Scott Scale RC JR review

Cross-country racer – just on a different scale

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
£739.00 RRP

Our review

Pricey pint-size cross-country racer with a light frame and decent drivetrain
Skip to view product specifications

This is a Scale – one of Scott’s lightweight race hardtails – shrunk down for juniors. The RC comes in at the top of the range and it’s quite compact, suiting children from eight to 12 years old. 

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Ride & handling:  More about winning than grinning

“Sharp and fast” was how our tester described the Scott. “It’s a very racy bike,” he concluded. It was the only bike that he got up a tight, steep hairpin climb on Dalby’s red route, thanks to its low weight and the smaller turning circle of 24in wheels. However, he didn’t think it dealt with drop-offs well and on a stretch of bumpy singletrack he managed to bottom out the suspension.

This feedback tallies with the bike’s intended purpose: to be a light, fast, cross-country hardtail. The low weight gives good manoeuvrability as well as podium potential for a pre-teen rider.

Frame: Butted aluminium makes a lightweight chassis

Like the lower-end adult Scales, the RC JR’s frame is aluminium rather than carbon fibre. Tubes are butted at both ends, so they won’t weaken where they’re welded, but have thinner walls along their length to reduce weight. Small frames tend to be stronger, so for cross-country use there’s no need for the extra heft of beefy tubes or reinforcing gussets. And those weight-savings show, because at around 22lb the Scale RC JR is lighter than most kids’ bikes.  

Equipment: Impressive drivetrain let down by average forks and short cranks

Good forks for 24in wheels are in short supply and this Spinner Grind 2 fork is merely average. It’s a coil/elastomer unit that’s adjustable for preload only. Fortunately, the light spring lets small riders take advantage of the 65mm travel it offers, rather than struggling to get any movement from it at all.

The other equipment is 100 percent cross-country, from the flat bar, clipless SPD pedals and lightweight wheels through to the V-brakes. For racing these save weight, although for weekend trail use hydraulic discs would be better to make the most of a child’s limited grip strength on long or steep descents.

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The drivetrain is impressive – you won’t see 27-speed Deore or an XT rear mech on many kids’ bikes. The cranks are the one weakness. At 165mm, they’re too long. As a rule of thumb, crank length should be 10 percent of the rider’s height – so 150mm for the typical 150cm rider of this bike. Shorter cranks allow easier pedalling, keep feet well away from the front wheel and reduce pedal strikes on the ground.

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Product Specifications

Product

Name Scale RC Jr (09)
Brand Scott

Description This bike features CST-C-1023 24 x 1.95 Kevlar Bead 66TPI tyres.
Rims SCE-20
Standover Height (in) 25.6
Seat Tube (in) 13.5
Chainstays (in) 16.5
Bottom Bracket Height (in) 11.2
Spoke Type Stainless 15G 1.8mm / black
Brake Levers Scott Kids Pro
Weight (lb) 22.4
Weight (kg) 10.2
Shifters Deore SLM530 Rapid fire plus 2-way release
Seatpost Comp / 26.8mm
Seat Angle 72
Saddle RC CR-MO
Rear Hub Scott RC 24H
Bottom Bracket BB 8420-AL PD
Rear Derailleur XT RD-M772 shadow type 27 Speed
Pedals PD-M520
Headset Type Scott VP
Head Angle 69.5
Handlebar RC 560mm
Front Hub Scott RC 20H
Front Derailleur Deore
Frame Material Scott Alloy 6061 Superlite D.B Frame hydroformed tubing Scott dropout
Fork Grind 2 alloy stanchion / steerer preload adj. / 65mm
Cranks Alpha Drive 44x32x22 T / 165mm
Cassette Shimano XT 11-32 T
Brakes Scott Pro cartride pads
Top Tube (in) 19.5