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2015 Scott Scale 700SL: Pcad's on trail ride review

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2015 Scott Scale 700SL: Pcad's on trail ride review

Old 04-18-15, 10:52 PM
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2015 Scott Scale 700SL: Pcad's on trail ride review

Got this bike in January, finally got it out in the woods a few times this past week. Riding impressions: I've spent 25+ years riding 26" wheel MTBs, so this is the first bike I've ridden with a larger wheel size. 29" has essentially replaced 26" wheels in recent years, this 700sl has 27.5" (650b) sized wheels. The first thing I noticed is how much easier tha 27.5" wheels roll over stuff, it really makes all the technical stuff half as hard. The idea with 27.5" is that the are supposed to confer most of the benefits of rollability of the 29" wheels, but they're much lighter and more agile. I've never ridden a 29er, so I can't compare them, but it seemed to me the first few times in the woods that the bike kind of felt like a 26" wheel MTB but it rolled over stuff much better, yet it still felt agile and flickable. That was my impression, that's what the magazine reviewers who ride everything generally say, they like it. Seemed to make the technical stuff like rock gardens, roots, etc. half as hard. Just rolls over stuff much better.

The 700sl is a carbon fiber hard tail, and it feels kind of rigid yet floaty at the same time, perfect for what I wanted, less springy feeling than the Ti MTBs I've ridden, but the bike is so much lighter than any MTB I've ever had. I don't ride that much in the woods, maybe 30-60 minutes at a time, and then I ride to and from the places where I MTB If I was spending 1-3 hour sessions banging trails, I'd get a full suspension. But for my riding, the hard tail works out fine. This bike is about as light as MTBs can get with stock high end components, under 20 lbs with pedals (real world weight I observed on my digital scale). The Bikes Direct Motobecane Fly Ti MTB that this replaced weighed more like 23.5+ lbs., and that was a light Ti frame with XTR components. So while this Scott is crazy light, it's built like a tank, you could ride it off Niagra falls and not break it. It's the lightest CF MTB frame out there, it has CF rims, That SRAM XX drivetrain that saves weight etc. The Syncros components from Scott all look like world class stuff that belongs on a bike of this caliber (stem, rims, hubs, seat post, bars, etc.). The brakes are Shimano XTR discs, and those are SO much better than the Avid brakes on my old bike that were like $300 brakes but always rubbed. These XTR brakes are far better.

Essentially the 700sl frame itself is a slightly dumbed down version (i.e., mellower, more normal angles that ordinary humans who aren't world class MTB racers can ride) of the super aggressive version of the bicycle that was ridden to the last two consecutive MTB XC World Cup titles, so it has racing credentials. The 1 x 11 Sram drivetrain seems to be the hot spec, all the high end MTB XC racing bikes have this spec now. The Fox front fork feels amazing, and the two stage lockout is very cool, you can lock it out or half way, which allows some boing, but not as much as when you have no lockout at all.

It will need more aggressive tires, it comes with weight weenie rubber to keep the spec weight down, I'll probably replace them with slightly fatter tires with more aggressive knobbies and maybe then the bike weighs a tick over 20lbs when you put it on the digital scale. You know the drill here. Had to do it with my last MTB from 2008 as well. A lot of the manufacturers do this.

Bottom line: light, fast, comfortable, just a very fun and cool bicycle, on road or off. State of the art for an MTB hard tail bicycle. Sophisticated engineering but a very simple setup, so you can just ride, and not worry about anything, including dropping your chain.

Last edited by patentcad; 04-18-15 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 04-20-15, 09:57 AM
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Sounds like a very fast racing machine. I would install fatter tires for sure, but the rear clearance could be an issue.
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Old 04-20-15, 05:34 PM
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There is something about the Scott bikes I really like,,

I'm on the lowest component spec Scott Spark 760 (27.5"), before that the Entry Level Scott Aspect 940, (29er)
And I came from 26" hard tails.

Your views on the 27.5" are IMO dead on the mark.

For me, not the strongest rider out there, (I consider myself a weekend warrior, I'm no Racer), the 29er may have rolled over things a little better than the 27.5" but the extra mass and flex of the 29er demanded very expensive wheel sets that I could never afford.

I no longer need the In vogue wide bars with the 27.5 and that makes for a faster ride in the tree's. I have lots of tree's..
The wider bars helped overcome the extra gyro effect of the 29er, the wide bars also helped hide the wheel flex.

The wheel/tire mass was a deal breaker for me. I just did not have the engines to accelerate the 29er like I can the 27.5"
The stiffer lighter wheel/tire combo of the 27.5" makes a world of difference for me.

On the 29er no matter how much I worked at it super tight up or down hill switch backs were a major pain to navigate.
On the 27.5", never a problem up hill or down.

I'm 5' 11" 175 pounds , I felt I rode ON TOP of the 29er,,I feel I ride IN the 27.5"

My Scott Aspect 29er tipped the scales with pedals at 31 pounds. The bike always felt heavy and cumbersome.
My Dropper equipped Scott Spark sits at 31 pounds, I don't notice the weight, ever...

IMO It was the wheels mass.

Removing 2 pounds of un-sprung or rotational mass feels just like, and affects performance just like, removing 4 pounds of static mass on any 2 or 4 wheeled vehicle....

Last edited by osco53; 04-20-15 at 05:41 PM.
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