Scott have done an excellent job of condensing the performance and feel of their top-end race 29ers into the more budget-friendly Scale 29 Comp. The aggressive position is suitable for competition or just heading out for a day on the trails, the handling offers the best mix of stability and agility in this group, and the frame rides well and yet is reassuringly stiff where it needs to be.
Scott have somehow also managed to trim more weight off of the Scale 29 Comp than any other bike in this test despite the big wheels and being the third cheapest in the lot. Toss in the excellent 2.25in-wide Schwalbe Rocket Ron tires, bump-eating wheel size, capable Tektro Draco hydraulic disc brakes with 180mm front rotor, and the excellent geometry, and the Scott easily wins the price-to-fun competition.
In fact, the only major letdown is the Suntour fork, with its overly linear spring rate (ie. the suspension feels the same throughout its travel, rather than stiffening up under bigger hits like on a 'progressive' fork) and easily overwhelmed damping (the control system which affects how quickly the fork compresses when it hits a bump and then returns – rebounds – to full travel).
We frequently bottomed it out (used up all the suspension travel) on fast downhills and lost confidence through rocky corners relative to better controlled forks like the RockShox Dart or Tora. We also knocked the rear wheel out of true – though that could have been caused by a less-than-stellar landing on a small hip jump.
- Standout features: Lightweight; best frame overall in terms of geometry, ride feel and performance; joint best tires on test (Schwalbe Rocket Ron 29x2.25, a tie with WTB Prowler 29); Tektro Draco brakes with 180mm front rotor
- Pros: Great overall 29er package; excellent value; only a fork away from a being a great beginner race bike
- Cons: Fork isn't as good as the rest of the bike; rear spoke tension seems low
- Weight: 12.84kg/28.32lb. Wheelset: 4.83kg/10.66lb