Scott Scale 29 Pro review

Race or epic ride hardtail

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £2,099.99 RRP | USD $2,700.00

Our review

A genuinely outstanding high speed, high control race or epic ride hardtail at a superb price
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If there’s one area where bigger wheeled 29er bikes are making conventional-hooped rides look like cold blooded egg layers it’s high speed, long distance hardtails. Nothing does it better for each buck than Scott’s carbon weave wagon wheeler either.

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For a start, at just over a kilo the full-carbon Scale Pro frame is as light as most 26in hardtail frames. The tapered head tube, oversize down tube and Press-Fit PF92 bottom bracket area means it’s not losing out on stiffness and steering accuracy.

By curving the seat tube and bringing the back wheel in as close as possible and fitting a short stem as standard, steering responsiveness and precision is as good, if not better, than most race bikes. Scott have used their road-bred SDS super-slim seatstays to remove some rear end rattle before it gets to the rider and fitted big volume 2.25in tyres to cushion the ride.

However sorted the Scott is, 29ers feel significantly different to a conventional bike. The increased inertia of the bigger wheels means slightly slower acceleration and a correspondingly sluggish feel. Ironically the way the wheels smooth out rough sections removes the rattle and blur that creates much of the speed sensation of riding, which can create an underwhelming first impression.

As soon as our testers kept cranking those wheels for a few more turns, though,they started to pull clear of the rest of the pack without even trying. The rougher the trail got the more obvious the rolling advantage of the wheels was to riders and followers. Rather than relying on the right suspension path or shock setup, the shallower contact angle, longer contact patch and increased momentum let the Scott skim over the top of trouble.

Traction is outstanding for a hardtail too, finding purchase and free speed on the loose pebbles or scree that sucked other bikes to a standstill. It also rolled up the stepped or rough slab paved paths of high passes with ease, surging ahead as others struggled. Even with a relatively simple fork, cornering and descending control are equally enhanced.

If we had to compare its capability with anything it would be with the best short-travel suspension bikes. There’s no way you’d get a full suspension bike anywhere near this weight and responsiveness at this price though. There’s masses of upgrade potential left in the workmanlike spec on this chassis too, making it even more  of a bargain.

Experienced 29er riders were stunned with how well sorted, light and responsive the Scott was for a £2,000 bike. Big wheel freshers were blown away with the combination of enhanced speed, smoothness and control that the Scale Pro delivered. Either way, this is a superb example of state of the art superlight hardtail performance at a remarkably good price.

Scott scale pro: scott scale pro
Seb Rogers
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This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Scale 29 Pro (11)
Brand Scott

Brakes Avid Elixir 5185/F and 160/R mm Rotor
Rear Hub DT Swiss 370 Disc IT
Brake Levers Avid Elixir 5
Weight (lb) 24.11
Weight (kg) 10.94
Stem Scott Comp4 Bolt / OS 31.8mm1-1/8" / 6° angle
Shifters SRAM X7 Triggeradjustable clampwith matchmaker clamp
Seatpost Scott RC 03-60 / 34.9mm
Saddle Selle Italy Scott Custom / FEC rails
Rims DT Swiss 485d32H / Black
Rear Tyre Tubeless ready / Pace star compound
Rear Shock Nil
Rear Derailleur SRAM X9 long cage30 Speed
Cassette SRAM PG 105012-36 T
Pedals Shimano PD-M520Clipless pedal
Headset Type Ritchey Comp Tapered 1.5" - 1 1/8"semi integrated 50 / 61mm
Handlebar Scott Hot Rod OS 31.8mmFlat / 660 mm / 9° bendScott lockon grips
Front Tyre Tubeless ready / Pace star compound
Front Hub Scott Disc Pro Disc IT
Front Derailleur Shimano SLX FC-M660-10 / 34.9mm
Frame Material Scale 29 Carbon IMP3 / HMF net / Tapered HTPM 160 Disc / Carbon dropoutPFBB92 / replacable hangerSDS shock damping system
Fork Rock Shox Reba 29 RL / Tapered steererAir / Pop Loc remote Lockoutreb. Adj. / 100 mm travel
Cranks Shimano FC-M5522-piece Design42Ax32Ax24T
Chain SRAM PC 1031
Spoke Type DT Swiss Champion Black 1.8mm