A 29er with a 100mm-travel fork, Maxxis Ikon tyres and an equally cross country/race focus
Twelve months ago a Scale 770 sat here; based on Nino Schurter’s race bike it had 27.5in wheels, a short-travel suspension fork and fast-rolling tyres.
Now, in it’s place is a the Scale 970, a 29er with a 100mm-travel fork, Maxxis Ikon tyres and an equally cross country/race focus (although you can still buy the 770 for the same price).
Scott has got a couple of things right for a race bike — it has a triple-chainset, so you’re going to be able to make it up most climbs. It’s also pretty stiff and direct at the back, with very little energy wasted in unwanted flex.
The geometry and shape of the bike is pretty old-school XC too. The Scale 970 actually has a steeper head angle than seat angle, and also has a really high bottom bracket; both reinforce the impression of being perched and nervous thoroughbred.
There’s a wide 730mm handlebar to tame some of the twitchiness but, with a long 95mm stem and under-sprung coil fork, rider weight is so far forward on the descents that it felt even steeper and edgier. We also couldn’t get the saddle down, due to the bottle cage bolts sticking through the seat tube.
Scott isn’t alone in making a race bike at this price point, but we can’t believe anyone is going to compete on one that weighs nearly 30lb.
To be competitive the bike needs to lose at least 4lb, but we doubt Scott could do that for £750, so it’d be better off repackaging the Scale 970 as a trail bike. More relaxed geometry and a longer fork would be a good place to start.