what a revelation
So after a LONG wait my new bike that I have been lusting for since it was first released back in 2011 arrived on Thursday.
The bike in question is the Cannondale Scalpel 29er. Carbon frame , carbon lefty fork, mix of XT and XTR parts finished off with Cannondale's Hollowgram SI Cranks and a nice set of wheels!
I have been riding a hardtail exclusively for a good 6 years now and thought there was not really a great need for a dually for most of the riding I do, yeah sure they have more comfort but at the price of weight.
While waiting for the bike to arrive I had the pleasure of Using a S-works epic 29er in a Nationals XC race, Thanks Antsonline!!! This test showed me that a dually can be built both FAST and LIGHT. I was even more excited for the new bike to turn up. (in the hope that it was both FAST and LIGHT)
Anyway bike built built and ready to ride, it rolled out the door at 10.7kg ready to ride, for me that fits the light category but not the LIGHT category. (it still has a bit of room to move though). The ride home on the road showed it feel good but the bigger question, how is it going to feel on the dirt? So we headed off Canberra to race, I was doing the 7hr solo option of the singletrack mind series.
some might say not the best idea for a maiden ride but i was coming off a Cannondale Flash 29er which has the same geometry/sizing so setup was pretty easy. the only part that took a bit of working out was the shock and how much pressure to run.
we line in the morning and the gun goes, we are off. I sit in the saddle and pedal a bit feeling like today is going to be a good day. once into the singletrack and the traffic spreads out im loving how easy the bike feels to get around the course. first thing was the front end is so direct, think about going around a corner and it happens. no fighting the bike it just felt planted. Second thing was how easy it was to ride some of the uphill singletrack bits. normally I ride out of the saddle and push it on these bits, today I sit in the saddle and just pedal. it actually felt faster and was certainly easier! I was in love!
for the next 5.30hrs I had a massive grin on my face I was feeling fresh and enjoying every bit of dirt in front of me. The lack of food got me towards the end and I slowed a bit and the upper body was getting a bit sore (to much air pressure in the lefty).
rolled across the finish line just after 7hrs in 6th place boy, I was happy with that.
Now the best part the following days I have been able to get out on my bike and ride each day since. Had I been on my hardtail i not sure I would of finished the race let alone been a able to ride the next day. This was the biggest revelation, I felt fast on the bike and I didnt fatigue like I would normally. I cant wait to ride it in a XC or Marathon Race to see how fast it can really be.
One final note must go to the new XTR Shadow Plus rear derailuar, the new Cam design makes for a silent bike and no skipping chains this is a wonderful thing. XX is now a long way behind XTR!
Bring on the Husky and then some State XC racing!!!