails at higher speeds, and more downward oriented, the Scale held up to the abuse. Few more creaks and groans from the frame, but I was getting down some black diamond DH trails taking the B-lines without breaking the bike or anything like that. The only problem was that it felt pretty sketcky the faster I got.

    Shortly after we starting riding these sorts of trails, one of my friends got a Speccy Enduro, and I saw the difference it makes to have thicker, tougher forks with a through-axle, 6in of travel in the rear, and a more upward, laid-back geometry. Where on my Scale I would pick a path through a rock garden, on this thing you can just plow through it much faster.

    As many have suggested, ride the heck outta your bike. Ride it as hard as you're willing to give. I suspect it would break if you hit some serious drops or landed badly (esp if you weight a bit), but other than that it's a tough little bike. If you want to go much faster over gnarlier terrain, I'd upgrade.

  37. #37
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    What Happened?

    I used to ride allot in high school and before college, I then got out due to college basketball eating all my time. I am now getting back into it 10 years later and don't know what to think. Prices on forks was crazy and a fancy bike was well out of our budgets. We would bomb over anything on whatever we were riding. Now they started categorizing everything and riding a rigid is cool . It seems that these categories are all to confuse the hell out of us. I just ordered my custom frame and it took me a month to figure out what all this stuff means. I came to one conclusion and my old train of thought. Im going to bomb over what I want on what I want. So sweet ride and who cares what category its in.
    Live Large

  38. #38
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    In my opinion its pretty simple:

    Feel comfortable riding the bike on your trails of choice? No parts breaking or bending (wheels are usually the weak spot on light hardtails)?

    If you can answer both questions with Yes, then you got the right bike. Enjoy!

  39. #39
    CoolArrow
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    Can't miss a chance to slam MBA

    You have a very keen ride, which I'm sure you are quite comfortable with. MBA is the last mag that I would look at for a definition of anything I rode most of last season on a rigid single speed, from dusty desert mesas to Colorado High Country. Had a blast on it.

    It sounds like you know what you like, I wouldn't let the latest propaganda sway you...

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