Scott Sportster for singletrack

Discussion in 'General Bike Discussion' started by Sportster2009, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. Sportster2009

    Sportster2009 New Member

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    I have a 2009 Scott Sportster P3. When I bought the bike I was really just looking for something to ride on the rails to trails with the family and on the road. I used to be a hardcore roadie, and began to get burnt out, so I sold my road bike and decided to get this bike and have fun riding again. We also have some great single track in my area and I figured with this bike I could ride some of the trails with it also. Well I've found myself having a ton of fun riding the single track now. Does anyone else use this bike for single track? Will it hold up to the abuse of mountain biking? I will not be doing any jumps or anything like that. Just single track with roots and rolling over some smaller logs and whatnot.

    So far it's been really dry when I've gone so I've been OK with the Continental Double Fighter II tires that came stock on it, but I would like to get something more mountain bike oriented for when it's a little muddy. I'm thinking I'm probably going to have to go with a cyclocross tire due to the lack of frame clearance. I'm just wondering if anyone else has messed around with this sort of thing yet?

    Other than the frame clearance issue and not being able to get a ture 29er tire on the bike what is the difference between this bike and a 29er? I'm guessing that maybe the 29er geometry is more upright?

    Thanks for any input. I'm absolutely loving this bike. I'm having so much fun riding again. Yeah it's way heavier than my road bike was and I go slower on the roads than my road bike, but it's is so much fun looking for the bumps on the road then trying to avoid them all the time.
     
  2. QueSera

    QueSera DAD x 2

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    I also have fun with the Sportster P3 and I will just share my findings…

    Starting from the end, I think that the differences have to do with weight, geometry of the frame and the various parts. Having seen a lot of hardtails lately, I consider the Sportster frame able to handle quite some abuse. Not jumps, but any XC frame will not take those.
    The frame of the sportster however is nowhere as “fast” as an XC frame.

    I threw the Sportster in a trail on day 01. Let me tell you it will take you anywhere!

    Looking at the joints I can see the work is great, just as good as any all mountain. Except for the chain stays that (may)be more fragile due to that last angled part that houses the rear derailleur. This has to do with the geometry most probably, and it is something I can’t find on more competitive frames. As a rider I try to handle my weight and not push the rear part too far.

    The tires have been my most important upgrade thus far and it’s been a very important one. The DFs will only handle roads and mild off road use. I moved to Schwalbe Smart Sam 700x40c (28x1.6) after asking the company for advice.
    They work great!
    You will be losing just a bit of speed (on the road) but nothing major. What you will gain is a huge improvement of the off road fun!
    Along with my better understanding of the fork shock adjustment, I can now go much faster on a trail, and my playground is totally unforgiving (harsh rocks and debris). So this upgrade is imperative!

    One point of major importance: I suggest you take the bike to an expert to adjust the wheels. Although the rims are very good, the spokes are loose and they get looser every ride. Eventually they will give up. Well tuned I guess they will also offer a better feel and additional security.

    Drive train: It’s ok, but not great. Under pressure it will skip changes or resist commands. On a budget I would change the rear derailleur (more important) and the front with XT parts. If there are more money around the crankset should be changed for a hollowtech 2 set, which would be lighter, smoother, stronger.

    Next in the list would be the brakes. There are ok, but no Avid 5s which sell for very very good prices these days. 185 front, 160 rear and the bike should stop like a Ferrari…

    Last (but not least) I would go for the fork. Just adequate. Not real control off road, I have to fiddle with the lockout all the time to have some benefit. I would shift to NRX – E with remote lockout (great tool) without asking for a loan. Leaving Suntour for any other well known shock maker I think is too much for this bike.

    Wrapping Up: experience over 4 months says the bike is great!
    I thought I would have to change to an mtb, but I find myself so happy with the sportster.

    Most important upgrades:

    1. Tyres – should change yesterday, 2. Spoke tension adjustment, 3. Rear Derailleur, 4. Front Derailleur, 5. Brakes, 6. Fork, 7. Crankset & 9 speed cassette (will require new shifters).

    I hope this helps!!!
     

  3. QueSera

    QueSera DAD x 2

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    One more point if I may...

    I just looked up the word "singletrack" on wikipedia...

    One issue with the sportster being a trekking bike - oriented for the street as well - is the choice of the handlebar. It is quite narrow (580 mm). On the street this is great as you can move among vehicles, but it weakens the control of the front wheel in the trail.
    As these are quite inexpensive, I would consider moving to a wider bar, flat or riser in case you find this confortable.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2010
  4. Sportster2009

    Sportster2009 New Member

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    Well I decided to get a real mountain bike. What a difference. I have soooo much more control with this bike. Love it!

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  5. QueSera

    QueSera DAD x 2

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    Great!

    It' s all about the use one intends to do!
     
  6. graemeboal

    graemeboal New Member

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    Fat tires

    Hi QueSera,

    I have a Sportster P2 which I love and use primarily for on road use. I recently took it off road though and enjoyed the experience so much I want to do more! I notice your suggestion of the larger tires 700 x 40c and wanted to check that if I upgrade to the same (not easy to do in Australia no-one seems to stock the tire you mention) I would also need to change my inner tube? Probably a really obvious noob question but I'm pretty new to this whole self propelled biking thing! I usually use my right hand to give me more speed :)

    Hope you're still monitoring this old post

    Cheers

    Graeme
     
  7. QueSera

    QueSera DAD x 2

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    Hi there!

    You will benefit from the larger tyre on off-road parts. If you wish to go further you can upgrade to an even wider front tyre like the Continental Race King 29x2.2 which will enable the bike to handle harder descents.
    This is my current combination of tyres and it works well.

    Good thing about the Smart Sams is the minimal loss of power on gravel.

    Keep in mind that the Sportster frame will not handle any wider tyre on the rear. Our only weapon is the front in case we need serious mountain riding with this specific bike...

    Happy to help with your questions!
     
  8. Bagman

    Bagman New Member

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    Hi QueSera

    Hope all is well.

    What do you think about the Kenda Karma 29 x 1.90. This is about the narrowest 29er tyre that I have found....

    Do you think this will fit..? I would have to order one in ... but would prefer to know if it would fit first....

    Any advice appreciated....
     
  9. QueSera

    QueSera DAD x 2

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    Without having seen the tire, I think it will not fit on the rear...

    You could order just one and in case it fits Bingo! (you promise to inform the rest of us though) and if it won't you can always use it in the front...

    Or go with the bike to a nearby store that stocks Kenda and make a try.

    Tires differ by much!

    The Smart Sam 1.6 comes really close to the frame, I would not even try the 1.7 I found available online...

    Lets not forget that there should always be some space left for mud stuck on the tire...
     
  10. mitchelj00

    mitchelj00 New Member

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