Get ready to race! The Scott Scale RC hardtail cross-country mountain bike gets a refresh for 2023


The Scott Scale RC has been a regular fixture on cross-country World Cup and World Champion podiums, piloted to victory by the one and only Nino Schurter. With the upcoming UCI World Championships in Scotland in 2023, it’s no surprise then that Scott has updated its fastest XC hardtail bike.

Need to know:

  • Price TBC
  • Adjustable head angle
  • Geometry informed by Scott Spark RC full-sus XC bike
  • Three-piece carbon mold construction
  • Hardware weight nearly halved, using polymer to produce various plugs and mounts
  • Hollow dropout is a claimed 7.5g lighter
  • New ‘service door’ in downtube to access internal routing
  • 24 models in the Scale range, including Contessa women’s models

Scott Scale RC geometry

As XC courses have become increasingly technical, bikes have evolved to match. A lot of riders currently opt for a full-sus bike with dropper seat post for some if not all courses, since they offer suspension and geometry more suited to the bigger drops, jumps and features that are now commonplace.

It’s no surprise then that the Scale has its new geometry informed by the Scott Spark RC, Scott’s high-performance XC full-sus bike, though adapted to suit a hardtail.

Head angle can also be adjusted by 0.6 degrees by disassembling the integrated handlebar, rotating the headset cups 180 degrees, then reassembling the system. This allows for the head angle to be made steeper or slacker without having to cut cables or bleed brakes.

Frame engineering and design

It’ll come as no surprise that the Scott Scale RC is based around a premium carbon frame. Scott has opted to use monocoque construction with a blend of carbon fibres specific to each section of the bike. This process means the bike consists of only three separate segments that are then bonded together.

This lower number of pieces translates into fewer joins or junction, which in turn means less material needed and therefore less weight and greater strength.

Cable are routed internally, and Scott has incorporated a ‘service door’ which lies behind the downtube protector to allow easier access inside the frame for maintenance.

Significant weight loss

Speaking of less weight, that – unsurprisingly, since this is an XC race bike – is one of the major selling points for this newly updated Scott Scale RC.

In addition to the new frame construction mentioned above, there are a few other engineering and design elements that have further shaved weight over the previous incarnation of the Scale RC.

There are three frame options for the Scale RC: the HMF, the HMX and the premium HMX-SL.

On these bikes, the dropout has a hollow construction which allows the axle head to clamp against the inner surface of the dropout. This, Scott claims, shaves off 7.5g of weight, and allows for a narrower rear triangle area which leads to a further 20g weight reduction.

In addition, Scott has managed to shave weight on the hardware that’s part and parcel of bike construction, and they’ve done this by reducing the number of metal parts used and swapping them out for polymer elements where possible. For example, the chain guide, cable routing parts and bottle cage inserts.

In more detail, the bottle cage inserts are constructed from polymer, and are plugged completely sitting flush with the frame thanks to an integrated clipping mechanism. This designed approach also means they are easily replaceable in case of a damaged thread, and don’t need additional tools.

Scott claims this means a reduction of almost half – from 82g to 35g – in the hardware weight in the HMX-SL model compared to the old Scott Scale RC.

New handlebars

The Scale also comes with new Syncros Fraser iC combo integrated handlebar. It’s designed to allow cables to sit under the bar and around the side of the stem, then enter the frame via the headset, with integrated plastic elements.

24 models in the updated Scott Scale range

Obviously we’ve focussed mostly on the flagship Scott Scale RC SL above, the super-lightweight race-ready hard tail that’s likely going to make an appearance or two (or more) in the upcoming World Cup season.

However, there are a whopping 24 models across the whole range, varying in price, spec and focus, including four Scott Contessa Scale women’s specific models.

Price, spec and which models are available with vary territory to territory.