I’ve had this ‘new generation’ On-One Scandal since a few days before the Strathpuffer, back in January. Brant kindly sorted me out with it so that I’d be able to use my old Scandal as a spare in the race. I’d was racing singlespeed at the ‘Puffer so the Scandal came with some extra, one-gear-specific horizontal ‘Swap-Out’ dropouts.
Where the old Scandal had a chain tensioner, I was able to maintain nice chain tension on the new one by moving the wheel slightly rearwards – much neater.
The ride of the new Scandal is pretty much the same as the old one – no surprises there – On-One have kept the angles the same. The Scandal 29er has always been a great bike so why change something that works as well as that?
There are some differences though, the most obvious one being that big tapered headtube, allowing the use of much stiffer and longer-travel forks with tapered steerers and one of those headsets that makes things slacker…if that’s your bag.
The seat tube has now got a nice bend in it for extra tyre clearance and it’s wider too, so if you want to use an uppy-downy post you can do.
The finish, while it looks and is called ‘raw’, is actually anodised. It’s really tough – there’s hardly a mark on it even after being ridden for 24 (ok, 20) hours in the abrasive mud of the ‘Puffer.
The logos are etched onto the frame, no doubt with a laser or something.
This one turned up from On One with a lovely singlespeed-specific Middleburn chainset, nice in-house wheels (the rear hub sounds ACE) and a frankly mental 120mm, bolt-thru fork. In practice the fork on this bike, despite being complete overkill for my both-wheels-on-the-ground riding style and combined with the big wheels, means that there’s a feeling of invincibility and confidence to tackle big obstacles the like of which I’ve not had since I last rode my old Orange Patriot. It’s immense fun, in other words. It doesn’t feel too slack and as a singlespeed (where you’re stood up for much longer periods of time) it worked really well at the Strathpuffer.
Now that I’ve got gears back on the bike I’m still going to drop the travel down to a more ‘normal’ 100mm though. I’m not sure if that will make me any faster but at least I’ll start behaving better and stop trying to throw myself off bus shelters.
Now built with nice XTR parts and some fast tyres, it’s starting to resemble something race-ready. And that’s the beauty of it – now that 29ers have become ‘mainstream’, you can get all the parts you need to build a Scandal with big tyres, a big fork and wide bars and use it for playing on. Or, you can built it really light and go and race on it.
What’s not to like?
16 March 2012