Viewing 19 posts - 1 through 19 (of 19 total)
  • Hardtail Help – Scandal vs. Big Al
  • Premier Icon hunta
    Full Member

    I’ve been riding a Giant Trance for the last 10 years and not really ridden anything else, but now feel like adding a 29″ hardtail. I mostly ride woods and fields with the odd trip to Swinley and Surrey Hills and intend to keep the full sus as an option on anything bigger. Budget is a factor, but I quite like the idea of new.

    I’m still getting to grips with geometry theory in the absence of being able to demo. I’m hoping that might change at some point this year, but in the meantime…

    It sounds like ‘modern’ trends are giving rise to a crop of bikes that’ll climb well, be reasonably comfortable for more than an hour at a time and can absorb the downs. I’m far from a rowdy rider so just looking for something that’ll take the above in its stride and feel good, rather than necessarily being the quickest.

    I saw Hardtail Party’s Big Al review and would be looking seriously at buying one in a normal year, but that ship now seems to have sailed. It looks like the Scandal might have more availability, geometry seems to be in a similar ballpark and they seem to have an avid following here.

    So I guess my questions are (1) how does the Big Al compare to the Scandal (2) and given how hard it is to find stock at the moment let alone demo am I better off waiting, or can I put my faith in the geometry figures?

    Premier Icon davros
    Full Member

    There’s a big thread about the scandal so plenty of info there. Someone might be able to link it if the search still isn’t working. Seems to be well liked. I doubt you could go wrong with either. That Whyte frame in the classified might be worth considering if it’s right size?

    Premier Icon hunta
    Full Member

    Thanks davros. Yes, I’ve tried to skim the Scandal thread but was specifically hoping to hear about similarities / differences vs. Big Al since geo looks close-ish on paper, but that presumably doesn’t tell the full story.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    Gnats chuff in it geometry wise. I like my Scandal and ride Swinley a lot on it.

    Pick the one you like the spec on most? Scandal has 12s GX and MRP fork, Ragley has Deore 11s and Marzocchi. Ragley has a dropper, but that’s only £100.

    The scandal was a bit of a no-brainer for a lower budget when I bought it, but they’ve improved the spec and upped the price this year so there’s less in it.

    Premier Icon damascus
    Free Member

    Most of us bought the scandal at frame only when it was £150 or the whole bike when it was on offer between 900 and £999.

    At those prices we all love the scandal but our opinions are influenced by that price.

    If we had paid £799 for the frame or £1399 for a full build then maybe we would have been expecting more for our money and our reviews would have reflected that.

    At the current prices I’d probably be looking elsewhere but if you want a bike soon and stock is the most important thing then you can’t go much wrong with a scandal. But if you do buy one at those prices remove yourself from the mail list as there will be a sale at some point that will make you feel sick. There’s no way that the frame will stay at £799!

    Premier Icon tomcrow99
    Full Member

    The only thing I don’t like about my Scandal geometry wise is the stand over height. In the XL size that I have, it could defiantly do with being a couple of inches lower, which it looks that the Big AL is. Great frame otherwise, though as mentioned above it only cost me £150 which sways the opinion slightly!

    Premier Icon hunta
    Full Member

    A good point, thanks…

    Having read the threads in a bit more detail I saw a bit of back and forth about sizing. At the risk of opening the topic up all over again, my default at 6’0″ (182cm) with 34″ inside leg is a large.

    Does anyone feel they should have gone medium at around that point?

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    I’m 6ft, bought a large, wouldn’t want it any smaller. Too tube isn’t obtrusive at that height, I could probably squeeze a 150mm post in if I had one.

    Regarding the perceived value of the On One….

    Worth pointing out we all bought it with a (really good) fork that retails about £250. The current model has a £700 fork, and costs less than £450 more. So it’s not all that bad value.

    The 35 is good, but a bit porky.

    The frame only price to me just looks like a “go away, were not selling frames and concentrating on higher value added versions for the time being untill supply chains sort themselves out (covid etc)”. I wouldn’t hold out for the full builds dropping below a grand again even if they get some cheaper forks back in stock.

    Premier Icon sync
    Free Member

    Have you been riding the same giant trance for 10 years or a giant trance but upgrading to the newest model periodically?

    If the former, the transition to modern geometry and spec is a big change and sizing + comfort is very bike/brand dependent at your height. Some mediums would fit, others a large. On paper analysis won’t provide the full picture.

    I would emphasise the importance of demoing bikes.

    If you were coming from a c2019/20 onwards trance you would have a better idea of how you get on with current geo.

    Premier Icon hunta
    Full Member

    Have you been riding the same giant trance for 10 years or a giant trance but upgrading to the newest model periodically?

    The same one. I bought it knowing I’d be overbiked for 90% of the time, but didn’t want to buy more than one and it’s served me well. I can’t see a lot of point in small upgrades when the bike is more capable than I am, but hardtail, 29″ wheels, geometry to complement and 1x drivetrain all seem to add up to a worthwhile addition.

    Would love to demo, but wasn’t aware that it was possible at present.

    Premier Icon andydunne12
    Free Member

    I am 6ft and have 32 inch inseam. My scandal is a large. Feels right for me

    Premier Icon jonba
    Free Member

    I’m 5’10 and went for a medium. I’ve got long legs and am on the limit of a 400mm post. Dropper is ok.

    I have a 50mm stem on. I think I could ride a large. Would definitely want one if I was any taller.

    Premier Icon Mat
    Full Member

    I’m 5’11” with a 32″ inside leg, I bought Large frame and tried a mates Large before getting it built up (after reading all of the sizing chat on here). Was a Large with a 35mm stem, it felt too long when riding singletrack out of the saddle for my liking. I sold my frame and bought a medium which i now run with a 50mm stem. I’ve got a 170mm brand-x dropper (499mm length) which is maybe 15-20mm off min insertion. Loving the bike, rides great. When seated I could maybe be a touch more stretched out, would be sorted if I’d just slide the saddle back 10mm on the rails…

    Can often pick-up blemished frame only for ~£260 on the PX ebay store, thats where I got my medium:
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/str/planetx2020/Frames/_i.html?_storecat=2

    Currently only XL but they’ve added more in dribs and drabs over the last year

    Premier Icon nickc
    Full Member

    I’m 5’10 and went for a medium. I’ve got long legs and am on the limit of a 400mm post. Dropper is ok.I have a 50mm stem on. I think I could ride a large. Would definitely want one if I was any taller.

    I’m 5’10” and went for a large. It’s pretty rangy, but comfy for me at least. Did a 80km ride on it last weekend and felt OK at the end. Quite a bit of post sticking out.

    Premier Icon Clink
    Full Member

    5’10” large, 35mm stem, feels spot on.

    Premier Icon tuboflard
    Full Member

    I’ve got the Big Wig and even off just a handful of rides, I’m loving it. Obviously the same numbers as the Big Al, and as said above very similar to the Scandal. The Big Wig/Al has a slightly steeper ST and lower BB drop, I think everything else is within a few mm.

    I’m 5’8” with 30” inseam and fit the medium perfectly. Only change I’ve made is swap the 40mm stem for a 35mm and bars from 780mm to 800mm with slightly lower rise. Personal preferences though.

    As also said above the biggest challenge is getting something in stock. Managed to get the last one off CRC, think they may have stock drops later this year but not sure of the dates and suspect you’ll need to keep checking as they’ll go quick.

    Premier Icon ElVino
    Full Member

    At 6 foot you definitely want a large scandal, not sure about the other bike. As someone who mixes between a hardtail and a FS, tyre size and pressure make a massive difference to comfort on the hardtail. The first time I rode the Scandal around Swinley it was with 2.2 tubed tyres & I thought I had made a mistake, then I converted to 2.5 tubeless and ran at lower pressures and it is like a different bike.

    Premier Icon retromart
    Full Member

    I got a scandal frame on release in 2019, med, (I’m just under 5’10”), and kept it until March 2020.
    In about Jan 2020, I had become aware of the new Ragley Big Al being released, and started comparing the two (on paper at least), and it seemed to tick all the boxes that the Scandal hadn’t quite done, so I stalked the dealers websites until they appeared for sale, and grabbed a med in the pale blue, just as Covid was breaking, so turned out to be a nice little project during the first lockdown.

    For under £200, the scandal was a really good buy, and nothing wrong with the geometry, and a great bike to ride over the South-Downs, XC, etc, but for me, the niggles were no mounting for a chain device, as I had a few jumped / rattly chain issues, , the paint finish was very thin, and easily chipped, and ive never been a fan of matt finishes either (frame always looked grubby) , the rear caliper position was really tight to install (though I did manage to install a 180 rotor), and unlike some, I wasn’t that keen on the cable routing, as I found everything very squashed as it came out of the frame and passed under the bottom bracket (and im not that keen on internal routing anyway).

    The Ragley improved on all these issues, and I really loved the quality glossy blue paint , and at £300, wasn’t a lot more money. I just moved all the components over to the Ragley , (running 29er 130mm pikes), and carried on riding same stuff as before.

    In the last month, ive been running with 650b/2.8 tyres with no issues, and possibly a bit quicker, so really happy with the Big Al. I read somewhere, that there was no change in geometry for the 2021 model, just a colour change.
    I sold the Scandal on, and didn’t lose too much on it either, as it had gained a degree of popularity and scarcity once Covid hit, so all good.

    Premier Icon damascus
    Free Member

    the niggles were no mounting for a chain device, as I had a few jumped / rattly chain issues,

    Yes, I agree. I run a bottom bracket mounted chain device but I sometimes think it affects the chain line. Running 10 speed so it’s within tolerance. Keep wondering about a seatstay mounted one instead but they don’t look as good.

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