The Scorpi El Camös is a futuristic lightweight XC bike with a nostalgic nod to the 90s

Prototype frame, designed around the minimum number of parts, lacks a seat tube or seatstay

Pack shot of Scorpi El Camps against a white background

The Scorpi El Camös is a radical full-suspension cross-country mountain bike without a seatstay or seat tube.

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Designed with the “smallest number of pieces and components possible”, the El Camös frame is claimed to weigh 1,750g without the rear shock or axle in a size medium.

The bike features 120mm of suspension travel both front and rear, and the new Italian brand says the entirety of the manufacturing process happens in its home country.

Although the El Camös is currently a prototype, Scorpi says it is moving towards starting full-scale production of a final product. There are likely to be two models, as well as a team replica.

The frame is expected to retail for €5,450, and Scorpi is hoping to sell it worldwide.

A retro-inspired design

The El Camös has been a long time in the making.
Scorpi

Scorpi was formed in July 2021 and the brand’s debut frame was created in collaboration with Advanced Composites Solutions, a composites engineering firm based near Pescara, Italy.

The project started with Edo Ferrari, who was the designer of the Sintesi Bazooka that won the downhill World Cup in 1997. It also featured a Y-design frame and was one of the first to feature a double-link, which would later be patented as the DW-link design.

Other notable Y-design frames of the 1990s include the Trek Y-33 and the Cannondale Raven, although both featured conventional swingarms.

Kerry Bason’s Sintesi Bazooka featured at the Malvern Classics show in 2018.
Helen Cousins / Immediate Media

The Scorpi’s silhouette clearly owes a debt to the Sintesi, with its single swingarm piece that lacks a seatstay element. As the purpose of the seatstays is to push back (therefore ‘stay’) the overflexing seat tube, and the swingarm doesn’t feature this tube, the El Camös takes the design one step further by removing the seat tube.

The brand says it has attempted to keep the entirety of the El Camös build lightweight, with the majority of the frame’s weight concentrated in the centre of the bike for best performance. This is through the layup combination – with Scorpi elusively saying it “uses a different kind of pre-preg carbon” – and the fact that the design will inherently drop some weight, given there the seatstays and seat tube are absent.

The brand says the carbon layup has been optimised for maximum stiffness when pedalling and compliance when descending. According to Scorpi, it takes 20 hours of manpower to make a single frame.

The 1,750g claimed frame weight is pretty competitive against the current crop of cross-country bikes. The Specialized Epic Evo weighs in at a claimed 1,869g, also in a size medium, and the Factor Lando XC at 1,900g in an unspecified size. Both of those bikes also feature 120mm of travel – but crucially don’t break the rulebook by eliminating tubes.

Scorpi says it has submitted three patent requests for its frame and suspension design.

Future-proof suspension

A closer look at the motocross-inspired suspension design.
Scorpi

Although a large number of cross-country race bikes feature 100mm of suspension travel, Scorpi chose to spec 120mm because it believes this will be the industry standard for cross-country racing in the future. The frame is also compatible with a 130mm fork.

It uses a single-pivot design with a linkage-activated shock. This design is inspired by the suspension systems used on motocross bikes, where the linkage is used to tune how progressive the suspension kinematic is.

The swingarm is particularly interesting, given that it is mounted around two-thirds of the way along the down tube. The main pivot’s location tunes suspension behaviour such as anti-squat, where Scorpi claims it has “a more neutral and instinctive, natural ride”.

Progressive-ish geometry

The El Camös features a 66.5-68 degree head-tube angle, depending on the amount of fork travel, combined with a 75.2-75.8 degree seat-tube angle.

These numbers are fairly progressive for a 120mm travel cross-country bike. For comparison, the Specialized Epic Evo – arguably a downcountry bike rather than an outright XC racer – features a 66.5-degree head-tube angle and a slightly slacker 74.8 degree seat-tube angle in an equivalent size.

The reach is 450mm on a size medium El Camös, which is reasonably long for a beefed-up cross-country bike. The Epic Evo comes in at 436mm, while the Trek Top Fuel – which definitely has a more downcountry-focused agenda – matches the El Camös.

Completely defying convention is the rear centre, measuring a minuscule 418mm across all frame sizes. For context, cross-country mountain bikes tend to measure in at around the 435-445mm mark. Scorpi says this is a world record for a 120mm travel bike, and we wouldn’t be inclined to argue.

Generally speaking, the shorter the rear centre, the more responsive and nimble-feeling the ride. On paper, therefore El Camös should be very sprightly when cornering. Scorpi also claims the handling will be very light when ascending, particularly when you’re winching your way up technical corners.

Still, the El Camös has a 1,168mm wheelbase in a size medium, which while on the shorter end of the scale, is still reasonable for a cross-country bike.

FrameSMLXL
Head tube angle (degrees)66.5-6767-67.567-67.567.5-68
Seat tube angle (degrees)75.2-75.875.2-75.875.2-75.875.2-75.8
Head tube length (mm)9095100105
Rear Centre (mm)418418418418
Wheelbase (mm)1,1581,1681,1881,200
Reach (mm)435450470485
Stack (mm)515620625630

Frame details

A bare carbon weave finish puts the material front and centre.
Scorpi

The frame features a carbon-weave finish to promote the material in all its unpainted glory.

Scorpi has specced a T47 standard bottom bracket shell with an 86.5mm width on the El Camös.

Although T47 has been adopted by a number of brands on the road, mountain bike brands have been a little more hesitant (though Factor specced it on its recently-launched Lando cross-country platform.

The brand says a sleeve runs through the frameset to stop the internal cables from rattling in the frame. Production frames will receive aluminium guides where the cables are inserted into the frame to improve cable routing.

Despite the lack of a seat tube, Scorpi says you can use a dropper seatpost in the 31.6mm seat tube. The brand recommends using Swiss-Italian brand Yep dropper posts, but says you are free to use any of your choosing.

The maximum permitted chainring size is 38 teeth, with tyre clearance rated for up to 29×2.4in mountain bike tyres.

Looking to the future

The prototype features a pretty exotic parts list for its build.
Scorpi

Scorpi has hinted there are other projects in the pipeline, and it looks like the first of these will be an electric version of the El Camös.

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What do you think of this unusual looking machine? Let us know in the comments.