July 11, 2012

Scott Scale RC 29er Review

The Scale RC is Scott's premium racing bike. It is the go to bike for this guy you may have heard of, Nino Schurter. He goes fast on bikes...like really fast. So fast he got a silver medal at the last Olympics and more recently has absolutely DOMINATED the UCI World Cup. He has a 650b, or 27.5" version of the bike. I have the 29er version, which is great because I am tall and I need big wheels to feel balanced on the bike. But, in case you are not a giant, it looks like Scott is committed to producing a full line of 650b bikes in the very near future, so keep your eyes open for developments.

Anyway, on to the part where I talk about how rad this bike is. Because it really is rad, or "wicked rad" for those from Massachusetts. First off, it is light, the 29er frame weighs in at just over two pounds. Do you know how light that is? Lighter than most road bike frames. But you can have way more fun on it than a road frame, simply because it isn't a road frame (sorry roadies). All kidding aside, out of the box, my XL weighed in at just over 21 lbs. What is nice about a light bike is that you have so much more freedom on the trail to maneuver the bike however you want. Obviously it makes going uphill easier, but so many other things become easier, or possible. A light back end and some powerful Sram XX brakes make nose wheeling around turns quite easy and fun. It also makes getting airborne easier, and doing things in the air, like tail whips.

Internal cable routing and a tapered headtube. #slamthatstem
It is easy to forget that this is a race bike. The slack-ish (only relative to other companies...I think it is perfect) head angle invites you to "pin it to win it" on the downhills. That combined with a tubeless wheelset means that you can run 20 psi (more is probably a good idea, it depends on your weight and riding style) and get killer traction. Although the bike comes with DT Swiss wheels, the team runs Stan's No Tubes wheels. For me, my three year old Stan's 355s are still going strong, despite riding the rim, bottoming out the tire and riding them far beyond their recommended use.

Going fast
The 2x10 XX shifting is superb. It took me a while to get it dialed in perfectly, but once it is there, it truly is an incredible thing.
Nice and stiff thanks to a PF92 BB

The frame has quite a bit of technology built into it, including compliant seatstays for taking the edge off, a PressFit92 bottom bracket for added stiffness, internal cable routing and a tapered headtube. Those last two things are my favorites. All of it combines to create a truly well thought out bike that is super fun to go fast on (or super slow for rock crawling type riding).

Another thing, if the $5500 price tag is too much (although it is a very reasonable price), there is a Pro and Expert version, both are also carbon. If those are still too much, or you are still deathly afraid of "plastic bikes" you can get an aluminum version. I raced the first generation aluminum Scale 29er in two UCI World Cups and had a blast on it. It is just as fast, so don't rule it out.

I could go into more detail about the specifics, but you should be able to find all you need to know about that stuff on the Scott website. I'm just trying to convey how fun this bike is. I regularly have to remind myself that it is an XC race bike, not some 4x machine. It is a capable bike, period. Our team has racked up wins on it, and so have Nino, Geoff, Nicolas Sessler and other fast international Scott racers.


  1. Do you have any experiances with the new Scott Scale 700 SL?

  2. Nothing yet on the Scale 700 other than a few test rides (and loved how fast the bike moved and cornered). A few of us will be on the Spark 700 and Genius 700 this year.