Scott Scale 40 Review
The Scott Scale 40 has evolved significantly in recent years, creeping up the price scale but justifying the increases with a slew of new high end components that let you make the most out of its hardtail alloy frame. It has not lost sight of the things which made it good in the first place, such as comfort and speed, but it has definitely improved on any areas of weakness to make its 2012 iteration the pinnacle of the bike’s story so far.
This is not a carbon mountain bike, but the superlight alloy frame has been welded so carefully that you might be fooled into thinking that it was. At 11kg it is in fact lighter than the Genius 10 carbon frame bike that we’ve just ridden and reviewed. But yes, that is a FSR bike with added weight due to the rear shock. But you get the point?
The light, strong properties of carbon are also present on the Scale 40 in the custom butted tubing and the race ready geometry speaks to the years of testing which have cumulatively led to this latest model.
Because the Scott Scale 40 is light and taught you might assume that it is also going to be a bit unforgiving when it comes to ride quality because it will appeal to cyclists who are more interested in going fast than having a comfortable experience. Thankfully this is simply not the case with this particular bike because the geometry is sympathetic to the needs of the rider who is tackling a long distance slog and the RockShox Reba Air fork gives you that extra breathing room on the bumps and jumps due to its 100mm of travel. This is the same front fork as is on the more expensive Scale 30 & 35 bikes.
Nailing the overall feel of a bike is difficult without solid components and the Scott Scale 40 does not disappoint in this area. You get Avid Elixir 5S disc brakes with a 180mm rotor at the front and a 160mm rotor at the rear. This takes things to the next level when it comes to speed control and handling. Again, these are the same components as the Scale 30 & 35 bikes. Meanwhile the Shimano gearing is made up of SLX (front) and XT (rear) kit, letting you really put all of your power through the drivetrain and straight onto the ground below to make this light bike fly across the landscape.
DT Swiss 445d rims and Schwalbe Rocket Ron Performance tyres join forces for snappy rolling fun with that vital grippy edge that is required to bolster the multipurpose reputation of the Scott Scale 40. Previous generations of this bike have been criticised for the lack of lighter wheels, but for 2012 Scott has definitely hit the nail on the head with this excellent setup. In fact, the entire 2012 range use the same tyres and the Scale 40 shares the rims with each of the top-of-the-range models, with Alex rims being used for the less expensive bikes.
The Scott Scale 40 seems to have an endless appetite for fast-paced action on track and trail, letting you pull out all the stops and speed to victory without feeling battered and bruised as a result. It really takes the sting out of competitive riding over long distances and although it may lack the focus of some more specialist cycles it is still easy to recommend for enthusiasts who want to improve their times in any situation.