I have had the pleasure and privilege to travel and enjoy this fine noble steed for over a month now. Huge thanks of appreciation go to Cat at SCOTT for arranging this for me. I have fully taken advantage of these wheels, adventuring from the Lake District up to Sandwood Bay on the far north-west coast of Scotland. The next journey it takes will be down to Bangor in North Wales, my new home for the next month while I work for Full On. I am sure that Contessa will fully relish Snowdonia National Park for the next month as I will make sure that plenty of outings are had.
I’m 5ft 4″ on a good day and have been riding the small frame. At first I thought it felt too long but once I had adjusted my riding position (after an amazing session with Dirt School) from weight far back to elbows bent, weight over the front, I felt much more at home.
The carbon frame is burley and stylish and with 2.35″ Schwalbe tyres. This combination makes for some smooth downhill riding with all the lightness you need for steep uphills. The SCOTT carbon technology is pricier than most but you really get what you pay for in quality, not only light but uber strong too.
The TwinLoc technology that is mounted on the handlebars allows you to switch between full lock out, 95mm (3.6″) and 150mm (5.9″) on the rear shock. I’ve been using it in full lock out while doing my city riding of Edinburgh, turning it into a rigid frame bike. I don’t always remember to switch from 150mm to 95mm to climb but when I do I can feel the difference. (Often I think I should just to harden up and get stronger, but when you’ve got the gadgets on the bike you might as well use them)
The head tube angle is something I didn’t know much about but have realised how it can make such a huge difference in a bike. It is measured as the angle of the steering axis (where forks come out of) relative to horizontal (the ground). Meaning the higher the number of degrees, the more upright the steering axis is, the more on top of it you are, ideal for cross-country (eg SCOTT Scale at 70º). And vice-versa, the lower the number, the more relaxed/ forks pointing forward and further back your weights sits while on seat. (eg the Gambler, SCOTT’s downhill bike is 64 º). The Contessa sits relatively in the middle with a head tube angle of 68.3º, which is ideal for it’s mix of up and down abilities.
I’ve ridden a huge variety of trails on the Contessa Genius, carried it up some steep hills (Catbells outside Keswick, and Cackerton Hill above Hillend in the Pentlands) and descended some rocky, rooty terrain. Check out my route suggestions here
If you want more specs for the bike check out SCOTT website