Looking like something straight out of a science fiction movie, this sleek new Scott e-bike boasts a clocked motor and hidden shock.
Scott’s futuristic new Patron eRide aims to be one of the best electric bikes on the market, and comes packed with features, such a remote lockout, hidden shock and optimised weight balance. We find out whether it’s any good.
Need to know
- World’s first e-bike with integrated shock has 160mm travel, Bosch Performance Line CX motor and huge 750Wh battery
- Six bike Patron range extends from £5,699 in aluminium right up to £10,849 for the Ultimate carbon model.
- Smooth lines represent a completely new design DNA for Scott
- TwinLoc 2 remote offers Traction Mode with reduced travel as well as a full lock-out
Scott’s new Patron e-bike is so streamlined and slick, it’s almost as if the design concept rolled off the sketch pad and became reality. Angular with smooth edges, the chunky frame draws the eye from stays through shock-concealing top tube to a fat sculpted head tube with oversize 1.8in steerer tube inside. The overall effect is more ‘Blade Runner’ than traditional mountain bike.
Scott’s latest creation isn’t so image obsessed that it’s impractical though. The integrated shock concept (shared with the brand’s new Spark XC bike and the Linkin from sister brand Bold Cycles) makes engineering sense, in that it keeps the shock hidden from dirt and water and allows Scott to place the latest Bosch motor and battery as low as possible for better handling.
The new Patron replaces the Genius eRide in the Scott line-up, so it gets 160mm of travel front and rear with a four-bar linkage and Horst Link. A custom Fox Nude shock is paired with a FIT4-damped 38 fork and linked to the handlebar-controlled TwinLoc system. It’s here that all the hard work of making the frame sleek is undone; the clump of levers and tangle of cables is a mess.
As a system, Scott’s TwinLoc splits opinion; many (mostly non-UK) riders will appreciate the lock-out and 115mm travel ‘Traction Control’ setting on a full-fat e-bike as much as the bike’s kickstand mount, but here in the UK, we’re less convinced. Without vast alpine climbs on our doorstep, the lockout, and to a lesser extent the traction, seems superfluous.
Motor and battery
The Patron’s unique looks come off while still using the same off-the-shelf Bosch drive unit and controller as other brands. Scott gets smart with the longer 750Wh battery (that’s the sole 2022 option) and motor by integrating it neatly, but also by twisting the latter upwards to place the heaviest component (the 4.3kg Powertube battery) lower down in the chassis. It’s a neat trick, and one used by Whyte and Specialized already. The Patron’s motor is also cradled from underneath (not all round), meaning excess heat can also be dumped out of the top via a vented cover. There’s a charging port for the internal battery, but it’s also easily removable for off-bike replenishment.
Clocking the Bosch drive unit makes room for a water bottle, but eats into real estate for the shock, which is why the damper now hides inside the top tube. A plastic door accesses the rebound dial and schrader valve, with the shock being driven by a cold-forged link with a splined three-piece interface (based on a Bold Cycles design) that penetrates the top tube. Scott claims the new linkage brings massive stiffness gains (45% more than Genius eRide) and should cycle the shock more cleanly for a smoother suspension response. Hiding the Nude shock does make setting the sag more difficult however, as the exterior gauge is quite vague and requires the help of another person.
This also means it’s hard to see the shock shaft while out riding (even with the cover removed), and that makes it tricky to see how much travel you’re using and whether you need to tune the air pressure. Being even more picky, the plastic lid sticks out a bit from the top tube and upsets the frame silhouette – a shame when it’s only built this way to accommodate the bulging dials on the cheapest model’s X-Fusion shock.
Sizing and geomery
In line with the Patron’s agenda, the geometry sits within the realms of a modern trail bike. The size Large frame gets a 473mm reach and 30mm BB drop, and doesn’t ever feel too long or low when riding. The 454mm chainstays have shrunk 11mm to improve manoeuvrability and wheelie-factor, and the seat angle has tipped forwards to 77-degrees to better balance weight distribution. The size Large climbing position felt absolutely spot on, even up the steepest pitches, and without having to slam the comfy saddle forwards on the rails.
Compared to the Genius eRide, the Patron gets a lower standover height and shorter seat tubes on all four sizes. This prevents knocking delicate knees when riding dynamically on any of the carbon, carbon/alloy or full aluminium models. Being 1.5kg heavier, you’ll definitely need more muscle to throw around the alloy frame compared to the carbon version though.
Elsewhere there’s plenty of own brand integration, including a funky one-piece Syncros Hixon carbon bar and stem with cables piped inside the head tube. Its 780mm width should be enough for most and I liked the sweep, but not everyone will want the fixed 60mm (equivalent) stem length on the two bigger sizes. Swapping this combo for a traditional set-up will be expensive, too.
Even at over £8K, you don’t get the wireless variety of the SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain. There’s also a downgraded NX chain and relatively low-profile EXO+ Maxxis Dissector tyres front and rear in chunky 2.6in width. I’d rather see a more aggressive tread up front, paired with a sturdier Double Down casing at the rear, but having said that, I didn’t encounter any wheel issues during the launch on steep, rocky Spanish trails.
Scott was keen to point out that optimising weight distribution was a key goal with the Patron. It claims that 55% of the overall system weight is in the central portion of the bike, and that this, together with the shorter chainstays, means the new bike has a ride quality that defies its 24kg weight. So how did this futuristic-looking vehicle handle regular old mountain bike trails?
How it rides
With Bosch’s latest system packing new drive modes, software and user interface, there’s a tight and sprightly pedalling feel and a really smooth power delivery, even without engaging the TwinLoc. Basically, it goes on and on and makes lighter work of lumpy climbs than some less pedal-efficient e-bikes. If you get bored, the new Kiox 300 display and bar control offers plenty to look at and fiddle with.
Personally, I’m not that fussed about rev counters and endless stats and would still prefer a more minimal Bosch controller. You can always remove the display, but the ‘master’ LED-lit remote has to stay, and with Scott’s TwinLoc set up and dropper lever on the same side there’s a lot going on to test hand-eye coordination.
The Patron’s seated pedalling position is perfect to milk the tons of power and traction on flowy singletrack, and if you mix it up, and hover just above the saddle occasionally, there a nice tight feel bombing along bendy trails. We got stuck into some crazy climbing scenarios, riding DH tracks backwards for giggles and it felt great here too, never getting weirdly unbalanced or pitching weight off the back. The ‘Traction Control’ setting effectively tips the chassis forwards and increases ground clearance for a more attacking attitude too, but I’m not convinced this will necessarily outweigh the reduced traction of having less travel on slippery, step-laden UK climbs.
Pointing the other way, Scott’s stiffness claims stack up, with noticeable tightness side-to-side, and no sense of deflection or flinching down some of the grippiest, grittiest rock formations I’ve ever ridden. The steering is pretty responsive, but being used to a shorter stem, the 60mm stem felt less reactive to me, and my weight was also a bit tipped forwards, which showed up the relative lack of support in the FIT4 fork (to the point of craving more volume reducers to hold it up deeper in the stroke). A better solution might be the superior, more adjustable GRIP2 damper, but that’s not an option since TwinLoc only works with the FIT4 damper.
The rear NUDE suspension is smooth off the top, but doesn’t entirely float over every bigger bump, or seem that plush – there’s less of a cushioned, glued-to-the-floor feel than some 160mm e-bikes with more DH-grade dampers. Hard charging riders might also occasionally smash through all the rear travel; I bottomed the shock on deep landings and when hammering through compressions, eventually adding extra air pressure as a quick fix.
This isn’t to say the Patron doesn’t keep you feeling totally safe and calm riding virgin trails at a fair old lick. There’s great balance between both ends; just less hyperactive off-the-top touch and end stroke punch to stab at turns or bounce out of berms like some more progressive bikes. It’s very accurate to position with neutral handling that carves rather than chops at turns. This could be partly to do with the chainstay length – despite being shorter, they’re still on the long side, and this is why it doesn’t display the razor-sharp dynamism of some e-bikes.
Another consideration, that’s in no way unique to the Patron, is that bigger batteries for longer range also means more weight and less agility. In my view, if you don’t do huge rides, you’ll be paying for that extra range with a less playful bike.
Scott has hit plenty of bases with the Patron and, as much as it looks like the sort of bike an oligarch would ride down to the cigar shop in Verbier, it’s also seriously practical. Neutral, calm and planted, it pedals and handles smoothly enough to make it an effective ally both up and down. There’s also enough capability to hit up some tasty trails, even if it isn’t the perfect winch and plummet enduro shredder.