Gives you two bikes in one (maybe three)
Scott TwinLoc has been around in various forms for a few years but it’s this very latest incarnation that feels helpful as opposed to a headache.
Scott are arguably the most genuinely progressive of the bigger bike brands out there. Take their new Scott Genius for example; properly slack and long geometry. And with a healthy, non-dogmatic approach to the wheelsize debate ie. you can have both if you want, it’s okay.
Perhaps the main aspect of Scott bikes that remains polarising is the use of their proprietary remote-control suspension system, called TwinLoc. Previous remote-operated shocks on Scott bikes haven’t been all that popular with the average rider. The system was seen as overly based at XC racers. The rear shocks used to be oddball pull-shock that ran at crazy high PSI and not many places serviced them. And the lever was always rather unsightly and knee-unfriendly.
But you know what? The new Scott TwinLoc is a genuinely useful bit of innovation.
Although it’s promoted under the tagline “With TwinLoc, you can have three bikes in one”, it’s arguably better thought of two bikes in one. What are these two bikes? A firm bike that sits at a higher dynamic sag and a plush bike with a low BB height.
The ‘firm bike’ mode is the Traction Control mode. The ‘plush bike’ mode is the Descend mode.
The third bike that Scott mean is a fully locked-out bike. In our experience it’s best to forget about this mode and just leave yourself with the task of switching between firm ‘n’ high bike and plush ‘n’ low bike. Sure, use lock-out on road sections if you want to but you’re not saving much energy over the firm mode really. Leave the lock-out for the lycra-heads.
The key thing to understand about modern TwinLoc is that it’s not just the damping changes that make the system useful – ie. less pedal bobbing in Traction Control mode or plusher bump absorption in Descend mode – it’s the fact the bike’s dynamic stance is different in each mode.
The bike sits up with a steeper seat angle in Traction Control mode. The bike hunkers down with a slacker head angle and lower BB when in Descend mode. It’s effectively like having a bike with two sag points, at the flick of a switch.
About that switch. The remote lever is much, much nicer than earlier TwinLoc remotes both in operation and in aesthetic.
As regards servicing and repair, although still proprietary to Scott the shock is essentially modified Fox Nude shock – and the fork is a standard Fox fork (albeit one with a custom-tuned 3 position damper), any Fox distributor/dealer can service a Scott TwinLoc bike.
How does Scott TwinLoc work?
The system works by connecting the shock, fork, and ultimately the frame via a handlebar remote. With the remote, the rider has the ability to choose from three ride modes, Descend, Traction Control and Lockout.
Traction Control mode
This is the mode you’ll end up opting for most of the time during a ride. It’s not just for climbing. It’s for any trail requiring a punchy, responsive bike handling.
Traction Control gives you a responsive bike, with an efficient stance, without removing any off-the-top suppleness.
In Traction Control mode, one chamber is closed off, reducing the shock’s air volume. This reduces the effective travel and results in a more progressive air spring curve. This combined with an increase in compression damping leads to a few changes. Primarily, the system changes the bikes geometry when switching from Descend Mode to Traction Control Mode. You sit higher in the shock’s travel, ground to pedal clearance is increased, and you effectively move forward into a more efficient position for putting down the power and clearing technical climbs. Additionally, the bike becomes more agile, more nimble and more efficient, all without sacrificing traction or sensitivity. It is perfect for smoother, less technical terrain where you have to pump the bike to gain speed or rough, technical climbs where traction and comfort need to be maximized. Simultaneously, compression damping is increased in the fork in an effort to keep the bike well balanced.
For the rough stuff and prolonged descents.
Our Proprietary FOX Nude shock features two positive air chambers. In Descend mode, both chambers are open, essentially creating one large volume chamber. This gives you the full amount of available rear wheel travel. Both fork and shock are fully optimized for downhill performance with regards to both air spring rate and damping.