Scott Week in Deer Valley

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by Byron on Jul 27, 2014 at 8:14 AM

I spent a week riding hardtail, enduro, trail, freeride, downhill, AND road bikes with Scott. Here’s my take…

Apparently I never used my T-Rex-style, cyclist-adapted arms for anything but steering and steadying myself on bike, cause they hurt after 3 days of lift riding during the first 1/2 of Scott Week. 

Twinlock control on the Genius locks out the suspensions while the XTR stops the break and the SRAM XO-1 propels it.

Pushed, clicked, and shifted every knob and lever hanging off a bar so wide, crows could flock on it. At times, that meant I wasn’t in the right gear at all, and my seat was dropped too low or high. 

Genius LT Tuned (long travel and the best spec)

Eventually I forget about the rear wheel, realizing it’ll follow the leader, I just steered the front, focused on the good lines. Letting go of all I knew about keeping a cross bike upright in the mud helped too, it was like I’d unlocked the next level. On a CX bike, it’s a constant balancing act between the wheels and always pedaling for traction. Leaning into a berm with the Genius, my thoughts were only on the distance from A to B, and the next turn.

After the Genius, I rode a Scott Gambler and caught some air with it, about the width of a credit card. It maybe the most appropriately named bike since the Tarmac. On it, I broke even.

Compared to levers and switches hanging off the wide-as-a-church-door bar on the Genius, the fewer controls on this bike can be summed up as muscle memory.

Gambler on top of the mountain, near the microwave towers.

A well-designed, big-hit bike allows you to just point and shoot; there’s no need to pick a line, just roll across the terrain like you’re in a Desert Storm driving a Hummer.

I finished my mountain runs on the 2015 version of a Voltage. The Swiss engineer that designed it for freeriders, asked how it went. I tried to sound like I had some authoritative knowledge with, ‘A bit tight.’ Then he told me in extensive detail how the suspension coil was too large for me and I should try a medium next.

“Alright,” I replied and took a big pull from a hydration pack bite valve. 

I just thought it was super fun with my arms up and out in the attack position, standing on the pedals, demanding, “what else this double-black trail got?”

Voltage in the Aspens before a double-black trail

Scott’s road engineer assured me with thru-axles, there was no brake steer or fork shudder, and he wasn’t lying. Descending from the lodge on a twisty road towards Silver Lake, I pushed it until the Contis felt twitchy. On the big hits, the seat cluster took the brunt willingly, and with the next turn of the pedals the bike was back in line, tracking true.

Impressive. 

The Scott marketing language describes the Solace with “zones.” One for comfort and the other power. Translate that to mean Scott has found a fine balance between horizontal stiffness and lateral compliance. A bike that accelerates well with all-day comfort is what all manufacturers are chasing now. In the past couple decades, the bike industry figured out stiffness, and now performance comfort is what their CAD programs are crunching. 

Solace with disc balances performance and comfort

Speaking of the back in the day, their was a time when getting a new pair of shoes for road or mountain was a two-week ordeal. You had to break them in, they rubbed you raw for a while, and not anymore. Scott handed me these shoes at the start of the week and I rode them everyday. The fit was near perfect with no breaking in. 

Team comps MTB fit great and are very comfortable

When you look at Scott’s complete line of road and mountain, it’s no surprise they’re staffed with industry veterans and making products as good or better than any other company in the industry. They don’t refer to themselves as the other S, but if you’re interested in a quieter company spending less on marketing and more on engineering and development, find a dealer near you. I recommend them for the shoes alone.

The only complaint was their water bottles are a few generations behind the big-pour, soft-squeeze version standards on the market today, like the Purist or Camelbak Podium.

 

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The Case for Nibali’s Win

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by Byron on Jul 26, 2014 at 6:07 AM

Nibali

The cheering kid, the man with a camera for an arm, her very French, Cest la vie hair stylings…and Nibali gaining more time

Bike Hugger Magazine contributor, Patrick Brady makes the case for Nibali on his blog, Red Kite Prayer.

While the credibility of professional cycling certain merits skepticism, epithets and innuendo simply accelerate a race to the bottom. What if the sport is in the midst of rebuilding its integrity, and Nibali’s impending victory is the rightful result of talent, training, teamwork, and timing? If evidence shall be required to support accusations, what is needed to restore credibility?

Our policy is, if they test nonnegative then we discuss, until then Nibaly was 3 minutes off the Reis Hautacam record. That’s not extra terrestrial and, as he said himself, he acquired a 7 minute lead over 20 stages

I’m very different than Lance,” said Nibali, whose news conference manner is certainly far less combative than Armstrong’s. “I haven’t done one huge performance. I got 30 seconds here, 40 seconds there.”

And hey I rode a new Tarmac like he’s racing earlier this year.

Photo: Photigule uploaded to Flickr

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He’s Not Racing Road with these….

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by Byron on Jul 25, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Camo

ballah

Didn’t know I wanted Camo Sidis with pink socks until I saw Blake wearing them last night. Blake is getting ready for Cross season…that starts for us immediately after the Tour. And we’re getting real restless about it.

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Short History of Tour Time Trials

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by Byron on Jul 25, 2014 at 9:15 AM


With the time trail stage tomorrow, the Tour uploaded this video sharing the history of the race of truth. The edit includes Indurain blowing past Lance when he was wearing the world champ jersey.

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Le Tour Stage 18 Recap: 7 Minutes

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by Byron on Jul 24, 2014 at 1:15 PM

Nibali alone

Finishes alone

Stage 18 Recap: What can you do in 7 minutes? Nibali is winning the Tour.

Being discussed more than his win, is the women with the phone he shoulder checked…

On G+ and Facebook.

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Le Tour Stage 17 Recap: A Hot Mess

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by Byron on Jul 23, 2014 at 8:47 AM

and hey…

In this Tour, anything goes…winking is contrary to every narrative ever written abut the human condition and suffering in the Pyrenees. So why not take a pull from the moto?

Then wheelie across the finish tomorrow.

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Slaying the Badger is on Tonight

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by Byron on Jul 22, 2014 at 1:06 PM

Our friends from Rapha reminded me that tonight on ESPN, is Slaying the Badger. Check your local listings and read the entire first chapter from the book

In the midst of competition, Hinault attempted to snatch victory like a furious, clawing rodent… he acted not only for himself but for a nation horrified that its great race might be hijacked by an American outlaw.

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Le Tour Stage 16 Recap: Take a Bow

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by Byron on Jul 22, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Take a Bow

Take a bow, photo @JoshRBurrows

Voeckler tries to steal the show, but in the Pyrenees, Mick Rogers takes a bow.

And a press car was where it shouldn’t be….

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Rest Day for Us Too

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by Byron on Jul 21, 2014 at 1:44 PM

In the trees Mayne

In the Aspens, mayne, with a nice whip

A rest day for the Tour and one for us to get caught up on photos, videos, and words after a week on the road in Vegas for SXSW, then Scott Week. Here’s a storied, swipey, touchy version of my Genius LT Tuned ride.

dials and stuff

Lots of things to push, click, and switch

And if you’re into that sort of industry intrigue, at the high end, Scott specs SRAM drivetrains with XTR brakes. I pushed and clicked everything hanging off that bar and it all worked splendidly. Even flipped the chip, which switches the geo from short to long.

Also see this vignette on Medium about the Voltage I rode too.

Rode a Freeride Bike

After I’m through the 5 gigs of photos taken, they’ll get shared like this one in the G+ gallery.

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