One of the questions we are asked most often concerns the choice between the two Locomotive Cycles models in stainless steel, the Drop Bar Weslander and the Flat Bar Scotsman.
The main difference lies in the different geometry optimized for the type of handlebar which is different between the two models: we therefore have two specific geometries for use with flat mtb handlebar (Scotsman) or for use with drop gravel handlebar (Westlander).
It is therefore necessary to understand before purchasing which type of handlebar and bicycle is the most suitable for your needs and the routes you will travel on. When to choose one model over the other? The choice is divided fairly evenly.
Scotsman has a MTB set-up with flat handlebars, perfect for lovers of technical and bumpy passages. If you want to use your bike as well as for Bikepacking, also for technical mountain biking, running Marathon, 24 Hours, Epic Rides, then the Scotsman is your choice. If you want to travel with your Scotsman, however, you can opt for a "multi-socket" handlebar such as the classic Jones H Bar or derivatives or the excellent Moloko by Surly.
In terms of geometry, Scotsman has a longer top tube and a shorter head tube, this allows for compatibility with suspension forks up to 120mm and a more elongated position that favors technical passages and off-road riding.
A Bikepackers school of thought uses this more classic type of mtb by mounting two Chrono type extensions in the center of the handlebar, in order to have a second position, more relaxed and aerodynamic, to be exploited in flat and slightly flat extensions. We have seen these configurations on many bicycles that participated in the Tour Divide or Italy Divide.
Westlander has a setup more similar to a Gravel, with a 'racing type' handlebar more suitable for long distances even on rough terrain but where it is important to have plenty of grips on the handlebars to increase comfort and facilitate extension on asphalt and dirt roads. If you are interested in intercontinental travel, Gravel exits and the challenges of the great Alpine hills even on dirt or military roads, then you are made for Westlander and its geometry designed for long and very long journeys. One of the characteristics of the Weslander is to have a longer head tube, therefore a higher and more comfortable position especially when you spend many hours or days in the saddle. Weslander is more compact, the top tube is shorter to favor the position on the Drop handlebar, which has two positions at different heights (horizontal bar and handlebar curve)
So we can reassume that Scotsman is suitable for more technical terrains, very demanding trails and classic mtb use, because thanks to the wider handlebar you have better off-road control. Westlander is suitable for those who plan to spend many hours or days in the saddle, on road and off-road routes, especially on dirt roads and less technical but still demanding trails.