Scott’s replacement for their Ransom is helping to close the gap between long-travel, all-mountain mashers and hill-climb savvy mile-munchers.
Ride & handling: Amazing bike that redefines the all-mountain category
With 30 percent rear shock sag, the LT’s slack 65.7-degree head angle suits its 185mm (7.3in) of travel to eat up trail debris and the kind of drops that might have left the old 165mm Ransom puckered up.
The front end is stiff and predictable, allowing you to carve singletrack, though we’d like to see a slightly wider bar than the 700mm Syncros unit fitted here.
Hammering down fast, slabby trails, we struggled to push the DT Equalizer-3 shock through 60 percent of its travel, yet it still felt plush and left plenty in reserve for bigger terrain.
The LT is a very capable climber, though, enabled largely by Scott’s established handlebar-mounted Twinloc lever, which allows you to remotely switch rear wheel travel between full 185mm, a traction-control 110mm (4.3in), and rear and front simultaneous lockout settings.
Leave the shock open and you’re entering a world of pedal strikes when climbing, but pop the LT into 110mm travel mode with its steeper 66.6-degree head angle and it becomes almost goat-like, meaning we didn’t reach for the 2-Step travel-adjust to drop the RockShox Lyrik fork on climbs.
Frame & equipment: Cutting edge carbon chassis plus custom fork
The LT uses a one-piece homogenous IMP5 carbon front triangle. Its beefy box-sections boast the stiffness and strength needed to combat the stresses of a full 185mm of travel.
Clever carbon has pushed the frame weight down to 2.8kg (6.2lb) including shock, giving the LT the lightest weight-to-travel ratio today. A 6061 aluminium rear triangle with a stiff, one-piece aluminium link to drive the DT Equalizer-3 pull shock is placed neatly behind the seat tube.
To allow the larger rear wheel arc of the LT, the shock has been ﬂipped upside down, placing the bulk of the 535g triple chamber air shock downwards. With new seals and a small mudguard taking care of crud issues, the ﬂip-shock now means less suspended weight, making a more nimble ride.
Trailside tweaking of the LT’s geometry is offered by a small elliptical ‘shock chip’ set into the link arm, adjusted by a 5mm Allen key. Swap positions and you can alter the LT’s head angle by 0.7 degrees and bottom bracket height by 4mm accordingly – small changes that can alter the LT’s ride.
The custom 180mm-travel (7.1in) RockShox Lyrik fork boasts a tapered steerer and a 20mm through-axle to keep the steering masterful, while low bars help keep weight on the front wheel. A SRAM X0 triple chainset helps with overall versatility.