Set in the rolling hills of the Tweed Valley, Caberston Forest, otherwise known as ‘the Golfie’ is home to some of the best enduro riding in the UK in its densely packed trees. Host to countless visitors from all over the UK and beyond, as well as multiple rounds of the Enduro World Series, there are enough trails here to keep anyone busy for a week or more.
PC: Tommy Wilkinson
Climbing from the entrance of the forest to the top of the highest trail, New York New York, gives a total ascent of 360m. Most riders will spend the day ticking off 5 or 6 trails with a total climb of 12-1500m being a big ride. Riding every trail on the hill was always a challenge but as the trail network has grown, the task has gone from hard, to crazy, to almost mythical with almost 3000m of extra climbing added since the last successful round by local legend Steve Deas. Enter Mark Scott.
PC: Tommy Wilkinson
TVB team rider and our newest addition to the Dirt School coaching team, Mark has raced enduro at the highest level almost since it was a sport, but also has a penchant for epic long rides, marathon distances and FKT (Fastest Known Time) efforts. It only seemed a natural progression that he would combine his enduro skills and his long distance capabilities into one huge challenge.
At 4:27am on Tuesday 15th August, Mark set out to ride all 45 trails at the Golfie in one continuous, self supported effort. 146.37km, 8287m vertical and 21 hours later, Mark would put his bike down, having ticked off every trail on the hill. Watch the full film here:
Once he’d had a good sleep, we sat down with Mark to learn more about his choice of bike and how he managed to keep himself fuelled and motivated for what ended up being a real rollercoaster of a ride.
Frame & Suspension
Choosing a bike for this ride presented Mark with his first challenge; finding the right blend of light weight, pedalling efficiency, geometry and travel that would allow him to make the distance but not be too fatiguing on the demanding trails of the Golfie. With 120mm of rear travel, a supportive pedalling platform and fairly relaxed angles, the Tallboy gives Mark the ideal starting point to build the perfect bike for this unique challenge. Freshly assembled this bike was to see quite the break in ride!
Mark's medium Tallboy was built up with Öhlins suspension front and rear. A TTX1 rear shock and RXF 36 fork with 140mm of travel give Mark full control over high and low speed compression and rebound damping.
Limited setup time meant Mark’s initial fork setup of 100psi in the main chamber and 280psi in the ramp up chamber gave him a ride that was slightly too firm on the day of the effort, however the 170psi in the rear shock sat him at just under 30% sag and rode well. Preferring an active setup, and mitigating for the slightly over-inflated fork, Mark ran both his fork and shock fully open on high and low speed compression, tuning rebound to the faster side of things to maximise traction.
Inside the Glovebox frame storage compartment, Mark kept a OneUp 70cc pump with a C02 canister attached, a spare tube and a handful of cable ties for any makeshift repairs.
Wheels & Tyres
A critical area to save weight and reduce fatigue on the climbs, Mark had to be careful to keep his wheels and tyres as light as possible while still providing him with the traction he’d need for the steep trails, and enough puncture protection to last the distance over the varied terrain.
Reserve 30 SL rims fit the bill perfectly, at just 449g per rim but still sturdy enough for modern trail riding these rims allowed Mark to save critical grams where it really counts. Laced up to Hope Pro 5 hubs front and rear they gave Mark the perfect wheelset for his needs; light, strong, super reliable and comfortable.
Mark chose his go-to front tyre for his Tallboy build, a Maxxis Minion DHF. His preferred option on his enduro bike, Mark chose to run the DHF on the Tallboy as well to give him a predictable front end that he was already comfortable on. Switching to an EXO casing to save effort on the climbs as opposed to the DH version on his enduro race bike, he went slightly up on pressure to 21psi.
A Maxxis Dissector took up braking duties on the rear. Again in EXO casing, the Dissector puts down a lot of rubber to the trail but still manages to roll fast, essential for the huge amount of climbing Mark was to take on. Pumped up to 23psi with no inserts, Mark only picked up one puncture on his ride, which he managed to plug on trail.
Cockpit & Brakes
A Hope bar and stem made up Mark’s cockpit. In an effort to reduce hand fatigue as much as possible, Mark chose a 31.8mm bar cut to 740mm to increase the compliance of the front end. Burgtec Bartender Pro grips aim to further reduce the vibrations going through to his hands. A 35mm Hope stem keeps steering direct and with a 10mm spacer under the stem and a 20mm rise bar, Mark’s bar setup is quite low and racy. OneUp’s EDC tool sits inside Mark’s steerer tube, loaded up with tyre plugs and chain link.
Continuing the theme of saving his hands and arms, Mark built his Tallboy with Hope’s most powerful brakes; Tech 4 levers on V4 callipers paired with a 200mm front rotor and 180mm rear. Big brakes mean more power, which means Mark can relax his grip on the levers and save precious energy over the 45 individual trails. Mark chose Hope Green Race pads for the most power possible.
Data is key for pacing on long rides and Mark’s Wahoo Element Roam cycle computer gave him everything he’d need to manage his effort through the day.
Drivetrain & Finishing Kit
A full X0 Transmission setup lets Mark shift across the 10-52t cassette even when fully loaded. Known for normally using a much larger chainring, Mark fitted a 30t chainring to the Tallboy to give him easier gears to sit and spin his way back up at a lower heart rate once the fatigue really started to kick in. 165mm cranks are what’s fitted to his Nomad race bike so keep a consistent feel to the Tallboy, although Mark did notice the wider Q-factor of the SRAM T-Type cranks. For pedals, he ran his usual Hope Union Trails.
A OneUp 180mm dropper post gave Mark plenty of room over the bike, topped with his favourite Fizik Argo R3 saddle to keep things consistent from his other bikes.
Mark Scott’s Santa Cruz Tallboy Full Specification
Frame: Santa Cruz Tallboy, Medium. 120mm rear travel
Fork: Öhlins RXF 36, 140mm, 100psi main chamber, 280psi ramp up chamber
Shock: Öhlins TTX1, 170psi
Wheels: Reserve 30|SL, Hope Pro 5 hubs
Tyres: Front- Maxxis Minion DHF, EXO casing, MaxxGrip, 21psi, no insert Rear- Maxxis Dissector, EXO casing, MaxxTerra, 23psi, no insert
Handlebar: Hope carbon handlebar, 740mm wide, 20mm rise, 31.8mm clamp
Stem: Hope Gravity Stem, 35mm long, 31.8mm clamp
Grips: Burgtec Bartender Pro
Brakes: Hope Tech4 V4, 200m front, 180mm rear, Green race pads
Drivetrain: SRAM X0 Transmission, 30t chainring, 10-52t cassette
Seatpost: OneUp dropper, 180mm, 31.6mm
Saddle: Fizik Tempo Argo R3
Mark Scott’s Full Round of Golf stats
Distance covered: 146.37km
Elevation gain: 8287m
Moving time: 18hrs 1min
Total time: 21hrs
Start time: Tuesday 15th August, 4:27am
Finish time: Wednesday 16th August, 1:23am
Calories burnt: 13909kcal
Bottles drunk: 15 plus extra cans of cola etc.
Sandwich of choice: Avocado and tomato
21 hours in the saddle and over 8000m of climbing is an incredible feat in itself, add in some of the most technically challenging trails in the UK and you have a monster of a ride. Massive congratulations go to Mark for getting it done and we can’t wait to see what crazy challenge he comes up with next!