Six-bar linkage and hidden shock takes Scott’s Ransom enduro bike to the next level

Product Overview

Scott Ransom 900 RC


  • • Accomplished enduro bike, both up and down
  • • TracLoc lets you optimise the suspension and geometry for ascents on-the-fly
  • • Adjustable geometry
  • • Remarkably clean frame
  • • Longer shock service intervals


  • * No proportional chainstays
  • * Headset-routed cables and one-piece bar and stem


The Scott Ransom 900 RC hides its shock inside the frame, but boasts a ride that makes mincemeat of climbs and descents


Price as reviewed:


Scott’s brand new Ransom conceals the shock within the frame to create one of the most streamlined enduro bikes on the market. But that’s not the only thing that makes it special. With a six-bar linkage and pull-out tool tray tucked inside the full carbon frame, it’s also one of the most advanced enduro bikes on the market. Can it earn a place among the best enduro bikes on sale? We’ve ridden it out in Spain and here are our first ride impressions.

Scott Ransom 900 RC

With 29in wheels front and rear, a six-bar suspension design, and a hidden shock means the Scott Ransom is not your typical enduro bike.

Scott Ransom Need to know

Frame and geometry

It’s over five years since the previous Ransom was launched, so hats off to Scott for making a bike that stayed relevant for much longer than most designs. When we tested the previous Ransom back in 2018, we loved the low weight, agile handling, and ultra-sensitive suspension, but hated how the TwinLoc remote ‘lockout’ compromised the performance of the fork and made the suspension unbalanced. There’s no doubt that Scott’s signature tech is an advantage at the rear of the bike, where it firms the suspension, steepens the angles, and effectively raises the bottom bracket for improved climbing. But because it was limited to older Fox dampers, there was a loss of downhill performance and a mismatch with the ultra supple rear suspension.

Scott Ransom 900 RC

Scott has done a great job of hiding all the cables and hoses.

Well good news, because the new Ransom has been disconnected from the fork, turning the on-the-fly travel and geometry system into a single lock set-up that Scott has dubbed TracLoc. And that frees the Ransom to run the excellent Fox Grip, or RockShox Charger 3 damper, depending on the model.

Scott Ransom 900 RC

Driving the Ransom’s shock is a link that rotates around the bottom bracket.

A small but significant upgrade then, but the most obvious evolutionary step for the Ransom is the shock disappearing inside the frame. It’s a move that’s been coming down the tracks since Scott bought Bold Cycles back in 2019. Since then, the Spark and Genius have received the hidden shock makeover, leaving the Ransom as the only model (bar the Gambler DH bike) exposing its bits to the world. Why is tucking the shock inside the frame a big deal? Well, aside from looking sleek, the shock is protected from the worst of the elements, reducing the amount of dust and mud that can eat away at seals, which can lengthen service intervals and improve performance.

Scott Ransom 900 RC

We’d guess the Ransom is a pretty easy bike to clean, but thankfully, dusty trails on the launch meant we didn’t have to find out.

Packaging the shock inside the frame obviously comes with challenges, but Scott has managed to give the new Ransom an attractive silhouette. Yes, there’s a bit of a belly where the shock sits horizontally forward of the bottom bracket, but compared to an e-bike, it still looks lithe. Yet there’s also a solidity to the structure that befits the Ransom’s remit. While the old bike used its gym membership to stay lean, the new one has plainly been in there bulking up. And this can be measured on the scales as well as in the mirror. While the Ransom we tested in 2018 weighed 12.96kg in size large, the new one tipped the scales at 15.76kg. To be fair, that did include the Save The Day kit, with tube, tool, and a bottle cage. But even so, the Ransom has put on weight, something we rarely say about a Scott. And how does it compare to other enduro bikes on the market? Well, the Nukeproof Giga weighs 15.4kg, a Forbidden Dreadnought is 15.99kg, the Atherton AM. 170 is 16.4kg, so it’s competitive.

Scott has clearly thought about overall mass, as putting the shock in the heavily reinforced bottom bracket area means the engineers don’t need to add material at the top tube and upper seat tube.

Scott Ransom 900 RC

Flip chip alters chainstay length and BB height to minimise variations when switching to a mullet set-up. Also note the sag/travel indicator around the BB.

Scott has also been shrewd to make a single frame cover as many potential set-up preferences as possible, which reduces cost and manufacturing complexity. The Ransom comes standard with 29in wheels front and rear, but it will also accept a 27.5in rear wheel with minimal disruption to the geometry. A flip chip on the chainstay gives two BB heights and compensates for different wheel sizes (also shortening the chainstays by 10mm), while inserts at the head tube give three head angle options (63.8º, 64.4º, 65º).

Other key numbers include a 350mm BB height, 440mm chainstay across all four frame sizes, and reach numbers of 428mm (small), 458mm (medium), 483mm (large), and 508mm (XL) with the slackest head angle. Effective seat angles are around 77º, and seat tubes are reasonably short with plenty of standover room. Yet insertion depths are generous enough to allow for up to 180mm dropper posts on a medium frame and 210mm on a large.

Two carbon lay-ups are offered, with the lightest HMX frame found on the Ransom 900 RC, and the rest of the range getting the cheaper HMF version.

Scott Ransom 900 RC

Inside the down tube is space for an inner tube, tyre levers, and chain tool, while a mini-tool resides inside the shock cover.

All bikes come with fork fenders and the Syncros Matchbox tool kit, in the shock cover at the base of the down tube. With everything tucked safely within the frame, there’s no need to remember to bring a hip pack.

Scott Ransom 900 RC

A look at that six-bar linkage in all its glory.


While the old bike relied on a four-bar linkage design, Scott ups its game on the new Ransom with a six-bar system. The reason for this is it gives the engineers extra control over different suspension characteristics. So it can tune leverage rate, anti-squat, and anti-rise more precisely and more independently.

The main forged alloy link rotates around the bottom bracket and drives the shock and anchors the chainstays. At the dropout there is a Horst link, while the seatstays attach to a swing link halfway up the seat tube. Two alloy uprights tie the upper and lower links together and control their relative rotation throughout the travel.

The end result is a fairly average progression rate of 25% – enough to be compatible with coil shocks – a relatively low, and consistent, anti-rise of around 60% – to keep the suspension active under braking – and anti-squat around the 100-110% zone when climbing to improve efficiency.

Scott Ransom 900 RC

A push button releases the shock cover and gives access to damping dials and positive air valve.

In that respect Scott already has an advantage over most of its competitors (except for Canyon’s Strive) with its TracLoc system. This uses a custom Fox Float X Nude shock, with a split air chamber, controlled by a pair of levers on the handlebar.

Pushing the lever once closes off one of the air chambers, reducing the volume of the shock and making it almost impossible to get full travel. It’s a bit like filling your shock with volume spacers, and makes the bike sit higher, giving more pedal clearance, and steepens the angles, which puts you in a more efficient climbing position. Push the lever again and increase the compression damping as well (without locking it out). There’s no need to shift your weight, as you do on the Canyon Shapeshifter, so just hit the lever and you can save energy, or go faster on liaisons and climbs. Better yet, it’s easy to switch off on a descent if you forget.

Scott Ransom 900 RC

Mini-tool housed inside the shock cover.

As you can probably guess, access to the shock is restricted, but Scott has worked hard to make the Ransom as easy to set-up as possible. Remove the plastic down tube cover by pressing the spring-loaded release button and all the key adjusters reveal themselves. You’ll have to bend down to fiddle with the rebound damping, and attach a shock pump, but the sag can be checked by looking at the dial indicator on the link. You can also use this to check whether full travel has been achieved.

What about the shock overheating with no airflow to cool it? Scott says it has monitored this throughout the bike’s development and that it hasn’t been a problem. In fact, it told us that the most noticeable impact of running the shock in the frame is that the shock temperature is more consistent. Peaks and troughs, as the suspension heats up during runs, and cools down after, are smoothed out, which can lead to more consistent damping performance. We’ll have to take Scott’s word for it, as it wasn’t hot enough, and the runs weren’t long enough during the launch to get any feel for what happens to the damping.

Scott Ransom 900 RC

SRAM’s T-Type AXS drivetrain keeps shifting slick while adding durability.


As the top model in Scott’s five-strong range, the Ransom 900 RC does not want for parts. A Fox 38 Factory fork with the eminently adjustable GRIP2 damper adorns the front end, while the Factory-level Float X shock keeps its shiny Kashima coating under wraps. SRAM provides the sturdy T-Type Transmission, while everything from the crank to the derailleur coming from the XO stable – with one notable exception; the shifter. This is the old AXS controller fitted with the AXS Rocker Paddle, and a small but significant upgrade to the drivetrain that shows the level of detail gone to by Scott’s product managers. With offset thumb pads, the Rocker paddle operates as closely as possible to a cable shifter, feels completely intuitive, and reduces the chance of double and accidental shifts.

Scott Ransom 900 RC

SRAM Code Stealth brakes help keep the cockpit looking clean.

Race Face Turbine R alloy wheels are shod with the popular Maxxis Assegai and fast-rolling Dissector tyres front and rear. An EXO+ casing and MaxxGrip compound maximising grip up front, while the DoubleDown casing and Max Terra compound out back keeps the pace high while protecting against pinch flats.

Scott Ransom 900 RC

Integrated bar and stem won’t be to everyone’s taste, or position.

As with more Scott high-end models, there’s a one-piece carbon handlebar and stem. The shape is ok, and it’s not excessively harsh, but we’d rather a conventional two-piece design to maximise adjustability, and minimise cost if you want to customise your cockpit. Plastic covers hide the headset-routed cables adding to the clean look of the frame. Such that, despite having an extra cable for the remote, the only visible hose is the front brake. Remarkable.

Scott Ransom 900 RC

There’s stacks of room to get tucked into the Genius on jumps.


Setting up the Scott Ransom was slightly more convoluted than a bike with a visible shock, as the cover needs removing, then I had to keep kneeling down to attach and detach the shock pump and dial in the damping, but the sag-o-meter is accurate and visible, which claws back some of the extra time involved. I ended up with 175psi in the shock to give 35%. If that seems like a lot, the beauty of Scott’s TracLoc design is that you can run more sag, for better downhill traction, without compromising pedalling performance and ground clearance.

Scott Ransom 900 RC

Climbing has always been one of the Ransom’s strong points, and it’s still the case on the latest version.


For an enduro bike that weighs over 16kg with pedals, fitted with a soft compound front tyre that adds considerable drag, the Scott Ransom is an impressively efficient climber. Having extensively ridden the previous model, and knowing how much energy can potentially be saved with these travel and geometry adjust systems, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Whether racing enduro at the highest level, or just pushing your own limits on big terrain, reducing energy consumption on the climbs simply means you can stay fresher and ride harder on the descents.

Mostly I used the TracLoc mid setting, with reduced travel but no extra damping, as the suspension has enough support and I got to enjoy better traction and comfort. But pushing the lever again – now much lighter thanks to only pulling one cable – is definitely an advantage on smooth fire-road climbs and tarmac sections.

Either way, with the bike up on tip-toes you benefit from more pedal clearance for ascending ledges or dropping into ruts, while the steeper dynamic geo rotates your weight forward and helps keep the front wheel planted.

Scott Ransom 900 RC

The Ransom really charges on rough, pockmarked trails like these.


The previous Ransom was defined by a really fluttery beginning stroke that tracked the ground in perfect harmony. On the new bike the trait that really stuck out in my mind was one of ample mid-stroke support. In that sense it reminded me of the Bold Linkin 150 that I rode a couple of years ago. Small-bump performance is still good, and there was bags of grip on the rough, pockmarked granite trails of Santa Colomers de Farmers where the launch was held. But the Ransom really seemed to excel at keeping its shape and composure as the holes got bigger and the hits got harder.

Scott Ransom 900 RC

It takes big, flat landings to get anywhere near full travel, but the Ransom gobbles up sections like this.

While I achieved full travel on more than a couple of occasions, most trails would use around 90% of the 170mm available, and even at the very extreme, the only way I could tell I’d bottomed out was by looking at the sag indicator.

Scott has created a very stiff chassis, which makes it very direct when changing direction and stable when loaded up, but I wouldn’t describe the frame as harsh, and I didn’t feel fatigued at the end of a long run. In that sense, Scott has nailed the qualities of an enduro race bike.

While perhaps not as agile as a mullet set-up, the 29in wheels carried speed superbly. Scott is a brand that really believes in the advantages of bigger hoops – as shown by the downhill team riding, and winning, on full 29ers. And the Ransom seems to accentuate their benefits.


Intricate, involving, and ingenious, the new Ransom is as much of a delight to ride as it is easy on the eye. It also happens to be easy to ride too, with loads of support and traction from the suspension and a sturdy chassis that accurately responds to inputs and carries speed effortlessly. But the real ace up the Ransom’s sleeve is the TracLoc remote, giving you two bikes in one, where you can prioritise grip and downhill performance with your suspension set-up, but still turn it into a demon climber at the flick of a switch.  


Frame:HMX carbon, 170/140mm travel
Shock:Fox Float X Nude Factory with TracLoc (205x65mm)
Fork:Fox 38 Float Factory GRIP2, 170mm travel (44mm offset)
Wheels:Race Face Turbine R30 wheels, Maxxis Assegai EXO+ MG/Dissector DD MT 29x2.5/2.4in tyres
Drivetrain:SRAM X0 Eagle crank, 32t, 165mm, SRAM AXS 12-speed shifter and X0 Eagle AXS T-Type r-mech
Brakes:SRAM Code Ultimate Stealth, four-piston, 200/200mm
Components:Syncros Hixon Ic 40mm stem/780mm bars, Syncros Duncan 1.5S dropper post 180mm, Syncros Tofino 1.5 Ti saddle
Sizes:S, M, L, XL
Size ridden:L
Rider height:178cm
Head angle:63.8º (64.4º and 65º options)
Effective seat angle:77.4º
BB height:350mm
Front centre:830mm
Down tube:753mm
Seat tube:440mm
Top tube:624mm