Michael Hanslip Coaching

If you want to go faster, you have to pedal harder

Pirelli Scorpion Trail M first ride

I use my Ibis Ripley like an XC bike, but technically it is a trail bike. What's the difference? I'll suggest the difference can be as simple as "intent" but in this case the Exie is the Ibis XC bike and the Ripley is usually delivered with a 130 mm fork (more often a 140 mm fork in Australia according to the importer) making it a trail bike. My build uses a 120 mm Fox 34 SC, which is more XC than trail. But then I ran 200 mm rotors so I could swap in the chunky tyres from the Enduro bike for occasions such as Stromlo enduro races where the Ripley would be faster, but held back by the tyres.
Well, no more. I had almost 150 hours of good use out of the Scorpion XC tyres I put on the bike from new (the front was original, the rear was much newer and still had some life left). Now replaced with the Trail version of the tyre - complete with bigger size (2.4" rather than 2.2") and bigger knobs - much bigger. After 20 km of riding, this is very much a first impressions report.
I used my usual 18/24 psi F/R settings that work on the DH tyres on the Sender, the Enduro tyres on the Slash and the XC tyres on the Spot - but they felt pretty hard on this bike. I was bouncing off of some stuff during the ride. The pressure might need to decrease a little. Inside the tyres is the same CushCore XC insert I had in the old tyres. CushCore says to run them until they lose their radial tension. And these still fit tightly into the rim well under their own elastic pull. So should be good. I did peel off most of the sealant that had built up on them before reinstallation.
First impression is that they are MUCH grippier than the XC tyre. Not surprisingly with the much bigger knobs. I got them into sliding on the loose dirt on the backside of Stromlo and they recovered nicely; I was never sure with the XC tyres if they'd bring it back so tried to avoid sliding the front tyre at all.
While they are heavier (more knob, more volume - of course they are heavier) they didn't feel it.
First verdict: great fun. I'll happily trade off a little speed (though I don't know if I did) for more fun, especially when I'm not racing.