Scott has ditched TwinLoc adjust on its latest e-bike – the long-travel Scott Ransom eRide 910. Has this move unleashed full beast mode?
The Scott Ransom eRide 910 boasts a truck load of travel and a powerful motor. How does it stack up on the trails?
Scott Ransom eRide 910
I’ve lost track of how many times here at MBR we’ve written that removing, or simplifying, Scott TwinLoc remote damping adjust system would improve one of its bikes. Suffice to say it’s quite a lot. Well finally our prayers have been answered; this new Ransom eRide boasts a beautifully clutter-free cockpit and uncompromised Fox damping circuits front and rear. So did we have it right all along? Is it a better bike for the lack of gizmos and gadgets?
Before we answer that, I need to point out that there are some real advantages to Scott’s TwinLoc system. When mated to the rear shock, having the ability to reduce the travel and optimise the dynamic geometry for climbing and pedalling makes a lot of sense, and the benefits can really be felt in the field, but coupling the system to the fork always felt like a step too far for us.
Ditching TwinLoc is also an obvious move on an e-bike, as the system’s advantages are reduced when you have a motor and 85Nm of torque at your feet. Getting rid of suspension bob to improve efficiency is no longer an issue as there is so much power to draw on from the motor. And the fact that you rarely get out of the saddle when climbing on an e-bike means the suspension is not having to try and control huge shifts in body weight. Cranks tend to be shorter, so ground clearance is less of a problem, and chainstays are usually longer, so you have plenty of traction and your centre of mass is further forward. Finally, as the motor’s remote control takes up valuable bar space, trying to squeeze a TwinLoc lever in an accessible position on the bar is virtually impossible.
While it probably felt like a huge leap into the unknown for the Scott engineers to break free from the shackles of TwinLoc, the rest of the Ransom eRide is familiar territory. A chunky head tube, down tube, BB and chainstays contrast with slimline seat stays, upper seat tube and top tube. The narrow rocker link drives an upside down Fox Float X2 shock, there’s a radical kink in the top tube to help standover height, and room inside the front triangle for a bottle and cage.
That Bosch Performance Line CX motor is protected by a custom shroud, there’s a chunky rubber protector extending almost the entire length of the down tube, and I’m glad to say that the battery is attached to its cover, so the two come out as one. Sadly, like most Bosch-equipped bikes, you do need a key to remove it. There’s also a charging port on the down tube, but the rubber cover didn’t fit well on our test bike and constantly flapped around, leaving the electrical connections exposed.
Scott has fitted an upper chain guide to the motor housing – a must on an enduro e-bike – and opted for the all-in-one Purion control unit. It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s arguably the best of the Bosch units as, with a bit of ingenuity, it can be mounted in a less intrusive position. Considering how effective Bosch’s EMTB mode is, you only really need the unit to turn it on and check the battery life.
Scott has fitted a SRAM Eagle groupset with a mix of X01 and Sram NX Eagle. Your eye is drawn to the X01 mech, but arguably it’s the NX shifter that would most benefit from that upgrade as it has more of an effect on the quality of the shift and sits in a less vulnerable position. That said, the range of gears is excellent and the shifting performed perfectly during our test.
In what might have previously been considered an uncomfortable marriage, it’s Shimano that handles the braking on the Ransom eRide. With dinner plate 203mm rotors and four-piston calipers, the XT brakes proved more than sufficient to rein in the 25kg mass. The bite point was consistent and, like most Shimano brakes, the power came in early and strong.
Syncros’ X-30S alloy rims are shod with dependable Maxxis Assegai and rapid Dissector tyres. I had no complaints with the chosen tread patterns, but the big volume 2.6in carcasses exacerbated the high BB height and the casing at the back needs to be upgraded from EXO+ to Double Down on a bike aimed at park laps and alpine adventures. I also put a big flat spot in the rear rim on one ride around the Surrey Hills, which is hardly the world’s roughest MTB playground.
Fox provides the suspension on the Ransom eRide with a Fox 38 fork up front and Float X2 Performance at the rear. Both are said to give 180mm of travel, although I only measured 162mm of vertical wheel travel at the rear. And it’s also worth pointing out that, when I fully deflated the shock, there wasn’t enough room to get any of our shock pumps back on. I had to remove the shock, inflate it off the bike, and reinstall it.
Unlike it’s more sophisticated stablemate, the Float X2 Performance is relatively easy to set up, with low-speed rebound and compression damping dials supplemented by a handy climb switch. At 73kg, I ran the fork almost wide open on both rebound and compression damping, and added about six clicks of rebound damping to the shock with the compression wide open. Which tends to suggest both are slightly overdamped.
Geometry and sizing
As we do with all our test bikes, I ran a tape measure and angle finder over the Scott Ransom e-Ride and the compared my findings with Scott’s published figures. The two correlated almost perfectly, which is impressive on an alloy bike. To sum up those figures, the Ransom eRide has a steep seat angle, a high BB, long chainstays and a decent length reach. There are four sizes in the range, and with chainstay lengths remaining static at 465mm throughout, I’d say the bike better suits taller riders than shorter riders, as the weight balance will have quite a forward bias on the smaller sizes. Another thing to watch out for is that the seat tube is longer than average – some 45mm longer than the Santa Cruz Bullit for example – so combined with the 175mm dropper post at full extension, the saddle height was too high for me.
How the Scott Ranson eRide 910 rides
Ironically for a bike built to descend, the steep seat angle (actual and effective), long chainstays and tall BB mean that the Ransom eRide is a really talented climbing machine. You sit centred and upright, the decent 470mm reach needed to counterbalance that steep seat tube, and it’s a comfortable position whether you’re twiddling up a fireroad or picking lines up something steep and technical. Even without the TwinLoc’s firmer compression setting, I didn’t feel the need to use the climb switch at the base of the shock, as the chassis felt stable enough while pedalling. And that’s probably just as well, as it’s quite a stretch to reach the lever. Being fairly elevated, even in the low geometry setting, means more ground clearance for rocky climbs too, so as an alpine all-rounder, the Ransom eRide ticks a lot of boxes.
Turn around and hit some descents and the first thing you notice about the Scott Ransom eRide is its bulk – or rather where that bulk sits. At 24.6kg, it compares with many of its peers – bikes like the YT Decoy Shred and Vitus E-Sommet VRX – but that weight is higher and further forward than those two bikes, and so it doesn’t have the same dexterity in the turns as either competitor, particularly the ADHD Decoy Shred. The front wheel is so tied to the ground that it may as well have grown roots, and you need to invest a ton of energy into wrestling the Ransom e-Ride from corner to corner. While the rear suspension performs great, with plenty of grip and just enough support, the fork punches back in really rough terrain and can feel slightly out of step with the shock. Once I’d got used to the Scott, I could definitely go fast on it, and it smashes chunky descents like a sledgehammer, but it takes a lot of effort and commitment to get the most from it. The Ransom e-Ride is an effective tool then, but hardly the most inspiring option on the market if you never like going in one direction for too long.
One obvious way to improve the dynamics of the Scott Ransom eRide would be to fit a 27.5in rear wheel and a smaller front tyre. Mulleting it would lower the BB, slacken the head angle and make the bike more willing to turn. With such a steep seat angle, you wouldn’t even have to worry about ending up sitting over the rear axle.