Saturday, 11 February 2012

Hi-Posting it on a 29er

Just to show we don't just ride Cotic's here at Bikebrechfa - here's a notes on a couple of rides I had on a Scott Spark 29er Pro over the last couple of weeks.

I was offered the use of the Spark by Nicky a friend who works for Scott Sports now who came to the Brechfa Enduro a few weeks ago to show off their 2012 range - she left me the 'brand new' 29er with the parting words - look after it...

I had only ridden two 29ers previous to this therefore my experience with them is limited.  Until trying the Rumblefish by Trek a few weeks ago I thought they were for people of 5'11' and taller, however I was wrong!  I have ridden a fair variety of bikes in my 23 years of mountain biking but only 3 of those have not been 26" wheeled.  And so this year I thought I would dabble in something different

The Scott is a speed weapon for unashamed xc or marathon riders looking for a bike to dispense with vast distances in the most efficient way possible.  I rode it around the trails at Brechfa mostly including the 2012 Brechfa Enduro route and it beat me.  Lock the front and rear and it turns into a flat barred cross bike speeding along fireroads and up smooth climbs with ease, get into the rough and the big wheels roll so fast - you just need to hang on.

I was embarrassingly surprised at how easy the big wheels rolled over the rock water bars across the trail - giving no halting feedback through the bike unlike a 26er.  Tight and technical roots and twistys are the achilles heel of this spark spitting me off on one of my favourite muddy/rooty chutes.

Big mileage over big terrain this bike is awesome, just delivering you at the end in a mess as you feel you should be pushing your speed barrier the whole ride.  Fast flowing singletrack is taken at speeds higher than should be capable of.  This is a marathon racers dream - not for twisty technical riding this bike is definitely for those of the racing persuasion over long miles.  Having completed in many long distance events I think this bike could have upped my results in all the races I have ever completed.

Personally I feel I need more time on different 29ers to really see if they are the future or if they are just another bike that is suitable for certain types of terrain/rides - a Cotic Solaris is on order for our hire fleet so maybe in a few months we'll see....  As for the Scott, well if I ever decide to take marathon racing seriously in the future this would be the bike I would want to do it on.  If you would like to see a short video on the Scott - see our YouTube Channel.

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