More affordable version of one of our favourite 29er hardtails

Product Overview

Scott Scale 970


  • Comfy ride and playful characteristics of this XC frame


  • Coil-sprung Suntour fork is too soft for a size L bike


Scott Scale 970 (2015) review


Price as reviewed:


Softly sprung fork didn’t like steep descents

The Scott Scale 960 has dominated our Hardtail of the Year test, taking the award two years on the trot and being runner-up last year. Its success is mainly thanks to a first-class frame and inspiring geometry. This made me wonder, ‘Could the 970 with an identical frame really deliver the same results for £300 less?’ The answer is yes… and no.

The 970 comes with an SR Suntour XCR coil-sprung fork instead of the air-sprung RockShox unit found on the 960. Its compression damping feels very good, and controls the front wheel smoothly, without any noticeable stiction.

The problem is the coil spring is too soft for my 75kg mass and the front of the bike dives into its travel, whether going uphill or downhill. Unlike an air-sprung fork it can’t be fixed by just increasing the pressure with a shock pump, and Scott can’t fit a different spring either.

There is a solution, however, as SR Suntour’s distributor ( can fit either a new spring or add a firmer bottom-out elastomer to match your weight or riding style.

Need to know

  • 29er hardtail, designed for XC racing and trail riding
  • Quality 6061 alloy frame 
  • Coil-sprung fork with 100mm travel
  • Same spec as Scale 770 but with 29in wheels

Since the XCR has only recently changed from 30 to 32mm upper tubes the springs are only just becoming available. If you can’t find springs the elastomer fix is readily available. To get a firmer set-up ask the bike shop from which you bought the Scale to send the fork to Greyville, who will add an elastomer for a fee.

That aside, the bike is great and the quality frame delivers a comfortable and zippy ride. The Shimano Acera brakes are powerful, the Deore shifting crisp and the Scott team race colours look stylish. To elaborate on the answer to my initial question, the 970 can deliver the same feel as the 960 if you’re a featherweight. However, expect to do some fork-tweaking if you are not!

>>> Click here to find out more about geometry with our handy guide



Frame :6061 aluminium
Fork :SR Suntour XCR RL-R, 100mm travel
Wheels :Formula front hub, Shimano rear, Syncros GX19 rims and Maxxis Ikon 2.2in tyres
Drivetrain :Shimano Octalink triple crankset, Deore derailleurs and shifters
Brakes :Shimano BR-M395, 180/160mm
Components :Syncros bar, stem, seatpost and saddle
Weight :13.6kg (30lb)
Sizes :S, M, L, XL, XXL
Size tested :L
Rider height :6ft 1in
Head angle :69.3°
Seat angle :71.3°
BB height :318mm
Chainstay :434mm
Front centre :687mm
Wheelbase :1,121mm
Down tube :695mm
Top tube :620mm
Reach :424mm