Scott Scale 720 Plus review£1,299.00

Plus size hardtail that delivers a rapid and responsive ride

BikeRadar score4/5

If we hadn’t have ridden the Scott Scale 720 Plus properly hard on our favourite fault finding full gas trails, there’s no way it would have made it onto our list of favourite bargain mountain bikes.

The Deore gears and Suntour Raidon fork are essentially the same as the Voodoo Bizango for less than half the price. While it’s OK at that price it’s certainly not a fork we’d normally be happy to see the far side of £1,000 either. So why was the Scale one of our favourite bargain rides and one of the bikes we really wanted to keep afterwards?

Rather than raking out the fork enduro style like most plus tyre bikes we’ve ridden, Scott keeps the steering angle relatively steep

It’s a two part answer, and the first part — perhaps controversially — is plus sized tyres. While we’ve been testing them all year, it’s mostly been on more expensive bikes where comparable conventional tyres have been backed up by sorted, sensitive suspension forks.

However, it’s immediately obvious that plus tyres can make comparatively crap, clunky suspension feel better than something like a RockShox Sektor and a conventional tyre.

You get the same smoothing, semi suspension effect out back, but even more so in this case as the Scott Scale has a very high quality race ready frame anyway.

Schwalbe's plus tyres
Schwalbe's plus tyres

The Schwalbe plus tyres themselves are really good too, seemingly more survivable than most, when tubeless, as well as — weirdly — both faster and grippier.

Rather than raking out the fork enduro style like most plus tyre bikes we’ve ridden, Scott keeps the steering angle relatively steep, making it much easier to twist the bigger, stickier contact patch round to change direction or correct lines.

Add a 12.61kg weight and you’ve got an outstandingly floated and trail smoothing ride that’s rapid and responsive enough to leave conventional hardtails standing.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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