Thursday wasn't a great day if you are German. Their football team was dumped out of the World Cup by the Spaniards, prompting some to declare that they were actually Swiss and not German at all. At least that was the defence of Scott Bikes' Holger Klinter as he presented the 2011 line of Scott mountain bikes in Wellington (well, the Hutt actually, but people from the Hutt pretend they're from Wellington, much like the Germans).
The big news for Scott of course is the partnership with Sheppard Industries in NZ and Australia, and the launch was ostensibly for the Avanti dealers who will be stocking the Scott range. The other big news is that there are a slew of new/revised models in the MTB range, and Holger was here to fill in the blanks for the assembled throng.
Whoever said the hardtail was dead (think that might've been us actually) was probably only half right. Scott has put a tonne of development into their carbon hardtails (formerly known as the Scale) and has come up with two new lightweight race sleds that have technology coming out of their, well, tails. The 899 is the 26inch rocket, and the 949 hooks up the wagon wheel crowd. Both bikes' monikers come from their respective frame weights, 899 and 949 grams. That's pretty damn light. They have shaved weight from places that would seem you couldn't shave any more weight from, without compromising (in fact increasing) strength. But manage it they have, and if you can afford the ticket price, then you might just have the trickest hardtails on the XC startline.
In the dual suspension range, the buzz is all about the Genius LT. Available in four models, the big brother of the Genius replaces the Ransom in the line-up. LT of course means long travel, and whereas the Genius still packs 160mm each end, the LT ups the ante to 180mm. All the LTs and Genius' use the Equalizer 3 shock, now developed in conjunction with DT Swiss, and Rock Shox will be producing an exclusive 180mm Lyrik fork just for this bike. The carbon frames are under 3kg with shock, which is crazy light for a 7" bike! As with the hardtails, Scott's engineers have been busy with new carbon tube lay-ups and bonding methods, and there is no unnecessary fat to be found (unlike the free food on offer, and some of us eating it!)
From all accounts, the Genius LT is a real beast to ride, and is gonna shake up the All Mountain category even more than the Ransom did when it was first released. Look out for them and the full Scott range in AvantiPus stores all over NZ in the coming months. Just don't mention the war, or the World Cup.