While Scott took their time entering the fatbike market, they have come in with a great two-bike offering in the Big Jon and Big Ed. The former is a fully rigid bike that hits a $1599 price point. While the latter is a full-featured $2799 fatbike for those with deeper wallets and bigger ambitions.
2016 Scott Big Ed Features:
- Lightweight 6061 alloy frameset with custom-butted tubing
- 4.8″ tire clearance
- RockShox Bluto RL Solo Air fork — 100mm travel
- SRAM X9/X7 drivetrain with Shimano 11-36T cassette
- Syncros cockpit with 35mm bars at 740mm width
- E-thirteen TRS Double crankset (36×22)
- Syncros 80 fatbike rims (not as tested)
- Schwalbe Jumbo Jim EVO tires (not as tested)
- MSRP: $2799
The Pimped Out Big Ed
For much of the country, fatbikes are merely an oddity. They are great for the sand or mud and can be a ton of fun in the snow, but it’s hard to get too stoked on them unless you live somewhere that has great access to snow-packed trails or roads. Well, I do live in Utah and we’re finally having a normal snow year, which means that my backyard provides instant access to miles of singletrack and groomed roads all winter long. Enter a Scott Big Ed with Reynolds all-new fatbike wheelset — the Dean.
Both Scott and Reynolds make their home here in the Salt Lake City area, so it’s natural that they’d collaborate and I’d be the beneficiary. So, as luck would have it, the Big Ed came to me with the insanely-light and beautiful Reynolds Dean tubeless fatbike wheelset. Since I didn’t have the stock wheels to compare weight, I’ll take their word for it and say that the wheels dropped the bike’s overall weight by over 3 lbs. With a claimed weight of 32 lbs., this wheelset puts the Big Ed at a respectable 29 lbs.
So, yes, this Big Ed is not like the one at your local shop, but it’s the Big Ed you will dream about.
Finding the Right Snow
Hero dirt and hero snow — that’s what we’re all searching for. Once you find it, you’re instantly reminded of why you love riding bikes so much and keeps you coming back for more. I experienced a wide variety of snow conditions on the Big Ed — some that made me wonder why fatbikes even exist and other conditions that had me grinning from ear-to-ear. If you’re unfamiliar with riding a fatbike in the snow, I’m gonna be 100% honest with you that your experience will be similar to mine, but in the end it’s always a good time.
Scott made some significant changes for the 2016 version of the Big Ed. Primarily, the rear triangle was changed for improved pedaling clearance. You’ll notice that it now features curved seatstays to prevent heels and calves from hitting the frame. All cable routing is external and the frameset can even accommodate a stealth dropper post.
Up front, the RockShox Bluto gets the nod. With 100mm travel, this fork delivers stiff, precise steering and can help take the edge off under the right circumstances. I will say that with the Dean carbon wheels running tubeless at 6 psi., I don’t think the Bluto so much as moved — except for serious drops. Yes, it’s nice to have, but it may not be doing much for you — unless you’re running higher air pressure.
Fatbikes Can Be Nimble and Fun
The Big Ed’s handling has been surprisingly nimble — again, partially due to the lightweight, tubeless hoops. On the right trails, I actually felt fast and my Strava times proved it. I could easily whip this bike in and out of corners and through tight, twisty singletrack. And, I could step on it and it would respond.
Most of the time, I felt like the SRAM 2×10 drivetrain was unnecessary, but then I’d hit a steep, slushy climb and be instantly grateful for the lowest gear possible. Shifting performed as expected with nothing good or bad in that department. Something I really did like was the full spectrum of Syncros components. The Syncros XM2.0 saddle is really a nice shape and feels instantly comfortable. And, the 740mm wide 35mm bars gave me just the right leverage and steering precision. Syncros stuff is the real deal folks.
The included tires hooked up quite well with a 45NRTH Dillinger 5 (non-studded) in the rear and a Surly Lou 4.8 up front. Both were set up tubeless and run at around 6 psi. Rough, choppy snow became smooth and hero snow was like a magic carpet at all speeds.
- Great-looking paint job with fluorescent accents (a crowd favorite)
- Syncros parts kit is light, stiff and comfortable — stuff’s awesome
- Respectable drivetrain
- Fun to whip around at speed
- At $2799 stock, it is a solid value
- Bluto becomes unnecessary when running ultra-low pressures
- Still trying to figure out why Scott uses a large 31.6mm seatpost — it is wicked stiff
- The brakes squealed much of the time — the cold tends to do that
The Bottom Line: Scott Big Ed
The Big Ed is Scott’s top-end fatty and it’s a good one. All the components are top-notch and even when fully-stock, it comes in at a respectable weight. If you’ve got deep pockets and want the ultimate in fatbike performance, then add yourself some Reynolds Dean carbon wheels and turn your Big Ed into a “Big EdDean.”
More Info: Visit Scott-Sports.com
The new Big Ed delivers a ton of value out-of-the-box. Add to it some lightweight carbon tubeless wheels and it turns into a fast and fun whipper of a fatbike.