Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Scythe Reviews after a 6 week beating

Words and pics from Dave Hetherington (AUS):

After 6 weeks of riding and racing, the Scythe has taken a brutal beating. I have done it all: freeride, gaps, drops, dirt jumps and lots of downhill runs to put the bike to the ultimate test. As the Scythe is vastly different to my old downhill bike (Scythe 4.5kg lighter, completely different spec etc.), it has taken a little longer to really fine tune and feel comfortable on the bike. However, my initial thoughts on the Scythe have not changed.

What has been reinforced when riding the bike is its versatility. Whether it is dirt jumps, drops, gaps or any line where the wheels leave the ground, the bike does so with ease and stability. My confidence with this type of riding has increased significantly to the point where I will hit lines that I wouldn’t usually do everyday without a second thought.

Another major positive of the Scythe is its ability to gain speed quickly on the ground during a downhill run. A combination of the stiff, lightweight frame and power going straight to the back wheel make this possible. So getting the power down out of a turn, pumping through the turns and just pumping in general is a breeze.

I am particularly fussy when it comes to turning. If you don’t feel comfortable in the turns then you wont produce fast times. This is not the case with the Scythe, it turns sharply and precisely in any sort of corner. The biggest stand out point with the Scythes turning ability is how comfortably it power slides when the speed is high, without feeling the need to unclip your foot. This is a major benefit for any downhill racer.

So far the bike has needed no maintenance what so ever and is holding up strong. So far so good.'

Update: Some history on Dave.... He was on the Australia National Team last year and placed 10th in Ft. William at the worlds. The dude is fast and knows his stuff... and I hate to say it being a Canadian but those Aussie are fast, and generally a dude who just can't make the national team on team Oz can still blow the fastest Canuck away.
Can't wait to see what he thinks of racing a Legend.

Words pics and video from Matej Charvat (CZ) who after seeing Daves review decided to send in one of his own:
Banshee Scythe
I’ve got a bit different Scythe built up than Dave. My one is more Freeride – more versatile. You can see parts which I use on the picture. Rock Shox Totem(180mm) and so on..

I’m riding Scythe also about 6 weeks. Just training..no races(it’s out of season right now in here), but I have been riding it a lot and a lot of hardcore. Begining with small DH tracks nearby to really hardcore DH tracks in France – like San Remo, Sospel, Peille and that stuff where all the top worldcup riders training thru winter.
One of the things which I took note of is that the Scythe had another geometry than my old DH bike(Kona Stab Supreme). It set my possition more forward – over the bars. With this feature the bike is more moveable, more agressive in corners, better controllable in drifts and also in the air. Next thing which I love on Scythe is that’s ability to accelerate. Thanks to the single pivot suspension the chainstay is really stiff. You feel all the energy changing straight to the speed up.

When I was beginning with Scythe – I had harder suspension and FR geometry setup. Great for Jumping and more flat courses with sharp turns. Than when I put the softer spring and also changed to DH geometry – It was great feeling how the bike changed – really easy change(just change the hole where the shock is mounted) and you feel like you‘re on another bike. The DH geometry is really cool. It suits me more than the freeride one, because I’m DH rider. I like to have the BB lower and use all the bike’s travel. With this setup I tested the bike on French courses as mentioned above. All the courses‘ surface is loose rock and rocks. Hardcore cross-check for all bikes. I was coming there with freeride bike in my mind, but I was really surprised how the Scythe was absorbing all that mess like DH bike. I was just a bit limited by the fork, because I had so soft spring in it – but nothing what bothered me, I just fell it a few times in some R’n’R sections. Next thing which is noteworthy is turning. When you’re turning, it’s so exciting feeling..but it‘ so simple with Scythe – really controllable, but playful and aggressive enough.
The bike is still in the top condition after all that hardcore using. I didn’t have to make any maintenance. Top bike for people expecting real versatility.'

Matej has also made some videos of him riding the Scythe ranging from DH to freeride style riding: