Words by Yannick Chautems (@yannickchautems), photos by Seb Borel
My name is Yannick, and I live and grew up in Neuchâtel, in the French part of Switzerland. We have a beautiful lake, but especially the Jura Mountains as a playground. I’ve always been into endurance sports such as orienteering and turned my interest to bikepacking when I was spending long days on the bike working as a bike messenger. I realized that if I could use the time I spent going back and forth in the same city but for once go in one direction, I could ride quite far. It took me to Slovenia. I’m now working for the bikes and not on them anymore, but most of the time my head is wandering on trails.
When I started bikepacking, I thought gravel bikes were the best all-rounder. So, in 2019, I was riding the French Divide on my gravel bike, which is when I realized I wasn’t completely right. There I was in the middle of France with 1,000km behind me and still 1,300 to cover on technical and rugged trails. My fingers were starting to go numb and my patience was disappearing as the days went by. At the end of the race, I barely cleaned my bike and put it aside (in fact, I still haven’t replaced the broken spokes!). It was decided: I was going to get a mountain bike!
Now, here we are in 2021, and I’ve had my SCOTT Scale 910 for over a year. It has been evolving since the start. It’s gone through several very different builds, such as 1). A long-distance gravel build with a Niner RDO BOOST rigid fork, an SP hub dynamo with a Sinewave Beacon, and a Redshift ShockStop Suspension Stem; 2). A light and fast gravel build with the Niner fork, Redshift stem, Syncros carbon wheels, and Schwalbe G-One tires; and 3). The latest build, my favorite and the one I present here… and the closest to what an MTB should look like, with a 100 mm Fox suspension fork and Syncros carbon wheels. No more dynamo since while riding technical stuff, speeds are too low to successfully charge anything.
Each of the above builds has its pros and cons, and what I find really cool is knowing that with the same platform I can cover all of these different types of riding by adjusting it to my needs. The build you see here left me with a feeling of “Ahh, this is what I was looking for,” and felt perfect from the first ride. With it, I have the feeling of having everything I need on the bike to ride for several days without feeling the weight of my stuff swinging around. Having a loaded bike, but one that stays light and that allows me to tackle technical sections without setting foot on the ground, not feeling like I’ll get kicked off the bike with every bump… it was really an incredible feeling, surely not new to most readers, but new to me, who was forcing myself to follow a hype, maybe, to ride fully rigid.
- Frame SCOTT Scale 910 carbon
- Fork FOX 32 SC Float Performance Air 100 mm
- Rims Syncros Silverton 1.0 carbon
- Hubs Syncros
- Tires Maxxis Aspen 2.4″ front and 2.35″ rear
- Handlebars Syncros Hixon SL
- Crankset Shimano XT Hollowtech 2 32T
- Pedals Shimano PD-M520
- Cassette Shimano XT 10-51T 12-speed
- Derailleur Shimano XT
- Brakes Shimano XT
- Shifter(s) Shimano XT
- Saddle Syncros Tofino R 1.5, Cut Out
- Seatpost Syncros Ducan SL
- Stem Syncros FL 1.5
- Frame bags Alpkit custom frame bag
- Rear bags Alpkit 3L Enduro seat pack
- Accessory bags Alpkit Fuel Pod and Alpkit Enduro Pod, 2x Woho Stem bags
- Lighting Ledlenser MH7 headlamp with spare batteries
- Other accessories Garmin Edge 530, Syncros Boundary 2.0 HV pump, Sahmurai tire plug tool
Most of the bags come from Alpkit. Their personalized frame bags are excellent, they have great service, and it’s made in Europe. A huge thumbs up for the Alpkit team! Stem bags are from Woho. Less local, but I like their simplicity and the mesh they use at the bottom of the bag. Since the goal is not to be waterproof, if it is raining inside, at least the water comes out at the bottom. My favorite piece of kit is the Alpkit Enduro seat pack. It’s just 3L and fits my Sea To Summit Spark SpI sleeping bag and dry overnight clothes perfectly. A perfect match! Usually, I also take a small trail running backpack to keep my setup compact and agile.
Find more from Yannick on Instagram @yannickchautems.
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