First Thoughts – My Scott Aspect 930 on the Manly Dam Mountain Bike Track

First Thoughts – My Scott Aspect 930 on the Manly Dam Mountain Bike Track

Having spent Saturday pushing my 3 year old around the Narrabeen Lagoon Trail, it was time for me to put my new mountain bike to the test. And since we were yet to sort out a bike rack for the car, I decided to cycle to the Manly Dam Mountain Bike Track to put it through it’s paces.

The ride to the track went better than expected. After taking a wrong turn early on, and chasing a B-line bus down the hill to Spit Bridge, the climb back out was easier than expected, possibly due to the bike’s gearing ratios. The remote lockout for the front fork was a life-saver, as I transversed from tar to dirt (and back) on a multitude of occasions.

Once I hit the trail, things got interesting. I was greeted by a short, sharp climb, scattered with rocks and roots. Coming from an older Giant with 26″ wheels, the rollover benefit of the 29ers was immediately obvious. What an upgrade! I rode over the roots and rocks like they weren’t even there. After the climb I entered a short section of downhill, single-track, which required some level of manoeuvrability. Despite their larger size, the 29ers threaded through the trees with ease, leaving me with a broad smile on my face.

The track was surprisingly wet and muddy, and far more technical than I had expected. Thankfully there were lines for both intermediate and advanced riders (both of which were incredibly well marked), leaving me with multiple choices based on my confidence level for tackling the various obstacles.

The track boasted a wide variety of riding options ranging from single track to dirt roads, rocky sections to smoother areas, river crossings, some big drops, climbs, and some more technical obstacles. The only downside is that you don’t get to see much of the dam. Other than that it was incredible!

In terms of the bike, the Scott Aspect 930 was an absolute pleasure. The ride was great for a hardtail, thanks in part to the RockShox XC30 TK front fork. And the gear changes were buttery smooth, courtesy of the Shimano Deore-Acera, 18 speed drivetrain. The hydraulic disc breaks were also a godsend in the wet, coming from the non-existant breaking power of the callipers on my old Giant.

I only have 2 nits regarding the bike. Firstly, the cables made quite a lot of noise on rougher sections, seemingly from the lack of a rubber damper where the cables enter the frame. Thankfully, this will be easily fixed. And secondly, the chain caused some minor damage to the paintwork on the chain stay thanks to the rocky nature of the track. Again, easily fixed. But surely they could’ve at least put a clear sticker over this vulnerable piece.

All in all, an amazing bike, and and amazing trail (and so close to home). I look forward to many more rides on both the bike and the trail over the upcoming months.