Scott Scale XC hardtail drops significant weight

Top-shelf race ready frame come in at 849 grams for size medium 27.5

27.5 29er Cross Country
There are three Scale offerings: RC or racing concept, standard, and plus. The RC bikes are 1x only with 100mm of front suspension.

There are three Scale offerings: RC or racing concept (pictured), standard, and plus. The RC bikes are 1x only with 100mm of front suspension.

We’ve already told you about Scott’s 2017 Spark full suspension cross-country bike, plus some significant updates to the Swiss bike maker’s road bike line. But perhaps more than any other bike, the revised Scott Scale is what defines this company.

“Racing is our heritage,” explained Jochen Haar, Scott’s PR and communications manager. “Low weight and stiffness are always a top focus.”

And that’s exactly what the new Scale hardtail is all about. The top end frame is crafted from HMX-SL carbon and has a claimed weight of 849 grams for a size medium 27.5 with boost spacing and all hardware. That’s 50 grams less than the previous iteration.

The difference in the old (left) and new (right) headtubes is startling.

The difference in the old (left) and new (right) headtubes is startling.

To reach this lofty low, Scott says it came up with a new way to bake the proverbial composite cake. Company engineers used computerized finite element analysis to build a virtual lay-up schedule that shed grams whenever possible, but not at the expense of stiffness (or comfort). Indeed, they went so far as to claim that the new Scale is 47% more comfortable that its predecessor. And while it’s hard to validate or even truly quantify those numbers, the bikes are certainly impressively light.

Heretofore, the HMX-SL carbon was only available on the road bike side of Scott’s expansive bike line-up. But in an effort to drastically improve on the previous Scale, they brought it to the dirt.

We wont dive too deep into the minutiae of manufacturing processes. But generally speaking Scott says it came up with a smarter way to put together the new Scale. For example, while the old bike’s headtube utilized one large layer of carbon fiber, the new Scale incorporates six smaller layers.

Both the derailleur hanger and rear brake mount have been revised to save weight and improve strength and compliance.

Both the derailleur hanger and rear brake mount have been revised to save weight and improve strength and compliance.

The benefit of this increased complexity is that each layer can be given a specific job. By changing the angles of the fibers you get more or less strength, stiffness or compliance, which in turn is dependant on what part of the bike is being addressed. It’s an approach that’s used throughout the new frame, resulting in significant weight savings. (It’s also almost surely more expensive, but final pricing has yet to be released on bikes that are expected to be available starting mid-fall.)

Like the new Spark line-up, there are three Scale offerings: RC or racing concept, standard, and plus. The RC bikes are 1x only with 100mm of front suspension (9 total models). The standard Scales are also 100mm, but have 2x capability (32 models). The plus bikes jump up to 120mm and can accommodate 1x or 2x shifting (4 models). All the standard tire width bikes come in 29er (900 series) and 27.5 (700 series).

Continue to page 2 for more on the new Scott Scale


About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympic Games, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner, who joined the RoadBikeReview.com / Mtbr.com staff in 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying time with his wife Lisa and daughter Cora.


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