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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